You are on page 1of 30

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

had to drive their produce to market

through Grey Lynn over very rough
Whau roads.” [History of Avondale, class
to Avondale …. project, Avondale
collection, 1952]
College pamphlet

1870 - 1900 “A temporary and unreliable

planked bridge was present
[across the Whau] in the 1870s to
carry the very light traffic in what
1870s was still an extremely isolated and
sparsely settled area. Most heavy
Around 1870, the first Whau Hotel freight being moved by water.”
may have burned down, for by later [Peter Buffett, Western Leader, 26/9/85]
that year James Palmer had set up
a lease agreement with James By 1870, the Public Hall was
Poppleton to manage the Whau regularly hired out to the
Hotel he’d built at the five-roads community. Rent for an
intersection. The lease was for 3 “entertainment to be held on any
years, at £2 per week, but before it night to be 1 pound sterling per
could expire the hotel burned to the night”
ground in December 1872.
[information from NZ Herald, 1872] In the 1870s, a Mr John White
appears to have been a local
“It was in the beginning of the blacksmith, featuring in the
seventies that the Great North accounts kept by John Bollard for
Road was formed and metalled his Whau Farm from 1871 to 1878.
from near the Mental Hospital to To date, he’s the first known in the
the Whau Bridge. It was the first district. He may even have started
formed and metalled road in the the forge up Blake’s Street, which
district.” [Events in the Early History of was later the Myer’s smithy from
Avondale, author unknown, from the late 1890s.
1920s/early 1930s, Auckland Public
In 1874 there is a record of a
Whau Highways District Board James Owen, “Engineer, Millwright
discussed “forming and metalling and General Smith”. [Bollard papers,
held at Auckland War Memorial Museum
road opposite the “Whau Hotel” to Library]
its junction with the New North
Road” [west side of Great North 1872
Road from Rosebank Road
intersection to Wingate St] on “[The Post Office] was moved to a
3/1/1874, and “forming and larger store at the corner of
metalling a portion of Great North Crayford Street [Morris Bros.]. The
Road from bottom of the hill mails came from the city by
opposite “Whau Hotel” to its wagonette along the Great North
junction with the New North Road. Road, which was then unmetalled.”
[Minutes, 1874]
[Mrs. D M Davy, The History of Avondale
essay, The Advance, unknown date]
“Between 1870 and 1880,
Avondale was practically a day’s “The Morris brothers were
journey from Auckland. Farmers operating a store and Post Office

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

on the south-east corner of grate was of no danger, it was

Crayford Street and Great North revealed that Phillipa Poppleton,
Road in 1872.” [Challenge of the Whau, his wife, had left a dress hanging in
p. 35] William Morris is listed as front of the fire. The flames came
being the Whau Postmaster from from the side of the kitchen nearest
1872 to 1877. [Mike Butler report, the fireplace.
Heritage Planning, Auckland City, 2001]
Poppleton was questioned by
Among the customers of the Whau lawyers (whether acting for Palmer
Store and Post Office, run by or the insurer’s lawyers is unclear)
William Morris & his brother, was as to whether he went to bed drunk
the Whau Public Hall Committee that night. Poppleton denied that
(and most likely the Board as well – emphatically. He said that business
from Morris Brothers invoices held in had been better then than at any
Special Collections, Auckland Public
other time during the lease term.
Library). The business could be seen
The verdict remained open, due to
to be the first catering firm in the
lack of evidence as to what caused
district, as many socials and
the blaze.
“quadrilles” in the Public Hall were
supplied from the Morris Brothers’
James Poppleton went on to be
licensee of the Eden Vale Hotel,
corner Mt Eden and New North
The Whau Public Hall Committee
Roads, while James Palmer had
chairman, John Bollard, moved a
his license renewed for the Whau
resolution that “at any future
Hotel in 1873 at a £20 reduction.
assembly in this Hall, that any [NZ Herald, 15/4/1873]
person having any connection with
a Hotel be excluded from vending Surprisingly, the Avondale Jockey
refreshments of any description, in Club had a predecessor, the Whau
connection with the Committee.” Jockey Club in 1872. Meetings
[minutes, 15/1/72]. This restriction were held further down the
was later lifted for a month on 7 Rosebank Peninsula, on Dr
December. Aickin’s land, and the NZ Herald
reported on 27 December 1872:
The second hotel burned down on The Whau – not to be behind the
December 17, 1872. This had fashion at the present trend – held
been owned by James Palmer, on a turf meeting yesterday in Mr
the north-western corner of Great Aitkin’s paddock. About 300
North Road and Wingate Street. spectators were present, and the
This building had two storeys, and races were successful as far as
like the first hotel on the other end they went, and creditable to the
of the township was of wood. Whau. Mr A Dilworth officiated as
[Challenge of the Whau, p. 37]
judge; Mr Kelly, clerk of the course;
There was a full coroner’s inquest Mr Stratford, starter of the horse
into the fire on 28 December 1872, races; and Mr Archibald starter of
before Dr Philson, the City the foot races.
Coroner, and a jury headed by Donkey races were included, and
John Bollard. Although James were said to be just like those in
Poppleton gave evidence that the children’s books.
fire burning down in the kitchen

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Through the destruction of the papers, Special Collections, Auckland

Whau Hotel, great inconvenience library]
was experienced by visitors from
This was one of the first signs of
Auckland, of which there were very
temperance in the district, a
many. No doubt when the Whau
movement that would ultimately
Jockey Club is older it will be in a
involve the local churches, and
position to offer better prizes; but
lead to the “dry” period starting
success attended their efforts
1909. The International Order of
yesterday in providing amusement
Good Templars started in America
for the neighbouring country.
in the early 1850s as the Knights of
Jericho (dates vary according to
Challenge of the Whau tells of
sources), and by 1872 a Lodge had
another meeting taking place there
been set up in Invercargill. It was
in 1874.
Masonic in appearance, using
[p. 41]. But by 1882 Aickin’s land
similar regalia, collars and aprons
was being subdivided and sold, so
(but these days does not).
the club would have lapsed by
“The IOGT (formerly the
International Order of Good
Templars), according to one of their
1873 tracts, "offers GOOD TIMES
through wholesome personal living;
“Palmer demonstrated confidence through a disciplined life of total
that ale would find a ready market abstinence."
in the young settlement of the Specifically, the IOGT promotes
Whau. Despite a financial loss of abstinence from liquor. As for good
£400 (insurance £800, replacement times: "we encourage sociability,"
£1200), he had a new hotel built the tract continues. "We like to eat,
within seven months. A drink and be merry without
housewarming dinner hosted by intoxicants, with clear heads and
Palmer on July 4, 1873, opened feeling at our best."
the new 13 room establishment for [From “The Teetotaller’s Party”, Joseph
business. [Peter Buffet, Western Leader, Hart, City Pages, p. 3, Vol 18,
unknown date] #839, published 1/1/1997, sighted at
Temperance Movements: On article3147.asp]
September 25, 1873, Thomas
Despite factions forming in the
Barraclough wrote to the Whau Hall
American lodges, the British ones
Committee, asking “permission to
stayed fairly well intact.
use the Hall for purpose of
Barraclough’s letter talks of 21
meetings which it is contemplated
members of the Order in the Whau
to hold in conjunction with a Lodge
district in 1873 (in Hall Committee
of Good Templars about to be
minutes of May 1873, the group
established at the Whau. Should
was mentioned as the “Excelsis
the Committee grant such
Order”, and in an article in the Daily
permission, satisfactory
Southern Cross the Excelsior
arrangements can be entered into
Lodge of G.). By 1878, there were
with the Lodge for a proper
around 8000 adult Good Templars
contribution toward any fund
in the colony of New Zealand [Sex &
required for keeping the Hall in Drugs in Colonial New Zealand, by Steven
repair, cleaning, etc.” [Letter in Bollard Eldred-Grigg, 1984, p. 179].

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

minutes donated by Mr. A E

According to S Eldred-Grigg, a Bollard.
New Zealand Alliance toward
prohibition was formed in Auckland On 21 May, 1873 the Whau Public
during 1886, and by 1899 included Library opened with sessions from
the Good Templars. Just nine 7 pm to 9 pm “for receiving
years later, the Eden electorate, subscriptions and distribution of
including Avondale, would be voted Books.” W Forsyth and W Bell
“dry”. were to act as Librarians in the first
quarter, and a Code of Rules was
The Excelsior Lodge had a music drawn up. [minutes, Whau Public Hall
group of around 14 people formed, Committee]
called the “Pioneer Choir”, who
performed at least once in April, The Whau Library received £7 ,10
1874, in the Public Hall in aid of the /- in each year for 1873 and 1874
Hall Fund. Thomas Barraclough, as subsidy [Journals of Auckland
one of the members of the Whau Provincial Council, 1872-74].
Minstrels of the decade before, was
part of the choir, singing solos. At a public meeting on 20
John Buchanan was also reported February 1874, John Bollard
to be a member in 1874. stated: “as the library had not been
patronised so largely as it should
Express coach bus between have been when the charge for
Auckland and Avondale. This later subscription was 2/6 per quarter he
replaced by horse buses. [Mrs. D M would suggest to the meeting that
Davy, The History of Avondale essay, The to make it more popular that it be
Advance, unknown date] reduced to 1/- and that a quantity of
juvenile literature be introduced so
“About 1873 a Mr Phipps made an that the fathers of families, being
unsuccessful venture with a bus subscribers, could take one or
service and when this failed an more such books to their children.”
express cart was used by a Mr
Hazel.” [D Ringrose, 1940, Challenge of Mr Francis Gittos (c.1843-1924)
the Whau, p. 22] commented, regarding the sort of
literature that should be available,
After nearly three and a half years, that there should be books “for
the Whau Public Hall Committee solid and useful instruction of youth
endeavoured to start up a library in the district.” The Chairman of the
once more. A Library Concert in the Committee was “to expend £5 in
Public Hall on 16 October 1872 procurement of such books.”
raised £7, 8/- for the library funds. [minutes, 1874]
In November 1872, a list of 20 titles
costing a total of £2, 11/- was “When the libraries first
prepared. The list was written on approached the [Provincial] Council
an A5-sized diary page for for grants, they generally received
November 7th through to 9th, a substantial seeding grant (usually
1872, found by Auckland Public about £10). The following year the
Library between 1956 and 1990 amount dropped to as little as £2-
inside the minutes to the Whau Hall £5. Subsequent grants would only
and Highway District Board have provided enough to purchase
a few extra books on top of the

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

amount received through cemetery beside the church in St

subscriptions, whereas the initial Georges Road. Today, a memorial
grant would have purchased at pillar marks his grave, erected by
least 20-30 books. … grieving community members.

“It was the introduction of the 1875

and 1877 public library acts which 1874
activated the first real debates in
New Zealand over library provision. The story of the railway in
Under the provisions of the 1875 Avondale began with a series of
Public Libraries Powers Act plans made, then scrapped, over
libraries were required to register the course of nearly 20 years. The
as incorporated societies to ensure Stafford-Gillies ministry of central
that they could legally accept government in the late 1860s
donations and funding, and to struck out a Kaipara railway
enforce their rules and by-laws. extension from the public works list.
The 1877 Public Libraries Hopes for the construction of a
Subsidies Act created a railway line through Avondale
mechanism through which the towards the Kaipara were raised in
Government could distribute 1871 with the survey of the
subsidies to libraries, carrying on a proposed line after the plans were
tradition established by the revived for consideration. However,
Provincial Councils. “ [Glenda by May 1874, the Provincial
Northey, Accessible to all? Libraries in the Council Superintendent advised the
Auckland Provincial Area, 1842-1919, MA
thesis, University of Auckland, 1998]
Mt Albert and Whau Boards that
the government had decided not to
The Library continued, being go ahead with the plan.
registered in 1879 under the new
Libraries Act, but when funding In his April 18 1874 report on the
from the Government dried up from proposal to the Minister for Public
1886 to 1897, the library appears to Works, the Engineer-in-chief John
have vanished. By the time of the Carruthers wrote that his opinion
Avondale Borough Council in 1922, there were sufficient factors,
there was no library, and the including the gradient of the land
Borough Council were seeking through which the line would pass
space to start one up again. (including the later famous
“Scroggy Hill” in New Lynn), and
July 1873 saw the tragic death of that the area leading to the Kaipara
Rev. David Hamilton, of the Harbour was “for the most part not
Presbyterian Church. His body was suitable for agriculture, as it
found on Sunday, 20 July, in Mill consisted of a barren white clay …
Creek, close to Whatipu, after he the line will therefore have to
was reported missing on the 10th. depend almost entirely upon
Apparently, he’d lost his way while through traffic from the west coast,
out journeying in the widely-spread which must be small until the
parish, dismounted, then took the country becomes more thickly
wrong turning and fell to his death. settled than it is at present…” [NZ
Herald report, 25 May 1874]

His was the first burial in the then-

newly consecrated Presbyterian

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

At the time, it was the responsibility The meeting resolved that it was
of the Provincial governments to imperative for the proposal to
fund the cost of railways through proceed, and that a petition from
their areas, as per various Railway the residents of the various
Acts in that period. The Colonial districts be signed and forwarded to
Secretary advised the the House of Assembly, “praying
Superintendent, J. Williamson who for the carrying out of this important
in a May 22 letter to the Whau work.” A committee was formed,
District Board chairman John comprised of Kerr Taylor,
Bollard, stated: “I have reason to Dargaville, Bollard, Buchanan,
believe that the data upon which Lamb and others to carry out the
Mr. Carruthers’ report is based are resolutions.
unreliable, and I am therefore
taking steps to ascertain … a more
accurate estimate of the traffic and 1875
commerce of the Kaipara district,
and also between Riverhead and “A road through the Mount Albert
Auckland …” [NZ Herald report, 25 May Highway District connects the
1874] Whau with the Mt Eden side of
Auckland. The Presbyterian
About 50 people attended a public Church, in the centre of the
meeting on this issue at the Whau township, is a neat building; and a
Hall on Saturday 23 May 1874. public hall was built about 6 years
Allen Kerr Taylor (Mt Albert), then a ago, in which the Episcopalian
member of the Provincial Council Church holds divine services every
attended and chaired the meeting, Sunday. A school with about 50
while others there included John pupils is taught by a first class
Bollard and John Buchanan (Whau certified teacher and his assistant.
District), John Lamb (Riverhead),
John McLeod (Henderson’s Mill), “A spacious hotel was erected here
Phillip McLeod (Helensville) and recently, offering accommodation
Joseph McMullen Dargaville second to none in the province,
(another Provincial Council outside of the city.
member, and after whom the
Dargaville township was named). “There are three stores, a
Joseph Dargaville had started carpenter, and two smiths shops.
laying out his private town in 1872,
and so was extremely interested in ”An express plies daily once each
seeing the proposed railway come way, by the Great North Road; and,
to pass. Dargaville, a timber by way of Mount Albert, an
merchant with connections in omnibus twice.”
Auckland, was scathing of the [J Buchanan, The Whau Village, Wise’s
Carruthers report and its author, NZ Post Directory 1874-75]
stating that he believed Carruthers
had merely listened to biased third- “It was perhaps about this time that
hand information provided by Henry Peck established next to the
political interests in Auckland keen new hotel in Wingate Street his
to see the proposal not go ahead. ‘Pioneer Bakery and General
Store’.” [Challenge of the Whau, p.
35]. This store was later acquired

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

by Page [most likely after Henry “This was a magic lantern show,
Peck’s death on 26 August 1890] possibly featuring a biunial lantern
as a branch of the Kingsland store, perhaps powered by mineral oil
until the Pages Building early the (this means of light production for
following century. [Avondale Primary the lanterns had come into use
Centennial, 1970] around this time, and was popular
for gatherings in small halls and
On checking family dates with two churches.) These projectors were
of Edward Woods grandchildren, actually two-in-one, with two
Bob Browne and Muriel Wells- separate optical systems, holding a
Green on 10 May 2001, I would set of two slides which were made
estimate that Edward Wood was to appear to “dissolve” from one to
delivering goods for A. W. Page the other. For example, a slide
from Henry Peck’s store in the featuring a winter landscape
1890s at the earliest (Edward dissolving into the same scene in
Wood was born in England in 1871, the springtime.
and didn’t come to New Zealand [Daily Southern Cross, 5 July 1876;
until he was in his teens). website for The Magic Lantern Society,
sighted 12/1/2003 -- /index.htm]
“The first road formed in Avondale
was Rosebank Road, to Wharf
James Palmer, by 1876, had found
Road (Ash St).” [Mrs. D M Davy, The
History of Avondale essay, The Advance,
another hotelkeeper for the Whau
unknown date] Hotel in a Mr. Leon, possibly on a
similar lease agreement as Palmer
had had with James Poppleton
earlier. A few hours after Mr.
Crook’s magic lantern show and
Adult education was a concern
the dance held at the Whau Hall,
125 years ago. Mr Joseph Glenny,
fire broke out around 4 a.m. an a
the headmaster of the Whau
large wooden stable and loft near
School, wrote to the Hall
the hotel. According to a Daily
Committee on 31 March 1876,
Southern Cross report at the time:
“The buildings are said to have
“In compliance with the wishes of a
been filled with hay and horse feed.
number of the inhabitants of this
The hotel had a very narrow
district, I propose opening an
escape, the wind most fortunately
evening school on the 7th
blowing in a contrary direction,
proximo. Will your committee have
otherwise nothing could have
any objection to giving me
saved the structure.” The cause
permission to use the Hall for this
was unknown. [Daily Southern Cross, 6
purpose on four evenings of the July 1876]
week, viz. Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday and Thursday.” [Bollard By 1876, central government had
papers, Auckland War Memorial Museum
Library] apparently reversed the 1874
decision not to proceed with the
On the 4 July 1876, one Mr. Crook Kaipara Railway line. Jack
staged a show of “his beautiful Diamond, in Once the Wilderness,
dissolving views to a delighted describes a survey done on the line
audience” at the Whau Hall, before through Henderson, Swanson and
a quadrille party into the night. Waitakere to Kumeu that year, and

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

the government started a comment from the floor during

negotiations with the affected the meeting, in response to the
landowners along the route from question put to Buchanan as to
Newmarket regarding where he wanted the station put
compensation. For a while, it up, “On his own property, of
seemed that the level of course!”)
compensation asked for by the [NZ Herald, 6 January 1877]
settlers, for either loss of land,
frontage, or saleability, would be A change in postmaster for the
used as an excuse by the district came in 1877. “… Mr.
government not to proceed. A George Thomas took over the
meeting was held in Morningside postal duties, and a daily service
on August 10 1876, attended by for the transport of mails from the
John Bollard and John Buchanan city was maintained by a
from the Whau District (both wagonette, the Great North Road
offering up land to the railway). being then unmetalled. Mails for
[NZ Herald, 11 August, 1876] Henderson were made up at
Avondale and taken on by a four-
wheeler, driven by Miss Jenny
1877 Hassell, who was now a Mrs
Osborne, of Freemans Bay.”
Further controversy dogged the [Speech by H. G. R. Mason, Minister of
Justice, 19 August 1938]
proposed Kaipara Railway when it
was suggested that the line from
George Thomas was postmaster
Newmarket follow a route via
from 1877 to 1881, the last before
Ponsonby and Richmond, through
the post office was shifted from the
to the Whau, rather than via Mt
Great North Road store to the
Albert. Yet another contention-filled
Railway Station in 1881. [Mike Butler
meeting was held at the Whau report, Heritage Planning, Auckland City,
Public Hall on 4 January, 1874, 2001]
where it was resolved that the line
via Mt Albert was supported and Roads were the principal
“the best one to adopt”. responsibility of the Whau Highway
District Board, and much has been
John Buchanan of the Whau had said of chairman John Bollard’s
offered the suggestion of following concern for the laying of the
the Ponsonby line to the meeting, district’s roads.
as he felt that would have meant
the railway station would be more “The Chairman spoke on the
conveniently situated for the Whau desirability of doing any necessary
district settlers (I’m unsure exactly works as forming roads and
which location Buchanan had in culverts to where necessary during
mind for the station. He may have the month of November, as being
meant for the line to cut along the the best time of the year for
western coast of the Rosebank procuring the necessary labour and
Peninsula, thereby instantly allowing a sufficient time for the
increasing the value of the consolidating of new roads
“Rosebank Estate” at that time previous to placing metal on them
being drawn up by the landowner in April” .[Whau Highway District Board
there, Robert Chisholm. There was minutes, 23/10/1877]

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

According to John Gittos, in his

It was in 1877 that Cracroft Street, sworn statement during the firm’s
and the eastern section of the old bankruptcy proceedings in 1891,
Government Road, New Windsor, “”Up to 1883 our business
was formed. Also, the road prospered. In that year an action
“passing the Whau Hall and known for damages was instituted for
as the Lower Manukau Road” was £1000 injury to water rights at our
formed, complete with culverts. We tannery. An injunction was obtained
know this road today as St compelling us to stop operations
Georges Road. there within three months. This
paralysed our trade for 18 months.
We had to pay £200 in order to
1878 compromise the action. Through
this the tannery property was partly
Population of Whau Highway sold at a considerable loss to us.”
District: 269 [1878 census]
By February 1884, the tannery had
Rates were set at 7d in the £1. left Avondale to start up afresh in
Richmond, near Grey Lynn. This
Being a Highway District Board must have been a considerable
was limiting as far as jurisdiction blow to the local suppliers and
was concerned. The Board’s retailers.
function was the construction and
maintenance of the district’s roads, Work was well underway in
but ever increasingly the needs of November 1878 on the line from
an urbanised society became more Newmarket to the Whau, with
prevalent. construction reaching Mt Albert,
and a bridge built over the Oakley
For instance, matters of health Creek at the Gittos tannery. There
were of great concern to Victorian were some questions raised as to
New Zealanders living in the the suitability of the proposed site
townships. In 1878, residents of Mt for the Whau railway station,
Albert complained to the Whau however.
Board concerning “a nuisance
which they allege exists on “Another deputation will wait on the
Oakley’s Creek, caused by the Minister of Public Works on the
drainage from Messrs B Gittos & subject of the proposed railway
Sons tannery.” [minutes, 23/5/1878]. station at the Whau. It is affirmed
Water downstream from a tannery that the site of the proposed station
would often run shades of brown, is inconveniently situated for goods
depending on the chemicals used and passenger traffic, because it is
in the process. Mt Albert farmers distant from the centre of
objected to the pollution. In April population, that no proper road has
1883, they were still “seeking legal yet been made to the place [note:
advice re Oakley’s Creek”. Most Browne St, or East Rosebank Road, only
came into existence as more than a track
likely, their lawyers advised that up the hill in 1880, in time for the railway
they had no powers of determining station – M Butler report], and that in
or enforcing health regulations. other respects it is inconvenient of

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

The settlers urge that the site of the One of the horse bus drivers of
proposed station should be two or the time was a Laurence
three hundred yards further on the (sometimes spelled Lawrence)
line, where it would front the New Teirney (1843-1915), who lived for
North Road, would be more a time in what is now New Lynn
accessible for the bulk of the (close to the site of the Cambridge
people, and would be contiguous to Clothing factory), then moved to
a well-metalled road. The proprietor Swanson. He was the father of
of the land at the spot indicated Lawrence Teirney who operated a
has, we understand, expressed his barber’s shop and billiard saloon in
willingness to give sufficient land the first half of the following
for a Railway Station free of century. He’d started in the trade
charge. [Evening Star, 20/12/1878] working in the stables of Charles
Quick (connected with Cobb & Co
Needless to say, the siting of the and the Auckland to Waikato run),
station proceeded as originally then seemed to have branched out
planned. on his own. A devout Catholic, and
lay preacher on Sundays, during
In the Wise’s Directory for 1878- the week he was drove horse
1879, are found the following buses along the Auckland-Whau
proprietors and possible route with an apparent aversion to
proprietors operating in the Whau: overtakers. Mr Teirney apparently
William Davidson, bootmaker had an aversion to other users of
Ben Falgate, boot and shoemaker the rutted roads passing him along
William Forsyth, carpenter the way. This, coupled with a quick,
J H Hansen, carter pugnacious temper, going by what
Fred Jones, engineer the newspapers of the day relate,
James Owen, storekeeper led to some startling incidents.
Charles Shannon, hotel keeper
John White, blacksmith “An accident occurred in Symonds
Joseph Wilkie, butcher St between 7 and 8 pm, which
imperilled the safety of at least 1
1879 person. A gentleman named Frost
was driving a buggy, coming into
In March, 1879, the NZ Herald town from the Whau by the New
noted that the ownership of the North Road, and passed the Whau
Whau Hotel and attached lands, bus coming in the same direction,
had been transferred from James and driven by Lawrence Tierney.
Palmer to Robert Dakin, a “suitable
and obliging landlord”, for a sum “The driver of the buggy kept close
“no far short of £2,400.” This to the left side of the road after
effectively ended James Palmer’s passing the omnibus. Tierney, in
business dealings in the Whau turn, improved his pace so as to
District, and may have happened pass the buggy, and the
as a result of the mortgages from consequence was a violent
brewery companies on his lands collision, which smashed the lighter
elsewhere in the district. vehicle. Mr Frost was thrown out
[NZ Herald, 22 March 1879] but beyond being covered with mud
and a little shaken by the fall he
has sustained no serious injuries.

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

The damage done to the buggy is technicality -- the police had

estimated at £20.” [NZ Herald, chosen the wrong part of the Public
7/11/1879, from M Butler report, Heritage Works Act on which to lay the
Planning, Auckland City, 2001] charge.
Another report from 17 January The Herald report did not stop
1882 was headed: "Obstructing a there, however.
Thoroughfare -- Rival Omnibus
Men.” Teirney was next charged with
"conduct calculated to provoke a
"Lawrence Tierney was charged breach of the peace."
with obstructing the passage of
Patrick Collins, Henry Holloway He was accused of taking off his
and others on the Great North shirt at the Whau, and challenging
Road on 23 December 1881." Collins to a fight. "Mr Lennox," the
report advised, "who was
It seems that Patrick Collins, subpoened, was unable to come in.
another Whau driver, had left the He was an important witness, but
City before Mr Teirney and Teirney he was suffering from an injury."
caught up with him at the Whau According to Teirney, Collins
Hotel. Teirney left 5 minutes before picked the fight first, and he was
Collins, and Collins caught up with backed up by a Charles H Smith
him at New Lynn "near the stables and William Armstrong. Still, he
where he stopped." was convicted and fined 20
shillings and costs of 1 pound, 4
Collins called to Teirney to "give shillings.
room to pass, but he (Tierney) kept
to the centre of the road." Collins From around 1883 to 1885,
then drew his bus onto a siding and Laurence was in Australia, either
tried to pass Teirney's bus that tiring of the farming life in
way, but Teirney thwarted the Swanson, or getting drunk,
attempt by drawing across himself, gambling away his coach, and put
preventing Collins from getting any on a ship bound for Australia from
further. where it took him the two years to
return. To date, there’s no record
Then Teirney used his bus and that he resumed the omnibus trade.
horses to block the middle of the
Whau Bridge, causing Collins to 1880s
pull up short. "(Teirney) stopped
there for half a minute, and stopped “In the early 1880s a Mr Morley had
again at the end of the bridge, and a shop on the southeast corner of
then started to gallop up the hill the St Jude’s Street/Great North
(toward the Whau township) before Road intersection. Binsted’s
(Collins) got up to him." butchery was operating from the
same premises a few years later.“
Teirney had been charged with [Challenge of the Whau, p. 35-36]
obstructing a public carriageway
under the Public Works Act of the Atkinson’s drapery was across
time, but was discharged without Blake Street from Binsted’s, and
conviction of that charge due to a was, at first, a single-storey

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

building. The upstairs living Karekare. A couple of nights here

quarters were later added. (The at Farleys boarding house, he
first house there may have been a would return to Gibbon’s lodging
business connected with Brown house at Whatipu, catch a few fish
Barrett & Co, as seen from an old off Paratutai wharf and then retrace
photo of the five-roads intersection his route back to Titirangi. This
and showing Binsted’s butcher exercise would take place about
shop around the 1880s. It is known three times a year – not without
that John McKail Geddes and incident which could be rather
Herman Brown [of Brown Barrett & daunting, I would imagine!” [Early
Co] owned land which later Manukau, Secrets of Yesterday, George
became Geddes Tce in 1903.). Higham, 1990]

“There was ‘Smiler’ Atkinson, well Up until just after World War II,
known and liked all over the Atkinson’s drapery sold virtually
Ranges. With his cart piled high everything you could think of:
with merchandise, he travelled from cottons, blankets, even maternity
his shop at Avondale to the various frocks. The counters in the shop
settlements, calling at the homes of were 5 foot by 2 foot, while the
settlers to show them the latest interior remained quite dark into the
fashions in clothing and materials, 1930s-1940s. [Conversation with Mr
and Mrs Browne, 9 May 2001]
and although perhaps a housewife
did not have the money to
purchase the enchanting things 1880
shown to her, she did at least see
what her town sisters were Auckland-Helensville railway
wearing. His visits were also an came
excuse to break away from the through to the Whau on March 29,
endless routine of work, and were 1880. The post office was soon
always looked forward to, not only combined with the railway station.
by the housewife but the children “ … a timetable of two mixed trains
as well.” [Once the Wilderness, Jack daily except Sunday to Avondale,
Diamond, 1953] continuing to Glen Eden on
Tuesdays and Fridays.”
“Mr Atkinson of Avondale was a [Source name unknown – in author’s
collection and Avondale Public Library]
regular visitor to Huia and he would
arrive at grandfather’s [William
In its first year of business Whau
Higham, Huia’s first postmaster]
Station issued 1485 passenger
place with his horse and gig loaded
tickets, handled 5190 tons of goods
with drapery, blankets, shoes and
and earned a revenue of £355.
cosmetics. He would stay a night [Tracks and Trains Through Henderson,
here, the next night at Mr Barr’s in by David Lowe]
Little Huia, over to Whatipu for a
night; here he would borrow “Within eighteen months (of 1880)
another horse and go around the the price of land rose considerably
coast as far as his two wheeled and a piece of twelve acres bought
vehicle would go near Zion Hill. for £350 a few years before was
The two horses would then be used sold for £1,200. This was partly
as pack-horses to pack most of his because the railway line to
remaining merchandise to Helensville had ended at Riverhead

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

from where passengers were taken Attorney General within the next
to Auckland by boat. After several few days, the Chairman be
years it was decided to build a line authorised to ascertain the legal
to Kaipara, through Avondale; and position of this board in the event of
there was great rejoicing when the any accident occurring.”
first train passed through.” [Mrs W
Ritchie, The Story Of Avondale essay, On November 11, “The Chairman
1952] stated that he had received £97
odd from the Government through
“In 1880, following the completion Mr Tole, the Crown Lands
of the railway to Avondale, the post Commissioner. He had calculated
office was combined with the the distance from the Caledonian
railway station, and the dual duties Hotel to Whau Bridge [total length
were undertaken by Mr. Leach. of Great North Road from the City
From that date onwards the mails to end of Whau District] and found
were transported by rail.” it slightly less that 6 miles. We have
[Speech by H.G.R. Mason, Minister of
Justice, 19 August 1938]
but 2 ¼ miles within our district.
The gross sum granted for Great
The postmasters from 1881 to North Road [by the Government
1912 (when the post office was from the toll gates] being £260 he
moved again, this time to the old found we had got our fair share.”
Avondale Hotel building in 1912):
J Leach 1/9/1881 - The concerns of the Board are
31/8/1884 quite understandable when it is
H F Howard 1/9/1884 – considered that most of their
14/6/1885 revenue for the year 1880-1881
H Bell 15/6/1885 – came from sources other than land
14/8/1889 rates, or even the new Dog Tax of
A Eyes 15/8/1889 – 5/- per dog.
W A Ridgeley 9/12/1900 – General Rates
10/1/1906 £69.18.1
J Hutchinson 11/1/1906 – Dog Tax
2/8/1907 £21.10.0
C J Moon 3/8/1907 – (registrar Mr J. L. Cox)
16/2/1912 Colonial Govt:
[Mike Butler report, Heritage Planning, Great North Rd £97.
Auckland City, 2001]. 4.7
Subsidy £32.
The Highway District Board were 1.6
informed by the Government that Share of Country Fund £33.
they were to “take over” the section 0.9
of Great North Road in the district;
that is, maintain it. The Board’s As the ratepayers were advised on
initial reaction was one of 28 July 1881: “Revenue was much
consternation, seeking legal advice less owing to a stoppage of the
from the Attorney General. On 8 subsidy. The Board were called
September 1880 “It was resolved upon to take over Great North
that in the event of no satisfactory Road. Legal advice said we would
reply being received from the be responsible for the state of that

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

road in the event of an accident, conditioned horses that would be

and so we were forced to take it on. credible to any service in the
Dog Tax money was spent on the 4 3-horse buses carrying some 18
roads, the Board were quick to passengers. A famous double-
assure the ratepayers, “and decker drawn by five horses,
besides, we had no option but to carried 35 and was used on
bring it into operation.” businessmen’s run to and from
Paterson’s horse-buses City.
flourishing (1880s). “These buses
supplied the district with transport Buses completed the Avondale to
from Auckland to Avondale for City journey in 1 hour. After
some forty years. When the trams completing 14 mile round trip, the
commenced running to Kingsland horses were spelled for the rest of
in 1903, these buses continued to the day. Horses cost £10 each,
run between Kingsland and imported as unbroken from
Avondale. Some were double- Australia, with a working life of
deckers, pulled by six horses, and eight years. (Sinking of Elingamite
carried 25 to 30 passengers. off Three Kings Islands, 1903,
Return fare from Avondale to City drowned dozens of horses bound
1/6d. It took a team of 40 horses to for the Mt Albert bus service.)
keep the service running three
times a day.” [Avondale Primary 1882
Centennial booklet, 1970]
Whau School (shortly Avondale
“[Paterson’s service] brought the
Primary School) opened on current
suburb into closer contact with the
site, 30 May 1882.
City and the arrival of the buses
from there each day was an event
“… as [the Public Hall] was really
of considerable importance to the
no longer satisfactory [as the site
local people, who were anxious to
for a school] the School Committee
hear news from Auckland [History of
Avondale, Avondale college class project,
[Messrs John Bollard (Chair), John
Pamphlet Collection, 1952] Buchanan (Secretary), William
Morris, Thomas Sanson, William
“Grey Lynn Stables and Avondale Forsyth] applied on 7th October,
Stables were deadly rivals and 1879 to the Board of Education for
would do almost anything to gain consideration to the erection of a
the upper hand over each other, school building.” [Avondale Primary
said Mr [Gordon] Barnaby of School Centennial Booklet, 1970]
Barnaby’s Bookshop, Pt Chevalier.
There was no service from the city This was finally “voted” or approved
past Grey Lynn except for these in October 1881, and on December
horse-drawn buses in those days. 2nd of that year, the purchase of a
However, their end came with the site from Mr H Hassell was finalised
extension of the tram service from of approximately 1½ acres for
Auckland.” [Western Leader, 13/6/67] £110. Tenders were called 18
January 1882, and that of William
Regular horse-drawn bus service Price accepted at £537 on 21
begins. Herald says, “a magnificent January 1882, for the construction
line of coaches drawn by well- of a two-classroom school. The

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Board of Education’s architect, and district adjoining, congratulated the

head of works for the project, was Whau residents in the possession
Mr Allwright. of their handsome school building.
When he came to reside in the
The south-eastern corner of the vicinity the district was almost a
site of the present-day School Hall desert and its progressive condition
was once that of the headmaster’s showed what population and
house (until 1924), then the Dental energy could effect.”
Clinic/Reading Room.
“As one of the pioneers of the
At the opening ceremony, Rev. Whau district, [John Bollard] had
Robert Sommerville (of the looked forward to the event they
Presbyterian Church, and then- celebrated for 22 years. The Whau
Chairman of the Whau School School had had many ups and
Committee) attended, along with downs. It was first supported by
John Bollard, J Archibald, J H Bell school fees, then by subsidy from
and G. Thomas. John Buchanan the Provincial Government At last
and William Forsyth were absent. the Provincial Government got so
Also there were R Garrett, hard up that it could give nothing.
representative to “Whau Riding”, The district then struck a rate under
and Mr A K Taylor, Chairman of Mt the Common Schools Act, about
Albert School Committee. the only one levied in the province,
but through some legal hitch it
“The proceedings opened by the could not be levied and the people
children singing a hymn under the were then at their wits end, what to
conductorship of the head teacher, do to provide educational facilities
Mr S F Mayhew. The Chairman, in for their children.
his opening speech, gave a graphic “He and some other residents paid
historical outline of the ups and the rent of a teacher’s house, and
downs of the Whau Public School, became responsible for the
and the experience of the residents purchase money of 2 acres of the
with the Board of Education … The land which now formed part of the
growth of the district and the school reserve. The Board of
increase of population had led the Education had since taken over the
Board of Education, in response to liability and made the land a school
the earnest agitation of the endowment forever.
residents, to purchase additional
ground (1 ½ acres) to that “Mr W Swanson, M.H.R. for
previously obtained for a school Newton, gave a donation of £5 to
site at a cost of £110 and to erect provide a treat for the children on
the beautiful school house in which the occasion. Mr John Grey,
they were assembled. They had lemonade manufacturer, had
now a splendid school reserve of forwarded a large supply of
over 3 acres, with a school building lemonade and ginger-beer.
which was an ornament to the Refreshments of all kinds were
district as well as a comfortable provided in abundance in the class-
residence for the teacher adjoining. rooms and Mr Thomas, after the
children had been well regaled,
“Mr A K Taylor, as a resident of 22 scrambled a large supply of lollies
years standing in the Mt Albert

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

amongst them on the green, which It is also a possibility that Avondale

afforded great amusement. is so-named simply as a “dale”
beside a river, like Avon in
“In the evening an entertainment England. To date, there is no
was held in the Public Hall to definite origin to the name.
celebrate the auspicious event. All
the residents around were invited An often-cited theory that
to attend. The Rev, R Sommerville “Avondale” was the choice in
presided. The programme honour of the then eldest son
consisted of songs, readings and Edward Prince of Wales (Queen
recitations, which were much Victoria’s son who became Edward
appreciated by the large audience VII in 1901) is highly doubtful.
present. The proceedings wound Prince Albert-Victor was created
up with dancing, in which the Duke of Clarence and Avondale on
younger portion of the assemblage May 24th, 1890 – almost eight
engaged with much spirit.” [NZ years after the name-change
Herald, 31/5/1882, from Mike Butler report, proclamation (see below).
Heritage Planning, Auckland City, 2001]
The path to “Avondale” took 21
Local Authority: now known as months. On 8 September 1880, “Mr
the Avondale Roads Board (until Buchanan proposed and Mr Aicken
1922). seconded that the name of this
Highway District, in the opinion of
Avondale no longer the Whau. I this Board, should be changed to
had thought the name “Avondale” that of ‘Riversdale Highway
may have come from the small District.’ Carried.”
village in Irish county Wicklow,
where Charles Stuart Parnell was On 11 November 1880, “the
born, and county where John Chairman stated that he had
Bollard came from. received Mr Hesketh’s opinion that
the Governor’s Proclamation is
However, members of the Bollard sufficient to change the name of
family have shown a map to me of the Township,” and the matter was
County Wicklow, which show the referred to the upcoming Annual
rivers Avonbeg, Avonmore and Ratepayers Meeting.
Avondale near where John Bollard
was born in Coan, known as the At that meeting, 28 July 1881, “Mr
“Meeting of the Waters” (a Buchanan moved, seconded by Mr
picturesque term that Bollard, as a Bollard that the name of the District
land agent, would have been be changed.” However, there was
unlikely to miss as a future selling dissent. “Mr Owen proposed,
point to settlers), and the seconded by Mr Jones, that the
confluence known as “Avondale name be not changed. This
Demesne” (domain). I feel there is amendment was put and lost, after
little doubt that John Bollard named which motion put and carried.”
Avondale the little nineteenth
century village in Auckland after And then, there is nothing further in
placenames in his own home Irish the minutes for over six months,
county. until 8 February 1882. ”Mr
Buchanan proposes, and Mr

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Thomas seconded that immediate Station and the Post Office

steps be taken to have the name of changed to Avondale.”
the District changed from Whau to This was also the last meeting at
Riversdale.” A bit curious, this, as which John Buchanan attended. Up
the Ratepayers had already to now, he had been the Board’s
approved a change, yet the Board secretary.
still had not taken action.
“In 1882 a Mr Potter was operating
Then, on 4 March 1882, bad news: a service long the Great North
there was already another Road. About the same time the
“Riversdale”, near Blenheim. “It Northern Omnibus Company
was agreed that seeing we cannot started a service along the New
get the name of the district North Road from its headquarters
changed to that of Riversdale near the corner of Wingate Street
because there is a post town of that and Great North Road. After an
name, that we apply to have the uncertain start and considerable
name changed to Salisbury.” competition from other operators
such as the Grey Lynn Stables the
This idea was supplanted a week service became a very successful
later, on 11 March 1882, by a one.” [Challenge of the Whau, p.22]
unanimous resolution, “that the
motion agreeing to request the By 1882, three mixed trains
Colonial Secretary to change the (passengers & goods) ran each
name of this district from Whau to way daily between Auckland and
Salisbury be rescinded. It was also Kumeu, leaving the city at 7.15am,
unanimously resolved that the 11 and 4.30 pm. [Tracks and Trains
name be changed to Avondale Through Henderson, by David Lowe]
and that the Chairman and
Secretary are hereby instructed to Mr Gittos offered to place seats “at
take the necessary steps to the top of the hill opposite the
accomplish this purpose.” railway station” [minutes, 17/8/1882]

On 5 June 1882, the Whau On 20 October, it was “proposed by

Highways District became the Mr Garrett, seconded by Mr Gittos
Avondale District, as declared by that the Chairman communicate
the then Governor. [gazetted 8 June with the Government on behalf of
1882] the Inhabitants of the District to
have a wicket gate and path made
On 17 June, the Board were from Cracroft St to Avondale
advised of the gazetting of the Railway Station.”
Governor’s declaration of 8 June.
This would be the last meeting of As a sign of the difficulties getting
the Whau Highway District Board, around the district, at the same
from then on known as Avondale meeting these two men (in reverse
Board. order of motion and seconding) put
forward that “bridges be made
At this meeting, “the Chairman connecting Upper Manukau Road
suggested that steps be taken to with Avondale South, and a bridge
have the name of the Railway connecting with Avondale North.”

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

In 1882, William Hunt started his Avondale was now officially a Road
brickyard on St Georges Road on Board District.
land formerly owned by John
Buchanan (called “Riversdale The Walton Estate (Allotment 63)
Road” in one newspaper report, was advertised for subdivision sale
possibly due to Buchanan’s by B Tonks & Co, to be sold at
influence). From then until into well public auction on Wednesday, 21
into the 20th century, through many February 1883. From now on, the
changes in ownership, the yard Roberton area of Avondale (Henry,
would be a source of work for Walsall, Roberton Streets) is to be
locals, and is still a light industrial developed and roads formed. [Mike
area today. Butler report, Heritage Planning, Auckland
City, 2001]
I include this unusual piece of
The Board moved on 5 April 1883
Avondale history, found on a piece
to obtain “a common seal of a
of paper from the collection of Mrs
circular form for the District Board.”
Elaine Bollard:
“Notice of meeting: All parties
At the Annual Meeting of
interested in developing the
Ratepayers, only 9 turned up.
resources of the Avondale district
Rates were struck at ¾ d in the £1.
are requested to meet in the
Avondale Public Hall, 7.30 pm
The Board also “looked into”
Tuesday 1 October 1882. Business
making Manukau Road passable
– To consider the desirability of
to light traffic. Up until then, only
thorough testing the district as a
heavy wagons could handle the
payable coalfield. “ Followed by a
conditions of the road.
number of signatures, including F
Gittos and John Bollard.
Whatever happened, Avondale
district certainly did not become a Northern Omnibus Company
coal town. operated between Racecourse
A history of Avondale, apparently Parade and behind Avondale Hotel,
written by a Mrs W Ritchie in 1952 1884. First instance of Wingate
(part of a pamphlet collection in Street stables.
Avondale College’s library) has it
that a quantity of fine peat was [Annual general meeting of
found near Pollen’s Point on Northern Omnibus Company, at Mt
Avondale Flats. This led to Albert Hotel, 29 December 1884]:
speculation that coal could be John Bollard, Chairman, reported,
mined in Avondale, and “several “As you doubtless know, we have
syndicates were formed”. However, bought a new omnibus at a cost of
nothing was to come of it. £120, and though we were
unfortunate enough to lose a
Avondale was not to be a coal-town valuable mare, the horses
after all. generally are in better condition
than ever they were. The new
stables have been erected on a
piece of land purchased for the
Company at the junction of New

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

North and Great North Roads at It was from this point, as a Road
Avondale.” [NZ Herald, 30/12/1884, District, that the Board began to
from Mike Butler report, Heritage have more powers than just the
Planning, Auckland City Council, 2001] maintenance and construction of
the roads.
By 1899, this company had been
supplanted by Andrews & Co. In this period, the only transport for
Pt Chevalier residents to the City
1885 was by Potter’s Horse Coach from
Avondale passing through the Hall
On 2 April 1885 “It was agreed that corner. The driver would sound a
the Road leading to the river from bugle as he approached the Point
Rosebank Road at Mr Bollard’s and and again at the Northern Hotel to
Day’s boundaries, be named hurry along the laggards. [Pt
Wharf Road.” Chevalier Centenary, Walker]
This was to become Ash Street.
In 1886 Henry and James
1886 Binsted opened a butchery on the
corner of St Georges Rd and Great
Rates were now ½d in the £1. North Rd. They also had an
[minutes, 15/3/1886] By October, they abattoir built on the present site of
were back up to ¾ d in the £1. Rewa Park in New Lynn. Cattle for
the yards were driven across the
Under the Local Bodies Financial city from Remuera via Avondale to
and Powers Act, the Board the yards. [Western Leader, 2/5/67]
received £208.0.11 from the
Government as subsidy. This was According to Binsted family
to become less and less each year, descendents, the parents of
as the depression grew deeper James Binsted, John and May,
from 1886-1897, and meant that came to New Zealand in 1873, with
the Roads Board were unable to do six children. The started a butchery
as much as they might have to business in Drake St, Freeman’s
maintain and develop the district. Bay “before the reclamation in
1879, when Drake St ran along and
On 13 October 1886, “Moved by parallel with the foreshore of the
Gittos, seconded by Thomas that Waitemata Harbour.” [from family
the Chairman be instructed to write history notes, supplied by Mrs Molly
to the Mt Albert Board protesting
against the imposition of Tolls on
Corned beef in kegs were exported
Busses (sp) on the New North
to the Islands from Freemans Bay,
and advertised in the 1882
Auckland Directory as “Shipping
Gittos also wanted to have
and family butchers, wholesale and
abattoirs for his tannery on the
retail, Supplied in any quantity.”
Rosebank Estate (formerly Robert
Chisholm’s land, at that time being
James Binsted is said to have been
sold). The Board refused to grant
a small-built man, who wore a
bowler hat most of the time (some
have said he was balding). His
shop had a cashier, where you

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

would pay for the meat, and a to take over land, warehouses,
counter where the meat was buildings, factories and companies
served. Binsted’s delivered to a it had a financial stake in, and the
wide area, and were known to list of liquidations of entrepreneurial
“dress-up” cuts of meat for those schemes was as long as it seemed
who couldn’t afford the more inexorable. Auckland had more
expensive cuts. bankruptcies than any other city in
the country.” [The Heart of Colonial
In old photos available, meat can Auckland, 1865 – 1910, Terence Hodgson
be clearly seen hanging outside 1992]. John Buchanan’s
under the shop’s Blake St warehousing business on
verandah. In the days before Karangahape Road was caught up
refrigeration, this was the best way in the liquidations, and he may
to keep meat cool, hoping for a have sold his Avondale property
passing breeze. soon after. September 1888 is the
latest known reference by the
The Rewa Park property (now Board’s minutes to “Buchanan’s
named Ken Maunder Park) was land”. Buchanan was adjudicated
bought in 1887. In 1916, “Binsted as a bankrupt in January 1889.
Road” leading to Rewa Park was
dedicated by the New Lynn Town Another Avondale identity hit by
Board. hard times during this period was
James Palmer, the owner of the
By October 1888, “Binsted’s Avondale Hotel, and donor of land
corner” had become an Avondale for the Public Hall (1867) and to the
landmark, as the Board authorised St Jude’s Church (1884):
John Bollard to extend the culvert “It was agreed that if Mr Westneys
to that corner. According to Mrs pay ½ Mr Palmer’s rate for the
Healy, James moved to Avondale years ’86 and ’87 that this Board
with his wife Elizabeth in 1889, will forego the collection of the
from Well Park Ave, Richmond. other half from Mr Palmer on
account of Mr Palmer’s previous
In 1895, Henry Binsted, James’ gifts of land for the benefit of the
brother and partner, died of typhoid district, and on account of his
fever, and their father John died on present financial position.” [minutes,
8 March 1900. In 1902, James 15/9/1887]
Binsted bought the Avondale shop
from his family, and had a new 1887
shop in Mt Albert, corner of Mt
Albert and New North Roads, by In April, 1887, Jessie Eva Hort
1911. Huxham MacKenzie died, and
was buried in the small
In 1886 the Auckland share Presbyterian Church cemetary on
market crashed. [Auckland Boom or St Georges Road, opposite the
Bust, Auckland Museum, 2000, p.9] Public Hall. She was the wife of
“In 1887 the Bank of New Zealand Reverend Alexander MacKenzie of
failed to issue a dividend to its the parish. This should have been
shareholders for the first time in its all of the story – except that Rev.
history …. The bank, along with MacKenzie had inscribed on
other lending agencies, was quick Jessie’s headstone, these days

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

perched hard up against the back up to the end of the Avondale

wall of the old church hall’s Borough in 1927.
toilet/kitchen area (added later in
the church’s history): It was not easy being the Ranger.
This was an unpopular position,
Sacred to the memory despite being one of the first of the
of paid positions under the Board’s
Jessie Eva Hort Huxham control. The Board expected the
Princess Torquil Ranger to stop cattle and horses
of Denmark straying into the roads, causing
Baroness MacCorquodale damage to fragile footpaths,
Of Loch Tromley, hedges and fences, while the
Chieftainess of the populace at large strongly objected
Clan MacCorquodale, to seeing their stock impounded for
And Wife of the such misdemeanours. In June
Reverend Alexander 1887, there was a strong protest
MacKenzie MA BD. against impounding of cattle, and
the Board capitulated for a time.
With this, Rev. MacKenzie gave
birth to a persistent Avondale And then, came the Gumdiggers
legend that that featured in Bounty. The nuisance of the time
countless books and articles since, was folk digging for gum on the
spawned part of an episode of a public roads, leaving behind “gum
national television programme in holes” (including on the Great
2001, Epitaph by Greenstone North Road) which were a danger
Pictures, and involved international to traffic.
enquiries between New Zealand “It was agreed that notice boards
and Denmark. be placed in conspicuous places in
the district warning people from
Enough has been written about the digging gum in the public roads.”
“Avondale Princess” for me not to William Lockhard, the Ranger of
go into detail here. I would the time, “on each conviction of
recommend reading the chapter on persons digging gum on the public
Jessie and Alexander MacKenzie roads after the notice boards are
in Epitaph II. But it is worthy of note erected … will receive from this
that Jessie’s headstone is still Board a sum of £1.” [minutes,
visited by the curious, drawn to the 1/11/1887]
legend woven out of whole cloth by
her husband from 19th century By the end of 1887, the Ranger
pseudo-genealogy. The mystique was Mr John Lupton.
of the “Avondale Princess” will be
with us for some time yet, hoax or The first electoral Returning
no hoax. Officer was appointed, a Mr
Seaman [minutes, 8/7/1887].
From July 1887, the Board started
to make annual inspections by Mr John L. Cox the Dog Tax
wagonette of the district to check collector now became the first
the roads, and any maintenance recorded Rates Collector (6 April
required. This was to continue right 1887). Previously, this would have
been the task of a Board member,

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

most likely the Secretary. In the In October 1887 Robert Garrett

minutes book covering from died in office, and was replaced by
28/7/1877 to 5/8/1891 (held Henry Peck, elected in his stead.
currently in the records of the
Bollard family, who kindly allowed 1888
me to read the book and take
notes), the Assessment Roll of The Avondale Hotel paid a £25
Ratepayers from 1868 to mid licence fee to the Roads Board.
1870s is in the front of the minutes However, licensing districts were
recorded by John Buchanan. soon to be set up, and the license
monies would soon go to other
“As the traffic (to and from the bodies.
west) increased the need for a
more substantial structure ( In the early morning of 16 April,
Whau Bridge) arose, so the (Great 1888, the third Avondale Hotel
North) road was re-aligned and in burned to the ground. The glow
1887, after the usual acrimonious from the flames was apparently so
discussions as to who would great that it was observed from
contribute to the cost, and Auckland. James Murdoch, the
complaints about Government licensee of the time under 10 year
inertia, a more substantial wooden lease to Robert Dakin, his wife, two
bridge was constructed on the site children and a servant girl all
of the present one. This bridge escaped unhurt. Murdoch stated he
would have been built of bricks with was awakened at 2 a.m. by dense
a graceful central archway over the smoke in the bedroom. His attempt
stream if Mr William Cantwell, to get downstairs was stopped by
representative for the Waikumete the smoke, so he got his family out
Highway District on the Waitemata onto the balcony, where he slid
County Council, had had his way. down one of the verandah posts,
He nearly swayed the voting with and grabbed a ladder to rescue the
his facts of the cost, permanency others. Murdoch was exonerated of
and beauty of a brick bridge, but any blame by an inquiry held at
his idea was over-ruled. [John T Avondale in May.
Diamond, Once The Wilderness, Lodestar
Press, 1977]
It is at this point that Moss Davis
The Avondale Road Board had enters Avondale’s history. He had
been advised by Waitemata County apparently purchased the land
Council of the building of the bridge which was to later form the first part
in November of 1886. By of the Avondale Racecourse, and
September 1887, the road to the now, over the rest of the year and
bridge was under study for into 1889, the replacement
realignment by the Board, in Avondale Hotel was constructed –
consultation with Waitemata this time of brick and stone. It is
County Council engineers. [minutes, this building that survived into the
1886/1887], and had been diverted 20th century, finally being
by February 1888. demolished in 1967.

Moss Davis was a brewery and

hotel owner across the region, and
would have seen the acquisition of

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

a licensed hotel adjacent to a decided to take no further action in

racecourse as a sound business August.
move, as it proved to be until 1910,
when the area went dry. In November 1888, the Board
moved, “that action at once be
“On May 18, 1888, the first letter taken for the prevention of night
carriers’ delivery was made on soil being deposited in the District,
horseback, the postman being Mr the Chairman of the Board [John
[Ben}. Bollard, who now lived in Bollard] having reported that a
Mount Albert. The delivery nuisance had been committed in
extended to the Mental Hospital, to the District by deposits of night soil.
Mount Albert, to the end of The Chairman to consult a
Rosebank Road, to a quarter of a solicitor.”
mile beyond the Whau Bridge, and
to Blockhouse Bay. [The round 1889
took more than a day to complete]. The solicitor gave the Board good
advice as to how a little Road
“The postman received £15 a Board could take on the vast
year,” he said, “and had to provide resources of a City Council
and keep two horses! He was also regarding the New Lynn
required to deliver telegrams as a “powdrette factory”.
part of his ordinary duties.”
”The Chair was instructed to write
“The next postman had been Mr to the Auckland City Council and
Sam Astley, and shortly afterwards Messrs White & Partyer, objecting
Mr Leach was succeeded by Mr to the establishment of a night soil
Amos Eyes as combined manufactory at New Lynn on the
stationmaster and postmaster.” grounds that it will be a continual
[Speech by H. G. R. Mason, Minister of nuisance and detrimental to the
Justice, 19 August 1938]
health of the inhabitants of
Borough proposal: This was
short-lived in 1888, but was
All well and good – but then the
sparked by a petition of 77
Board’s minutes go on:
households in June 1888 against
“And should the Council persist in
night soil being brought into the
establishing such works and send
district. Night soil was then a main
the night soil by road, this Board
source of fertiliser, in the days
has no other alternative but to erect
before nitrates (early 20th century),
a Toll Gate and charge tolls in
and a source of income for
order to provide for the
Auckland City who sold powdered
extraordinary traffic. Carried
night soil (or powdrette) to farmers
unanimously.” [minutes, 13/2/1889]
all over the region.
There is nothing further in the
In 1887, the Board found a new
minutes on this matter. We can
limit to their powers, in that, short of
only assume the Board’s tactic
being a full-fledged Borough, they
had no power to stop night-soil
shipments. The Board prevaricated
over the Borough issue, and then Avondale Jockey Club formed, in
conjunction with Avondale Hotel.

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Michael Foley, licensee of the carry on the business of tanners

Avondale Hotel at the time, had and leather manufacturers in the
previously started a racing club at township of Wolseley in the
Taranaki, the Opunake Racing Avondale Road District”. [minutes,
Club. 6/11/1889]. Wolseley Township was
Construction of the track began a at the western end of present-day
year earlier, in 1888, on Moss Wolverton Street.
Davis’ land and the first race
meeting was Saturday, April 26th, 1890s
By now, market gardening had
“Encouraged by the possibility of become pre-dominant on the
large crowd visiting the new Rosebank Peninsula. This would
racecourse and a likely increase in last until the 1950s, and
the population of the district, a Rosebank’s industrialisation.
number of shopkeepers began to
set themselves up in the township.” 1890 to 1917 was the heyday for
[One Hundred Years of Racing at one of the West’s more infamous
Avondale Jockey Club, p. 10]
characters, Randoff Sanfrisco
Figuero, given to be either Spanish
See entry for Whau Jockey Club
or Portuguese by origin, and better
under 1872 for Avondale Jockey
known to history as “Don Buck”.
Club’s predecessor.
He died on 5 August 1917, aged
only 47, but he built a camp in the
By now, there had been another
West for those cast out of Auckland
change in Ranger, now John
City boundaries for crimes or
Ellington [minutes, 6/3/1889]. He left
drunkenness, the remittance men
the post by February 1890, after
sent from their well-to-do families in
several run-ins with locals. The
the “home country” to earn a keep
new Ranger was Mr Owen
in the colonies, and the camp
follower ladies.
According to Mrs Dorothy Davy,
The Board’s accounts, up to 1889,
one of Avondale’s earliest
were audited by locals, namely
historians of the late 1960s to
William Forsyth and H Bell. From
1970s: “The notorious Don Buck, a
1889, the finances were audited by
Henderson gumdigger, used to
a Government-appointed auditor.
stop at an Avondale shop. One
lady told me her mother would not
Further to the formalisation of
let her children in the shop when
Board business – the Secretary
Don Buck was there. He often had
was from here on paid at £12 per
women with him that he was taking
annum – and Mr John L. Cox was
to the gum diggers camp.” [Western
therefore technically the first Leader, 28/6/77]
Avondale Town Clerk. [minutes,
From the Binsted family history
The victory over the powdrette
“Meat was ordered and then
factory led to the Board resolving
delivered from the butchery by
itself “into a Board of Health”, and
covered cart. They went as far as
received an application from E
the gumdigger’s camp in Don
Astley & Son “for permission to

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Buck’s Road at Birdwood between

Henderson and Swanson. This was In March, the Chairman was
the notorious camp of Don Buck. J. instructed by the Board, “to write to
Claude Binsted remembered with Carey & Co calling upon them to
some trepidation going with his desist from washing their carts on
father James, as a young boy, to the Bridge, or so near the Creek
deliver meat and collect money that the drainage pollutes the water
owing. It is easily understandable in the creek or this Board will
when you read that criminals made prosecute them immediately.”
the camp their home or holiday [minutes, 5/3/1890]
camp, their drinking orgies, the
drunken brawls involving men and Not having a purpose-built meeting
women and parties that went on for room in those days was at times a
days. The camp was an infamous difficulty. “In consequence of the
place where criminals sentenced to Hall being let for a wedding party
be out of Auckland by sundown or on Wednesday evening April 2nd,
those released from Mt Eden could the meeting of the Board was
find a haven.” postponed to Thursday.”

1890-91 On 26 August, 1890, Henry Peck,

the owner of the grocers/bakery on
Wises’ Directory listings include: Old Windsor Road (Wingate St)
H & S Binsted, butchers died, aged 47. His wife died young
George Downing, blacksmith also, aged 48 on 11 September
Michael Foley, Avondale Hotel 1904. He would have set up
James & William Forsyth, business around 1870 (his shop
carpenters features in a well-known photo of
Edward B Kinlock, veterinary the second Whau Hotel), at age 28.
J Pacque, professor of music At the Annual Ratepayers Meeting
Henry Peck, baker of 17 September 1890, only 4
John Potter, blacksmith ratepayers turned up. The Board
called it off, and had a Board
George Downing’s smithy was on meeting instead. By then, Henry
what was to be after 1928 the site Peck had passed away. [minutes,
of the Salvation Army Hall beside
the Primary School on Great North
Road. 1892
[Conversation with Mrs V Crawford, 28
June 2001] By World War I, his name Roads Board meetings: In the
disappears from the directories, but 1890s, most of the Board meetings
Mrs Crawford’s family, the Syers’, were held in the Public Hall, but
came to Avondale in 1916, so occasionally they would use the
memories of him must have been Presbyterian Church , and use
fresh to Avondale people then if he even the Avondale Hotel. The
had already gone. Board were charged 12 guineas (1
guinea worth 21 shillings) for the
The first Roads Engineer was hire of the Public Hall from 1886-
appointed, Mr John Boylam, on 7 1892 at 2 guineas per year. [Minutes,
February 1890.

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

From 1895 to 1898, the hire cost (Waterview) to the Great North
was £10 10/-, while for the 1898/99 Road, intersected by Rosebank
year it was £2 2/-. [Minutes, 7/7/1897]. Road. This was land north of
Rosebank Road.
Collecting rates for the Roads
board was the job of the Roads 1894
Board Clerk, who was also the
official Collector. In 1892 the salary On 10 January 1894, R F Bollard
was £12 per annum, plus 5 % was appointed dog registrar. Dog
commission on rates collected. tax was 5/-, with dog collars extra.

On the death of John L Cox, This was the first responsibility for
Richard F Bollard (son of the then the Roads Board outside of those
Board Chairman, John Bollard) was of the former Highways District
appointed to the job. [Minutes, which had nothing to do with roads
8/9/1892]. He had to find 2 sureties or the rates to upkeep them.
who would enter into a bond of
£100 “for the proper performance Patterson & Co hired brakes to the
of his duties”. This probably Roads Board (a brake was a large
because the late Mr John L. Cox, wagonette, for carrying 6 to 8
whom Bollard replaced, had people facing each other –
inadvertently forgotten to account probably for the Board’s regular
for £38 11/9 collected in rates (his road inspections around the district.
widow later paid the sum to the Cost for 2 years: £4. Pattersons
Board, and received Cox’s last also hired out traps, as in horse-
quarterly wage, less 25/-). Rates and-trap, to the Board.
were paid in the 1890s at the
residence of the Rates Collector – (69 Rosebank Road) A Mr. Grubb
in this case, R. F. Bollard’s home in was a baker on the Rosebank
Princess (Elm) Street. Rd/Great North Rd (northwest)
corner. His shop included area for
Rates were ¾ of a penny (“3 stabling of horses. Before this, area
farthings”) in the £1. just farmland. [M Butler report, Heritage
Planning, Auckland City Council, 2001]
The father of the Mr Grubb who
The Roads Board agreed that “a started the Rosebank Bakehouse
noticeboard be erected in a came to New Zealand in the 1860s,
conspicuous place for posting all and set up a bakery in
notices in connection with the Karangahape Road. Unfortunately,
Board.” [Minutes, 31/3/1983]. This during the Depression of the 1880s
would most likely have been -1890s, he went bankrupt.
positioned near the five-roads
intersection (now the roundabout). His son was a baker in the
Northern Ireland Constabulary
Sale of the Chisholm Farm, when he emigrated with his sister
Allotment 7, on 5 July by B Tonks & to New Zealand, following their
co auctioneers. This was father. Later, in Avondale, once he
Rosebank, from the Pollen Estate had married, he started the bakery.
near the tip to Brown St

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

Mr Keith Grubb, his grandson, told Board was fully aware of the work
me how his grandfather would drink undertaken.
quite a bit, and would frequent the
Avondale Hotel all too often and for “Proposed by Mr Batkin, and
far too long as far as his wife was seconded by Mr Astley that the
concerned. Once, when losing her following books be procured viz:- 1
patience with her husband, she small memo book, to be called the
took a stock whip and went into the Surface Man’s Diary; I Journal, in
Hotel, clearing everyone out in her which particulars of Surface Man’s
anger. However, Mr Grubb had Diary shall be entered by Clerk, to
seen her coming from across the be transferred to Ledger.
fields, and was well out of the way. “1 Ledger, in which shall be kept a
The licensee at the time, possibly separate account for each road in
Mr J Stych, banned Mrs Grubb the district.
from ever coming in and clearing
out his hotel again. The Surfaceman’s Diary to be
handed to the Clerk weekly for the
John Bollard, during his time as the purpose of being entered in
local MP for Eden, would often Journal. The Clerk to see that all
come into the bakehouse to talk to items entered, posted in ledger and
Mr Grubb – and would just as often all books produced at each monthly
walk out onto the street with flour meeting.” [Minutes, 27/3/1895].
all over his back from being heartily
patted there by Mr Grubb. In September, regulations were
[Conversation with Mr K Grubb, 16 June gazetted for the inspection of
2001] dairies. John Bollard was to attend
a delegates meeting, to “watch for
The Roads Board minutes of 3 the interests of the milk vendors.”
August 1898 record the resolution: [Minutes, 11/9/1895]
“That the Rosebank Road and
Great North Road at the corner of
Mr Grubb’s property be attended
to in the same manner as the
What we know now as St Georges
opposite corner known as
Road was called Brickyards Road
for most of its length at least, due
to the brickyards further down
1895 (present day Lansford Crescent
R F Bollard was appointed district development).
valuer, at a fee “not exceeding 9 [Minutes, 5/8/1896]. J. J. Craig, who
guineas”. [Minutes, 6/2/1895] owned the yards in the 1890s, was
from time to time brought to task by
Looking after the roads was, of the Roads Board for damaging
course, the main responsibility for Brickyards Rd with his heavy
the Avondale Roads Board, and wagons.
the Board took it seriously. They
took care to set in place
administration procedures to (a)
see that maintenance was done
Wise’ Directory listings include:
when required, and (b) that the
H & J Binsted, butchers
Charles Brookes, bootmaker

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

John Burrows, watchmaker

John Capes, fishmonger “Mr Bollard was essentially a big
George Cowt, draper man, not only in stature but also in
George Downing, blacksmith character and in worldly outlook.
Michael Foley, Avondale Hotel He was strongly imbued with such
James & William Forsyth, characteristics as made him
carpenters beloved by all who came into
James MacIndore, carrier contact with him. He was genial
William A Pacque, music teacher and happy, sympathetic and
John Paterson, bus proprietor tolerant, generous almost to a fault,
Henry Peck, storekeeper and a great lover of children. On
George Thomas, storekeeper his return from Parliament at the
WC Thompson, boot manufacturer close of each session, one of [John
Bollard’s] first self-imposed duties
1897 was to pay a visit to the School and
address a few words of wholesome
The Roads Board declared Charles advice and encouragement to the
Grosvenor the district Returning elder pupils. It is hard to say
Officer on 10 March 1897. By whether he or they enjoyed those
coincidence only, Grosvenor would visits most or what influence for
have worked annually in the good they may have had on the
wooden Public Hall, which was lives of those fortunate children.
moved in the 1920s for the new
Town Hall which, as a cinema in ”In his contacts with his fellow man
the 1950s was called: the Mr Bollard’s characteristics won
Grosvenor Theatre. No relation. him the esteem and respect of all.
No one in trouble or distress,
To hire the Public Hall, the only irrespective of political colour or
polling booth in the entire district, social status, appealed to him in
for Roads Board elections cost £1 vain. Indeed, many of his political
5/-. enemies were his personal friends
and he became known from North
The Patterson horse stables at Cape to the Bluff as a man of
2059 Great North Road were sterling worth. He was widely
burned down in 1897, according to known as “Honest John” Bollard.”
[From typed brief biography, Life of John
a NZ Herald report of 14 November Bollard, courtesy of the Bollard family]
1924. It seems CT Pooley took
over part or all of the land by 1898, Charles “Charlie” T Pooley by
when he started hiring wagonettes this time was in the district, working
to the Road Board. as an occasional contractor for the
Board. On 1 June 1898 he won a
1898 tender to provide “1- horse team @
8/6 per day or 4/6 for half day, and
On 3 May 1898, after 28 a 2-horse team at 12/- per day (6/-
consecutive years as Roads Board per half day).
chairman, John Bollard steps down
to devote his time in his new role Locals found entertainment each
as MP for Eden. (He’d been week in the lofts of Pooley’s stables
elected in 1896, and would stand on Great North Road.
until 1914).

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

“There were dances in Mr Pooley’s Returning Officer with the result

loft on Wednesday nights. We that only one nomination was
drove there by horse and cart and received, that of Henry William
what great dances they were! Batkin who was re-elected.”
[Minutes, 7/12/1898].
“The girls took a basket and the
Pooleys supplied tea. We danced The licensee of the Avondale
the Scottische and Polka and Barn Hotel, John R Stych, (1845-1898)
Dance to the accordion and mouth committed suicide on 20
organ.” [From Memories of early December, shooting himself in the
Avondale, by Tom Myers, Avondale head with a shot-gun in the cellar of
Advance, 21/11/1960] the Avondale Hotel. He was
apparently in financial difficulties,
According to Mr Ernie Croft, Charlie and after being approached that
Pooley used to cart logs from up afternoon by a Mr. Boylan and Mr
the Waitakeres, and did roading Abbott, he went to get a revolver
work on Bollard avenue. He was a and shot-gun, and ended his life.
close friend of Mr Ernest Croft The suicide, and resulting inquest
senior (later Avondale Borough presided over by John Bollard as
Council member). Pooley’s district coroner, was quite a
daughter had infantile paralysis, but sensation in Avondale at the time,
would still get around the district in so much so that it went into
a little cart pulled by two large “Avondale lore” as the suicide of
dogs. Sometimes, so some I have the last publican after losing the
interviewed told me, the speed her hotel licence in 1909. Only after I
cart would go along the footpaths interviewed Mrs Vera Crawford,
meant pedestrians had to step out and she mentioned the name “Mr
of the way smartly. Stych”, was I able to put Mr Stych’s
death together with the suicide
Miss Pooley apparently was quite story – a part of Avondale lore
able to ride a horse as well, which turned out to have more than
mounting by way of a special a grain of truth to it.
platform, possibly at her father’s His widow Emma took over the
stables on Great North road. At licence for 5 years.
times, Mr Croft said, she would go
droving. “The deceased was very popular in
the Avondale district and was not
Not much is known of Mrs Pooley, supposed a likely man to commit
except that it is believed she was a suicide. He had many friends in
faith healer. [Conversation with Mr E Auckland, where for many years he
Croft, 19 July 2001]
was employed in Messrs Bycroft
and Co.’s mills. As a horticulturalist
Sometimes, there were never
Mr Stych used to carry off prizes
enough ready and willing
year after year at the local flower
volunteers for a community service
shows and was an enthusiastic
such as serving on a Roads Board:
gardener. He leaves a wife and
“The Chairman [Mr B Clay]
three sons.” [Auckland Star,
reported that through the 21/12/1898]
disqualification of Mr H W Batkin, a
vacancy had resulted … he’d
instructed the Clerk to notify the

Heart of the Whau – part 2 – Whau to Avondale 1870-1900

John Stych was buried in the on their land between Cracroft

Rosebank Cemetery, his Street and Blake Street [this by the
headstone giving no indication of way is the first record found of the
the cause of his demise. reversion of name back to Blake
Street]. The Road Board
1899 complained as they wanted to open
up Layard Street. [Minutes, 1/11/1899]
Mr Hardress J. Evans became the
dog registrar on 4 January 1899,
Andrews & Co are mentioned in
and was granted 10/- 10d
the Auckland Star of December 2,
commission on dog collar sales. As
1899 as inaugurating horse bus
there was no bank in Avondale,
services to Avondale South, and a
Evans was granted a day’s wage
“new tourist route” to Nihutapu and
(5/-) to bank the monies collected
the Waitakere Ranges. Their
in Dog Tax. [Minutes, 1/3/1899]
stables may have been the earlier
ones between Racecourse Parade
1st February 1899: It was resolved
and the hotel, previously owned by
the Northern Omnibus Company.
the Avondale Road Board that “a
footpath ten feet wide with wooden
kerbing from the Avondale Hotel
bar door to the racecourse
entrance.” The racecourse
entrance and grandstands were at
that time off Wingate Street, not far
from the hotel. [Challenge of the Whau,
p. 20]

The Rosebank Road footpaths

were to be formed soon after the
beginning of June 1899
(interestingly, in the middle of
winter) – on the side from partly up
Station Hill down to Victoria Road
(Victor St). The Roads Board
pledged to spend £10 if residents
put in labour and money to the
same amount.

On 4 October 1899, R F Bollard

resigned as Board Clerk. Land
agent Fred Bluck gets the position.
By then, Bluck, unlike his
predecessor, had to only find 1
surety of £100 bond. He was
appointed Returning Officer as well
on 4 April 1900.

A special “racecourse platform”

had been installed by the Railways


Related Interests