Back in the day…

Nanna droving in New Zealand
Nanna the drover

My Nanna loved living and working on the land, some of my fondest childhood memories are ones that involve feeding all the ducks and chooks, collecting eggs, making butter and horse riding. Nanna met my Grandfather after the war when she was working on a farm, my Grandfather was a man of the land and spent much of his life on the back of a horse and they would often do cattle drives together. For a long time, Nanna was believed to be the only female drover in Northland, she rode horses for work and pleasure up until a serious health problem slowed her down in her seventies.

My Grandparents didn’t always live on a farm, they had a house in town and oversaw my uncle’s property while he was living overseas. The thing I remember most about Nanna’s house in town is the garden filled with fabulous fruit trees, in summer we would eat the plums straight from the tree and my Nanna would spend hours making jam, filling jars with stewed fruit and preparing fruit pies or crumble. Visiting the farm was a real treat, we would help with shearing by cleaning up the wool, explore the paddocks and feed the chooks and occasionally we would visit neighbouring properties on horseback. The only dog we were allowed to play with was an old English Sheepdog called Muff, the working dogs were off limits unless my Grandfather wanted to send them with us to move sheep or cattle, they were generally Border Collies or Huntaways and they knew more than us when it came to mustering.

I have very little information about the photos below although I remember seeing the first image framed and hanging in Nanna’s house, as a horse crazy child it seemed like a fun and exciting way to live.

My Grandparents, the drovers
My Grandparents, the drovers
Northland cattle drive, New Zealand
Northland cattle drive, New Zealand
Droving on horseback, Northland, New Zealand
The drovers and their dogs
Bringing the cattle through town
Bringing the cattle through town
Cattle on the road
Four legged roadblock
Cattle and car on the road
Those were the days…
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10 thoughts on “Back in the day…

  1. This Sydney Life July 13, 2012 / 3:54 pm

    AWESOME post… How fabulous that you have those images! What a Nanna!

    • twoblackdoggies July 13, 2012 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you! After my Nanna passed away in 2010 my Mum and Aunty got hold of lots of hold photos and had them scanned before they came home. My Nanna was a very strong and practical woman with a wicked sense of humour 🙂

  2. Fabulous Fur Friends July 13, 2012 / 6:38 pm

    Wow, what great photos to have and a very adventurous Nanna! And lovely childhood memories – always nice to reflect on an innocent time if our lives.

    • twoblackdoggies July 13, 2012 / 7:32 pm

      Thank you. It really was a great way to spend a childhood, even though we were only able to visit our grandparents every couple of years. I love seeing all the old family photos, times really were simpler then and my Nanna was a very special and amazing lady.

  3. megtraveling July 14, 2012 / 2:45 am

    You must be so proud to have a grandmother like her! And it’s wonderful that you have such fond memories of your grandparents. Fantastic story and pictures!

    • twoblackdoggies July 14, 2012 / 11:59 am

      I am very proud, she led an amazing life and was such a strong woman. The memory of the fun we had always brings a smile to my face and now I also have the photos to remind me of her 🙂

    • twoblackdoggies July 14, 2012 / 12:08 pm

      Aren’t they just? I love that a part of my family history was captured on film and has survived to be shared.

  4. kareninhonolulu July 14, 2012 / 8:09 am

    What a wonderful post. How I wished I had a history like that. You are so very fortunate. This makes me want to take a trip over there. But of course we can’t go back in time. Is it still pretty much like that now?

    • twoblackdoggies July 14, 2012 / 12:12 pm

      Thank you, I only wish that I had written down all the stories that my grandparents told us, but at least I have the photos and some wonderful memories.

      Remote parts of the Northland may still be like that but the area in which my grandparents lived has changed and although horses are used for mustering, motor bikes are probably the preferred choice. It is a beautiful part of the world, ranging from rainforest and beaches in the north to snow covered mountains and fjords in the south.

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