Rewriting History: the Missing Link in Stoneycroft’s fascinating past.
Having a valuable collection of photographs brought to the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank earlier this year  by the Harrison family of Hastings, was the impetus for piecing together the mystery of the missing years of Stoneycroft’s prominent past.
It transpires that William Creed Harrison and his wife Jean Dalziel Harrison (nee Bell) occupied the home during the years 1924 – 1942, along with their children James, Joan and Richard (later to become Sir Richard).
William suffered a brain tumour that required specialised treatment overseas, and during 1921, sailed with Jean to the UK and Canada for a period of two years. After his treatment, William suffered the effects of a stroke and became partly paralysed on his left side.
During their parents’ absence, James and Joan were cared for at Turamoe by Jean’s sister Esther and her husband Archibald MacIntyre, along with their children Duncan, Hamish, Sheila (Mary, Esther (Min) and Rhoderick were born later.) Esther was known as “The Aunt”.
Baby Richard (or Dick as he became known) was left in the capable care of a Mrs Aitcheson who lived in Clive.
Upon their return from overseas, William and Jean Harrison very likely stayed at Turamoe before taking up residence at Stoneycroft in 1924. Turamoe was inherited by Esther MacIntyre on the death of her father James Bell, who had owned other farms as well as 1200 acres at Twyford. Turamoe was severely damaged in the 1931 earthquake and rebuilt in a very different style using timber salvaged during the lean Depression years. Today it is occupied by Rhoderick and Jane MacIntyre.
William Harrison had earlier sold a farm in Takapau; however during the Depression, the debt was not repaid and the farm was returned to him.
Richard (Dick) Harrison married Margaret Agnes (nee Kelly, from Dunback Otago), in 1948 and later owned a farm in Takapau, “Springfield”, part of the original 1700 acres of the former “Tasma”, the farm owned by William Harrison.
James (known as Pod) and Margaret Fanny Harrison (known as Poll) also had part of the farm and retained the name Tasma”.
Joan Harrison (sister of James and Dick) and her husband Hugh Grigg had the remaining portion known as “Otaha”. Joan and Hugh were married at Stoneycroft on 12 October 1940.
The Harrison and MacIntyre cousins regularly spent time together and often stayed at each other’s homes. Their grandmother Jean Harrison had a Christmas tradition where all families were expected to attend the festivities. After William Harrison’s death in 1939 at the age of 55, Jean sold Stoneycroft and moved to Havelock North in 1942.