Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thames (NZ): WWI Thames Book launch 8 Dec 2014

Yes its official - we finally have  a completed book and the launch is just a few weeks away.

The flier (right) has full details.

Special thanks must go to all the many, many people who have donated so much information, that in turn made writing the book a reality.

Pre-orders are being taken for the book $50 plus postage, contact The Treasury for details.

 In closing, there will be many more things that come in about Thames (and the greater Hauraki) and the First World War; as a group we hope that the above book is a start to telling the story of Thames & the Hauraki during WWI.

In recent weeks a new publication has come to hand that has some words of relevance. From Leaves from the Book of my Life by Rev James Milne MA.(The Minister at the St James' Church during WWI):
"One hesitates to write concerning the war. It is so much in its consequences with us still...I remember, I was on my way to St James' to take the evening service, when meeting a friend, an Anglican, on his way to St George's, I learned from him the latest in regard to the international situation, viz., that England had declared war on Germany...Thereafter, till the close of the great conflict, we never failed in our worship to pray for the cessation of hostilities..."

The Book from Gold Mine to Firing Line will take you on a journey and hopefully uncover a few surprises along the way. Most of all, it is a chance to stop and remember the men and women who served in the war, and their families back at The Thames.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thames (NZ): AA Touring Map Guide Book 1938

AA Maps played an important role in guiding tourists around the country. Do you remember collecting all the maps when you were heading off on a car trip? No Google Maps and other technology required - just plain old map reading skills. With excitement you would ask, what's our next town?

Advertisements in old magazines and newspapers provide a wealth of information. The advertisements below are from the 1938 AA Touring Map Guide Book, the section on Thames. They include notices from:
Park Hotel, Brown Street, Thames. Need a place to stay when you were passing through the town of Thames, A Golden (Proprietor) offered a great tariff and excellent cuisine.
Hotel Imperial, Pollen Street, Thames. J W Harvey, Proprietor, advertised that the hotel was modern and excellently equipped - hot and cold water in every room!

Chas. Judd Limited, Queen Street, Thames. If your car engine needed reconditioning - they were the people to see.
D McL. Wallace Ltd, Pollen Street, Thames. Offered a modern garage offering a full range of services for the motorist passing through the town.
Gordon Mincher's Garage, Pollen Street, Thames. A modern and spacious garage, with a breakdown truck available for the motorist at any hour - just phone Thames 179.


Special thanks to Elizabeth for providing a copy of the Thames Adverts
Further Information:
Business Registers and Maps at The Treasury
Treasury Index: for possible sources for further references

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thames (NZ): WWI Thames soldiers - updated page at The Treasury

NEWSFLASH: The WWI soldiers' page has been updated by Kae, at The Treasury website. The majority of men on the Thames WWI Memorial have now been identified with links to the Auckland Cenotaph database and newspaper articles.

Thames Peace Memorial aka WWI Memorial, Monument Road, Thames

Thames (NZ): Kopu Bridge on YouTube

Just a quick note about some more YouTube videos on the Kopu Bridge - old and new.

*Old Kopu Bridge Crossing Thames by A Killip

*Kopu Bridge Closing (old) by Kim Buchanan

*Kopu Bridge closing and New bridge construction by R Christopher

*New Kopu Bridge opening 2011 by A Killip

There are lots more..just search at YouTube for "Kopu Bridge."

Background information:
Past blog post: Opening of the new bridge (Other video links on that page)
Oral Histories at The Treasury recall first crossings and life before the bridge

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thames (NZ): Shipping - Cargo, Crew & Passengers

For those of you wanting to find out when your Thames families came to New Zealand, two of the best places to start are:
Auckland City Libraries, Passenger Arrivals 1838-1921

FamilySearch, New Zealand Passenger Lists 1839-1973. The aim is to have all these records indexed, in the mean time it is possible to also browse ships arriving by port and year.

There are many other sites available free, while commercial sites such as Find My Past have search options.
Early shipping at Grahamstown, before the Burke Street Wharf. Shipping to and from The Thames dependent on the tide.
Source: View of Grahamstown from Te Papa

As time goes by, FamilySearch will have more Thames shipping related to cargo ships coming in and out of the once busy port. At present you can view several shipping details for c1900. While not much information is available it is a worthwhile exercise to view the digitised records. They contain manifest and crew lists that were required for custom purposes. Take a look and get familiar with the search technologies available.
Ships to/from Thames, New Zealand online at FamilySearch are:
1898 - Maud Graham, Vale Royal, Moana
1899 - Jessie Niccol
1900 - Wild Wave
1909 - Empreza, Inga

The Empreza is described as a 236 tonne Baroque, that was built in 1865 in Scotland. On the 1909 visit to Thames, the ship was heading to Turua to pick up a load of timber from Bagnall's Sawmill. Destination was Sydney. Crew members aboard on this voyage were: Captain J BUSHELL; J ?HARMAN, 1st Mate; G MCDONALD, 2nd Mate; Chee POO, Cook; MCCALLUM, J CHRISTIAN, W SMITH, C POULSEN, C CARLSEN and J G ?HARRIS.

Auckland Star 10 August 1909
Part of the Manifest details at FamilySearch
Further Reading:
Treasury Journal Article: Sawmilling at Thames and the Coromandel by Bob Young
Thames Shipping News at Paperspast
New Zealand Maritime Museum for information on ships and their history
Other Blog entries related to Thames Shipping

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thames (NZ): How to find out more about Thames Homes

Do you live in Thames? Maybe your parents or grandparents had a house in Thames. Or maybe you want to look at building details of a shop or premises in the town? Did you know you can view old historical documents free online?

I have chosen the example of the King's Theatre at the Grahamstown end of town. In 1941, R Twentyman applied to the Thames Borough Council to undertake renovations to the building. The plumbing work was to be undertaken by Battson's. The plans of the building were attached to a written consent. Where can you find this information?
 Go to the Thames Coromandel District Council website and look for 'consent tracker.' The link can be found here. On the right hand side of the page click 'use consent tracking.' You then AGREE to 'terms and conditions.'

Now to Street Name and number and town. If not sure of the number, then enter a block, or alternatively just give Street name. eg. Queen Street or put 700 to 750 Queen Street and see your results. This example allows you to find changes that have been made to The Treasury aka Carnegie Library building.

A list of the available applications will now show, click on one to view.
The example for the 1941 King's Theatre is below. Click on DOCUMENTS to view available building plans and correspondence. This is where I found the building plans shown above,
BACKGROUND on the KING's Theatre:
The building was opened on 30 January 1913. It was considered state of the art for the time, including having electricity throughout the building - generated with power from Judd's Foundry. The movies of the day were silent movies, supplemented with many live acts and shows.

The building is still in use as a movie theatre, although many more renovations have taken place over the years.

Further information available at The Treasury, Thames - see Pre 1930 Business Folders and Thames Homes photos
The Kete Hauaraki Coromandel Website has also a large collection of photos of Thames homes and businesses.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thames (NZ): Armistice 11 November 1918

Tomorrow is Armistice Day or Remembrance Day as it is more commonly called in other Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. Source: Wikipedia

The Thames Star featured a special Armistice Edition on Tuesday 12 November 1918.
The news came to Thames and New Zealand amidst the grips of the influenza epidemic. The day the paper celebrated the Armistice, there were five death notices in the paper. They were for: Donald McKenzie aged 39yr; Margaret Riddell Read aged 33yr; Lily Maude Keoghan aged 47yr; Edith Lavinia Brien aged 41yr; and Henry Simmonds Peters aged 47.
The Mayor of Thames announced that the town should celebrate in some way this great news. The Health Authorities over-rode the decision, and decided the town should not have mass peace demonstrations due to the epidemic. They asked that any celebrations be held over until the health of the district improved.

So it was not until page three that the people of Thames learnt more about the Armistice.
The reader was reminded that as a result of the war, they were living in a Cleaner and Saner World. The world is to-day cleaner and sweeter for the blood that has been shed in defence of all that man or woman hold dear. We rejoice with "joy unspeakable and full of joy," but in doing so we are not unmindful of the sacrifices that have been incurred, the remembrance of which will make our gains all the more precious to us. The joyful news now to hand sounds the knell of old world conditions of evil, and ushers in a new era of an abiding peace, free from the menace of the mailed fist of the Prussian military terror. page 3, 12 November 1918 Thames Star

The following year the town observed Armistice Day. On 11 November 1919 a 11am, A & G Price's whistle and the fire bell were rung in the town. Everyone came to a standstill (whether on foot or in a car) and stood for two minutes to remember Armistice and World War One.

This year, on Tuesday 11 November 2014 the town of Thames will again remember the men and women who served in World War One. All returned and ex-service personnel are asked to gather at 10.45am outside the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre for a parade and remembrance at 11am. Members of the public are invited to attend. Maybe you can make it for this parade? If not, when the siren sounds, stand and remember, just like our fellow Thamesites did back in 1919.
The King at the Front. A popular series if postcards during WWI
Source: The A T Brokenshire Collection at The Treasury
Further Reading:
WWI Files & Research at The Treasury - check the index