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Timely Rain. -The much wished for rain fell last evening, and at intervals throughout the night. It was hardly so heavy as might have been desired, but has still had a wonderful effect in freshening up the parched and brown grass hereabouts. Rain has fallen again to-day at intervals. Had this rain come a little earlier, it would have been far more welcome, for the long drought has done the crops irreparable injury in some places. A farmer residing not many miles from Ashburton was heard to say on Saturday that two months ago he could have reckoned on 40 bushels of oats to the acre. Now he said he thought he would ho fortunate if he got a quarter of that quantity. In fact, the oats in many paddocks have gone to ear, and are between three and four inches in length, and therefore beyond the power of any reaper to cut. The wheat will not suffer so badly as the oats, of course. From the hills accounts reach us of splendid harvest prospects. There the rain has fallen in ample quantities, and the hill farmers are consequently jubilant, for their crops of all kinds are looking Al. Town Hall. —To-night will he performed at the Town Hall the great oratorio of the “Messiah.” No pains have been spared by the vocalists—sixty in number—to render the performance a success, and we hope to be able to chronicle a very large attendance. R. M. Court. —At the Court to-day, before Mr R. Alcorn, T.P., a first offender charged with being drunk in a public place, was discharged with a caution. A man, supposed to be of unsound mind, was also brought up and remanded for medical examination. This poor fellow is a hard working man who was suddenly attacked with a dizziness in the head, according to his own statement, which incapacitated him for work. He has now a rather vacant look, but is perfectly quiet and obedient. We trust his attack may not be a serious one.

Rangitata Road District. The annual meeting of ratepayers will be held at the Lismore schoolroom on January 3rd, and immediately afterwards the election of two members will take place to fill the vacances caused by the retirement by ballot of Messrs Trevor and Morrow. The poll will, if necessary, be taken between 12 and 4 on the same day.

Improving the Shining Hour. —Last night a party of iiussi'.n sailors got leave to go ashore at Auckland from their ship Africa, and visited in the course of their rambles the Greyhound Hotel. One of the men managed to creep upstairs and succeeded in robbing a bed-room of L 6 worth of jewellry. This transfer of property effected, the thief lost no time in transferring himself aboard the Africa. The man’s surrender will not, it seems, be asked for, but the Admiral will Courtmartial the unscrupulous mariner.

Reaper and Binder Trial. —A trial of the Walter A. Wood improved twine binder came off at Mr Hudson’s farm, Wakanui. The place selected for the trial was a paddock of self-sown oats, very thin and uneven, and the bottom not having been rolled was very rough. Some little time was lost in setting the machine to tie such short stuff, but when fairly at work the machine surprised the bystanders by the efficient way in which it performed its work. With an ordinary crop to work on, it would certainly prove invaluable. The twine broke once or twice, but this made no difference at all, as the needle threaded itself automatically. This is one of the improvements over last season, and was much appreciated by the farmers present, of whom there was an excellent attendance. The genera! opinion seemed to be that the machine would be extremely useful in tying up grass for seed. The binder has been working on the same ground to-day, and will remain at work there over to-morrow. Already Messrs Poyntz and Co., the local agents, have disposed of a large number of these useful implements this season, and orders are still flowing in. Under the Hammer. —Mr T. Bullock will sell by auction at his rooms, on Saturday, the lease for ten years of two sites for stores in Chertsey station yard. Further particulars elsewhere.

Mysterious Disappearance. —Fred. Bain, Corporation Messenger, and well known in Hokitika, has been missing since Thursday last, and neither the police or the public can discover any clue as to what has become of him. There was no reason whotever for his disappearance. Mount Somers. —The annual meeting of ratepayers will be held at the Road Board office, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, January sth. Afterwards the election of two members will take place to fill the seats vacated by Messrs J. E. Taylor and A. E. Peache, who retire by ballot, but are eligible for re-election. A poll, if necessary, will take place the same day, closing at 4 p.m.

Ploughing. —Mr John Grigg, LongbCach, wants a number of ploughs for the Ashburton Terrace paddocks.

Going for Him. —The editor of the Auckland Observer has instituted proceedings against Weston for knocking him down the other day at Tattersall’s for writing something that offended him. Electioneering. Charles Mirfin, editor of the Inangahua Herald, was brought before the Reefton Bench, yesterday morning on a criminal information charging him with having forged the name of Mr Jones, a solicitor, to five telegrams. Mr Jones was Chairman of Mr T. S. Weston’s election Committee, and it is alleged that defendant, on the polling day, presented for transmission five telegrams purporting to be signed by Mr Jones, and addressed to Mr Weston’s principal supporters at Brunnerton, saying that Mr Weston’s return was impossible, and asking receivers to do their best for Mr M‘Lean, an opposing candidate. After hearing the evidence for the prosecution, defendant wrs committed for trial at the next sittings of the District Court, hail being allowed. The Christmas Holidays. —On Monday, the 26th inst., and Monday, the 2nd January, all Post and Telegraph offices in the colony will be closed, except from 9 to 10 o’clock in the morning, and from 7.30 to 8 o’clock In the evening. Opening of Telegraph Office at Parihaka. —A Post and Telegraph station has been opened at Parihakaj and the Rahotu office is now closed. The former telegraph office would have been very useful a few weeks ago. Industrial ASsociAtion. —As _ the meeting advertised for to-morrow is of more than ordinary importance, involving the question of establishing a woollen factory, the necessary plant for which is under offer at a very low price and very easy terms, it is desired that all those interested, as well as the members of the Association, will attend. Those who desire to encourage local industry in one of its most useful forms should certainly attend the meeting. Trap Accident. —Shortly after 9 o’clock last evening, the occupants of a trap proceeding from Duff’s stables had a narrow escape of a serious accident. It appears! the harness was minus a breeching strap, and this caused the horse to become at first restive and at last unmanageable, and on turning the corner of Tanored street into East street, the vehicle came into violent collision with a post, the occupants were pitched out on to the footpath, and the pole of the trap was smashed. Beyond a severe shaking, the persons thrown from the vehicle escaped without injury. Road Board Elections. —-Notifications respecting the Road Board elections appear in another column.

■ Christmas Tree. —To-morrow afternoon and evening the ladies of the Primitive Methodist congregation intend to hold a sale of fancy goods and useful articles in the Wills street church, where one cf the principal attractions will be the ever-popular Christmas tree, the branches of which we are led to understand are already bending beneath the weight of an unlimited supply of most fascinating articles to meet the demands of young and old. Vocal and instrumental music will be discoursed during the proceedings, and as a prelude to other festivities common to this season of the year, we would recommend our readers to invest a shilling and see this wonderful display of goods.

Bio Strawberries. —lf we are unable to chronicle any “ big gooseberries ” such as the newspaper man delights to expatiate upon, we can at least boast of having seen some big strawberries r this year. Six strawberries purchased of MrG. T. Smith, market gardener, last night by a gentleman residing in the town, turned the scale at 6J ounces. This giant strawberry is of a new kind, and the plant reached Mr Smith with a number of other varieties some weeks ago, but whether the monster strawberry comes from Australia or from some other part of this colony, Mr Smith is unable to say. It is very hardy and extremely prolific, the plant being laden with berries, which, if not particularly handsome to look at, are at least of exquisite flavor. The berry is of the knobby sort (in more senses than one), somewhat resembling a fan or outstretched lingers in shape. It is much appreciated by Mr Smith’s numerous patrons.

Ashburton Amateur Dramatic Club. —Wo understand that the members of the above Club intend to give a special performance on Boxing Night, when they will produce a couple of popular pieces, namely, “Nan the Good-for-Nothing ” and “Betsy Baker.” Wo are sure the Club are acting wisely in abandoning heavy and elaborate dramas and substituting for them such favorite pieces as the above. They both afford plenty of scope for good acting, while they do not require elaborate scenery or dresses to make them “go.” The Club could not have selected a better night than Boxing night for their next performance. The sports and other holiday amusements will engage people during the day, and at night they will certainly be glad of a look in at our apology for a theatre—the Town Hall—and will be hard to please indeed if they are not amused with the history of Nan and the laughable adventures of Mouser and Betsey Baker. The trial scene from Pickwick would make a capital' piece for the Club tc put upon the boards, especially if it would go to the trouble of erecting a proper bench, jury box, &c., and cast the character of judge, counsel, and witnesses, &c., judiciously.

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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 513, 20 December 1881

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 513, 20 December 1881

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