Social fabrics

2. Bev tippett with Maragret Douglas and Betty Thomson

To help tell the important Ashburton story of the Tekau factory we’ve relied heavily on contributions from the community. People have contacted the museum from far and wide, across New Zealand and from Australia, to share memories, garments, photographs and anecdotes about their love of Tekau garments and the Tekau experience.

Tekau knitwear was more than just a place to work; it was a community within a community.

Often people spent their whole working lives there, and it was not uncommon for more than one family member to work at Tekau at once. Friendships were formed while working together, and many of these continued after retirement.

5. tekau goes to greymouth

Like many businesses today, Tekau had a social club. However, judging by the images we have been shown, Tekau’s social activities were frequent and varied.

Possibly given the dusty, loud and repetitive nature of the job, people needed regular highlights to look forward to. They also shared a fun and entertaining spirit. Tekau certainly seems to have been a fun and friendly place to work.

4. ice skating

These images are just some of the many photographs and memories people have shared with us, so far.


By Kathleen Stringer



  1. The lovely ladies of the 1964 Tekau netball team.
  2. Bev Tippett with Margaret Douglas and Betty Thomson at a wacky hat day.
  3. A Tekau cricket team, unknown date.
  4. Tekau staff enjoying an ice skating excursion.
  5. Tekau staff during a trip to Greymouth. If you know more about this trip, we’d love to hear.
  6. At a Tekau dance, left to right Zona Keen, Verna, Alice Crum.

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