Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Matamata 3: Manly Milk-Bar

Thursday afternoon of my Matamata visit, I spent time taking photos of the buildings along and close to Broadway, the main street. The day was warm, I was feeling a little tired, and looked up to see what was, to me, an amazing sign -- that for the Manly Milk-Bar.

To see a surviving milk bar sign was amazing to me. Even better that, while the Matamata version didn't have seats inside where you could partake of the dairy-rich products of Tip-Top ice cream (I had this ice cream out on the footpath) -- the sign had that old 1960s/1970s look about it. A classic in my eyes, and putting me right back to childhood, growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s. I remember seeing a lot of signs like that, then. Replaced these days by boards on chains, or other stuff.

The milk bar is a true piece of Kiwiana. NZhistory.net have made some fuss over then, with a page for Vance Vivian's milk bar, Cuba Street, Wellington, and even a film clip of one. Here in Auckland, they looked like the one below (Pasadena, Pt Chevalier in the 1950s, from the Jean Jones news clippings collection, unknown source).

I go down to Matamata, three hour trip by bus (thanks to my friends from West Auckland Historical Society, I got a lift back on Sunday which was much quicker!) -- and I get excited over an old milk bar sign. Yes, I know -- there's no hope for ol' Timespanner, is there?

The ice cream was terrific, though. I thoroughly recommend the Manly Milk-Bar, in Matamata.


  1. Did have Seats in it a few years back when the asian new owner strippd them out and now live out back.