Created By: Uki and South Arm Historical Society
In 1908 local dairy farmers approached the North Coast Co-operative Butter Company to build a butter factory in Uki. They had sufficient shareholders to guarantee to supply enough cream to make two and a half tons of butter a week and by 1914 the Uki factory turned over 149 tons of butter.
In the early days of the village, the cool rooms of the old butter factory were used to keep the pub's beer kegs cold, and some workers were known to tap them on the sly!
Two employee cottages were erected for the manager at 1450 Kyogle Rd and the engineer at 1452 Kyogle Rd. which had water lapping underneath the floorboards during the 1954, 1956 & 2017 floods.
A decision was made in 1938 to rebuild the Uki Factory [by replacing the timber walls] with reinforced concrete and steel with a high-quality render finish. The factory was closed down on 30th September 1947 after considerable local opposition. The building continued to operate as a depot and outlet for small goods produced by Norco, finally closing its doors for good in the 1960s.
The butter churn was sold to local farmer Bernard Kenneally who never collected it. It is believed to be the only surviving butter churn in the country. It was customary for a fire to be lit in a drum in the buttery building during dances at the Hall and much "social interaction" took place away from the lights.
A Shooting at the Factory
Soon after the butter factory closed, the local Higginbottom and Stapleton boys decided it would be great fun at night to sneak up the many steps to the tall tank stand at the back of the factory to climb into the tanks to go swimming.
The boys were frightened of Connie Walls, the butter factory caretaker at the time, and they took great pains not to be caught by her. They thought it was great fun at night to make a loud noise with sticks hitting the galvanised railing that ran around the top of the fence at the Uki War Memorial.
On many occasions, Connie threatened them with retribution if they continued to annoy her. One night, she appeared with a shotgun and fired towards the War Memorial. The pellets made a terrible noise when they hit the galvanised pipe, and Colin Higginbottom was shot in the leg with pellets.
Continue up Kyogle Road, away from the village centre, for a short distance.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Historic Uki Village - Walking Tour