Ivy Louisa Millin 1908-1992
Memories of Ivy Louisa Millin (nee Stone) as told to her daughter, Clarice Rackley
Ivy was born in 1908 and died in 1992. This is her story:
I was born in the old house which stood at the corner of Nayland Road and Quarantine Road Stoke (demolished July 1994), opposite the car factory gates.*
My only memories of being there are of Spotty, a red and white cow. Kids would tease her through the fence and she would run at them. The clothes-line was out in her paddock and my Mother went to get the clothes off the line latish one afternoon and told me not to come into the paddock. I was about three or four years old. I went in the paddock and the cow rushed up and bunted me in the belly -made a bit of a scratch but not too much. My father and brother, Stan, were sitting on the porch and rushed out when they heard me crying.
We used to walk from there into Nelson as there was no bus then (1913). Mother would push me in the old pram which had big wooden handles like a billy cart. I was about five. Once my Mother found after she had dressed that one sleeve of her blouse was not ironed, so she had to light up the fire to heat the flat iron to do the sleeve. They didn't have cardigans then, anyway Mother didn't.
Where the road dips down in Quarantine Road (looking toward the airport), there was a Chinese market garden on the right hand side. They had another one off Nayland Road. The market gardeners would trot along carrying baskets on long poles over their shoulders. Often they stopped at an old rotten willow on the corner by our house. They'd collect the dry, rotten wood to smoke in their clay pipes.
The Chinese lived in a shack built from wood and sacks at the foot of the incline in Quarantine Road. They washed the vegetables in the ditch on the other side of the road. I was afraid of them. At one time my brother, Charlie, used to buy vegetables from the Chinese and sell them from his horse drawn cart. One lady told him she liked his vegetables but wouldn't buy them from the Chinese, she said she could tell theirs as they smelled awful when cooking.
Near the market garden, about where the car factory is now (World of Wearable Art Museum from the early 2000s), there were two hop gardens - Edwards and Trask's. The hops must have been taken to a kiln on the town side of Annesbrook.
By the time I went to school we had shifted to a little four-roomed cottage with a detached kitchen, a short distance south of where Cawthron Crescent joins Waimea Road. Dad rented the cottage from Lublow's and paid five shilling per week rent. I remember seeing Lublow's big house at the plantation - it was a mansion with conservatories all glazed in and about 13 rooms. It originally belonged to the Redwood's, I think. There were lots of trees and fruit trees. I remember eating the quinces.
One time when I was about seven, I nagged my Mother to give me a ride in my billy cart. Mum got so sick of it she took me to a bit of a wet patch and tipped me out. I'd mostly play on my own and make houses by outlining a shape with blue gum leaves and bark, build a little fire place with bricks and stone and use pieces of broken crockery for plates. I would put sticks in the fireplace, but didn't light them.
Click image to enlarge
My brother Stan would sometimes double me to school on his bike, though I mostly walked on the unsealed road. I don't remember much of my brother Charlie then as he was12 years older and was away working with our grandfather in Aniseed Valley. One time Stan and I were giggling and playing under the sofa when our father told us to be quiet or he would chew our ears.
One time a cousin came to stay and she had never seen a mirror. When she looked in it she said "there's Ivy and a little monkey". We would go to the creek in Topsy's paddock and have a swim with a girl staying nearby. The girl didn't have anything to swim in and probably wasn't supposed to anyway. We would swim in our pants and singlets then run about and dry off.
*Note - the Honda Motor Vehicle Assembly Plant1 operated between 1965 and 1998 on the Annesbrook site. In 2009 the building was removed.
Updated: April 2020
Sources used in this story
- Owen, P. (1998, August 22) Death of a car plant. Nelson Mail, p.9; Owen, P. (1998, May 20) End of the line. Nelson Mail, p.17 [Honda assembly plant Stoke]
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Further sources - Ivy Louisa Millin 1908-1992
For general information about Nelson:
- Allan, R.M. (1965) Nelson: a history of early settlement. Wellington, N.Z. : A.H. & A.W. Reed
- McAloon, J. (1987) Nelson, A regional history. Whatamango Bay, N.Z. : Cape Catley in association with the Nelson City Council
- For information about Chinese in Nelson, see the further sources listed in the Appo Hocton story
- For information about hop growing in the region, see the further sources listed in the Hop Centre of New Zealand story
- Notes on early history of Stoke. (1961) Journal of the Nelson Historical Society,1(5), p.3-5
- Whelan, H. (2000) Stoke in the 1920s through the eyes of an English child. Nelson Historical Society Journal, 6(3), p.50-55