Monday, 21 December 2015

Summer Holiday

Thank you everyone for your support during the year. Hope you enjoy this visual celebration of the New Zealand Summer. Have a wonderful holiday season and travel safe

Festive Entertainment advertised Auckland Star 23 December 1876

The Auckland Photographic Club Summer excursion at Auckland Domain. Possibly Fred Bartley seated 3rd from left. Undated Image BFA

Auck Star 21 Dec 1876

The family of Robert and Esther Bartley at Taupaki early 1900s. Donated Image BFA
Cheltenham Beach, interwar years. Image by George Bartley BFA

Crozier family picnic Southland early 1900s Image Harry Crozier BFA

Takapuna Beach January 1906 Image SGGSC A256

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Pioneer Boat Builders in Devonport

Looking across Torpedo Bay to the Masonic Hotel, 1879. Image SGGSC APL 4-2979

When we visit Devonport in Auckland today it is hard to visualise it as a vital centre of industry, but it was. The 1850’s through to the late 1880’s were a peak time for ship building. Devonport was a major hub for this boom in maritime construction and the associated trade services. This post looks at three of the earliest ship yards in Devonport with a focus on community and connections.

Torpedo Bay was the area where the bulk of early boat building was carried out. Alex Alison was one of the first to set up a boat building yard in Devonport. He purchased property on the foreshore. King Edward Parade follows his seaward boundary, which extended to just east of where the Masonic Tavern was to be built.

Torpedo Bay Devonport about 1870 Image BFA

The Alison home was one of the earliest wooden dwellings in Devonport. At that time the area was characterised by Maori settlement with only a few scattered settler farms. About 1854 he moved his boat building operation from Official Bay across to Devonport.
At Torpedo Bay he continued to specialise in smaller craft which he built for sale, rather than the more conventional practice of building to order.

DSC 27 Jan 1854

 Alison's ‘Foam’ was a clinker built copper fastened boat launched 2 April 1855 whose construction included some of Duder Bros cement between skins. Could that be a first in New Zealand boat building? She made a good showing in the Auckland Anniversary regattas.

DSC 30 Jan 1857

 His sons Alex and Ewen, in particular, left an indelible mark on Devonport and Takapuna. Their involvement in local politics, racing, ferry services is legendary on the North Shore. The pioneering contribution of the Alisons is remembered in the clock tower at the base of Victoria Rd. Alex’s grandson Ewen later married Freda Bartley, daughter of Clement.

George Beddoes set up his boat building yard at the North Head end of Torpedo Bay in the late 1850’s, until his remove to Fiji around 1872, in the midst of a Supreme Court Appeal concerning the Devonport wharf.
 Alex Alison’s son Ewen was apprenticed to him. For a short while he was in partnership with John Holmes, who came to New Zealand via Melbourne. Later he moved further along the Bay to build a slip near where the Rowing Club is based. Beddoes’ yard is credited with building the first composite iron and wood vessel constructed in Auckland. This was the ferry ‘Devonport’ launched in 1870.

 John Holmes was soon joined by his brothers James and William when fundamental differences led to the partnership with Beddoes being dissolved.
Holmes Bros, as their business became known, built a slip at the bottom of Victoria Road near the landing reserve, where the wharf buildings are today. There the first North Shore built steam ferry – the ‘Waitemata’- was constructed. Their first ferry services company Waitemata Steam Ferry Company did not prosper and folded in 1867. The steamer was transferred to a new company- the North Shore Steam Ferry Company and renamed.

The remodelled 'Waitemata' renamed 'Enterprise II' constructed 1865 Image SGGSC APL

Another Holmes Bros paddle steamer 'Enterprise 1' Image SGGSC APL c 1867

Like the Bartley’s, the Holmes family came from St Helier, Jersey. After leaving the Channel Islands, their family moved to Sunderland, England and Australia. In Auckland they were able to re-establish their close connection with the Bartley brothers, Robert and Edward, who had moved to New Zealand in 1854.
John Holmes daughter Polly (Mary Elisabeth) married Arthur Bartley, son of Edward.
The family home of William Holmes on the foreshore at Devponport. Image SGGSC APL c1880

There was close cooperation between these early settlers at Devonport, but they were also highly competitive. Not only Anniversary Day Regattas were fiercely contested. Competition to control North Shore ferry services was cut throat, particularly between the Holmes brothers and the Alisons. Disputes arose as to the best placement of passenger facilities and various other commercial concerns. Local body affairs were sometimes coloured by the factions formed around business these concerns. The 1870 dispute over Alex Alison’s shoreline wall is one example. It took nearly twenty years and the Supreme Court to resolve this issue.

Conversely, it was that same single minded commitment and investment which led to the rapid development of the district. Improvement in ferry services was a key factor in opening up the North Shore for residential settlement. Edward Bartley was just one who delayed his move across the harbour from Auckland until 1870. Anyone with business interests in Auckland required a reliable commuter service. Anyone producing goods and services on the Shore for Auckland markets was equally dependent on steady freight services.
The personalities, prosperity and development associated with the boat building industry contributed immeasurably to the development of Devonport in social as well as economic terms.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Alice Bartley and Stephen Gilbert

This is the last of our posts on the children of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby.

Today we are with Alice Bartley who was born at home in Chapel St, Auckland on 21 February 1858. We know very little about Alice herself. It is likely she met Stephen through his family relationship to her brother in law. Their families also shared adherence to the Wesleyan faith.

The Gilbert family travelled to New Zealand on the same ship as their cousins, the Rountree family. (Stephen Gilbert Rountree later married Julia Bartley). Their intention was to take up land north of Auckland. Parents, James and Eliza Gilbert, travelled with four daughters and three sons, one of whom was Stephen. Their ship SS Portland set a record time from Gravesend to Auckland. 181 passengers arrived in New Zealand on 22 July 1863, after leaving port on 31 April of that year.

The Gilberts did not farm their land for long. Their property, around the Waikiekie/ Matakohe area was rough country with poor access. These settlements around Port Albert and the western side south of Whangarei were originally established by immigrants with shared religious and cultural values. Many prospective settlers in this area made a second, more informed decision, about their likelihood of success once they had first hand experience of the conditions.  Instead of farming the Gilbert family moved to Auckland. James worked a few years for the 'New Zealander' before establishing a drapery in Parnell.

Stephen's first employer was the manufacturing pharmacist J. N. Manning. He continued his apprenticeship when the business was sold, working under the new owner James Sharland.
By 1879, when he married Alice Bartley, he was qualified and ready to his set up his own premises.

Ak Star 4 June 1881

The Gilbert Pharmacy opened at 223 Queen St in May 1881. The following year he moved to a better position at the other end of Queen St.
Ak Star 3 June 1882

  He continued to trade there until the business moved to K Rd in 1907. The new pharmacy was in Probert's Buildings on a good corner site which is recognisable today.

A 1909 view of the pharmacy. Image SGGSC 7-A4756

Alice and Stephen had one daughter, Flora who was born in 1882. She later married Reginald Hooton.

Stephen predeceased Alice. He died in 1938, at Epsom, Auckland. Alice followed almost ten years later in 1947.

Research by M W Bartley

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Searching for more on Edna Witheford

This post is in response to a request for more information about Edna Witheford, daughter of J.H.Witheford. If this is your family line and you have more detail to share please link up here or at the main Witheford page

Edna was born on 17 July 1889.[i] She was the youngest of her family. When she was little she was sometimes under the guardianship of her brother in law Ted Barber, Ida’s husband. Her father’s political career and her mother’s health made this arrangement necessary.

Despite moving between Northcote and Ellerslie schools, Edna was an able student.  Later she is listed with her cousin Myrtle Rountree as a prize winner at ‘The Willows’. This school was a select private college run by Mrs Williams in Wynyard St, Auckland.[ii] Edna continued her education at Victoria College in Wellington, being listed there on the 1919 electoral roll.

In 1923 Edna married Ernest Hansch, a son of John and Louisa Hansch of Alfriston. This family is remembered in the district by Hansch Rd, as they were early settlers there. Three sisters and a brother are included in Ernest’s family plot at Christ Church Anglican Cemetery in Clevedon.
Their name was well known all over New Zealand because of a tragedy which occurred in 1918. Ernest’s sister Freda was the victim of a savage attack. Her father saved her life, but they were both wounded and her home was damaged by fire. This tragic but sensational event was reported widely in New Zealand and Australia.[iii]

Ernest and Edna lived at Alfriston, on family property. This was a farming district in the early twentieth century. Their first child, born in January 1924, was a son who did not survive. Margaret Edna came next, on 12 January 1925.[iv] A second daughter, Mary Elizabeth, arrived on 25 November 1928.[v]
It had not been an easy few years. Ernest’s father died in 1926 and part of the property was sold. Mother, Louisa, died in December 1928, a month after Mary was born. Brother Carl lost his home in a house fire in February 1929. This event was almost an exact replication of a fire in 1899 in which their original family home had burned to the ground.[vi]

Edna was not happy in her marriage. When her father died in 1931 she was living in Glenfield with her children. Their 200 acre block at Tomarata, north of Auckland, was sold in 1932. Ernest filed for divorce in 1934, on the grounds of desertion.[vii]
Edna continued to raise her daughters on Auckland’s North Shore, in the Birkenhead area where she had a good network of family and friends.
The Children's page AkStar 13 June 1936 - Edna's daughters Margaret and Mary amongst friends

Edna died in Auckland in 1967.

Research by M Bartley

[i] NZRBDM 1889/3336
[ii] Auckland Star 15 Dec 1904
[iii] North Otago Times 8 Oct 1918
[iv] NZ Herald 15 Jan 1925
[v] NZH 29 Nov 1928
[vi] NZH 21 Oct 1889
[vii] Refer National Archives; NZH 17 August 1934

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Edward Bartley & Holy Trinity, Devonport, Auckland

The Anglican Church of Holy Trinity was constructed in 1865.  The congregation more than doubled during the next ten years. This phenomenon was general to the district. The population of Devonport increased during the 1870's to just under 1000 residents. The pressure to enlarge facilities was felt by all religious and social organisations in the community.

A decision was made in 1874 to enlarge the existing church by extending the nave and aisles by 9 feet. Edward Bartley prepared the plans which were executed by Henry Pitts. At this time Edward was still operating predominantly as a master builder. By 1877 when a meeting of the Vestry agreed that a larger church was urgently required, it was Edward Bartley, now a practising architect, who was asked to draw plans for a new church. It is likely that his later appointment as Diocesan Architect was facilitated by this early involvement with Holy Trinity.

It was another three years before these plans for the church were accepted as real financial constraints dictated the pace of development. There were other calls on any money available for building. Funds were needed to purchase the house being rented and used as a parsonage. The Sunday School was also seriously overcrowded. 

All these projects relied on subscriptions and donations from the community. Over £400 was found to buy the parsonage and extend the school room during 1878. At the same time residents were being called on to support other community projects for education and arts facilities, meeting spaces and infrastructure. Consider how this level of commitment by the community compares to the average rate of charitable donation today. 

The Programme for one of several fundraising concerts organised by Alf Bartley with his father Edward in 1886.
 Image BFA 2003

The whole community rallied around to support the project with a number of entertainments and fetes.  One of the most successful event was a week long Egyptian Fair held in 1886. The drill shed at Devonport was transformed into the ancient East.
Edward Bartley worked with his son Alfred to design the stalls as stage sets. He had the professional assistance of his nephew Theo Queree, a recent Jersey immigrant who was particularly skilled in operatic stage design. Devonport resident H. N. Williams provided his considerable artistic flair and the benefit of his extensive travels in the Middle East. Visitors entered the Temples of Isis and Osiris, passed between columns and past friezes faithfully imitating the ancient style. The triumph at the eastern end of the stall was a desert sunset. Purchasers responded generously, delighted to buy fancy work and preserves from the matrons and young ladies suitably attired in a chastely Victorian version of Egyptian costume.

During 1884 the parsonage property was sold at a profit and Edward was asked to design a new vicarage within the £600 realised. £860 was required to construct the chancel and transepts of the new church, which was builder William Philcox's lowest tender.  The temporary sections were to be plain, functional and cheap. New building began at eastern end of the old church, which served as the nave in the meantime. 

The temporary solution for Holy Trinity 1883 Image APL SGGSC

The next stage was erected over the old building during 1886. This old church was  taken away and reconstructed on a section behind the new one. There were still plans to add a further ten feet to the front of the new church, along with a tower, spire and south porch.

 View of Holy Trinity, Devonport and surrounds, showing the new church with the old on an adjacent section c 1887. Image BFA
 From the south window, with its elaborate gothic tracery, to the joinery of the seats and fittings, this Church fills with soft light and texture- a celebration of wood and worship. 
Interior view, Holy Trinity, Devonport, Auckland. Image BFA 2003
All of the fittings were supplied by the congregation. Edward designed a new pulpit in native timbers to complement the interior, which was placed in the Church in time for its completion.

Pulpit Holy Trinity, Devonport, Edward Bartley. Image APL SGGSC 5896
No asset or effort was wasted. The Sunday School had again outgrown the space available so the schoolroom was hoisted onto skids and moved down to be joined to the old church.
The next building project proceeded immediately with the construction of the new Vicarage in 1887. There was then a pause until the new hall was built in 1910. This was financed by a mortgage. Edward Bartley, along with Humphrey Duder and George Hunt were appointed trustees for the property until it became debt free. 

A 1929 view showing the vicarge in the centre and the hall to the left. A glimpse of the church can be seen on the right. Image Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-5899

Edward died in 1919 and Duder in 1927, after which the property was vested in the Diocese, marking an end to the establishment phase for Holy Trinity. Plans for the third and final phase of building the tower and spire and south porch were never realised. 
Image BFA 2003

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Charles Bartley son of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby

We are continuing our introduction to the children of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby.

We have no images and scant information concerning Charles, their fourth child.

It would be wonderful to hear from a researcher who is able to tell us more about this family.

Charles Bartley was born at home in Chapel St, Auckland on the 13 January 1856. This was the family’s second year in Auckland after their arrival from Jersey, Channel Islands.

As his father and brother had done, Charles became a builder. About 1885 he married Letitia Jane GEE. She was the eldest of seven children born to Thomas Gee and Jane GOW. Thomas was a coach builder in Auckland.

Obituary for Letitia's father NZH 07 July 1902

Charles and Letitia moved to Richmond Rd after their marriage. Their family included Winifred Esther (b1886), Dulcibel Gee (b 1887) and Harry Mervyn (b1894).

Birth notice for Winifred AES 2 Feb 1886

Winifred married Alex MCLELLAN in 1914. Dulcie married, after the war ,to Thomas Henry PEARCE in about 1920.

Harry's death in 1944 was unexpected NZH 14 July 1944

Charles Bartley died at Matai Rd, Greenlane, Auckland in January 1926. Letitia passed away in 1939.
AES 29 January 1926

Edwin Bartley Artist, son of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby

South Island Mountain Range

Edwin, son of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby, was born at home in Nelson St, Auckland on 27 September 1870.[i] He showed early promise as an artist.
His first formal tutoring outside his immediate family circle was with Frank and Waiter Wright, at Wright's Studio in Victoria St, Auckland. He became a member of the Auckland Society of Arts. This organisation grew out of the Society of Artists, of which his uncle Edward Bartley was a founder member. 
Edwin's drawing skills received favourable comment in the 1891 ASA annual competition when he entered a sketch from a bust in the amateur and students category. He entered work in both watercolour and oils in 1892 and 1893. The reviews of his work show him developing confidence as a colourist. In 1893 his work won a silver medal for the special award of 'second best work in the whole competition, with colour'. [ii] 
It was his talent for drawing and draughtsmanship which drew him into his future career as an illustrator. As far as we are aware his first formal employment was with the New Zealand Herald.

 During the latter part of the 1890's Edwin moved to Christchurch. He was employed by the Lyttelton Times in 1898,as draughtsman and designer on their evening paper ‘The Star’. The job also involved design and illustration for clients using the lithographic printing services of the company. It also allowed plenty of opportunity to build on his interest in photography.

The Star 6 April 1898

One of the first organisations Edwin joined after his move to Christchurch was the Canterbury Society of Arts.[iii] The CSA was formed at a meeting on 30 June 1880. The inaugural exhibition was held in June of the following year. Bartley is recorded as a working member from 1899. He took evening classes and regularly entered the annual competitions for drawing, watercolour, oils and for what we would call graphic design today.

One design competition developed the flavour of a newpaper contest. The 1898 catalogue design was won by the Christchurch Press, but Edwin would return in following years to better his result.

CHP 7 May 1898

Edwin also joined a more informal grouping, the Christchurch Artist's Club which met regularly for sketching and drawing.
PA COLL 5374-2 Edwin is second from left, partly obscured by the model's fan, in this 1912 record of the sketching group.
 Photography and amateur dramatics were also interests of Edwin's. He made lasting friendships amongst those like minded people he met in Canterbury.

In March 1910 Edwin finalised arrangements for his trip to England.

CHP 5 May 1910

CHP 5 April 1910

The trip had a definite flavour of professional development for Edwin. 
He booked to receive tuition from G Sheridan Knowles, an academic painter who specialised in the idealised and sentimental subjects so popular in the Victorian period. He was academically trained and somewhat influenced by Impressionist techniques. Most importantly for Edwin, Knowles' strength was as a colourist who selectively employed the latest approaches in brushwork. He was both an exhibiting member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, and of Oils. 
Signing the marriage contract. Signed and dated G.Sheridan Knowles/1905. Oil on canvas. 61 x 101.6 cm. Image Bonhams

Edwin would not be breaking any barriers into the avant-garde in Europe. Indeed there is no indication that he ever had any inclination to do so. Although his career takes him well into the twentieth century, his life and work is essentially Victorian in character.

London News in the Press, 2 March 1911
His nephew Harry Rountree was already becoming well known as an illustrator of advertising and children's literature. Harry was the younger by eight years but he had already benefited from greater means and the opportunities offered by his residence in England. 

Edwin married Gertrude Amelia Featherstone in 1915. Ethel, as she was known, was a daughter of Henry Ashford Featherstone and Matilda Pearce, both of Hobart.

During and after the war Edwin is listed in Wise's Directory as an artist resident in Christchurch, suggesting he was living by his painting and illustrating rather than outside employment
One publication he illustrated was well known to Girl Guide and Scouts families. This was Lieut-Colonel Cossgrove's 'Nga toro turehu: the Fairy Scout of New Zealand' published in 1918 by the Lyttleton Times.
Hocken hold examples of Edwin's work. The watercolours purchased by the CSA were transferred to the McDougall in 1989.
To view further examples of Edwin's work see:

[i] NZRBDM 1870/15435; DSC 29 Sept 1870
[ii]  NZH 25 Feb 1893. Also refer Nineteenth Century Artists - a Handbook. Note birth date is incorrect.
[iii] working member CSA 1899-1900, 1903-1905, 1907-1908, 1910, 1912-15, 1917-1919, 1921-1922, 1924-1942

Edwin's work features in CSA Jubilee Catalogue 1881-1930
82 A Rocky Glen
370 Near Twickenham Ferry

CSA 1927 Cat
224 B'limits Arthurs Pass
265 Lake Guyon
310 Spencer Range Ada Valley

CSA 1928 Cat
4 The Terrace
16 Autumn Tints
210 The Flooded Stream

CSA 1932 Cat
270 Mt Roon, Franz Josef Glacier
184 Autumn Tints

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Walter Bartley and Alice Davis

We are continuing our series on the children of Robert BARTLEY and Esther KERBY.
This post also comes with a request. Are you able to add to the little we know about Walter's family? Would you like to do a guest post on this family? Any comments, links, images or information you have to share on the blog would be so appreciated by researchers coming along after us.

Walter Bartley was born at St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands on 24 November 1853. His Mother and Father stood as godparents at his baptism on 7 December 1853, recorded at the Town Church of St Helier. It is also likely, being a dissenter family, that an entry was made at their local Wesleyan Chapel.
It was, no doubt, a busy and anxious time for Robert and Esther. That Christmas they were preparing for the first stage of their journey to Auckland in the New Year.
The family arrived in New Zealand in October 1854, a month before Walter's first birthday. With no memory of Jersey, he is the first true colonial child of the family.
Robert took Walter into the building trade when he was old enough. He is listed on electoral rolls as a carpenter
In 1876 he married Alice Jane DAVIS (NZRBDM 1876/1515). Donated research tells us that Alice was born at Hastings, Sussex, England about 1853, a daughter of David Davis and Rhoda HAMPTON.
The couple lived at 8 St Francis de Sales Street in the part of Ponsonby now known as St Mary's Bay. In their day this area contained two and three bedroom cottages built in the 1860's as worker's accommodation.
We know of several children brought up in that house.
(Please be aware the following names and dates are subject to verification. Once again, if you are able to supply sources or more information, please do comment or get in touch.)
Robert Archibald 1877 - 1944, married Lillian HUNT; Frank Percy- 1879 married Ethel PEARCE; Eleanor Ivy 1883-1887; Walter Raymond 1887 - 1902; Edgar David 1892-1893; Gordon Wilfred 1893 - 1925 married Ann HOYES; Winifred.

It seems that Walter and Alice had more than their share of hardship- apart from the infant deaths which visited so many families in those days. Walter Raymond was known as Ray. He was 15 when he misjudged his step getting off the bus to school:
AES 22 Sept 1902
These facts were confirmed at the inquest next day and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

Alice lived into her late 70's. She passed away on 16 March 1931. Her memorial may be found at Waikumete Cemetery, New Lynn in the Wesleyan section. Walter joined her almost exactly a year later on 19 March 1932.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Joseph Witheford - Member of Seddon's Government, Mayor of Birkenhead and champion of Calliope Dock

 It feels wonderful to be back researching and writing again.
 In this post we are once again indebted to the generous researchers descended from Robert Bartley for the use of their donated images and research notes.

Joseph Howard Witheford was a son of Clement WITHEFORD (1817-1891) and Elizabeth WOODCOCK. His family came from Worcester in England. When he was born at Bromsgrove in July 1848 his father's occupation was listed as school master.
Clement and Elizabeth emigrated with their four sons Clement, Joseph, Edward and Walter. (see DSC11Feb1863)
The family arrived with other Albertland settlers on SS Gertrude on 9 February 1863. Walter and Edward took up land at Okahukura in the Rodney district. Joseph remained in town where his parents had a house and plumbing shop on the corner of the Manukau Rd and Rutland Road, Parnell. (ref Rates Books PRN 16 p28 1873-1875)
He worked at first with his father in tin smithing and plumbing supplies, but that was not to be the case for long.

Joseph Witheford  Image AWN 04 May 1900

Emma Bartley, a daughter of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby was born in St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands on 1 March 1849. She came to Auckland, New Zealand with her family in 1854.
In Auckland she met Joseph Witheford, whom she married in 1870. 

Emma Bartley BFA Image

Witheford/Bartley marriage cert BFA donated Image

Joseph was a man of ambition. Emma’s nature was far more sensitive and retiring. At the time their son Robert was born, in 1877, Joseph’s occupation was listed as Traveller. He settled his young family near to his father's premises in St George's Bay Rd, Parnell (Section 1 Allot.85 ER 1881) The mortgage to his father in law Robert Bartley was discharged in October 1881

 In 1885 when daughter Olive was born he was working as a journalist and agent .
NZH 19 October 1886 p4

By the time a new century dawned Joseph was a public figure of some note and Mayor of the North Shore Auckland suburb of Birkenhead.
Joseph and Emma had a family of six children:

  • Elizabeth Anne (1871-1963)
  • Ida (1874 - 1918)
  • Robert (1877 - 1936)
  • Sydney (1880 - 1945)
  • Olive (1885 - 1979)
  • Edna (1889 - 1967)

Joseph's rise is most favourably documented in this extract from his obituary (AES 30th October 1931 p3)
‘Mr. Witheford did things on a big scale. His success with the Admiralty was the sequel to a long residence in the Old Country, during which he made a fortune.
 It was the late 1890s the days when there was a mining boom in New Zealand. Waihi was such a rattling success that speculators in the Old Country were eager to snap up anything that had been surveyed and had anything even approaching a chance of success. Mr. Witheford went Home with a number of mining properties, including the famous Hauraki mine, at Coromandel, was so successful in floating them on the London market that he made a fortune—reputed to be £83,000, which in those days really was a fortune for a New Zealander. 
Probably no other man in New Zealand could have made such a success of such large flotations as Mr. Witheford effected. He knew the gold fieids intimately, knew all about the wonderful "golden days" of the Thames, and he was also an experienced share broker. Back to New Zealand. It was daring his residence in London that Mr. Witheford, though merely a private person, though it is true he had, been a member of the Auckland Harbour Board, managed to induce the Admiralty to subsidise Calliope dock to the handsome tune of £5000; a year. When he came back to New Zealand he was most cordially received, and for several years loomed largely in the public eye. He was again elected to the Harbour Board, and that body showed its appreciation of his services over the Calliope dock by electing him to the chair in 1900.
In 1901, when the present King and Queen were here, Mr. Witheford was asked to stand for the mayoralty, of Auckland, but refused when it was known that Sir John Campbell was to be chosen, as a mark of appreciation for his gift of Cornwall Park. Mr. Witheford was Mayor of Birkenhead, and in 1900 he was elected by a large majority at the head of the poll for the Auckland City constituency. At one time Mr. Witheford represented Auckland in Parliament. 
In later life Mr. Witheford was not so prominent in public life, but even when times were not so prosperous as when he was one of the best known hosts at the Hotel Cecil, then "the" hotel in London, he never lost his jauntiness and his enthusiasm. With flower in buttonhole, he might be seen at over 80 years of age, interviewing city business men and extolling the virtues of his suburban "cutting up" proposition. He was a man of astonishing energy, such as the present generation seldom produces.’

During his rise to public office the family moved to the North Shore. His home there, near Northcote College, was referred to as 'Calliope' in reference to the success of that project.

J.H.W in his study at 'Calliope' Donated Image BFA

He was also one of the first to invest in the Hellyer's Creek area. When Tramway Co land was offered for sale Witheford purchased 150 acres. With Henry BRETT and R CAMERON he built a road to the wharf they had lobbied for and contributed to. This facility was capable of taking large vessels, greatly improving access to what was predominately a fruit growing area. A further section was set aside at this time between the Chelsea Sugar Works and Hellyer's Creek for a steam ferry service. Clement Bartley also purchased land here. His block was on the eastern side.
Joseph Witheford constructed his summer residence at Hellyer's Creek. About 40 acres was left in native bush and a substantial orchard planted to supplement the recreational facilities - private jetty, boat sheds, stables, tennis court and gardens. He entertained a good deal there, particularly during his years in Parliament.
Members of the Indian Contingent visiting Witheford's property at Hellyer's Creek AWN 1 March 1901
The two eldest daughters accompanied their father to England during the 1890's. They enjoyed the London Season. Ida was married there to Edward BARBER who had followed the Witheford's to London.
After a second trip lasting seven years Joseph Witheford returned to New Zealand in 1912.

NZH 8 March 1912 p 7

Life took on a different tone after Great War. Emma Bartley died in 1916 after a battle with cancer. She was aged 66.
The Hellyer's Creek property was sold in parcels for subdivision, including the bush reserve. (NZH 20 Jan 1925)
In 1927 his friend, neighbour and fellow newspaperman Henry Brett passed away. Joseph Witheford followed after him in 1931.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Clement Bartley- Banking, Bicycles, Birds and other matters

Clement Bartley at forty, an image taken by Hanna photographers for the Cyclopaedia of 1902

Clement Bartley was born in Auckland, New Zealand on the 6th of October 1862. He was the seventh child of Robert Bartley and Esther Kerby.
In many ways Clement's experience was typical of a new colonial born generation. He was educated locally at the Grammar School in the city and later at the training college run by Josiah Martin. He was groomed for white collar work rather than the building trade which his father had followed.
After serving his clerical apprenticeship in the office of the estate agent F. Ewington, Clement began his banking career at the Auckland Savings Bank headquarters in Queen St in 1881. Five years later he received his first managerial appointment in charge of the newly established Newton Branch of the bank. During his long career he managed the new Queen St premises, designed by Edward Bartley, and retired in 1931 after fifty years of service - a time which saw phenomenal changes in banking practice and great swings in the economic climate of the region.

Clement married in 1884. His bride was Ellen Fisher, a daughter of John Fisher and Eliza Dyos. The Fisher's had come from Birmingham to New Zealand in the early 1860's.
Six years later Ellen's sister Emily married Clement's Jersey-born cousin Martin Hamon.

Ellen and Clement's first child was Zoe, born in 1885. Russell, Alva and Graham followed in quick succession. Rita, Freda and Stella completed the family.
Russell as an infant, Image Steven Album, BFA

The eldest child, Zoe. Image Steven Album, BFA

Clement enjoyed a full life of diverse interests. He was an active member of the Birkenhead Borough Council during the 1890s.
Today he would be called a fan of 'extreme sport'. He was a founder member of the Auckland Bicycle Club, later the Waitemata Cycling Club. The club was established in 1881 and on their first outing Clement was riding his newly imported high wheeled machine, one of the first to be brought into Auckland from America. These bicycles are now more often referred to as a penny farthing cycle.

High wheeler bicycles presented their own challenges to riders. Later versions developed moustache shaped handle bars to allow for knee clearance but in the early days it was a real challenge for a tall rider to maintain his seat. The chief danger was going over the top of those handle bars or of going off backwards on the uphill beat. These machines were not equipped with chain drive, brakes or other safety features although they did benefit from the development of a rubber tyre and wheel bearings.
Thanks to Etsy Store 'TheGrandRewiew' for this image of Pope's advertising 1881

A cycle club might seem like a tame pursuit but this was a high risk, high profile sport in these early days. The club met for a weekly excursion over the summer months from September to February. Warmer weather offered only marginally less challenging roads. The surfaces they took to would give modern cyclists pause today with their list of hazards from poor sealing (if any), subsidence and steep gradients. The whims of other road users remain as a challenge for cyclists down to our own time. The attitudes of those in charge of larger four wheeled vehicles were sometimes just as antagonistic as riders report experiencing on our modern roads today. These circumstances, along with the rapid development of cycle technology after the 1880's made for high adrenalin club runs.

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A6730' Members of Waitemata Cycle Club 1884, Hanna Photographers, Clement Bartley 2nd from right, front row.

Clement was a keenly competitive pigeon fancier and breeder of fowl. This interest absorbed a good deal of his leisure time as well as being a 'space hungry' hobby. He purchased an extra section near his home which he fitted out for his fowl breeding. The Suburban Poultry Club gave regular exhibitions of their livestock and Clement served for many years as an office holder.

Auckland Weekly News 28 July 1899, Clement centre back row

A prize bird, AWN 2 July 1900

Photography was a passion of Clement's, which he shared with his uncle Edward Bartley and cousins Frederick Bartley, Martin Hamon and Ernest Queree. Music was another life long interest involving family, friends and the wider community. Both he and Ellen were talented musicians who fostered a love of music in their children. Their daughter Zoe enjoyed a successful career as a pianist, partly as a result of the rich exposure to musicianship which she enjoyed at home.
Clement served for many years as conductor of the choir at St John's Wesleyan in Ponsonby as well as the Zion Church Sunday School in Birkenhead.
He also enjoyed membership of the Orphan's Club, a social association which fielded an excellent orchestra.
The Auckland Orphan's Club Orchestra about 1913, Clement at far left of back row. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 31-WP533

Clement and Ellen are interred at Waikaraka Cemetery, Onehunga, Auckland. Clement died on 16 July 1936, followed by Ellen on 21 September 1942.

NZ Herald 19 July 1936
Research by M W Bartley