Topic: Pollen Street - Jellicoe Crescent to Mary St (west side) 2003
This is one in a series of photograph collections prepared by Mr Barry Murch for Thames-Coromandel District Council in 2003. Included in this volume was a short poetic essay 'The Nostalgia of Thames' presumably by Mr. Murch.
Introductory page to this volume reads:
"The following pages are a list of the occupancies of Pollen Street in 2003, and a history of former occupants of business premises so far as memory would permit.
"Many were the minds that were taxed trying to remember who or what was where, which turned the exercise into very amusing incidents at times.
"No claim is made for accuracy and no dates could be given.
"Over the years boundaries have changed, two shops made into one, or one shop made into two, further confusing things, but the best has been done. -- Barry Murch"
The Nostalgia Of Thames.
Turn the clock back to a time when we once drank Grey & Menzies 'Lime', sucked sherbet through straws from Whiteheads, ate lollies from Lewis's store, and candy from Jack Collin's shop - his sweets one loved to score.
In our mind's eye, let us wander into shops like Galloways, The Thrift Store, Bongards and Hetheringtons with its millinery displays. Let's buy our meat from Reddy's where men on sawdust tread, and we'll sample Palmer's Toffees and watch Santa's nodding head.
And we'll once more buy our groceries from Woods or Wallace Supplies - sniff new baked bread from Scotts - and the Quality Inn pies. We'll munch into fruit from She Cheongs and have a mixed grill from the Den - maybe Fish and Chips from Antonovich's or the Ritz now and again.
And as we turn the clock back we’ll roam the Coloured Sands and wander in and out of stores Batemans, Coakleys and Burrets too – also Jorgensens and Courts just to name a few. Let’s swing around the Barbers poles painted red and white and blue – Alf Robinsons, Johnstones, Donnellys and Emmet Montagues. Buy shoes from Ezywalkens, from Danbys or McPhail and Ganley’s too – or be photographed at Clark’s – sit down and smile among his props.
We’ll stand and watch the one armed man from Mary Street on his rounds – the Deli Man his horse and cart and we’ll hear the clang of milk-cans – the Milkman at the break of day – just after the ‘Night Cart’ has slipped quietly away.
Oh let’s all have lots of fun skipping through Thames Central’s arch, then file into school and keep in step to ‘Colonel Bogey’s March’. And in the Primmer’s Room we’ll sit legs crossed on coconut mats while listening to Miss Williams spell D.O.G.S and C.A.T.S.
As we turn the clock back let’s watch the Claxton Factory girls and Judd’s and Prices men spill out onto the pavements on bikes or else on foot… the women all a chatter, the men all grime and soot. Some of us did hail a taxi from Jackie Corbett’s Stand or fill up at Gordon Mincher’s with the ‘Big Tree’ brand. We could quench our thirst at a drinking fountain – there’s always one in sight before our trip to Auckland in a bus of Leo White.
On Friday night we’ll dress up posh – and just wander mingling with the shoppers in the Main Street – and we’ll listen to the Sally Band beneath the chestnut tree: - the cymbal clang and the singing with the drum beat from Herbie. Come Saturday a matinee at the Kings or Regent Theatres where eating jaffas we would watch the serials and nothing could be better… And in the evening won’t we think that it really is grand – foxtrotting at the Majestic to Herb and Eilleen’s Band.
Once more we will wonder what goes on behind the windows painted white – of Billiard Parlours and Hotels where ‘Men Only’ have the right. And we’ll sit upon those chair like stools and still not touch the floor – the stools beside the counter of the drapers – Courts, Arbury’s and Hetherington’s – and Renshaws – and we’ll meet up with those characters that made our town somehow – There was Nellie, Aggie, Georgie and Barbara, also Herbie and there was Tom and Dinny with Pikaus and Constable Cook – big and tall pounding on his beat – and dear old Percy – Old Father Christmas us kids would follow up the street.
We farewelled the troops going off to War while the train hisses at the station and we’ll cram into the ‘Victory Tent’ to hear the Lawson’s Revelations and we’ll add to the long ‘copper trail’ that snakes around the town for the ‘Victory Queen’ and the ‘Liberty Queen’ raising pennys, shillings and pounds.
And now its time for family and for friends… a time to remember the people and the places that helped shape our town – our town of Thames."
Library Call Number: ATH137.