The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Brookside is one of the rich and prosperous districts around Lake Ellesmere. In its primitive state the land was swamp, covered with water, flax, and raupo, and was taken up as a cattle and sheep run in the early fifties by the late Mr. Washbourne. South Selwyn was the original name of the district. Pioneer farmers bought small freeholds and began to settle in the district about 1862. The names of Cunningham, Mawson, Boag, Withell and Brooks were amongst the earliest to be associated with the district in this way. The early settlers were hardy, practical farmers, endowed with courage and perseverance, and hence the success of the settlement, which, originally a wild inhospitable swamp, was gradually converted by the pioneers into one of the richest and most fertile spots in New Zealand, studded with handsome homesteads possessed of every desirable comfort and luxury. Mr. Brooks, one of the pioneer settlers, made a gift of land as a site for a school and a church, and, in recognition of his generosity, his fellow settlers had the name of the district changed to Brookside. The district lies to the south of the river Selwyn, and is within a short distance of the Doyleston and Irwell railway stations, and about two miles from the township of Leeston. Brookside village contains a good store and post office, three handsome churches, a school, a blacksmith's shop, and coachbuilding establishment, a roller flour mill, and a fine creamery; all within a short distance of the railway. The district is well roaded, and thus, with the quality of the land and the enterprise of the settlers, possesses the prime factors of prosperity.
Brookside Creamery. This creamery was established in 1893 by the Canterbury Central Dairy Company, Ltd., Addington. The engine is a six-horse power by Anderson and Co., of Christchurch, and the cream separator is a De Laval Alpha Aii turbine. Cream is sent daily to Addington by rail. The cattle are principally the Shorthorn breed, and 1000 gallons are supplied daily in the flush of the season. For some time the supply has been increasing, and the increase is expected to continue for a number of years. The milk is paid for by the percentage of butter fat.
Mr. John Stewart, the Manager, was born at Brookside, and followed farming for a number of years. He thoroughly mastered all the details of dairy work before being appointed manager of the Brookside creamery. He takes an active part in athletic sports, and at the Dunsanael New Year sports of 1898 he won the Maiden Bicycle Race of one mile, and was first in the half-mile and third in the three-mile and five-mile races. In 1898, Mr. Stewart was placed in charge of the Little River branch of the Central Dairy Company.
Brookside Roller Flour Mill (George Trapnell, proprietor); flour brand, “Rising Gem.” This fine up-to-date flour mill was originally built by the late Mr. John Cole, and purchased by the present owner in 1894. It is driven by a large water wheel of 16 feet diameter, with a face breadth of 8 feet. There is a good supply of water. Since it was bought by the present owner, the mill has been converted into a roller flour mill, supplied with all the latest and best machinery. It has an average output of twelve tons per week, but is capable of extending this if necessary, to twenty tons. The mill's well-known brand, “Rising Gem,” is in great demand all over New Zealand. The mill has proved a great boon to the district, as the owner buys his raw material from the various farmers within a radius of twelve miles. There is storage room for over 16,000 bushels of wheat. Three men are constantly employed at the mill, and a threeton lorry waggon is always on the road, supplying customers, and delivering at the Lake Road railway station, distant about three miles, for shipment to the various towns in New Zealand. The mill's flour and wheat meal and its semolina (a special product) are held in the highest esteem for purity and excellence. Twenty-five first prizes, and numerous special prizes, have been obtained by the mill's products at the various agricultural and pastoral shows.
Mr. George Trapnell is a native of Bridgewater. Somersetshire, England, and was apprenticed to the milling business in his native place with Messrs Spiller and Co., who employ over 900 persons, and are the largest flour millers and biscuit bakers in England. Shortly after the expiration of his apprenticeship he was sent by his employers (Spiller and Co.) to New Zealand to start the Belford flour mill at Timaru, the second mill in New Zealand to use the roller plant, which was a great success. He afterwards started a flour mill at Temuka for Mr. Hayhurst and managed it for some time. Then he received the appointment of manager-foreman at the Riccarton roller flour mills of Messrs Wood Bros., Limited. These mills were afterwards supplemented by more extensive premises at Addington; and Mr. Trapnell was employed about six years altogether at these two mills. In 1894 Mr. Trapnell settled at Brookside, where he had purchased the flour mill, and since then the business has experienced continued success and expansion. Mr. Trapnell is married, and has a family of two.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. G. Trapnell.