Events · Places

150 Years of Waipukurau


Earlier this year I stumbled across an open invitation to attend the opening of the 150 Years of Waipukurau exhibition at the Central Hawkes Bay Settlers Museum. Attending in period dress was encouraged, so of course, I wanted to go along.

Liane and I got dressed at her place, and then drove all the way to Waipawa – it was the longest I have travelled in a car wearing a corset! While the opening wasn’t until the afternoon we arrived early enough to explore the rest of the museum which was very well presented.




They even have two old phones connected so that you can talk to your friend in another room

We had some time between finishing exploring and the opening for a spot of lunch and popped into a cafe across the street. Everyone inside was curious to know why we were dressed the way we were and gave us compliments. And, because we sat outside (to make the most of the sunny day), we were asked for photographs by a couple of pedestrians.

When it came time for the opening to start we headed back across to the museum and watched as a convoy of vintage cars from Napier pulled into the carpark. Everyone started moving inside to where the new exhibition was held and the doors were opened. After having seen the rest of the museum I was not surprised to see that the exhibition had also been put together very well. It was a fantastic illustration of what life was like in Waipukurau when the town was in its infancy.

There were displays focussing on home life, working life, sports, emergency services, and so on. And there was a carriage which, naturally, I got my photo taken sitting in. Liane and I even spent some time just sitting there, watching everybody else taking in the exhibition.

Everyone who attended the open was incredibly lovely and we were asked a lot about our outfits – we were quite easily ‘the oldest’ there in our 1890s clothes since most of the other guests who came turned up in Art Deco style. The museum volunteers even thanked us for dressing up but it is really them who deserved the thanks for providing the opportunity in the first place.

I even made a couple of new friends! They weren’t very talkative though…

This was the first wearing of my Antique Rose 1890s outfit although it still wasn’t fully finished. I didn’t have time to decorate the skirt with the soutache design I had in mind. A couple of other things bugged me about the skirt while I was wearing it so I have, since then, remade it. At the time of writing this post, I am just starting to transfer the pattern onto the skirt and will be spending the afternoon making guide stitches while watching the last two episodes of Once Upon a Time.

I’m hoping to have it fully finished by next weekend so that I can take some photos of it, but I am planning on making other garments later this year to go with this outfit so I can get the whole mix-and-match thing happening.


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