Apple packing

Maker and role
Photographer: Walter Guy (b.1887, d.1918)
Production date
Circa 1910
Photo collection reference number
See full details

Object Detail

Production place
New Zealand
Outdoor view of a man, two women and a girl under a trees with a mound of apples and apple cases. The man appears to be wrapping and packing apples while the two women polish the individual apples. The girl is stamping possibly a brand name on to the white tissue squares to be wrapped around the apples. The apple box lids read "One bushel choice apples grown by Ngatimoti Association Nelson New Zealand" and one also reads "Roseneath Apples".
Object type
apples; packing; straw; orchards; crates; packaging; fruit; sorting; Roseneath; Ngatimoti Association; industries; cases; boxes; horticulture; Tasman District; Motueka
Maker biography
Sergeant Walter Alexander Cochrane Guy (serial no. 25996).
Born on 20 August 1887 in Ngatimoti, Nelson, New Zealand.
On the Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph database his next of kin is listed as John Guy (father), Ngatimoti, Nelson, New Zealand.
Worked for himself as a farmer before enlisting with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force during World War One.
Embarked with the 19th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company on 15 November 1916 from Wellington, New Zealand for Plymouth or Devonport, England.
Served for less than a year in Western Europe.
The last unit Guy served with was the Canterbury Infantry Regiment.
Killed in action in the Somme, France on 27 March 1918. He was thirty-one years old.
Memorial is located at Ngatimoti War Memorial, Tasman District, New Zealand.
Accession number
Credit line
Apple packing, circa 1910. Nelson Provincial Museum, Guy Collection: 315080 A4033

Collection type




Jonathan apples being packed for export beneath under the old oak tree planted by Christopher Remnant, grown from acorns brought out from Guildford, England, on the ship "Anne Dymes". Taken before World War One at "Roseneath", Ngatimoti - photographer most likely being Hector Guy's brother, Walter. Left to right - James Remnant, his wife Rosa Remnant, Clara Rankin, Doris Remnant (stamping papers). Hector Guy picking in the orchard. Details supplied by Mrs A. Clarke, granddaughter of Doris Gray nee Remnant, who was the young girl shown in this photograph,

- Anne McFadgen

Posted on 19-10-2019 03:34:02

The “Roseneath Apples” brand identifies this scene as being set in the apple orchard belonging James (Jim) and Rosa (nee Savage) Remnant of “Roseneath Farm”, Ngatimoti. Their home block was sited at what is today 864 Waiwhero Road, Ngatimoti, and lay right in the centre of the stretch of road between St James Anglican Church and the first Ngatimoti School. “Sunny Brae”, the Guy family home on the little hill opposite the school, doubled as the Ngatimoti Post Office from about 1889 to 1921. Jim Remnant’s apple orchard lay between his homestead and the Ngatimoti School and he had a running battle with pupils who treated it as their over-the-fence playground! The Remnant farm consisted of the old Crown Grant Sections 63 & 64, Block X, Motueka Survey District, and was bought in 1874 by James Remnant’s parents, Christopher and Annie (nee Barrett) Remnant. Their son James named it ‘Roseneath” when it passed to him. The first farmers all planted orchards for their own use and excess fruit provided a useful source of income. The 140 year old pear trees still growing on the old “Roseneath” property came from slips in potatoes brought out to Nelson from England by Christopher Remnant on the ship “Anne Dymes” in 1864. In the early years of the 20th century a craze for apple growing overcame the Nelson district – apples were touted as the future and would make everyone rich. Ngatimoti farmers succumbed and planted apple orchards in large numbers, usually as an addition to their traditional mixed-farm stock and crop operations. They set up their own Ngatimoti Fruitgrowers’ Association under the auspices of the Nelson District Fruitgrowers’ Association, of which they were active members. Orchard inspector Mr Hallam visited Ngatimoti in 1910 to demonstrate packing techniques. The Ngatimoti Association fruitgrowers marked their cases "One Bushel Choice Apples Grown by Ngatimoti Association, Nelson, New Zealand", as seen on the lids in this photograph, plus the growers' initials (or in this case, the name of the property of origin). James Remnant sent 50 cases along when a trial shipment was loaded onto the “Paparoa” in March 1910 - the first direct export of apples to England. He was just one of at least twenty Motueka Valley growers who contributed to this experimental cargo. The “Paparoa” reached England in May 1910 and some of the fruit (perhaps not surprisingly) was reported as being over-ripe on arrival. A government expert, Mr Thorpe, gave a demonstration to interested spectators in Jim Remnant’s orchard in May 1913, and Rosa Remnant came to the party by providing afternoon tea. The aim was show the best techniques for packing apples in preparation for export. In 1916 the decision was made by Ngatimoti growers to set up their own co-operative grading and packing shed, which was built on land belonging to Jim Remnant and situated on the flats below the St James Church hill. According to Ngatimoti identity Pat Beatson, “A good many local farmers were caught up in the orcharding movement and a co-operative grading and packing shed was built at Ngatimoti near where the Brethren Hall then stood. The shed was built under the shady side of the hill, making it a cold place to work. Alas, for many farmers in the district this new venture was fairly short-lived, at least in the outer fringes of the fruit-growing area. The first great enthusiasm was waning: many growers found there was no golden bonanza. The export marketing organisation was slow in becoming firmly established and a good many growers depended on local markets”. This large packing shed with its concrete floor was still in use till about the mid-1920s, but fell into decline as Ngatimoti apple growers, disappointed by poor returns, turned their attention instead to another venture - tobacco growing. This proved a much more reliable money-maker. The packing shed fell into disrepair. Jim and Rosa Remnant sold “Roseneath” and retired to Richmond around 1940, and the decrepit old shed was demolished a few years later by the farm’s next owner. For more information about the “Roseneath” farm and the Remnant family see: “Our Place: Mud Houses, Schools and Sundry Remnants”.

- Anne McFadgen

Posted on 31-07-2016 03:20:49