Masterton Club manager Bill Johnson points out the benefits of the new stocks to Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson as she trials them. PHOTO/ELI HILL

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Fancy an 19th century selfie?

The Masterton Club has installed a set of stocks to provide a photo opportunity for people travelling through Masterton.

Club manager Bill Johnson, who has already trialed the stocks “several times”, said he hoped they would become a Masterton icon.

“In most towns there’s something that people can have their photo taken with, in Eketahuna they have the big white kiwi, the carrot in Ohakune, and the big trout in Taupo.

“So, we thought, there’s a lot of people who stay here in their motorhomes and we need something that was appropriate, the club’s an old building and it’s been here since the 1870s so we put the stocks in.”

Built by the Henley Men’s Shed from old timber to give them a weathered look, the stocks feature the phrase ‘I was caught cheating at cards’.

“It comes from back in the day when we had our own card room, it was a really popular activity for the older folk, and we still have games playing once a week.

“Although I don’t know if any of our current card players would fit in there [in the stocks] – their heads might be too big.”

And, of course, they wouldn’t cheat.

Johnson said the stocks were already serving their purpose – several people in motorhomes who’d been attending last week’s Wings Over Wairarapa air festival stopped to take photos in the stocks, before signage was added.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson gave the stocks a trial run and said she “wouldn’t like to be in there too often”.

“Aside from that, I think it’s a great idea for Masterton and for the Masterton Club.

“I’m sure it’ll take off, it’s just a great way for people to stop and have a fun photo in Masterton.”