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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]



Whitecliffs, at the terminus of the branch railway line from Darfield, is situated about forty-two miles west from Christchurch, and is said to have obtained its name for the colour of the clay in the neighbouring hills. It occupies a wide valley, traversed by the Upper Selwyn river, is surrounded towards the north, west, and south-west by mountain ranges, and is essentially a sheep grazing district. The local pottery works, owned by Mr. H. F. Wigram, of Christchurch, are of importance to the industrial life of the district, and many of the residents are employed at them. The township is small and compact, and comprises a public school, a church—used by the Wesleyan and Baptist bodies—and a post and telegraph office, together with several places of business. Whitecliffs has a daily mail service, by rail, with Christchurch.

Black, Walter, Farmer, “Bellfield,” Whitecliffs. Mr. Black was born in Strath Navar, Sutherlandshire, Scotland, in 1841. His education was finished at the Normal school, Edinburgh, and he followed teaching for three years, but was subsequently engaged in pastoral pursuits. He came out to New Zealand in 1884, in the ship “Florida,” and was soon appointed manager of the Pentland Hills station. In 1891 Mr. Black bought his present property, which was originally part of Bishop Harper's run. “Bellfield” comprises 1100 acres, and is devoted chiefly to raising wool and mutton, with sheep of the English Leicester strain. Mr. Black his always taken a great interest in the Whitecliffs library, and has acted as treasurer. He was married, in 1881, to Miss Wallace. Mrs. Black has been a successful exhibitor at agricultural shows. In 1892 she gained two first prizes for table butter, and since then she has gained, for butter, bread and his cuits, twenty-one first, five second, four third, and seven minor prizes.

Mr. and Mrs W. Black.

Mr. and Mrs W. Black.