Volunteer John digs into history

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John Carter did not runaway to join the circus – but he made a circus work for the Ashburton Museum.

Mr Carter has tackled many jobs for the museum in his 21 years as a volunteer.

One of the first was getting an old model circus to work.

He did.

Now he is on to the rates.

Not those paid now, but those in 1902: he is copying material from old council rates books on to the computer system.

It is slow but interesting work.

Mr Carter has a strong interest in history, so familiar names keep cropping up.

The museum presented Mr Carter with a cake last week by way of celebration.

When he first started helping out, he would sometimes handle incoming calls if director Rita Wright had to leave the building.

A favourite job in the early days was sorting out maps, plans and photos.

The maps were of particular interest because Mr Carter was a stock agent and had a good idea who lived where in rural Ashburton.

In some cases he was able to add information.

Mr Carter is at the museum one afternoon a week and loves the work.