Friday, June 9, 2017

Thames (NZ): Hotels of Thames booklet

A booklet on Thames Hotels is now available.
HOTELS OF THAMES: The A to Z of Hotels on the Thames Goldfield.
In the usual format used for Streets of Thames and Schools of Thames.
Name of Hotel, location, time period open, names of publicans and a few snippets of history.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thames (NZ): WWI ROH Commemorations June 1917-2017

The Battle of Messines had begun one hundred years ago. Between 7 June - 9 June 1917, the New Zealand casualties were 3700, 700 of these were fatal.

These are the Thames WWI soldiers (so far identified) who lost their lives in June 1917.
4/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; GLESSING John Polton Hicks; 31990; Pte 2nd Batt AIR 
4/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; MCKEE Arthur Barry; 32040; Private 2nd Batt AIR 
4/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; PORTER  John Valentine; 12/1769; Private 2nd Batt AIR 
6/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; ENSOR Charles Hedley; 17853A; Rfn 3rd Batt 3rd NZRB 
7/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; COX Robert James; 25/740; Rifleman 3rd Batt 3rd NZRB
7/06/1917 In the Field, Belgium; FINDLAY Thomas; 3263; Private 45th Batt AIF
7/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; GRIFFIN Joseph; 4/901; Acting Sergeant NZE No 3 Coy
7/06/1917 In the Field, Belgium; LOGAN John Stuart; 2423; Private 36th Batt AIF 
7/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; MCONIE Colin; 26661; Rifleman 3rd Batt 3rd NZRB 
7/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; TREWHEELA Joseph; 8/1881; Corporal 2nd Batt OIR 
8/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; PAUL James Coutts; 23760; L/Corporal  2nd Batt WIR 
8/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; WHITEHOUSE Cyril Hale; 12/3193; Private 1st Batt AIR 
9/06/1917 In the Field, France; BUTTERWORTH Henry B; 30739; Private 1st Batt AIR 
9/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; NICOLAI William; 39670; Private 3rd Batt  AIR 3rd Coy
10/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; WILTSHIRE Frank William; 12687; Sapper Div Sig Coy
14/06/1917 England; CORIN William Bennett; 2524; Private AIF 45th Batt
14/06/1917 In the Field, France or Belgium; MOLLER Gilbert Victor; 13/2857; Gnr 1st Batt 1st NZRB 
25/06/1917 In the Field, Belgium; TORRENS Walter Edward; 1458; Private AIF 33rd Batt
Lest We Forget

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thames (NZ): Postcard from a Waikino visitor.

This is the story of 'Gertie' from Waikino, who came to Thames for a holiday in 1903. The postcard features the Thames Band Rotunda at Victoria Park, with the Grahamstown Railway Station in the distance.
Poor Gertie wrote to her friend (Mrs W Reid) that she thought she might stay at the Thames, as she dreaded returning home "to the bush & that miserable home on the hill" at Waikino.

Closer look at the path and women, standing on the path leading to the Grahamstown Railway Station.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thames (NZ): TCDC WW100 Messines Forest axed!


If you were like me and wondering when the planting of the Messines Forest was happening in Thames - well the answer from TCDC today is that it isn't. Lack of funds has meant it is on hold for the foreseeable future.

So the Great WW100 Memorial Forest Project has ground to a holt.

Below is the sign that has been at the Thames Peace WWI Memorial for the last two years - marking the intended 'Messines Forest.'

Left: The 'Messines Forest' sign by the Albert Street Walkway to the Monument. Right: the signage leading to the Peace Memorial.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thames (NZ): View from Zion Hill to Grahamstown

Always a surprise to find something new in a photo, this one taken overlooking the hospital towards Grahamstown is no exception. For the first time I have noticed the reference from "Zion Hill".

Searching at Paperspast, I can see no reference to the name or can't recall seeing it on any local papers. Did the photographer name it such because it overlooked the St George's Church? Was it a name that all locals of the time knew? Maybe you know the answer?
Below are some of the landmarks that can be seen in the photograph.
1. Post Office Hotel     2. St George's Church     3. Corner Mary and Mary Street
4. Foy's Boarding House     5. Thames Hospital, Baillie Street     6. Thames High School
7. Medical Superintendent's House     8. Bella and Pahau Street intersect    9. St James Church
10. Junction Hotel     11. Burke Street Wharf

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Exciting news of a Family history book that is being launched in time for the start of the Thames Goldfield 150th Commemorations.

TITLE: The Comer Family: A family with a Heart of Gold

Authors: Jennifer A Comer & Sharleen M Comer

WHEN: 5 August 10am to 3pm

WHERE: Thames School of Mines

Free Admission

"As part of the Thames 150th Anniversary Celebrations we decided to write a book on our family history. Sharleen and Jennifer are descendants of two brothers Robert and George Comer who came to The Thames & its goldfields for a better life for them and their families. This book and their stories as told by Sharleen and Jennifer."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thames (NZ): Lions Club Historic Sign at "Thames Welcome Sign"

If you have visited Thames you will no doubt have seen the yellow heritage signs that mark old Thames Goldfield Landmarks. Keep an eye out around the town as there are more historic signs being erected.

The latest sign is out by the Sir Keith Park Airfield, attached to the Thames Icon aka the Welcome/Farewell sign.

The top yellow historic sign outlines the history of the Thames Goldfield from 1867. While the new photo board has details of the 'The Thames Icon' construction.
"On August 10th 2005, after 5 years of negotiation, consents, hours of toil by Thames Lions Club and fund raising from many different sources and raising over $15,000 the Stamper Battery Icon was officially declared open by the Mayor of Thames Chris Lux. It was dedicated by Father Peter Head, a member of the Thames Lions Club. The Maoriland Battery (The integral part of that icon on permanent loan from the Prospectors Association)"

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Thames (NZ): Richmond Street Then & Now

Has anything changed in Richmond Street? Well lets take a look at the changes from the 1887 to 2017. What does 130 years look like...
  • Bobbet's Butcher Shop is on the north-east intersect with Pollen Street. Today the site of a Garage.
  • The large drains can be seen  (fenced areas), under which the Noke Noke Stream flows out to the sea - the cause of many a Shortland flood in this area.
  • Richmond Street climbs up to Block 27 in the distance (east). Typical of roads into the early 1900s, see how narrow the actual 'road' is.
  • Centre right is the Oddfellows' Hall in the first two photographs, now the site of Te Korowai. Later used for dances and auction mart for decades after the Lodge moved to other premises. Who remembers Ed Mitchell's Second-hand shop? Or skating at the hall?
  • The changing face of the Brian Boru can be seen comparing the first two photographs. Extensive renovations were carried out in 1904, only to be followed by a large and fatal fire in 1905. The building was repaired and still stands today as The Brew cafe.
Richmond Street in 2017 has been extended west, and is the site for the Richmond Villas Retirement Homes.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thames (NZ): NURSES OF THAMES new book edition

Finally the hurdles have been overcome to publishing this booklet in a new format. This Version (4) was first printed last year in a new spiral bound format. Thanks to lots of help from KMG Print, it has now been reprinted stapled.

NURSES OF THAMES: A History of Registered Nurse Training at the Thames Hospital.
Size: A4, soft cover, 120 pages ISBN 978-0-475-35321-6
The first half covers the history of nurse training at Thames Hospital School of Nursing. A decade by decade look at key events and staff. Lots of other topics such as: Memorabilia, War Nurses, Matrons, changes to the hospital, equipment and much more.
Lots of staff graduation photographs, register of registered nurses etc.

Available from: Trademe, School of Mines and The Treasury.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thames (NZ): HOTELS OF THAMES booklet

Yes finally, ten plus years of research has been resurrected and put into booklet form. Just got the proof copy from KMG PRINT (who as always do a wonderful job). So copies should be available by the end of the month once proofing done, although you can almost guarantee a few typos will still sneak through.

Title: HOTELS OF THAMES: The A to Z of Hotels on the Thames Goldfield. 104 Pages, soft cover, A4.

Includes: name of hotel, trading period, location, publicans and a few snippets of history.

Lots of photographs of actual hotel or in many cases the location area, as sadly there are some hotels without an identified location or photo. BUT there are lots of extras to give the reader the fell for what life was like at the Thames.

So the town that boasted 100 pubs, probably had at least 140 plus, not all trading at once but over a decade or two.

Today, the only hotels to be trading are the Junction and the Hotel Imperial, while the Cornwall Arms lives on in the Thames Workingmen's Club.

Above: Hotel Imperial, corner Sealey and Pollen Streets 2017.
Below: Junction Hotel, corner Pollen and Pahau Streets 2017.

Above: The old 'Lady Bowen' and 'Park Royal' Hotel in Brown Street, Thames 2017.
Below: The old 'Shortland', 'Cornwall Arms', and 'Salutation Hotel', Thames 2017.
Below: The old Brian Boru Hotel, now "The Brew' Café on the ground floor.