Friday, August 16, 2019

Thames (NZ): Central School Swimming Pool

Are you old enough to remember swimming at the Thames Central School Pool? School swimming pools have been done away with by many New Zealand schools, but Thames has kept hold of theirs.

Central School Pool
The Central School pool no longer exists, the school closed at the end of 1971 and the land where the pool stood is now a residential site. The pool was located on Campbell Street, opposite the Central School back gate.


This photograph taken in 1945, it was just a year after the pool was opened. Spot the Bella Street Pumphouse top right.

The baths were officially opened 8 March 1944, by Mr Burns from the Auckland Education Board. Mr R M Rhodes from the School Committee explained that large numbers of men had willingly worked over many weekends turning a unsightly section into a valuable asset for the school. Rhodes went on to say "The pool was purely a learners' pool...here the young children could learn to swim with safety."  The total cost of the pool was 360 Pounds, and was opened debt free. The money for the pool was raised by the school committee and local businessmen; plus they received a 50% subsidy from the Ministry of Education.


Above: 1947 view of the Central School. 
The baths are centre left, opposite the trees at the back of the Central Schoolyard.

The children of Central School went on to enjoy 'their' pool for decades. As the 1966 photo below shows, young children were taught to swim, fulfilling the objectives of the original Thames Central school Committee who built the pool in 1944.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Thames (NZ): When did 'The Thames' get named

How did the town of Thames get its name? The majority of people know there is a connection to the River Thames in England, and that Captain James Cook played a part in the name.

Background: 
An excellent article by David Wilton, comprehensively covers Captain Cook's visit to the area in 1769, Cook Landmarks at 'The Thames' (New Zealand), November 1769 is in The Treasury Journal.
"Cook named the Waihou as 'River Thames' as it reminded him of the Thames in England. He regarded the Firth of Thames as part of the river. The name 'Waihou' came back into common use during the 20th century, but the name for the firth has endured."


Above: Part of Captain Cook's map, showing the charting of the River Thames.
 Ref: PUBL-0037-25. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22751427

During the 1800s, the whole area became known as 'The Thames' including the Firth or Frith as its was more commonly named.

The first use of name The Thames:

1. 20‐21st November 1769: "The river at this height is as broad as the Thames at Greenwich, and the tide of flood as strong; it is not indeed quite so deep, but has water enough for vessels of more than a middle size, and a bottom of mud, so soft that nothing could take damage by running ashore. About three o’clock, we reimbarked, in order to return with the first of the ebb, and named the river the THAMES, it having some resemblance to our own river of that name." 
From the official record of the voyage written by John Hawkesworth and published in London in 1773.

2A. In Cook's journal on the 20th November 1769, he makes mention of the similarity with the River Thames in England.
Captain Cook
"Monday 20th Moderate breeze at SSE and fair weather. At 2 PM the Boats returnd from sounding not haveing found above 3 feet more water than where we now lay; upon this I resolved to go no farther with the Ship. but to examine the head of the Bay in the boats for as it appeared to run a good way inland I thought this a good oportunity to see a little of the Interior parts of the Country and its produce: Accordingly at Day light in the morning I set out with the Pinnace and Long boat accompaned by Mr Banks, DrSolander and Tobiaupia. We found the Bay inlet end in a ^fresh water River about 9 Miles above the Ship, Into which we enterd with the first of the flood and before we had gone 3 miles up it found the water quite fresh. We saw a number of the natives and landed at one of their Villages the Inhabitants of which received us with open arms, we made but a short stay with them but proceeded up the River untill near Noon, when finding the ^face of the Country to continue pretty much the same and no alteration in the Course or stream of the ^River or the least probillity of seeing the end of it, we landed on the West side in order to take a View of the lofty Trees which adorne its banks, being at this time 12 or 14 Miles within the entrance and here the tide of flood run as strong as it doth in the River T^hams below bridge."

2B. Captain Cook: Tuesday 21st "After land as above-mentioned we had not gone a hundred yards into the Woods before we found a tree that girted 19 feet 8 Inches, 6 feet above the Ground, and having a quadrant with me I found its length from the root to the first branch to be 89 feet. it was as streight as an arrow and taper'd but very little in proportion to its length. so that ^I judged that there was 356 solid feet of timber in this tree clear of the branches. We saw many others of the same sort several of which was half as long again were taller than the one we measured and all of them very stout; there were likewise many other sorts of very stout timber trees all of them wholy unknown to any of us we brought away a few specimans and at 3 oClock we embarqued in order to return on bioard with the very first of the Ebb ^ but not before we had named this River the Thames on account of its bearing some resemblence to that River in england."

NB. Dave Wilton, (author of the first article mentioned above), reminds us that the ship's day starts at midday, not midnight, so he's talking about the same 'day' in our terms.
Joseph Banks

3. In Joseph Bank's Journal 20th Nov: "Weather still thick and hazey. We had yesterday resolvd to employ this day in examining the bay so at day break we set out in the boats. A fresh breeze of wind soon carried us to the bottom of the bay, where we found a very fine river broad as the Thames at Greenwich tho not quite so deep, there was however water enough for vessels of more than a midling size and a bottom of mud so soft that nothing could possibly take damage by running ashore. About a mile up this was an Indian town built upon a small bank of Dry sand but totaly surrounded by Deep mud, so much so that I beleive they meant it a defence. The people came out in flocks upon the banks inviting us in, they had heard of us from our good freind Torava;.....As far as this the river had kept its depth and very little decreasd even in breadth; the Captn was so much pleasd with it that he resolvd to call it the Thames."

The Thames, was officially named by Captain James Cook on 20 November 1769. The name given because of the resemblance to The River Thames in England.

The Thames - further development of the name:
Before and after the opening of the goldfield, the area was known as The Thames. When the goldfield opened 1 August 1967, the name remained, but the areas of population became known as towns in their own right. Specifically: Shortland Town, Grahamstown - plus Parawai, Tararu, Tookey's Town, and the Moanataiari. While other settlement areas existed in the hills.

It was in 1873 that the name took a new meaning, when the townships joined together to be known as Thames. 

The Borough of Thames was official - gazetted in November 1873, and the first council meeting was held in 15 April 1874.
THAMES ADVERTISER, VOLUME VII, ISSUE 1790, 16 APRIL 1874
Conclusion:
The answer to the question of when Thames got 'its' name is 20 November 1769, by Captain James Cook. The town as a borough came into existence officially in 1873.
An interesting fact is that pioneers always called the town 'The Thames' rather than just 'Thames'.


References:
1. © Derived from Vols. II-III of the London 1773 edition: National Library of Australia call no. FERG 7243, page 353, 2004Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
2.© Transcription of National Library of Australia, Manuscript 1 page 149, 2004Published by South Seas, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher
3. © Derived from State Library of NSW 1998 Transcription of Banks's Endeavour Journal page (vol.2) 87, 2004

Further Reading:
Copies of the Journals and writings related to the voyages of Captain Cook and the Endeavour.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Thames (NZ):What can archaeology teach us about the history of Thames?

What archaeology reports or books have you read related to Thames?
Did you know they even existed?
To make it easier, there is a website that will make it easier to access and read this information.

The Heritage New Zealand newsletter featured news on the revamped Archaeological Reports Digital Library: 

"The digital library contains over 7500 reports dating from the 1950s until today, with more reports being added all the time.

This is one of the most important sources of archaeological information about places in the country, and a huge repository of information that will be of interest to many people including researchers, landowners, legislators, iwi, archaeologists, local authorities – and those interested in learning more about our amazing archaeological heritage. Images of kōiwi have been redacted from the reports.

The revamp of the library has made it more accessible, speedy, modern, and user-friendly. Users can now download the reports instead of emailing to request the reports they wanted.
The online library will be available to anybody who has access to the internet around New Zealand and the world, with the information available 24/7."

What's  available?
2. Browse or search different categories. Using the Term THAMES found over 440 results.
This can be further refined to Thames-Coromandel to reduce the number of reports related to other districts.


3. Click on reports of interest, and you are taken to a page where you can download the report.
The one below is for "Cook Landmarks at 'The Thames' (New Zealand), November 1769" by David Wilton.

Maybe you are interested in mining sites, then Neville Ritchie's report: A Survey of historic mining Sites in the Thames and Ohinemuri areas of the Hauraki Goldfield: Section 1 is worth a read.

What about learning about the midden site at the Tararu Cemetery? Read Tararu Cemetery: Final Report on Archaeological Monitoring at T12/942 and T12/1375 by Beatrice Hudson.

There is an interesting one on historic sites Tapu to Thornton Bay:
Tapu-Thorntons Bay Site Survey West Coast Thames 
Identifier:Diamond2
Title:Tapu-Thorntons Bay Site Survey West Coast Thames
Author(s):Diamond, Larryn
Year Published:1976
Western end of Sealey Street, Thames

Many of the reports have been prepared by Dr Caroline Phillips, well known for the work done monitoring sites at Thames Hospital when the new wings were constructed. One in the list relates to the earthworks done at the western end of Sealey Street. Maybe you remember the talk of a possible burial ground.

Read: Supplementary Report : Sealey Street Burials, Thames : burial Site T12/1091 by Dr Caroline Phillips. There are several other reports relating to the Sealey Street area.

This is another site you can gain information on Thames, a search reveals several articles that can be downloaded, also I have found others can be requested via the contacts given.

One that makes excellent reading is:
Nineteenth-century European cemeteries in Thames By Dr N Twohill, and it can be downloaded.

ABOVE: Shortland Cemetery 1870s, from Dr Twohill's report.
Its hard to even imagine this scene, given the overgrown trees that exist on the hill today.

Closing Comments:
Which ever site you use, explore the papers/reports on offer and learn more about the archaeology of the Thames District.

Background Reading:
Dr Caroline Phillips - Waihou Journeys (2001)

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Thames (NZ): Forgotten Roads at Thames - a closer look at Keddell Street

There are an abundance of postcards that showcase the northern end of Pollen Street, the area that today has adopted (and relishes) the heritage nature of their buildings. After all the majority of them are at least 120 years old.

Recently on an online auction site appeared one of these postcards. Taken from the Fire Brigade bell tower, the view shows the Pollen Street shops and the hills to the east above the Waiokaraka School.

Postcard showing Pollen Street (section between Cochrane & Pahau Streets)

Isn't it a beauty? So much to see, the men gathered outside the King's Theatre (opened 1913) are  no doubt curious about the photograph being taken or could be deliberately posed for the shot. 

The Junction Hotel is far right, then working back left, the King's Theatre, J Bate's The Elite Dress Shop, Battson's Plumbing shop, the building with the four curves on the top facade is Wood's Grocery Store. Can you see the Waiokaraka School (Cochrane Street) over the roof of Wood's shop? 

When was the postcard photo taken and when was the postcard sent?  The back of the card is below. The card was written 30 June 1914 and posted to Mrs Church in Canada.


The hidden treasure in the postcard photo is the c1913 view of Keddell Street. To the left of the wording 'Keddell Street' it may just look like a dirt track but that is Keddell Street. Remember many of the streets that were planned on the first maps of the town were either not all constructed, or were shorter than intended.


From the booklet, Streets of Thames:


Above: Far right, Keddell Street runs between Campbell and Princes Street.
Below: The Street marked on Robert Graham's First map of Grahamstown, with Duke and Sophy Street branching off to the right along the length of Keddell Street.


Keddell Street news in the local paper:
1878: The Council decided to cut some steps and a footpath up Keddell Street.
1878: 18th August Mary Ann Connon died at her residence in Keddell Street.
1879: 31st January, William the infant son of Nicholas Dunstan died.
1881: Residents pleaded to the council to improve the state of their street. This is a continuing theme over the years that followed, resident not happy with the state of the road or footpath up Keddell Street.
1891: Mrs Chas Stevens solder her three bedroom house, as she was leaving the colony.
1895: Miss Geary of Keddell Street married John Hatton of Waihi. Later in the year, Miss Geary's father had a bad fall from his horse.
1900: September, poor,little Alf Newdick cut himself badly with a spade, he needed stitches!
1903: The handrails at the side of the footpath leading up Keddell Street were rotten and urgently needed replacement. You could buy a small three bedroomed house on a freehold section in the street for 25 pounds.
1906: Water running down Keddell Street was causing problems during heavy rain, the culvert needed improvements.
1909: The handrail along Keddell Street again needed repair. This is a situation that kept recurring every couple of years.
1911: Mr W Cropp, had approval from Council to make improvements to his house in Keddell Street.
1914: 10 August, water cut off all day for repairs.
1923: Still more repairs to handrails, plus some of the steps up the street.
1930: The 10 foot culvert in Keddell Street was replaced.

In the early 1900s, the residents in the street were:
Mrs Barker, Mrs Bunting, James Neary, P Dewdick (??Newdick), and Barney Donnelly.
By 1923, the two named residents in the Directory were: Henry Brackenridge (a Fitter) and Leslie Thomas White (Blacksmith).

So how does the street look now? As stated above, it took until the 1980s for the road to be formally closed, so now a private driveway winds up the steep hill of old Keddell Street.

Above: The old location of Keddell Street, north of the Waiokaraka Road (visible to the right) 
by the Bella Street Pumphouse.
Source: Google maps

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Thames (NZ): Do you know the history of our reserves and parks?

Dotted around the town are reserve spaces, these are spaces that are set aside for the community. Our local council maintains these, and decides how they can be used. At present a consultation process is underway to get feedback on how the town wants these areas used and maintained into the future.

You have a chance to shape the future history of our town. The Thames and Thames Coast Managements Plan is under Review, and makes excellent reading. The draft plan is available for viewing online or to download.

Here is a list of the reserves for Thames that are in the draft report: (with page number from the contents page)
Bright Smile Mine Reserve:19; Burke Street Beachfront Reserve: 46; Campbell Street Reserve: 20; Dickson Park: 38; Former Burke Street Landfill: 76; Hauraki Terrace Reserve: 21; Herewaka Stream Reserve:57; Irishtown Reserve:  58; Karaka Reserve: 59; Kauaeranga River Esplanade: 60; Kauaeranga Valley – Devcich Ford Reserve: 60; Kauaeranga Valley – Historic Reserve: 61; Kauaeranga Valley – The Booms: 61; Kauaeranga Valley Road Reserve: 62; Kuranui Bay Reserve: 22; Marshall Crescent Walkway:77; Mount Sea Reserve: 64; Ngarimu Bay Reserve: 23; Porritt Park: 24,77; Queen Street Reserve: 25; Rhodes Park:12,67; Taipari Park: 78; Tararu Beachfront North/South Reserve: 27,28; Tararu Creek Reserve: 69; Thames Coastal Walkway – Danby Field: 76; Thames Coastal Walkway – Goldfields: 49; Thames Coastal Walkway – South: 50; Thames Historical Museum: 15; Thames War Memorial Reserve: 16; The Booms Reserve: 33; Victoria Park: 34; Waikiekie Historic/Stream Reserves: 73; William Hall Reserve: 40
THAMES STAR, 30 MAY 1928

Who knew we had so many!!!

ISSUES:
A few fall under the Treaty of Waitangi Settlement for the area, such as Taipari Park. 

There are interesting comments for several reserves that adjoin beaches - that the boundary of some are in doubt as private landowners may have encroached on the reserve over the years.

HISTORY OF EACH RESERVE:
The report thoroughly covers the land title names and ownership plus other issues.

Rhodes Park one of our best known parks opened 4 June 1928.

A key issue now and for the future of Rhodes Park is flooding, from the Kauaeranga River and overflow from the spillway. Flooding has been a problem since the land was first used.
Rhodes Park during the 1936 Flood
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19360205-54-1

Porritt Park, the report acknowledges that the park was named after Governor General Sir Arthur Porritt in 1969, but fails to cover the history on its development.

The playground was officially opened on Thursday 19 December 1929. It was known as the Diamond Jubilee Children's Playground. Opened by the Mayor Mr W Bongard.

The loss of the play ship The Wakatere is also not mentioned, along with the promises made at the time of demolition to build a smaller replacement at the southern end of the playground.


The Wakatere, the real ship (1906) top and the playship prior to demolition

Victoria Park history also has some discrepancies. It states in the TCDC report:
"A celebration on the 10 November 1902 (King Georges birthday), included an upgrade of the reserve, including the dedication of the band rotunda and the laying of the Troopers memorial foundation stone."

While the Band Rotunda dates back to 1902 on the present site, the South African War Memorial was first at the corner of Mary & Pollen Street and only moved to Victoria Park in the late 1910s.
Above: Opening of the Band Rotunda 10 November 1902
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19021127-2-3

Below: Laying the Foundation Stone for the SA War Memorial, cnr Pollen & Mary St, 10 November 1902
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19021127-2-4

MAKE COMMENTS on the Report
I hope you find time to read the full report, it makes interesting historical reading. This is our chance to shape the history of the reserves! So please give your feedback.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Thames (NZ): Ten Pound Poms at A & G Price 1950s

There was an interesting article on page 17 of the Herald on Sunday (28 July 2019), 'Ten Pound Pom' Legacy by Cherie Howie. The article highlighted two famous NZ'ers connected to this scheme - Sir Peter Jackson (who's parents came) and Roger Hall who himself came to the country in 1958.

"Between 1947 and 1975, a total of 77,000 women, children and men arrived from Great Britain under the assisted immigration scheme. Smaller numbers came from the Netherlands and some other European countries. Non-British immigrants in particular introduced new customs, foods, ideas and practices, and together with later arrivals helped shape modern New Zealand society."Source: New Zealand History

Thames has a strong connection to this immigration scheme, as many immigrants came to the town in the early 1950s, the men destined to work at A & G Price Foundry. The men were loyal, long serving employees at the foundry, and their families involved in the community.

This weekend genealogy site ancestry.au is providing free access to immigration records, and the Herald article highlighted that the names of the immigrants could be searched and the passenger details could be seen The key record source being: UK Outward Passenger List 1890-1960.

I have tested this out, with some names that I know who were part of the scheme and parts of their passenger records are below.

ABOVE: the heading on the passenger lists pages, this one is for the Atlantis that came to New Zealand in 1951.

ABOVE: snip of the record for a family that came to Thames. This man came as a 'fitter' to work at the foundry under the 'Ten Pound Pom' scheme.

Many of the first families that came to Thames were initially accommodated in the old Royal Hotel that was purchased by Price's and converted into apartments. There were houses later built around Prices Avenue Tararu, which housed many foundry families over the decades.

The 1950s were a busy time for the foundry. "By 1954 the total productive area was 100,000 square feet making the Thames plant one of the largest engineering works in New Zealand. It then comprised a machine shop, fitting shop, a locomotive and erection shop, a steel foundry, grader assembly shop, pattern shop and blacksmith/s shop." Page 46 Men of Steel by C W Vennell

So, whether your family came to Thames as part of the immigrant scheme to work at places like the foundry, or maybe they came independently - take a moment to search the resources available at ancestry. Especially during the free offer times, or at your local library.

ABOVE: 35mm colour slide showing the former Royal Hotel 
at the corner of Brown Street and Williamson Street, Thames
Copyright Source: Di Stewart (Photographer 1990s), Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 1200-9
Latest view of the old Royal Hotel and A & G Price Boarding house & Storage area 2019
Now a Private residence. Apologies for the sun being exactly at the wrong angle!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thames (NZ): 'Sculpture' miner near Albert Street

Thames has  a growing number of artworks placed along the walkway / cycleway. While many are complicated and in some cases controversial as to their relevance, some of the best ones shine in their simplicity.

The ones in question have been made by Bruce Harper of Thames. Sadly they are so good, that they are often stolen or damaged!


ABOVE: The sculpture north of the Victoria Park tennis courts.

  
ABOVE Left: an old Digger up the Karaka Creek 1909
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, NZG-19090721-20-1
ABOVE Right: A close-up of the 'digger' sculpture, Thames Foreshore.

Prospectors were a hardy breed, always hopeful that the 'big find' was in the next spot they mined.

So as you wander around the town keep a look-out for the other sculptures made by Bruce. Out by the "Welcome sign' to Thames, at the end of Albert Street, by the Croquet club, and sitting on the remains of the old Burke Street wharf.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Thames (NZ): New seat and plaque at Victoria Park

We often groan about the mangroves and how our view of the Firth has disappeared - so its nice to go somewhere and be reminded that YES we do live beside the seaside!

Parts of the coastal walkway along the foreshore of Thames allow us to find glimpses of the sea. Not much joy on the stretch from the Shortland Wharf, north to Pak'n Save...but then there are open views by the bird hide. Venture further north to the small gauge railway and you get to see the sea at last, on the pathway to Albert Street.

A perfect place for a seat or two, has often been my plea. Like the old days, when Thamesites relaxed at the park. (photographs below)

The walkway in the early 1900s, did the circuit around the park, small trees dotted the grounds, and beautiful seats lined the pathway.

Today the coastal walkway shelters behind the rock wall adjacent to the Firth. Thamesites have again found their love of walking, and you very rarely ever wander along with out meeting someone (and a few dogs).


Between the tennis courts and Albert Street, there now is a grand, sturdy seat - which allows the pedestrian to pause and view the sea, or face towards the Waiotahi Hill and the Peace Memorial.

Jean Helen Harison (1933-1995) & Christopher Stratford Harison (1929-2018)

There is a plaque on both sides of the seat which simply reads "In Memory of Chris & Jean Harison."
The Harison's came to Thames in 1975, both had jobs at Thames Hospital. Mr Harison was the first fulltime obstetrician / gynaecologist for the Thames Hospital Board and worked tirelessly to advance obstetric care on the Coromandel Peninsula. Chris retired in 1992.


Next time you are out walking, stop for a minute and enjoy the views from 'our' new seat.
Special thanks to everyone who is involved with establishing the seating along the walkway.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Thames (NZ): Then & Now Richmond Street (1900s & 2019)

Around the town are dotted some grand old villas - high ceilings, a bay window or two, a wrap around terrace and wide staircase leading up to the front door. They were built in the late 19th century to early 1900s.

"A villa was a suburban house that was larger (at least four or five rooms) and more expensive and ornate than a cottage. Villas usually featured two- or four-pane double-hung windows and could be built in Gothic or (neoclassical) Italianate styles." Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

The 'Then & Now' photographs below are firstly of importance for the view of the grand villa on the North-East corner of Richmond and Sandes Street. When the 1900s photo was taken the house belonged to the Court family - the family owned the dress and haberdashery store at the corners of Mary and Pollen Streets.  In the 1923 Street Directory, Alfred Court jnr is recorded as owning the house.  Over the decades the house has been maintained, renovated, but always in keeping with the original features of the home.

Then & Now N-E corner Richmond & Pollen Streets, Thames. Above 1900s, Below 2019.
Top photo Source (copyright): J Vedder-Price Collection


The second thing to look at is the state of the roads! The street itself has always been wide (compared to many), running from the foot of the Karaka (Una) Hill to the foreshore in the west. Many of the streets were little more than tracks until well into the 20th century. Richmond Street running up the hill is grass and scrub, a footpath clearly visible running across the road. Sandes Street runs across the photo - and the track looks barely one carriage wide.

Further Then & Now Street Views CLICK HERE

Friday, July 19, 2019

Thames (NZ): The moon landing memories from The Thames 1969

Fifty years ago (1969) what were you doing? Did you live in Thames or have family that did? I remember the excitement growing around an event we had not seen before...more on that soon

Maybe your family had bought a new house? There was a good house for sale at The Hape for $10,000!

Or for $6,000 you could buy two 2 bedroom flats at Tararu.

The town was growing, reclamation work was well underway all along the foreshore. Danby Field stood out in an aerial photograph taken in 1968 - and guess what there were no mangroves at the park's western seaward wall!

Thames, Hauraki Gulf, showing debouchement of the Waihou River. 
Ref: WA-67391-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22824930
Life was a seemingly easier pace, children played carefree along the streets - no computer or mobile phone distractions in those days. Trikes and pedal cars had free reign on the footpaths - no motorised scooters in those days.
Three boys watched roadworks on Tararu Road. 
L to R: Alan Hutchins (2), Gavin Searle (3) and Noel Hutchins (4).

As the month of July progressed, Thamesites began talking about the moon and waited to see what would happen when astronauts headed into space. Then the big day came, 20 June 1969, Man walked on the moon!

"July 20 marks 50 years since NASA's Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon. This week Kiwis remember where they were when they heard those famous small steps.

"Houston, Tranquillity Base here," astronaut Neil Armstrong said as his lunar module, Eagle, touched down on the Sea of Tranquillity on Sunday, July 20, 1969.

"The Eagle has landed." Stuff nz


Those lucky enough to have a television, (or friends with one) got to see the landing on the television news Monday 21 July 1969.


The Tuesday edition of the Thames Star reported on Thamesites reaction to the moon landing. People were amazed with the landing, but even more so, the fact that advancements to technology has allowed "people right around the world to see and hear this landing on the moon."

One young Thames boy had the last word: "Gee its fab" was all he said.


Where were you when men first walked on the moon?