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Volume 6 Issue 32
The Avondale Historical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Inside this issue: Alford St 2—4
Next meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society: Saturday, 2 December 2006, 2.30 pm Lion’s Hall, corner Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road Please contact the Society for details.
Two photos on the cover this month to do with the now-gone brick yard along St Georges Road. Above is a photograph donated by Mr. Dave Simmons, showing workers in part of the old works, 1932. His father Wilfred Simmons is on the left, with pipe. Below: a photo from the late 1890s, showing the yards, formerly owned by William Hunt, then Bycrofts, then JJ Craig (at the time the picture was taken). It was known as Glenburn in the 20th century, until the plant ceased to operate in the late 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries (Ref: 7A12491)
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Alford Street, Waterview—1940s by Tony Goodwin
The property at No. 43 has been in the Goodwin family since 1908, which was the year in which my father, Stanley Thomas Goodwin was born. How long they had it before that I don't know. The house was built for my grandfather and grandmother, John [Jack] Francis Goodwin, and Emily Hannah [nee Morgan]. They had arrived from Porirua where my grandfather was an attendant at the Porirua Mental Hospital. He took up a similar position at "The Whau" or the Avondale Mental Hospital [Lunatic Asylum] as it was otherwise known. [These buildings were later known as the Oakley and Carrington hospitals]. Jack Goodwin came from Iniskilling, Ireland with his parents on the ship Birman in 1873. The Goodwins settled in Otahuhu where they had a coach building and wheelwright business at the "Triangle" on the Great South Road, and family members are buried in the Otahuhu Catholic Cemetery. My Grandmother, Emily Hannah was born in Levin and was part Maori from Ngati Raukawa, Hapu Ngati Hikitanga. I have no idea how she met my grandfather, but suspect they both worked at Porirua Hospital. As a teenager I spent many happy [and boisterous] holidays at Levin. Another indication of my Maori ancestry is that my father always called me by the nickname of "Henry Tikatane", a name I still use for certain purposes. My grandparents had three children :Theresa, Frank and Stan. Aunty Theresa lived for many years with Sid Woods, and they were only married shortly before her death. Together they owned "The Willowbank" Hotel, a private boarding house across the road from the shunting yards in Palmerston Number 43 Alford Street . This classical Edwardian Villa is the resiNorth, where I spent a number of happy holidays. I dence of the Goodwin family who have lived there continuously since c. 1907-1908. Photo taken by J. Dragicevich 2006. think of Aunty Theresa with great affection. Uncle Frank had two daughters by his first wife, Rona, who died while the girls were young. Daphne and Vera lived at "Number 43" after the death of their mother, and were both living there until the 1940s prior to their marriages. I recall one memorable incident going to the "Ambassador" [picture] theatre- Daphne saw on a newsreel (that was showing at the time) her fiancé, Bryan Burns, riding on a tank in Italy. My father, Stan married Edith Mason, who was an English immigrant who came to New Zealand with her mother and seven brothers and sisters on the Tamaroa in 1923. She met my father while they both worked at "The Whau". My family moved to Australia on the Awatea in late 1935 when I was only a few months old. I believe the move was for a number of reasons. As my grandparents were Catholic, my mother was nominal Church of England, and this caused Lithgow, but that's another story. In late 1944, my mother came back to New Zealand with her three children - me, Pat and Brian. My father was still in the RAAF, and my mother wanted to be quit of Australia before he came home! We travelled on the Rimutaka which was returning to Great Britain after bringing the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (for a state visit) to Australia (& New Zealand). On board, we had wonderful food that we had not been accustomed to in Lithgow. We landed in Wellington where Aunty Theresa met us and took us directly to the "Express" [ steam train] to Auckland. I remember that as a nightmare journey with four of us sharing two single seats directly behind the carriage door. The train was packed with soldiers who slept all over the floor and there was barely room to move. Also it was the first time I experienced what was to develop into asthma. Alfriction between her and my grandfather, who I understand could be a violent man if he wished. Also at the time my father was unemployed. Apart from a stint working at "The Whau" he also served his time as a Letterpress machinist [a printer]. I gather he was made redundant the day he finished his apprenticeship, which was not uncommon in those days. We lived in King's Cross, Sydney, for a short while, and my father got a job at the Orange Mental Hospital. I'm not sure if we ever stayed there, as we then moved to Lithgow in the Blue Mountains where he worked for "The Lithgow Mercury" until entering the RAAF as a medical orderly during the Second World War. My younger years were spent in
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Our property consisted of ¾ of an acre, which took in the corner of Alford and Saxon Street. Over our back boundary was the reserve which is now a playground, but in those days was a bit of a jungle. Adjacent to Thorpes there used to be a lawn tennis court, but that was also before my time. This was a vegetable garden when we lived there and I spent many hours planting and weeding. My grandmother had fruit trees, (plums, pears and apples). Originally she used to send fruit to the city markets, but we used to sell it at the door (or the shed). We had a chicken run and various old sheds. We also had things that were quite exotic for those times such as cape gooseberries, loganberries, tree tomatoes and "hairy plums" [kiwi fruit]. From our place across Saxon Street, the next house was the Stenbergs, which was quite a long way down (the road). They were my grandmother's tenants, and eventually bought the house. Mrs Stenberg had three sons that I can rememberRon and Ian are the only two whom I can name. Below the Stenbergs were the Sorensons, Harts and right at the end of the street the Georges... There were others down there whom I forget. On the other side of the road, opposite us were the Burns. Their house has also been replaced by a block of flats. Next to them were the Spencers. Ralph Spencer was a boat builder and had the "Merry Robbin", a launch and that was followed by the "Bobby Robbin"- both built in his back yard. At the end of the road on this side was the old Hallyburton Johnstone residence. Before my time Hallyburton Johnstone had been a Member of Parliament [Note: the Mr Hallyburton Johnstone who lived in Alford Street (no.70) was not an MP, his nephew of the same name (presumably named after the Waterview Mr Johnstone) was a National Party MP (for Raglan and Waipa) in the 1950s and 60s], and there used to be a Hallyburton Johnstone Tennis Club at Point Chevalier. Mr Hallyburton donated several acres of land and a large residence (the old Dignan property) at Point Chevalier to the people of Auckland in the 1920s for the purpose of establishing several sports clubs there (including tennis courts, men's and women's cricket, bowling and croquet clubs). A street near Point Chevalier beach; Johnstone Street is named after him — JD]. Soon after we arrived at "number 43", my mother had a fall out with Daphne and Vera, who quite honestly had their quiet lives turned upside down by our arrival and we went to live with our other Grandmother at 26 Fir street. This wasn't very successful as she had only a small two bedroom house [which is still there], so we eventually came back to "43". In those days, the local children all played together. We made our own fun and large parts of the street were still in paddocks of long grass or fruit trees. We had great fun playing hide and seek till well after dark. Coming from inland Lithgow, we had never seen the sea. I can remember how we rushed down to the bottom of the street to look at the sea and being bewildered by the huge expanse of mud and mangroves and could not understand
though I did not know it that at the time, I do remember the terrible shortness of breath every time we went through a tunnel and the carriage filled with thick choking smoke. And so we arrived at "Number 43" (Alford Street). At the time my grandfather lived there with Daphne and Vera. My grandfather had died while we were in Australia, and we never spoke of him that I can remember. On the morning after our arrival, us children were exploring the property, when a very angry lady grabbed me by the ear and marched us in to see Grandma Goodwin. "Look what I've found stealing your fruit," she said. But of course Mrs [Chrissie] Stenberg, who lived in the next house, which by the way was some distance down the road was amazed to learn it was the prodigals return! At this point, I need to describe Alford Street as I remember it in 1944. There was a Four Square store on the corner of the street adjacent to the Great North Road. The original shop is still there [the present Waterview Superette], although added onto over the years. This shop eventually became Mr Catchpole's and it was he who added the new buildings [the Waterview shops] at a later date. [According to records at National Archives, the Catchpoles also had a grocery store off Blockhouse Bay Road, on Terry Street.] Mr [Stanley] Catchpole was Brigadier Catchpole (was this a military title or one from the Salvation Army?), and after retiring from the grocery business, he went on to become the Civil Defence Officer for the New Lynn Borough Council. Next to the shop in Alford Street was the school bus stop where I used to catch the bus to Avondale Primary School. In those days there was a bus service between Avondale and Point Chevalier. It was quite a regular service. I remember the buses were originally red and at some later date they became blue. On one memorable occasion we all stood and watched a cow in the "Whau Paddock" across the road give birth to a calf, which might have meant nothing to a country child, but was pretty amazing to us city kids! And then we caught the bus to school. Then just down from the shop and on the same side was a huge gum tree now long gone, and beside the tree were a couple of old sheds with an old house. There were no other houses until half way down where the Richardsons used to live. I think the Services lived there prior to them, but that was before my time... and the Lancasters. This house is now gone replaced by flats. Next to the Lancasters were people I can't remember. Then the first of the State houses where the Jenkins lived. Jack Jenkins was a good friend, my sister was a good friend of Joan Lancaster. Then the house next door, to our side boundary, belonged to the Thorpes. Mr. Thorpe was a kind gentle man, he had one daughter. The Baldwins lived there at later stage and now the small house has gone to be replaced by three flats.
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where the water was, as we had no conception of the tide and felt bewildered by the absence of the sea. Also at the bottom of the street between Alverston Street and Alford Street was an area of coastal pines and a small stream which we always referred to as "Treasure Island". We had great fun damming the stream, climbing trees and building tree huts, throwing stones and making small boats. This area is all built over now [like most of Waterview] but it was a mecca for young children and I appreciate now having grown up in an adventurous and exciting environment. It makes me feel for city children today who have nothing of the outdoors or friendships that we had growing up at that time. Postscript: My mother (Edith Goodwin) still lives in the old House. It's a large villa which sadly over the years has had the original front verandah modified (to preserve my other's mobility) and ruined the classical lines of the original appearance. Some of the old original fruit trees are still
there. The adjacent section facing Saxon Street was sold to "Berty" Moss for £600, and they became our best neighbours and friends for many years. My mother still patrols her domain and will turn 90 this July. It is possibly the last "chunk" of land in Waterview and real estate agents are trapped into coming to have a look and then finding it difficult to get away without an historical dissertation that can occupy them for an hour or more. This article was submitted by Jack Dragicevich from the original written (three years ago) by Mr. Tony Goodwin, (formerly a long term Waterview resident who now lives in Avondale) on the 30th May 2003. He has kindly given his permission for it to be reprinted in the Journal of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society. Apart from a few grammatical changes, and the odd addition, clarification or slight juggling of one or two sentences for the interest of clarity, the above article is all his own recollections of growing up in Waterview in the 1940s — JD
Left: Page’s Building, Great North Road, Avondale, early 20th century. Note the wooden twostorey building to the right of the photograph, which was Atkinson’s Drapery. We are very fortunate that A.W. Page’s building (1903) has survived so well into the 21st century. Photograph by kind permission of the Bollard family.
The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank
Avondale Business Association
Avondale Photo Centre, 1962 Great North Road, Avondale, Phone/Fax: 09-820 6030
New Zealand Post’s Community Post sponsorship programme
for their continued support and sponsorship of this publication. The Avondale Historical Journal
Published by: the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc.