Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thames (NZ): THEN & NOW - Mary & Pollen Street intersect (west side)

Like many streets in Thames, this has area has seen major changes over the years. Once the focus for entertainment, worship, medical care and dentistry.

The above photo taken early 1900s, looking north along Pollen Street to the Mary Street intersect. First is the large Central Hall, the venue for many a meeting and concert for the Thames of old. Next the Methodist Church, at its second location, later it would be moved again to Sealey Street. At the intersect is the Troopers Memorial and the large house that was used by several Medical Practitioners and later Dentists. Below, is the changed face of the street front.
 A closer look at the corner of Mary and Pollen Street (north West intersect). The well loved chestnut tree was on this corner, which was later to become the site of the National now ANZ Bank. Below the view as it is today.

 Mary Street Chestnut Tree:

The tree had been planted in 1890 and provided shade and shelter to passer-by's. In the 1940s there was much concern over the beloved tree, including letters to the Thames Star.

"That the removal of the chestnut tree at the corner of Pollen and Mary Street, provider of shelter for the much-used seats and itself an impressive spectacle, was being considered...Mr H T Gallop suggested that as far as possible the Chamber take steps to preserve the tree."

The result was favourable and the tree remained for many years.

Sadly time and nature took their course. In 1992 a tree assessment gave the following information:
Aesulus Carnea, a Horse Chestnut at Lot 2 DPS 1020.
Height 16m, Girth 2750m, Canopy 13m.
It was noted that: "careful consideration should be given to felling this tree within the next 5 years to ensure public safety." (Source: TCDC Heritage Tree Register)

Below, a photo of the Chestnut tree (S Lautenbach Collection)

UPDATE 11/02/2015: The Chestnut tree another view

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