WAIPAWA.COM

Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hello Jan

I have recently found your excellent web site which enthuses your love for Waipawa, whilst I was trying to find information about the town. You appear to be involved in many activities and specifically about the town's history, and I wonder if you might be able to point me in the direction of relevant groups or organisations.

Whilst researching my family, I have found that two brothers of my great grandfather settled in New Zealand about 1882. William remained around Dunedin, but John was at Waipawa in April 1888, where he tragically died in a house fire. I have found this information thanks to the excellent Paperspast web site and from copies of the Hawkes Bay Herald. I have attached copies of articles as it is the easiest way to explain events.

The report is in considerable detail including the gory detail, so be warned! I have contacted Archives New Zealand to see if a copy of the Coroner's Inquest survives as this may give me more personal information about John. I should point out that although the reports refer to John FINLAYSON, he was John FINLINSON, and this was thankfully correctly entered on his Death Certificate and gravestone.

As you appear to have links with the local museum, I wonder if you could let me have their email contact details. I would like to ask if they have any reference of the fire, or have any information of the local Brass Bands which appear to have come together as one following the tragedy. No doubt they will be able to let me have some historical notes on Waipawa around this time.

Do you know if there is a local Family History Group? I know John was buried in Waipawa Cemetery and again the excellent NZ facilities give an image of the memorial inscription. I would like to see if anyone would be good enough to take and email a digital photo of the full memorial headstone.

I hope you don't mind my contact, and hope you can point me in the right direction.

Best wishes
Ian Finlinson


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hi Ian,

You're right it is a particularly gory story. Fires seemed to be quite common in our early history of our town. They had several pubs, boarding houses etc burnt down in the 1800's and almost half one side of the main road at one stage - some of those fires were accidental, but there was a phase of arsons too - which is pretty nasty.

Anyway I have forwarded your email to our Museum and Rosheen, the curator, seemed quite interested. Its not often we get requests for someone who died in such a gruesome way. Anyway she's going to look into your request and she'll probably email back anything she finds out.

In the meantime I looked in our "Abbott's Ford -History of Waipawa" book and found this....

The first brass band formed as early as 1876. By all accounts they had an excellent reputation and were in great demand for playing at races, sports days and athletic meetings
Finding the money to purchase instruments must have been a struggle, but by 1887 the band could boast 17 playing members....
A sad little story concerning the Waipawa Brass bands unfolded in the newspaper of April 1888. An overnight fire at Sheehan's bakery, next to Britten's Butchers, across the road from Flynn's, claimed the lives of two young men asleep in accommodation upstairs.
One of the young chaps - John Findlayson a twenty-one year old tailor - was a member of Harding's band. It appears Waipawa boasted two brass bands at the time and not to put to finer point on it, there was nurtured a lot of ill feeling and jealousy between them. As the newspaper said 'the bands were rather badly opposed to each other.'
As a mark of respect for young Findlayson the two bands combined for the funeral march. The direct result being the two bands dropped their jealousies and decided to resolve themselves into one united band. Over Findlayson's grave it was agreed to rear a stone showing clasped hands over a lyre. So this unfortunate death brought these two bands together.
Quoting from the newspaper article 'Death is a great leveler and wonderfully subdues men's passions.'

I will try and find out where his headstone is in the cemetery and take a photo of it sometime. It sounds like John's death really brought people together. (Only, it’s a pity they couldn't put their differences together without such a tragedy happening) In the meantime here's a photo I found of Waipawa Brass band c.1887.

:-) Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hello Jan

Well, where can I start? Firstly I think with a very big thank you. I had hoped at best to find some contact details but your comprehensive reply goes far beyond my expectations, and the photo of the band - what a bonus. I wonder if John is amongst them, they were quite a motley crew!

The extract from the town history is also very interesting, and this event, sad though it was, must really have had a sobering effect on everyone. There have obviously been other newspaper reports apart from the ones I have found and will have another search on the Paperspast web site. I try to illustrate my family history as much as I can, rather than pages of text, so do you think the extract from the book will photograph? If you don't mind having a go that would be great. I am able to tidy up any image with Photoshop, so it doesn't matter how it turns out as long it is in reasonable focus.

If the cemetery is not too far out of the way, and you can take a photo, I will be very grateful. From the New Zealand cemeteries database, I have found that John Finlinson was buried at Waipawa cemetery in Plot 045, Block T. The site includes an image of the memorial inscription but it would be good to have a photo of the whole memorial, particularly if the 'clasped hands' was added as it is such an interesting story.

I found these details on http://cemeteries.chbdc.govt.nz/ and typed in Finlinson.

I will look forward to hearing from your friend Rosheen, there are a few things I would like to know about Waipawa in around 1888. (How is it pronounced by the way?). I am more than happy to share whatever I find, and can also eventually let anyone have a copy of my notes on John from his early days in Cumberland, now Cumbria here in the UK if that would be of interest to them.

It is enjoyable to have been in touch thus far.

Kind regards

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hi again Ian,

Well your email came at just the right time. I took it down to the museum yesterday lunchtime and talked to Rosheen about it and then last night had a meeting down there with one of the 150th celebration committees and Margaret Gray who wrote the history of Waipawa book was there and she was very excited to see your email.

The original history of Waipawa book sold out years ago and for our 150th celebrations they were just going to reprint the original but found that somehow the printers had destroyed the plates that it was printed from (being pre-computer age). So the book is being totally redone - putting in all the previous information and some new stuff too, and correcting any mistakes that have come to light.

When Margaret originally wrote the book she wrote the Finlinson story from old clippings of the CHB Mail (which also spelt his name wrong) and after it went to print she went up to the cemetery to find the name spelt differently on the headstone.
So you have clarified the spelling of the name for her and she will correct it in the new book (hopefully coming out next year).

Our committee is organising some historic walks around our town. One walk being around some of the older homes here - and another being a cemetery walk.

John's story about uniting two battling bands through his rather gruesome death would be a good one to include in this little tour and Margaret and I are going up later this week or early next week to walk around the graves and select a few others with interesting stories about their lives or deaths. (Sounds a bit gruesome but people quite enjoy these tours)
So I am sure you will hear from Rosheen and/or Margaret about this too.

About history groups around here I am not sure whether there is one (I haven't heard of one anyway) but Rosheen maybe able to tell you when she emails.

Anyway just noticed the time and I'd better get off to work or the boss will wonder where I am.

;-) Jan

 


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hello Jan

Thanks for the update. I will be interested in a copy of a reprint of the town history, particularly if it refers to John as Finlinson, and I will keep in touch with the Museum once I hear from them.

I have just realised that the cemetery search link I sent didn't work, sorry about that. You probably already know the site but see:

If you search for Odlum, the chap who also died in the fire you will find his grave too although from the picture it doesn't seem to have survived the ravages of time that well. Hopefully you might be able to photo John's grave when you both do go and walk around, I would appreciate that.

Archives New Zealand are searching their records for the Coroners Inquest papers if they survive so I will let the museum or Margaret know if anything of interest crops up.

In the meantime, bye for now.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hi Ian,
well I went up to the cemetery on Thursday in the freezing cold southerly, which must have frozen my brain or something - because I forgot to take my digital camera with me. After walking around looking at graves for a possible cemetery guided walk I was chilled to the bone and just wanting to get back home next to a nice warm fire.

But our trip up there DID reveal something ...
The story about the clasped hands and the lyre... are a local legend.

There are no hands, and there is no lyre. I was a little disappointed as it certainly added to the story... and there were a couple of other headstones nearby that did have hands... but not this one
But it did have written on it "Erected by the Amalgamated Bands"

I whizzed up there today and taken a few photos of it... and here they are.

Unfortunately the headstone was covered in lichen and it is a little hard to read. But I did not want to wire-brush it off (as someone suggested to me) as I was worried that since the stone looked quite soft that the stone and inscription could be damaged by that. So I am going to spray it with a gentler lichen, moss and algae killer which will clean the stone up gradually over a few weeks... and then I'll take some better photos of it for you.

JJan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Finlinson /Waipawa band enquiry

Hello Jan, good to hear from you.

Sorry you have had to brave the elements, sounds like the weather you have experienced is not dissimilar to the last few weeks here - except with the reversal of seasons, we are supposed to be enjoying late spring/early summer. In fairness, today has been glorious but it is not forecast to last. It is a public holiday weekend and the schools are on half term, always a precursor of inclement weather.

It is interesting that the gravestone refers to its erection by the 'Amalgamated Bands', and interesting too for your cemetery walks. It has occurred to me that if there was such animosity between the two bands, why did they both attend the funeral. It can only be explained by John having played with both, and maybe as a newcomer without bias or allegiance, he broached the divide many of the more established bandsmen felt strongly about.

I really must contact your local museum to see if they have any more information. I would be interested in some historical background on the town as well.

'Clasped hands' also seemed to have been a popular addition to headstones in the UK. I have heard it explained as 'Unity in death' - either united with ones maker, united with loved ones who died before, or uniting families who are brought together for a bereavement. I suppose you can make it represent whatever you want it to be. For John, there was a more meaningful explanation. It is a brilliant story the more you think of it.

I know what you mean about cleaning up gravestones. Wire brush is the quick and easy solution and I have tended to carry a stiff bristle brush in the car when searching cemeteries. Your plan with the lichen/moss killer sounds as if it is the solution, but often if I have travelled long distances on research, the chances of my making a return visit can be remote. It will be interesting to see the results of the treatment!

I hope the weather settles down for you, and I'll be interested to see any further photos of John's gravestone if you visit again.

Bye for now.

Ian


From: Ian
To: CHB Settlers Museum
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello

In researching my family, I have found that two collateral ancestors, brothers of my great grandfather settled in New Zealand and one, John Finlinson tragically died in a house fire in Waipawa in April 1888. This was graphically reported in the newspapers of the day although his name was misspelt as Finlayson.

I am trying to understand the surrounding picture a little more and wonder if you can help with some general information.
The fire was clearly rapid and intense and I wonder if buildings were of wood construction around that time. Are there any photographs of the period which would illustrate the type of buildings in the town?
Are there any figures showing the towns population then and what was the major occupation, industry or wealth creator? John was a journeyman tailor and probably could have obtained work wherever he went, but I wonder what may have led him to Waipawa.
He played in a brass band and newspapers report there were two bands which 'were rather opposed.' His death united them, suggesting he may have played for both. Is there any information about the bands in the town around the 1880's?
I am gathering whatever information I can and will be grateful for anything you have. Often seemingly unrelated details provide the missing pieces in the story. I have been in touch with Archives New Zealand who are searching for the Coroners Inquest file on the death, if it survives.

I have also been in touch with Jan Gosling through her excellent web site of the town, and she has been tremendously helpful. I have enjoyed the exchange of emails, and through her I have found references to your museum. She tells me she has mentioned my enquiry to your curator so someone may already be aware of my interest and these series of events.

Hope you can help and I look forward to hearing from you.

By the way, how is Waipawa pronounced? Is it 'wah-ee-power'?

Regards

Ian Finlinson


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian.

Waipawa is said why pah wah
Wai means water in Maori, and pawa means dark or cloudy – so Waipawa means dark/cloudy water

I know you'll probably get a response back from the museum, but some of your questions are ones that I could answer in the meantime….

Back in the 1800’s much of New Zealand was covered by forest and had huge trees hundreds of years old everywhere… so early settlers set to and began to clear these forests to make towns and farmlands.

This is a very early view of Waipawa showing the early settlement of Waipawa still surrounded by huge stands of forest. At that stage Waipawa was called Abbottsford – because the run holder who sold the land to form the township was called Frederick Sedgwick Abbott… and the town was built beside the ford that crossed the Waipawa River.

Sawmills sprung up everywhere and the huge trees were milled into timber, and because there was an abundance of timber, most of the buildings were made from wood.
Here is a photo of Waipawa’s main street very early on… (You can see that all the buildings are wooden any other building materials such as stone were almost unheard of in this part of New Zealand.)

You can see it’s very different from most English villages. The shops here are mostly weatherboard (wood) and the road is a fairly mushy mud.

As Waipawa grew, the forests became smaller, the town became bigger and businesses prospered.


There have been a lot of fires in Waipawa’s history. Some which were accidental, and others which were acts of arson. The buildings, being made of wood, caught alight and burnt quickly.

The need for more fire fighting equipment  (or accurately the lack of equipment) was pointed out first in 1883 in an article in the ‘Hawkes Bay Herald’ and this was followed up by several letters to the ‘Waipawa Mail’ where one person suggested that – “if we can’t raise enough money for a ‘fire engine’ surely we can find enough for a ‘fire bell’!” – I don’t know how a bell would make a lot of difference to putting out the fire without hoses etc to put it out? Or, how you put a fire out with a bell? Maybe it was to just alert people that there was a fire and to be wary in case the fire was coming in their house’s direction – so that they could make a run for it and not get caught in the flames?
Anyway for next couple of years, meetings happened to try and get a fire brigade established but even though dangers for the town were pointed out the cost made the idea fell on deaf ears.

Then in 1886 a fire started in a roll or two of cloth in a tailor’s shop, and it soon spread destroying seven shops, the first Empire Hotel, The Post Office and the Bank of New Zealand. At that stage there was no Fire Brigade in Waipawa so the Napier Fire Brigade was called to help by telegram and a special train was put on to transport them down to Waipawa (so no wonder so many buildings burnt down – because even now with much better roads to Napier, it is about an hours drive from here.)

The devastation left after the fire 1886

After half the town burnt down, the wheels of progress began to turn, and the need for the town’s own fire brigade became paramount.

Article from Poverty Bay Herald, 5 January, 1886 - courtesy of New Zealand National Library

In March 1887 the Town Board tabled a quote for a “London Fire Brigade 1st class Engine” for £161.16/-   (which had good pumping abilities and hoses). It was decided to raise the money by having a Bazaar and a Ball on Queen’s Birthday.

And so it was that Waipawa Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in January 1888 -which of course meant that the Fire Brigade probably was called to the fire that John perished in later that year.

I don’t know if this will help you… but I thought the photos would give you more of an idea about what the town was like back then.

J Jan


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello Jan,
and thanks for your very interesting email. The photos have helped a lot to paint a picture, so to speak, of the town around John's death. It is easy to imagine that a timber house would catch fire so quickly, and if the building was a bakers, the oven presumably would have been kept lit to maintain temperature for the next morning's batch of bread.

The photos are so clear for that period. I see one of the Main Street photos is of the Photographers gallery. I should think he earned a good living, as most settlers would have been immigrants, from UK and elsewhere, and they would have sent back photos to the families they were unlikely to see again. Both the Finlinson boys were young single men, and you can almost sense the thrill and excitement they must have felt as they set off in 1882.

I think it is the social history aspects of family research that interest me most. Dates and events come to life when you know someone in your family, not that long ago, was there.

Not that it matters, but the newspaper reports, and the extract in the town history book give quite some detail of where the bakery was in the town. Do you think it was in or near the Main Street. Maybe that was all there was then. It looks like all buildings were more or less a similar design and the reports refer to a balcony which are evident on most property.

I did hear back from Rosheen Parker at the museum by the way, she was able to give me some general information I had requested, but is still on the case for information on the bands.

The Fire Brigade activity at the fire is well reported, and they must have attended with their brand new fire engine. This fire must have also been one of the first fires it was used at. It appears that there was some delay in fighting the fire as they realised that they did not have enough hoses to reach the river, their source of water supply, hopefully corrected for future emergencies. If you put the tragic consequences to one side, you have to see the funny side of the best laid plans of men etc.

Good to hear from you.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos of our town's early beginnings... some of our early photographers were very skilled in their profession... 
And yes the fire was on our main street. The newspaper article you sent me mentions quite a few shops that were adjacent to the fire and they are all located on the main street… And thinking about it now - to stretch hoses from the river all the way down to the northern end of the main street would have been a lot of hoses! No wonder they couldn’t save much. It must have been very depressing for them.

I went up to the cemetery today and gave John's headstone a wash down with some lichen 7 moss killer. The instructions told me that it needed at least 12 hours without rain - and that has been a problem as we have had really wet and cold weather for nearly a week! (that's a lot for Hawkes Bay). So this morning when the sun came out and I heard that the fine weather is due to stay around until tomorrow night(when we have another southerly due), I thought I'd get up there and give both headstones a clean - John's and the other young man who was killed in the fire .

And while I was cleaning I was wondering about these two young men?
In the newspaper article you sent it said that their bodies were so badly burnt that a formal identification could not be made... and it also told of the funeral services being conducted together -with the Anglican vicar, Rev J.C. Eccles, doing John’s funeral service, and the Catholic priest, Rev Father Ahern, doing Frederick Odlum’s (even though the plots are actually quite a distance apart) -  the services being read simultaneously - and the untied band playing...
So my question is - was it ever established whether the right person was buried in the right place with the right name on the headstone... or did they just guess? It would have been a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right.
It’s a rather gruesome and sad thought - maybe the Coroner's report might shed some light on that?

Anyway, the lichen cleaner takes a few weeks to finish working and so I'll go back then and take a photo of both headstones - as I feel they belong together in this sad story.

J Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello Jan

Thanks for the update on John's grave. It will be interesting to see the difference the lichen killer has. I hope you have better luck than I had recently. I sprayed weeds on our gravel drive and since then they have thrived - never looked better! I think it is back to the instructions.

Are any of the photos you sent dated? Which of the two of the Main Street is likely to best represent 1888?

I too have wondered about the two men's funeral, and who was buried where. Based on the gory detail of the report, did they even know which body parts belonged to which torso. It is a shame religion dictated separate burials, if they had been buried together it would have been more fitting. Anyway I suppose it doesn't matter now, and here, 120 years on, they are nevertheless still remembered.

The extract of your town's history you sent me includes a quote from another newspaper report - 'Death is a great leveller and wonderfully subdues men's passions.' and it makes a fine epitaph.

I haven't heard yet from Archives NZ on whether they have the Coroner's Report. When I do I will let you know.

One of the photos you sent was post the 1886 fire, and out of interest I looked for the newspaper report of the day. Like the 1888 fire it is very detailed. The bit I liked was that the Constable was commended for sticking to his post - although his whiskers caught alight twice!

Article from – Te Aroha News, 9 January, 1888. courtesy of National Library New Zealand

So far I haven't heard anything other than general background information from the museum, similar to what you had already given me. Rosheen is trying to find out if there was a military connection as per one of the newspaper reports but we don't expect to find out much if John was a volunteer. Any information she has found about bands is after 1888 too. But here's hoping.

As always it is good to hear from you.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,

The newspaper report for the fire in 1888 is great with all its gory details. They don’t write newspaper articles like that anymore. And it is a laugh how the constable had his whiskers catch on fire!

As to you questions about the photos of the main street which I sent you.
The one with a very muddy road and no footpaths had "circa 1880" written on the back, and the other photo with the horse and wagon and footpaths had "Waipawa Main Street circa 1900?". (Notice the question mark - whoever labelled the photo was not entirely sure)

So no exact dates I'm afraid. That's the problem with these old photos when there's nobody around from that era to tell us exactly when it was taken.

It was the same problem when we were trying to date the mural I painted down at the museum. The photo I painted from had no date written on it at all - but there was a car parked on the side of the road - which, with the help of a car enthusiast, was dated as Waipawa circa 1910... although in that photo the main street looked much more established than the one with the horse and cart, so the one I sent to you may even be a little before 1900.

Sorry - that doesn't help much.
J Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello Jan

Thanks for the info on photo dates. If I wanted to illustrate my story about John, it seems I could use either, whichever best illustrates the newspaper articles.

On the issue of newspapers, your friend Margaret who put together the page on John's fire in the Town History book, did so from newspaper reports, but must have found reports other than in the Hawkes Bay Herald. If you remember when you next see her, would you mind asking if she can recall which papers she used.

Bye for now

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,

The Hawkes Bay Herald is a Hawkes Bay paper – but our town was quite a distance from Napier which was the main town/port back then. And travel distance was quite large considering there were no cars back then.
So our little town did have its own newspaper back then – “The Waipawa Mail.”

Much of the research Margaret did for the book she wrote was from the Waipawa Mail.
Unfortunately the CHB Settlers Museum here in Waipawa does not have a large number of Mails as their storage capacity for such things is not so good - so quite a few years back these were moved up to Napier (Hawkes Bay Museum) where they are stored properly, and a lot of them have been put on to microfilm.

For her book Margaret also interviewed a lot of the older residents (back in the 1980's, all of which have passed on now) and recorded some of their memories of the town - and stories they were told about old Waipawa.

My Grandad and his sister (who were both born in the early1890's in the house I live now) were amongst those Margaret used for information on early Waipawa.
Grandad was a historian himself (he started the Museum out at Ongaonga, a village not far from Waipawa - which has grown into a pioneer village now) and he and his sister collected photos, documents, newspaper clippings, etc - (which I now have some of...) and of course their grandparents were some of the first settlers here in Waipawa in early 1860’s, and their father (my great grandfather) was the second ever white baby born in Waipawa - so they knew some of the old stories of Waipawa.

Anyway thanks again for that article – it was really amusing – pity newspapers don’t write like that today.

J Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Jan

Thanks for the information about the Waipawa Mail. I have asked Rosheen Parker if she knows if Hawkes Bay Museum hold copies and for any contact she might have there.

It must be fascinating to live in an established family house. All the stories passed down must mean so much more. Do you know where your family originated, before settling in New Zealand? I have managed to trace back as far as 1650 when the family lived in Cumberland, only moving around nearby villages. When the industrial revolution came in the mid 1800's, and with it the railway, they moved further afield. One farm which they held for about 150 years still survives, and visiting it brought a few of the records to life a bit more.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,
The Hawkes Bay museum's website is www.hbmag.co.nz but when you go there it doesn't give a lot of details about what the have stored away. The Waipawa Mail newspapers are kept in the library and archives and I am sure that if you emailed them This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask them about the newspapers they would look them up - but probably at a charge... I'm not too sure what that charge would be?

My great great grandfather Edward Bibby, who was one of the early settlers here in Waipawa, came originally from Conder Mill in Lancashire.

And we can trace his forebears back as far as 1608 - but some of that is based on guess work as it seems that the Bibbys had huge families and they recycled names every generation - so keeping everyone straight in the family tree probably caused some headaches.

It was quite funny that last year I had an email enquiry from someone else who as a Bibby descendant here in New Zealand and it worked out that her great grandmother as my great great grandfathers sister. None of the Edward Bibby descendants were aware that another Bibby from Conder Mill emmigrated to New Zealand back in those early days - so it was quite a find.
I think because her Bibby ancestor was a female member of the Bibby line it wasn't thought of as being as important as a male.

Anyway we swapped a few photos of graves photos of Conder Mill and a painting Mum did when she was over there twenty or so years ago. (If you're interested you can see these on the www.waipawa.com website under heading Bibby descendant enquiry.)

I find that finding out things about early Waipawa is really interesting - because although New Zealand's history is a lot shorter than yours over in England, its really fascinating and it makes you appreciate how hard it was for the settlers who left their homes so far away to have a new start in a fairly primitive new country.
It probably was quite a shock for Edward Bibby who left a fairly comfortable safe existence in England to come to live in a little whare (a primitive hut made from slabs of timber plastered together with mud to stop the draughts getting in, and maybe a tin roof or maybe a manuka scrub roof?) while he and his wife built one of the first shops here.
I think he was lucky he had such an enterprising wife, who knew how to run a business, and who recognised that the local Maoris were potential customers too. 

Anyway I suppose I'd better do something with the day (we celebrate the queen's birthday this weekend so I have the day off work - yay!)

Hope the Hawkes Bay Museum can help with your research

J Jan


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,

I was doing a little research the other day for someone else who made an enquiry through my website and through that found that I could update a date on one of those photos I sent you.
The more recent photo of Waipawa’s main street must be at least 1904 because the store on the right has Williams and Kettles written on it. William Rathbone sold this store to his friend in 1904. Before that it was known as Rathbones… but after it was sold to William’s old friend and business partner Fred Kettle and the store became known as 'Williams and Kettles'.
So that makes that photo date at least 1904.

Another thing I found was another newspaper article which answers my question about how they knew which body to bury where, and with which headstone.
I had assumed that these two young men had tried to get out of the building – so there might have been a bit of guess work as to who was who – as their bodies were so badly burnt that heads and limbs etc were separated from the bodies (gory stuff).
But read this article…

Article from the Marlborough Express, 1 May 1888.(courtesy of National Library NZ)

It says that the two young men never woke and were both burnt to death in their beds.
Now, presumably the landlord would know which bed belonged to which tenant so maybe their identification was made by the location (which bed) the bodies were found in? – Just a thought anyway.
Still think newspaper reports were written in very colourful language back then.

J Jan

 


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello Jan

Thanks for the photo date info, it is useful. I wanted a picture to illustrate the town around John's death and both in their own way do that. The earlier photo must be very early, as the report on the 1886 fire explains how the blaze spread from building to building, so they would have been close together as in the 1904 photo. In the earlier shot, they seem to be well spaced.

I knew John had been burnt in his bed so must have been first suffocated with the smoke, and you are right, the owner would have had an idea on who slept where. However a report states that the inquest jury could not decide on who was who. I haven't heard back yet from Archives NZ, and hopefully the Coroners report will throw a bit more light on it all.

Rosheen was able to give me a contact at the Napier Museum for the Waipawa Mail reports and I am still waiting to hear back. In the funeral report, there is reference to John being a 'military man', but again we have no joy on that. He was described as a Tailor, which was his trade so at best he may have been a Volunteer and Rosheen has found some reference to a Stockade at Waipawa, but earlier in 1860's. I recently found a paper report of 1888 correcting a previous report that Volunteers at Wellington fired live ammunition at each other. It adds that the Volunteers were in fact in Waipawa, so I will have a search for more information when the rain writes of a day for much else.

From the extract of the page your friend Margaret Gray wrote in the town history booklet, it suggests that John played in Harding's Band, one of two. I saw mention of Harding in the report on the 1886 fire, in business with Ward. Out of general interest, is it6 known what business he was in? The other band appears to have been Mr Chicken's, and again from the 1886 report, I see he was a watchmaker.

Well hopefully I will hear from the archive sources soon, and when I do I will let you know if anything more is found.

Bye for now.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,

I've done a little more work trying to date that early Waipawa photo - and I found an almost identical photo of Proffessor Moore's shop (that's the shop with the twisty verandah posts) taken from the southern side rather than the northern side. This second photo, like the first early one I sent you,  was probably taken by Prof Moore himself as he was one of Waipawa's early photographers (in fact a man who turned his hand to almost anything -if you're interested in Prof Moore's shady past you can read a bit about him on the website under 15 Rose street enquiry.).

You will notice in this second photo that next door (on the right) you can make out on the sign "Bank of...". This was in fact the Bank of Australia which opened in Waipawa in 1874.(Bank of New Zealand opened in Waipawa that year too - on the same side of the road but further down the street- and on the same day!)
So.... the early photos must be taken after the Bank of Australia opened in Waipawa. So that means the photo is after 1874.

I don't know if this helps or not?

The reason that the shops are not so close together in the two early photos is that the businesses down the northern end of town were built later than the southern end - which was closer to the ford which everybody traveling south had to use.
That's what my great, great grandfather decided - as he built his store right next to the ford - and you can just see his shop in the first early Waipawa photo in the distance (behind the horse on the right)

I also looked up Ward and Harding on a list of businesses in 1884 and found that there was GEORGE WARD -Saddlery, and W.B. HARDING - Stock and Station Agent, and CLEMENT HARDING - Tailor and Draper. and of course J.CHICKEN - Watchmaker and Jeweller.

Hope these little pieces of information help

:-) Jan


From: Ian
To: Jan
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hello Jan

Your latest information is particularly interesting. There were at least two Harding's trading in the town, and importantly one was Clement Harding, the Tailor and Draper. I wonder if he was the other Bandmaster along with Mr Chicken?
As John was a journeyman Tailor, he could have worked for him and therefore that is why he played with his band. If you have a moment, could you look up the list of business for Maurice Sheehan, where John had been lodging. Was he a Baker?

It is fascinating how all these little snippets, seemingly unimportant can piece together the wider story.

I looked up your notes on Professor Moore, very bizarre. It is strange that his activities were locally just rumour, yet his notoriety as an abortionist was widely known, at least as far as Napier. Maybe everyone knew about him but chose to turn a blind eye to it.

Ian


From: Jan
To: Ian
Subject: Waipawa in 1888

Hi Ian,
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner - but life got a bit hectic there for a moment.

I'm afraid the list of businesses I that I told you about in an earlier email is not complete as there are a few missing from it - including the butcher and the baker etc... Plus its a list from 1884 - and the town was growing like topsy then - so new businesses were sprouting up quite quickly. 
I've attached the list for you to look at.

But apart from this all I could find was in that original article in the Abbott's-Ford book, which read...
" An overnight fire at Sheehan's Bakery, next to Britten's Butchers, across the road from Flynns, claimed the lives of two young men asleep in the accomodation upstairs."

Oh well, I might drop off at the museum on the way home from school and see if Rosheen has any more information.(I have to stop off at the supermarket across the road from the museum anyway, or my cats will get very grumpy as they're out of catbiscuits)

Hope this helps

:-) Jan


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