Saturday, August 29, 2009

Vanished Old Avondale


At the reunion of Avondale Primary School past pupils in 2007, members of the Clews family gave the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society some truly amazing photographs from their collection. This one shows, left to right, the old Henry Peck's Store and Bakery, and the last Avondale Hotel (then known as the Avoncourt). I believe this photo, a rare colour shot of this part of Avondale which is now the roundabout, dates from the mid 1960s at the latest. When this shot was taken, we still had traffic islands.

In September 1967, the scene here changed forever. The old store and hotel were demolished for a supermarket and cafe complex (this was demolished later on as well). I vaguely recognise this scene, but not clearly. I was only 4 years old when it vanished.


The hotel, built by Moss Davis in 1889 was utterly sound in structure, according to the chap who demolished it. The demolition is still a sore point among those of us in Avondale born before 1967 -- and to quitye a few who came after once they realised what had been there before.


This is Henry Peck's store. What was amazing was that it survived so long -- from the early 1880s at least, but possibly part of James Palmer's early 1870s development around his wooden hotel.

Here is the store pre-1888, from before the fire which destroyed Palmer's second hotel. A bit of change to the roofline, and the verandah lost a support and went from four to three -- but it was still the same building. That store served in the 1890s as the Avondale branch of Arthur Page's grocery and supply store business, servicing West Auckland right up to and beyond Henderson.

At least, thankfully, we have the images.

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