Fairweather and Sons of Scott Street.


William Fairweather came out to New Zealand in 1876 on the Rangitikei with his wife Christina McKay and daughter Violet. His eldest son was born during the voyage on the 27th of September. Before coming out to New Zealand he had taken up many engineering jobs. He was first apprenticed at Pearce Bros. of Lilybank Foundry in Dundee and later worked in the yards of the Cunard company in England and for a time in America.

Fairweather and Sons of Scott Street. 30
Thomas Fairweather. Image supplied by author.

New Zealand was a new opportunity for William. It was still a new and growing country and its demand for machinery to help build the country would have helped make his mind up to move to the new colony. He first got a job with John Anderson & Co building boilers and doing general iron work, then headed over to the West Coast to work for the dispatch foundry of Greymouth. By 1879 he had made his way to Blenheim where he started a business known as Fairweathers and Jameson. Both of his sons worked for him and would later run the business. The area of the business covered 1600 square feet and the machinery powered by a 4hp engine built by William.

His business was popular in the community of Marlborough especially his own patented product "Fairweather's Strippers" which was much loved by flax-dressers. In 1917 William died at home in Walter Street (now Scott Street) at the age of 74. He is buried in Omaka Cemetery with his wife and son John, next to his daughter Violet.

Fairweather And Sons Of Scott Street. IMG 1087

The grave of Thomas Fairweather. Image supplied by author

The family business was continued on the premises up until the mid 1980's when the company moved to different grounds. William's grandson Kenneth was a well known mechanic and has also left his mark on the engineering history in Marlborough -  as all the engineers who worked there have done. The last people to own the business were Ken's son's Allan and Rae until it closed around 2000. The original building still stands and is currently a restaurant known as "Fairweathers".


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Further sources - Fairweather and Sons of Scott Street.





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