The Gordon family have a historic woolshed, which was built in 1886. It has been turned into a museum to the sheep industry and has an auditorium, where shearing and dog shows are held for tourists. The idea came to Angus Gordon, one of the owners, to delve deeper into the greater Hawkes Bay area, which has been such a famous sheep farming area for over 160 years. This book is a photographic journey through the valleys and plains and along the dramatic coastline that was the original lifeline of the district. The original settlers were able to purchase large blocks of land because of the undeveloped nature of the country. Many of them became sheep barons, and then as they became wealthier, they began to build large and usually very beautiful woolsheds to shear the increasing numbers of sheep they were acquiring as they developed the land. The sheds were built of timber then, as native timber was still in plentiful supply, and they were very well built. Some had shingle roofs, and the floorboards were always tongue-and-groove Matai or Rimu. Many of these sheds have now disappeared, replaced by modern, rather soulless corrugated-iron sheds, but as the author already knew, there are an awful lot of still very well-maintained historic sheds. This book is a tribute to the farmers who have clung on to their land so tenaciously over the years of diminishing returns and diminished size but have still maintained these sheds, which are now treasures of Hawkes Bay that not many people are aware of.
Angus Gordon was born in Napier, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, on March 16, 1950, and is a fifth-generation farmer on the family farm, Clifton Station, which has been in the Gordon family for 155 years. In 1969, he went to Victoria University in Wellington, where he completed a BA in English, before doing two years as a volunteer teacher in Vanuatu. He then travelled and worked in Europe for three years, before returning to Clifton in 1977. He married Dinah in 1981, and they have two children-Tom, who farms with Angus, and Abby, who is a pilot currently residing in Norway. In 1999, Angus and Dinah built a large café and function center at Clifton by the beach, which they successfully ran for fourteen years before leasing the business. In 2004, Angus wrote and published a family history called In the Shadow of the Cape. He is currently farming the two thousand acres of Clifton in partnership with his son Tom, running fattening lambs and breeding cows and growing organic crops on their flat land. In 2016, a book called Cape Country was written by Angus's sister Jenny Carlyon and Di Morrow, with help from Angus, and published by Random House. It is an in-depth story of Clifton and the neighboring properties with beautiful photographs by Richard Brimmer. In 2016, Angus finished his book called Famous Times: Historic Woolsheds of Hawkes Bay-a photographic journey through the beautiful province of Hawkes Bay, where he lives.