Wendelton Guinea Pig Village
Wendelton Village for Guinea Pigs was launched at the Eyebright Easter Festival on Sunday April 1st 2012.Wendelton is another great reason to visit Eyebright when you’re in Nelson. It is our gorgeous and unique Guinea Pig Village, complete with a wonderful array of silky and fluffy haired Guinea Pigs of all colours and ages, including adorable babies. Wendelton is a miniature Village like none other. The buildings are the cutest you’ve ever seen, with authentic European styling, there’s even a castle (modelled on Germany’s famous Neuschwanstein castle), an alpine house with flowering window boxes, a bakery, hair and beauty salon, right through to a very authentic kiwi Marae.
You’ll love the names too, everything from “Dr Doolittle’s Maternity Unit” (a very busy place) to “Happy Hog’s Backpackers,” “The Piggy Bank,” “Stinky Winky Toilet” and Guinea Guinness Pub. Too many to mention all by name! As for the Guinea Pigs, you’ll love Elvis, Mr Handsome and all his girls. Plum and Pudding are two cute black and white girls who run the beautiful “Plum Pudding Bakery.”
The Village was designed by our German employee, Marcus Strzoda and built by a French Canadian carpenter in honour of the famous Wendelton Rabbit. The wonderful staff at Eyebright, added all the finishing touches with painting the village to make it a colourful and beautiful place to visit. This is truly an attraction for all ages, from the youngest children, through to adults who love to stand around and share their Guinea Pig stories from years gone by. Wendelton is open to visitors all year round, (including the maternity unit!) seven days a week.
The History of Wendelton
Easter 2009 was a flurry of activity at Eyebright. As the Nelson Evening Mail reported “It might be news to the average rabbit enthusiast, but one little-known long-eared mammal is apparently quite the artist with a paint brush in paw. Wendel Rabbit, a direct descendant of Peter Rabbit, set up shop at Appleby, decorating eggs in preparation for Easter. His home is the Eyebright store at Appleby, and his work, according to owner Peter Owen, involved staying up late at night and putting paint to egg. "He has been a busy boy," Mr Owen said "Luckily, he had help from his two colleagues, Thumper and Zarbo."
Mr Owen is adamant that the three leporids received special immigration status because of their undoubted potential to kick New Zealand's economy into high gear. The government of the day gave Mr Rabbit, along with his two colleagues, dispensation from certain immigration criteria and tax breaks while they established a New Zealand based egg painting industry.
Though Wendel was unable to speak for himself, because he understood only Ukrainian and French, Mr Owen said that if he could talk, he would relay his family history and his love of abstract painting. The Rabbit family moved from England to France in 1900 "because of the lively arts scene there", Mr Owen explained. "The Russian Revolution followed, so they were stuck in the Ukraine and have been there ever since."
In 2010 Wendel Rabbit, a direct descendant of Peter Rabbit, returned to Europe to pursue political aspirations. Italian President, Silvio Berlusconi (72), was preparing to step down, and put forward Mr Rabbit as suitable replacement. Mr Berlusconi said “I would like to continue in an advisory role, a father figure if you like. Mr Rabbit has both the ability and personality to seamlessly assume the presidency.”
Very sadly Wendel passed away before he could take over his new position. His trusted apprentices Zarbo and Thumper have now taken over the business he started at Eyebright and it is they who have helped established Wendelton in honour of their mentor and great and inspiring leader.
Welcome to Wendelton
Welcome to Wendelton, a forward looking community building a future based on enterprise and opportunity for all. Wendelton has not always been the happy place you see today. Prior to the revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy, the citizenry was locked in servitude. That was until they were rallied by an inspirational leader, Wendel Rabbit. He urged the proletariat of Grimsville (as Wendelton was previously known) to demand reform. This culminated in the Great Disobedience and the subsequent capitulation of the monarchy the village was renamed Wendelton.
Ever measured in his approach, after the revolution, Wendelton quelled the cry to demolish Swinestone Castle. He said it is better for it to remain as a reminder of the past tyranny and the need to be ever vigilant. Swinestone Castle is now free for all to visit, and is used for tradeshows, concerts and the Wendelton Independence Day Ball.
Piggy Wiggy Hair and Beauty
The Piggy Wiggy Hair and Beauty Salon epitomises enterprise and opportunity in Wendelton. Young Felicity Squeak was a groom in the royal household, and though her station in life was better than those scratching an existence on the plains at the foot of Swinestone Hill, she had no prospects of advancement, and could look forward to nothing better than being at the beck and call of the ill tempered royal household. Bowed but not broken, Felicity was one of the first to embrace the new post revolution economy, building the now iconic Piggy Wiggy Hair and Beauty salon. Piggy is recognised for the support and encouragement she has given to sows in business.
Lord Guinea SchoolWendel Rabbit said: “Educated Guinea Pigs are our future”. Before the revolution the Monarchy deprived the populous of education and kept them subjugated by menial tasks, and a poor diet. After the revelry which followed the over throw of the monarchy, wise pig Benjamin Spectacle called a meeting of citizens to discuss the need for a school. His ideas were enthusiastically embraced and the first school was built. It lacked modern facilities but the diligent youth of Wendelton thirsted for knowledge. The school was not able to accommodate all the school aged Guinea Pigs at once, so those with pink noses attended in the morning and those with black ones came after lunch. The new Lord Guinnea School has a modern technology suite and space to offer an uncompromised learning environment for today’s youth.
Doctor Doolittle’s Surgery & Maternity UnitPrior to the revolution it was common for Guinea Pigs not to see their first birthday and Crashing Boar was common. Post-revolutionary prosperity has enabled the citizens of Wendelton to build a medical centre and staff it with capable medical professionals. All citizens are entitled to Wendelcare, providing medical cover for all but elective surgery.
The Happy Hogg Backpackers
Since the revolution, tourism has grown to play important part in the ecomony of Wendelton. Visitors are drawn by Wendelton’s scenic wonders, friendly Guinea Pigs and unique culture. For the budget traveller it would be hard to imagine a better place to stay than The Happy Hogg Backpackers. Host Horrace Hogg and his wife Matilda make their guests feel like part of the family. After a day hiking up to Swinestone castle, inspecting the Wendelton’s many blades of grass or just relaxing in The Guinea Guiness pub you are sure of a good nights sleep at The Happy Hogg Backpackers
The Guinea Guiness Pub
The working Guinea Pigs of Wendelton enjoy dropping in for a draught and a chat at their local. The Guinea Guinness Pub has recently been remodelled, successfully blending the heritage charm of the original building with the up to the minute features required by today’s discerning Guinea Pig; wide screen coverage of the big games, betting facilities and an expanded range of beers and spirits.
The Plum and Pudding Bakery
Increased disposable income has increased demand for special treats, and there is no better place to find a treat than the Plum and Pudding Bakery. Before sunrise, while all the other Guinea Pigs are tucked up in bed, Fattesco Chubb and her team of bakers can be found hard at work producing the buns, muffins and slices that the newly affluent Wendeltonites have grown to love.