This Sunday saw the successful launch of the Wairarapa Archive’s 23rd publication – ‘On the Edge – Wairarapa’s Coastal Communities.
Local historian/tramper/photographer and ex Head of History at Wairarapa College, Jim Graydon, has spent a lot of time in the archive as he researched the stories of the coastal settlements scattered along the Wairarapa coastline. He also walked along the coast, from the Mataikona River around to Turakirae Heads, photographing as he went, and talking to the residents he encountered.
The end result is an insightful look at the way pakeha settlements have arisen along the coastline, from the older settlements associated with sheep stations and river mouths (Castlepoint and Lake Ferry), through to Basil Bodle’s dream of an American style beach resort in the 1950s (Riversdale) to more recent subdivisions (Flat Point, Whatarangi). Along the way he looks at the impact of both recreational and commercial fishing on the coast, paying particular attention to Ngawi, and also investigates the differing architectural styles in vogue, from the ramshackled baches of Ocean Beach to the most opulent houses at the resort subdivisions.
An exhibition of some of Jim’s photographs was also opened in the foyer at Aratoi, the first sales being almost simultaneous with the book sales.