There is a excellent reference library available.  It houses an extensive collection of Southland Books, a number of them collected by Mr Murray Gunn from the Lower Hollyford and when he shifted north they were collated with my collection and are well worth spending time in the library browsing and reading snippets about the lower South Island.  Biographies and autobilgraphies feature as well as sports books including hunting, alpine, cricket and rugby.Pictorical books from all over the world, English Royalty and Britain, Flora and Fauna and English Classics.

Capt. Cooks travels and his ship Endeavour are highlighted, DVD’s can be screened and if you are looking for a particular book, then they are all catalogued.

You are sure to find something to lure you to sit down and relax. They are not for lending but you are welcome to browse all weekend while enjoying a weekend rest in the cottage.

The following article was written for a magazine contribution.

‘I’ve always collected books, I didn’t like the idea of borrowing from a library because I had to give them back!!  I lived my youth in the country (born 1934) and there were no book buses, no libraries close by and in our pottery village our house had a bookcase with well loved and well used books.  Presents for birthdays and Christmas were usually books.  Looking in my library I see I received the Complete Works of Shakespeare for my 15th birthday.(Yes, its in the library).   I still have most of my childhood books, still loved, still read, still cherished.  Sunday School prizes, selling the most tickets at our high school concert, a typewriting prize.  The series of Jalna by Mazo de la Roach. The Herries Cronicle by Hugh Wallpole.  Presents from overseas grandparents were Bibles and Prayer Books for the Church of England, or money for books.  A Dictionary for my 12th birthday.  I enjoyed collecting historical novels, sagas, biographies and series.’

My three siblings and I heeded the teachings of our English parents and we all ended up reading, writing stories, writing poems and simply enjoying the written word and we all scored high at school in English, History and relevant subjects.

My love  and pursuit of family genealogy grew from these early beginnings and over fifty years of delving into history and recording facts and collecting books left me with an impressive library and when my farming years, eventually on my own, seemed to be slowing down I had to make a decision on which way to go in the future.

The thought of distributing books and collections within my family seemed too drastic to part them from each other so with the 100 acres I had left from the main farm, endowed with native bush, creeks, ponds, wildlife etc. I took the plunge and built a reference library with 4000 books, a museum which started with family momentoes and just grew so quickly that I had to transform the 100 year old stable into another farm and kitchen museum and with ponds , fountains, old machinery displays, bush walks etc. I have come with an Environmental and Educational Centre where I have been entertaining bus loads whose occupants are thrilled with what they have to enjoy and what brings back memories to them. I am looking forward to next summers sojourn.

I dont think that the computer will completely take away the comfortable feeling of curling up on a rainy day on a cosy couch with a good book.  My life has been enhanced with reading and I usually have a book ‘on the go’ in each room of the house so I am never far from a quick read.

I helped research my husbands life story, Derek Turnbull – The Fastest Old Man in the World by Vince Boyle and I published my mothers life story Iere Gillett, Random Recollections of my Life.  I have more family histories ready to publish but I seem to spend too much time reading.