Saturday, June 6, 2009

Edwardian Picnic -Tug of War - Auckland

Tug of War, Cycle Trades picnic, Auckland area, circa 1911?

Correspondent, Will, reports this is a photo he took at "our Cycle Trades picnic, of the single men, who won the tug of war." Will also writes that he took Katie & her sister to see the Coronation & Review at Spithead at the "Cinematograph pictures". "They were very good."

Will's reference to the coronation & review at the cinema suggests that the picnic may be dated to 1911 or early 1912, as George V's coronation was 22 June 1911. While Edward VII's coronation and review was in 1902, this likely was too early for regular cinema showings in New Zealand. Evidence suggesting it might be circa 1902 is the undivided back on the postcard, but this could simply be old stock from which the real photo postcard was produced.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Bungalow of Mt Albert, Auckand, 1906

The Bungalow, Mount Albert, Auckland, NZ, 1906.

Sent to an address in Headingley, Leeds, UK in 1906, this real photo postcard shows May, Marie, and Tom's "new cottage" that they had just moved into. Tom writes: "It is a nice place & I think we will be very comfortable." He continues that the owner privately produced these postcards and, as can be seen in the note in the margin on the photo side, the owner's wife and son are the people in the picture. The view suggests the house & property received a lot of sunshine.

Greetings from Ponsonby, postmarked 1907.

Will sent the above multi-view of the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby to the Headlingley, Leeds address in 1907. Click on the image for a larger view.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bungalows of Avondale, Auckland: Pictures of Home

Well, actually, this is a tale of one bungalow in Avondale...

61 Roberton Road, Avondale, Auckland, NZ, May 1913. S Collins & Son, photo.

This real photograph postcard was sent to "all at home", perhaps in the UK, by Ethel and Frank to show their home at 61 Roberton Road, Avondale, Auckland on May 8th 1913. Perhaps it is their new home.

The house clearly needs some work. Although it has the basics, it clearly needs painting and to the proud homeowner it could do with some "improvements".

Curiously, Ethel & Frank do not comment on the house other than to include a postscript: "P.S. The white frames set in the windows are fly screens, grand things to keep flies out doors." For some curious reason, Kiwis did not widely adopt this innovation to limit bug life indoors. Perhaps this is because flying insects came to be a relatively minor problem - Kiwis wiped out flies like the Chinese did during the Cultural Revolution(!) - or the relative absence of infectious disease borne by insects or their biting behaviour - resulted in little use of insect screens.

61 Roberton Road, Avondale, Auckland, post May 1913. A E Woodall, photographer, Remuera.

Some time later, the above photo materialises. Clearly Ethel and Frank have been busy on the home improvement front. A more stylish (for the time) verandah has been added, window shades have been installed, as has a bay window on the side, and the house and roof have been painted. Some serious work has gone into upgrading the front lawn and flower beds, while a concrete path has been laid. The family "back home" would certainly have been impressed with Ethel and Frank's industriousness in taming the urban landscape.

The house at 61 Roberton Road still stands, with chimneys intact, but the verandah in the second photo has gone, perhaps long ago. It can be seen by loading in the address at Google Earth.