The Avondale Historical Journal
Volume 11 Issue 65
Council wished to acquire the site, and then transferredthe land to the Council in November 1948.
Lot 3 (No 9 Henry Street, where the glasshouses oncestood) in 1947 was owned by a widow named MargaretCatherine Jones, who with her husband James AlfredFisher Jones had owned a small goods business inAvondale. She was extremely upset at the news of thepending compulsory acquisition of her property, andexpressed this through a letter from her lawyer to theTown Clerk. But, the City Engineer at the time wasadamant: the area was required for a children’s play-ground “of which there are none in this part of thedistrict.” O’Sullivan’s strip would not be enough. MrsJones’ land was thus gazetted by proclamation to betaken as a recreation ground on 31 August 1950.
Lisa J Truttman
The Public Trustee sold the Henry St property to aretired blacksmith living in Avondale’s New WindsorRoad, John William Dickins, for £120 in October 1920.Dickins had run his business in Chancery Street inAuckland from c.1891, then at the corner of Albert andDurham Street from 1901, then Swanson Street from1903. By c.1914 he was retired and living in WolvertonStreet, then in New Windsor Road when the rates re-cords for 1920 included him. By 1923 he owned landnot only at 7 Henry Street, but also on Walsall,Roberton, Great North and St Georges Roads in thedistrict. I would say it was Dickins who had “Avonlea”either built on the site — or (an idea that will probablyremain unproven) shifted onto the site from anotherpart of Auckland, converting it to transitional form.Backing this up is that Miss Davis’ property at Lot 1(where she lived, and where a house did exist) had arateable value of £340 in 1920, compared with Lot 4 at£125.
If Dickins was the originator, he had the house on siteand complete before the 1927 amalgamation of Avondale with Auckland City, as the valuers of thatcouncil noticed nothing added to the property up to atleast 1945. In that year, they estimated the house’s ageas being 28 years old (1917). I think they were out byaround 3 years.
Dickins died in 1939, and eventually the property wastransferred to his widow, Mary Elizabeth. In 1941, shesold the property to retired farmers Alfred JosephMonoyer and his wife Marie Louise. On the death of his wife, Alfred Monoyer sold the property to carpenterRobert Horace Weeks in 1945. The Weeks (Robert andhis wife Anne Eileen) lived there together until 1963,then Anne Weeks remained there alone after his deathuntil selling the property in 1989. So, if the Douglas firinterior timber work dates from the 1940s, RobertWeeks might have been responsible.
Henry Street Reserve
While I was looking into the records for 7 Henry Street,I came across information on the origins of the adjoin-ing Henry Street Reserve.In 1946, Auckland City Council obtained a £145,000loan to acquire and develop around 300 acres of land intotal on which to develop parks and reserves in the city.One of these reserves is that at Henry Street, intendedfor a playground area, as part of a Council plan called“Area 32”. In order to do this, the council took overLots 2 and 3 of Miss Magdalen Davis’ subdivision.Lot 2 (No 11 Henry Street) in 1931 was owned by afarmer in Opanake named Daniel Denis O’Sullivan,and hadn’t really been developed in any major way.When O’Sullivan died in 1947, the family asked if
HMS Wolverine in harbour. From Wikipedia.
Remnants of a
Up until the late 1960s to early 1970s, part of theAvondale landscape included a wooden shed built byJ J Craig in the late 1890s at his brickworks on St GeorgesRoad, now known most commonly as Glenburn. In thosedays, if a supply of teak and oak timbers came floatinginto Auckland harbour and was there for the salvaging,why not take advantage of it, buy a stack of it, and thenreuse it to increase output in what was then Auckland’slargest brick and pipe making operation?
The timbers came from a Royal Navy full-rigged corvettenamed
, launched in 1863. It was built from acomposite structure of teak and oak planking, and waslaunched right when steam was rapidly replacing sail asthe motive power for ships. As such, although she was asailing ship, she also had a steam engine aboard.
The ship served in both the West Indies and Australasia. In1893, the aged
was retired by the Royal Navyand sold for £2200 to one G Ellison. Under her new own-ership, she was converted to a cargo ship, intended toconvey coal, tallow and copra from Australia and the south