These pages are for stories from our local past.  The following quotes were collected for the Open Day held on Sunday 15 May.

We remember when…

Don Baigent remembers

“I was 17 in 1942 and was manpowered to the gardens. The first job I had was on a 3 furrow disc plough behind a crawler D2 International breaking in land opposite the Carlton hall (up by Eden Road).  Gus Michie was driving and I was controlling the depth with levers.  It was full of boulders, The plough struck one, and it threw the plough—and me—up into the air. I ended up with peritonitis and was off for the next 3 months.”


Isla Needham

“When Howards Butchery and house burnt down(c 1928), all that was left was a pot of plum jam which had been cooking on the stove.”


Howard Upfold:

Retanking of the Atlantic Tanks at Upfolds garage 1965-66.

“Gilbarco did all the pumps-still do, but more high tec . The man behind the door was Tom Te Kanawa, Kiri’s father. The job took weeks, so we got to know them quite well.  Kiri had just got her scholarship with Sister Mary Leo, and she needed a bible, so Mum gave her one of ours.”


Iris Baigent remembers Pop Johns (principal 1923-1935)

“Pop Johns was the kindest man—like a father to us.  Every year he would buy 3 cases of oranges for us pupils, and sell them to us for no profit.  He personally gave our family half a dozen, because he knew we were having hard times.”

Dorothy Gallagher remembers  the petrol rationing during the war, and in the years after the war and up to 1950.

Both she and her future husband Eddie worked on telephone exchanges; Dorothy in Waiuku, Eddie Patumahoe, meeting through a mutual friend Bob Ryder, also an exchange worker.

In order to have enough petrol to go to dances, they would save and pool their vouchers; Dorothy’s because she worked in an essential service which included shift work, and Eddie because he was also a farmer and had vouchers for a tractor. She would ride her bike to work at night, and on dance night they could take 2 or 3 friends as well.

Dave Upfold grew up in the middle of town in the 1960s. The Upfolds lived in John Street, at first in accommodation attached to the garage, but later bought Jim Brocas’s house almost adjacent. It was over the road from the grader shed (where the Fire Brigade building is) and the grader driver (Allan Watson) was very well set up for tools inside the shed.  David and his brothers would walk down to the dump on the Waiuku /Drury Road to find treasures, and Allan helped him put together his first bike.

On the day of the opening of the branch to Waiuku (obviously including Patumahoe and Mauku),  the band played, and the longest train many had ever seen steamed up the Waiuku platform;  20 carriages drawn by 2 engines, carrying 1300 passengers picked up at stations on the way from Auckland. The Prime Minister W.F.Massey was there to perform the official opening.

Movies at the Hall

In the sixties the three Upfold boys Howard, David and Ian, set out the chairs in the Town Hall for the travelling projectionist Roy Needham and got into the weekly movies free. The grey J1 Bedford would be backed up to the door with an extension lead, and Roy would run the projector from the back of the truck.

Princess Margaret’s  wedding was 6th May 1960.  As a Plunket fundraiser, Vernon’s Hardware store brought their stock of TV sets to the Patumahoe Hall, so the community could watch the wedding.

Mike Michie remembers himself and Norm Howard one rough day, capsizing their Z class yacht, in Torkar Channel. Not being terribly experienced in righting the craft in these conditions, they were eventually towed to shore by Claude Goldsworthy and Gus Michie. The yacht was upside down and the mast broke.

“I can vividly remember Claude hand planning a new mast from (I think) a piece of Oregon pine, When he had finished you would have thought it had been turned on a lathe. This was done in his workshop at the back of his workshop.

Bud Barriball recalled the time a Fletchers  truck had an accident on the road out of Auckland and couldn’t continue to deliver its load down to Inglewood in Taranaki. Bud and Mike Michie got the job to drive through the night and arrived in the morning at—the Inglewood Funho Toy Factory so the factory could operate!