Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thames (NZ): Racecourse area 1965

The Racecourse at Parawai in 1965 is the feature today. The land north of the course, and east of the Kauaeranga River, has undergone major changes over the decades. Land has been subdivided and now there is a school, hospital rest-home, and major housing developments.

You can see why this was an important area for early Thames, it had multiple gardens, and was used extensively by many sports. Running events, rugby, cricket and hockey were regularly played on the paddocks south of Barrett Road.
 
Thames Racecourse. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-63640-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23174107
 
On second look, there a few areas of interest.
 
At the end of Barrett Road the evidence can be seen of the old Kauaeranga Bridge, that was the only bridge into town. for many decades pre 1920s
 
 
 
 
 
 
The land north of the Parawai Racecourse is only partially developed. Yet to come is the Parawai School and stopbank developments.
 
 
Below is the Totara area. There is housing along Tony's Avenue, but many more houses to come in the following years.
 
See the Totara Cemetery in the distance, which has expanded considerably over the decades. 
 


Thames (NZ): Miscellaneous photos from the 1927 Thames Star Part two

A few more photographs from the 1927 Thames Star Newspaper.
 Messrs JOHNSTON BROS' Hair Establishment - Ladies Room
 
 TEACHERS OF THAMES - under the control of Mr Horatio Phillips
Back Row (standing): Messrs W Johns, A Gerring, F Lough. J Christie; Misses Best, Hill, Mulvahill, Wilson, Patterson, Mr H Phillips (Principal of Class), Misses Gillespie, Stilwell, Lamb, Crowther, Wolfe, Messrs W Hammond, C Hall, W Simmonds, W Hall, A Taylor.
Second Row: Misses Fletcher, Blakeley, Cleave, F Fletcher, Mulvany, Gibb, M Ashman, Ashman, Ryan, Mrs H Phillips, Miss F Colebrook
Sitting: Misses Truscott, Murray, Murrish, Brown, Akers, Gibbons, McQuade, McLoughlin, Greenslade, Coad.

THAMES RUGBY in 1887 - WANDERER'S TEAM
Back Row: R POTTS, P LEITH, H BROWNLEE, David STEWART, J DARE, G CLEAVE
Second Row: Darby O'BRIEN, J HINDMAN, T MCCOLLUM, J (Duggie) MCGREGOR (Capt), R MCCOLLUM, Harry MCLACHLAN, Dan SAUNDERS
Third Row: [names missing from page of paper]

Thames (NZ): Miscellaneous photos from the 1927 Thames Star Part one

Maybe it was the cost that prevented the newspaper publishing more local photographs, but there was never ever any shortage of photographs of movie stars in most editions. Here are a selection of photographs in the 1927 Thames Star newspaper.
Baillie Street, Thames
 
A VIEW OF BLOCK 27 IN THE EARLY DAYS
 
PROGRESS OF NEW HAURAKI BRIDGE

PROGRESS OF NEW HAURAKI BRIDGE
It is expected this link on the main highway to Auckland will be completed in March.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Thames NZ: Kurunui Bay 1868 - a Second Look

A lovely photo used on many early postcards, taken from different angles, but essentially the Kurunui Hotel features as the dominant subject. Maybe because of that I skim over it and think of it only as the hotel photo...but there is much more to see on a second look.
Thames Goldfield, NZ.
Source: J Vedder-Price Collection

Where to start? Lets look first at the hotel. There is some type of window covering upstairs and the windows upstairs facing south are open. Two of the lower centre windows have a net like curtain seemingly knotted or pulled together. Note the small building attached at the back, was this the first part of hotel and then the main two storey section was built. We know that the hotel was opened by 1868 and later burnt down in 1876.

Known Publicans: George M(A)CDONALD: 1868, Henry CARROLL: 1868, Samuel STRAW: 1869, Mr SLACK 1869, Robert Hugh THOMAS: 1870-76, Michael MCMAHON 1875, and  Chas MORROW 1875.

Note the most distinguishing feature of a hotel - the large lamp over the main front door. A hotel could lose its license for not having this lit. Also see that the front or main door is always traditionally on an angle. Quite possible that the building that was built on the area known as the beach, could have had water lap up to it in a storm. The large pole - is it a flagpole? To alert new visitors to the bay that a hotel and accommodation was on offer.
 
Residential houses and shop. The houses are fenced off. The traditional quick Thames miner's cottage design. Two windows at front and the door in the centre. The shop on the right probably has some living accommodation out the back, sadly the signage can not be read.

Shops and equipment or more housing. Given the front location, one could speculate these are shops or workmen's cottages. There is a lot of wood and wagons nearby. A large mining structure is underway at back right. The roof appears to be a wooden shingle. The small top window is interesting on the right-hand building, possibly an upstairs sleeping area.
 
The hill. Now to the interesting part, what is happening on the hill!! Lots of tunnels and evidence of diggings literally dumped outside. A step structure can be seen on the centre left going to the main digging area. What of the long chute, would it be water, tailings?
 
A Photo full of things to look at and ponder. More of interest where is everyone?
All at work or gone to town?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thames (NZ): Special Visits - Rob & Thea Muldoon

SPECIAL VISITS: In 1978 Prime Minister Robert and Mrs Thea Muldoon were in Thames, as guest of honours for the March Thames Hospital Nurses' Graduation. On 24 February 2015, Dame Thea Muldoon died. More information at: http://goo.gl/UBm8Fg

Right Honourable Robert Muldoon and Thea Muldoon at Thames for the nurses' graduation March 1978. The photograph is taken in the Nurses' Dining Room where the graduations were normally held.
Source: Thames Hospital Pictorial CD, by Waikato Health Board. 
 
Cartoon drawings by Doug Barker of Thames in 1975 - of Rob Muldoon and Bill Rowlings. They appeared on the front page of the Sunday News Newspaper in 1975. (exact date not recorded)
 Source: A Barker Collection 

Thames (NZ): Train Memories - Price 16-wheeler Steam Locomotive

TRAIN MEMORIES. Price 16-wheeler steam locomotive, run by the Mountain Rimu Timber Company, Mamaku.

Photograph taken by Albert Percy Godber, circa 1916.
Locomotive built by A & G Price Ltd., Thames, built specifically as a bush tramway steam locomotive. Came under the Railways Department when the Stores Branch took over the Mountain Rimu Timber Company's mill and tramway at Mamaku.

In 1928 this locomotive was sold to the Marton Sash and Door Company at Waione. See "Cavalcade of New Zealand locomotives" by A N Palmer & W W Stewart.


Source: Price 16-wheeler steam locomotive. Godber, Albert Percy, 1875-1949 :Collection of albums, prints and negatives. Ref: APG-0697-1/2-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23238547

Monday, February 23, 2015

Thames (NZ): Thames Aero Club 1947

In previous 1947 photographs, I was alerted to a large gathering at the Aero Club grounds. At first we thought it was a funeral. Now perhaps the mystery is solved, was this the day a new plane arrived, or the day when it was known that aerial photographs of the town would be taken.

Thames Aero Club, aircraft in flight, individuals unidentified 1947
Source: Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-05798-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30628250


A closer look at the crowd we see a policeman present t o control the crowds. A tent is pitched and a car visible (in the larger view above). Children eagerly await the plane, or is there more than one? Everyone is dressed for the occasion and the obligatory hats worn by some of the older men and women. The lady on the right keeping a close eye on the policeman's exchange with the young men.

ZK-AOB flies proudly in the sky above Thames.
......UPDATE....
According to the web page linked below, this Auster aircraft was registered on 19th Feb 1947
http://www.facebook.com/l.php...
 
ANOTHER PHOTO FROM THE DAY - 1 March 1947
 Full view Below
Source; Hauraki Aerodrome, Thames-Coromandel district, including crowds of people, motorcars and aircraft. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-05702-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30650682
 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thames (NZ): First Car to Thames was an Oldsmobile 1903

Previous research had 1904 as possibly the first time a motor car was seen in Thames. Now  new information dates the event as 1903.

Mr Brookes began his motoring adventure in Thames on 11 February 1903. Brookes worked for Campbell and Ehrenfried Co Ltd, so was no stranger to Thames. The Oldsmobile car was driven by Mr J Begg an expert from London. In 1922, Mr Brookes reminded the folk of Thames about this great adventure and made the claim that he indeed was in the first car to be seen at The Thames.

The car arrived in Thames by steamer, and the public of Thames crowded to see it. Mr Brookes said it felt like the whole town had turned out for a view. The car had a 5 hp motor single cylinder motor, wire wheels and was steered by a tiller handle like a boat. It was quiet and horses bolted when they saw it! (Thames Star 17 February 1922)

While we do not as yet have  a photo of Mr Brookes on his great adventure, below is a gathering of Oldsmobile cars in 1904 at Auckland.


Description THE OLDSMOBILE CARS.
Taken from the NZ Graphic, 05 November 1904, p31

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thames (NZ): Second Look at corner Pahau & Pollen Street Postcard

This is a postcard that has always fascinated me. The gathering of people, the man on the roof, so many scenarios to think about as to what was happening on the day.

On the right is J Paul who was a saddler from c1894 to 1919, near the corner of Pahau and Pollen Street. On the left is the verandah of the King's Theatre which opened in 1913. Next to it is the Junction Hotel that had been on the goldfield for years, although the building had changed several times. The St James Church stands on the next corner and further along is Taylor's butcher shop.

The man up the pole could be another photographer waiting to take a photo or a repairman on the wires. The horse and wagon laying stone down the centre of the road, later these would be concrete strips.  What about all the wires - telegraph, telephone, electricity?

Description Looking along Pollen Street, Thames. Showing (on left) The Junction Hotel; St James' Presbyterian Church. At right is J Paul - saddler. With cyclists, horse and cart and a man sitting at the top of a telegraph pole.
 
Above: 1927 Advertisement in the Thames Diamond Jubilee book
Below the view 2012 

UPDATE: View before the King's Theatre was built.
Look to left side of Pahau Street, Junction Hotel and the single storey building that is replaced by the King's Theatre.
Description
A PANORAMIC VIEW OF THAMES. THE WELL KNOWN GOLDFIELDS CENTRE, SHOWING THE THAMES-HAURAKI PUMP IN THE LEFT BACKGROUND AND POLLEN STREET IN THE FOREGROUND.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19050921-13-2