Sunday, 16 March 2014

dinner jackets and gumboots - rural city living - this is Gore

rural city living

I am on call for a whole weekend. Something I have not done for a good many years.

Confined to town, within cellphone reach of the local population should they have need for a medical opinion.

So I will devote a little time to telling you about why I like it so much here, in the land of 'gum boots and dinner jackets'.

'Rural city living'.  Now there's a contradiction if ever I heard one. This town only has a population of 12,300 people, so I am not sure where the term 'city' fits in.

Gore is rebranding itself, and not everyone is happy about it according to the local newspaper.

I have seen a lot of boots, but no dinner jackets.

Muddy, dusty gum boots and leather boots. Respectfully left outside the doors of shops and cafe's.

Houses in the town are small and inexpensive. Mostly bungalows. No two the same.

Street view

Gore clock tower

Many locals are farmers and farm hands or they work in the enormous abattoirs and in the dairy industry out of town in nearby Edendale and Mataura.

People here don't have 'tennis elbow'; they have 'grubbers elbow', from 'grubbing' weeds and a similar condition of the shoulder from 'cupping cows' .

I talk to people who spend all day on 'the chain', dealing with animal carcasses day in, day out. One man washes kidneys all day every day, and has done for 16 years. These are hardy, uncomplaining people.

It is a quiet town. Tidy and spacious. Proud of its floral displays.

No marigolds here.

My drive to work is down this road, and it is normally about as busy as this.


Not in my opinion.

The biggest building in town is the Cremoata building. No longer in use, it has historic status as a grain mill that brought prosperity and porridge to the town.

It is a category 1 listed building, and dominates the town.

Cremoata, Gore

Now much of the land that produced grain is being turned over to dairy farming.

The railway no longer takes passengers.

Gore railway station

Main Street, Gore

I like it here because of the peace and quiet, the space and the friendly people.

……..the cinema where folk eat ice cream cornets

………….the streets where people smile and say 'hello' to strangers

Over this weekend I have learnt that

  • the library closes at 1pm on Saturdays 
  • most of the shops and cafe's do too

Which left me reading my book in the sunshine in the garden in my house near the graveyard overlooking the hills that I see from my window every morning.

Gore cemetery

So what do people around here do for leisure?

On a weekday evening in summer they run up those hills that I see every morning from my window.

sport southland

I walked up, and that was hard enough.

But this weekend I stayed at home with chicken and enjoyed the sunshine.

chicken and I

I think I may buy a house here.

There's one for sale just down the road. 

Just opposite the green space where I tried to learn to run, in order to keep up with the locals, until I injured my ankle……..


  1. Great read with wonderful descriptions and photographs. I would buy a house there too!

  2. thanks Thomas; glad you enjoyed it - Caroline

  3. No David Lynchian moments in Gore.. ?

  4. there really ought to be, but I haven't had one yet. not even an apple pie