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ewsletter for the Point Chevalier Historical Society o. 17, March 2011
For whom the Tinkerbell Tolls
by Darian Zam
I spotted this on Darian’s blog online — and he has very kindly given permission to reproduce it here — Editor See http://longwhitekid.wordpress.com
Tinkerbell Jelly. Never heard of it? Well, neither have I, ever. Occasionally I have been surprised by the stuff – wellknown apparently – that has amazingly escaped me over the years of collecting, but I think I have most of it covered at this point. A Google search – general and image – turns up almost no references. I love stuff like this, a total mystery. It makes me wonder. Was it the name, a case of bad marketing, with only a toddler level appeal? What kind of business was it, how big, and how long were they around? What other products did they have, and how did they develop the business? What was the background of the person that started it up and the history of their family? The only clue I have by squinting (something I’m very good at) at a very low resolution image of the bottom of the box, is what appears to be “McClymont Confections, Auckland”. Clearly the product didn’t last long on the shelves. Did they go bust? Was there a personal tragedy or untowards event that brought the company down? Maybe even a corporate takeover that so often happens when they prune products that aren’t working so well. Perhaps an offshoot brand of one of the larger concerns that bought the company and tried to expand, unsuccessfully? I guess we’ll never know. The only thing I’ve turned up is a map dated from the early fifties of Point Chevalier, Auckland, which shows “At around o. 1104, a factory was built c.1953 by McClymont Confectionery Ltd”. [Published in the Times, issue 5] It tells us that they were around then, either starting up or had become successful enough to build premises not more than ten minute’s drive from the city CBD. This building was demolished some time in the 1990s to build a shopping complex. Perhaps the history of Tinkerbell brand died as the last of the bricks came tumbling down. But if you remember it, any other products they may have had in their line, or even have some information, feel free to pass it along. Anyway, the brand is quaint and graphic is very cute, and I wouldn’t have minded it to go with the rest of my collection of still-full vintage jelly (or jello, if you’re a Yank) packages. Started at a very low price of twelve bucks, passed in at auction with no bids, I asked the seller to contact me and make an offer, but they never did. Maybe they had second thoughts about the specialness of this item, just like I did.
Meetings—2011 (all at Horticultural Centre, 990 Great orth Road, Western Springs) April 28 10.30 am (Speaker: John Fleming on Pt Chevalier Primary School ) June 23 10.30 am (AGM) (Speaker: Scott Hamilton on Kendrick Smithyman) August 25 10.30 am (Members time to share. To be included in this, please see the Secretary and get your name put on
October 27 10.30 am (Speaker: Dave Simmons –Maori
perspective of local history)
ext issue due out May 2011
Contact Lisa Truttman (editor) : 19 Methuen Road, Avondale, Auckland 0600, phone (09) 828-8494 or email email@example.com
ovember 24 10.30 am (Speaker: Colin Gallagher on
history of football in local area)
Pt Chevalier Historical Society Minutes of meeting Thursday 24th February 2011 Auckland Horticultural Council Rooms
Meeting started at 10.30 am. Present: 33 people Apologies: Jan Williams, Laurie Mason, Colleen Snell, Judy Binns Correspondence:nil President’s report Creative artwork project in Pt Chevalier needs our input. For more information please contact the Pt Chevalier Community Centre on 846-1094 or contact Zoë on 021 175 3713, or visit on Facebook at Point Chevalier Art Project 2011. Public meetings to be held at Pt Chevalier Community Centre. Our society has reprinted “Pt Chevalier memories”. Of the 30 new copies we have ten left. Contact Alison Turner if you want one. Reunion of Rutherford High School will be held 25th – 26th March. Contact Margaret O’Connor for more information. Performance of Gloria (memories of a war bride) at Tarpac in the week of February 28th. Thames Heritage festival 12th -13th March. Contact Lisa for more information. Gathering of Historical Societies from upper half of North Island to be held in Avondale on August 28th. Contact Lisa for more information.
Annual subscriptions are due by 31st March
Guest speaker: Dr Miriam Saphira from the Charlotte Museum
ext meeting: 10.30 am Thursday 28th April, Auckland Horticultural Council Rooms Guest speaker: John Fleming on the history of the Pt Chevalier Primary School
Meeting concluded 11.45am
The tent village down Walker Road
by Lisa J Truttman
In May 1925, Auckland City Council considered a report from the Chief Sanitary Inspector, expressing concerns as to a set of five families living in tents as their accommodation, “in Hawea and Walker Roads” on allotments the families had arranged to purchase by means of a small deposit and weekly payments. The trouble was, the families couldn’t afford to raise further funds to build proper houses, and were barred from obtaining State loans because, at that stage, their section of Walker Road hadn’t been formed properly, while Hawea Road had still not been dedicated.. The Council, not wanting to see slum conditions in the healthy suburb of Pt Chevalier, agreed to give the families’ three months notice to vacate and remove their tent village. Five long, blue envelopes accordingly found their way to five poor little makeshift homes yesterday, where they were delivered to five mothers, each one busy with the tasks of the morning. The receipt of the long, blue
envelopes did not tend to make the cold, grey day any brighter. “I knew it would come,” said one of the women to the visitor who arrived a few moments ahead of the postman. “We saw it in the paper last week.” She tore the envelope open and scanned the paper with troubled eyes … Just the brief, official notice to vacate, couched in the terms of the Works Committee recommendation. ( Z Herald, 5 June 1925) There are 20 children, the eldest about 12 years, and the youngest nine months old, living in those cheerless homes. One family of nine -- father, mother, and seven children -- whose ages range from eleven years to nine months, are living in a motor-car packing case and a tent containing three beds. There are cracks in the boarding of the shed, and the wind and the rain beat checked on the unboarded canvas of one’s "bed-room”. There is no fireplace, and cooking is done in an oildrum mounted on a benzine tin just outside the door. The sole furnishing of the living room is a table, an old couch, and a sewing machine with which the mother makes all the clothes for her brood. A tiny square of glass on either side of the shack supplies the light, and an open door and he cracks in the wall give ample ventilation.
There is another makeshift home on just the same lines, save that it has an open fireplace and a tin chimney, a third home boasts a range, and another consists of a single big tent and a tiny corrugated iron shed with a fireplace. A fifth is a neat little rough-cast one room dwelling, with a stove at one end and sleeping accommodation at the other end. The words of a mother of a family of seven shed an illuminating light on the modern conditions of life for a family trying to exist on a wage of £4 10s a week, conditions which have been cheerfully exchanged for the rigours of life in a tent in mid-winter. “I simply dread what may be ahead," she said. "We were chivvied from pillar to post until I was almost desperate, and I thought when we came here that we were at last on the way to getting a little home of our own. It has been very hard, what with rain, mud, and no conveniences, but none of us has been any the worse for it in health, and I would rather have it like this a hundred times over than go back to rooms in the city. If you only knew what we have gone through. We rented a little place for five years, and then it was sold over our heads. We then paid £2 a week for three rooms, but there was drinking going on all around, and there was nowhere for the children to play but out in the street. I simply could not bring them up decently under such conditions. It is very rough and poor here, but there is plenty of room for them to play outside when the weather is good, and they have all been ever so much brighter and healthier since we came. If they turn us out I don't know what we shall do. We were going to put in a stove, line the walls, and fix the place up a bit, but it is no use if we have to go. It just seems to have taken the heart out of me. How can I go hunting for rooms with seven children to look after? And who will take us?" "We would never have come, but for the assurance of the agent that we would be allowed to put up a tent," said another mother, who, with her husband and four children, are living under canvas. "Half my husband's salary was going in rent, and nothing to show for it in the end, so we thought we would be better off by roughing it here for a while, and getting a Government loan to build later on. We are doing it solely for the sake of the children, and so long as we are happy and contented, what does it matter to anybody else?" That was the burden of each woman's story. The children were well and happy; they were all undergoing hardships, but these were as nothing compared with the miseries of existence in a crowded lodging house. It was the hope of better things, of ultimately securing a home of their own, that seemed to be buoying them up to the endurance of the "present conditions." "Instead of turning us out, why can't the council help us?"" asked another worried, young mother. "We are not drunken, dissolute people that they should be so anxious to get rid of us. The inspector talks of public health and lack of sanitation and water supply. We
have had a regular sanitary service for weeks past, and water pipes are now being laid down the main road. I think the council would be showing a better spirit if they helped us to get the water and drainage instead of turning us out of our homes after we have had to put up with all the worst of the hardships of winter?" These people declare that if they are evicted they will not only be homeless but will lose their sections and whatever they have paid on them to complete the purchase, for what they will have to pay in rent will make it quite impossible for them to complete the purchase agreement. “ (Evening Post, 6 June 1925) There was somewhat of a furore amongst Aucklanders, in support of the families. The NZ Truth compared the Council’s attitude unfavourably with the hundreds of thousands of pound it was expending on the nearby zoo. City Councillors such as Thomas Bloodworth and Ellen Melville blamed “the unscrupulous land agent who sold the sections” on what had been a Chinese market garden (operated perhaps by Wong Lee, who was gardening on the other side of Walker Road from Walker Park on down). By July, the City Council was relenting, saying that even when the three months’ notice expired, they’d go ahead and issue another three months’ notice, rather than take action. What happened to the families beyond August 1925, I have not been able to find out. The even numbered side of Walker Road, including side roads like Hawea, was part of a subdivision by the Tramways Extension Estate Company from 1924. Hawea Road was dedicated officially as a public road in March 1926, and sales on the subdivision proceeded from that point. Sources: Z Herald, and Papers Past Auckland Council Archives — Council minutes 1925, valuation fieldsheets for Walker Road.
by Don Welch
The closure in November 2010 of the TAB in Carrington Road due to a run of armed holdups brought back memories of the early days in the early 1950s. Situated on the left side of what is now the Silicon Tree, a single door opened onto a long corridor to the TAB at the end. On the other side of the partition was a milkbar with a half-dozen booths. Many a whoop or a moan, defining a loss penetrated the wall. A short time later the TAB moved down Great North Road to where the ex-WINZ office was. On a Saturday morning, long before phone accounts, it was a social/focal point where many a tip for a cert was passed. Long queues lined the 6 or 7 windows. A 40 minute minimum wait for the next race in those days. Perhaps a TAB might appear again, we live in hope.
Pt Chevalier Community Art Project
To replace the fading mural on both sides of the long wall beside Pt Chevalier Community Centre off Huia Road, a project is underway with Auckland Council and Creative Communities NZ employing artist Zoë Nash. Two public meeting will be held at 9.30 at the Pt Chevalier Community Centre, on Saturday 19 March and Saturday 30 April, where the public are welcome to express ideas as to what are the most significant features in Pt Chevalier.
Check your photo albums!
SEEKI G: Old photographs of the building at 337 Pt. Chevalier Road. The building has been a Chiropractic Clinic for 38 years (1972)yet was established in 1922 as a grocery store/dairy. Anyone that may be able to help us please contact us. Thank you. 09) 846 2817 [Copies of any such photos would be brilliant for the Times as well! — Editor.]
A Mystery Photo — Solved!
After some skilful sleuthing by Ian Grace, the site of the photo (see last issue) has been determined as 106 Western Springs Road, site of a church building originally built by the Congregational Union Church on a section leased from Auckland City Council between 23 October 1915 (when foundation stones were laid by S Walton Smeeton and George Fowlds, which is likely what the photo is about) and 5 December that year, when the church opened. The Methodists bought the church in 1947, purchased the site outright from Council in 1967, and sold it in 1969 to the Greek Orthodox Community of Auckland.
(Above) A montage of two photos, taken by Bob Kinnear. The houses on the left and right existed back in October 1915, while the house in the middle is a later construction. (Right) How the building looks today. Photo also by Bob Kinnear.
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