Auckland - West

Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Category: History (page 2 of 3)

Painted Boxes: John and Jane Bollard

John and Jane Bollard

John and Jane Bollard

A box for Boxing Day.

This traffic control box governs the intersection of Blockhouse Bay Road and New North Road/St Jude/Crayford Streets. It shows historic portraits of John Bollard (1839/40-1915) and his wife Jane who were residents of Avondale from 1861. He was farming in the area, worked in real estate and from 1896 to 1914 was MP for Eden.

Painted by Louis and Sharon Statham.

Figurehead

Figurehead of the "William Manson"

Figurehead of the “William Manson”

This dramatically lit figurehead is in the Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum, Auckland. It stems from the barque “William Manson” which was built in Aberdeen in 1872.

The Potters Post

The Potters Post

The Potters Post

Before 1913, the New Lynn Post Office was in the Railway Station. When increased rail volumes necessitated a move, local businesses Gardner Bros and Parker (brick makers) built this house and provided it at nominal rental. At 43 Totara Ave, it is a heritage building, a reminder of the brick and clay history of the area.

In 1930, a new Post Office was constructed from public funds (now used as the New Lynn Police Station).

Presently the building is occupied by BirthWest. Rest assured that we are not in the market for their services :-).

Incidentally, the inscription confirms the rule that black letter fonts (Gothic, Fraktur) should never be used in all capitals.

The Potters Post

The Potters Post

Scoria Wall

Scoria Wall, Waikaraka Park

Scoria Wall, Waikaraka Park

Auckland has remains of over 50 volcanoes. Some of the volcanic rock is quarried and used in various ways, one of them being decorative walls. This is the wall separating Neilson Street, Onehunga, from Waikaraka Park (sports grounds and speedway venue). On a plaque we are reminded of the fact that from 1942 to 1945 this was the location of American barracks (a staging point for troups on the way to service in the Pacific, or on rest and recreation).

Read more about the American Invasion.

Scoria Wall, Waikaraka Park

Scoria Wall, Waikaraka Park

Three Lamps

Three Lamps Replica, Ponsonby

Three Lamps Replica, Ponsonby

In the 1870’s a lamp post with three gas lights was erected in the middle of the intersection of Ponsonby, Jervois, College Hill and St Marys roads. And the area became known as “Three Lamps”. In the 1930’s, the 11 meters high pole was moved to the corner by what was later to become the Gluepot (a pub), but soon that disappeared, and three lamps were placed on the verandah of the hotel, above the footpath. The name lives on, and is still current in shop names, and another reincarnation of three lamps is found inside the Three Lamps Plaza.

In August of this year, a replica of the old tall lamp post was erected again, next to the former Gluepot. For more of the history, see an article in the Aucklander.

More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

Three Lamps on former Gluepot

Three Lamps on former Gluepot

Three Lamps inside Three Lamps Plaza

Three Lamps inside Three Lamps Plaza

Stop. Mackies Rest

Mackies Rest

Mackies Rest

At the end (if you come from Scenic Drive) of the level part of Exhibition Drive is “Mackies Rest”. Legend has it that in the late 1800’s a trader named Mackie used this place to rest on his journeys into the ranges. In 1912, the Auckland City Council built a shelter there, and a local farmer, Marshall Laing, added a bench bearing the inscription “Stop. Mackies Rest”. Sometime this year, a replica of that bench was placed there, with a good view of the Lower Nihotupu Reservoir (part of Auckland’s drinking water supply), with the Manukau Harbour behind.

This spot is also the start of the Beveridge Track leading up to the Arataki Visitor Centre.

Inscription

Inscription

Bench Detail

Bench Detail

In Convict Garb?

Henry Atkinson Statue

Henry Atkinson Statue

For more black and white images check out Dragonstar’s Weekend in Black and White.

This statue of a dapper Henry Atkinson (1838-1921) stands at the corner of Lopdell House in Titirangi. In particular light, he appears to wear stripy convict garb. The reason for this is visible on this picture (taken at a different time of day and year).

Henry Atkinson, a civil and water engineer, arrived in New Zealand in 1863 to supervise the construction of the Auckland Gas Works, where he was director for 35 years. In the 1870’s he became interested in Titirangi, purchasing significant blocks of land. Mount Atkinson is named after him, and this statue originally stood on top of Mount Atkinson (moved down because of vandalism). Later he gifted sizable areas of land to the city for the construction of a water supply from the Nihotupu Stream.

Much more information on Henry Atkinson and the history of Titirangi may be found in the book “Titirangi – Fringe of Heaven” by Marc Bonny (West Auckland Historical Society, 2011).

Painted Boxes: New Lynn Bricks and Clay (Doug Ford)

New Lynn Bricks and Clay (Doug Ford)

New Lynn Bricks and Clay (Doug Ford)

Doug Ford has painted a number of traffic control cabinets in the New Lynn area. Some of them have already fallen victim to progress, be it in the form of street re-alignments, or technological improvements, not to mention traffic accidents. This stands in a pretty safe position at the corner of Great North Road and Delta Avenue. It shows the early brick and earthenware industries which were a major part of the early life in this region of Auckland.

Cinema with Ultimate Comfort (Redpaths Furniture)

The Foyer (Redpaths Furniture, New Lynn)

The Foyer (Redpaths Furniture, New Lynn)

The New Lynn cinema closed in the year 2000, and began a new life as Redpaths Furniture. Cavernous auditoriums and foyers are ideal to display their wares. But the surprise for customers is that much of the old signage is still there: Bar, Cinemas, Tickets&Sweets, together with the filmstrip decor of a bygone era — a unique shopping experience.

Screens have gone, but comfortable beds fill the theatres, and display cases for “coming attractions” bear witness to the past.

Thanks to the manager for allowing me to take the pictures.

Other posts featuring the building: May 11, 2011, April 21, 2011, May 20, 2010.

Coming Attractions

Coming Attractions

One of the Theatres

One of the Theatres

Crown Lynn Swans (John Parker 2010)

Crown Lynn Swans (John Parker 2010)

Crown Lynn Swans (John Parker 2010)

This tiled mural by award-winning ceramic artist John Parker is part of the New Lynn railway station. If you go to the platform via escalator, you are unlikely to find it, but if you take the stairs (or lift) you can’t miss it. The tiled swans want to evoke one of the signature pieces of the Crown Lynn production, the swan vase. An example in real life is shown below, picture taken on a wet Titirangi Market day on a second-hand dealer’s table. (Yesterday’s post shows another image recalling this piece of Crown Lynn lore.)

Crown Lynn Swan

Crown Lynn Swan

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