Highfield Diary of Events


1996 – Alerted to Highfield Cottage deterioration and need for attention by Garth Hurst.


18/1/97 – visit by Vintage Home restorers, canvassing for interested workers.


April 97 – Investigation of living room wall,  in behind the fireplace and chimney, from water damage from leaking V-causing a major crack and wall slump. Pulled out dairy shelves from affected wall and 3 pieces of corrugated iron. Made a Heath Robinson guttering to drain out through the dairy door, temporarily propped up with tin, chairs, boxes and stones.  Workers included GB, JB.


April 98 – Shutters 6’x2’ collected from Charlie Hassel, Pleasant Pt, Removed unstable parts of the wall i.e. most of it and rebuilt using shutters and ramming the clay mix.

Mix for the wall consisted of 10 parts clay, 1 part cow dung soaked in water, 80 ml Feb fix (a PVA glue), 1 handful chopped tussock. Feb fix 1:5 with water was applied to all adjoining surfaces after wetting with water from a sprayer.

Holes in the walls were also repaired using Feb fix in the mix as well. The mix was kept as dry as possible to be able to bind with a plasticine consistency and hammered into small cracks. Workers included Jane, Graham, Laura and Oliver Batchelor, Alan Hemmingsen, Caroline Thomson, Neville Smith and Natasha Walter.


May 98 – Raised shutter on wall. GB, Alan , and Graham Thomson.


Sept 98 – Another lift on the wall,  and removed front wall spouting with Alan, Morris and Graham.


Jan 99 – Spoke with Nina McIntosh about history of Highfield.


Jan 2000 – Put stays in fence around Highfield.


Sept 2000 – Erected  new spouting – Graham and Morris Hall. Sprayed around fence-line and edges of concrete, hung gates and planted a few native shrubs and trees.


Dec 2000 – Mowed grass.


July 2001 – Cleaned spouting.


Sept 2001 – Made and hung picket gate in front fence.


November 2001 ( Alan H’s memorial weekend)  - workers Murray, Maree, William, Rachel and Sarah, H, Nikki Mortimer, Jane and Graham


Jan 2002 – cut huge crop of grass, weeded and mulched natives plants in garden. Water had flooded into back porch.


Sept 2002 – Mowed and sprayed grass.


Dec 2002 – Murray and Maree fitted replacement  front door frame. Removed modern glass panelled door and fitted appropriate panelled kauri door obtained from Bob Dobson at Ashwick. Scrapped and swept concrete clean from years of accumulation,

Finished cob work under window on east side and hole in front wall. J and G.


Jan 2003 – Mowed grass.


August 2003 – Visited film set at Highfield and G filmed the crew making ‘Embers’.


April 2004 – J and G cob repairs to full thickness hole in front wall to left of front door and cracks either side of door.


Jan 2005 Mowed grass.


Jan 2010


Feb 2010 


April 2010


 Late 2010