Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thames (NZ): Memories, Memorabilia wanted for TV Show

Wow....Exciting news for those of us who love Thames History.
Maybe you can help, participate, share some memories...
Read below for the full story how you can contribute to this upcoming TV show:

"Top Shelf Productions are working on a brand new factual TV series about revitalising small town museums and historical sites around New Zealand. The series will screen on Choice TV next year.
There are more than 500 heritage sites and museums in New Zealand with over ninety percent of them in desperate need ...of help. Usually run by local volunteers, these caretakers of our history are not only struggling for funds, but struggling to get people to see their exhibits. The show's presenter will visit these small towns and with support from the local community, they will help revitalise each site’s collections and reveal some of New Zealand’s most fascinating forgotten stories and treasures.

The first episode will focus on the Thames Historical Museum, and will work collectively with the museum on an exciting new exhibit. This will be a display for Ted Egan’s beautifully carved scale model collection of early Thames buildings. They are looking for locals to help tell the stories of these buildings to help bring them back to life! Did you have a relative who worked in or help build one of those buildings? Do you have an item that belonged to the building or even old photographs? If you know of any fascinating stories of these early buildings or have some association with them, Top Shelf would like to hear from you!

Some of the buildings in the collection are: Royal Hotel, Phoenix Brewery, Old Court House, Scrip Corner, James Mackay’s House and Hansen’s Haunted House.

If you would like to see the full list of models, are interested in contributing stories, photographs or other information, or know of someone that Top Shelf should get in touch with,
please contact Justine

Facebook page:  for Heritage Rescue TV Show

One of Mr Egan's amazing models - this is the Baillie Street Thames Hospital built 1900. It is in eastern foyer of Thames Hospital. This is similar to the models that Top Shelf Productions will be using to tell the history of Thames heritage sites.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thames (NZ): Thames nurses with a military connection

There is a new book available that contains information on our Thames Nurses who served in the military service. This covers the years 1915-2015.

The title is: 100 Years  New Zealand Military Nursing, New Zealand Army Nursing Service - Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps 1915 - 2015. The book is written by Sherayl McNabb. It builds on a previous title "New Zealand Military Nursing" that was co-written with David Corbett in 1990.

Considerable information and photos that cover the history of military nursing. On the front cover is one of 'our' Thames trained nurses, Clara Hawkins. Clara returned to the hospital after the war, where she completed a couple of years as Matron of the Thames Hospital. In the top photo (right), Sister Clara Hawkins is seated in the front row, first on the left.

For more information go to Sherayl's website:
New Zealand Military Nursing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Thames (NZ): W H REED Early Grahamstown Photographer

Its not everyday one comes across a photograph from early Thames, so imagine my delight in being given a copy of this early photograph card. Initially you may think its just an unknown cricket name, but what other secrets does it hold. The card has a hard backing and measures 6.5 by 10.5cms.
There were many cricket teams on the Thames Goldfield, groups of individuals and business groups formed cricket teams. The men are posed for a group photograph. Is the man in a suit the team manager or business sponsor?
When was the photo taken? W H Reed as the back of the card reveals - was a photographic artist in Grahamstown, Thames. Mr Reed died in 1878, so this card is before that date.
What do we know of W H Reed? In 1865, Reed was a photographer in Shortland Street, Auckland. The Thames newspapers are online from 1874, and Reed appears in them performing concerts, selling instruments and working as a tuner. Reed is active in the social scene performing at numerous entertainment programmes. An example in the Thames Star 21 December 1875, where he was performing some of his own local songs for which he was renown for. He was also playing a wide range of musical instruments.
At this time in 1875, Mr Reed's skill as a photographer was noted in the local papers. He had taken and presented photographs of the Wesleyan Women's Bible Class. Then in the Thames Advertiser,  9 October 1876 W H Reed was advertising his business as a photographer. "The newest and best thing in Photography."
In 1877 Mr Reed made the news for taking a photograph of  painting.
"We have seen a very good photograph of the oil painting done by Mr Calder of Paeroa, of the Gorge and the Ohinemuri river. The photograph is the work of Mr W. H. Reed, and gives an excellent representation of the picture, being about 8 inches by 6. The details are truthfully set forth, as is also the back ground, and it is an excellent work of photography, and much credit is due to Mr Heed. We hear that a copy of the picture will be given to every subscriber to Mr Calder's Art Union, whether he be successful in drawing the big prize or not, so that subscribers will have something for their money." Thames Star, 25 January 1877 
During the 1870s Mr Reed appears to be either managing or working from the Academy of Music. Applications made to the borough council have his name as the applicant and contact. Then in May 1877 Mr Reed advertised in the paper that he was resuming his photographic business in Brown Street - the details of where he had been are not given.
In January 1878, Mr Reed was singing with Miss Leef at Tauranga. Miss Leef was a well known singer of Auckland, whom he married on 13 March 1878. "Mr W. H. Reed, of the Thames, has tied in the connubial knot with Miss Leaf, the Auckland nightingale, this morning. They have gone to spend the honeymoon at Waipawa." The couple performed in musical programmes around the Wanganui area before returning to Thames a few months later. (Thames Advertiser, 25 July 1878)
In September 1878, it was with deep regret that the people of Thames learnt that Mr Reed was again leaving the town. Thames Advertiser,  18 September 1878:
"The Thames is about to lose another useful citizen in the person of Mr W. H. Reed, the talented musician and photographer of Brown Street, Mr Reed is about to enter into business as a musical instrument dealer in Queen Street, Auckland, succeeding to the business now conducted by Mr Turrell. The Thames can ill afford to lose such a useful as well as gifted musician as Mr Reed, who has always been foremost in offering his valuable services in aid of tiny' charitable object, or to assist in amateur entertainments got up on the Thames, Mr and Mrs Reed have likewise sustained a very prominent part in the choir of St George's Church for some time past, and here their valuable assistance will be greatly missed."
Mr Reed had intended to return to The Thames for visits and business, but the unexpected happened.
Mr William Henry Reed died in Auckland on 23 October 1878, his obituary appeared in the Thames Star 25 October 1878:
"A painful feeling was caused on Wednesday night by the circulation of the report that the relatives of Mr W. H. Reed had received a telegram stating that he was dead. The news proved to be true. Yesterday's Herald contains an obituary notice of Mr Reed's death, but beyond that he died "on October 23, at the residence of his father-in-law (Mr Robert Leaf), Parnell," no particulars are given. Mr W. H. Reed was well known on the Thames as a photographer, and as a musician and singer of ability, possessing talents of a versatile character, and being especially happy in hitting off local topics in songs of his own composing. Only a few weeks ago Mr Reed purchased a business in Auckland, and at the time of his death a notification appeared in our contemporary's columns stating that he was about to visit the Thames on business. His death was very sudden - after a few days' illness, we understand, and the cause was an acute attack of dysentery. Mr Reed will be much missed in a large circle of acquaintances. Whether in entertainments of his own as a professional, or when giving his services in the cause of charity, he was always appreciated, and his unexpected demise will be sincerely regretted by all who knew him, and by none more than those for whom he has so often exerted his powers in this district. Mr Reed was to be buried to-day, and as he was a member of Lodge Sir Walter Scott, members of the different lodges in Auckland were invited to attend the funeral. "
A closer look at Mr W H Reed's cricket photo
(Courtesy of G Farquhar)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

THAMES (NZ): Thames Hospital Sports Day 1899

When the hospital needed new buildings, the town rallied around to fundraise, and to assist where they could. One such event was a sports day in Te Aroha.

On 4 May 1899, an excursion to Te Aroha was arranged by Messrs R R Menzies, J M Foy, and Thomas Cantley.  Along with other committee members in Thames and Te Aroha.
(see Photos below)


It must have been quite a sight at the Grahamstown Railway Station, on May 4th.
“At five minutes to nine the train, which, consisted of 22 carriages and two engines, left the Grahamstown station.  Quite a number also embarked at Shortland and Kopu, until there were about 600 on board, some 25 or 30 more joining the train at  Paeroa.”
 During the day the Hauraki Rifles Band played to the crowd, who were joined by 400 residents of Te Aroha and the surrounding district. Money was raised from the train tickets, and also gate fees. The Thames Amateur Athletic Club acted as handicapper for the amateur events.

Events ranged from running to bike races. The 75yds Handicap Final Heat was won by Leonard, with Coote second and Lloyd third. The Schoolboys’ Championship 75yds was won by Rickit of Thames High School. The one-mile Bicycle Handicap was won by Hayward, with Herival in second place. There was a tug-of-War for schoolboys between Thames and Te Aroha, which was won by Thames. Results of some of the other events are shown below.
Photo sources: Auckland Weekly News 12 MAY 1899 p005
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990512-5-1'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thames (NZ): Chief Taipari's residences 1868-1870

Sometimes you look at a photo and make it into what you think it should be, rather than looking for other clues and 'truths'. There are not a lot of early photographs of the Shortland area looking towards the Una Hill and dating them can be the next challenge.

View of Chief Taipari’s House & Grounds.
From the album: Views of the Thames Gold Fields; American Photographic Company
Source: Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand Collection
At a quick this glance scene is looking east along Clarence Street towards Chief Taipari's residence on the eastern slopes of Bowen (Rolleston Street). Then you will look closer and see that this is not the house we know as Taipari's, and where is James Mackay's house that should be on the left?

Another view also shows that the Una Hill is relatively untouched from mining, so this in fact makes the photo 1868 before the houses were built. The Daily Southern Cross newspaper holds the answer concerning the house - Chief Taipari had built a home on the hill and then in the early part of 1869, had it replaced with a larger house. This then is the house we recognise in later photographs, and was at the site into the 1950s.

Part of the report on the new  (2nd house) appears in Daily Southern Cross, 19 April 1869:
Conspicuous amongst the private dwellings in course of erection at Shortland stands the handsome dwelling-house just completed to the order of W. H. Taipari, the lord of the soil at this place. The site is the brow of the hill near the Hape, and immediately behind the township, adjoining the handsome residence of Mr. Commissioner Mackay. The first decent dwelling put up at the Thames was erected on this site for Taipari, but it has recently been removed to make room for the present handsome building. Mr. D. M. Beere is the architect, and the model is highly creditable to that gentleman. It occupies an area of 40ft. by 42ft., and comprises ten rooms, with a verandah round three sides, and when completed is to cost some £1,200. The grounds are to be laid out in first-class style, and four or five Europeans are at present employed on their improvement and laying out. The dwelling is approached from the carriageway in Willoughby street, and the private way leading out of Baillie street, the same road likewise leading to the residence of Mr. Commissioner Mackay adjoining. The building has been put up by Mr. Thorpe, the builder of Mr. Mackay's residence, which is a sufficient guarantee of the excellence of the workmanship and superior finish of the building."
Full report at: Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXV, Issue 3666, 19 April 1869, Page 4

Using the cottage on the right hand side of the photos, the two residences of Chief Taipari can be readily identified. The top photo has the pre April 1869 residence and the lower photo the post April 1869 house.
Below then, are the adjacent homes of  Mackay (left) and Taipari (right) - post April 1869
So next time you look at an early Thames photo - Stop, look and look again and see what else you can find in the view.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thames (NZ): Kingsford Smith says hello to Thames 1933

Australian Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was an aviator who set numerous flying records in Australia and other parts of the world.

In January 1933, the people of Thames eagerly awaited the chance to see Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s world-famous monoplace called the ‘Southern Cross’. In the latter part of the 1920s previous efforts had been made to have Thames included in a visit, but this does not seem to have taken place.
Mayor of Thames, Mr S Ensor tried vigorously to get Thames included in a touchdown visit during the January 1933 New Zealand visit. Alas this could not be arranged, so Mayor Ensor sent a special telegram to Sir Charles at Rotorua.
“Citizens regret Thames cannot be included in your itinerary, and would appreciate your circling above Thames during flight from Waihi to Auckland. A favourable reply would afford great pleasure.” (Thames Star 19 Jan 1933).
To everyone's delight a reply was received: “Pleased to fly over Thames approximately 3 o’clock Friday, 27th instant. – Kingsford Smith.”

The town went into a frenzy of preparation led by Mayor Ensor. The Thames High School grounds were chosen as the suitable venue for the town gathering to watch the ‘Southern Cross’ circle Thames. The word “WELCOME” to be painted in white 20 foot letters across the ground at the school. Thamesites were urged to attend with flags and other emblems of greeting. Also that buntings and flags be flown on businesses around the town where possible.
The big day arrived and an altered schedule meant that the plane did not arrive until just before 5pm 27 January 1933. People had gathered at the Thames High School and other vantage points around the town.
“Sir Charles Kingsford Smith had notified his approximate time of arrival over Thames as 5.15pm; but shortly before five o’clock the machine was sighted coming from the south-east from the direction of Paeroa, and the news quickly spread.  As the big ‘plane, flying low, swept closer into view the majority of residents were afforded their first glimpse of the world-famous “old bus,” as Sir Charles affectionately terms her,

Dipping low over the High School ground and rising sharply to circle over the town, the Southern Cross revealed her graceful lines to the many watchers below, the passengers being distinctly seen waving through the windows of the ‘plane, and the registered lettering, VH-USU, showing up boldly. Amid the cheers from the younger brigade and much hand-waving, Sir Charles manoeuvred his big machine as easily as the smallest Moth, and the impression gained was one of great latent power in the three engines which roared out their response to the welcome from the people of Thames.

A handkerchief fluttered from the side of the Southern Cross, and with a final dip of the wing Sir Charles soared higher and was away once again across the Gulf in the direction of Auckland.” (Thames Star 28 Jan 1933)
A telegram was sent from Sir Charles to Mayor Ensor the following day: “Many thanks for beautiful emblems of welcome, which were sincerely appreciated.”

Maybe amongst your family memorabilia photos you may have a picture of the day Thamesites saw the great Southern Cross fly over Thames?

Monday, April 13, 2015

THAMES NZ: W H Newton, Scout and Headmaster of Thames

For sale today on an auction site, is a scout badge that belonged to W H Newton of Thames. Who was W H Newton? His full name was William Henry Newton and as well as being involved with the Scout movement at Thames, in 1916, he was the headmaster at Central aka Waiokaraka School.

The badge was awarded in 1916.  Newton was in the newspaper on 30 March 1916, This was concerning the recent visit by the Ponsonby Boy Scout troop to Thames. Following that visit it was noted that 30 boys joined the Thames troop.

 In April 1920, Headmaster Newton left Thames to take up the role of headmaster at the Grey Lynn School in Auckland. A farewell was put on by the Baptist and Congregational Church, of which Mr Newton had been an active member of, especially in the area of the Sunday school. It was reported that Newton had been headmaster at the Thames schools for 30 years. In 1906, Newton was appointed headmaster at the Waiokaraka School, at that time he was in the same position at Tararu School.

Auckland Star 19 June 1920
Mr W H Newton, left the town in 1920, having been active in the community, sports, church and the schools of Thames.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thames (NZ): Calendar of the town's history.

New blog page to keep an eye on, it is a work in progress - first step finally taken after years of being on the 'must do' list!  The page can be found in the top right column.

Thames (NZ): 1936 Flood

Even by Thames standards, this was a major flood. Described as a cyclonic storm, which resulted in three deaths, which included a man an Waiomo on the Thames Coast. The street in the photo is Albert Street, looking towards Queen Street at the far right.

New Zealand Herald 3 February 1936

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thames (NZ): Whale at Shell Bank, Parawai 1928

There was great excitement in Thames, whenever a whale was seen or stranded in the firth. On 17 June 1928, a whale attempted to enter the Waihou River, only to be stranded on the Shell Bank where it sadly died. The town flocked to view the great whale, which was claimed by Mr E Dufty of Thames. Sadly another whale also stranded a few days later near the Thames Railway Station.

Thames Star 21 June 1928

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thames (NZ): 1909 Price's Foundry Train

Another proud day for the management and worker of Price's Foundry.

"Members of the firm: Messrs George Price, William Price, and John Watson (on left), Mr Haskins, Government Inspector (looking from window Cab)."
 NZ Graphic, 16 June 1909, p30

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Thames (NZ): Views of Early Maori Settlements

Looking for illustrations and photographs of early papakainga, maori settlements on the Thames Goldfields. There are some examples in the following books:
Waihou Journeys by Caroline Phillips
Thames & the Coromandel Peninsula 2000 years by Z & J Williams
Hauraki Contested 1769-1875 by Paul Monin

If you know of others or can direct me to photos and drawings on the net please let me know.

1. There is a Lindauer painting at Thames (NZ): Early Painting by Liardet

2. The drawing below is of the Puriri Mission Station May 1836.

The full drawing is below. The description reads:
Mission buildings and thatched huts with Maori settlement in background, bend of river with canoe and several Maori in the foreground. Hills behind the settlement in the distance.
Inscriptions: Inscribed - Recto - beneath image, lower left: title. Lower right, at edge of image: initials and date.. Puriri was the station of Reverend John Morgan

Source: From the W.N.W. / W.R.W. 1837.. Ref: A-113-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

3. Laishley, Richard, 1816-1897 :Maori at home, Thames, near Auckland, N.Z. 1887.    Description: Shows a Maori family in a bush clearing, their houses and domestic animals (pigs), around them. A group sits around a camp fire in the middle background. There is a kete (woven flax basket) in the right foreground.

Source: Laishley, Richard, 1816-1897. Laishley, Richard, 1816-1897 :Maori at home, Thames, near Auckland, N.Z. 1887.. Ref: G-708. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


Thames (NZ): THe House of Hotunui revisited 1880

I have often looked at the photo featured here and just acknowledged that the House of Hotunui was in the distance but that there was nothing else to see apart from the front gardens. High resolution scans have meant that this is far from the truth and yet again a wealth of information can be found on a SECOND LOOK.

The Description given for the photo reads: "View from Shortland (also known as Thames), looking towards Parawai, showing Colonel Wirope Hoterini Taipari's meeting house, Hotonui (completed 1878) at right centre. Photograph taken in 1880 by Daniel Manders Beere."
View from Shortland, looking towards Parawai. Beere, Daniel Manders, 1833-1909 :Negatives of New Zealand and Australia. Ref: 1/2-096137-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
In the foreground of the photo is the area that today is housing and occupied by Thames South School. In this photo is this the large garden area associated with the old Kauaeranga Pa, a place where the reported Kumera and other crops would have been grown.
HOUSING: To the left of the photo is what looks like a shack, on closer look there is even an outhouse like structure, but given this looks like a garden then maybe it is just an implement shed?. Note that the fence completely surrounds this garden area.
Moving closer to the meeting house, the hills in the background of Parawai are a marked contrast to that of Shortland and Grahamstown - which would at this time be ravaged by the effects of mining. The land appears farmed and in set paddocks. No shortage of fencing here!  Also the houses are substantial compared to the miners huts in the northerly parts of the Thames. The rich folk lived at Parawai!!!
HOUSE of HOTUNUI: A closer look at the meeting house, located near the corner of Bowen (later Rolleston Street) and Fenton Street. Later in the 1920s this would be moved to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where it resides today and it is the centrepiece of their Maori cultural display area.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Thames (NZ): Kauaeranga Swing Bridge

The bridge has been gone for many years, but for many the memory remains.

Thames (NZ): Canner's Shortland Hotel - Then & Now

The Shortland Hotel features often in posts, and no apology is forthcoming for that! The Shortland end of town is on the whole forgotten in photographic history of The Thames compared to the abundance of photos for the Grahamstown end of town. That end of town has a close range of hills that makes photography so much easier!!

There are many pluses to this photo of the Shortland end of Pollen Street. On this day a parade is taking place, children eagerly follow along with the procession. In the distance on the right is the shop of Coakley's (later on the corner of Pollen and Willoughby Streets). The Shortland Hotel in this view does not have the later second floor verandah.  Those hotel watchers will see its a great view of that angled front door we have looked at previously.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thames (NZ): Second Look - 1900 Government Buildings and surrounds

There is lots to see close-up on our SECOND LOOK at the Government buildings. With this photo I was not so concerned with the building, as we have looked at that in a previous post. The hills behind are the gold in this photo, as we can stop and look at the houses perched (often precariously) on the hills above Grahamstown.
Post office and courthouse, Grahamstown, taken ca 1870s by an unidentified photographer.
Source: Post office, Grahamstown. Ellings, E E (Mr), fl 1976 :Photographs of Thames. Ref: 1/2-065410-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
ROADING: Well not a lot can be said about the state of these roads, they are merely rubble with great ponds of water. Maybe work is in progress and the footpath and roads are in a state of construction! In the view below "Armed Constabulary" can be seen at the left end of the Government building. At least the fence is complete - there's nothing Thamesites liked more that good fencing around their properties.

 HOUSING: The hills above the courthouse are dotted with cottages, in the Upper Albert Street area and further up the back of Broad Street - Princess Street area. Look at the houses, they are not all the same, although at first look you may be fooled. Roof lines are single gable, double gable and hip roof. A good reference book for house identification is "Old New Zealand Houses 1800 - 1940" by Jeremy Salmond. House plans in this book show the larger cottages would typically have a lounge and kitchen on one side and two bedrooms on the other side of the front door. While the small ones here would typically be two rooms, with two windows and door at front. One room would be for sleeping the other for kitchen/living.

In the photo above, the houses on the lower levels are of a slightly different construction. The windows are of different sizes. Is that an outhouse to the left of the top house?The more substantial building on the flat, at the front of this photo is likely to be a hotel or shop.

MINING: The hills are scarred at the left of the photo along the Waiotahi spur, back towards Upper Albert Street. Ground has been cleared and the land explored. Brave souls have built there houses and the very top of the hill.

Thames (NZ): Sporting Greats - 1920 Rugby Peace Cup

Over the decades there have been times when Thames Sporting teams and individuals have matched with the best. If you have one to share, please let me know.

One such moment was when the Thames Rugby team won the Peace Cup off Hamilton in 1920. There were 1500 people at Steele Park in Hamilton to witness Thames (dressed in their blue and black colours) defeat Hamilton 11 points to 8.

There is a full match report in the Thames Star 20 September 1920. The report detailed how Winder,  who was playing for Thames injured his arm but went back on - luckily he did as he marked and kicked the winning goal!.

The Thames team were: G Buchan, Winder, Jamieson, Prussing, Burrett, Garry (replaced by Fleming), Alexander, Smith, Strange, Brownlee, Wilton, Stewart, Lomas and Blackie.
(Positions on right)

Moments like this were not quickly forgotten. In 1976, Cliff Barker of Thames remembered the great day and the wonderful years of football that followed. (Thames Star 29 June 1976)

“Mr Barker recalled some of his experiences as a team member at his recent ninetieth birthday celebrations. He joined the team for its second Peace Cup game, the game after Thames won the cup from Hamilton in the first successful challenge for it. Even though he didn’t play…Mr Barker remembers what happened…Hamilton was under hard pressure from Thames when suddenly a Hamilton forward managed to grab the ball and relieve the attack by kicking for the line.  No Thames player was there, except…J Winder was on the sideline having his injured leg rubbed by a medical attendant.  And then…"Winder thrust the medical chappie aside…and at the same moment got a nod from the referee as he rushed on to the field and joined the play.  He took up a bouncing ball and with masterly precision thumped a dropkick dead-centre between the posts.” Thames had won its first Peace Cup.

Cliff then joined the side aged 36. And they had more wins. His captain was “Circus Hayward, who was 38, known as the granddad of the team. They travelled to Auckland on the Wakatere, which was an adventure in itself. In one game Mickie Lomas scored three tries – the team formed a circle around Lomas and sang, “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.”
The reporter asked Cliff how the team practised? He replied, “Quite a few of us were fishermen, working three and four days away from Thames…To the best of my memory you went for a gallop around the streets when you could, but I can never remember having group training sessions…You were picked for the reps, and the rest was up to you.”

Cliff Barker's son Doug, had a cartoon published with the article and in later years others concerning the Peace Cup also appeared in the local paper. For many long years it was always the dream to bring the cup back to Thames.
A cartoon depicting Winder making the winning kick to claim the Peace Cup in 1920
By D Barker, Thames

1970s cartoon that appeared in The Thames Star
By D Barker, Thames
In the Thames Star 10 September 1928 there was a photo of the 1922 team that won the Peace Cup
Back Row L to R: W Pollock, M Phillips, J Winder, C Abraham, G Pollock, A O'Hara, L Stewart, G Buchan (line umpire).
Middle Row L to R: J Benney, J Pratt, R Smith, R Rhodes (chairman Thames Rigby Union), M Hayward (Capt.), A Lomas, A Winder.
Front Row L to R: A Morrissey, H Donnelly, L McRae, Hayward (Mascot), A McCollum, G Buchanan.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Thames (NZ): Racecourse area 1965

The Racecourse at Parawai in 1965 is the feature today. The land north of the course, and east of the Kauaeranga River, has undergone major changes over the decades. Land has been subdivided and now there is a school, hospital rest-home, and major housing developments.

You can see why this was an important area for early Thames, it had multiple gardens, and was used extensively by many sports. Running events, rugby, cricket and hockey were regularly played on the paddocks south of Barrett Road.
Thames Racecourse. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-63640-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
On second look, there a few areas of interest.
At the end of Barrett Road the evidence can be seen of the old Kauaeranga Bridge, that was the only bridge into town. for many decades pre 1920s
The land north of the Parawai Racecourse is only partially developed. Yet to come is the Parawai School and stopbank developments.
Below is the Totara area. There is housing along Tony's Avenue, but many more houses to come in the following years.
See the Totara Cemetery in the distance, which has expanded considerably over the decades.