Through the Mill

These lovely ladies from the Macmillan Brown Library’s collection are on a float for the Petone Woollen Mill. They’re certainly sporting some stylish woollen threads.

The woollen mills opened in 1886 and closed in 1968, at the base of the Korokoro hill. We’re helping Warwick Johnston find information on the mills, for a book he’s writing on their history.

Warwick Johnston models a woolen mills blanket

Warwick Johnston

Here’s Warwick modeling a woollen mills hospital blanket. Warwick is a great friend of the Petone Settlers Museum. Longtime resident of Petone, author and historian, several of his books have been published by the museum, and he was a vital contributor to our exhibition Tatau Tatau.

Now he’s on the hunt for info about the mills. Did you or your family work there? Do you have any items or artefacts from the mill?

Detail of a woolen mill blanket

Detail of a woollen mill blanket

Warwick is especially keen on labels from the mill. If you have a blanket lying about in your cupboards we’d love you to email us a photo of its label for his research. Contact me on and I’ll put you in touch with Warwick.

Emma Bugden, Senior Curator

Top Image: MB 114, Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Company records, item 76364, date unknown. Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury

3 thoughts on “Through the Mill

  1. I just picked up a lovely apricot and gray plaid Petone Hospital blanket complete with label at our local Goodwill Thrift Store for $9.00. I’d be happy to send a photo of the label if interested.

  2. amazing I have a few things from there also a bible my mother got from petone school in the 20s, she worked at the mill and her brother at the gear meat works her sister a Palmolive and another at colgate fascinated as to if there was a list of workers from the 1020s thru to 68, her name was Helen coupe and her brother was Charlie coupe lived at 6 Patrick street, it is still there today and was one of the early cottages built in petone, my mum was born at 17 beach street, Id love to see your other writings or visit the settlers when im down in wellington, any help please ask, Regards Karin Wilson,

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