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Avondale Historical Journal 63

Avondale Historical Journal 63

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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 Jan 08, 2012
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01/08/2012

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After the recent Northern Regional Day hostedby Avondale/Waterview Historical Society Idrove down Rosebank Road and stopped at num-ber 502. I was confronted by a tall wire fencewithin which was a building signed posted“Measurement & Product Safety Service –Ministry of Consumer Affairs”. I closed my eyesand sent my mind back 55 or so years and in that very private realm I saw:-Fronting Rosebank Road a low block fence, painted a light yellow to match the Art Deco style house, set back a little from theroad. The driveway passed to the right of the house and approached a garage/workshop with sewing room attached. The housewas petite but welcoming. A large intensive garden backed by an equally large hen house completed the half acre property. Thesurrounds were more of a rural nature than the current industrial area.The property belonged to my Uncle John (Jack) and Aunty Ethel Astridge. Uncle Jack built the house himself right from scratch!This included making the concrete blocks at his rented premises and carting them, six at a time, to 502 Rosebank Road in a 1932Wolseley Hornet car! The six concrete blocks were all that the Wolseley could handle at once. I believe that during the buildingprocess a local authority challenged the strength of Uncle Jack’s blocks. Trying to drive a nail into oneof them proved impossible with the nail when struck bending or ricocheting into the distance!
 
The 1932 Wolseley Hornet mentioned hadpreviously been owned by the writer’s family. As Iwas the proud owner of a driver’s license I was
The AvondaleHistorical Journal
 
January-February 2012
Volume 11 Issue 63
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical  Society Incorporated 
 
Next meeting of theAvondale-WaterviewHistorical Society:Saturday, 4 February 2012,2.30 pmSt Ninian’s Church
St Georges Road, Avondale(opp. Hollywood Cinema)
 
502 RosebankRoad
 by Robin Astridge
Top:
502 Rosebank Road, c.1957.
 Above:
1932 Wolseley Hornet.Photographs kindly supplied by Robin Astridge.
Continued next page
 
allowed to drive the car home from the Avondale shoppingcentre – but only after an embarrassing moment! The Wolse-ley required cranking to start, but after numerous attempts atAvondale my Aunty had to get out of the car and started theengine on her first crank!
 
Uncle and Aunty raised their family of two daughters in thishome plus hosting many visitors. (Auckland was a largesprawling place compared with my home town of Mastertonwhen I made my visit to Rosebank Road at the age of 15). Thegarden was developed into a veritable market garden withwonderful floral backing and many a neighbour gratefully re-ceived the results of the gardening.
 
Over the years Rosebank Road become an industrial area forthe City. 502 became surrounded by an ever increasing con-crete jungle of factories and paving but despite many an offer,sale of the property was denied. It was an oasis in the wilder-ness – a green spot among the grey concrete structures that hadgrown around it. Finally ill-health forced Uncle and Aunty tomove to a retirement home in Warkworth and the property wassold. With sadness on a few “drive bys” when visiting in thearea there was a decline in the appearance of the property, thegarden becoming a wilderness and unkempt. Finally on an-other drive by the house had gone and it was not until recentlyI stopped and found another industrial building standing at 502Rosebank Road. Memories came flooding back and in myminds eye I saw what I had witnessed at this spot. Sadly I leftbut those memories keep alive what had gone from 502Rosebank Road.
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 11 Issue 63
 Page 2
Himikera Memories 
 A response to Ron Oates’ article in last issue on Himikera Avenue.
 
How lovely it was to open the Avondale Journal and see thearticle on Himikera Avenue. My Grandparents William andLucy Shaw lived at I am sure 21 Himikera, and I spent manyhours playing quietly on the back lawn. They were a dear oldVictorian couple so the word quiet was well used on a Sundayafternoon. We would go there every Sunday afternoon forabout four and a half hours.
 
Their house was a small two bedroom, I presume would becalled a cottage, and there was no hot water and a scary gasstove. Down the back of the section was an overgrownorchard and a small waterway ran across the bottom of thesection. This came from the other side of the road through aculvert.
 
Growing on the front lawn was a big Snowball tree and Iwould love to stand under it and my brother would shake itand it did snow in Avondale, much to the annoyance of granny.
 
I would have been about 8 when I first remember goingthrough on the A.B.C. buses from Henderson and on a hot daywe would catch the tram up to the top of Rosebank Road, andthen walk to Himikera. At night we would leave about 8.30and rush down to catch the bus back home.
 
What memories you brought back, thank you.
 
Gillian Bryant, Rotorua
Harry Ronald (Ron) Waygood(1922-2012)
 Ron and his wife Val (Val passed away late last year, cared  for to the very last by Ron) were among the first 50 readers of the Avondale Historical Journal when it started in 2001, and among those I interviewed for Heart of the Whau. Right fromthe start of the Historical Society in 2002, both Ron and Valsupported us, and were both members.
 
 Ron attended our meetings, at the Lions Hall and more latelyat St Ninians, despite increasing frailty. He was a man alwayskeen regarding our history, and Val was always kind and caring — I’m very glad I knew Ron and Val Waygood.
 
 Ron Waygood died 2 January 2012, and his daughters Sandraand Beryl provided wonderful eulogies. They gave permission for these to be published here.
 
Dad was born on May 23, 1922 in the front room at 23 Rober-ton Road, Avondale. He was the youngest of three childrenborn to Harry and Elsie Waygood, who were the childrenthemselves of old Avondale families. The Binsted family werefarmers and had a butcher shop in Avondale, and old Mr Way-good was the Principal at New Lynn Primary. Dad had auntiesand uncles along with grandparents all around Avondale in hisgrowing up years. Dad’s life in Avondale revolved aroundAvondale Primary School, Mt Albert Grammar and St Jude’sAnglican Church. His mother was an accomplished musicianand had a degree in music from the University of New Zea-land. She was a music teacher and the organist in St Jude’sChurch for over 25 years. His father was the choir master andso between them they instilled in Dad a love of music thatlasted him his whole life. He was an accomplished violinist,organist and pianist and loved nothing more than to gatherfriends and family around to have a good sing song especiallyat Christmas time, singing Christmas carols.
 
In Roberton Road he helped with the garden, looked after hisdog Rua, and learned music from his mother and how to sailfrom his father. His father built his own boats and would oftentake the boys out on Auckland Harbour.
 
During the holidays all the extended family went to Piha. Hisgrandmother had given the family a section at 63 SeaviewRoad, with a spring that supplied fresh water throughout thelong Piha summers. Ben Cowan, a neighbour from RobertonRoad, and his father built a bach for the family. This was thesecond house ever built in Piha and with a few modificationsand additions is still there today.
 
His father owned Waygood Motors in Wingate St, Avondale.He imported cars from North America - namely the originalModel T Fords. The car cases, which were made out of Balticpine, were all knocked down, and used at Piha to build thebach. Family that couldn't fit in the bach, camped on the lawnand the children all slept on the front porch with sacks hang-ing down the front.These were halcyon days, spent land yachting on the black sands, fishing off the rocks, tramping in the hills and endlessdays swimming in the surf. Ron along with his cousins spentthe summers just being kids.
 
Dad was still very young when the Depression years arrived
 
The Avondale Historical Journal 
Volume 11 Issue 63
 Page 3
and his family fared no better than any others. The motor in-dustry collapsed and so the family depended on support fromgrandparents and the money that his mother brought in fromteaching music. But there were always vegetables in thegarden and chooks in the yard so no one went hungry.
 
Dad went on to Mt Albert Grammar from primary school. Hedid not enjoy secondary school and remembers finding it adifficult time in his life. Both his siblings had gone on totertiary education but by the time it came to him, there was nomoney and he had to go to work.
 
He started at Motor Specialties Ltd in Anzac Ave; with Jack Johnson who had not long started the business. He was thebicycle delivery boy and remembers giving his mother a shil-ling a week for his board and the remaining amount he wasallowed to keep for himself. Not long after he started, theSecond World War broke out and he was eventually calledup. He went into training in the air force and then the armyand was on final leave six times but much to his great disap-pointment was never sent overseas. He never joined the RSAas he felt very strongly that he had not served overseas. How-ever he never missed an Anzac Day and went with Val eachyear as his father had served with the Australian Armed Ser-vices, in Europe.
 
He used to tell a story about being in camp in Rotorua in themiddle of winter and the sergeant asking "Who can play theviolin?" A few boys stepped forward but Ron always beingfairly quiet wasn't quite quick enough. "Right" says thesergeant "You men go and dig the latrines."
 
As he said, helearnt from that day never to volunteer for anything!
 
If you ever looked closely at his face, you would notice hehad no eyebrows - not that it ever bothered him although aschildren, we thought it highly amusing. He had managed toblow up a weather balloon in his face and was probably luckythat he didn't do himself more damage.
 
There were some great stories of escapades around NewZealand and those of you who will remember Hughie Francis,from Auckland Teachers College, will be able to have a clearimage of the two of them trying to get home one night to thecamp out of Waipapakauri, completely drunk, doubling eachother on a bike, but managing to fall off into the ditch morethan they actually rode the bike. Hughie was never small andDad was never big so he was pretty sore for a few days after,but he always roared with laughter when he told the story.
 
He had many girlfriends in those days, and there was alwaysa pile of photos of pretty girls at home in his photo albums,with “To my darling Ronnie, with love from....." signedacross the bottom of them all.
 
When the war was over he went back to Motor Specs andpicked up with his life, where he stayed until he retired 42years later. In 1947 he met Mum, who took him home toWhawharua, Otorohanga to meet the family. Val's father wasnot very impressed with this young whipper snapper fromAuckland - he didn't know one end of a cow from another,couldn't shear a sheep and worst of all, didn't know how todrink whiskey. The Rasmussen boys were good Danes - andif there is one thing a Dane can do, it’s drink. So on the an-nouncement of the engagement, the whiskey was brought out- there were a couple of uncles there from Halcombe thatnight, so the story goes, and of course they took great delightin completely annihilating this Townie and drank him underthe table - a fact that Dad was never allowed to forget - andhe never drank whiskey again and in fact hardly drank morethan the occasional beer. From then on, he stuck to his gingerbeer.
 
Mum used to tell the story about when they were driving upthe hill to the house for the first time, Dad asking her if theyhad electricity!!! She was highly offended ......Cockie meetsTownie took a bit of getting used to.
 
Mum and Dad got married in Otorohanga in December 1949and celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary last year.Dad’s parents subdivided their land in Roberton Rd, andMum and Dad built their house on what had been theWaygood pond and bomb shelter. They went on to develop abeautiful garden which gave both of them great pleasure alltheir lives. It supplied all their fruit and vegetables but morethan that, it was the great love of gardening that they bothenjoyed together. Until Dad moved to Everil Orr 18 monthsago he lived on the land he was born on, all his life.
 
In later years Dad would drive to Otorohanga each month tosee Val's parents as they could not travel. Mum pick him upfrom Anzac Ave at 5 'o'clock and he would then drivethrough the night, in a variety of uncomfortable old cars.
 
Dad was a great "fixer". He would fix anything from thetoaster, to the cars, to the kids bikes, blocked drains, theclothes line that was forever falling down, to tiles blowingoff the roof, the water pump at Piha - which he had made upfrom an old washing machine pump.
 
Every few years he would paint another side of the house - itwas always pale blue and each year he would buy a gallon tinof Dulux white paint and start adding blue until he thought hehad the colour right - eventually every side of the house wasa different colour, but unless you knew, you would neverhave noticed. He got it close enough!
 
One year he decided that he would dig out the clay from un-der the house and get some more room so he could put bothcars away. He got going and then all of a sudden none of thedoors in the house would close; then the windows wouldn'tclose and finally Mum put her foot down and said, no moredigging. The house is going to fall over.
 
The same year as he started the digging, he tried the newpaint that had just come out- acrylic. Unfortunately whoeverdeveloped the paint had not tested it on heart rimu which iswhat 1728 Great North Road was built out of. It failed andfailed badly. So he had to get it all off. The only way it wouldcome off was with a blow gun and so he set about burning itoff. Our neighbours were highly amused by this - ReneBrown over the back, commented to me one day, "He could-n't knock it down with the digging, so now he's trying to burnit down!"
 
It was good old enamel high gloss every time from then on.Painting the house went on forever and between paintingAvondale and painting Piha it probably seemed like it wenton forever to Dad too.
 
The years in Avondale with Mum, and us -- Sandra, Beryland Howard -- were good, happy years for Dad. His mother

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