Saturday, September 20, 2014

Beside Te Wai Ariki: from the Mason's Hotel to the Hotel Cargen

Rev John Kinder drawing of Eden Crescent looking west. Old St Pauls on the horizon, part of the Royal Hotel complex centre-right. 4-1208, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

On spotting some early photos of Eden Crescent via the Te Papa Museum collection recently, I felt the urge to look into the story of the second Royal Hotel. Said story turned out to be somewhat more involved than I imagined.

28 September 1925, 4-1975, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

The landscape remains almost the same, even if the buildings have changed, as seen in these first three images.

 Eden Crescent, looking east towards former Hotel Cargen. Photo: L Truttman, 14 September 2014

 On to the story.

 Detail from Plan of the Town of Auckland, Charles Heaphy, 1851 (NZ Map 816, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries)

The original name for Official Bay, once a line of beach separated from Commercial Bay to the west by Point Britomart, and just along from Mechanics Bay to the east, was Waiariki. Te Keene, of Ngati Kahu and Ngati Poataniwha, testified at the Native Land Court in December 1866 that local iwi had plantations there, no doubt supplied by the almost never-failing Te Waiariki spring from the Waterloo Quadrant ridge and Albert Park. The spring still runs beneath the site of the Royal Hotel/Cargen.

Initial land sales at Official Bay were quite early. That for Lot 6 of Section 8, City of Auckland occurred in 1842, when Dudley Sinclair bought this and other sections around the city. He didn't live long, with an ignominious end in 1844.

"Lachlan McLachlan, who had come to Auckland in connection with the Manukau Land Company's enterprise, was called an adventurer by Dudley Sinclair, eldest son of Sir George Sinclair. McLachlan challenged him and, failing to receive an answer, called on Sinclair and whipped him with his own horse whip. Sinclair wished to challenge McLachlan but Conroy, Sinclair's second, advised against it. Sinclair committed suicide soon after, on 22 October, the inquest returning a verdict of temporary insanity."

Suicide in a truly brutal fashion -- Sinclair cut his own throat.

Probate of Sinclair's will was granted in December 1844 to William Smellie Grahame as executor, but it wasn't until April 1846 that Sinclair's personal effects were put up for auction. His selection of real estate around the town was sold soon after. The title to section 9 of 6, the corner site of Short Street and Eden Crescent, was transferred to a purchaser named Martin in November 1847.

In January 1849, an advertisement appeared in the New Zealander for the sale of a commodious house just two sections away from the corner of Short Street and Eden Crescent. Connell & Ridings advised prospective buyers, "It could readily be thrown into one concern and would be very suitable for a grocery store or Public House, much wanted in that neighbourhood. There is a constant run of Fresh water on the Premises." Less than three months later, we see Alfred C Joy appear, applying in April for a publican's licence for his new hotel in Official Bay, the Mason's Hotel. It is as if Joy answered the neighbourhood's much wanted need, as per the January advertisement.

Joy's new hotel was the original wooden building at the corner of Short Street and Eden Crescent, seen below in a detail from an image by George Pulman, photographed probably in the early 1860s. It was in a perfect position to take advantage of traffic to and from Wynyard Pier at the end of Short Street from 1851-1852.

In April 1852, the licence for the Mason's Home/Hotel was transferred to James Palmer. Previously, he'd tried for a licence for the Oddfellows Home in Mechanics Bay the year before. Palmer is someone familiar to me due to his later connections with the Whau Hotels and Banwell. Palmer (1819-1893) left Plymouth bound for New Zealand on 4 December 1842 on the Westminster, arriving 31 March 1843.He may have been the James Palmer applying for a licence for the "Crispin Arms" somewhere on Eden Crescent in 1847, but that was likely just a very brief attempt at a hotel in the area before the Masons Home.

Palmer obtained title to section 7 right alongside the Mason’s Home in May 1853, and may have offered this for sale in March 1854 (an advertisement matches the description – SC 14 March). But, it turns out he hung onto the site instead, and expanded the hotel with a grand brick addition.

c1860s. "Looking east from Short Street, showing the north side of Eden Crescent with the Royal Hotel and the Auckland Club, hitching posts at hotel entrance," 4-28, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

The Royal Hotel.— This fine building, which has been in course of erection for the past eighteen months, is now completed, and forms without exception the finest and most substantially constructed edifice in this city. Indeed, it is considerably in advance of the place and will, we are inclined to think, stand forth for some years to come as a favourable specimen of our srreet architecture. The front of the building, which is of Matakana stone, is chaste and simple in its design, and altogether free from those heavy attempts at architectural display which too often only tend to disfigure a building, and to exhibit the ignorance of the architect. From the street one can scarcely form an idea of the real size of the building, but from the water "it looms large," and has a very striking effect. The rooms are spacious and lofty, and fitted up with every regard to comfort. On the second floor, the long room, if not the largest, is certainly the best proportioned and most elegantly furnished in Auckland, and fully capable of accommodating a dinner party of forty. As a ball or concert room it is well adapted, and we should think would suit the Auckland Club, should they find it necessary to seek temporary accommodation, pending their obtaining premises of their own. A fine verandah, extending the whole width of the building, commands an extensive view seaward. The bedrooms are spacious, well ventilated, and remarkable for the neatness of their fittings and the cleanliness of their furniture. Indeed, the Royal Hotel is in every respect amply provided for the accommodation and comfort of its frequenters. At present, it lacks but one desideratum, a billiard table but this want will be soon supplied, a first class table having been ordered by Mr. Palmer from one of the best makers. The opening day was marked by a housewarming dinner, which came off last week, and which we are informed afforded unqualified satisfaction to a very numerous and respectable company.

Southern Cross 23 October 1857 p. 3

The Auckland Club shifted into the new building by 1858, and made it their permanent meeting space.

The following year, the license for the Royal Hotel as both buildings were now known went to Charles Joslin.

Southern Cross 1 October 1858

But, Joslin declared bankruptcy in September 1859, and Palmer once again tried selling his asset.

Southern Cross, 15 July 1859

Come October 1864, however, we see that Palmer not only retained title for the brick addition and its land, but obtains title for the original wooden hotel as well. Palmer's land dealings in this part of Eden Crescent are quite involved, taking in property on the other side of the road as well, part of the future drinks factory site for Grey & Menzies. Things came personally unstuck for him and his family when two of his sons drowned in April 1865, the bodies recovered and brought back to the hotel. In February 1868, a meeting of Palmer's creditors was held -- then, as later in the Whau, he had mortgaged himself to the hilt. One of his creditors was Henry Chamberlin, who was granted title to the brick addition and its land by the courts in March 1868 (DI 5A.892). In March 1869 came a notice in the newspapers of a sale by auction of the remainder Palmer's real estate, and this time it really did happen: Palmer left the Royal Hotel in 1870. In September that year, John Jacob Fernandez offered "hot luncheon, with English Ale and Porter, during sittings of the Supreme Court," the Royal being the nearest accommodation house to the courts up on the hill.

c.1869, "Looking east from Eden Crescent showing Short St (left), St Andrews Church (right), Royal Hotel (centre left) and the Supreme Court (right background)," Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

In May 1871, Palmer conveyed the wooden hotel to Henry Beedle and Donald N Watson. Henry Beedell from August 1866 was in business as an ale and porter brewer on New North Road. With Watson and William McGlashan, Beedle was in various partnership setups until September 1866. From early 1872, they ran a bottling store in Wyndham Street, and as at 1873 owned a former hotel at Stokes Point on the North Shore. They sold the last of their interest in Lot 6 (6 and 8, at the rear of the later Cargen extension) with small cottages thereon in January 1876, as well as their brewery near New North and Mt Eden Roads, Lots 7-11 and 3 of section 3 of 2A and 2B of Section 10, Suburbs of Auckland (between Flower, Nikau and Karori Streets, Eden Terrace).

In February 1873, they sold their interest in the wooden hotel site to Chamberlin.

Chamberlin was an entrepreneur, landowner, and politician. The wooden and brick hotel at Eden Crescent was an investment to him and his family. He applied to have the licence put under his name in 1871; in August that year transferred to Richard Nicholson; then transferred the licence to Petert Boylan in 1873. By 1876, the brick Royal Hotel was back on the market, and in 1877 both buildings were. In November 1882, Chamberlin successfully sold the property to John Chadwick. The complex reopened as the "Old Club" the following month.

Auckland Star 19 December 1882

In September 1883, Chadwick transferred title to surveyor Charles Alma Baker, who had dealings in 1886-1887 with a solicitor named Alfred Edgar Whitaker, and an agent Henry Ernest Whitaker. The title transferred to them for a time, then back to Baker, then finally defaulted through unpaid mortgage to widow Elizabeth Chamberlin in 1888 (that year, her husband Henry drowned in a pond at Drury). The widow's interest was shared with her agent Edmund Augustus McKechnie, and he transferred interest to Charles Chamberlin by 1890 (rates books, Auckland Council Archives).

At some point around 1900-1902, the old wooden ex-hotel at the corner was demolished. A survey plan from 1902 shows a clear site, and the rates records from that time on refer only to the brick building.

DP 3070, LINZ records, crown copyright

Eden Crescent, c.1900. Only bare ground where the old 1849 wooden hotel on the corner once stood. The "shadow" of the building can be seen on the brick wall of the 1850s extension Palmer built. Te Papa museum collection, C.011096.

The last time the 1850s brick part of the hotel was referred to as "Old Club" was in 1905. In 1904, it  was up for sale, but the two sites (vacant corner and brick hotel) weren't sold until 1907. A "Glendowie House" appears in the papers in 1905, lately run by W J Ford ("Old Club") but from then run by Mrs Robertson. Basically, the brick hotel was a boarding house, known by more than one name. Until in 1907 when it became known as "Cargen", run by Mr and Mrs Edward Francis Black.

Then in 1908, a building permit was filed with Auckland City Council for a new wooden accommodation house on the corner site.

Detail from permit plan 353, AKC 339, Auckland Council Archives

The new building cost £1800, and was organised by Gregory Benmore Osmond, holder of the land title from August that year. The development was for the Blacks as Cargen Hotel Proprietary, and culminated in a 7-storey extension to the combined Cargen Hotel in 1912-1913, designed by R W de Montalk. This extension today is all that is left of the Cargen Hotel complex of three buildings. Cargen Proprietary remained as owner until 1939.

13 September 1927, showing the three buildings in the Hotel Cargen complex. 1-W841, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

The Blacks left the Cargen in 1920, and sold the chattels in a much-reported event, opening up to the public the finery in the private hotel.

Auckland Star 11 June 1920

Auckland Star 2 July 1920

Bertha Braik was the next manager, from 1921 to around 1925, followed by Robert Chesny, a hotel manager with Hancock & Co, the brewery company already having a controlling interest in the business which culminated in their name on the title from 1939.

Looking east along Eden Crescent, the Cargen complex in the centre. 4-1973, 1925, Sir George Grey Special Collections.

Cargen complex at left. 28 December 1931, 4-4246, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

1925. From Anzac Ave, looking at the rear of the complex, left. Short Street at right. 4-1903, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Governors-General presided over Empire Day dinners and balls at the Hotel Cargen, Auckland each year on May 24 both between the wars, and after World War 2 (when the hotel was renamed Transtasman); Governor-General Lord Freyberg “used the day to deliver some of his hardest-hitting speeches,” according to The co-founder and foundation member of the NZ Chefs Association Inc., Sid Young, started his traineeship at the Cargen as a cook in 1935. In 1940, in the atmosphere of a number of corporates making donations to aid the war effort, Hancock & Co gave the hotel to the Auckland Hospital Board for use as a home for nurses. This gift meant a lot to the Board at the time, as they faced an accommodation bill of £11,000 a year for their staff. However, the original 1912 design of the eastern extension, and alterations done in 1924, was criticised in a report from consultants employed by the Board in 1942, with a number of defects, mainly concerning roof leaks but also involving rotted floors and balcony posts, showing up which brought the Board concern. 

The Hospital Board kept possession of the hotel, however, throughout the rest of the war years, and conveyed it back to Hancock & Co in 1946. Around 1947, the hotel was renamed Transtasman, and reopened to accommodate around 60 guests. However, the four main brewery companies (New Zealand Breweries, Dominion Breweries, Hancock and Company and Campbell and Ehrenfried) put a plan to the government to be permitted to demolish the original hotel and wooden building beside and erect a new 300 room hotel on the site. In 1955, Hancock & Co transferred ownership to Hotel Transtasman Ltd, and at some point after this, but before the United Empire Box Company (UEB) purchased the hotel in 1963, the 1908 and 1850s buildings were demolished, to create a carpark. By 1971, the remaining part of the hotel was a series of commercial offices, which it remains to this day. 

Detail from 1966 topo map, showing the cleared space beside the 1912-1913 extension to the Cargen. NZ Map 2049, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Detail from 1968 aerial, NZ Map 3249, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Eden Crescent, looking east from just opposite Short Street, 14 September 2014.

The remains of the Hotel Cargen -- the surviving 1913-1913 extension.

An update: photos by Laurie Knight of the Hotel Cargen, May 2017, The building has just been sold by tender, and work is underway inside at the time this images were taken.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mr Fritzschner's baby biplane dreams

Auckland Weekly News 31 August 1911, AWNS-19110831-16-3, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.
Paul Fritzschner, eighteen-year-old son of Mr P. Fritzschner, a settler living on the main county road, Pahiatua has, during his spare moments in the past eighteen months, been working unaided on an aeroplane. A Pahiatua Herald representative was last week shown the aeroplane, which is of oblong shape and is built of light wood knitted together with wire. The inventor stated that when in full working order it should be capable of carrying about 300lbs. He claims that the design possesses advantages over other flying machines. His aeroplane will be easy to steer, and not liable to topple. The inventor clams for it that it will soar away like a bird, and that, covering the ground at the rate of ten miles an hour before rising, it should easily attain in the air a speed of a mile a minute. Fritzschner also states that the machine is so constructed that when the engine of 6 h.p., which has been specially made for the purpose and imported from England, has been installed, it will be possible for it to reach a good altitude, its movements being regulated by means of cords which he would manipulate from the ground. He hopes to make a trial shortly.

 (Manawatu Times 3 August 1911)

Fritzschner designed his baby biplane and completed in a market garden shed in August 1911. He was born in 1894, his German father arriving in the country in 1879. One or two trials were apparently run, before his father, fearing the extreme danger of the machine, set fire to it. (Info from A Passion For Flight, Errol W Martyn, 2013)

Less than 18 months later, however, in 1913 young Fritzschner was at it again, assisted by A Simmonds in Palmerston North to build another plane, away from his father's matches. They called their partnership the New Zealand Aviation Company. (Manawatu Times 6 January 1913) There, the story drifts away, nothing more known about the young aviator and his dreams.

Auckland Weekly News 31 August 1911, AWNS-19110831-16-4, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

A card from the Auckland Savage Club

A good friend of mine gave me the above undated promo card, dated from the period of the First World War to 1942, when Rev. Chappell died.
The Auckland Savage Club was established in June, 1888. Its chief objects are the development of artistic talent, and the promotion of good fellowship and rational amusement. Visitors of distinction are invited to attend the meetings, which are held on alternate Saturday evenings in the club room, Masonic Hall, Princes Street, from April to October of each year. The club, amongst its own members, possesses one of the finest orchestras in the city. Its present membership is 150, and its finances are in a flourishing condition.
(Cyclopedia of New Zealand, 1902)

The club itself was disestablished c.1990-1991.

But what of the hekeretari (secretary) of the club, A B Chappell? He was quite well-known, as it turns out.

The Rev. Albert Bygrave Chappell, M.A., well known in literary, education and scientific circles throughout New Zealand, died at his home in Auckland to-day, in his seventieth year. Mr. Chappell was a man of many intellectual interests and activities. and during his residence in Auckland they ranged from the Dickens Club to research and compilation of the province's historical records.

Born in Southsea, Portsmouth, England, in 1872, Mr. Chappell came to New Zealand with his parents at an early age, and when the family settled at Tauranga he attended the Tauranga school, going on later to the Palmerston North High School, Three Kings College, Prince Albert College and Canterbury University College to complete his education. He took his M.A. degree in Canterbury College, and also gained the first diploma in journalism granted in New Zealand. During the course of his studies he gained honours in political science and dialectics.

The Church claimed Mr. Chappell's first attention. In 1894 he entered the ministry of the Wesleyan Church, and he served in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Feilding, Wanganui and New Plymouth. For two years he was organising secretary of the young people's movement. In 1917 he took the office of registrar of the Auckland University College, which he occupied for six years before resigning to take up an appointment on the editorial staff of the Auckland Herald, from which he retired last year. In his youthful days Mr. Chappell had had journalistic interludes, when he was connected with the Bay of Plenty Times, the Opotiki Mail and the Woodville Examiner. His very wide and diversified interests are indicated by the fact that he was secretary in the N.Z. Conference and Synods of the Church, served on school committees, high school boards and the Education Board in Taranaki, the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, was a founder of the Boy Scout movement, was on the council of the Young Citizens' league, a tutor for the W.E.A., prominently connected with the Dickens Club and the Savage Club, and was a leader in historical research records of the Auckland province. He continued with his ministerial duties to the last.

Mr. Chappell in 1908 married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. A. W. McKinney, of New Brighton, Christchurch, and had a family of three sons and three daughters.
(Auckland Star 28 August 1942)

Image of Rev Chappell from NZ Herald 29 August 1942.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

When Chinese shearers had to sleep separately ...

Image: William Jukes Steward, 1891. From Wikipedia.

A little known fact – in 1898, the New Zealand parliament passed the Shearers Accommodation Act, which contained apartheid-like clauses demanding separate accommodation for Chinese shearers apart from everyone else in the shearing sheds of the land.

The original Bill, without the paragraph, was brought to Parliament by William Jukes Steward (1841-1912), representing Waitaki, in 1896. It was intended to provide a standard of accommodation for workers, but ended up having bits attached to it from the race-related concerns at the time, during the colony’s Liberal government period. At the Bill’s second reading:

“Mr T. MACKENZIE … strongly objected to Chinamen being employed as shearers, and hoped the bill would contain a clause providing for separate sleeping accommodation for shearers apart from that provided for Chinamen.” (Otago Witness, 16 July 1896)

The Workers Union in Waimate approved the Bill, “especially with clauses 8 and 9, which deal with separate accommodation, for members of the Chinese race who may be employed on the stations…” (Oamaru Mail 29 July 1896), and it passed the Lower House. The Legislative Council initially threw the Bill out, but it passed its second reading with them in October 1897.

The Act was consolidated in 1908 as the Shearers' and Agricultural Labourers' Accommodation Act, which was amended in 1919 by the Shearers' Accommodation Act 1919 which repealed some sections (5 to 9) of the 1908 Act, but not Section 11: “Where agricultural labourers are of any Asiatic race, the employer shall provide for such Asiatic labourers separate and distinct sleeping-accommodation from that provided for other agricultural labourers …” This was finally repealed, along with the rest of the 1908 Act, under the Agricultural Workers Act 1936.

So, after 38 years, separate accommodation for Chinese workers in the shearing industry was abolished.

The Second Triennial Timespanner Auckland Local Boards Heritage Survey

Back in March 2011, I published a simple bit of a survey into how many times "heritage" was referred to in draft annual plans produced by the 21 Local Boards in the Auckland Council region. This included all references to heritage, including natural -- in many cases, the only reference found.

This year, I had a look at the 21 draft Local Plans issued by the boards. Again, using the .pdf versions available online, I used the keyword "heritage". Heritage does appear in all of the draft local plans, but the degrees of detail and the instances of actual action points regarding what each board intends to do or to support or facilitate in the way of cultural or built heritage varies.

If  I've missed any vital points out, drop me a line.

Italics are direct quotes from the draft plan documents.

  • With mana whenua, we will undertake a Māori cultural heritage study to identify sites of significance in Albert-Eden, including wāhi tapu, urupā and places of traditional importance.
  • We will continue our programme of historic and character heritage surveys to identify buildings for possible future protection, and will make this information public. The Balmoral survey was completed last term and we are now surveying Pt Chevalier, to be followed by Mt Eden. We will develop and expand the biennial Albert-Eden Bungalow Festival, which is aimed at residents of our bungalow suburbs and those with an interest in the distinctive character of local bungalows. The festival will help us develop a greater knowledge and appreciation of what we have.
  • We will advocate for our libraries to have better storage technology for oral history, so that it can be both secure and easy to access.
  • When we install or upgrade new signs in parks and along walkways we will, where appropriate, include heritage and archaeological information to tell the stories of the early people and landscapes of the area.
(4 points of action, but numerous other references to heritage. At the last survey, heritage was mentioned 3 times.)

Aotea-Great Barrier
  • The island’s heritage, be it pre-European or settler, cultural or natural, is an area that has been under-recognised to date.
  • Develop an island heritage plan
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found.)

  • We will partner with mana whenua to explore the nature of that relationship by starting with local initiatives celebrating cultural heritage and Māori identity.
  • Telling our stories is extremely important to us and we will do this by developing a series of heritage trails across our area.
  • Restore the Fort Takapuna barracks in time for the centenary of World War One
    Initiate an annual civic heritage award
  • Produce brochures and web-based documents promoting local heritage
(5 points of action. At the last survey, 3 references to heritage were found)

  • We want to protect the look and feel of our towns and villages, many of which have special old buildings.
  • We will support events celebrating local heritage and the development of heritage trails that link and promote our natural and built heritage.
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

Basically, the Board has this time put all its heritage eggs in one basket – focussing on the Corban Estate Arts Centre.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found)

Hibiscus and Bays 
  • The Hibiscus and Bays Area Plan includes actions that will support our historic heritage places and culturally significant landscapes to be identified, protected and celebrated over the next 30 years.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no references to heritage were found)

  • We will complete our Heritage Plan which will guide the identity, preservation and protection of geological and archaeological sites and important local heritage sites.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found)

  • We will develop Birkenhead, Northcote, Glenfield and Beach Haven while retaining their unique personalities and heritage character.
(1 point of action. At the last survey, 4 references to heritage were found.)

  • Build a heritage and visitor centre and promote Māngere-Ōtāhuhu as a destination (part of the Māngere Gateway Project) 
  • Completion of the heritage survey of historic buildings
 (2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found. )

  • Looking to the future, we need to ensure we conserve important elements of our past for generations to come, so they can learn about and enjoy them. We will do this by working with mana whenua with interests in the area and local heritage people to identify buildings, structures and places of importance. We will then make plans to save and, if necessary, restore them. 
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found. )

  • Work with ATEED to identify and promote the cultural, natural, recreational and heritage assets that exist within the local board area 
  • Develop a public-private partnership to investigate a pilot project for seismic strengthening of a typical unreinforced building in Onehunga 
  • Scope the delivery of the actions and recommendations from the 2013 Onehunga Heritage Survey 
  • Support efforts to preserve the Loombs Hotel. 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

  • As part of the action plan, we will also partner with Ngāti Whātua Orākei to improve and upgrade the Mission Bay steps area leading up to Bastion Point. This project aims to embed public art into the design of the upgrade to reflect the heritage of the area, draw in visitors, and create an iconic running route. 
  • … working with local residents, mana whenua, and heritage experts to explore ways to identify, reflect and showcase the cultural heritage and significance of our places. 
  • … we will advocate for funding to carry out heritage assessments for both pre-1944 and post-1944 buildings and character areas (e.g. Remuera and Ellerslie). 
(3 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found. )

  • We will work with mana whenua in naming new council-owned facilities, roads and parks to reflect our local cultural heritage.
  •  … we will promote the heritage of Old Papatoetoe through a new museum and arts facility and by creating new events. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 2 references to heritage were found.)

  • Protection of Māori cultural heritage 
  • Know our heritage buildings and areas to protect 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

  • Ongoing implementation of Waikōwhai coast network plan including track development and heritage interpretative signage projects 
  • Continue Puketāpapa heritage survey with a focus on Manukau foreshore and key Mount Roskill civic and political identities 
  • Installation of heritage interpretative signage at key sites 
  • Develop Three Kings heritage trail with supporting infrastructure 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

  • Support and assist property owners’ efforts to preserve the historic aspects of their buildings through grants 
  • Our rich cultural history and vibrant local communities make us all proud. We will work with mana whenua in the naming of new local roads, parks and council-owned facilities, as we did with the Wellsford War Memorial Library, Te Whare Pukapuka o Wakapirau He Tohu Whakamaharatanga Ki NgāPakanga. This will go some way to ensuring that our cultural heritage is reflected locally. We also support council assistance in identifying sites of significance to iwi throughout Rodney. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

Upper Harbour 
  • We have … bought two heritage buildings for the community to use in Hobsonville Point. Instead of building new facilities, we want to keep hold of our heritage and look after the two special buildings we already have. 
(1 point of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

  • Waiheke Island has a rich Māori and European history and there are a number of significant archaeological and heritage features, including pāand wāhi tapu sites, as well as Fort Stony Batter.
  • We will work with mana whenua to ensure their sites of cultural significance are protected and interpreted during the management and development of our open space network. We will develop interpretative signs, with heritage information and acknowledgment of mana whenua sites of cultural significance. 
(2 points of action. At the last survey, no reference to heritage was found.)

Waitakere Ranges 
  • In the last term, the local board delivered the first monitoring report required under the Heritage Area Act … One of the specific projects that have been developed as a consequence is for the local board to work with Auckland Transport to develop a design guide for the heritage area. 
  • The protection of our heritage values is a primary focus for this local board. The Waitākere Ranges has a large and diverse range of Māori and European heritage sites, especially in the coastal areas which were favoured for occupation and industry on account of the natural resources available. While 30-40 years ago, a great deal of work was done to identify these places, the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Monitoring Report has identified that these sites need to be more precisely mapped and their present condition assessed and reported on. As a first step the local board is funding a desktop study in 2014 to identify the information available and next steps for assessment and protection. 
  • We will look to prioritise an area for a heritage survey, perhaps Titirangi, and carry it out. 
  • The centenary of World War One is an important milestone for New Zealand with a great deal of community interest. We will be working with our communities to commemorate this period and learn more about New Zealanders who served and how the war impacted on local communities and families. 
(3 points of action, At the last survey, 4 reference to heritage were found, all to do with the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Protection Act.)

  • We support the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan’s approach to protecting heritage. 
  • We support scheduling Karangahape [Road?] as a historic heritage area. 
  • We will work with others to find cost effective ways to earthquake-strengthen our heritage buildings … Develop a guidebook on how to strengthen an earthquake prone building to Building Code standards 
  • We will encourage the preservation of buildings such as Carlile House, Myers Park Caretaker’s Cottage, Highwic House, Ewelme Cottage and Albert Park House. We are particularly keen to see Auckland Council purchase the St James Theatre to help preserve the building. 
  • People will be encouraged to understand our past by meandering along our heritage walkways, participating in hīkoi, reading our brochures and joining in events such as the Heritage Festival. ... Develop mobile applications to promote our heritage 
  • Completing the Parnell Train Station, incorporating the restored Newmarket Station, will improve services to Auckland University, the Domain and Parnell. Together with the Mainline Steam building, this will create an interesting heritage destination. 
  • … we will plan to update Pt Erin pool, ensuring any redevelopment remains sensitive to its heritage character. 
  • We will also work with local mana whenua and mataawaka as they advance their aspirations to meet social and cultural needs and promote Māori culture and heritage within Waitematā. 
(8 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

Their plan centres around “Design heritage” …
  • We will fund a coordinator role to support more locally organised activities that nurture, share and celebrate our creativity and build on our design heritage … We want to ensure that our ceramic and clothing design heritage is safe, displayed and is recognised as providing a launch pad for our flourishing creative community and businesses. We are supporting the Portage Ceramics Trust as it works to develop the sustainable storage and celebration of ceramics in the Whau. 
  • We will work with mana whenua, arts organisations and our heritage groups as we invest in more public art in our towns and parks in every community across the Whau to acknowledge our stories, our challenges and our aspirations. 
  • Heritage building assessments 
  • Additional street signs that tell the stories of our street names 
(4 points of action. At the last survey, 1 reference to heritage was found.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A visit to the Titirangi Ranges in 1876

From the NZ Herald, 30 December 1876


On Boxing-day the new 'bus made by Messrs. Cousin and Atkins to the order of Mr. F. Quick, for the Auckland and Whau line, made its maiden trip, having been chartered by Mr. B Gittos to take a party of friends to his kauri bush in the Titirangi ranges. The vehicle —which has been named “Carryall"—is licensed to carry 24 passengers, is built in Messrs. Cousin and Atkins' best style, and will prove a great convenience to the settlers of Morningside, Mount Albert, the Whau, and also to other residents on the New Great North Road.

There are evident signs of progress and prosperity in these localities, and the cosy villas nestled at the foot of Mount Albert, with their ornamental pleasure grounds and shelled carriage drives, would not do discredit to the more aristocratic suburb of Remuera. Business does not seem to be overlooked in the pursuit of pleasure, for across the valley, on the boundary of the Whau district, are the brick and tile works of Mr. Boyd; further west, those of the Hon. Dr Pollen, the Whau tannery of the Messrs. Gittos and near the Whau bridge the fellmongering establishment of Messrs. Bell and Gemmell —evident tokens that our local industries are being diligently cultivated and developed.

On of the latest improvements added to this section of the Whau is the Presbyterian manse, occupied by the Rev. Robert Sommerville, the esteemed pastor of the district. For years the Lunatic Asylum has stood in desolate grandeur on the northern side of the plain, but it will now have to divide the honours with the pile of buildings known as the Auckland Waterworks —the tall chimney-stalk of which struggles skywards, as if bent on keeping its head above and beyond the fragrance of the passing night-carts. Shortly the many hundred-armed machinery of that establishment will send streaming down from the Khyber Pass and Ponsonby reservoirs the sparkling God-given water that shall rush under our roadways, dash out of the hydrants, toss up in our city fountains, and with silver note, and golden sparkle, and crystalline chime, say to thousands of our population, in the authentic words of Him who made it, “I will: be thou clean!”

It needs but a glance at the configuration of the country to see that the payable line for the Auckland and Kaipara Railway is by Morningside, Mount Albert, and the Upper Whau. A large suburban population is rapidly settling on the volcanic slopes and patches along the New Great North Road, which in addition to the yearly increasing number of manufactories in the valley, will form no unimportant "feeder" to the through traffic of the Kaipara line. The route via Ponsonby and Point Chevalier, with two trains per day, will never have a "show" for the suburban passenger traffic against Quick's buses running to and from the centre of the city every quarter of an hour. After getting out of Ponsonby the character of the country will prevent settlement in a westerly direction to the sea, unless departures for the projected cemetery at Point Chevalier, and brickdust and pipeclay are regarded as factors in the computation of the anticipated traffic.

After passing the Whau Bridge the character of the country greatly changes, but not for the better, and the eye turns with a sense of relief from the dun coloured interminable waste of fern stretching away south, to the alluvial bottom lands of the Whau Flat, clothed in emerald green. Here may be seen what agricultural skill and science can effect in the land farmed by Mr. Bollard, whose experiments in utilising the night soil of the city are, after a very heavy expenditure of capital we are glad to learn, likely to prove remunerative and successful. On the fern plain above alluded to, for many miles, the only indications of human industry and skill are the little pipe clay mounds which betoken that the irrepressible gum-digger has been "cavortin' around."

On the Titirangi Ranges things are but little changed, during the past fifteen years—the roads are greatly improved, and speedier access is obtainable to the city for stores; but not a few of the settlers have one by one given up the struggle to wring a bare competence from, in many instances it is to be feared, indifferent soil. The staple of the district is its timber. A pleasant feature in the landscape is the pretty little schoolhouse (also used as a place of worship), shewing that the settlers value that best of blessings for their children—a good education—though removed from the advantages and pleasures of town society. From the top of the mountain at the back of Bishop's clearing could be seen the ranges trending away to the waters of the Manukau and the West Coast, with shelving, precipitous banks, while from base to summit the watershed on both sides was clothed with forests of magnificent kauri—some of these giant monarchs of the forest rearing their bare trunks, straight as a gun barrel, sixty and seventy feet into the air, and a horizontal section of the "stump" of one of them would form a commodious "round table" for King Arthur's Knights.

From the hill above alluded to is obtainable one of the finest views in the province—a panorama of mountain, and forest, sea and plain, which is only distantly approached by the view to be got from Maungarahe, above Tokatoka, on the Northern Wairoa; and one can readily understand how such ardent admirers and students of nature as Governor Gore Browne and Sir George Arney should have frequently repaired to this spot. Even “the Earl and the Doctor" had heard of its fame, and on the summit stands a fragment of a pole planted by the Earl of Pembroke, in token of his visit. How the pole came to its present condition is a moot point; on the one hand, it is asserted that Young New Zealand "went for" that pole in order to shew his contempt for the "bloated" British aristocrat, while on the other hand, it is cynically suggested that colonial snobbery was rampant, and the pole handled by "a real live lord" disappeared by inches in the manufacture of relics.

From the staff, facing westwards, the spectator views the Waitakerei ranges, with the Big and Little Huia, piled tier above tier heavenwards, on any principle, or rather, no principle, but just looking as if they had been "hove" there by the gods during some Titanic rumpus. Carrying the vision to the right are seen the Helensville, Wade, and Tangahua ranges; then in succession the Kawau, Great Barrier, Cape Colville, and the Thames mountains dying away towards the Ohinemuri country. In the more immediate foreground, looking east and south, are the Wairoa and Hunua ranges, the Pukekohe and Bombay settlements plainly visible, Awitu, Waiuku, and the Waikato Heads. Following the coast line to the starting-point, the drift-sand, which is steadily advancing inland and encroaching upon settlement in that quarter, can be plainly seen at a glance. The panorama closes with the South Head of the Manukau, its front—scarred and gashed by a thousand tempests—frowning out on the Pacific, which, with eternal refrain and "immeasurable laugh," dashes itself into foam on the sandbanks at its base—while the Paratutai semaphore, standing out in bold, relief against the western horizon, gives token that “A sweet little cherub sits up aloft and looks after the life of poor Jack." The Manukau basin—an inland sea only inferior in extent to the noble estuary of the Kaipara—stretches away from the feet of the spectator to Drury and Waiuku, and on Boxing-day mirrored on its bosom the noble mountains on its northern margin, under a sky

“So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful,
That God alone was to be seem in Heaven.”

The only incident worthy of special record during the trip was the advent in that truly rural district of an officer of H.M. Customs. The wild and sequestered ranges of Titirangi and Waitakerei have long lain under the blighting suspicion of a “private still” but as the contents of certain hampers of the tourists had duly paid toll to Her Majesty, the Volscians were not fluttered. The officer in question "tooled" his four-wheeler up the ranges in the rising morn, only to find that there are exceptions to the old adage touching “the early bird getting the worm.” The solution of the mystery turned out to be that, instead of “bulling or bearing" in the Custom-house, he had taken advantage of the holiday to refresh his spirits by getting a sniff of the Titirangi ozone, in preference to “guaging" those of other people. Both parties of tourists returned to town wiser, in some respects, and certainly not sadder, by the trip.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Kiwi soldier in the Easter 1916 Uprising

A Kiwi soldier during WWI finds himself in the middle of the 1916 Easter Uprising.
Image from Wiki -- Sackville Street, Dublin, after the uprising.


A vivid description of the exciting time when the Sinn Fein riot was in progress in Dublin is given by Bugler J G Garland in a letter written to his father, Mr Thomas H Garland, of this city. Bugler Garland, it may be mentioned, was formerly a member of the Grammar School Senior Cadets and left with the Expeditionary Force for Samoa. Having been invalided back to Auckland, he was subsequently appointed to a hospital ship. Having a few days' leave he ran across to Dublin, and happened to be in the thick of the fight, but escaped with a spent bullet wound in his ankle and a clean cut in his hand from a bayonet thrust.

"We arrived in England the day before Good Friday," writes Bugler Garland, “and were given railway concession by which we could get return tickets for single fare. Sergeant Nevin, of Christchurch, and myself took tickets for Dublin. On Easter Monday we left the hotel at 8 am., and went by tram to Killiney Park. Half an hour after we were clear of Dublin the rebellion started. Our first intimation of it was when we were half-way back, and the electric power was cut off. We walked back to our hotel.

"We were standing in the main street (Sackville) about 2 p.m., just about 100 yards from our hotel. Shots were being fired, and a soldier from the Dublin Fusiliers was killed while walking with his young lady. There were thousands of people in the streets, and all of a sudden a large motor-car whizzed past us. In it was the noted Countess, dressed in a green uniform. As she went past she fired two shots at us. One went above our heads; the other caught an elderly man in the arm. It seemed to be a signal to the other Sinn Feiners, for bullets started to whizz all round us. As we were unarmed, and had our Red Cross badges on, we went for our lives to the Soldiers' Club. The proprietor of the place told us that all the soldiers had gone over to Trinity College, which is the headquarters of the Dublin University Officers' Training Corps.

“We reported there at 3 p.m. There were only about thirty of us, and we filled sandbags from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. By that time our strength had grown to nearly sixty, including five New Zealanders, one Australian, five from South Africa, and two Canadians. At 11 p.m. they woke us up and took the colonials, whom they called Anzacs (although there were really only six Anzacs), up to the roof, where we were to snipe. We remained on that roof from midnight Easter Monday till midnight on Thursday without a wink of sleep—exactly 72 hours. From the roof we could command a view of the main streets—Sackville, Grafton, and Dame. Four of us were on the front parapet commanding Dame Street, also part of Grafton Street.

"We got our first bag on Tuesday morning at 4 a.m., when three Sinn Feiners came along on bikes, evidently going from Shepherd's Green to the GPO. The men on my left, as soon as they saw them coming, told us to mark the last man and they would get the first two. We all fired at once, killing two and wounding the other. When they were brought in the chap we killed had four bullet marks in the head which meant that we all got him, and that he must have been killed instantly. A peculiar thing had happened. After he was killed he still sat on his bike and continued on for about 30 yards on the free-wheel. In fact, we thought we had missed him, when all of a sudden the bike swerved and he came off. This chap was a platoon leader, and on him they found a list of the names and addresses of the members of his platoon, and two dispatches, together with some money that he had evidently taken from the GPO.

"On Wednesday we got two more in Sackville Street. They were armed with double-barrelled fowling-pieces, and had taken the small shot from the cartridges, replacing it with four slugs of lead about three-quarters of an inch by a quarter of an inch. We were troubled by a sniper on our left in the direction of St. Andrew's Church, but as we were not quite sure we did not like to fire on that building. On Friday, after we had been relieved from the roof, a man living opposite the church came over and said he had seen the rifles pointing out of the belfry, so we six Anzacs were sent across to his house, and from his kitchen window we put about 100 rounds into the small triangular window they were firing from. Half an hour after they had ceased firing we decided to climb the tower. On the way over we were fired on by our own men, who mistook our slouch hats for those of the Sinn Fein. When we got to the belfry we found two men. One was already dead, the other so badly wounded that he died an hour afterwards.

"On Saturday morning we killed a woman who was sniping from an hotel window in Dame Street. When the RAMC brought her in we saw she was only about 20, stylishly dressed, and not at all bad-looking. She was armed with an automatic revolver and a Winchester repeater. Altogether we Anzacs were responsible for 27 rebels (twenty-four men and three women).

“On Saturday afternoon the colonials were given the honour of capturing Westland Row station. We entered the Grosvenor Hotel which faces the station, and by means of a ladder climbed over the Railway Arch and then over to the station. We got four there, and I had a narrow squeak. Two of us were going through the ticket office, and as soon as we entered the Sinn Feiners tried to bayonet the chae behind mc. They just missed him, and caught me in the hand—just a mere scratch. Then we both got him together with our bayonets. The same night we were on duty on the roof doing two-hours on and four off and I had just taken my boots off and was going to sleep, when a ricochet bullet caught me just below the left ankle. It only went in a little over half its length. The doctor pulled it out with a pair of forceps.

"Of course by this time the town was in ruins, and bodies of soldiers, horses, civilians, and Sinn Feiners were lying about Sackville Street until Saturday. The looting that was going on was simply terrible. Small boys of 10 to 14 who were brought in and searched had cameras, watches, diamond tiepins, etc. The rebels themselves did not do much looting. Several of the chaps from Gallipoli reckon that one had a far better chance of getting off with his life there than in the Dublin riot, for the reason that these rebels were posted in twos and threes in almost every house and shop in the city. As it was, there were 700 casualties on our side, while there were only about 500 on the other.

“My chum left on Monday night after the rebels were supposed to have surrendered. I waited till the next day in order to get some of my effects replaced for the ones that went up in smoke when Wynn's Hotel was burnt. The next night (Tuesday) I left the College at 6 p.m. in a motor-bicycle side-car. On our way three shots were fired at us, but no damage was done. I left Dublin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, after doing nine days' duty, living on biscuits and water the whole time, and only having about twenty hours' sleep. At the Custom-house there were about 300 refugees who had been burnt out of their homes, including two theatrical parties. All they had to eat for six days were hard biscuits and water, with tea occasionally. There was also an opera company at the police station. Amongst the actors was a Christchurch man named Hobbs. Of course it was a great experience, but I was not sorry when I left Dublin."
Auckland Star 28 June 1916.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pleasant Point Railway images -- 1969 to 1971

It has been a while since I've posted images from Bryan Blanchard, of the Pleasant Point Museum and Railway. Here are some photos he has very kindly given permission to reproduce here -- captions his.

A brief history, from when the branch line Washdyke Junction to Fairlie was closed on 2 March 1968, to the setting up of the museum and railway from 1970, can be found here.

(Above) 1969.  A work recovery train had just arrived in Pleasant Point from Fairlie and was collecting " things " from here.

 (Above & below) 1969. Work recovery train at Pleasant Point. Dj & Dsc's were used in recovery "things" by them.

(Above) 1970. Just after Ab699 had arrived at Pleasant Point. At this stage we only had a short piece of line in front of the station which we had to buy of NZ Railways at so much a foot.

(Above) 1971. The Roof we put over the platform, workers included, Gordon King, Stan McBain, Bryan Blanchard, Doug Posa, Russell Paul, etc

(Above) September 1970. Ab699 being painted at the Timaru Loco depot with Ab608 behind it - My job was to get it looking nice before it went out to Pleasant Point - It was very dirty looking when it arrived in Timaru after being towed on a goods train from Ashburton. Stan McBain & Doug Posa were the main helpers, nightly after work and at weekends = Saturday & Sunday, with help from Pat Small's sand blasting company.