About me

Lake near Ship Creek, South Westland, New Zealand

Welcome to my space for occasional blogs and for information about my books and research projects.

I am a writer and historian living in the wonderful town of Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island, New Zealand.

I am fascinated by how people cope with isolation and opportunity and by the struggles people have had surviving (or not) in this beautiful but sometimes harsh landscape.

At present I am undertaking research about women on the goldfields and have several other projects in the pipeline.

I am also the Director of Hokitika Museum where I am involved in saving and sharing ‘Westland’s tales and treasures’.

2 Responses to About me

  1. Brian Hudson says:

    Hi Julia,

    My name is Brian Hudson. My email is b-hudson@sky.com
    My GREAT X 3 Grandfather is John Hudson, born in Yorkshire in 1840.
    I am writing to ask whether you know of a publication that
    has a series of chapters describing the lives of characters involved
    in the Gold Rush Era of the 1860s. As you will know John Hudson
    helped set up the first Hokitika trading post.

    Almost 50 years ago my Grandfather gave me a book which I loaned
    to a New Zealand lady who taught me at Grammar School. The book was
    not returned to me for one reason or another. I remember each chapter
    started with a small picture of the character and then went on to describe
    the involvement that person had during this fascinating time.

    One of these chapters covered my Grandfathers Grandfather Honest John Hudson.
    I would like know whether you are familiar with this publication. I have purchased
    a book today called Hokitika Goldfields Capital. I am also looking into acquiring the West
    Coast Gold Rushers, also by Philip Ross May and your book ” The Diggers Story*

    I assume the 3 books above will cover everything we would like to know. It is this other
    book and I do not have an author or title but I would like to know whether it actually exists.
    It might be that time has faded my memory but I do remember reading some of the publication
    that I have tried to describe.

    I would be most grateful if you could come back to me on this.
    Kindest Regards and Happy New Year Brian Hudson, Berkhamsted Hertfordshire.
    01442 879646 landline England mobile 07739 575811.

    • Hi Brian, I am terribly sorry to have missed your email when you sent it in January. I can’t think of the book you describe. I know that Philip Ross May’s book has a brief biographical section at the end but it doesn’t have any photos. I am wondering if you are referring to the original printing of The Diggers’ Story which did have some photos and stories about different people. Hokitika Museum has an album which belonged to John Hudson which you can see here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hokitikamuseum/albums/72157628903864585
      I am sure that they would welcome further info about any of the photos.
      Best wishes
      Julia Bradshaw

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