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Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-two.

Eighteen hundred and eighty-two will soon be numbered with the years that are flown. Soon we may echo Tennyson’s words, — Toll ye the Church bells sad and slow, And breath softly, and speak low, For the old year lies a dying.

The year that is passing away has been by no means an uneventful one, whether locally or generally considered. We will not attempt to follow the history or trace the progress of either foreign or colonial politics during 1882, or do more than allude to the event of the year, the war in Egypt, and the signal discomfiture of the treacherous Arabi, and his allies. But we will come neare/ home, and confine ourselves chiefly in the present article to a very brief review of, or running commentary on matters possessing local interest. And we will begin by performing a solo on our own trumpet —Ashburton’s trumpet, that is—and endorsing the words which fell from the Mayor the other day at the annual meeting of the Borough Council. His Worship, in referring to the general depression which had been experienced congratulated the Councillors assembled on the fact that Ashburton had weathered the storm as well as most places, and better than many, and that her vitality, so far from being exhausted, was in no wise impaired. To this effect spoke the Mayor, and we think that he did not t<fke too sanguine a view of the position of affairs. Building operations have been actively carried on during the past twelve months, and the work has been of a superior kind, necessitating the extensive employment of brick and stone. Indeed, ere many more Christmases come round wooden business premises in Ashburton will probably have totally disappeared. Messrs Friedlander’s new corner block would not disgrace the West End of London', while Burnett street east has been quite transformed by the addition

- " " ■ -r* Ot a row of new shops, due to' the enJ terprise of the same firm, abd the Arcade Building, erected by that old Ashburton identity, Mr Thomas Bullock. On the site of the ancient and by no means ornamental blacksmith’s shop has risen the first portion of the Arcade, which is to connect Burnett with Tancred street. Then we ate promised another extensive block of buildings by the energetic Mr John Orr, who is going to confer a benefit on the town by the erection of shops in the centre of Hast street, which, it is said, will rival in appearance those now occupied by the Messrs Friedlander. Between the latter firm's fine block and the Ashburton Hotel another transformation has, within the past few months, been effected, a number of well-finished shops having sprung up to cover ground too long occupied by the tussocks. The number of minor improvements carried out in the way of buildings, and the many new houses and cottages erected during the year, also speak well for the town and the faith which speculators and capitalists repose in its future. The result of all these improvements is that the Ashburton of to day is a totally different place to the Ashburton of two or three years ago. The Borough Council has worked hard in the interests of the town during the year, and, although handicapped by an overdraft at the bank, it is satisfactory to know that that overdraft is rapidly becoming smaller, every economy consistent with the carrying out of really necessary works being practised. Perhaps the most important event of the year, locally speaking, has been the establishment of the Cheese Factory at Flemington. In spite of some little opposition at the outset, and no end of obstacles of one kind and another, the Factory is now an accomplished fact. It is in full operation, and bids fair to become' a most valuable industry. The promoters have all worked hard to ensure success, but two gentlemen aredeserving of special commendation in connection with this enterprise, and those two -are Mr Bowron and Mr S. E. Poyntz. The former has, without fee or reward of any kind, freely given the directors of the Factory the full benefit of a long and varied experience of cheese-mak-ing, and the second has worked from the first with rare energy and perseverance to bring the scheme to a successful issue. The Factory must add largely to the importance of the place, and therefore benefit the community. One thing only is required, and that is that a good supply : of milk should be available. Thus the permanent success of this new enterprise may be said to largely depend on thefarmers. It is gratifying to learn that the supply of milk is gradually increasing. The Woollen Factory is another most important industry. It is not yet so far advanced as the establishment at Flemington, but ere another year has passed it is to be hoped that Ashburton tweed —as well as Ashburton cheese—will be in the market, and that these two things by their excellent quality may advertise the town and make it famous. Of the cheese, we have no doubt, as competent judges, including the veteran Mr Bowron, speak in the highest terms of it. Let us hope the woollen fabrics may be as favorably criticised when they make their appearance- Mr Poyntz has also been a moving spirit in getting this factory established. We are pleased to observe that, no doubt encouraged by the success that has so far attended our cheese factory, other places are awakening up to the value and importance of these industries, and we notice that Mr Bowron is about to proceed on a lecturing tour to South Canterbury. We trust he may be as successful there, as he has been in Ashburton —the residents down South who may be thinking of establishing dairy factories, could not possibly have a better counsellor than the gentleman in question, whose advice they may think themselves fortunate indeed to secure. The County Council have won golden opinions all over , the county for their enterprise in irrigating the RakaiaRangitata plains and thus converting a dreary waste into productive land. This one work should be enough to keep them in the grateful remembrance of the farmers interested and indeed of all county residents. The Mount Somers railway has been opened, and there is every prospect, so far as we can learn, of the line being so extended as to add to the usefulness and importance of the undertaking, and, in accordance with the very natural wish of the hill residents, of its opening up direct communication with both Mount Somers and Alford Forest. We should have liked to have referred to some other matters, but this article has already run to a greater length than we intended. We think that considering the many important undertakings carried out during the year that we may fairly congratulate ourselves on our progress in 1882, and may feel well satisfied if in 1883 we accomplish so much. It only remains for us to add the stereotyped wish—none the less hearty on that account, and say, may each and all of our readers enjoy A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Bibliographic details

Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-two., Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 826, 23 December 1882

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Eighteen Hundred and Eighty-two. Ashburton Guardian, Volume IV, Issue 826, 23 December 1882

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