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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 11, May 1969

by W. Jack Walters

It was not in the Main Street, but it was certainly on the main route to the Talisman, Woodstock and Crown Mines. Situated on the town side of the busy big Traffic Bridge before the days of sealed roads, it warranted its title in more ways than one. When my interest in things began to register I found myself in "The Dustpan." Its history as far as I know began with my parents. My father (George Walters) and my mother (Mary Carroll) were married at Karangahake in Nov. 1896 and I, their first child, was born there in Dec. l897. Our living quarters were behind the shop which bore the sign "THE DUSTPAN'', Ironmonger, Stationer G. Walters.

The business continued until 1902 when it was taken over by Peter Conway in premises on the main road. When Mr. Conway died, his wife carried on for some years with the shop and later became Mrs. Poland, being then a sister-in-law of Hugh Poland M.P. for Ohinemuri. We remained in Karangahake till 1911 when we went to Reefton.

Behind "The Dustpan" was a house occupied by some people named Ellis. Mrs. Ellis, a gentle lady, used to breed fox terrier dogs and Mr. Ellis, a rugged type of man with a short bushy beard, was the proprietor of the "Goldfields Advocate." After they left, the printing machine (a manual - one-at-a-time contraption) was shifted into "The Dustpan" which was then vacant, but within a few months was moved across the road to a one time restaurant which had rejoiced in the name "City Buffet." It was about half way between the Big Bridge and Tommy Wells' butcher's shop. A Mr. Pearson was then the Printer and Publisher. Later Mr. Billy Clovis took over and he transferred the outfit to premises previously occupied by Harry Cordes - a draper, who sold mostly men's wear. I believe Mr. Clevis eventually moved to Ngaruawahia, but I do not know what became of the "Dustpan."

It is good to know that Karangahake's history is being recorded, and that there is now such a wonderful collection of pictures that have been enlarged from the glass-plate negatives taken over 60 years ago by Mr. George Chappell who was Chief Assayer at the Talisman for 17 years. Such a picturesque and once famous locality merits our remembrance, as the forthcoming Jubilee in October will prove.