Taihape claims to be the gumboot capital of the world but it has a challenger.
AgFest West Coast was held in Hokitika at the weekend and the organisers set out to make a world record for the most people wearing gumboots at a single event.
The Facebook page records:
Wow what an awesome few days and event! Thank you so much to everyone that turned up to support AgFest and to all those Exhibitor’s that attended and stood though the rain for the 2 days! We hope that everyone got something out of our event and had an enjoyable time. . . And yes we did get the World Record for most Gumboots worn to a single event with 1605 pairs of gumboots recorded!
Given the wild weather on the West Coast at the weekend and that Westport was cut-off yesterday, gumboots would be footwear of choice for the sensible in those parts.
As Fred Dagg would no doubt have said had he been there, If it weren’t for you gumboots where would you be? . . .
Okay, I exagerate, but the news the Overlander was going to stop in Taihape did cause some excitement:
Word quickly spread around Taihape that a passenger was getting off the train in their town.
Elizabeth Mortland of the Taihape Community Trust says it was major news for the community – which has a population of just 1,788.
“The train, at long last, was going to stop,” she says.
Locals mustered a crowd on the station’s platform.
“There were a lot of people keen to see the train stop and see a passenger alight,” says Elizabeth.
They clapped and cheered for David, the man who stopped the train in their town.
This was the first time the Overlander had stopped in Taihape since April 10, 2005.
This is the town which prides itself on being the gumboot capital.
As a frequent wearer and fan of that footwear in the right place, I’m happy to say that’s a worthy claim to fame.
But when the townsfolk get this excited about a train stopping it suggests they’ve been sniffing their own gumboots too long.
Apropos of the 115th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand:
The artist missed the gumboot – I think it should be second from the right.