Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Archibald Bros. of Aickin's Point

Image from DP 192, Land Information of New Zealand records

J. T. Diamond in Once the Wilderness termed this part of the Whau River area "Aickin's Point". He also noted some oral history, unconfirmed by descendants of Dr. Thomas Aickin, that the doctor was also a brickmaker here.

What is known is that the point was sold by Dr. Aickin when he subdivided his farm, comprised of Allotment 9 and 10 of the Parish of Titirangi, on Rosebank Peninsula. Lot 17 of that sale went to Thomas Melville in December 1882, a Mt Albert gentleman. He kept the title for a considerable time, but finally sold it in December 1903 to the Archibald family: David, John, Ernest Alexander and Frank Herbert. Archibald Bros' pottery works was one of the first businesses to have a telephone connection in 1913. They were to remain the owners there, running the yard at the end of Avondale Road, until bought out by the Amalgamated Brick and Tile Company.

James Archibald took part in the search for Rev. David Hamilton in July 1873 and was involved with Whau/Avondale affairs. An A. Archibald was involved with the Northern Omnibus Company in the early 1880s. J. Archibald took part in Avondale sports in 1887. The brickworks was one of the stopping places of the Whau Canal investigation cruise in May 1903.

According to Diamond (p. 94, 2nd edition):
"James Archibald was another brickmaker who after a brief period of production in 1862 [there's record of a partnership between one Frank Jagger and a James Archibald which dissolved in 1866], started a yard in 1870 where bricks continued to be produced until 1926.
His yard was on a site bordering the Beaubank Reserve on the road of this name which turns off near the foot of Archibald Road. In 1909 his sons opened a pipe works on a promontory known as Dr. Aitken's [sic] on the opposite side of the Whau and downstream from their father's brickyard. Here, until it closed down in 1929, all sizes of glazed pipes were produced. One of the first motor vehicles in the district was that used by the Archibald Bros. to transport their products to Avondale Station."

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