Print
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 29, October 1985

WAIHI - WAITAWHETA - WAIMATA.

by Fred Carbutt

I started this mail delivery service on August 1, 1936 running on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, advertised departure time 11.15 a.m.; this varied due to train arrivals, then I had to sort out the mail handed to me by the mailroom attendant.

Prior to all this I would load up bread from the bakehouse (Mr. Heffernan, Haszard Street - later Ken Gardiner's) which I bought and sold (profit one penny per 21b. loaf); also wrapped bread from the other bakers. Having finished with the bakers, I would then do the round of the butchers. (Radfords at the bottom of Seddon Street, then to Bottomley, today Dillimore's shop, then Amalgamated Butchers two shops.) Next was Grocers' shops mainly Service and Economy (Manager, Joe Baker) and then collect the odd parcel or two from the drapers, chemists, etc. Final shop call was Spearings Book Shop (Bill Ludwig, Manager), where I would collect 50 to 60 N.Z. Heralds (retail twopence a copy) and my return was a halfpenny a copy. I then made the final call to the Post Office, sorted the mail and off to serve 100 customers making one penny a loaf, twopence on meat parcels, threepence on others and one halfpenny on papers, returning to the Post Office with collected mail about 5p.m. The mail contract was £112 ($224) a year, paid quarterly.

It was about 12 months later I started on the Golden Valley service on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, timetable 9a.m. to 12.30p.m. with 30 customers.

I started off the service with a 1928 National Chevrolet van. Later through petrol rationing the loads increased, I purchased an International van with four compartments; this vehicle was ideal with the variety of goods I carried. Petrol during this time went from three shillings (30c) to 4/6d (45c) a gallon when the War started. On my medical grading I was then manpowered to the rural mail and to the Fire Brigade where I had already done seven year's service.

The hardest day of the week then was Saturday as the shops were open until 1p.m. Sometimes during the hay-making season I would have to do the Waitawheta section then return from the crossroads at Blackmores, come into town and load up for the rest of the run.

After having done about ten years of this I handed over the lot to my brother-in-law, Roy Stamp, who had finished his war service.

This service was actually a seven day a week job because there was always servicing to be done on the Sunday.

* * *

Some of the names of the first customers on the Waitawheta - Waimata Run:

Cornes

R. Brown

F. Franklin

Hoye

Stone

Drinkwater

Crean Senr.

Pocock

Drawbridge

Prenterville

A. Pocock

Dunne

Crean Jnr.

Smith

T. McLean

Donovan

Munroe

Miles

Craig

Costello

S. McLean

Hands

Hicks

C. Morel

Irvine

Moore

Bellamy

Climo

Kelly

Butler

Blackmore

J. Gordon

R. McLean

Nickisson

Kennedy

Mathers

Rist

Henry

Taylor

Rea

Robinson

Howe

Gordon

Ward

Hough

Jordan

Menzies

Lowe

McCormick

W. Mathers

H. Sutton

Armiger

McWilliams

P. Sutton

Cummins

McCall

Sleep

Williams

McLiver

Trethaway

Metcalfe

H. Harris

Chester

Brown

Angle

Malyon

Morrow

Woolford

Smith

0dlumm

A. Arnold

R. Sutton

Reid

Elphick

Gardiner

Eden

A. Davidson

Currie

Mason

Torrens

Holdaway

Arnold

Samson

T. Gordon

Watt

Dean

G. Brown

H. McLean

Kavanach

Smeaton

Boswell

Spalding

W. Rapson

Cox

W. Busch

F. Rapson

C. Franklin

Wright

Gill

Harris

Jensen

Howse