Two ragged pieces of of wallpaper. Both pieces feature a blue floral design on a predominantly yellow background on one side and a red, tan and blue floral design on the other.
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Two fragments of unremarkable floral wallpaper provide a link to a fast-living Taranaki author and the demolition of the Hawera house where he lived and died.When diners tuck into their potato and gravy at the KFC on the corner of Regent Street and South Road today few probably think of Ronald Hugh Morrieson, the author who scandalised his home town during the 1960s with his novels. His lively portrayals of bizarre crimes, colourful characters and sexual misdeeds set in provincial New Zealand did not endear him to many who felt he was giving the town a bad name. When his alcohol abuse finally killed him in 1972 there were only a few that mourned. Critical acclaim and box office success followed his untimely death but it seems many remained unhappy with his work.When his former house was earmarked for demolition by KFC in 1992 a controversy erupted with a small group of locals starting a petition to save it as a site of historic and literary significance. Sixty signatures were gathered in favour but an opposing petition attracted 1300 and the house was demolished.
This wallpaper was salvaged by a supporter of the house shortly before the wreckers moved in. The attic, with much of the wallpaper still intact, was salvaged by Robert Surgenor and is currently stored on his Hawera farm.
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