Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Thames (NZ): Scrip Corner

Scrip Corner, on the corner of Albert and Brown Streets in Grahamstown, was known throughout New Zealand and parts of the world. It was the place where share brokers walked outside under the verandah selling 'scrip.' These were shares in the latest mining ventures, usually horribly inflated or based on the rumour that a new gold discovery had been made.

Auckland sharebrokers came to Thames soon after the goldfield opened - during a time of massive speculation and hope, as to the prospects of the goldfield. Men were combining their 'rights' to form groups which were then able to mine bigger areas. In 1869 it was agreed to setup a Thames Stock Exchange.

Over the years there were numerous sharebrokers, many also operated as auctioneers or land dealers. Known sharebrokers at The Thames were: ARMSTRONG & CO; BAGGOTT James; BOOTH Walter; BUTTLE G A; CLARK & DEAN, DAYKIN Bridget; DEAN & CO; FLETCHER G; FRATER Bros; FRYER B C; GELLION D R, GUDGEON & CO; HASKINS & ASHMORE; HENNELLY M; HUDSON John, HULL Thomas T; HUNTER & CO; KILGOUR Richard; MCDONALD SCOTT R; MCGINLEY & CLARK; MELHOSE Louis Rudolph Wilhelm; NEWMAN T W; SALMON H; SAUNDERS Alex; SPENCER & CO; SPRATT R; STYAK William Sylvester; SULLY Walter; SULLY & WARDELL; TURTLE Samuel; WARD & GELLION; WARDELL Francis Joseph; WHITFORD J L; and WICKHAM John Dickson.

Yes there were even women who were share-brokers! Mrs Bridget DAYKIN had thousands of shares, was a Mining Company Director and also involved with the Thames Exchange. With regard to who purchased shares, Rosemary Killip, in her book "To Find A Fortune," notes that many women bought shares. They were from all walks of life: servants, barmaids, married and single women. Even "Reverend Lush purchased shares for his daughter, Blanche Hawkins Lush, as her 'pin' money."
View looking north along Brown Street to Owen Street. On the front right is Scrip corner at the Albert Street intersect and the Thames Stock Exchange/Sharebroker buildings.
Burton Brothers (photography studio), 1880s, New Zealand.                     
Source: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewae Registration NUmber C.014010                      
Today Scrip Corner is still remembered - the place is marked with a Lions yellow landmark sign: "Scrip Corner. stock Exchange and Verandah. Men would walk up & down crying out the shares and prices."

The photo on the right, shows 'Scrip Corner' on the right. Looking down the road is the old Lady Bowen Hotel (aka Park Hotel and Wharf Hotel) on the left, further down on the right the  Lady Bowen Hotel (name later transferred to Park Hotel) and in the distance the Royal Hotel at the corner of Williamson Street.

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