Volume 9 Issue 52
The Avondale Historical Journal
On 3 December 2009, what was once Avondale’s depotfor the Transport Bus Company burned. Over followingdays, the property owners demolished the remains. Here’sthe story of the site.
In 1865, John Shedden Adam and his surviving sisterMargaret engaged John Buchanan as their agent for thesale of their land at Avondale, the Windsor Estate. Part of this sale was the triangular site between Wingate Street(formerly Windsor, then Old Windsor Road) and GreatNorth Road. In 1866, the Adams sold Lots 40 to 47 toWilliam McLeod (an engineer) of Henderson Mill for
552/6. William McLeod moved to Wanganui by October1866 and borrowed
28 as mortgage on the property fromhis brother John. John McLeod died in April 1869, and hiswidow Christina claimed the site after William defaultedon the mortgage by 1877.
In September 1879, Christina sold the property for
100 tohotelkeeper Robert Dakin. Dakin had purchased the WhauHotel just five months before, and was to remain its ownerfor the next nine years. In February 1884, he sold theWingate/Great North Road site to the Northern OmnibusCompany for
250. This included two adjoining lotsfurther along Wingate Street purchased by Dakin in 1881.
The Northern Omnibus Company was formed in March1883, from a number of settlers in Avondale and MtAlbert who sought a “competent omnibus service”between their districts and the city. The company formedwith 4000 shares of
1 each. Robert Dakin was listed(name misspelled “Daykin”) on the initial prospectusadvertised in the newspapers. The new company intendedto provide services for not only the New North Roadroute, but also Great North Road via Arch Hill and PtChevalier. Avondale was to be the terminus, and stableserected on a suitable piece of land. A timetable was adver-tised by July 1884, but the company failed to make aprofit. In August 1884, the company took out a mortgagefrom Robert Dakin totalling
530, with a condition thatthe company maintain insurance for all buildings erectedor to be erected. This mortgage was cleared on the sameday in April 1886 when the company sold the site to pro-duce merchant (later Takapuna and Epsom bus proprietor)William Paterson for
558. It is possible, therefore, that astable dating from 1884 existed on the site. By May 1887,Paterson advertised a horse bus service from the city viaMt Albert to Avondale.
The horse-bus stable at Avondale was considerably large,as indicated by the descriptions offered by the newspaperswhen it burned down in October 1898.
A ‘bus stable at Avondale owned by Messrs Patterson and Co. was destroyed by fire early this morning. The out-break was discovered about five a.m. by Edgar Wm. Ward,a settler living about four hundred yards from the stables. He at once ran to the scene and roused the inmates, threebus drivers named Charles Lake, Alfred Ward and James Benton, who slept on the premises. They had just sufficient time to remove the buses and horses (numbering about 50)and harness from the building. Everything else in the sta-bles was completely destroyed, and the building burned tothe ground. How the fire arose is not known. John For-syth, a bus driver in the employ of Messrs Patterson, passed the stables between 3 and 4 a.m., and saw no signof fire then. The stables were insured for
400 in the New Zealand office, and were valued at
600. Forage and ef- fects to the value of
100 were lost in the fire. (Star)
The stables were soon rebuilt; they feature in a photographpublished in the
, 21 April 1900.
William Paterson died in August 1905.
The death of Mr. Wm. Paterson, founder of the firm of W.Paterson and Co., ‘bus proprietors, occurred yesterday.The late Mr. Paterson, who was a native of East Kilbryde,Scotland, was 62 years of age, and came to Auckland inthe early sixties. ... Here he laid the foundation of a most successful business as a ‘bus and cab proprietor, withbranches at Auckland, Mount Roskill, Mount Eden, Avondale, Devonport, and Rotorua. He was at one time proprietor of the horse tramcars, at the same time carry-ing on his grain and produce business. He took a keeninterest in politics, and followed the various politicalchanges of his day with close attention, although hesought no public office. He was a benevolent man, but carefully concealed from the public gaze his many chari-table acts. (Herald)
Many of his properties, which included the Avondale site,were inherited by his daughter Mary Ann Paterson. By1908 it was a livery stable operated first by James Farrar,then Anderson Brothers from c.1910, and the base for An-drews & Co from c.1918. At some point the property wasleased to Charles Theodore Pooley, a local road
Fiery End to Avondale’s Bus Depot
by Lisa J Truttman
Paterson horse bus on Queen Street. Detail from photo ref 7-A1715, courtesy Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Library