Seven Sawmills plus several others ... Vol. 2 • 70 mins
Travelling around New Zealand over 15 years, Tom Williamson found himself ‘collecting’ footage from different sawmill locations. In seven cases, he also conducted interviews with the fascinating people who ran the mills, in some cases built them themselves, in others taught themselves the techniques of milling, and in yet others, taught themselves the business of running a business ...
Introducing and linking these films are sequences showing other historic mills. In this DVD these include two preserved water-operated mills, a forgotten mill, and how one sawmill, on a large sheep farm, came to be housed in a building with distinctly ecclesiastical features.
Collectively, the the three DVDs in this series offer a necessarily selective view of the history of sawmilling in New Zealand - an industry that has been an important contributor to the nations’ economy for two hundred years. They also show how New Zealand is now striving to give its unique species of trees a sustainable future.
In this second volume the two sawmills featured are:
Hawkins’s Mill. The Hawkins family of Sefton, near Christchurch, are well known for their collection of traction engines and other associated equipment. It had all started when grandfather Bob opened a sawmill at Motanau. Now son John and grandson Sam run one of the largest privately owned sawmills in the South Island. This film tells Bob’s story, one of small beginnings leading on to greater things, and of how what had started as a business turned into an all-absorbing hobby, involving traction engines; British traction engine enthusiasts will know of this family who have brought two of their engines to the Great Dorset Steam Fair and other rallies on two separate occasions.
Mohring’s Mill: Ken Mohring built his automated sawmill from the most amazing variety of bits and pieces culled from different sources. It is a story of Kiwi number 8 fencing wire technology, writ large - and he did it in the evenings after a full day’s work. The result will delight anybody with any feeling for the sights and sounds of moving machinery, and the smell of hot oil combined with sawdust; it is an extraordinary story of ingenuity.