Monday, October 31, 2011

Murals at Papatoetoe, Penrose and Newmarket

 I've visited Papatoetoe before now. Well, the old Papatoetoe, near the Town Hall, where the annual rock and mineral show is held each October. But this mural was a bit of a surprise. According to the Papatoetoe Historical Society, though, it was down for restoration for a bit in 2009, so that's probably why I hadn't chanced upon it before now.

Painted by Merv Appleton,  this has to be one of the finest heritage murals I've seen so far in my travels. It is truly beautiful. Installed originally in 1996, it depicts a 1930s streetscene along St George Street in Papatoetoe. The portrait above is that of local chemist Frank Carr.

By chance, I took a shot of his former shop, on the main street the same day -- because I spotted an old Agfa sign. Carr's shop (right of the sign) is now a courier business, while Mr Webster's the bootmaker is now the pharmacy. I don't know if the sign still lights up. It's seen better days.

Anyway, back to the mural around the corner. From the bronze plaque:

"A slice of life shot of St George St over 60 years ago. The picture features Mr Frank Carr, the chemist who, in 1930, opened up his third shop in Old Papatoetoe, opposite the Town Hall. That shop is still a pharmacy now. Mr Carr had started in Shirley Rd prior to 1920, moved in to Mr Timewell's old shop on the corner of Shirley Rd and St George St, now occupied by a restaurant, and when Mr Albert Mephan's garage burnt down in 1928 Mr Carr and Mr Clifton Webster built a new block of two shops."

"The car in the picture, a 1902 Darraq, was owned by Mr E A Price, who lived in the Cambria Park homestead, while Mr Bill Dullihanty's truck, with its solid rubber tyres, represents the changing transport styles of the 1920s."

The mural was donated to Papatoetoe by the Masonic Lodge Papatoetoe 227, in celebration of their 75th anniversary.

Cameos of Papatoetoe Women was a book written in 1996 by Papatoetoe Historical Society member Jenny Clark, documenting the lives of 200 local women. The mural is by Claudia Pond Eyley.

This mural, beside Papatoetoe Train Station, looked awfully familiar. I suspect it is by the same artist who did  one in Mt Roskill (see post from August 2010). If so, both were done by Louis Stratham, according to this You Tube vid clip.

Heading back along the rail line, this was spotted at Penrose Train Station. Shot from the train.

And this from a moving train. 

Finally, Newmarket. I was able to get this shot from the end of the platform. Any closer, and I'd have incurred a $20,000 fine. Sorry, the Timespanner budget doesn't stretch that far.

So, let's try from a moving train again, shall we? Well, not too bad ...

And finally, this. Another in-motion shot. Very glad Ontrack are putting cool artwork like this along the corridor, though. Update 16 November 2011 - Paul from the Auckland West site has provided this last artist's name: Dan Mills. Thanks, Paul!


  1. They are all wonderful. I wonder why your country seems to so well with murals and public art.

  2. I don't know. It's been something since the 1990s, I think -- hopefully your authorities follow suit. I'd love to do another trip to Aussie, to photograph murals ...

  3. I was about to say the same as Andrew - they are lovely, just wish we could get into the groove of having murals instead of bland grey walls that get tagged.

  4. :) lovely post.

    Murals deter graffiti artists also. I wonder why. Not often they have respect for other peoples art/property.

    There's a dinky mural on the side of the shops at the Frederick Street & Queenstown Road cnr ... I'll snap it for you at the weekend :)


  5. Aw, cool, Sandy! Looking forward to seeing it!

  6. Like your collections of murals (as a bit of an addict myself:-)
    The last one (Newmarket shed) is by Dan Mills:

  7. Cheers for that, Paul -- I'll pop that info and link up in the post.