Written on back with blue & red ballpoint pens - Horse Power Horse Power Loading Flax at Shannon 1920’s
Written on back with blue felt-tip pen - Te Mokanui (Big Flax) Mianui (Big Mill) ...kanp… (Big Fibre)
Stamped on back with purple ink - Shannon Centennial 1889 – 1987
Horse drawn ‘Flax Tram’ loaded ready for the mill, c.1920’s 1 B&W photo print, copy
3 horses ready to pull ‘train’ of loaded wagons (6 visible) from the swamp to the mill. Man (unidentified) standing on top of flax in 1st wagon.
Any use of this image must be accompanied by the credit “Horowhenua Historical Society Inc.”
This photo was used in Bob Ayson's book Miranui with the following caption:
When the locomotive proved too heavy for the track in the swamp, horses were used to pull the flax-laden wagons or trams to the mill. Two of these powerful animals, half light and half draught, hauled five trams and three horses were needed to pull a train of 9 trams. Each tram when fully loaded weighed over a ton. Over 70 horses were used to carry out the various tasks at the mill and in the swamp. In 1920 the horses were replaced with motor trucks. The "trammies" drove the horses and laid the rails into the blocks of flax. Over 11 chains of tramlines were pulled up and relaid every day.
Photo: Palmerston North Public Library.