Miranda Lime Works
A new lime works was established at Miranda c1931 with Mr. Herbie Tait as the managing Director of the new company formed to utilise the abundant shell beds adjacent to the Pukorokoro Stream.
The shell was trucked to the Lime works, crushed and burnt to produce powdered lime which had a ready market to sweeten the local acidic soils. The rule of thumb was to apply lime annually at the rate of a ton to the acre. This use resulted in a dramatic change to the productivity of the land and was relatively cheap, being a local resource. The lime was also in demand as a roading material and an integral part of cement for concrete manufacture
At its peak the works operated around the clock with lime being carried by truck to the rail at Pokeno for distribution further afield. Lime also travelled by sea with a scow taking 78 ton to Clevedon in February 1932 and scows and barges also travelling to Thames.
Besides a managers residence there were a number of workers houses as the enterprise attracted a large work force.
Tom Perry and his wife Doris, previously of Onehunga were early workers with Tom going on to establish his own carrying company which carted lime for 21 Years.
Charles Hodge, a local carrying contractor was also part of the original management. Bill Wallace was an early manager, followed by Arthur Whittlestone. John Wentworth was also an early employee who specialised in heavy machinery and quarry equipment.
The lime works had its share of disasters as it caught fire on two occasions. A constant threat when there is a large furnace operating.
A fortunate spin off of having the lime works was the reticulation of electricity throughout the district. Mr. George Stubbs of Mangatangi lobbied to get power to the people of Kaiaua and other settlements. The establishment of the lime works, with its heavy demand for electricity was enough to convince the Franklin Power Board to reticulate the area.
At a meeting in the new hall at Whakatiwai in 1931, the chairman Mr. John Dean was invited by Mr. Stubbs to throw the switch thus turning the power on for the district.
Electricity brought with it all the modern conveniences, including power for milking machinery.
Unfortunately dwindling stocks of shell forced the lime works to close in about 1950. Some foundations of the works can still be seen near the bridge over the Pῡkorokoro Stream.
16 Dec 14