A 117-year-old chaff cutter is being nursed back to life by local father-and-son team Richard and Bradley Carter of Mangatoki to be one of the showpieces at the Vintage Hay Days at Normanby, February 23-24.
Built in Christchurch around 1895, this antique machine suffered minor damage when it was last exhibited two years ago. Every time they get it going, trouble strikes. However, the Carters are optimistic about having it running for this summers' big event.
Richard and his grandfather, Jack Terry, completely rebuilt the dilapidated wreck when they acquired it ten years ago.
"The only original beams are the two totara axles" explains Richard, "Everything else was rotten".
The unusual machine originated from the Taurumanui area and was passed onto them by fellow enthusiast Wayne Gush of Tariki.
The chaff cutter has spinning blades which chop Oats and straw into short pieces for animal feed.
"It shakes like crazy when it gets up to speed," warns Richard.
Crops of oats and hay are growing well after recent rain, so the Carters are excited about the Vintage Haymaking weekend which will raise funds for the South Taranaki District Museum.