Sunday, February 8, 2015

Thames (NZ): Mr Reid's Grocery Store 1907

There was a major storm at Thames on Saturday 20 July 1907.

The Thames Star 22 July gave a full report of the event. "A severe gale, accompanied by heavy downpours of rain, which eventuated in a flood, occurred on Saturday evening and continued almost without intermission throughout the night. The wind shifted round to the east., and gradually increased in force until it became a regular gale." 

Most of the rivers held, but the Kauaeranga swelled over and flooded nearby land. Land at Parawai belonging to Messrs Davies, Deeble, Dunlop and Winder was covered with a sheet of water. Thankfully livestock loss was described as small.

There was damage to the railway and down the coast there were many slips. Between Waiomo and Tapu there were nineteen slips!

But it was in the town that damage was most noticeable. Several shop doors had blown in and subsequently stock inside had been damaged. It was Mr W D Reid's grocery shop that bore the brunt of the storm. (see clipping on right)


Description EFFECTS OF THE RECENT HEAVY GALE AT THAMES, AUCKLAND: THE FRONT OF MR. W. W. REID'S GROCER'S SHOP, WHICH GAME IN FOR SEVERE HANDLING BY THE WIND.
Auckland Weekly News 01 AUGUST 1907 p006
Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19070801-6-6 '

Where was the shop?
The part of Pollen Street, known as the Grahamstown end. No sign of these first few shops remain.
Who was W D REID?
In the 1904 street directory William Douglas Reid was a grocer in Pollen Street and his private residence was in nearby Campbell Street, Thames. In the 1905 Electoral Roll, his details remain the same (copy below).
 
Mr Reid was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1838 and married his wife Jane in 1864, the daughter of Mr S Hardy. They came to New Zealand in 1868 an followed onto the Thames Goldfield shortly after. He only retired from his grocery business, five years prior to his death. A leading mason and master in the Sir Walter Scott Lodge. Mrs Reid died in 1896, leaving three sons and six daughters.  Mr Reid died 9 June 1918 at Thames. Mr Reid's family were: Mrs. A. Oldham, Auckland; Miss Reid, Thames; Mrs E. N, Miller, Thames; Mrs. Law, Tauranga; Mrs. Mills, Featherston.; and Mrs. Treloar, Hamilton. The sons: Mr. James Reid, of the "Chronicle" staff, Wanganui; Mr. W. G. Reid, New Plymouth; and Mr Douglas Reid, Auckland..
 
The funeral took place on the 11 June 1918, Mr E H Taylor conducted the graveside service.  This was attended by family and member of the Sir Walter Scott Lodge. He was buried at Shortland Cemetery, the monumental inscription reads: William Douglas Reid died June 9th 1918 in his 80th year.

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