Who doesn’t love to lounge in a long deep bath after the end of a day’s work?
Well, the Coach House Museum has one of those on display that meets all those requirements, and more - it is made of solid Kauri timber.
This Kauri bath tub was built and used in Feilding, so it is fitting that it is on display at the museum.
The bath was built and used by John Mason and his family who farmed on the corner of Reid’s Line and Pharazyn Road, on the outskirts of Feilding. John and family were the second generation of Masons to live and farm the piece of land.
John Mason was also a known as a keen wood worker, and a man to think outside of the common building practices of the day. So much so that at his retirement in the 1950s he constructed his retirement home, out of packed mud, on the corner of Derby and Duke Streets. At the time it generated considerable interest. It maintained a consistent and moderate temperature.
The Pharazyn Road property, where the Kauri bath resided, was sold in the 1960s to Herb Dewe, and the Dewe family re-sited the bath to one of their West Street houses. During 2012 the Dewe family recognised the uniqueness of this piece of bathroom furniture and presented it to the Coach House as a significant object of local history.
Friend of the museum and volunteer woodworker Vern Jensen took on the task of restoring the timber bath from its dilapidated state. He stripped off the very old, probably lead paint and brought out the natural glow of the Kauri timber.
The museum is grateful to the Dewe family, and Vern Jensen for his restoration.