March – April 2005

Volume 4 Issue 22

The Avondale Historical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Incorporated
Inside this issue: In days gone by 1- 2

In days gone by … Avondale in the 1950s/1960s
by Linda Killey
(Linda spotted the article I have online about the railway stations Avondale once had, and contacted me by email. I invited her to share her memories of Avondale from the middle of last century with us. — Editor.) Pre 1928 my father, his siblings and parents lived in England. Times were hard and my grandfather had some decisions to make as he was an electrician, unemployed and had a family to raise. He left and came to NZ where he found work and a home for his wife and family. Some time later his family joined him and they settled here. As an estimation at a time frame I suspect they would have been living in Avondale by 1930. If you check the postal directories back from 1951, you will find my family listed there in Rosebank Road. My father arrived in NZ about 1928, so suspect they may have been in the home about 1930 onwards. My late grandfather, Joseph Gate Killey purchased one of the bricks in the front of the Avondale R.S.A that bears the names of the donors. Our family home was and still is 2 doors up from the block of shops. I On the corner of Roberton Road was a dairy run by Adams Bros. I seem to recall that the shop had accommodation above, Being of the same age as one of the children I was often to be found there. The kitchen I found a source of fascination as it had painted Disney characters around the walls. Not posters, but of wood, possibly hardboard. Of the block of shops, opposite the railway station, the first wasn't a shop, but a flat. In my time the next was Bill Hornblower's washing machine repair shop, though I do remember my late mother saying it was a butchery at some point. Next was the bookshop run by Mr and Mrs Saul. They had a big black dog named Tubby who would offer you his paw to shake hands. After he died they had another dog, a black spaniel named Bimbo. Later Mr and Mrs Saul sold the shop and went to another in Mangere Bridge and eventually retiring to Waiheke Island. The next shop was an IGA. I remember it being run by the Asquith family. The TV programme "Just a Song at Twilight" comes to mind and have some recollection that my father, a musician, had said the elderly couple there were the same Mr and Mrs Asquith who were in the show along with a known singer at the time, Ann Stott. Later Mr and Mrs Still took over management/ownership of the shop and it was known as Still's Stores. They had rows of biscuit tins in front of the counters. There was a stool for tired mums and grans. Mrs Still would remove a biscuit tin and allow us to sit. It was a novelty. Your own armchair made of biscuit tins! Now and again she would babysit my sister and I and we would be invited to her living room behind continued on page 2

Animal Antics

2 -4

Next meeting of the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society:

Saturday, 2 April 2005, 2.30 pm
at Avondale Community Centre, 99 Rosebank Road, Avondale. (just for April meeting)

Guest speaker:
Rendell McIntosh, of Parnell Heritage,

Please contact the Society for details.

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Volume 4 Issue 22 Page 2
6 pence. My mother usually visited once a week and might purchase a piece of fruit cake of some description or even pastry which was cut off a bigger piece from a display in the window. Opposite the drapery was another butcher store, and on the other corner diagonally from the grocery store, at the intersection with the Post Office was yet another. A school holiday treat was to receive a shilling for "half return to Waitakere" - I wrote a tale about that if you are interested - enough to purchase a pack of orange blossom wafers. Highlight of the journey was the tunnel and usually the conductor turned the lights out for us. I recall some signage in the coaches... "Please refrain from expectorating on floors and mats." As children we were sent to the Avondale Methodist Church. Reverend Kitchingman(ham) served there for a time and I think the Superintendent may have been a Mr Hawkins. Miss Proctor was a Sunday School teacher as was Mrs Gelling. Her husband Bob Gelling was an active man in the church. There were a few Sunday School picnics at Stillwater that were always nice to remember. Have an idea that the Clarkin sisters would have been involved too as they were involved in the Cadets - Later Girl's Life Brigade. When one of them married we formed a guard of honour along the path to the church. There was a second hand shop - like bric-a-brac - next to the church. My friends and I used stop and peer into the window to see what was there. Seem to remember a brooch - a reddy colour with white sort of dribbled across it - was there for a very long time, and as children we considered the price tag enormous.

the shop. In later years it became a craft shop and I visited for nostalgia's sake. I could not help but notice the very old till still sitting there on the counter! The same till that I remembered being used by the previous owners. There was a piano - her son was a musician though have an idea he might have played a guitar. She would play a magic game with us whereby she would place a penny on her head, chant "abracadabra cadoolie cadoolie" - am happy to be corrected on the exact pronunciation - and like magic the penny would appear to move to a place we had selected. I remember Mr and Mrs Price who lived next door to the shop on Roberton Road. Mr Price, as you likely know, was the coal merchant. In their back garden was an old railway carriage. Mrs Price used it as a sewing room. Seem to remember her machine being in there. The first house on the right along Roberton Road was where Mr and Mrs Robb lived. I only remember them being an elderly couple with a rather nice Poorman's Orange tree in the backyard. Mr Robb was often to be found sitting on his chair on the porch smoking. I often climb the fence to sit and chat with him. On one such visit Mrs Robb had shown me how to use white bread to rub out pencil marks. At Avondale Primary School I seem to remember that Mrs Clendon was the office lady. A little woman with gingery coloured hair. Mrs Rhodes was the headmistress in the primary department for a long time. Mr Gaulton was the headmaster when I first started there in 1956. In later years Mr Goodwin from Roberton Road was the caretaker. His children had also attended the same school. Have a feeling that Mr Wilcox took over after. His wife I remember teaching us on a relief basis at Avondale Intermediate whilst she was expecting a baby. Along the Great North Road walking towards the picture theatre, on the left was a grocery store, I only remember the name Amos. The lady that used to run the picture theatre would have a lot of bother with the Saturday matinee' kids. Noise, Jaffas down the aisle, she would swoop in with her torch and threaten to shut things down if we didn't behave. It cost, at the time, a shilling to get in and we usually had 6 pence for sweets of which you could purchase rather a lot. The lady in the wee shop next door where we purchased the sweets was the mother of Miss McDonald who was one of the primary school teachers. My mother used to buy skeins of wool from the drapery on the left going down Rosebank Road. We had to hold our arms out and hold the skeins taut whilst she wound the wool into balls. Next to the bus roundabout was a dairy. At some point it was Daryl's Dairy. Just along from there Mr and Mrs Mack had a bakery. They were also caterers and had Alberta Lounge in Mt Albert. The fruit and veg shop had coloured glass depicting fruit. On the corner, still on the same side was a grocery store. Around the corner, on the left the name John Ings Butchery comes to mind. A shoe store and Adams Bruce - double header icecream was about

Animal Antics
A Dog Called Peter
When Avondale was an independent suburb complete with its own council etc., a dog ranger called Mr. Chandler (I think) was employed to collect dog licence fees. Dogs for licence purposes were classified as working dog licence fee 2/6 or as a pet, 7/6. I recall one year the ranger came around to collect on account of our dog Peter who was a very intelligent ‘mixture’ and the family pet. The ranger started to write out a receipt for a pet, 7/6, which had Mum desperate to

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avoid a crippling cost. She claimed Peter was a working dog. “Prove it!” said the ranger. Mum said to Peter – “Peter, bring in the firewood!” – which to Mum’s surprise he did. The ranger with a smile on his face wrote thus: “Working dog, 2/6” Mum’s relief was short lived. When she entered the house there was her ‘pride and joy’ the lounge carpet strewn with dirty firewood! And like most families, there was no vacuum cleaner!

Volume 4 Issue 22 Page 3 How the New Lynn “Black Tracker” sorted out problems with horses
(The following is republished by courtesy of the West Auckland Historical Society. It was originally published in their July 1991 newsletter, and I spotted it reproduced in the Titirangi Tattler of February 2005. By the way, the Tattler, next to the Avondale Spider’s Web is a wonderful read for historical titbits. I get a copy thanks to a dear friend of mine and a letterbox drop!… Editor) The New Lynn Borough Council traffic department in the 1940s and ‘50s consisted of one traffic officer, Jack Thompson, well known as ‘The Black Tracker’ because of his black attire. He was a well built man and always looked very well groomed. He didn’t seem to have any regular hours but was always there when needed … … There was no pound as such in the borough. So when someone rang the office to report roaming horses, the traffic officer was advised and he would round them up with his motorbike and guide them down the bottom of Clark Street, which was merely a narrow pathway, into the Auckland City area, then let the New Lynn office know. They would then ring Auckland City Council and tell them there were horses loose in their area. It was then their responsibility to impound the animals ... (I wonder how many times that worked before the Auckland City Council officers twigged that something strange was happening down Wolverton Street with all those horses every so often …Editor)

Mr Harrison’s Parrot
Mr Harrison, a neighbour of my mother, lived alone on five acres of bushland in Tiverton Road, along with his parrot who, due to being an eavesdropper, earned many names for himself. We usually heard the parrot at least twice a day: “Bye, Dick!” when his master went to work, and “Hello, Dick!” on his arrival from work. ‘Spoken’ with great clarity yet so funny in the silence of his surroundings. My mother had an infectious laugh which seemed to go up a note with every breath, and the parrot imitated the laugh perfectly. A priceless example of this happened one day when, on returning from a bicycle ride I was met at the gate by the family, who were all laughing at something. I added to their mirth by running my front wheel against an exposed drainpipe and making a graceful dive over the handle bars. My embarrassment gave way to laughter also when the parrot joined in the ‘chorus’. On another occasion I was gathering firewood in a nearby bush when I heard Mum call “Lunch is ready!” On arrival Mum said, “What are you doing here?” I said, “You called!” She said, “I did not! It’s only 11 o’clock!” We both knew who the culprit was. Goodness knows what else the lonely parrot picked up as Mum’s voice was the only sound it would have heard as the nearest neighbours were some distance away at that time in the early thirties. Both stories from Eric Waterfield

Judges Bay, Parnell, Heritage Walk March 20 2005
On Sunday 20 March Rendell McIntosh will take a guided tour of Judges Bay. There will be two on the day, one at 9 am and one at 11 am. Meet at the carpark/ beachfront area. Each tour will take about 75 mins. Cost $2pp - with any money split between Parnell Heritage and the ongoing history project on Judges Bay. “If you want to let your members know about the walk they are most welcome to attend,” Rendell says.

Volume 4 Issue 22 Page 4

Kiddies from Avondale Primary School, 1919. Photo courtesy of Bob Hume.

The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank

The Avondale Historical Journal
Published by the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc. Editor: Lisa J. Truttman, 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland Phone: (09) 828-8494, 027 4040 804 Fax: (09) 8288497, email:

Avondale Business Association
for their continued support and sponsorship of this publication.
Printed by

Website for the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society: Society information: Subscriptions: $10 individual $15 couple/family $30 corporate We meet once every two months, first Saturday of the month: February, April, June, August, October, December. The Journal and our Newsletter are published in those months.

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Avondale Photo Centre, 1962 Great North Road, Avondale, Phone/Fax: 09-820 6030

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