A walk down the west end of Alpha Street in Cambridge New Zealand, brings you to the Gaslight Theatre. The old municipal gasworks from 1907 – 1954.

The Cambridge borough kept the buildings as a depot and the expanse of land was leased to Courtney’s Sawmill.  Jack, Charlie and George Courtney owned and ran their mill from 1959 – 1976.

Prior to that they had worked at, and then bought Newmack Ltd’s sawmill in King Street. They changed the machines from petrol to diesel and for ten years they milled timber exclusively for the local building firm Speight Pearce Nicoll Davys.

After the move to Alpha Street they changed to electricity and concentrated mainly on native timbers. Their main outlet then was to Auckland as well as the local market.

At one stage sawdust was heaped nearby but it was later used by farmers to cover ensilage stacks and commercial gardeners used it for weed control.
There was always plenty of firewood for locals.