4th March 2016
TUXFORD FAMILY OF ESKDALE
I AM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THE TUXFORD FAMILY FROM A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE.
This family farmed up the Eskdale Valley from the early 1870s. The parents, Albert and his wife came out from England in 1870. There were, to the best of my knowledge four sisters, named Edith, Elsie, Ethel and Mary. They had three brothers who were named Arthur, Harry and one other who died, I believe, in the WW1. Their spinster sister Mary kept house for them in the Wairarapa, during their whole lives. They had a very flood prone farm near the Esk River. Albert’s brother Franklin Tuxford came out from England at the same time as his brother. He had a farm up the Esk Valley as well.
They were a very close family with daily routines carried out daily, weekly and monthly. Usually they all went to Napier once a week to get their stores and they corresponded with other relations in England by letter writing. Church was their other weekly outing. At the same time the family had a farm in the Wairarapa called “Glenlean” which was on the Stronvar Rd about 22 kms out from Masterton. I have no idea what the other sisters did with their time in the Esk Valley.
From the electoral rolls for the following 80 years it is obvious that the family all spent time in the Wairarapa as well as at the farm up the Eskdale Valley. I do not know what that farm was called. I followed Arthur right through and this is how he was registered: 1890/1900 Hawkes Bay. 1905/6 and 1911 Wairarapa. 1911/1914/1919 Wairarapa. 1935/1938/1946 all Wairarapa but in 1954 he was listed as back in Hawkes Bay – I have no idea where he was the rest of the time. Harry was 1914/1919/1928 Wairarapa and then 1948/1951 he was Hawkes Bay. Again I have no idea where he was in between.
Mary, who was the only sister I ever knew, lived mainly in the Wairarapa. She was a very quiet lady who did all the family cooking, cleaning and general housework. She told me once that she wished she had learnt to ride so she could have gone out on the farm. She did a lot of preserving and used to bring the odd bit of bottled fruit or preserves down to my Mother and Father further along the road at Stronvar.
Arthur, being the eldest, had the final say in everything and I remember his long flowing beard and tweed clothes he wore summer and winter. He was a very efficient farmer and managed the farm dogs very well. He used a very large shepherd’s whistle to call and direct them on a string lanyard round his neck. He was always very polite and respectful of my Mother. His large bay horse used to be waiting patiently for him at any time – not tied up or anything but just standing there.
Harry, the younger brother also had a beard but was a much leaner man who walked most places – He only used the horse when he actually had to. He always walked