Monday, October 27, 2008

Two streets in New Windsor

Two streets in New Windsor, Ted William Street and Trevola Street, are named after members of one family.

Born 1911 in Wanganui, Mrs Ola Williams trained as a nurse in the Red Cross, and was in Napier during the famous February 1931 earthquake there. She and her fellow nurses experienced a hundred aftershocks there within 48 hours of the ‘quake, where there was one tap for 25,000 people, and no electricity.

Mrs Williams met her future husband Ted in 1932 and they married in 1935. At a station in Taihape called Ohinewairua where Ted Williams worked as head ploughman, Mrs Williams cooked for up to 10 men: the shepherds, ploughmen and rabbit inspectors in the area.

The Williams bought land in New Windsor in 1948 and remained there for the next twenty years. Their property was subdivided in 1960. She recalls New Windsor Road was just a straight street, part of her journey via Bollard Avenue to New North Road to catch the tram. The only phone was at the phone box on New Windsor Road. The late 1940s was still the days with no sewer connection, and the regular visits by the night soil collection. Mrs Williams told me it was the last of the Green Belt, with only four houses from Richardson to New Windsor Road. Mrs. Williams campaigned and went to Court to have the first chemist shop in Stoddard Road licensed. In those days, she told me, chemist shops needed to have 3000 residents in a surrounding area before being licensed.

On the couple’s 10 acre section they grew vegetables, had a poultry farm, and milked Rosie the cow in the paddock (Mrs. Williams recalled the cats always around for the hot milk.)

Mrs. Williams was the first woman on the New Windsor School committee, and the first to start school lunches there, ready each day by 5 minutes to 12. Before New Windsor School was built, the nearest one was in Richardson Road. Mrs Williams recalled big tractors cutting up the section, with a fine spray from a water hose to get rid of the bees swarming nearby.

Ted Williams died in 1988, three years after he and Ola Williams celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Ted William Street is named after him, while Trevola Street is from the combination of the names Ola Williams and her son Trevor.

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