Billy tea and scones – and bowyangs

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Jim Howden – Blackball Jimmy – had his bowyangs on, a wide hat to keep off the sun, and a mug of billy tea.

“Take a seat,” he said.

The billy was on, and a scone of the griddle.

Split pine was on the fire, built around river boulders and tussock.

This was Totara Estate – at the Mayfield Show.

Totara Estate, 8km south of Oamaru, is an historic farm where a successful venture to kick-start New Zealand’s multi-billion dollar meat export business came to life.

These days, visitors can explore an historic farm, hear tales of swaggers and the hard-working farm hands and eavesdrop of the slaughtermen as they finish a day of labour.

The tales of yesteryear are followed by billy tea and scones.

Mr Howden and Keren Mackay set up camp at the show to promote the estate to tell the story of how New Zealand’s first shipment of frozen meat was sent from the estate to England, underpinning an export market.