Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Hawkeye, 1878

Turkish Baths were to be established in Thames.  Mr Sykes, proprietor of Auckland, had been looking for a suitable site and settled on the premises lately occupied by Dr O'Flaherty near Karaka Bridge.  The opening of this Oriental luxury to the public was much anticipated.  

A small vineyard at Block 27 also excited cosmopolitan citizens.  Mr Gough had planted half an acre in about 400 vines, which were heavily laden with fruit.  He expected to make 800 gallons of wine and  already had a good stock - some of it three years old.  "After sampling it we can pronounce it very good," beamed the Star.   A powdery mildew had passed over the vineyard but only affected the vines in a sort of narrow streak, the black grapes being  little touched.  Mr Gough gave the vines a dressing of solution of potash "which answered very well."  Mr Gough had been trying for some time to get permission to bring his homemade wines before the public, but it appeared he needed a license.

The English snail, recently introduced to New Zealand, was becoming a great pest in the garden.  "The mynah is very fond of these molluscs and should be encouraged wherever they abound," gardeners were advised.   A variety of snail slaying measures were recommended including salt, quickllime and sawdust. "They may also be trapped by placing pieces of tile and coarse pottery about the garden, so that the snails can get underneath them."  The snail, which appeared in Thames a few years previously, had by now spread over the whole district and had become a nuisance.

A man standing in Pollen Street, near Sealey Street, was reading in impressive tones from a book.  At first his audience consisted of a small boy and large dog.  The dog appeared to belong to the eccentric reader as he was most attentive.  Very soon the peculiar spectacle attracted a larger audience as the man appeared to have some 'derangement.'  He was later arrested - the intellectual being an inebriate. 

Heavy rain at Thames flooded yards and houses on the western side of Owen Street, between Burke and Coromandel Streets, some of the residences having as much as a foot of water on the floor.   Mr Green, hatter, noticed the rising water in time to remove a large number of valuable hats from the floor to a higher and dryer place.  His shop and kitchen were under three inches of water.  Mr Renshaw's shop was flooded and considerable damage done to the floor; the high water mark reached about nine inches.    The footpath was covered in sand and mud, and a flotilla of fences and timber were seen sailing down to the sea.

"An enormous eel, weighing 17lbs, which was caught in the Kauaeranga, was cooked by Mr O D Grant yesterday for some natives.  They bought a large tin milk dish to bake it in, and his eelship completely filled it."

© Meghan Hawkes and Dead Cert 2014

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