Friday, 03 June 2016 10:55

Fresh take on our history

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A volunteer driving visitors around with a vintage Massey Ferguson tractor. A volunteer driving visitors around with a vintage Massey Ferguson tractor.

History will come alive in a fresh way at the Fieldays Ag Heritage Village.

Visitors to the village can travel back in time on an interactive scavenger hunt and see views of farming life as it was for the pioneering families of New Zealand.

Educating youth about their agricultural heritage is the focus of the village, emphasised by the recently refurbished barn; heritage co-ordinator Alan Reilly is putting together pieces of the past for younger generations.

"The land that we live, work and farm on holds the stories of our history, and these shape who we are today, whether we realise it or not. Opening our heritage buildings during Fieldays will help us to share some of these stories with our community," says Reilly.

He wants to tell the stories in a way that will educate and encourage children to look closer at everyday items and think more about their history. "All these stories will soon be lost, which is why it's important to share and record them.

"During Fieldays we'll have hands-on challenges, puzzles and ag heritage activities in all our heritage buildings."

This year the vintage tractor parade has had a revamp and will be bigger and louder than ever.

Tractors from the Waikato Village Tractor and Machinery Club will park around the heritage village lake and complete a vintage tractor parade twice daily at 10am and 2pm.

Signalling the Fieldays society's commitment to the heritage village, the barn got a facelift earlier this year and now houses a collection of items that illuminate Waikato's rural past.

The next village project will be to create a space where people can record and share their own stories about the artefacts on display, eventually integrating these stories into the education experiences on offer.

For more info, Waikato Village Tractor and Machinery Club tel. 07 883 1103.

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