Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thames (NZ): Photographs from Sir George Grey Collection - Have you seen these?

We are always on the hunt for new photographs, so it always pays to browse whats available at Auckland Libraries in their Sir George Grey Collection. Here are a few photos that I had either not seen before or at least forgotten!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-2
Description
Showing an overshot waterwheel and associated buildings, probably part of a gold mining operation in the Thames area, possibly Brown and Campbell's Battery in the lower Tararu Valley.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-20
Description
Showing the Billy Goat Creek at the base of Billy Goat Falls? in the Kauaeranga Valley, Thames

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-23
Description
Showing a view south along the Kauaeranga Valley

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-31
Description
Showing kauri logs on the bed of the Maungarehu Creek, with the water race on the hillside above

NB There are many more in this series relating to the Kauaeranga River and Valley.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-65'
Description
Donkin's garage (right), on the corner of Walter and Pollen Streets, Thames, looking south

A blurred photograph, but a great view just north of Walter Street intersect with cars lined up getting petrol from Donkin's garage.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-66
Description
Showing the Thames School of Mines and neighbouring buildings in Cochrane Street, Thames

This is a beauty looking across at the school of Mines, east along Cochrane Street. Well's had a butcher shop for many decades in the two storied building centre right, a few doors past that is the old Cornwall Arms Hotel. The houses top centre are in Princes Street, an extension off Upper Albert Street, with Broad Street below.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-67
Description
Looking east along Richmond Street, Thames near Brian Boru hotel. Old Oddfellows' hall (right), later used as picture theatre, ballroom, skating rink and auction mart.

Great view looking up Richmond Street, to the Karaka (Una) Hill. For some reason these main side roads were so rarely photographed. As you can tell, there weren't many cars in Thames, and this was the case for decades. Old Thamesites could virtually recite who were the 'wealthy' families who had cars! Many will remember the old auction mart that is in the vicinity of where Te Korowai is today. A great place to go and swap comics and an amazing place to skate!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-68
Description
Showing houses in Albert Street, Thames

Another great view along Albert Street to Upper Albert Street in the distance. What year do you think this could be? 1940s or 50s? Look closer and you can get a good feel for the town and the hardship that was and had been endured. Thames was bankrupt in the 1920s and then hit hard by the 1930s Depression. The state of the streets and general maintenance is a window into these hardships. Victoria Park south is on the right. On the left is the Park Hotel, unless it is the 1950s, then the name had changed to the Lady Bowen Hotel.

There is a selection of photographs taken from the Waiotahi Hill also of interest - some are blurred in the series but this is a great one below.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-70
Description
Showing a view of the Firth of Thames from Monument Hill. Albert Street (left) and sewer pipe, Lady Bowen Hotel (previously Park Hotel). Williamson Street and Royal Hotel (right). Remains of Burke Street Wharf protection wall still visible top right.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-81
Description
Showing a view of the Firth of Thames from Monument Hill. Showing the remains of the old Burke Street Wharf and the sea walls. Moanataiari flat on right later reclaimed.

Now to one of the best, a photo of the old Moanataiari flume, that still stands at the Hauraki Prospectors Association grounds, at the northern end of Queen Street, before the Moanataiari Creek Road.

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1192-74
Description
Showing a water race at Thames, the site of the former Golden Crown Battery, now the Thames Gold Mine Experience site [Hauraki Prospectors Association] adjoining the State Highway, across the road from Haven street. The area was formerly known as Tookeys Flat. 

The view today thanks to google maps (below).



So remember, keep exploring, new photos are going online all the time!

Share your favourite finds, and I will add them to the blog.

NB. I am on the hunt for any photographs taken during 1939-45 in Thames, particularly if war related. Maybe soldiers going or home on leave, Parades, VE and VJ Day etc...

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