Hayes Engineering (DS167)

A chance conversation at our campsite led us to the Hayes Engineering & Farmstead museum just along the road from Ranfurly.  The home of Ernest and Hannah Hayes who emigrated to New Zealand with their infant first child in 1882.  Ernest had been apprenticed as a millwright in Warwickshire, not far from where we live now, and arrived in Central Otago to help set up a local mill.  Clearly an inventive chap, he and Hannah ran their own farm while he developed a number of implements for farmers including his wire strainers for fencing, which are still in use today.  Hannah realised marketing effort was required, and set herself up as probably the first female travelling sales person in the field of farming implements.  She also found the time/energy/fortitude to have eight more children!  As they reached adulthood they too became part of the family business and carried on the inventive tradition.  Their workshop was originally powered by a windmill, which being dependent on the breeze, they replaced with a water wheel supplied from a reservoir, and finally by a small engine.   By the 1920s they had a generator for electricity and also supplied their neighbours - although when the Hayes went to bed,  so did the generator :-)

This old tractor sits outside their workshop which is now preserved, much in the way Chedam's Yard in Wellesbourne is.

Tagged for Derelict Sunday,  I'll put a few more on Flikr as time allows.

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