Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 31, September 1987

The Deverell twins

The Deverell twins — from left, back Lance and Stan and front Nora and Mollie.

Twins - Deverell
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 31, September 1987
The Deverell twins
Retirement has brought together two sets of twins whowerebrought up in Waihi during the 1900's where their father owned and managed a coach service to Tauranga.

Identical 80-year old twins Lance and Stanley Deverell hardly saw each other growing up. Their 76-year old twin sisters also went their separate ways. Now retired, they have all ended up living near each other in the Bay of Plenty. Mollie (mother of producer Ian Mune) and Nora both live in Tauranga, Stanley in Mount Maunganui and Lance at Athenree. Mollie and Nora, both widows, share more now than they have ever done.

The two sisters have travelled around the world five times in the last 25 years getting into hilarious and some more serious scrapes. They can remember being held up at gunpoint in Portugal because they did not have visas to cross the border. Nora, mother of two girls, said that she felt that both she and her sister were now getting too old to jaunt around the world. "It costs more when you get older because you can't be quite as self-sufficient or rough it as you used to", she said.

The Deverells could recall the sound and smell of the stamper battery working in Waihi town and the sights of horse and harness during the early 1900's.

Their father owned and managed a coach service to Tauranga and stabled 16 horses which were used in gigs, broughams, buggies and brakes. The company was originally called Deverell and Fathers and then changed to Deverell and Crimmons [Crimmins – E] which operated between 1900 and 1924.

Lance and Stanley used both to groom, stable and feed the horses. One of their jobs was to clip the lower halfofthe horses to keep them cool during their journey without letting them get a chill.

Lance, retired, and. living in Athenree with his wife, remembers the horse-drawn transport being slow, averaging a speed of about eight kilometres an hour. However, he said that in 1917 the horses were preferable to early motor vehicles because of the boggy roads during heavy rain and cars tended to get stuck in quagmires.

Young Lance was obliged to help with the cleaning and sweeping of the concrete area within the stalls, hosing down the gigs or oiling the harness.

Stan, now at Somervale Rest Home, Mount Maunganui, preferred the early motor cars to horses. He was, he said, like most of the boys around 1917 and. wanted to drive the cars that appeared then. He was one of the first in his group to drive a Model T Ford worth around. £167 in 1924, and this gave him a lifelong interest in cars. His first job was an apprentice mechanic at a Waihi garage.

Like his brother, he later became a farmer, worked for part of his life with the New Zealand railways as a truck driver and then later at a cheese and dairy factory.