Interesting things have been happening in the places where I grew up. First there was a P lab found in the old Matangi dairy factory, and now there’s just been a huge explosion at a cold-storage facility just across the road from Tamahere Model Country School (um, yeah, that’s its name, but it’s really just an ordinary state primary school) – one of my old schools.

Now, Tamahere is very close to Hamilton City. It’s about a 10-minute car ride from Tamahere School to the Hamilton suburb of Hillcrest, and you’d be in the city centre in little over 15 minutes.

But Tamahere is not in Hamilton City. It’s in Waikato District. It’s rural. Like this:


And yet the Herald is currently reporting that the cold-storage facility is located in “suburban Tamahere on the southeast outskirts of the city.”

Suburban! City! If only! My childhood would have been approximately 70% less miserable if I had gone to school in a city suburb and not the bloody country (or so I’d like to think…)

This is what most of Tamahere looks like – not suburban, rural:

(Photo from Judemay on Flickr)

But, then, Tamahere never felt like a rural settlement. It wasn’t like neighbouring Matangi or Tauwhare where there was a little village or definite centre. No, Tamahere was more like a rural suburb of Hamilton, where rich Hamiltonians lived when they wanted room for their ponies. So perhaps in getting it wrong, the Herald actually got it right.

Digging around on Flickr has revealed some amazing photos taken by people near the explosion and also from Hamilton.

Tamahere Fire, as seen from Hillcrest Park, by Easegill