Saturday, May 19, 2018

Thames (NZ): Rose & Crown Hotel, Graham's Town

A 'new' treasured photograph has been posted in the Sir George Grey Collection at Auckland Libraries, and shows another previously unseen/identified hotel.

The view is from the top of Upper Albert Street, looking down on the intersect of Albert Street and Pollen Street, then along Pollen Street. The 'new' hotel is lower centre, and given the location SHOULD be the Rose & Crown Hotel. To the left (over the road) is the Fountain Hotel at the intersect of Campbell and Pollen Street.

 The information below is from my booklet on the Hotels of Thames.

The full photograph below shows part of Grahamstown, then on to Shortland Town. Main landmarks are: Government buildings in Queen Street (centre, far right), The Thames School, Kirkwood Street (upper centre, porch on left end), Smale's Folly, aka boarding house (long building top left), and the St George's Hall trading as Cruikshank, Smart & Co, Pollen Street (two storied building centre left). Meandering Karaka Creek can be spotted top left of the school.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 536-Album-285-3-1

Friday, May 18, 2018

Thames (NZ): Alpine Hotel at Tararu

Do you ever get lost in where to go next for inspiration? Well its been one of those days. Then along comes a message from Keith at Auckland Libraries to checkout some new photographs on Thames.

Well the first one I look at reawakens the need to do some further Hotel research - as a new photograph reveals some new information.

The Alpine Hotel, we knew was at the Tararu Junction...supposedly somewhere along the Tararu Road. Well we now have a photograph to go with the little previously known.

A two storied building up the Tararu Creek area. You will note the very low head room in the upper story that was very common for Thames hotels. It was often noted in the various hotels, that you would have to bend over once you got up the stairs. While in the case of the Alpine Hotel, the high pitched roof would no doubt have given some head clearance.

Open from at least 1869, the Alpine Hotel was the venue for mining meetings, which were regularly held at the premises. There was also an Alpine Goldmining Company in operation at Tinkers Gully up the Tararu in 1869. Hotels were often named at the Thames after nearby mines, so whether this was the case for the Alpine Hotel, has not yet been confirmed.

By 1873, John Milne was the license holder for the Alpine Hotel, at a time when the annual fees for the hotels in the remote areas were reduced. Milne had his annual license fee reduced to 20 Pounds at the June Licensing Court hearing.

In 1874, the hotel was put up for auction or removal. It was described as having nine rooms, which were lined and papered, as well as having a double chimney. That is the last heard of the Alpine Hotel at Tararu.

ALPINE HOTEL - ?R Johnson Proprietor
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 536-Album-285-2-1

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Thames (NZ): Two 'New" Church Buildings May 1868

Not long after the Thames Goldfield opened, preachers of various denominations flocked to the Thames. Services, informal and formal were held in the open, in private halls and residences. Talk of the bible was not new to the area, with the Mission Society established at Parawai near the the Kauaeranga in 1837.

Hotels were quickly erected along with hundreds of shops. It was in May 1868 that the Presbyterian and Church of England church buildings were both opened. The Presbyterian Church a simple structure that sat on the brow of the hill above Rolleston Street, on the south side of Richmond Street. A building that was quickly put to use as a school during the week when not being used by the church community. (lower photo - top left) The United Church of England  which became quickly know as St George's Church was first located on Rolleston Street, just north of Sealey Street. (lower photo - foreground right)

Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-3681-84
The Presbyterian Church building was opened 3 May 1868 at Shortland Town, Rev James Hill was the preacher. Described as fronting Karaka Hill, later called by mining settlers the Una Hill. It was said to be a plain building 56 feet by 28 feet, 46 rows of seats that could seat 300 people. New Zealand Herald 6 May 1868.
The opening service for the St George's Church, Shortland took place on Sunday 24 May 1868. Church sources have the building opened 5 May 1868. The Ven Archdeacon Lloyd presided at the first service, at what the paper described as an edifice 60 feet by 30 feet. The evening service had to take place at an earlier hour due to lack of lighting.
Full report in NEW ZEALAND HERALD, VOLUME V, ISSUE 1413, 28 MAY 1868
The St George's first church as many will know, resides today north of their later building, having been moved to that site (and turned over the years).
The first St George's Church far right, adjacent to the Hospital driveway. The present church to the left.
Now the present congregation of St George The Martyr Anglican Church, are celebrating 150 years on the goldfield with a service in that 'first church' - 13 May 2018.

The Pewsheet gives details of the service to be held 13 May 2018.

St George's Church Hall - from the Thames Hospital Carpark 13 May 2018.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Thames (NZ): International Nurses Day

Nurses across the country today, 12 May, have been remembering Florence Nightingale's birthday which also now marks International Nurses Day. There have been demonstrations around New Zealand, with nurses asking for better conditions.

Sadly somethings never change, and nurses over the decades have fought for better pay and work conditions. While researching for a photograph of the last graduation class at Thames School of Nursing, I came across a photo of interest that appeared in the Thames Star 14 February 1989.

Back in 1989, Nurses made headlines by striking for better conditions. A last and desperate measure to get their voices then heard.

There was a 24 Health Sector strike, workers at Thames voted to join the collective action. Miss Robertshawe was Chief Nurse and the time and Dr Ian McPherson Acting General Manager.

Volunteers came to the hospital to help with basic patient care. Strikers placed a notice over the hospital sign by the Mackay Street entrance "No Vacancies Nurse Strike." (photo above)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Thames (NZ): Early photographs of the Thames Goldfields.

We can sometimes be under the illusion that photography didn't exist when the goldfields opened in 1867. We question why there are not more photographs of those first decades? There will no doubt be lost photographs, over the years people may have thought.."who would want to look at those?"

Anyway thankfully to repositories like the Auckland Library, the Sir George Grey Collection continues to throw up some amazing resolution images. Below are a selection of new scans that are available for free online. Remember if you do use these in publications, contact the librarians as a courtesy and get formal confirmation. They do appreciate this, and it allows them to see where the images are reused.

Karaka Creek 1867
When the first miners settled on the goldfield, the majority were sited on Block 27. This was generally marked as south of the Karaka Creek to north of the Hape Creek. It then varied as to whether this was east of Augustus Street or later Rolleston Street. The photograph below is labelled as Karaka Creek 1867.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 5-159G
Hunt's Claim
The famous Shotover Claim that launched the goldrush 10 August 1867. Just ten days after the field was officially open, a group of men discovered gold! The rush to the Thames began in earnest.

Photo Description: Hunt's Claim at Thames (the Shotover Mine at Kuranui Creek) , Dr Sam? standing half way up the bank with another man and child (right), Mrs Sam? one of the two ladies standing right. The discoverers of the claim - George Clarkson, W A Hunt, William Cobley and John Ebenezer White, may be among the others in the photograph.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 5-159J
Golden Crown Claim
The Lions Club Heritage sign for the Golden Crown Mine is located on the boundary of the Hauraki Prospectors Association property at the Moanataiari. It reads: "Golden Crown Mine 1868-1886. Another Great Bonanza that produced in excess of $7 Million Bullion (Gold and Silver). The original shaft reached 123 metres. Led to the discovery of the Caledonian Mine.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 5-159D
The Big Pump
Set up in 1873 and worked until 1900, the Big Pump was used to pump the water out of the Deep level mines. Located just past the intersect with the Moanataiari Creek Road today, it caused a stir a few years back when part of the road collapsed above the remains of the old structure. Further information in an article in the Treasury Journal by David Wilton.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 5-159A

Tararu Creek
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 5-159C

These are just a selection of the latest additions to the Sir George Grey Collection, which in  includes the Thames photographs by R H Bartlett.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Thames (NZ): Lest We Forget 25 April 2018

Hundreds gathered at Thames this morning to ensure 'we will remember.'

TOTARA CEMETERY - RSA White Crosses mark the soldiers graves in the RSA sections. Remember that there are many more past servicemen and women interred around the cemetery. There are photos of their gravesite at Findgrave. (Search by surname)


WW100 MEMORIAL FOREST, Rhodes Park, Thames


10am ANZAC PARADE, Pollen Street, Thames
The procession started at the corner of Sealey and Pollen Street, Thames.


The procession then made its way to the 10am service at the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, Mary Street, Thames.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Thames (NZ): WWI ROH 100 Year Commemorations April 1918-2018.

One hundred years ago, the war casualties and deaths continued - Thames lost ten more young men.

2/04/1918 In the Field, France; RAMSAY Harold Vivian18080; Private NZMC No 1 NZ Fld Amb
3/04/1918 In the Field, France; HANDLEY Thomas52419; Private 2nd Batt WIR 7th Coy
5/04/1918 In the Field, France; DOBSON John12158; Sergeant 2nd Batt 3rd NZRB C Coy
5/04/1918 In the Field, France; KENDALL John Thomas8/3304; Sergeant 2nd Batt OIR 8th Coy
8/04/1918 In the Field, France; CAMPBELL William John13/2308; Gunner 3rd Batt NZFA
14/04/1918 In the Field, France; HILL Alexander59898; Private 2nd Batt WIR 17th Coy
14/04/1918 In the Field, France; HOGG John Anthony52425; Private 2nd Batt WIR 17th Coy
19/04/1918 In the Field, France; PEARSON Rupert Leslie50560; Gunner 2nd Battery 2nd NZFA 
25/04/1918 In the Field, France; MCDERMOTT Thomas; 3181; Private AIF
27/04/1918 In the Field, France; WILLIAMS Henry Richard24/1864; Private XXII Corps Cyclist Bn

The men and their connection to Thames are listed below:
Harold V RAMSAY: Harold was Assistant Master at Thames High School when he enlisted. Ramsay expressed his concerns over the war as they conflicted with his strong religious beliefs.  His application to be part of the medical corps was accepted.

Thomas HANDLEY: Thomas lived at Wharepoa, his parents were Michael and Mary Handley. The family later moved to Paeroa. Thomas had been overseas one year when he was Killed in Action.

John DOBSON: John was from Scotland, and married Margaret Gibson in Thames in 1903. A miner around the district, in 1916 the family lived in Baillie Street, Thames.

John T KENDALL: John was born in Thames, his parents were Henry and Sarah Kendall of Tararu. Kendall attended the Waiokaraka School, then Thames High School. On enlistment he was working at Hetherington's large drapery Store in Pollen Street.

William J CAMPBELL: William was from Otago, and married Thames girl Florence Coutts before he went overseas. His wife, lived with her parents at Tararu went William enlisted.

Alexander HILL: Alexander was born at Thames, and attended the Waiotahi Creek School. Hill was a labourer at Wharepoa on enlistment.

John A HOGG: John and his family lived up the Kauaeranga Valley, the third son of Anthony and Elizabeth Hogg. He worked as a farmer before enlisting. Sadly the family had already lost another son Alexander at the end of 1917.

Rupert L PEARSON: Rupert was born Hodge, but his surname was changed when his mother remarried in 1900. He attended Parawai School and worked at A & G Price's Foundry when he left school.

Thomas MCDERMOTT: Thomas was born in Thames and attended the Waiokaraka School. Later the family moved to Australia, where McDermott enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces.

Henry R WILLIAMS: Harry was born in Nelson, the son of Thomas and Eliza Williams. The family moved to Thames and he attended Waiokaraka and Tapu School. Williams worked as a miner, when he enlisted he was working at the Kauaeranga Hotel as a clerk.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Thames (NZ): WWI ROH Commemorations 26-28 March 1918-2018

It seems a long time ago since the WW100 commemorations started, but sadly 100 years ago, there were still Thamesites being killed on the battlefields of France and Belgium.

The following soldiers with Thames connections lost their lives during 26-28 March 1918.
26/03/1918 In the Field, France; BAGNALL  Lemuel John15093; Private 1st Batt AIR
26/3/1918 In the Field, France; MCCOID John26653; Private 1st Batt AIR
27/03/1918 In the Field, France; CONNELL Herbert6/2984; Lance Corporal  1st Batt CIR 12th Coy
27/03/1918 In the Field, France; ROWE Mark Wilmot6/3449; Corporal 1st Batt CIR
28/03/1918 In the Field, France; THORBURN Charles Sidney25651; Rifleman 2nd Batt 3rd NZRB

Who were these men? What was their connection to the wider Thames area?

Lemuel John BAGNALL had connections to Turua where he was schooled.

John MCCOID was the son of William and Elizabeth McCoid of Turua.

Herbert CONNELL was from Tapu, Thames Coast. The son of Basil and Amelia Connell.

Mark Wilmot ROWE was born at Thames, the son of William and Catherine (Kathleen) Rowe. Mark was working as a farmer in Tauranga when he enlisted in 1915.

Charles Sidney THORBURN was born at Thames, the son of James and Lucy Thorburn. Charles attended Tararu, Waiokaraka and Thames High Schools. Thorburn excelled at school, and passed the Junior Civil Service Examination. 

Further information:
Full list of Thames WWI ROH 
Slideshow of WWI ROH
Gold Mine to Firing Line, book on Thames during WWI
Thames Memorial For World War One - names of men on memorial (and those omitted)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Thames (NZ): Poetry & Sperry Home at Thames School of Mines

As the heritage festival weekend started to come to an end, a last lecture in the series was held at the Thames School of Mines. First, its great to see this room used for lectures/talks, and the atmosphere certainly sets the scene for a wide variety of topics.

Today Margaret Reid and Althea Loveday presented poems that they and others in their poetry group had written. Most of the group are nurses (current and past), with a few others welcomed to this new writers group. The poems were well researched, thus providing a historical view of the town. From mining to forestry, hotels to brothels, wealth to poverty, plus the role of women on the goldfield - a wide range of themes were covered.

In the photo (right) Althea is showing the Thames Hospital armband on the WWI Commemorative uniform that Margaret is wearing. The nurses must be commended for their attention to detail, and the way they have kept the memories of our WWI Nurses alive.

Below are three photos showing nurses from Thames Hospital wearing the armband in the 1910s. It appears to have been something not uncommon for the time. Was it a patriotic thing? Or part of recognition for having trained at Thames Hospital School of Nursing? Auckland Hospital also had an armband during this period.

The morning lecture finished with an overview of Sperry Home by Althea Loveday. Janet Waddell and her daughter Bella Smith delivered over 200 babies at their private maternity home at Sperry Lane.
Special thanks to the Thames School of Mines for their hospitality and the refreshments that were available at the Thames Bridge Club.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thames (NZ): Opening of new exhibition at Thames Museum

Last August (2017), the Thames Museum opened a successful exhibition on Thames 150 Years a Goldfield, and today saw a new display featuring A & G Price.

"The official opening of the A. & G. PRICE STORY [was] held at 11.00am. In 1871 brothers Alfred and George Price opened a foundry and engineering workshop near the booming gold mining industry in Thames. They developed a thriving business manufacturing ore stampers, crushers & feeders, steam engines, boilers, timber jacks, and Pelton wheels. In the late 1880's they built a steam locomotive for the local industry, and a whole new industry was born supplying steam and diesel locomotives for NZ Rail." Source: Thames Heritage Festival.

The opening started with a short speech by Thames Museum President Morgan Lewis, who thanked all those who had contributed, including the Thames Community Board for a grant to cover the costs of setting up the exhibition. Anne - Laure Guillaumat (photo right), was responsible for the research and layout of the various displays.

The ribbon was officially cut by a descendant of the Price family, thereby officially opening the "A & G Price Story" Exhibition. 

Story boards and photos, along with old relics from the foundry fill the room. The visitor can wander around reading the history of the business and the people who worked there. The business closed last year, just missing the milestone of 150 years on the Thames Goldfield.

Scattered amongst the displays are cartoons by Doug Barker. Doug worked in later years around the 1970s early '80s at the foundry. A carpenter by trade, he became an odd jobs man at the foundry after his partnership of Cornes & Barker was disbanded.  A train enthusiast and part-time artist, Doug loved working at the foundry and being surrounded by the trains and their history. While his passion was for the trains, he also loved sketching, in particular doing cartoons on topical issues. Yes and by today's standards they were not 'pc' but should be taken in context of the time they were drawn!

Many of the old staff can be recognised in the drawings. One particular series, was on the history of Prices, or Rices as it came to be known and in the sketch below you will see that Doug has crossed out the P. One interesting aspect to these old drawings, is that it is only after Doug died that I found out that his Great Grandfather Richard Bach had one of the first foundry's on the corner of Burke and Owen Street. Bach moved back to Auckland just before the Price brother's arrived. So in actual fact Doug's ancestor was on the site of A & G Price first.

Doug drew many of the trains that were manufactured at Prices, and two of these is shown below.

Congratulations again to the Thames Museum, and may many visitors and Thamesites alike, take the time to visit the 'A & G Price Story' exhibition.
For more information: Thames Museum on facebook