The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1879.
The selection of a site at Tinwald for the purpose of holding the meetings of the Ashburton Agricultural and Pastoral Association is, we are inclined to think, a grave error of judgment. Had more thought been given to the subject, wo are of opinion that, all things considered, a selection on the north side of the river would have proved more profitable and suitable for the district at large. We are willing to admit that Tinwald has large and reasonable claims to the show taking place there, and prominent among those claims are the facts that they have more, and better stock of all descriptions than can be exhibited on this side of the river ; and the difficulty and danger in transporting cattle, horses, sheep, or pigs, across the Ashburton bridge. But these advantages of the southern side are more than counterbalanced if we consider the matter from a financial point of view. Ashburton is the centre to which all districts in the county gravitate on such occasions, and the mere fact of the show being held at a distance of two miles from the main township of the district is sufficient in itself to deter from attending a large number of people who would otherwise lend their support to so necessary and important an institution. We must look to the fact that the gate money collected is a most important item in the revenue of such Associations, and if the position of the grounds present so many difficulties of access as the reserve at Tinwald does, then, as a necessary x-esult, there must be a proportionate decrease in the power of the Association to carry out the objects for which it has been formed. As a matter of fact it must be acknowledged that, if the show grounds were within easy distance of the township, and the necessity for crossing the river obliterated from the programme of a day’s outing, the residents in the borough would to a certainty turn out “ en masse ” to so popular an event to an agricultural population as a show of prize animals and produce. When the question was discussed at the general meeting of the Association, Tinwald was fixed upon because no suitable site was suggested on this side of the river. Now, we are of opinion that a very suitable site does exist, and one which fulfils all the conditions necessary, and one which will year by year become more and more fitted for the purpose. We refer to the Racecourse reserve. It is within easy distance of the town, gatefees can be charged, it is well fenced, a building, shortly to be enlarged, is erected on it, capable of containing the farming and dairy exhibits, the grand-stand would be just what is required for ladies to obtain a good view of the proceedings without running the risk of accidents from the crowds always collected about the various exhibits ; there is ample room inside the course on which to erect permanent sheds, and places in which the various animals could be safely kept, and no better place could be pitched upon in which to hold that most popular of all events at a show-—a jumping match for horses. We do not think for one moment that the Ashburton Racing Club would offer any objection to giving permission to the Association to hold their event on the course ; in fact, the two bodies may be looked upon as being cousins-german, both having for their object the improvement of stock : and the fact that both of them hold their annual jubilees in the same week is another reason why the same ground should be made to do double duty for both Societies. An amalgamation of interests of this sort is desirable, since the various interests involved would at once become identical, and we cannot see any possible reason why they should not.
There is another subject in connection with the Agricultural Show which wo think is worthy of consideration—the expediency of holding the annual meeting in the autumn in place ©f the spring. All the country Associations appear to be unanimous as to the spring. It would be of service to the farmers if they had an opportunity after harvest of comparing results of the past year’s work, and their experience of various systems of working farms, and the most suitable kinds of grain. Great advantages would thus be gained by comparing samples, and the conclusions arrived at in the growth of cereals, which would be of great utility in the next season’s operations. One thing, of course, would be an objection—the want of an opportunity of having the stud horses judged, but we see no reason why that should not be done at the horse parade in the spring. At all events, we wish the Association every success this year. They have not had much luck since its institution, for what with the terrible weather on the Show day last year, and the hard times since, there has not been much encouragement for the promoters to take great trouble over the matter. However, we are confident that the energy of the old members has not cooled, and that if they do not gain success this year, “ they do more, they deserve it.”
The Suez Mails.—The Suez mails were brought to Ashburton last night by a special train, which arrived about seven o’clock. New Telegraph Station.—A telegraph station has been opened at South Hangitata, in this county. Hitherto it has only been utilised for railway purposes, but now it has been thrown open for the use of the public.
Mails. —Forthe United Kingdom &c., via San Francisco per the City of Sydney, close at Auckland at noon, to-day (Tuesday.) Mails for Sydney —Per the Rotomahana close at Auckland to-day (Tuesday), 14th, at 3 p.m. The Fowl-Stealing Case.— The charge against James Moore, of stealing fowls, will he heard before the Resident Magistrate to-day. Minister Under the Marriage Act. — The llev. Brownlow J. Westbrooke has been gazetted an officiating minister within the meaning of the Marriage Act.
Vagrant Entires.- —We hear that there are three entire horses at large in the Wakanui district. The owners of these brutes, whoever they may be, ought to be severely punished, as at this season of the year, there is no saying what amount of damage might be done by the mongrels. The same complaint was made last year. The Courthouse Petition. —The petition for a new courthouse for Ashburton, has obtained tU» signatures of the loading men in the district, and was forwarded yesterday for presentation in the House by the member for the district, Air E. (>. 'Wright. Yankee Notions. —We had the pleasure of inspecting a large assortment of notions of American manufacture, at Messrs Friodlander Bros.’storesyesterday. They comprise every imaginable description of goods, from patent mousetraps to reapers and Linders, and some of the minor articles such as locks of intricate construction, carpenters’ tools, capable of doing anything in woodwork except growing the timber, and ingenuities too numerous to describe, are well worth inspecting, and, to those in want of them, worth buying. Postal Facilities.— Credit is due to the post office authorities for the despatch that is now practised with regard to the mails. Yesterday the Suez mail was sent .from the Bluff north by special train, immediately on arrival of the steamer. The mail was sorted on the route, and arrived here about a quarter to eight, proceeding to Christchurch immediately afterwards. The usual Ashburton mail that would have loft this morning was despatched to Christchurch by the special, and will bo delivered with the Suez mail in the morning.
CollAi-sr: of the Cook’s Strait Carle. —The telegraph cables across Cook’s Strait gave out last night, and our readers will consequently have to do without our usual telegrams from the North Island. The rocky bottom of the Straits and the swift currents of the tides must have a very abrading effect upon the cables, one of which is of largo size, and designed especially to contend with the power of friction known at the time to exist when it was laid down. The cable-laying steamer Agnes is now on her way down from Sydney, and will probably set all damages right in a few days ; but in the meantime we have to be content with such scraps of news as can bo dribbled down the limited wire at the disposal of the Telegraph Department. Last night all all special wire communication across the Straits was suspended.
A New Amusement. —The old and time-honored game of skittles is now being instituted afresh in Ashburton. An alley behind Shearman’s Hotel, which was in times past made use of for a like purpose, is once again being utilised for carrying on the game in a legitimate manner. Mr Whitley, the lessee, does not intend to let his customers pine for want of amusement —as he has also provided a quoit ground for the muscular public, and a shooting gallery for more scientitic sportmen. Wo understand that a quoit match is on the “ tapis” between an amateur and a renowned “ ringist. ” Drunk and Disorderly. —A gentleman named Kavanagh Macartliy, who, wo need not add, is not a Frenchman, was lined 10s yesterday by His Worship the Mayor for being drunk and disorderly. Mr. Macarthy was at one time an inmate of the Old Men’s Home, but that establishment became too big for him, and he sought other shelter. He had been knocking down a pension he periodically receives, and knocked down too much at one time, hence his interview with His Worship. Ownerless Sections..— There are a good many sections in Christchurch for which owners cannot be found, and arrears ot rates have accumulated upon them for some time. To collect the arrears thus owing has been a matter of impossibility, but the City Council does not mean to lose the revenue which is rightly due from the unoccupied sections. Summonses have therefore been issued in the names of the reputed owners, and serving is supposed to be accomplished by displaying the summonses on posts in the grounds in question. Judgment will, of course, go by default, and after the lapse of the necessary time will be sold by the Corporation. The wrinkle is worth noting by the Ashburton Borough Council. Costly Converts.— Missions to the Jews arc not very paying speculations. The report of the Free Church of Scotland Mission shows that the expense of converting live Jews in a year was £5,G21, or £1,124 a head, while an anxious enquirer ef the ancient faith cost the Established Church £5,000. If, therefore, the new bishop of Jerusalem has gone forth with the idea of zealous proselytising, ho is likely to be grievously disappointed.—“ Whitehall Review.”
A Pleasant Town to Live in.—According to Humboldt the oldest town in the world is Jakutsk, 5000 inhabitants, in Eastern Siberia. It is not only the oldest but probably, also, the coldest. The ground remains always frozen to the depth of 300 ft., except in midsummer, when it thaws three feet at the surface. The moan temperature for the year is 13‘7 dog. Fall. For ten days in August the thermometer goes as high as 85deg. From November to February the temperature remains between 42deg. and GBdeg. below zero. The river Lena remains frozen for nine months of the year. Stiff. —The Wellington “ Evening Chronicle,” during the recent Municipal elections, published certain charges retleeting on the character of Mr. Clark, the Drainage Engineer. These it now withdraws, explaining that they were made in the belief that the person whose speech contained them was not “an unscrupulous and unmitigated liar,” which the “ Chronicle ” says he has turnedout to be. Aiivuhtisinc pays in every way. An lowa tradesman, who advertises extensively, was thereby lately discovered by his wife whom he had deserted some years ago.