As part of a new Valley Profile series, MEGHAN HAWKES searches through old newspapers to bring you the stories Thames Valley locals once read about themselves.
Some excitement was caused in Belmont Road, Paeroa when a car driven by a Waihi taxi driver collided with a verandah post outside a fish shop. The post, although badly bent, held, but the force of the impact caused the wheels of the car to slip into the water table and before it could be brought to a standstill the hood struck the wooden verandah post of Mr Scott, the boot maker.
The force of the impact broke the post off near the ground causing the verandah to drop at one end. Then followed a resounding crash and the remaining three posts gave way. The verandah collapsed on the pavement, a mass of twisted iron and timber.
The driver was unable to move off in time and a portion of the wreckage fell across the car damaging the hood, mudguard and smashing the windscreen. Exactly how the driver came to be so close to the footpath was not known but the sequel to the occurrence was to be ventilated in the Paeroa Police court.
An unsatisfactory state of affairs regarding the running of the Pipiroa ferry was revealed at a meeting of the Hauraki Plains County Council. It was the custom for intending passengers to signal the ferry by ringing an iron triangle placed conveniently for the purpose. Passengers were ringing for long periods but the ferryman would not answer. His explanation was that the signal could not be heard at his residence. Many travellers had been seriously inconvenienced by this inattention to duty. Recurring engine trouble was also plaguing the ferry.
At Ngatea, the owner of some apple trees suspected the presence of fire blight and sent an affected tree limb to the district orchard instructor, who at first doubted whether the blackness was due to the blight, but later confirmed the fruit grower’s suspicions and instructed him to cut off all affected branches. The Minister of Lands and the Minister of Public Works were to visit Ngatea and other Hauraki Plains centres. Among the most important questions to be brought to their attention was the menace caused by the spread of fescue at Orongo.
While fishing with a net off Te Puru, the largest stingray caught on the coast for many years was captured by campers, measuring 7 ft 6 in long, 5 ft 3 in wide with a sting 10 inches long. The next day a female shark with 33 young was also caught.
Interesting discoveries were made by workmen digging drains in Thames streets for the new sewage system. Gold bearing stone was found outside one of the business offices and this was followed by the discovery of a beautifully carved Maori paddle. Later, workmen found a valuable piece of gum and an earthenware bowl used by Maori for grinding vegetable matter. Other extraordinary discoveries were made when an inspection of the finished sewer was carried out. In one section was a coke brazier which some person had maliciously placed there and in another were two stove gratings. Stricter supervision was called for to prevent such mischief being done.
PHOTO: Ngatea from the tower on the Piako river bridge. Photo/SUPPLIED