1971 ‘Hydrabad’ wreck on Waitarere Beach – Horowhenua Historical Society Inc.

The popular song THE WRECK OF THE DIDDLEY (by Fatcat & Fishface) was inspired by a real New Zealand shipwreck.
The Hyderabad was an iron cargo and passenger sailing ship built in Scotland that was wrecked on the New Zealand coast in 1878.  There were attempts to salvage her but they all failed, and the wreck was left to deteriorate on the Waitarere shoreline (near Levin, about an hour and a half north of Wellington).
The Hyderabad was bound from Lyttelton to Adelaide when she became caught in a severe storm on 24 June, 1878.  Her captain (a man named Holmwood), ran the ship aground on Waitarere beach to increase the chance of survival for passengers and crew.  No lives were lost in the wreck and after three subsequent attempts to refloat the ship, she eventually caught fire and was abandoned.
The remains of the Hyderabadstill lie on Waitarere beach…her skeleton was washed further and further up the beach by later storms, and now sits well above the high water mark, encased by sand and driftwood, and visited by seagulls.
Fatcat & Fishface stumbled on the carcass of the ship as they walked the black sands of Waitarere, dodging the cars that speed along the long flat beach. That planted the seed of the song THE WRECK OF THE DIDDLEY, which was subsequently made into an animated music video (which has screened at film festivals in London, Korea, Melbourne and NZ), and then sparked the illustrated book released in late 2012.
Here’s a link to Craig Potton Publishing for the book/dvd:
If you want to check out Fatcat & Fishface’s compilation THE BESTEST & HORRIBLEST SONGS FOR CHILDREN (which includes the song THE WRECK OF THE DIDDLEY) you can listen/download on itunes:
Or get your hands on a physical CD:

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