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Avondale Historical Journal 60

Avondale Historical Journal 60

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Published by Lisa Truttman
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand
Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society, Auckland, New Zealand

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Lisa Truttman on Jul 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The AvondaleHistorical Journal
July-August 2011
Volume 10 Issue 60
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical  Society Incorporated 
 I received the above photo and this letter from Richie Afford back in Maythis year, in response to the previous issue’s item on the Avondale Town Hall cinema panto. — Editor 
I was fascinated and intrigued by details of the Pantomime held inDecember 1932 and especially the fact full details of the cast have beenretained.
Perhaps the event spurred St Judes to try to compete by performing anOperetta “Princess Chrysanthemum” shortly afterwards. I am not sure of the exact date and I confess to not remembering many of those in the cast.It may not be too late for someone in the cast still extant to fill the gapwith names. However here goes with my memory.
The left rear: Mrs Marsden, Mr Hoskings (Superintendent of the SundaySchool), and Edith Amos (who organised and directed). At shoulder heightleft and right of the cat in the rear, Ethel Hoskings and Esme Amos. Leftfront: Pat Addison –Sape. Centre of the three pixies: Peter Crees (killed inthe war) and yours truly, the Court Chamberlain third or is it fourth fromthe right second row from the back. You must agree we excelled with thecostumes.
Those were the days.
Next meeting of theAvondale-WaterviewHistorical Society:Saturday, 6 August 2011,2.30 pmSt Ninian’s Church
St Georges Road, Avondale(opp. Hollywood Cinema)
This is the Society’s AnnualGeneral MeetingCast of “Princess Chrysanthemum”of St Judes
Christabel Ash
Dear Lisa,I read in recent issues of the
 Avondale Historical Journal
 of Christabel Ash and her father as residents of Avondale. Christabel Ash taught both my elder sisterJocelyn, and myself at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School.When I began at EGGS in Form 3ALatin in 1950, shewas my form mistress, so for me there was a specialinterest in that small glimpse of her background. I havenow found that John Willstead Ash, her father, who diedin January 1944, was for many years the Senior Artmaster at Seddon Memorial Technical College, beforeretiring in 1940. He was born and had trained in theUnited Kingdom, where he also taught at Dudley Schoolof Art. Two of his oil paintings ‘Near Mt Albert’ and‘Study of Pines’ are held in the Auckland City ArtGallery, one donated by the Auckland Society of Arts,the other by his family in 1944.
Christabel Ash was on the staff of EGGS, teaching bothFrench and Latin from 1928. We girls knew of herromantic Christian name but of course nobody wouldeither have dreamed of calling her anything other thanthe requisite ‘Miss Ash’ or inquiring where she lived, forteachers’ private lives did not exist as far as we wereconcerned. She gained her MA as she began her teach-ing career, later qualifying with a Dip Ed during the1940s, and always wore her graduate gown, hood andtrencher when at the school. Sadly I understand that hergentle nature found classroom control difficult onoccasions but thankfully our 1950 3AL class was alwaysrespectful. When she retired at the end of Term I 1955her tribute in the school magazine noted that: ‘her soundscholarship was very much appreciated by all her pupils,but especially by those to whom she taught advancedLatin.’ I remember her explaining to our class thedifficulty of translating the subtleties of the Latin noun‘res,’ and have never forgotten the example she gave usfrom Virgil: ‘sunt lacrimae rerum’ – ‘there are the tearsof things’. It is a poignant phrase which for me at timesencapsulates a wealth of meaning. Thank you, Miss
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 10 Issue 60
 Page 2
The following are a selection of passages from twoletters over the past year or two by
Robin Fazakerley
 , awonderfully prolific writer to the Society. I’m stillgradually making my way through them all. Thank you, Robin! — Editor.
Transport Bus Services
We had two main means of transport ---by train or bybus. Transport Bus Services seemed to have two sortsof busses, --a flat-nosed Bedford and one with a verylong bonnet fastened with sort of clips on the side. Thelivery was red on the bottom and buff on the top, like thetrams, with a narrow panel separating the buff and red,with Transport Bus Services in black capitals. The driv-ers wore light brown coats.
There were two routes, one via Blockhouse Bay Rd andthe other via Taylor St These two routes alternated, soyou had to read the bus time-table. There were twosections from Avondale to Blockhouse Bay, both endingon the corner of either Wolverton Rd and BlockhouseBay Rd or Wolverton Street and Taylor St. I can'tremember the prices of fares now, but you couldpurchase School Concession Cards from the driver.
We often had Mr Bonnet as driver on our route. He wasoften very bad-tempered, but this could be due to war-time shortages---necessities were in very short supply.Billy Bonnet. Mr Bonnet's son, was in the same class-room as me at Blockhouse Bay Primary School, in 1941.I think they lived in New Windsor Rd, on the left hand.side in the 1st block from Blockhouse Bay Rd.
Christobel Ash – your legacy as a teacher is appreciated.
Kind regards,
Helen Laurenson
Tomlinson’s shop
Hi Lisa,Felt compelled to say once again a wonderfulnewsletter. It is interesting how Blockhouse Bay andAvondale residents mingle probably more so way back –before the advent of cars. I remember Tomlinsons well,Mum took me shopping there for dress materials after Ileft school in 1961 as I went on to a year at a businesscollege in the city. I was allowed to pick my own andfelt very grown up – kids these days seem to chose from5 or younger! I think it was next door to Tomlinsons onthe high side there was a land agent and Sara Mellsopworked in the office. I can remember standing in thedoor way watching her type. I think this is where the NZkiwiana shop is now – the 2 shops fronts were greymottled polished stone.
Pam Harpham
Glenburn Bricks, Stenning and Bishfamilies
When war broke out in 1939 Glenburn was a large ovalstructure nearly derelict, ferns growing out of the brickson the western side, open arches and almost collapsedroof. It had a derelict and overgrown railway sidingparallel to St Georges Road — connecting to the mainline by a series of points at St Georges Crossing. I think that there was a kiln at the southern end.
In 1942 I started to catch the 7.45 am school train everyschool morning from St Georges Crossing toNewmarket and the 3.40 pm train home fromNewmarket in the afternoon. By 1941 the Japanese hadbecome a serious threat in the Pacific and the NZGovernment started to prepare for a possible invasionby the Japanese. The Glenburn Brickworks overnightbecame a highly guarded ammunition dump. Thederelict building was reroofed, steel doors were put inthe open arches, a high security perimeter fence wasinstalled complete with a new army hut (live-in) as apermanent security guard and the railway tracks werecleared and up-dated. Quite exciting really for a 9 yearold to watch.
I have included theStennings house (Map 1,above), a rented propertywith earth floors (literally).The Stennings emigratedfrom England in 1938. TheStenning twins Doris andRay were in Primer 1 withme at Blockhouse Bay Pri-mary School. They camesome time during 1938 asdid Doris Hughes and BettyBull. Rosemary Stenningused to catch the train in1942 as she was at Teachers’College.
The Bishes were also English.They had a son Charles whowent to Mt Albert Grammar.
Clark’s Potteries, theMellsop family, andphones
Clark’s Potteries was situatedin Taylor Street, betweenBorich’s orchard and MatataStreet. Sewerage pipes weremade here and the office had aphone. Phones were a luxuryfor most people. There wereonly 2 phones in our neighbourhood — the other was atMellsop’s (corner of Blockhouse Bay Road and MatataStreet). I was sent to either when a doctor was urgentlyneeded etc. I used to enjoy watching the sewerage pipesbeing pressed by a machine from pugged clay.I think that Mr Mellsop was a JP. He had 2 daughters,Sarah and Mary. Sarah used to work in the land agent’snext to Tomlison’s Drapery (opposite Jamieson’s Butch-ery and Collin Cake Shop). She also took in Welfarechildren (the Everests’ in the 1940s) and took the Girl’sBrigade at the Mission (now the Baptist Church) inBlockhouse Bay Road. She was very kind to me andtaught me how to use a phone.
Vera Fowler (née Grey) (1899-1995)
I started piano lessons in September 1941 with VeraFowler who lived in Chalmers Street in a very large ram-bling house whose long, dilapidated driveway was en-tered from Chalmers Street.Vera later used her maiden name of Grey
[Ed. Note:Vera was daughter to Charles Daniel Grey, once Mayor of Auckland, who lived in the house known as “Banwell”until his death in 1925.]
My lessons were arranged by
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 10 Issue 60
 Page 3
Map 1 (drawn by R Fazakerley)Map 2 (drawn by R Fazakerley)

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