Bruce Comfort
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I'm a retired engineer. I ride a 400cc Suzuki Burgman motorscooter and I live in Oamaru, South Island of New Zealand. I have two adult daughters. My interests (if you haven't worked it out) include New Zealand's heritage of engineering works, snapshot photography of the built environment and recording pastoral farming activities around here. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE NOTE THAT MANY PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS PANORAMIO SITE HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY ACCESSING HERITAGE BUILDINGS, STRUCTURES, AND ENGINEERING ARTIFACTS WHICH LIE ON PRIVATE LAND. PUBLICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS ON THIS SITE DOES NOT IMPLY ANY PUBLIC RIGHTS OF ACCESS. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT A FEW PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE NOT MINE, AND THAT MANY ARE TAKEN INDOORS AND ARE OF MACHINERY AND THAT THIS APPARENTLY CONTRADICTS THE TERMS OF USE OF THE PANORAMIO WEBSITE. I HAVE HAD THE SITE MODERATORS' APPROVAL FOR USING THE SITE THIS WAY AS ALL SUCH PHOTOS LINK IN SOME FASHION TO MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS OF PLACES IN NEW ZEALAND WHERE ARTIFACTS OF ENGINEERING OR PASTORAL OR INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE CAN STILL BE FOUND. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MY INTENTION IS NOT TO USURP THE RIGHTS OF THE HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHERS NOR OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS, AND CREDIT IS GIVEN WHERE I CAN. I have made an endeavour to contact copyright holders of material published on these pages and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, I have decided, in good faith, to proceed with publication. I would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of item. IF YOU GO TO THE PLACES WHERE MY OWN PHOTOGRAPHS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE MODERATORS TO BE IN THE PHOTOS LAYER ON GOOGLE EARTH, MY HOPE IS THAT THE OTHER HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS (which will not have been accepted by the moderators of Google Earth but which appear on these pages) WILL STIMULATE YOU TO THINK ABOUT THE ENGINEERS, ENTREPRENEURS, INVESTORS, THE WORKERS AND OPERATORS AND ALL THE PEOPLE, NOW GONE, WHOSE LIVES WERE INEXTRICABLY TIED TO THESE PLACES AND THESE ENDEAVOURS. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS AND I WELCOME INPUT INTO THIS WORK -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Looking downstream to the upstream portal of the short tunnel (in the scrub) which runs under Ardgowan Road. Within the reservoir reserve there is about 140 metres of race before the water enters the reservoir. To the right in this photo, water could be discharged to Mill Creek and was, whenever the race was delivering water which was below acceptable standards. The raceman who looked after the reservoir and a few km of race upstream from here, lived at the reservoir in a very modest 3 bedroom limestone block house which still stands. This structure included two sluice gates and a screen to remove (entrap) sticks and branches that were swept down the race.

This is probably the original 1880 concrete structure as designed by McLeod. The slots for the main diversion gate can be seen but the gantry, threaded shaft and screw and wheel that operated the gate has gone. To the right, dirty water was discharged to Mill Creek. The gate slots in the diversion are filled with concrete and the operating screws and wheels have gone.

The view is downstream looking towards the entrance portal of tunnel 6 just 20 metres away in the blackberry.

This wonderful photograph (courtesy Helen Fluit who lived just across the road from the kiln relics for many years) shows the kiln during a firing. Much can be discerned even from this poor picture. The quarry is quite small compared to its size today so the photo will have been taken early in the kiln's productive life. It ceased operation in about 1938. The "wing walls" which, by their extant condition might be supposed to be remnants of a larger supporting stonework structure, are clearly all that was ever built, leaving the question of what the extended quoin blocks were ever for? The lime burner's hut "cottage" up above the roof of the unloading/sorting shed is either gone or not yet occupied. It is hard to imagine the fireplace and floor joist sockets having been created after the main stonework was built so the conclusion might have to be that it (the hut)had been abandoned for space in the sheds at the quarry face. The kiln (furnace) mouth has no flat land around it (see picture) and as this would have been a problem during operation, that is cleared up by this photo which shows a wooden (circular) platform around the furnace mouth propped off the stonework below. The unloading and sorting shed is connected by a branched and partly elevated tramway to a covered bay where the clinker was loaded onto wagons for the 800 metre uphill trip to the crusher on Highcliff Road. Railway irons are apparently still visible in the soil and the stonework for the loading bay is pictured and still in good condition. The large sheds at the quarry have no clear function. Such sheds are never usually seen at a quarry but one may have been for a breaker to size the limestone. Given that this kiln produced hydraulic lime (effectively a "cement mortar" that would harden in the presence of water) one shed at least might have been used for sorting batches of raw materials - a batch needing both siltstone and limestone as well as fuel. Helen Fluit advises that coal was the fuel - carted in as back load from Dunedin when burnt lime was delivered to town. And, apparently, the main use for the finished production of this kiln was the mortaring of foundation stones for many of Dunedin's large buildings where the water-table was so high that the ground was permanently damp. That makes a lot of sense. Helen Fluit's husband Con was an amateur historian of the lime kilns and he gathered a lot of information about the kilns (of which there are three and a small prototype/test batch kiln) in the Sandymout gully.

The tower of this mill - probably just prior to it being demolished. It was a cap mill (tower mill) of nine stories. There is not much written hard data about this mill, neither its machinery nor operation. There is evidence that it was not efficient and that the owner subsequently installed steam power - but there are no obvious remnants of that enterprise visible. Water for the steam engine was raised from Oamaru Creek some 70 metres below, via a ram pump, for which a small dam and sump were constructed and reported on in the Oamaru Mail This photo shows the main shaft in place and the framework of the fantail. The two courses of extant blocks can just be discerned above the pasture grass.


These sheet metal (probably Cor-Ten steel which is designed to rust and then stop rusting)sculptures include a row of nine cabbage trees (Cordyline australis)and an angel with (symbolic) Lyre and Horn. The Lyre includes text; "Is man an ape or an angel? I my Lord, am on the side of the angels." incised into a steel panel. This is a shortened version of the words spoken by the politician Benjamin Disraeli at Oxford on 25th November 1864 in a debate about the work of Charles Darwin. Presumably spoken in the context of the ongoing debate surrounding Darwin's1859 publication of the Origin of Species, Disraeli's "siding" with the angels represents his political and personal commitment to the Anglican Church. Important in light of Disraeli's Jewish background (though he was an Anglican his father was a Jew who had converted to the Church of England), this public stance emphasized Disraeli's conservatism and his loyalty to the English nation. Disraeli Street is named after him.

The location of this kiln is just to the North of the Elworthy Kiln and it can be seen in Francis Vallance's photo of the Elworthy (Pareora) kiln as that photo appears on Google Earth.

Now that I have talked to Helen Fluit I am more confident of the operation of this kiln. There was no association of it with James McDonald.

Because of the sandy nature of the limestone in the band that was quarried, this kiln produced hydraulic lime, that is burnt lime that had the properties of modern cement and which would cure in the presence of water. Helen advises that the main use of the material was for foundation stonework in Dunedin on the salt flats of the southern suburbs where the high watertable meant that soils were almost continuously water logged.

well well well. No side walls at all - just these narrow buttresses with the "quoin blocks" sticking out - how very strange. It was obvious that the way the soil/earth had been formed around the kiln mouth (hardly at all) that some means must have been employed to allow the kiln operators to walk around the kiln mouth safely without tumbling down the bank - and here it is in the newest photo of this set, just added. A rather poor reproduction of a poor copy of an enlargement of a small contact print from a very early 1900s camera and you can see the kiln working, the quarry still quite small, the lime burners' day hut accommodation either undeveloped or demolished? and the wooden platform around the kiln mouth. Too much speculation by far, first time.

Thanks Eva - this photo is now on my Panoramio pages.

Like you, I try to expose the users of Panoramio and the people all around the world who use Google Earth, to the heritage we have here in New Zealand and not just its beauty.



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