Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thames (NZ): New finds at The New Zealand Herald

Keep checking back at Paperspast for information on Thames and your family - today more issues of the New Zealand Herald have gone on line. The paper now goes up to 1945.
Wonderful, clear illustrations such as the one below telling the story of the goldfields.
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIV, Issue 19702, 30 July 1927, Page 5

Title: Sixty years ago and now at Thames

Thames (NZ): Then & Now - Northern Queen Street Fishery

Northern Queen Street, Thames - the roof structure still evident in the lower photo, although the front façade has been altered. The Thames Fishermen's Co-operative Society opened their new building on 29 September 1911, at Thames. Built by: Harvey & Kidd, Niven & Co installed the plant, J Pratt laid the foundations. The power was installed by Judd & Co and A Diamond installed the freezing room.

The building was 65 foot by 45 foot and a full description was provided in the next edition of the Thames Star newspaper. The Society had nine Directors: "Messrs Hool (chairman), Choat, Reddish, Howe (2), G Reid, Penno, Cook, and Bateman... There are 17 supply boats."  The object "of  the fishermen connected with the works was to co-operate for their mutual advantage, provide a regular supply of fish to the public at reasonable rates, and to show by their enterprise, by securing regular supplies, and by attention to the requirements of the public, that the project was worthy of support." 
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19111005-16-6


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thames (NZ): Then and Now - Thames Wharf

As a way to get back into regular postings, Tuesdays will with a bit of luck have Thames 'then and now' photos. Nothing fancy, just a simple reminder of how the town was and is today.
Source: 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19350925-52-3'
The photo taken at the Shortland Wharf in Thames, appeared in the Auckland Weekly News on 25 September 1935. The caption reading:
"Fishing is carried on extensively at Thames, better known as a goldmining town, at the head of the Firth of Thames. Freezing and storage works are available to cope with the supplies of fish, a large proportion being sent to markets in the Auckland provincial district. "
From a historical perspective, the wharf is busy and during the 1930s depression was providing a regular source of income for a number of families...plus a ready food supply. The men are busy mending nets, ahead of another days fishing. For the genealogist often trying to identify the age of photographs it is worthy to examine the clothing. The hat a standard accessory while a jacket is common. Braces can be seen on the man kneeling in the back row - how many can remember those?
Today the wharf is still has a fish shop and workers busily preparing seafood for the day's trade. The smokehouse still burns and fills the air with familiar aromas. A café on the wharf edge has attracted folk back to the area, to come and spend some time at the once thriving port.
Shortland Wharf, Thames - 8 April 2014
Google maps satellite image of the Shortland Wharf area

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thames (NZ): Early coloured postcards

Many of the c1900 postcards of Thames can be seen in black and white, and the same scene coloured.
The richness of the colours remains today in these beautiful old cards.

You can use the cards to identify changes in the town, and for making estimates of when the photo was taken. This card was posted 1907, but the photo for the card may have been several years before that. The Cornwall Arms Hotel, on the corner of Pollen and Cochrane Street is enlarged in the bottom photo. Renovations and tenders were called for on 29 September 1906 by Mr Currie architect of Auckland. Repairs to the hotel were undertaken and a second-story added.

What else can you spot in the way of landmarks? The Curtis wharf at end of Albert Street on the left and Burke Street/Thames Wharf at the end of Burke Street centre right. Waiokaraka/Central School in the middle and the Saxon Mine Shaft further right. Pumphouse and chimney in the foreground.

The Cornwall Arms Hotel (pre 2nd story)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thames (NZ): Heritage Festival - Living Museum

A wonderful idea to bring history alive is happening as I write in Grahamstown, it is the 'Living Museum.'

Described as:
Thames, The Living Museum is a concept that incorporates interactive demonstrations of crafts, as well as a chance to meet on the street people who inhabited Grahamstown at the turn of the century. Each week day between 10.00am and 2.00pm you will be transported back to the days when the lure of gold was potent and the town was alive with intrigue. Visit a working metalsmith shaping a piece of fine jewellery at Debrasic, a milliner displaying hats and clothing from early 1900's (at Embellish), watch the making of a traditional Maori feather cloak (at Embellish), see spinners and knitters in action. There will also be street entertainers and the chance to heckle the street corner orators.

Venue: Grahamstown, Thames
With one day to go, if you can make a visit between 10am and 2pm today (Thursday) and Friday 21/3/2014, you will not be disappointed.
 Mr Severn was busy assembling his telescope when I visited. The Captain of the ps Wakatere was due in from Auckland at any moment. I noted that Miss Lush had signed up to possibly forming an astronomy club at The Thames. Mesdames Macdonald, Mackay and Lush may have been at a Benevolent Society meeting, but were also due to return at any moment.
 A wonderful idea - special thanks to all who are involved

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thames (NZ): Heritage Festival Window displays

From first glance, you don't know there is a festival happening in the town - maybe next year organisers could hang some banners or similar across the main street.

On closer inspection an assortment of shops have got into the spirit of things and transformed their windows, as part of the window display competition.

One of mention is at Unichem Heather Moore Pharmacy in Pollen Street, Thames. So many items to stop and explore. Old dispensing books, bottles and general merchandise items.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thames (NZ): Heritage Festival 2014 BOOK LAUNCH

One event that is happening as part of the Thames Heritage Festival is the launch of a new book on Friday 21st March 2014.

This is the story about a girl who lived in Thames and was brought up by people that were two generations older, they have never been married or had children. These people were the "Lambs". It traces her life through to adulthood with all the trials and tribulations that go along with her. The story starts in 1870 when both sets of Great Grandparents on her mother's side and father's side came to N.Z. for a new life. It also incorporates Waihi as her mother came from there, and her Grandfather was the founder of Brown and Brown who made Suzy ironing boards, bread slices etc.

The book is:
by Sandy Lautenbach with Kingsley Field

The book will be filled with not only photos of the Lamb family but also of the old township of Thames. After Friday it will be available at Carsons Bookshop in Thames and from The Best Little Bookstore.

If you would like to go to the launch -  for contact details click here