Letter, Fred Hamshar

Hamshar, Frederick
Production date
01 Aug 1887
Current rights
Public Domain
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Object detail

Brief Description
Letter written by Fred Hamshar at Barrack Hill, Napier, to his brother Tom in England, dated 1st August 1887. Fred reassures Tom: "excuse the black paper, no one dead." Apparently Tom's recent letters had been returned; Fred hopes that a letter he wrote to the Wairoa Postmaster will prevent this happening again. He acknowledges the belated news of his brother's wedding and lists the positive aspects of matrimony. Fred is still working on the breakwater; "there will be work there for years yet." Two months ago dynamite was used to drive a small tunnel into the face of the cliff. Fred describes how concrete blocks are produced and lowered into place by steam crane, then capped. Sometimes the men are working wet concrete 14 to 16 hours straight. Many have started there but could not stand it, and more have been sacked than are working on it. Fred enjoys the "working man's Elysium of 8 hours work, 8 hours play, 8 hours sleep and 8 bob a day." He can only afford a drink of beer once or twice a month. Being paid monthly is "quite often enough for some of our chaps as they get on the 'bush' or gamble the lot away and come to work on the Monday with a swarm of bees in their hat." It is election time in New Zealand. "I went to hear our man last night, I will send you our leader's speech you can see the ideas of a true Liberal..." Fred says he will enclose with his letter an article about the wreck of the Northumberland, "a sight I will never forget this has been the worst weather this winter for years no less than 11 wrecks in the Bay." Working close to the port he sees them all. Fred adds a postscript regarding his wife Alice's maiden name: Lory.
Production date
01 Aug 1887
Production period
Media/Materials description
Two bifold pages with front edged in black, and single loose page.
Height x Width: 204 x 131mm
Subject period
Subject date
01 Aug 1887
Credit line
gifted by Robyn Kunaiti
Other number(s)
2018/10/13, 95293
Accession number


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