B&W photo postcard by Montagu. Russell no. R141. C. 1920s.

From the earliest time the ‘S’ word has been part of Russell.  This old photo postcard shows a metalled track down to Long Beach.  Down below a bathing shed and long drop toilet stand on the foreshore.  In the distance is Wiggin’s small cottage (now replaced by a grandson’s contemporary bach.)  There is no road along the beach.

Long Beach has a long history as a place to relax and enjoy sea, sun and sand. Possibly the first horse race in New Zealand was held there in 1839.  Louisa Worsfold, nee Mair, remembers the track to Oneroa was a favourite Sunday walk in the 1880s.  The town’s prisoners, for whom the police could find no other occupation, made the track.

The Museum has a survey plan of 1925 when the land was subdivided and a road put in.  Owner was Mrs Anderson and surveyors Hung and Alcock.  T Mandeno Jackson, (local agent OR Neumann of Russell), marketed the sections.  Cost £70 – 10% in 6 months 10% at 12 months and the balance at 6% interest.  Stan Edward’s rate demand of 1952-3 was £3/7/11.

Long Beach was also the landing place for people coming from Paroa and bays further out.  Although most were holiday homes, there were a few permanents like Christine Godwin in her creosote bach and Kevin and Val Smith in the 1970s of Adobe Fashions.