The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]
Major John Albert Young, V.D., founder of the township of Winchester, was born at Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, England, in 1832, and was educated there. He was apprenticed to the cabinet-making trade in London, and resided there for eight years, and was married to Miss Tarrant, of Plastow, Essex. Leaving London in October, 1858, for Timaru, by the ship “Strathallan,” Captain Williams, he worked for some time in the bush, and then started for some time in the bush, and then started in business as a carpenter and builder. He went into partnership for a time with Mr. Philip Dale (now of Timaru), and then took the Arowhenua Hotel, where he remained three years; he then engaged in business as a storekeeper and butcher at Georgetown, Temuka, and afterwards opened a similar business at Waimate. Returning to Winchester, he built the Winchester Hotel, the first publichouse there, and two years later built and conducted the Royal Hotel at Temuka. After some years, he returned to Winchester, let the hotel and built another, the “Wolseley,” which he conducted for about five years. On leaving this hotel, Mr. Young carried on a storekeeper's business for some three years. In Winchester, he owns the two hotels, a store, and a private residence named “The Villa.” For some time he carried on farming on a small scale. Major Young has always retained his interest in volunteering, and was one of the promoters of the Temuffa Rifles, which were enrolled in 1868. He was promoted to ensign in that year, lieutenant in 1870, captain in 1875, and major (unattached) in 1883, and has received the long service and Imperial medals. He was quarter-master of the South Canterbury battalion until it was disbanded in 1888, and has served the full limit of service for an officer allowed by the volunteer regulations. In 1873 he paid a visit to England for the benefit of his health. He is a member of the Masonic lodge, was chairman of the school committee for some years, and has been chairman of the Winchester Domain Board and Sports Association since 1882. He has seven children, all of whom are married.
Standish and Preece, Photo.
Major J. A. Young.
Winchester Hotel (Angus McKay, proprietor), Winchester. This well-known hostelry is situated on the main line of railway, sixteen miles north of Timaru, and was established about 1863. It contains twenty-four well-furnished rooms, a large, well-ventilated dining-room, and a billiard-room, fitted up with one of Alcock's tables. There are numerous well-stocked trout streams close to the hotel, which is patronised by farmers, anglers, commercial travellers, and by drovers, who find the securely fenced and well watered paddocks attached to the hotel a great convenience. There are good stables on the premises.
Mr. Angus McKay, the Proprietor, was born at Ledmore, Amberley, in 1868. His parents removed to Totara Valley in 1869, and to Kakahu in 1877, and he was educated at Hilton. Mr. McKay was brought up to pastoral life, and has always taken an active part in athletic sports. He was married, in 1889, to Miss Wills, of Waimate.
Mr. and Mrs A. McKay.
Wolseley Hotel (Thomas Langdon, proprietor), Winchester. This hotel was built in 1884 by Major Young. The bar and parlours are downstairs, as well as the dining-room, which measures 24 feet by 18 feet; single and double bedrooms, a hot and cold water bath, and two sitting-rooms are upstairs. The grounds are beautifully laid out with macrocarpa and pinus insignus, and the hotel itself is the favourite resort of trout fishers, and is visited by tourists and others from all parts of the world. Lord Hampden, formerly Governor of New South Wales, Major Fergusson, and Mr. Fairfax, one of the proprietors of the “Sydney Morning Herald,” have stayed at the “Wolseley.” During the fishing season of 1897–98, 2662 trout, weighing 3282 pounds, were caught by visitors staying at the hotel. The most notable basket was taken by Mr. C. Opie, in page 891 the Opihi river by night with fly, and consisted of seventeen fish weighing exactly 100 pounds; one of the seventeen weighed thirteen and a half pounds. [A picture of the fish thus caught appears at page 59 of this volume under the head of Angling.] Mr C. Harr. caught the largest fish taken out of the river; it weighed fourteen and a half pounds. Major Fergusson, an angler from England, caught during two visits 141 trout, weighing 588 pounds, and his total take for the season in both Islands amounted to 507 fish, weighing 1241 pounds, an average of 4.4 pounds per trout. Yet during the season the fly-fishing rivers were dried up, though the Rangitata came down in flood as usual, at intermittent periods.
Mr. Thomas Langdon, the Proprietor of the Wolseley Hotel, was born in Devonshire, England, in 1838, and came to New Zealand in 1862, when he landed at Nelson from the “Albemarle.” He was for thirteen years in the Nelson district, and was on the principal goldfields of Otago and the West Coast. He afterwards resided at Timaru, where he followed his profession of landscape gardener. In 1891, he took over the hotel at Winchester, and from a position of obscurity it has risen under his management to popularity as the pleasantest resort in South Canterbury for tourists and fishermen. Mr. Langdon married Miss Mary Anne Kearns, who was born in Nelson, to which her father had come by the first iron ship, and has one daughter. In 1883 Mr. Langdon made a trip to the Old Country, and returned in the same year.
Winchester Wool Scouring Works (D. McCaskill, proprietor), Winchester. These works were established in 1869. They are erected on the banks of a stream of soft water, close to the railway station, and fitted up with the latest improved page 892 machinery. The drying ground is second to none, and is entirely immune from drifting sand or any other foreign matter. From ten to sixteen hands are employed all the year; from 1200 to 1500 bales of greasy wool are scoured annually, and about 50,000 sheepskins are treated in the fellmongery. All the pelts are cured at the works. Mr. McCaskill has other scouring works at Fairlie, where he puts through a large quantity of wool, on account of stationholders and farmers throughout the Mackenzie Country.
Mr. D. McCaskill, the Proprietor, was born at Milton, Otago, in 1869, and was educated at Temuka. He was married, in 1895, to Miss Bissett, of Orari, and has one son and one daughter. Mr. McCaskill is a vice-president of the Temuka Bicycle Club, and a prominent member of the South Canterbury Rugby Union.
The Winchester Roller Flour Mill (William Harrison, lessee), Winchester. This old established mill was erected by the late Mr. Daniel Inwood, the first miller in Canterbury. It had a successful history as a three-stone mill for years, but the universal change from stones to rolls compelled the owner to convert it into a roller flour mill, and supply it with the finest and most modern machinery. The mill's capacity is now two-and-a-half sacks per hour, on a system of four breaks and six reductions. It is provided with cleaning machines, separators, a magnetic wire-extractor, smutter and brush machine. The building is three stories in height, and it has abundant room for the storage of wheat. Motive power is supplied by a new American turbine of thirty-two horse power. The turbine is twenty-five inches in diameter, and is operated by water with a head of fifteen feet. Most of the machinery was supplied by the well known Manchester firm of Henry Simon. “Reform” is the brand borne by the mill's flour, which finds an ever ready sale in the district.
Mr. William Harrison is a Yorkshireman, who came to New Zealand in 1880, and after being for some time on the Longbeach estate he worked for two years at the Winchester flour mill, then leased by Mr. Murray. Mr. Harrison then visited America and spent two years in one of the largest flour mills at Mineapolis. After that he visited England, where he remained eighteen months, and then returned to New Zealand by way of Melbourne and Sydney. Mr. Inwood offered him employment in the Winchester mill, and he worked there for about three years prior to taking a lease of it when Mr. Inwood retired from business in 1889. Mr. Harrison is a member of the Winchester library committee, and one of the trustees of the public hall.
Opie And Sons (John Opie), General Storekeepers, Butchers, and Bakers, Winchester. Established 1891. Mr. John Opie, the principal in this business, was born in Cornwall, England, in 1843, and was brought up to farming. In 1866, he left England for New Zealand by the ship “Glenmark,” and landed at Timaru. He went straight to Waimate, where he was for seven years engaged in bush work, and was afterwards road making for the Waimate Road Board. Mr. Opie entered the service of Messrs Manchester Bros. and Goldsmith, and was the firm's accountant for thirteen years, when he left for Winchester to establish his present business. Three of Mr. Opie's sons are in business with him; the eldest, Alfred Thomas, is engaged in the wool business, and is also well known in athletic circles. When in Waimate Mr. Opie was a member of the Waimate school committee; he belonged to the Waimate Rifle Corps, and was also choirmaster of the local Wesleyan choir. He has been Worshipful Master of the Winchester Lodge of Freemasons, No. 1737, and is also a member of the local school committee. Mr. Opie was married in the Old Country, just before the sailing of the “Glenmark,” to Miss Collins, also of Cornwall, and they have a family of nine.