Deadeye from the Scow, Jane Gifford

This is a deadeye from the scow, Jane Gifford. The holes held a lanyard that was used to keep the sails taut.

The first scow was built in Whangateau and was designed to sail the shallow waterways that are a feature of this whole district. The Jane Gifford was built there in 1908 in Davey Darroch’s shipyard. Scows were the workhorses of the coastal trade and the Jane Gifford’s cargo included timber, cattle, and shells carried from Thames to the cement works.

The Museum holds a number of photos of her moored in Warkworth, loading and unloading her cargo. Amongst her various owners were the familiar local names of Kasper and Collins. She was retired in 1985 and fell into disrepair until she was restored and relaunched in Waiuku in about 1992. However, this rebirth was short- lived and rotting timber again caused her to fall into disuse and decay. An Auckland based group acquired her and started restoration work but were unable to complete the process.

In 2005 a group from Warkworth raised the money to bring her back and completed the restoration so that now she is the splendid vessel that you can see moored at the Warkworth wharf.