Friday, May 31, 2019

Thames (NZ): Panorama View of Thames pre 1900

Above: Three photographs taken by Burton Bros Studio, New Zealand
Left: Focus is the view from Upper Albert Street.
Centre: Looks south down Pollen Street
Right: South over Queen Street and the Beach.

The photographs are from Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand), and the registration numbers are C.014006, C.014007, and C.014008. We recently looked at C.014008 and managed to find the Hazelbank Hotel.

What we see with these images, (thanks to Tom and others for the clues), is that while photographers over 100 years ago may not have had the fancy cameras of today, they were quite capable of taking images that could be later blended together to make a panorama view.

Panoramic View of Thames - From Burton Bros Studio
Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

A Closer Look.
On the far left, the Waiokaraka School can be seen, with the Waiokaraka Flat to the South. Mackay Street leading to the hospital is hardly visible. At least we can see a few livestock grazing on the bare ground. Why is it that Thames scenes always look like a ghost town. Why did they never take photos at a busy time of the day!!!!  The Waiokaraka Flat was a popular sports ground for many decades, although historians such as Toss Hammond recalled it was hard on the knees when tackled! Due to the rocks and other mining debris.

Added 10/6/2019
** *Interesting comments on why scenes look like ghost Towns - it has to do with film exposure times - in the early photos this could be minutes, hence why moving objects will not be seen or merely as a blur. (Thanks Dick for the hint) ***

Above: Waiokaraka Flat. 
Present day this is the area of the Bright Smile Gardens, Mackay Street and Bella Street on the left.
Source: C.014006, Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

The central view that looks down Pollen Street, shows a wonderful array of trees - the ones that we were talking about a few weeks back. The section below is the corner of Pollen and Cochrane Streets.

Above: North end of Pollen Street. 
Present day the area to the far left is the Thames Museum. The Grahamstown shops are centre left.
Source: C.014007, Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

Another interesting view from the above full photograph shows a school and the Thames Gas Works.
Above: St Thomas Aquinas School (back - north wall), corner Walter & Queen Streets.
Present day the area top left is the Thames War Memorial Civic Centre, and far right is the laundry and gym.
Source: C.014007, Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

From the photo on the right of the panorama, stop and take a look at a typical house and plot on the east side of Kirkwood Street, behind the Government buildings.It looks like someone could be working in the garden? The houses are typical of Thames. Notice how close they built to the boundary line. Many of these plots ran through to another street at the back - but whether the plot could be divided and was someone living in the small back sheds, afterall there is a door fronting the road. The larger houses consist of the gable roof. This could have been the original house, then later the lower slanted roof was added on.
Above: Property on Kirkwood Street (between Pollen and Queen Streets)
Source: C.014008, Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand)

Next time you see some photographs by the same photographer, 
check to see whether you can combine them and make a panorama view.