Boxing – 1927

One of the things I recall from my younger years is the boxing school that my father ran together with Fred Moir. The years I remember would probably have been my early teens I guess when my father had a gymnasium of sorts in the Kaikorai Presbyterian Sunday School Hall. I imagine his line of work at the Hillside Railway Workshops was an ideal grounding for some of the apparatus that was crafted such as rings, bars, and the floor fittings to hook things into without ruining the wooden floor.

Some of Gilchrist & Moir's Boxing Class 1927 Back Row: H.Ryan   H.Brugh   J.Kedzlie   O.Scott Middle Row: D.J.Gilchrist (Instructor)   G.Hart   Mr. J. Langdon   J.Watt   F. Moir (Instructor) In Front: L.Brown   H.Watkins

Some of Gilchrist & Moir’s Boxing Class 1927
Back Row: H.Ryan H.Brugh J.Kedzlie O.Scott
Middle Row: D.J.Gilchrist (Instructor) G.Hart Mr. J. Langdon J.Watt F. Moir (Instructor)
In Front: L.Brown H.Watkins

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The way things were in the 1930s

Recalled by Margaret Howard (nee Gilchrist).

Our houses had coal ranges in the kitchen, fires under the copper in wash house, fire places in all other rooms including bedrooms – I remember that my mother would, on a freezing cold morning, bring a shovel full of hot coals through to the bedroom for a fire for us to get dressed by. No other heating methods.

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The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 7)

Schools in the district

Bill and Martha Ellis’s children all attended the Kaikorai School in Roslyn, whereas the Fred and Ellen Still’s children mostly attended Wakari School on the corner of Anderston Road (now Shetland Street) and Helensburgh Road. This school had first started in 1868 as a clay walled building across the Helensburgh Road and was later to become the Church of Good Shepherd.

The first school is the white building on the right hand corner and the newer stone  and brick building is across the road. The Still family lived in the cottage is above  the hedge which is above the School Master's house.

The first school is the white building on the right hand corner and the newer stone
and brick building is across the road. The Still family lived in the cottage is above
the hedge which is above the School Master’s house.

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The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 6)

THE CABLE CARS

The Kaikorai tram with tram sheds behind.

The Kaikorai tram with tram sheds behind.

Up the road a little further was a zig zag track that took pedestrians up the north side to Helensburgh Road and Riding the cable cars always had atmosphere that can not be re lived on modern transport systems. If the weather was cold we tried to ride in the enclosed areas at the back or front of the cars. In fine weather however to sit on the outwards facing seats on either side was much more fun. By the time the cable car had started up a steep part of the track, there was always room for another passenger at the uphill end of the seat. During rush hour the crowds would pile on. Holding onto the straps that hung from over head bars was like a ride in the fun park. Continue reading

The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 5)

Fraser’s Gully

Fraser’s Road went up Fraser’s Gully from the Kaikorai Valley and tracks lead on up to Halfway Bush and Wakari Hospital area.

Frederick James Still lived not far from the cable car sheds in Fraser’s Road and had a good garden there. Earle (a grandson) said that on Saturdays the old man would spend nearly an hour shaving in the garden before cleaning out his blue peter and then catch the tramcar to town to get the jar filled with beer. If Jock and Earle had managed to catch any eels or trout in the stream Granny Still would cook them for tea, which they would have before Grandad got back. They had to be fast as Frederick was actually a ranger and they did not want to be caught with the trout.

Frasers Road Public Baths which closed in September 1950

Frasers Road Public Baths
which closed in September 1950

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The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 4)

Other big Buildings

Along the valley road there were several two storey buildings. Some were houses on the bottom side of the road where the hill dropped down to the Kaikorai Stream. These houses had the lower storey below the road with the front door entrance at street level. At the bottom of Falcon Street was Hunters Store with the cable car going past one side. Mr. Hunter carted the newspapers to the various paper boys who had set areas to cover. Jim Thompson recalls being one of these boys, calling out ‘STAR’ as the walked around the streets.

As well as the coal yard building there was another two storey building on the south corner of Hereford Street. On the other corner was one more where Robertson’s Butcher shop was. Nearer to the Stuart Street corner another housed Nicol the boot maker.

A.Nicol - Boot Maker shop at 14 Kaikorai Valley Road

A.Nicol – Boot Maker shop at 14 Kaikorai Valley Road

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The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 3)

Contributed to Kaikorai – Then & Now by David Still

Bill Ellis

Bill Ellis

THE FIRST TRUCKS

Bill Ellis undertook what could have been the longest journey of his life when he took the train to Invercargill to buy his first motor vehicle. After looking over the old Commer truck and hearing it run he agreed on the price and shook hands with the old owner. Can you drive? the man asked. Being told that he had never driven before, the man soon got Bill sorted out. This makes it go fast, this stops it and here are the gears he said. Around the block went Bill, soon pulling up once more beside the sales man. “O.K” the man said as he pointed his finger. “That’s the road to Dunedin”.

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The Coal Yard & other stories (Part 2)

Contributed to Kaikorai – Then & Now by David Still

Across the Kaikorai Valley Road, from the coal yard was Taylor’s bakery. During the bread deliveries, Alec Taylor would stop for smoko (morning tea). Alec would take the centre from a loaf of bread and give it to his horse. Then he would butter the crust and eat it for morning tea. At Fraser’s Road, Davie Anderson would fill up the hollows in the ground with the ashes and sweepings from the tram sheds. In this way, Davie made his property and what became Ellis Park, level. Bill Ellis, used to graze his horses on the other side of the flock factory at Fraser’s Road. Continue reading