The opening of a local dairy factory was often a community celebration. The 500 people who turned up to see the Nelson Co-operative Dairy Company’s Brightwater factory opened in 1902 spent the afternoon viewing the factory and its machinery, listening to speeches and enjoying the afternoon tea. The scones and pastries, made with the company’s Victory brand of butter, were unanimously declared to be first class.
A lengthy report in the local paper noted that the factory was close to the local river, guaranteeing ‘an unfailing supply of pure water and drainage facilities of the best’. Until the later 20th century dairy factories pumped their waste directly into local waterways.
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