17 Oct 2023

The story behind NZ's longest-operating general store

From Nine To Noon, 11:30 am on 17 October 2023
Paula Wagemaker in Gilchrist's Store with her book

Photo: Supplied

If you've tackled the Otago Rail Trail or have been through the Maniototo, you'll probably be familiar with the store in Oturehua that doubles as a museum.

It was founded by Thomas Gilchrist in 1902, and at its height offered groceries and baked goods, farm supplies, fuel pumps and accommodation. 

While the store was run by three generations of the family, it's twice come close to closure - with the community stepping in to buy the building and all its memorabilia. 

The store's current owner, John Hellier has teamed up with local historian Judy Beck and writer and editor Paula Wagemaker to dig into the store's history and its importance to the local community.

Paula joins Kathryn to talk about the new book: 'Thomas Gilchrist and Sons Limited of the Maniototo'.

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