Anniversaries noted include Mount Albert Grammar School (90
), Gladstone School (125
) and, next year,Auckland Girls’ Grammar School (125
Looking to the future –
Is there sufficient material coming forward for a fur-ther edition of
Point Chevalier Memories
and is theresomeone suitable to be the editor?
Alternatively perhaps a series of smaller brochures onspecific topics would be more appropriate.
Could we identify places / buildings / sites of historicinterest and mark these with information panels? Thiswould involve listing the information, obtaining per-mission and arranging construction and installation.
Another project – an accurate and illustrated pamphleton places of historic interest in our area?
The Libraries have available an up-dated brochure onthe Family History Lunchtime series at the CentralAuckland Research Centre.
What contributions could we make to the HeritageFestival – 29
September to 14
So far we have coped with a Committee of four, butwe do need to have more people with fresh ideas, andnew skills. Please think how you could contribute and be prepared to volunteer some of your time.Motion's Creek with long poles (no internal combus-tion engines in those days), and often the crew wouldarrive at the mill bleeding from the shoulders from thestrenuous use of the poles. Sometimes, on high springtides, it would be possible to arrive, discharge, re-loadand get out again on the same tide, but if they got stuck on an ebb tide it might mean a fortnight before theygot off. Much wheat was grown at Tamaki and shippedto the mill. Other cutters would then have to be char-tered and I have seen thirteen stuck at the mouth of thecreek together, one blocking the other.
The old road up the hill wound into the present Zoo property to get a better grade, and three horses wererequired to pull up half a load, which was deposited ona platform at the top until the other half-load was brought up. Only the best of horses and proved staunch pullers were of any use, and those used by the firmcost up to £80 and £90 each. Maize was the chief cornused to feed the horses, most of it brought from Syd-ney by the fast and favourite steamship
. The"fine new road" of the article referred to was also inexistence then, and later was adopted as the regular route for the drays, which did two trips daily to thecity, covering sixteen miles in all. How many tripswould the present-day motor truck do?
Mr. Motion also held and worked the land on bothsides of the Great North Road from Meola Creek to theMental Hospital, and also from the mill to the site of the present speedway. At harvest time a dozen or moremen would swing their scythes in perfect time. Oneday while mowing a crop of wheat one of the mendropped a lighted match, and the whole crop, cut andstanding, also several stacks of oaten hay, was de-stroyed by fire. Wild duck soon found the burnt wheatand came in from the harbour at night to feed on it.One young fellow, now eighty years young, madesome good bags on moonlight nights, the ammunitionused being spent bullets picked up at the nearby buttsand cut up into "slugs." The mill and farm found work for many men. They were housed in two stone build-ings, one for the millers, and the other for drivers and ploughmen. Team drivers received 25/ per week and"tucker."
The social side was not neglected, and when stockswere low in the large grain store it would be cleanedout, decorated and prepared for a ball. The "dance atthe mill" was a popular function and the elite of Auck-land would roll up in strength. On these dance nights itwould be almost impossible to hire a cab in Auckland,as any "cabby" not engaged would make some excuseto go out, as there was always plenty of "eats" anddrink (mostly strong) for the "cabbies," mill hands,drivers, boatmen and any neighbours who cared to bethere.
About 1875 the property was purchased by the Auck-land City Council for £20,000, and the WesternSprings water supply was carried to the young city(From
3 February 1932)
The account in a recent issue of the "Star" of thereconstruction of the road up the steep hill by the Zootempts me to offer some history of this locality in thelate 'sixties and early 'seventies. "Motion's Mill" wasa small zoo even then. Peafowl, guinea-fowl and tur-keys ran about almost wild, and were shot as re-quired. Pheasants were plentiful and flocks of a dozenor twenty could often be seen walking about the pad-docks. Pigeons made their home above the stables,which were built right over the fresh-water stream.Lean, wide-horned wild Sydney bullocks were some-times in the paddocks, and we youngsters were thenwarned to keep clear of them. The flour mill, withtwo huge water wheels to drive six sets of stones,stood right at the head of the tidal creek. Two damsconserved the water supply and flood-gates regulatedthe amount used, which was carried in a wooden racehigh above the road to the water wheels. A steam plant was also used when the water supply ran low.
Three cutters, the
, owned by the firm of Low and Motion,and worked on shares by a crew of two, were in con-stant use collecting wheat from the ships in port anddelivering flour. These cutters were worked up
Memories of the Mill