Wellington histories

A couple of new books appeared on display this week, and for those of you with an interest in the Wellington area, you might like to take a look.

First up is A History of Tawa by Bruce Murray, published in 2014 by the Tawa Historical Society.
It follows the story of  the suburb decade by decade, and is filled with illustrations from maps and photographs charting Tawa (or Tawa  Flat as it was known earlier) from Maori, early European settlement, the coming of rail and subdivision, through to the present. A big event for the growing suburb was the extension of the Wellington rail line known as the Tawa Deviation. It was completed in 1935 to provide access from Wellington further north.
The photograph below is from our Heritage Images, and shows the line as it neared completion. Two tunnels made up half the deviation, and the NZ Government Public Works Department took on the project, beginning around 1928. Public Works camps were constructed to house around 300 men, although numbers shrank during the depression as the government made job cuts.
 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries AWNS-19350724-52-1
A second book is Half A World Away: Eastbourne in Wartime 1899-1928 by Julia Stuart. As the title suggests, it covers war time, and has some informative appendices: service records of Eastbourne residents and people with links to the area, deaths in the First World War, and folk mentioned in the book but with no direct link to Eastbourne.
In 1900, the eastern bays of Wellington Harbour were a mix of baches, small settlements, and day trippers would swarm there on weekends and public holidays.
From our Heritage Images, the photo below is from the Auckland Weekly News in 1913: the caption reads, "A suburb running its own municipal ferries: Eastbourne, on the Eastern side of Wellington Harbour."
 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19131030-41-2 '
And from April 1933, comes a glorious page of photos from an Easter Gala held to raise funds for the East Harbour Distress Fund to aid the unemployed. The papers ran progress reports on the lead up to the event, and according to the Evening Post, "Every care is being taken by the organiser and his staff to see that expenses are kept down to the minimum. The money handled is subject to Government audit, and before any item of expenditure is incurred it is very carefully scrutinized."
Even in the weeks beforehand, there were fundraising events from dances, bridge parties, ping-pong tournaments, garden parties, and sports events. On the weekend itself, Wellingtonians converged in their thousands via ferry boats and buses to join in, with donkey rides for the children, fancy dress and even a decorated bike contest. Maybe one of your Wellington relatives is in the pic below!

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19330419-35-1 

This entry was posted on Saturday, 6 May 2017 and is filed under ,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

Leave a Reply

Kia ora! Please leave your comment below.