Monday, October 10, 2011

Spotting Farmers at Mt Roskill


On a slightly murky day (it fined up later in the afternoon) at Mt Roskill Shops, intersection of Dominion and Mt Albert Roads, I spotted something as I was waiting at traffic lights. "What are you taking a photo of?" asked an intrigued member of the public.

"The old Farmers store sign on the building, over there by the chicken," says I, pointing vaguely.



Semi-obscured, but visible at the right angle, these letters on top of 985 Dominion Road are a remnant of when Farmers started up their suburban chain, beginning in Grey Lynn at the tram terminus in 1931, and proceeding throughout Auckland (including Avondale, in the Fearon's Buildings).

According to Matthews and Matthews in their Dominion Road, Auckland, Heritage Study (2006), this building was constructed 1940 by R H Page.

You'll find a 100 year timeline for the Farmers stores here.

4 comments:

  1. Great post! Nice to see reminders of the old Farmer's Stores still around in one form or another

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  2. Loved reading the Farmers site timeline...brought back so many memories of being a toddler dragged around the Hobson St store for late night shopping, photos with Mickey Mouse, squabbling over dodgems around the cafeteria playground with the weird faux Disney dioramas in cases, the Santa Parade with those heart-stopping tattoos that made your heart vibrate from miles away. One thing that has never turned up at auction that I have seen is one of those free parade flags they used to give out that were on card sticks with one red side, one green side and white print. Can't understand why there aren't heaps of them around. I'd love to have one for my collection.

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  3. Thanks for spotting that Lisa. The other one I am keen to work out is where the old Hugh Wrights store in Roskill is - lots of people talk about. There is also a very well known ice-cream shop that people reminisce about, but I have no idea what it was called.

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  4. Hi Michael,

    Might be a matter of checking out the postal directories down to the 1970s. Can be done, next time I visit Central Library. A bit of a spreadsheet study of the retail areas in Mt Roskill might be useful for the historical society, do you think? I did something similar for Avondale back in '01.

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