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July-August 2014

The Avondale
Historical Journal
Official Publication of the Avondale-Waterview Historical
Society Incorporated

The Old Whau Bridge

An image from the NZ Herald 1 September 1928,
Next meeting of the showing the troublesome timber Whau Bridge which was
Avondale-Waterview Historical replaced by the existing one in the early 1930s.
(opp. Hollywood Cinema) VEHICLES CANNOT PASS.
SATURDAY, 9 August 2014, 2.00 pm “The Whau Bridge, on the Henderson Road, which is
NOTE: Change of date for this meeting only.
considered dangerous and inadequate for traffic. The New
This will be our AGM
Lynn Town Board has threatened to close it unless
negotiations for rebuilding are successful.”
The Avondale Historical Journal
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“This photograph, taken from the top of the Avondale
Municipal Chambers, shows the Great North Road 6. Main building at Avondale Primary School. Just to
from the city, on the left, and portion of the residential the right, up the slope, the Primers Block.
area in the northern borough.”
7. Site of the future telephone exchange building, cor-
The “Avondale Municipal Chambers: today, of course, ner St Judes Street and Geddes Terrace.
is the Hollywood Cinema. I’ve put numbers beside
some other landmarks in this image from the NZ Herald 8. The Avondale Borough Council Work Depot. In the
15 August 1927. With the coverage of the NZ Herald in 1970s, this was the site of the Barn youth centre.
Papers Past now extended to 1945, scans of the images
used from 1925 to 1945 are now available to readers, 9. Avondale Borough Council turncock’s office, once
and show some scenes of Auckland (and Avondale) used for Road Board meetings. Used as a dental nurse
that are rarely seen today. surgery for the primary school children. Demolished
today, now part of the flats on the eastern corner of
On spotting this panoramic view of Avondale, taken at Geddes Terrace.
the time of the vote to amalgamate with Auckland City
Council, I knew I had to share it here. 10. St Judes Church.

1. Binsted’s butcher shop, corner St Georges Road and I’m sure other landmarks would be known to members
St Judes Street, by this stage operated by Hellaby’s. of the Society and other readers.

2. The Avondale Post Office, formerly the Avondale
Hotel (the Avoncourt from the 1940s until t was demol-
ished in 1967).

3. Atkinson’s drapery, corner Great North Road and St
Jude Street.

4. Cecil Herdson’s dental rooms, in the Allely building.

5. One of the two manual training blocks at Avondale
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(Above) Caption to image: MOTOR-CAR OVERTURNED IN
COLLISION AT AVONDALE. The scene at the corner of St Jude
Street and Great North Road after the collision between two
motor-cars yesterday morning. The occupants of both vehicles
escaped without serious injury. (NZ Herald 11 February 1939).
(Left) Detail from mid 1880s image of A vondale, showing Hen-
ry Peck’s Pioneer Bakery and General Store.

I received an email recently from a family historian research-
ing the story of Henry and Kate Peck, two of Avondale’s
early business owners from the 1880s.
The Pecks of the Pioneer Henry Peck was born 1842 in East Tilbury, Essex. Henry and
his family were at Thames for a number of years before set-
Bakery and General Store in tling here in Avondale; there was at least one shop either
owned or held in trust by Peck there. He and his wife Kate
Avondale arrived in Avondale by June 1881 when they bought the
property beside the Avondale Hotel on Wingate Street, the
Lisa J Truttman bakery established with a stable by February 1882. The
stable caught fire that month, but the Pecks’ shop and dwell-
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ness at Avondale, and carried it on successfully up to the
time of his death. He leaves a widow and five children to
mourn their loss. The late Mr Peck took an active part in
every movement for the good of the district, and was a true
friend to the working man. The public school was closed
yesterday, and the boys attended the funeral in a body, in
charge of the head teacher. The funeral arrangements were
conducted by Mr W. Forsyth, the undertaker.” (Auckland
Star 29 August 1890)
Kate Peck continued the business after her husband’s death
up to March 1904, when she was committed to the Auck-
land Mental Hospital at Pt Chevalier after starting to men-
tally unravel in mid 1903, “wandering in her mind, making
untrue statements and writing to people for money who
owed her none,” according to the hospital’s case notes. Be-
cause of her committal, we have her photograph, taken
while at the hospital, glued to her case notes. [Image at left,
from Auckland Lunatic Asylum Casebook, Archives NZ ref
R 1148797] Her son Henry stated that Kate had been born
in Victoria, and had lived in New Zealand for 40 years.
“Originally clever, memory good, strong will, passionate,
affectionate, energetic, addicted to drink, never had sun-
stroke or severe injury to head, had cause for grief on ac-
count of deaths in family … been melancholy for past 2
years. Cause of insanity – change of life.” She died at the
hospital in June that year, aged 48, cause given as exhaus-
ing were saved. His brother James Peck arrived on the tion from brain disease.
Doric in 1883 with his wife Mary Ann, and reference to It may have been that the Peck family leased the store to
them appeared briefly in the Observer: Benjamin Bollard and Edward Wood from that point. Ac-
“The Pioneer Bakery has completely cast the other store cording to the Wood family members, Bollard and Wood
in the shade since the arrival of the fair charmers from the worked for Arthur Page, and indeed Page sold his Avondale
Doric.” (29 September 1883) Henry Peck was elected to business to them in October 1906. The Wingate Street store
the Avondale Road Board in 1887. He died 26 August was sold to Bollard and Wood in 1907, and in 1915 was
1890, aged 47. used by a furniture dealer named William Macferson. A
“The funeral of the late Mr Henry Peck took place yester- plumber named Frederick James Wilson and his wife Ethel
day afternoon. In addition to friends from the Thames and Florence were the next owners from 1925, and it’s their
Auckland, almost every settler in Avondale attended to name seen above the verandah in the 1939 NZ Herald im-
pay their last tribute of respect to one who was so well age, although Frederick died in 1937. The store left Wilson
beloved and respected in the district. The late Mr Peck family ownership in 1961, sold to Davison Construction
was a consistent member of the Anglican Church. The Limited in 1967, and was demolished along with the old
incumbent of the parish (Rev. W. Hooper, D.D.) officiated hotel.
at the grave, and pointed out the consistent character of
the deceased as a straightforward man of business, and a
true Christian gentleman. The late Mr Peck carried on
business for many years at the Thames, as a baker and
grocer. About ten years ago he purchased a similar busi-

The Avondale Historical Journal
Published by: Copies of Avondale Historical Journal and AWHS
the Avondale-Waterview Historical Society Inc. Newsletter produced for us by
Editor: Lisa J. Truttman Words Incorporated, 557 Blockhouse Bay Road,
Society contact: Blockhouse Bay.
19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600 The Society and AHJ editorial staff thank
Phone: (09) 828-8494, 027 4040 804
Society information:
Avondale Business
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