Contributed to Kaikorai – Then & Now by David Still
At 31 Kaikorai Valley Road stood a large two storey dwelling where William Ellis (My Grand Father, and known as Bill) brought up his family, ran his coal yard, shop and the carrying business. Built as a Hotel, it is believed that it never obtained a licence, but was put to other use. Bill bought the property in 1906 from Mathew Morton and sons who, like several others back to 1885 at least, ran a grocery store there. Bill had previously had a small shop in Swanson Street, which is now known as County Road. Behind the big house were the out buildings, essential to the running of the home and business.
31 Kaikorai Valley Road
With the demise of the cable cars in 1947 and the ripping up of the rails, diesel buses were put into service as replacements.
At that stage of course the Stuart Street extension as we know it today did not exist.
During all the earthworks the buses had to detour from where Moana Pool is now, around Littlebourne Road, into Tweed Street, then up to Highgate via Fifield Street. With the construction of the Highgate bridge the route from Highgate to Taieri Road was via Wright Street, then Tyne Street. See map below.
One of the hobbies I became involved with from 1977 was amateur radio, often referred to as ham radio. While living in Kaikorai I was only aware of three radio amateurs in my school years, these were Bill Self, Joe Anderson and Eric Dow. As it transpired, I gained my own license and callsign, ZL4PZ, in December 1977. My wife Jeanne also became a licensed radio operator in 1981 and has the callsign ZL4JG.