As we drove further inland, there were patches of snow at the side of the road. Far below the Rangitikei River slowly moved towards our home town. I looked at this bridge and thought it might have a story to tell, and yes, there was a board with photos, details, and more on the main road .This bridge was built in 1925,and was called the Rangitikei River Bridge No 75, later the Springvale Bridge.Prior to this farmers used draught horses and carts to move their meat and wool across to waiting trucks.Before this the travel to Napier took over 10 days, with bullocks and carts.In 1972 Mr Sydney Mair of the Rangitikei County Council drew up plans and mr William Salt of Wanganui built the bridge. It began in 1923, and was opened in April 1925,Mr Salt built some 50 major bridges in this and surrounding areas, this is said to be his best. It is 61 metres long, the 7 metre concrete towers are anchored by huge concrete blocks under the ground.The towers carry 4 140mm galvanised plough steel wire on each side. This is a great feat of engineering, construction, and a tribute to the men who worked there. Gravel roads, often closed by snow and ice in the winter, no modern machinery to make it easy.This bridge was a much needed link to farms across the river, and was used until 1970, when the road was realigned and a new bridge built. It has been owned and managed by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust since 1974, saved from demolition by Mr Tony Batley of Moawhango. The road from Taihape to Napier is 150km, and the sheep stations are huge. In the 1870’s Erewhon station carried 80,000 sheep and Ngamatea is 80,000 acres in size, maybe then the largest sheep station in the North Island, Today trophy hunters from overseas and in NZ come here to shoot Sika and Red deer in open country.Photos courtesy of Ngamatea Station on the internet.
This is courtesy of Ngamatea Station on their webpage, showing a stag with what is called “ A Good Rack” and definitely something the hunter would be very happy to see.
Here is a Red Stag with a great rack of antlers.Photo courtesy of the Internet. I hope he ran fast, and the only shot was that of the camera.
So all in all, a great day out, another frost this morning, and I hope every deer and stag runs fast, hides safely, and lives to tell tales of hunters who went home with nothing!!! Easy to see where my loyalties are, and they are definitely not with any shooter.
Quotation of the day, from Robert Henri
“Good composition is like a suspension bridge-
each line adds strength and takes none away.”
Cheers from Jean