Friday, 28 November 2014

Supplies to Coromandel Peninsula Yesteryear

Renovated Warehouses and buildings Fort Street, Auckland 2009 - Photo CRB

Looking back to growing up years, there are memories of the warehouses down by the Auckland Waterfront. Great labryinths and shelves stacked high with all manner of goods – tea, coffee, jams, tinned meat,  flour, candles, salt, wheat , china, materials and clothing. 

It never entered my head as a child to wonder why all those warehouses were right in the middle of a city near the waterfront originally  Even flour miller Northern Roller Mills was down there. That those warehouses were close to the transport system to the Coromandel Peninsula  of those early days - coastal shipping.

The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, Vol 2, Auckland Province. Christchurch: Cyclopaedia Company Limited, 1902.
By the time I was growing up on the Coromandel Peninsula there were metal roads across the ranges to the Eastern Seaboard. There were not any in the earlier days of gold mining, logging,  kauri gum gathering and later farming.

Then it was supplies coming in via the coastal traders - firstly the schooners and cutters - then  the era of steamers and scows. Bringing general and sundries for those activities.

Dutch oven from McClures

             Ross & Ansenne well known suppliers of steel wire

Page 3 Advertisements Column 5Thames Advertiser, Volume XXIV, Issue 7039, 5 October 1891, Page 3 In Papers Past National Library NZ

Chas Judd Ltd well known Thames Iron Works. It was this firm that was also contracted to build four cast iron lighthouses.

Weston, Fred (compiler). Jubilee Souvenir –Thames Goldfields-A History From Proclamation Times To 1927. Thames: “ Thames Star”, July ,1927.


Page 7 Advertisements Column 5  New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9302, 11 September 1893, Page 7 In Papers Past National Library NZ

John Burns & Co another Auckland based Company providing all manner of goods along with ship channery also. Development of new processes in goldmining along with the advent of dairy factories and cowsheds on the Coromandel Peninsula in the early 1900's saw supply of portland cement to the area.

from page 2 of the Progress, 1 November 1905 in Papers Past National Library NZ

As well as the transport of machinery and equipment for the two sawmills at Whitianga and Tairua ( the cutter Ringdove carried the first machinery parts for the first mill at Tairua in 1865) there were sundry items such as drapery and grocery items - flour, oatmeal , salt, jams, tinned beef, tea, sugar - the coaster cargo and provisions for the employees at the mills, in the bush logging and the kauri gum diggers of the Eastern Seaboard. 

Later years in the 1890's saw coastal steamers  bringing the battery and machinery for the Luck at Last Mine up the Wharekawa Valley, Tairua Broken Hills Gold Mining Company up the Puketui Valley and  for the ill fated Royal Standard Mine at Wharikirauponga up the Parakiwai Valley. Grocery items came two ways to these mining settlements - via the Packers on the Pack Horse Route and via the coastal steamers. Flour and oatmeal came bulk in bags, tea in boxes or chests and jams and preserved meats in tins. Hence the convenience to the wharves  of Northern Roller Mills flour millers with their popular Champion brand flour.

Fleming & Co Ltd Gore were well known providers of flour and oatmeal products.  Into the 1900's and this company were distributing and supplying  products throughout Australasia, including a variety of breakfast cereals - Thistle oatmeal, Thistle Flaked Oats, Milk Oaties  and Creamota.

Fleming & Company Ltd Roller Flour Mills - Photo CRB February 2012

Page 4 Advertisements Column 5 Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLIII, Issue XLIII, 
7 April 1909, Page 4 in Papers Past National Library NZ

Flemings advertised their product in newspapers throughout Australia. The advertisement below  appeared in newspapers in New Zealand and Australia.

Examiner  Friday 2 November 1917, page 2 in Trove Newspapers National Library Australia

J.B. Macfarlane ( James Buchanan Macfarlane ) also in Fort Street, Auckland  was both a Commission Agent and grain broker.  Macfarlane was also a Director in 1902 for the New Zealand Portland Cement Company Ltd which manufactured and distributed the Crown Brand of Portland Cement - one of its customers being the Waihi Gold Mining Company on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The Cyclopaedia of New Zealand, Vol 2, Auckland Province. Christchurch: Cyclopaedia Company Limited, 1902.

A  Commission Agent and Grain Broker, Macfarlane acted as a wholesale  agent for the popular range of Peacock's jams ( Irvine & Stevenson ) and jams and preserved meats of St. George Preserving Company Ltd.

                Page 7 Advertisements Column 1 Auckland Star, Volume XXII, Issue 66, 19 March 1891, Page 7

The goods, machinery and groceries  supplied to the Coromandel Peninsula were  certainly a relevant part of the past New Zealand history. Out of the supply of these came the well known coastal shipping line around the coasts and in the Ports of the Coromandel Peninsula - Thames, Coromandel, Whitianga, Tairua, Whangamata and Paeroa - Northern Steam Ship Company.  Many of the goods, groceries and firms supplying them were well known and were around for many years.

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