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Tentdale and entrance to Cole's Pottery - (courtesy of Bruce Castle Museum)

Update No 32 included a painting of Tentdale, former home of the South family, that remains in the possession of the Cole family. Bruce Castle Museum has provided a copy of a 1939 line drawing that is reproduced above. The scene has been wrongly identified and illustrates the entrance to the pottery of E G Cole & Sons and not South's Pottery as described. It has been established that Tentdale was known as Wayside Cottages in later years.


Joseph South 1822-1906

Mary Ann Dutton 1851-1916

A photograph of Joseph South and his second wife, Mary Ann, in their later years was published in Update No 28. Judith Cranefield, their granddaughter, has provided further photographs of an earlier date. The photograph of Joseph was taken in the studios of Eden George Ltd of Dunedin and is believed to date from the 1880s.


The curator of Bruce Castle Museum invited the Update to participate in Local History Week, a national event to promote local history archives. A presentation on how the archives at Bruce Castle have assisted with the South research was given during the programme arranged on Saturday, 4 May 2002 and was well received. There was, no doubt, an agonising decision to be made in the locality; whether to stay indoors and watch the FA Cup Final or go to Bruce Castle and listen to a dissertation on Samuel South & Sons.


In 1950, Michael Short b 1930, the eldest son of Gladys 1906-2001, followed in the foot steps of his great great grandfather, Joseph South, and emigrated to New Zealand to start a new life. His experiences should be compared with The Voyage in the Articles section which describes the same journey undertaken by Joseph in 1874.

After World War 2 ended many people's thoughts turned to emigration.  Reasons were varied and Commonwealth Governments were keen to attract suitable people. Having studied agriculture at Oaklands College, St Albans, I emigrated to pursue an agricultural career and New Zealand was my choice mainly because I was interested in dairying.

I applied for, and was granted, an assisted passage to New Zealand in 1950. In the absence of a passport, the New Zealand government issued a document of identity and supplied a UK travel warrant. On arrival at Southampton docks there were various formalities to be gone through, such as handing over all ration cards and books.  Going through Customs was swift, a chalk mark on the suitcase and you were through and up the gangplank.

There were several ships under lease or charter to the New Zealand government and I travelled on the SS Atlantis. The ship, originally built as a luxury cruiser in 1913, had been an armed merchant cruiser in World War 1 and a hospital ship in World War 2.  As an immigrant ship, changes had been made to cabins to take the additional passengers.  Up to 8 people were in some cabins but I was fortunate enough to share with only five others and we were fortunate to have a porthole that did not have to be kept closed at sea. My recollection is there were no more than three families on board with the rest of the passengers being single. The ratio of females to males was about 50/50.  In all there were about 900 immigrants. A couple of Masters at Arms, both ex London "bobbies", kept order.

From my point of view, considering the passage was free, the conditions were very good. Lots of spacious lounges and decks and ample food with two sittings for every meal.  A typical meal, taken from an old menu, was soup, curried vegetables and rice, followed by a roast with vegetables and then a dessert followed by coffee. There was a shop on board which sold a variety of goods.  In fact, such was the novelty of un-rationed sweets, that the shop sold 7000 bars of chocolate in the first week before they ran out!  There were bars on board which sold soft drinks and beer. Spirits were not allowed and male passengers were searched for contraband liquor before being allowed to re-embark after port visits. Laundry facilities were available or you could pay to have it done for you.

Talks on New Zealand were given by a New Zealand liason officer and films on the country were shown. Other activities were organised, such as deck sports, "housy-housy" evenings, dances (a precarious pastime with the motion of the ship!) and classical concerts with records. A small library was also available. Or one could simply laze and concentrate on the number of miles the ship would have travelled in the last 24 hours and enter the daily sweep-stake with an accurate guess.  The writer won twice, which helped augment his spending allowance for the trip. The average distance travelled was 340 miles, but I cannot remember whether these were nautical miles or not. Passengers were allowed off the ship at Aden, Columbo, and Freemantle when the Atlantis berthed for fresh supplies.  The voyage took 6 weeks and 5 days.

Immigrants were advised to land with at least 10 pounds, everything else was taken care of by the government. All had jobs to go to, usually arranged though the Department of Labour and had an obligation to stay in the designated employment for two years (although this could be waived in certain circumstances).  If the contract was broken the fare had to be repaid. I had a place to go to, but did not know where until I disembarked! The farm was 8 miles up the Waitotara Valley which is about 20 miles north of Wanganui, the owner was a Doug McGregor. 

 From a personal point of view the assisted immigration scheme was very well run and organised by the New Zealand government and gave the chance of a new direction in life for those who may not otherwise have had the opportunity.

Michael Short

KLB 6/02


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