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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)

An Old Hawthorn Hedge

An Old Hawthorn Hedge.

A recent article in one of our daily papers on hedges reminded me of an interesting one I know of in the north. When I was little I used to go to Russell School, and every day used to pass this big hedge of hawthorn growing round two sides of a property near the school. Many a bunch of hawthorns I've nibbled off it—youngsters will eat anything! I have every reason for believing this to be one of the oldest hedges in New Zealand—Russell, once the capital of the Dominion, naturally claims a lot of “oldests”—for in the old whaling book, “The Cruise of the Cachalot,” the narrator tells of going for a walk in the little town, and describes the lovely hawthorn hedge in bloom not far back from the waterfront. Further proof that it must be the same hedge mentioned is that he goes on to tell of continuing up the same road and coming to a little brick house covered with wild roses in the shade of two enormous pine trees growing close together, branches entwined. The trees, which still stand, are on a section just opposite my own home, and are now owned by the widow of a well known Railway Stationmaster, Mr. H. Arnold, late of Morrinsville.

Until Mr. and Mrs. Arnold acquired it, the section was vacant, and we used it for a playground after school, and we used the bricks, odd ones left from the ruins of the little brick house, lying in the tangle of wild roses, periwinkles and gorse, for building the fireplace in our play house.

Some years ago the hedge was cut down, owing to the prevalence of fire-blight, but to my delight on my last visit home, I noticed that it is growing up again quite fast.

It is to be hoped that it is not to be cut down again, for there are few things more beautiful than a hawthorn hedge in bloom, to make no mention of the pity for the loss of a historic landmark.—“Huia.”

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