Friday, October 30, 2009

Shards of Crown Lynn

These are a beautiful collection of mosaics created from out of broken bits of Crown Lynn ceramics, set out in a square around a tree planter outside the New Lynn Community Centre on Totara Avenue. I love them on more than just the single level of the material used: each one tells a little bit about New Lynn's history, and they're a lovely work of art to boot. Click on the thumbnails for a better view.

Mosaic 01 Mosaic 02

Mosaic 03 Mosaic 04

Mosaic 05 Mosaic 06

Mosaic 07 Mosaic 08

Mosaic 09 Mosaic 10

Mosaic 11 Mosaic 12

Mosaic 13 Mosaic 14

Mosaic 15 Mosaic 16

Mosaic 17 Mosaic 18

Mosaic 19 Mosaic 20

Mosaic 21 Mosaic 22

Mosaic 23 Mosaic 24

Mosaic 25

Insular control box art

Th' things I do just to get shots for this blog ... today, it involved carefully making my way through bushes and roses to record a couple of traffic control boxes in New Lynn. The first one is right at the junction of Totara Avenue and Great North Road.





This one is an even more difficult spot -- a traffic island between the Memorial Drive and the New Lynn bus terminal. Careful stepping amongst the very thorny roses required ... A pretty box, though.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Authors mural at Henderson

Maurice Shadbolt, Maurice Gee, and Dick Scott immortalised at Henderson Train Station. The title of the mural is "Going West/ The Titirangi Years", by Douglas Ford (2007). It's on the back wall of a smokers' hut.

Heritage on billboards

T'was a chilly, windy day on the Henderson rail platform this afternoon. Out of the corner of my eye, about to head toward the escalator, I spotted a billboard. I didn't really pay much attention to it, expecting it to be more advertising stuff.

But, my brain registered "HMS Orpheus". That was enough to make me stop, and take photos.

I'll not say much more. The billboards can speak for themselves (click on the thumbnails). Well done to Waitakere City Council for a very cool addition to the viewscape at the train station.

Billboard 01 Photobucket

Billboard 03 Billboard 04

Monday, October 26, 2009

2010: Bicentenary year for Thomas Maxwell Henderson

You read it here first, folks.

I realised yesterday morning that, as Thomas Henderson, of Henderson's Mill fame, was born in 1810 (I'm still trying to sort out exactly when that year he was born, but so far the commentaries agree on the December month) then 2010 is the bicentenary year of his birth. Yes, I've let Trevor Pollard, President of West Auckland Society know. I'm hoping that some celebration could be organised to mark the occasion. Stay tuned.

I'm currently working on a history of the Henderson's Mill settlement, hopefully to publish same by either later this year or early next. Bringing it out next year would be more timely, I think. Above, by the way, is the Henderson family grave at Symonds Street Cemetery, Presbyterian Section. Waitakere City Council fixed a plaque to the side of the stone commemorating Thomas Henderson senior (and one of his sons, also named Thomas) in 1994.

Old Henderson Train Station

In the Western Leader of 16 October, an article described how the Henderson Heritage Trust had come to an agreement with NZ Rail Corp for a long-term lease of the old railway station buildings. Now, the Trust is putting together plans for restoration work, already in receipt of $50,000 from the Waitakere City Council for re-roofing work last year.

According to the article, the station ceased to operate as a station in 1987. It reopened as a cafe in 1993, then a furniture store until 2000. Since then, it's been a target for vandals -- and looked much worse up to a short time ago. More photos (I headed down to the end of the new island platform to take the shots last Monday):


This is what has replaced it -- the new Henderson Train Station (although the local council dearly wanted it called Waitakere Central Train Station, but lost out after the NZ Geographic Board stepped in, because of the location of the pretty green building just to the far left, the council offices.)

I don't mind the new station, it's actually a nifty piece of work -- but it just hasn't the same romance as the old buildings have.

Sean Millar's information from Railway Stations of Auckland's Western Line:
Main station building 1912. A 30-lever signal box was added in 1915, but sold in 1970 and has a current home somewhere on Atkinson Road in Titirangi. A large freight terminal planned in 1978 did not come to fruition.

Before the double tracking, and after the station's closure in 1987, I remember the quick scramble up the short tarsealed incline from Railside Avenue to the single side platform, where you waited at one end to head to the Auckland Central Railway Station (then at Beach Road, now at Britomart), and at the other to head west. Now it's a quick scramble up a lift, stairs or escalator, across the walkway, then down to the platform.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Motorway memorials

Back in the 19th century, Symonds Street Cemetery looked like the picture above (from the cemetery's interpretive sign). That was before the 1960s, and the development of the motorway system through Grafton and Newton Gullies.


Today, there are two areas in what remains of the cemetery where the remains which were removed for the motorway and were cremated at Waikumete Crematorium were then returned and reinterred. This is all that remains of the Catholic section.

The Catholic section used to look like this:

Today, it looks like the photo below. Everything from the fence to St Benedict's Church, is motorway.

The Anglicans were also losers to the motorway. Most of their section was carved away as well. The cremated remains are to be found beneath their own memorial wall.





It almost seems like a war memorial -- but, hence the title to this post, to me it's more a memorial to the effect a motorway had on our history.