Monday, October 31, 2011

Murals at Papatoetoe, Penrose and Newmarket


 I've visited Papatoetoe before now. Well, the old Papatoetoe, near the Town Hall, where the annual rock and mineral show is held each October. But this mural was a bit of a surprise. According to the Papatoetoe Historical Society, though, it was down for restoration for a bit in 2009, so that's probably why I hadn't chanced upon it before now.


Painted by Merv Appleton,  this has to be one of the finest heritage murals I've seen so far in my travels. It is truly beautiful. Installed originally in 1996, it depicts a 1930s streetscene along St George Street in Papatoetoe. The portrait above is that of local chemist Frank Carr.


By chance, I took a shot of his former shop, on the main street the same day -- because I spotted an old Agfa sign. Carr's shop (right of the sign) is now a courier business, while Mr Webster's the bootmaker is now the pharmacy. I don't know if the sign still lights up. It's seen better days.





Anyway, back to the mural around the corner. From the bronze plaque:

"A slice of life shot of St George St over 60 years ago. The picture features Mr Frank Carr, the chemist who, in 1930, opened up his third shop in Old Papatoetoe, opposite the Town Hall. That shop is still a pharmacy now. Mr Carr had started in Shirley Rd prior to 1920, moved in to Mr Timewell's old shop on the corner of Shirley Rd and St George St, now occupied by a restaurant, and when Mr Albert Mephan's garage burnt down in 1928 Mr Carr and Mr Clifton Webster built a new block of two shops."





"The car in the picture, a 1902 Darraq, was owned by Mr E A Price, who lived in the Cambria Park homestead, while Mr Bill Dullihanty's truck, with its solid rubber tyres, represents the changing transport styles of the 1920s."



The mural was donated to Papatoetoe by the Masonic Lodge Papatoetoe 227, in celebration of their 75th anniversary.


Cameos of Papatoetoe Women was a book written in 1996 by Papatoetoe Historical Society member Jenny Clark, documenting the lives of 200 local women. The mural is by Claudia Pond Eyley.








This mural, beside Papatoetoe Train Station, looked awfully familiar. I suspect it is by the same artist who did  one in Mt Roskill (see post from August 2010). If so, both were done by Louis Stratham, according to this You Tube vid clip.






Heading back along the rail line, this was spotted at Penrose Train Station. Shot from the train.


And this from a moving train. 


Finally, Newmarket. I was able to get this shot from the end of the platform. Any closer, and I'd have incurred a $20,000 fine. Sorry, the Timespanner budget doesn't stretch that far.


So, let's try from a moving train again, shall we? Well, not too bad ...



And finally, this. Another in-motion shot. Very glad Ontrack are putting cool artwork like this along the corridor, though. Update 16 November 2011 - Paul from the Auckland West site has provided this last artist's name: Dan Mills. Thanks, Paul!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Colours on the ordinary


Passing by, minding my own business along Totara Ave in New Lynn today, I realised I was passing by colourful background.

The 1925 Oag's Building, the facade long grey and darkened by time, has a splash of hues on its street frontage. Next to the chippie are a couple of different roller doors.




Well done to whoever painted these, especially the "shop" one (above), lending the illusion of an old-fashioned recessed doorway complete with display windows. This must have been done since the shared-space here was opened in early September this year -- the Auckland Transport page on it has a photo showing just bare roller doors, no artwork on them at all.

This block is likely to be completely redeveloped as part of wider plans for New Lynn Centre, so -- this artwork may well be much more ephemeral than most of its kind. A pity, that.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The watcher on the hill: Partington's Windmill (Part 2)


View of Auckland, looking toward Rangitoto Island, from atop the windmill, 1901. Reference 1-W207, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

This post is a follow-on from Part One. Updated 20 November 2013.

The 20th century story of the windmill on Symonds Street is one of lost opportunities to act to preserve the historical relic of days gone by. However from out of the public's realisation -- too late -- that something had been lost came the formation of the National Historic Places Trust, later New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The windmill on Symonds Street had been a favourite spot for photographers to climb up and take vast shots of the surrounding views for almost as long as both the mill and photography had existed in New Zealand. George E Bentley, in The Story of the Old Windmill (1898) wrote that both amateur and professional photographers used the top of the mill as their vantage point.

The mill, c.1909, from a postcard included with papers to and from James Wilkinson, ACC 285 Box 16, 117-121, correspondence re buildings 1908-1910, Auckland Council Archives. An uncommon photograph of the windmill without any sails at all. Note the name "J Partington", usually just above the lower doorway, is obliterated.

Sometime during 1903-1904, so a letter writer to the Auckland Star put it (Francis H Morton, 29 September 1908), Wilkinson had the sails completely removed, on the understanding that new slats were to be fitted. This didn't happen. Around 1906 James Wilkinson, then the owner-occupier of the windmill, chose to make some use out of the dilapidated building by converting it, effectively, into a potential tourist attraction.

Francis Morton, a music teacher by trade (possibly friends with Joseph Partington, who was always fond of music) urged the citizens of Auckland through the pages of the Auckland Star to preserve the old windmill. "I say emphatically, if we hare any love for our city, possessing so many objects and places of beauty, or if we have any respect for the memory of those who patiently and faithfully worked to found Auckland—the Corinth of the South -- then let us unitedly endeavour to raise an amount sufficient to purchase the present owner's interest—he evidently does not care to work or preserve the mill— and hand it back again to the former owner, Mr J Partington, son of the original builder, who is at present occupying the adjacent biscuit factory, and who would undertake to replace the sails, top gear and internal machinery, and guarantee to work the mill and retain it to the people of Auckland in that condition by deed. The public also to have free access to a scenic balcony on the top at any time." (15 July 1909)

Perhaps this helped to spur an approach Wilkinson made two months later to the Auckland City Council in the first of a number of lost opportunities that century, asking them to buy the windmill and surrounding land for £1000.

"I have lately expended a considerable sum in fitting the mill to make it suitable as a place from which a panoramic view of the City and its surroundings may be gained. I am also fixing a set of sails to the building.

"The view obtainable from the top which is now fitted with a balcony with seats and is easily accessible by a flight of stairs is, as your Council are aware, not to be surpassed in Auckland. The mill, as at present fitted, could easily be made a revenue-producing asset."

James Wilkinson to the Town Clerk, 2 September 1909, Auckland Council Archives

Detail from 1908 "City of Auckland" map, Auckland Council Archives.

At the time of Wilkinson's approach to the Council, the property was as shown in the 1908 plan above. The yellow lines mark the main mills property, with red dashed lines for boundaries between Wilkinson, including the windmill (blue circle) and Mill Lane, the two-storey brick stable from last century's dispute between Wilkinson and Joseph Partington (below the mill), and the large factory building (dark blue), a combination of wood, brick and corrugated iron, owned at that point by Miss Frances Dyne since 1905 (Wilkinson sold it to her; she was probably still Partington's housekeeper, so it remained business as usual for him). Advertisements appear in the Auckland Star from early October 1906, promoting "Partington's pure Whole Wheat Meal Biscuits" to be "obtained at Victoria Flour Mills and Steam Biscuit Factory, Symonds-St, opposite cemetery bridge." From early 1907, he advertised varieties of biscuit such as Round Wine, Afternoon Tea, Saloon and Cabin.Partington also regularly complained to the Council about Wilkinson's tenants in the house on Wilkinson's side of the boundary -- more often than not, the tenants engaged in the activities of a brothel (one case described in Police Court, Auckland Star, 12 July 1910).


It's possible that Wilkinson was trying to cut his losses by this time. He may not have been a well man -- three years later, he was dead, and the Observer said kind words in his obituary:

JAMES WILKINSON, whose death took place in Auckland a few days ago, was familiarly known about fifty years ago, and long after, as Jimmy Wilkinson. He was engineer in charge of the machine room in the Daily Southern Cross. That was in the days when the paper was printed in the building still standing at the corner of Chancery Lane and O'Connell-street. The "Cross" was then published in an office at the corner of Queen-street and Vulcan Lane, where Dick Laishley, afterwards D. Laishley, and Tonson Garlick, founder of the great furnishing firm, were employed as clerks. Jimmy ruled the machine room with a rod of iron, and that was about the only sceptre which would have made his rule effective, for down in that room there were not only grimy faces but rough hands and unregenerate souls. When the Cross was sold to a company, Jimmy took up some shares in it. The company had a trying experience for some years, but under careful management, and able editorship, it was steadily regaining its lost popularity, when it was purchased by the late A. G. Horton, who, after a few months, entered into partnership with the Wilsons, of the Herald and the "Cross" ceased to exist. Jimmy Wilkinson was strongly opposed to the sale of the concern, but he was outvoted. Jimmy was a man of kindly and genial disposition, yet of frugal habits, and his weekly wages at the Cross were supplemented by his emoluments as caretaker of the Pitt-street Methodist Church, a position which he held for many years. After the Cross became amalgamated with the Herald Jimmy took up practical engineering on his own account, acquired property, and made a comfortable competence. One of the properties he became possessed of was Auckland's oldest and most prominent artificial landmark, the Windmill. A few years ago, however, he sold it to a son of the original proprietor. Jimmy was kindly and genial to the last, and there are many who will be glad to meet him again when they, too, pass over to "the other side." 
 Observer 28 September 1912

The council's valuer reported that, in his opinion, the property up for sale (which excluded Mill Lane, for some reason) was only worth £658, land worth £408 and buildings (the mill and half of a cottage) worth just £250. Miss Dynes was also disputing with Wilkinson over a matter of two feet regarding the boundary between the windmill land and that of the factory. The council's finance committee recommended that the opportunity to purchase the windmill be refused, and Wilkinson was accordingly notified.

The following year in 1910, when Wilkinson put the property up for auction, the successful buyer was Joseph Partington, back from the dead financially and purchasing the old mill for £400.

Partington, still producing his health foods, described in advertisements in 1911 how the sails would be soon restored to the mill. This, however, didn't take place until 1915 after he took a trip to Europe from May 1914 to January the following year, when wind power looked like it would save him money running the factory. He extended the height of the tower by another 20-30 feet, in order to catch the winds above now taller buildings in the vicinity. The ornate cap (that which most who still recall the mill today would find familiar) was installed at that time, reportedly originating from off an old mill in Orston, Nottinghamshire, but dates in the report are not given and may refer to Charle's Partington's original mill. (Auckland Star, 10 March 1925)
"The walls -- 3-ft thick -- are constructed of brick and cement mortar reinforced with steel, and some 3000 bricks were used in their construction. The sails, which have been remodelled, are 35 ft long and 9 ft wide. They are fitted with patent shutters, which act automatically, and are self-regulating. The total surface area thus presented to the wind is about 1400 square feet."

Auckland Star 24 May 1916

From 1915 until May 1925, therefore, the mill was back to its 19th century glory.

The mill in 1916. Reference 35-R1, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

As seen from Karangahape Road in the early 1920s, when there was a gap in the development. Maple Furnishing Co had a hand in the later purchase and redevelopment of the mill site. Reference 4-8560, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

1 October 1923, from Mill Lane. Reference 1-W413, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Then, in May 1925, a severe gale wrecked the sails so much that only two remained.

The violence of Tuesday night's gale proved too much for the old windmill overlooking Auckland from the vicinity of Grafton Bridge, and during a particularly heavy squall one of the four heavy wooden sails carried away and crashed to the ground. Owing to the fact that the mill is now electrically driven, the loss of the sail has not interrupted its usual activities. The mill, which is built of bricks, handmade from clay taken from the immediate vicinity, dates back to the early 'forties, when it was responsible for the city's flour supply. Some time ago the sails were dismantled and the place closed down. Ultimately, however, gas power was utilised, and the sails restored, with the result that work was recommenced. 
 Auckland Star 14 May 1925

Many eyes missed the whirling sails of the Windmill during the past week or bo during its temporary inactivity, due to the loss of one sail during a recent gale. This morning lovers of the old mill were pleased to see it in motion once more, though in a rather abbreviated form. Instead of the four great sails there were only two, and the result was rather like a bird with its wings clipped. Mr. J. Partington, the owner of the mill, was obliged to remove the third sail in order to get the two remaining sails to balance so that he might start work again. Three sails would have been lopsided, but the two opposite sails just balance, and enable the machinery to turn, with, of course, a diminished speed. 
Auckland Star 26 June 1925

Despite reports that Partington was about to import more timber and reconstruct the sails, it never came to pass. By that time, Joseph Partington was 66. The mill property began the slow slide to dereliction again.


February, 1928, from Mill Lane. Note the motor garage with "Big Tree" advertising which had replaced a Lewis R Eady piano and organ wooden store. The needs of Auckland's passion with the motor car was already beginning to have an impact on the site's story. Reference 4-2282, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.


Joseph Partington's idealised version of the mill never quite matched reality after 1924. Auckland Star 7 May 1930

Then, on 16 February 1931, came the great fire.
Auckland's oldest and best-known landmark, the windmill off Symonds Street, became a blasting inferno last evening, and over two hours elapsed before a necessarily depleted force from the city fire brigade station subdued the outbreak. [Another major fire had broken out in the city that same night.]

The sturdy brick walls, which have weathered the storms of nearly 90 years, still stand presumably intact, but only the skeleton of the picturesque sails and superstructure are left. The fire had its origins in an adjacent wooden building used as a store and garage, and the flames quickly spread to the mill, evidently bursting through one of the lower windows in the walls ... huge showers of sparks were shot into the night in eerie bursts like blazing confetti. The iron roofing became red hot under the impulse of the shooting, pent-up flames ... At last a portion of the roof gave way, giving the flames freer play to attack the sails and superstructure ... by the time the outbreak was quenched only the skeletons of the sails remained ...

The mill was divided into ten storeys. Machinery weighing about 15 tons was installed in the tower, while on the fourth floor there was also machinery weighing about 10 tons. A large quantity of wheat, valued at about £100, was stored on the upper floors. Bags and stores on the lower floors were evidently largely responsible for the brilliance of the fire in its earlier stages ...

NZ Herald 17 February 1931

Two or three cracks appeared in the new brickwork that was part of the upper 20 feet added by Partington in 1915. For the rest of its existence, the mill wore metal reinforcing bands at the top. The cap perished and had to be remade. Oddly, while the interior flooring had almost given way, the machinery within failed to smash to the ground. Once again, Partington pledged to the public that four sails would again grace his mill. Once again, that didn't happen.

Then, in 1936, there came another lost opportunity to preserve the mill. When the Metropolitan Fire Board looked around for a new site for the central fire station, Partington's land was on the short-list. So soon after a Labour Government victory in 1935 (Joseph Partington had a particular loathing, distrust and fear when it came to the Labour Party and any policies of nationalising the country's manufactories), this must have reminded him of the bad days of James Wilkinson's takeovers in the 1890s.


Unless the Auckland Metropolitan Fire Board can take it under some such legislative authority as the Public Works Act, neither the old mill site nor any of the property surrounding it will be available for the building of a new central fire station as long as its present owner, Mr. J. Partington, is alive. "If they put a million pounds cash down on that doorstep, their money would not buy a foot of this site." declared Mr. Partington this morning, wagging a finger towards the doorway of the old mill. "Never since I inherited it have I ever sold a foot of this land, and I never shall. It is not a matter of money with me, it is a matter of sentiment, and I shall fight to the last ditch for the old mill." 

Auckland Star 24 July 1936

Even though the Fire Board (who ultimately decided on their Pitt Street site) denied any intention of demolishing the old windmill should they get the site under the Public Works Act (the board stated plainly they would have preserved the structure, somehow), Partington reacted. In September, Partington instigated a petition campain, as well as circulars to all Auckland's local bodies.

The concluding paragraph of the circular letter to local bodies issued by Mr. Wilis, on behalf of Mr. Partington, is as follows:—"I am not writing to your board for the purpose of discussing the suitability or otherwise of the proposed site for the fire station or to raise the question of the expense that would be involved, but I am asking for the support of your board in opposing the taking of the old mill or the land surrounding it for any purpose whatsoever. The preservation of the old mill has been Mr. Partington's life work and as his intentions are to benefit the community I have ventured to approach you for your support to help him carry out this laudable object. As the Fire Board has the necessary powers to take the land, it remains for public opinion to protest against the taking of the land, hoping that that will deter the Fire Board from carrying out its present intentions." 

Auckland Star  9 September 1936

From out of the petition campaign came reports from local Maori members of the Akarana Maori Association that the mill was known to them as "Te Mira Hau", remembered from the earlier days as being a place where Maori were able to trade freely, bring in their grain and taking away the resulting flour. The story of the mill being loopholed in 1851 in readiness for serving as something of a fortress, during an incident where Maori from Waiheke Island landed at Mechanics Bay and performed a war haka  came from an article published in the Star, 23 September 1936. (The incident happened in April 1851. We know the mill was operating by August 1851, and may not have been quite finished by April. I've yet to see signs of any loopholes in the mill structure from that incident.)

Partington had his lawyer draw up his first will, bequeathing the property to the Auckland City Council when he died. The land he owned around the mill (from buying back piece by piece in the 20th century) would ultimately be Partington Park. This was viewed as a wonderful gesture at the time. No one recalled that Partington had had previously strong and negative views about city councils.

Evening Post 20 November 1941

In November 1941, old man Partington died. He was found dead slumped back in a chair at a table in his house, possibly from heart failure.


Slumped back in a chair in the kitchen of his home under the shadow of Auckland's oldest and most romantic landmark, the dead body of Mr. Joseph Partington, proprietor of the windmill near Grafton Bridge, was found by a tradesman at 11.30 a.m. to-day. There were the remnants of a meal upon a bare table beside which Mr. Partington had been sitting, his bed upstairs had not been slept in, and there was other evidence suggesting that death had come to the old miller suddenly …

A solicitor, Mr. C. H. M. Wills, who had been summoned by the police, assisted in a search of the house and discovered a hoard of money hidden about the place. Mostly in single banknotes and ten shilling notes, the money found represented a considerable sum. It was stuffed in envelopes with the amount scribbled in pencil on the outside, in fiat biscuit tins, tea canisters, and some bundles were carelessly tied with string, lying among a congested litter of personal odds and ends. Rats had gnawed a way through some of the bundles, partially destroying notes …

For some time Mr. Partington had been receiving treatment for valvular disease or the heart. He had never married, and was a recluse. For a long time—at least three years—he had lived alone in the two-storeyed house beside the windmill. Earlier a housekeeper had looked to his creature comforts. When the police examined the house to-day it was in a state of great disorder. Piles of newspapers and old magazines littered tables and furnishings. Dust lay thickly everywhere …

Gloominess and a great air of quietude is lent to the surroundings of the house by old trees, which practically cut the place off from the sun. Two dogs lay asleep in the backyard this morning when the police came, and on the front verandah an unopened milk bottle stood beside an ungathered newspaper.

The first Indication that there was the likelihood of money being found was the apparent carelessness with which a ten shilling note had been left protruding from a bundle of newspapers and periodicals, in the room where Mr. Partington's body was found. The door of Mr. Partington's bedroom upstairs was broken open by a constable, in the presence of the solicitor, and in the confusion of papers and letters in scattered heaps a search was begun. The top drawers of a dressing table were first rummaged, and small amounts of money were found.

A bar of iron was used to break open the bottom drawers of the dressing table, and inside large bundles of notes were found, amidst piles of correspondence, old photographs mostly of a personal nature, and the souvenirs of a long lifetime. An old medal "presented to J. Partington in 1874" bore the inscription, "H. Kohn's Cadet Prize." A gold locket contained a miniature portrait, perhaps of Mr. Partington himself, and a lock of hair …

Bookcases downstairs revealed other evidences of Mr. Partington's intense interest in windmills. Well-thumbed volumes of books treating of mills in lands abroad peeped out from among old volumes. Text books dealing with the technical aspects of flour milling were turned over in the course of the search. A vividly-coloured paper-back stood out amidst the time-dulled volumes of Victorian vintage. A reporter turned it, over. It was "The Windmill Mystery." Little would Mr. Partington think when he came by the book that he himself would provide in perhaps a minor way, another mystery of the windmill …

Auckland Star 18 November 1941

Stories and descriptions about the mill site and Joseph Partington himself in the final years from the fire to his death paint varied views. Author Ruth Park (1917-2010) in her autobiography A Fence Around the Cuckoo (1992) described the mill and its surrounds as a place of seedy dereliction at the end of the 1930s.
"The mill wasn't like anything in literature; it resembled nothing so much as a prodigious bottle tree, bulging at the base, tapering to two or three scraggy branches. There were the ruined sails, two, not four, for the mill had been burned before our family came to Auckland ...There was ... a ghostly croak and flutter from the sails, hanging down in splinters and gobbets from the forever-frozen cap ...

"All around the foot of the mill was confusion and disarray -- boxes and stove-in barrels, piles of rotting flour bags, a broken cart with its arms up in the air, And what appeared to be abandoned buildings, sheds, a storehouse, cottages ...

"[Inside] I found myself in a strange chamber, a machine room full of mysterious gears, with a monstrous shaft going straight up through the ceiling. In the discontinuous light from the street, I looked down on millstones, enormous, prehistoric, powdered palely with husks of wheat."
A woman named Muriel lived in the windmill, in a small room where a table was littered by papers and invoices. Apparently, according to Park, Muriel said she did a bit of bookwork for Partington in exchange for board in the small room up in the mill. Muriel did a bit of "the game" on the side, and when one of her clients attacked Park (sleeping on Muriel's camp bed due to heavy rain outside), the young girl ran out of the mill, into the downpour, then found her way to the old biscuit factory.
"It was a cavernous, mousy-smelling barn, full of rusty derelict machinery. In the mill's prime years it had been a biscuit factory."
From the Auckland Star, 19 November 1941:

An intimate friend of 20 years' standing, Mr D Bradley ... presents a picture of a kindly old man who loved birds and music, but who insisted that what was due to him should be rendered to him ... "At heart Mr Partington was kindly," he said. "He told me on many occasions that it was his intention to leave the mill and its surroundings to the city I knew about the money he had about him in the house. He said he wanted to keep it handy to give to people who had been kind to him during his lifetime when he was dying. But he died suddenly and was lonely at the end."

The biscuit factory, once famous for the quality of its wares, is a jumbled mass of derelict machinery. When the miller had disputes with his workmen he closed it down. It has not been worked since.

£2350 in banknotes were found in wads all around Partington's house. More was found rat-chewed. Partington didn't poison the rats -- but he did believe, so one witness said, that the rats were Labour Party MPs transformed at night to cause trouble for him. 

The 1936 will was apparently superseded by a later, 1940 will, made out with a different lawyer. This circumstance led to exhaustive hearing at the Supreme Court, because neither will was found in the house, apart from a hand-written draft. Some say the rats might have torn them both up as nesting material. Others thought that perhaps the 1936 will went into the bakehouse, and was eaten by Aucklanders as part of Partington's product. Others said that Partington turned against the council because of the rates demands -- had he thought to have rates relief by making the bequest? The Auckland City Council, despite having a signed letter on file from Partington himself, dating from 1936, confirming the bequest (I've sighted this myself) -- did not raise any contest at the court hearings in 1943. Yet another lost opportunity ...

The judge found that, in the absence of proof of will, Joseph Partington died intestate, and so granted Partington's cousins, nieces and nephews his estate. The land was soon sold to Seabrook Fowlds, a motor car importer.


.

Above and below: Architectural drawings of the windmill, 1945, from Auckland City Engineer's plans, ACC 015 /AKC 033, Auckland City Archives. The set includes some amazing pencil drawings of the mechanism within the mill as well, all set for a replica to be constructed. This, sadly, never happened.



The biscuit factory building was the first to be demolished, going sometime during 1944. The NZ Herald on 21 April that year  reported that the new owners "had taken steps to demolish an old shed and certain other dilapidated buildings on the property, and to dispose of some old machinery and other chattels. However, the demolition of the windmill was not contemplated and had not even been considered."

Four small millstones were apparently rescued from the factory and stored for a time at the Council's waterworks store at Western Springs, now the pumphouse at MOTAT. It is possible that the one photographed at Howick Historical Village (scroll down on linked page) is one of these.


The mill, October 1947. Reference 36-P57, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Now, we see more lost opportunities. Auckland City Council fostered the formation of an "Old Windmill Preservation Society" in March 1945, its purpose to raise funds by subscription to pay the cost of removing the entire structure of the windmill and relocating ... well, somewhere. At that point, it was estimated that around £3000 to £4000 would be needed; the campaign barely topped the £1000 mark in collected monies. Three sites were suggested: Parnell Park (now Sir Dove-Myer Robinson Park), the reservoir reserve on Upper Symonds Street, and Beckham Place Reserve in Grafton. The last was most favored, but nine residents petitioned Council against the idea, saying the mill "would interfere with sea and harbour views." (NZ Herald, 2 November 1945) That, along with the prohibitive removal costs against lacklustre public interest in supporting the fund to complete the project, meant that the Old Windmill Preservation Society foundered. In December 1945, the Council voted to take no further action.


Another lost opportunity: Seabrook Fowlds and Maple Furnishing offered, in 1947, to give the Council "all salvageable material which might be required on another site." (NZ Herald 14 March 1947) As the operation would need to be handled with greater care given that the preservation of as much as possible would be at stake, the companies suggested that Council provide the demolition crews, and so be able to give them special instruction. When the tenders came in at up to £3379, £1000 above city engineer's estimate, Council once more pulled out of the arrangement, deciding instead "to ask the owners of the Old Windmill to present the council with the machinery in the building and a few loads of bricks when the structure was demolished. The bricks are to be kept for inclusion in any replica of the mill that might be erected in the future and the machinery will be stored at Western Springs." (NZ Herald, 6 June 1947)

There may have been more dithering in the interim, but eventually Seabrook Fowlds and Maple Furnishing decided to proceed with the demolition of the windmill in late April 1950.

April 1950. The mill comes down. Reference 7-A5026, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.


April 1950. The mill comes down. Reference 7-A5030, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Auckland City Council received a letter from Maple Furnishing in late April 1950, advising that demolition was going to go ahead. They offered, as an eleventh hour goodwill gesture, to have their demolition contractors, Ivan Whale Ltd from Onehunga, save as many of the bricks, machinery as was possible. Even the great mill stones. Arthur Mead, the chief waterworks engineer, responded to the Town Clerk on 15 May 1950 (ACC 275/45-213A, Auckland Council Archives).

The only feature that appeared to Mead to be of "historic interest" were the mill stones. "These can be used in the Old Pumping Station at Western Springs which Council has already resolved to make available as a museum of historic machinery. The transmission gearing between the sails and the mill stones did not appear to me of particular interest, being merely rather clumsy mechanism of normal type ... also I cannot see much point in saving some of the bricks as they are only ordinary bricks ..."

Arthur Mead went on to have a street named after him (Mead Street, in Avondale), a small rail bridge on the Rainforest Express line is named after him as well, and IPENZ have the Arthur Mead Environmental Award. Perhaps more might have been saved had his eye not been so critical? We may never know, but his response certainly ended another opportunity.

The bricks, most of which from the original 1850-1851 construction and made from the clay of the site itself, so tradition tells us -- probably ended up as fill somewhere. The machinery from inside the windmill was, so it was discovered in 1978, taken to Onehunga, dumped in an Onehunga Borough Council quarry, and blown to pieces with gelignite, before being melted down as scrap for manhole and cesspit covers. The cap was probably worth just so much scrap metal. As for the large mill stones from the windmill, it looks like they had to be broken up by hand as they were being removed. (NZ Herald 8 October 1958)




April 1950. The mill comes down. Reference 7-A5039, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

Great public interest was shown in the demolition work being done on the old mill in Symonds Street yesterday. From early in the morning when slings were placed around the machinery previously used to revolve the top of the mill, dozens of onlookers arrived, watched for a few minutes, and departed.

Perhaps the most interested spectators were a group of elderly men who had either worked in the mill or had had intimate associations with its former owner, the late J Partington. While the donkey engine clanked and the huge wooden sails were slowly lowered to the ground they exchanged stories of early Auckland in general.
NZ Herald 29 April 1950



April 1950. The mill comes down. Reference 7-A5042, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

An oxy-acetylene torch was used to cut away the thick metal bands which were used to hold the sails in place, the operator swinging precariously in a boatswain's chair nearly 100 feet above the ground. Once the sails were lowered a rope was secured to the ornamental knob at the very top of the building and the galvanised iron dome was unceremoniously removed in one lift.

By mid-afternoon the work had drawn a small crowd to the scene and practically every window was occupied by people anxious to have a last look at one of Auckland's most historic buildings. All that remains is the grotesque, chimney-like brick shell.

NZ Herald 29 April 1950


April 1950. The mill comes down. Reference 7-A5043, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.

What replaced the mill initially was a car park and container storage area, as seen in this image from Auckland War Memorial Museum library. In 1978, though the land was up for sale again. When a bequest of $25,000 from Miss Myrtle Miller became available, the Historic Places Trust, Civic Trust, and the Netherlands Society all put together proposals to rebuild the mill either on the site (but the developers of the future Sheraton Hotel said no) or at least quite near, perhaps Grafton Cemetery. But it all came to naught -- and once more, due to cost: an estimate received of about $570,000 to rebuild the mill from scratch meant this last opportunity joined the long list of lost ideas for this particular heritage icon to be reborn.

So, where was the old windmill compared with today's landscape?


Overlay on part of 2006 aerial photograph, from Auckland Council website.

The Sheraton Hotel is now The Langham, and things have changed since the above 2006 aerial photograph, showing the main mill site, with the windmill circled.


Today, this is the view up Mill Lane from Liverpool Street. Today, there appears to be little if anything on the site indicating its previous historic value. The plaque originally set in a wall of the Seabrook Fowlds building by the Historic Places Trust in 1958 was removed when that building was demolished in the late 1970s, kept by NZHPT, given to the Sheraton Hotel where it was displayed for a time (the Steam Biscuit Factory and Partington's became part of the Sheraton's branding motif), then seemingly disappeared again with the change of ownership. I made enquiries last week, and it seems someone at The Langham has the plaque in safe keeping and is waiting for it to be picked up. As at 20 October, I notified NZHPT, and await word as to what has happened.

The title of these two posts came from a 1902 poem about the windmill by someone simply called "Roslyn", from Auckland.

THE SONG OF THE WINDMILL.
"Ask of me if you would know
Stories of the long ago;
I, the watcher on the hill,"
Softly sighs the old windmill.

 "I have heard the ringing cheer
From the coign of Wynyard Pier,
When the good ship o'er the foam.
Made the port from home, sweet home.

"I have seen the settlers' hopes
Planted on the ti-tree slopes,
Push their sturdy British way,
Hour by hour, and day by day.

"I have heard the night winds yearn.
For the hunting ground of fern,
Where they wandered wild and free.
From the mountain to the sea.

“I, that heard the tui sing,
Saw these dual cities spring,
Of the living, and the dead,
Lying now beneath me spread.

"Words are weak to point the change,
Far and near, within my range;
Domes, and spires, and chiming bells,
Roofs on roofs o'er vales and fells.

"Ye may wake, and ye may sleep;
Ye may laugh, and ye may weep;
In the present work your will,
I, the watcher on the hill

"Lose these noises, for, behind,
Ever whispers on the wind,
Music from the echoing vast,
For my youth lies in the past.

"Ask of me if you would know,
Stories of the long ago;
I, the watcher on the hill,"

Softly sighs the old windmill.

Auckland Star 25 October 1902 

Reference 4-7141, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

The watcher on the hill: Partington's Windmill (Part 1)

"Partington's flour mill, houses and a ship in the harbour with fenced graveyards in the cemetery in the foreground," sketch by E Goring Corbet, January 1859, A-128-002, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Updated 20 November 2013


"Ask of me if you would know 
Stories of the long ago; 
I, the watcher on the hill," 
Softly sighs the old windmill.
"Roslyn", 1902

An email came in from a reader named Peter Grierson back in September: "Would love to see an article on Partington's Mill if you get the chance. This was a bona-fide windmill that stood on the site of the present day Langham Hotel for 100 years, until the short-sighted council of the day had it knocked down in 1950."

Initially, I thought: what was there left to blog about regarding the windmill, that hadn't already been covered? Partington's Mill is one of those heritage tragedies in Auckland which is still capable of causing sorrowful shaking of heads, and utterances of "Ah, the Mill!" when heritage-minded folk gather. Even for those such as myself, who are too young to have actually been around to see the old relic in its declining years. Thus, Partington's Windmill has been well covered by articles, paramount of which is the classic "Partington's Flourmill: The Winds Were Turbulent", by Patricia M French, published in the Journal of the Auckland Historical Society in 1967.

But, once the Historical Festival was over, as I promised Peter, I took a look. He emailed through a number of sources he had to hand. I found more on top as I looked further -- and became intrigued.

French tells us that Charles Frederick Partington, from Oxford in England, arrived first in Sydney in August 1841. He was accompanied by his father George and two of his three brothers, working as a carpenter. By the end of 1842 however, he'd crossed the Ditch, and was living in Chancery Street. The rest of the family followed over the years.

1845 saw Charles Partington working in Mechanic's Bay, still as a carpenter. French wondered, quite reasonably, whether he had become involved with Low & Motion and their flour mill there at the bay, for by June 1847 he'd entered into partnership with John Bycroft, taking over the Epsom Mill, built in 1844 by Joseph Low for architect William Mason. Was it this which gave Charles Partington the milling business bug passed down to three of his sons? Was he inspired in the beginning by the turning sails of the Epsom windmill?

His partnership with Bycroft lasted only two years. By 1850, Partington was looking closer to the still young trading centre of Auckland town for a place to set up in business on his own. By July 1850 he had title to two strips of land off Symonds Street, 8A and 9A of Section 36. Three years later, he was to add a third, the adjacent 10A, which today fronts onto City Road. (Deeds Indexes, LINZ records) There, he had Henry White build the brick windmill, in operation by August 1851, using the clay of the site to fashion the bricks into walls 27 inches thick and 6 levels high. As early as 1852, the windmill at Partington's Victoria Flour Mill became an artist's favourite.

Partington's windmill on the skyline of Auckland in 1852, seen from Queen Street Wharf. W S Hatton, reference B 078-012, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Partington soon expanded his business, from simply manufacturing the raw product of flour to producing a finished product: biscuits. For this, he needed a factory, which he built between his windmill and Symonds Street in 1855/56.

Southern Cross 12 February 1856

The Steam Biscuit Factory was to remain the mainstay of Partington family business on the site for nearly 90 years. The windmill, barely seven years old, was leased out to other operators.
WINDMILL. F. W. FLETCHER BEGS to inform the Public that he has leased the WINDMILL in Symond-street, belonging to Mr C F. Partington, and that it is his intention to grind Wheat on hire, on the most reasonable terms; and he assures all those who may employ him that strict attention will be paid to the producing a superior article. Auckland, June 7, 1858.
SC 8 June 1858 

NOTICE. VICTORIA FLOUR MILLS. In consequence of the ill health of Mr. F. W. Fletcher, CHAS. F. PARTINGTON begs to inform the Public that the Lease of the Windmill has this day been cancelled (Oct 16th, 1858). In resuming possession of the Mill, C. F. P. takes this opportunity of returning thanks for past favours, and hopes by strict attention to business, and the Manufacture of a good article, to retain the support of his friends and the public generally …
SC 19 October 1858 

Detail from "City of Auckland" map, J Vercoe & E W Harding, 1865-1866, NZ Map 18, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. The Steam Biscuit Factory complex can be seen just beside the windmill. Charles Partington's home nearer Symonds Street (bottom right corner) straddles lots 9A and 10A.

See also Mr Partington and his hemp.

In 1866, Partington updated and refitted his steam biscuit factory. The local press were wowed.
VICTORIA FLOUR MILLS AND STEAM BISCUIT BAKERY.
We visited yesterday the extensive flour mills and steam biscuit bakery establishment of Mr. Charles F. Partington, which have been fitted up with new and improved machinery. The buildings are situated on the west side of Symonds-street, nestled in umbrageous shrubbery and trees, and almost hid from the view of the passer-by. The first noticeable improvement we observed, before entering the mill, was a new coke kiln, constructed on the newest and most; approved principle, for producing a superior kind of fuel. ... Passing from the kiln we entered the boiler-house, where there is erected a Cornish boiler, suitable for an engine of 15-horse power. It is placed in such a position that as little heat as possible may escape, which is in itself an important consideration.

Next to this apartment in the engine-room, where a patent vertical or steeple engine is erected, of somewhat greater power than is required to keep in motion the various machinery. It is constructed with a superheater, which heats the water above boiling point, before it enters the boiler. From the engine-room we enter the steam mill, which is fitted up with a pair of French burr stones, together with dressing and smutting machines complete, Here the wheat is ground, separated, and the flour conveyed into the bakehouse.

In the bakehouse there is what is termed the mixing machine, capable of mixing 3 cwt. of flour every ten minutes. After the dough is properly mixed, it is passed through two powerful bake rollers, then rolled out into sheets thirty feet long. These are cut up into smaller lengths, and afterwards passed through the cutting machine, during which process they are joined and form one continuous sheet. The sheet of prepared dough then passes underneath the cutters, which separate and stamp the cakes, the scraps being removed at the same time by a very simple and ingenious arrangement. The cakes of dough, which are all exactly of the same size and weight, are passed along and laid on the travelling oven, which is 36 feet long. The biscuits, in passing through, are thoroughly and evenly baked, which process occupies from eighteen to twenty minutes. They are dropped on to the kiln, there allowed to remain for a certain time in order to dry thoroughly, after which they are packed in bags or cases. There are different cutters used for producing all kinds of fancy biscuits, picnics, &c. The biscuits are of first-class quality ... The machinery is capable of baking thirty tons of flour in the week. All the machinery is T. and T. Vicars and Co.'s (Liverpool) patent, which obtained the prize at the London Exhibition of 1862. ... The water used is principally supplied from the roofs, there being such a large surface, and is conveyed to the different parts of the bakery establishment by piping. Mr. Partington first introduced steam machinery for baking into Auckland about twelve years ago. The new machinery was obtained with the twofold object of economising labour and producing a superior quality of biscuit, and was erected at a cost of between £2,000 and £3,000. The whole of the machinery, including the engine, has been erected in a most creditable manner by Mr Partington's two sons, under his own supervision. Adjoining the steam biscuit manufactory is the windmill, which was erected in 1850, and contains a number of lofts for storing biscuits. It is the intention of the proprietor to export larger quantities of biscuit than he has formerly done.
SC 3 October 1866 

However, the first of the major Partington mill fires apparently did considerable damage to the new structure.
A narrow escape from fire was made on Friday night, at Mr. Partington's mill, Karangahape Road. About midnight, as constable Hoare was passing along the road, he observed a glare in one of the windows, and on looking through he saw a large heap of biscuits burning on the floor of the bakehouse, close to the oven. The constable at once aroused Mr. Partington and two of his men, who live on the premises, and by the exertions of the party the flames, which had reached nearly to the roof of the building, were extinguished. The floor in front of the oven was bricked, but the fire had caught the boards adjoining, and burned them in three or four places. The building is not insured. 

SC 3 December 1866

How much this had an impact on Charles Partington's disinterest in the milling and baking trade from that point on isn't known, but essentially he now seemed much more interested in either developing quartz stamping equipment during the rush in Thames -- or selling his Symonds Street property. The Victoria Mill and Steam Biscuit Factory disappears for a time from the advertising columns.


View from Auckland Harbour, c.1864, with the windmill on centre skyline. Andrew Thomas H Carbery, reference E-248-q-102, Alexander Turnbull Library

In the early 1870s, the sale of Partington's Symonds Street land began, along with the equipment from the mills.

Auckland Star 7 December 1872


The old windmill that has kept sentinel over Auckland for so many years is, we are informed, doomed to destruction, and in a few weeks the place which once knew it will know it no more ... the owner possesses a hard and obdurate heart. He, having no such refined sentiment, prefers to see the land cut up into building allotments, and so its destruction is not likely to be averted. It is said that one of the arms of the mill having come off some time ago, threatening destruction to life and property, has so intimidated people as to make the land in its vicinity less valuable at such prices as it would otherwise command.

It will be missed, will the old mill, by captains of vessels making for our harbour ... Old salts making the harbour, who have been absent for a time, will be under some sort of hazy impression that they have lost their bearings, or have not kept their weather-eye open, which will cause them to swear sheets and halliard. The mill will also be missed by young gentlemen who "won't go home till morning", and who had to depend greatly upon the mill for assistance to guide them on their erratic course ... if Partington will only spare that mill, we promise him his name shall be handed down to posterity in the eternal columns of this journal.
NZ Herald 9 January 1873



Auckland Star 15 March 1873

The Southern Cross reported on 4 June 1874 that the "largest and most complete biscuit-making plant south of the equator" was sold to John Lamb of Riverhead.  In January 1877, Charles F Partington died, and the remainder of his land and buildings was inherited by his wife. In August that year, the remains of the Partington estate was transferred to two of the sons, Charles Frederick and Edward Partington. But, as it turned out, the remainder of the history of both the windmill and the factory would come to be dominated by the eighth and youngest son, Joseph.

Joseph Partington, c.1881, from the Evening Post, 20 November 1941

Joseph Partington (1858-1941) was only 18 when he first entered into business for himself as an engineer, millwright and machinist, a year before his father's death. Born on the Symonds Street property, his childhood was probably dominated by the family business.


Auckland Star 30 September 1876

His brothers Charles and Edward, trading as Partington Brothers, restarted the mills at Symonds Street in mid 1877.



Auckland Star 29 July 1877

Then in 1879, Joseph Partington disposed of his Wakefield Street business, a year before his brothers left the Symonds Street mills to take on a lease from Auckland City Council for the "Western Mills" on Western Springs, the enterprise formerly run by Low & Motion.  For a while, he operated a smithing business at the junction of Cook and Nelson Streets, then went into partnership with his brothers, but at Symonds Street.

Auckland Star 26 July 1879


On 1 December 1880, he withdrew from the partnership with Charles and Edward.  His brothers, though, saw little point in continuing at Symonds Street at all, so it seems. By mid 1881, Henry Partington, a land agent and family member, was advertising the sale of the mills land at Symonds Street. Joseph protested.


Auckland Star 8 July 1881

The advertisements for a sale went ahead, however.



Auckland Star 13 September 1881

Until, in December 1881, Joseph Partington purchased the factory buildings beside the windmill, along with the right of way leading to Symonds Street (Deeds Index 18A.17). His brothers retained the windmill and the right of way leading to Liverpool Street.


Auckland Star 12 December 1881

Detail from T W Hickson's "Map of the City of Auckland", 1882, NZ Map 91, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

From that point on, until clear through to 1921, things became complicated, at least in terms of land history documentation.

His name on the title for the biscuit factory, Joseph Partington took out a mortgage with Charles Stichbury in December 1881. Partington dissolved his partnership with Osmond in October 1885, and carried on alone. Stichbury died, and when his will was probated in January 1887, the mortgage was inherited by James Stichbury. There was a subsequent Supreme Court hearing in 1892, and a Mr Evans received title over the land, probably through mortgage default. In June 1895, Joseph Partington took out a 10 year lease from Evans. Then Evans, two years later in September 1897, sold the property to James Wilkinson. At that point however, Partington's lease was still in place, and had 8 years to go.

Detail from map, 1886, by George Treacy Stevens. NZ Map 374, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. A stylised version of both the windmill and the steam biscuit factory can be seen.


Auckland Star 29 November 1894

Then, we have the windmill itself, and Mill Lane, the right of way leading to Liverpool street.

The Windmill, from the Symonds street end, 1898. Extreme left is the northern end of Joseph Partington's Steam Biscuit Factory. Left of centre (beside the windmill) is the residence divided between Partington and Wilkinson as it was bisected by the boundary line. Behind that house was a two-storey brick stable built for T Hope Lewis, which sparked the Wilkinson-Partington feud. Reference 4-150, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Partington Brothers, Charles and Edward, retained ownership of the windmill side of the property, and used it to raise loans, possibly to support their operations out at Western Springs. As part of that, they conveyed a moiety or part interest in the property to Joseph Partington in June 1886. According to Joseph, this took the form of a lease with right to pay off the mortgages and thus purchase the entire property. With his brothers absent from the scene, Joseph probably considered that at that point he had complete control over the entire site, both the factory and the windmill. Unfortunately, he was wrong.

His brothers were declared bankrupt in August 1887. One of the existing mortgages, with Queen St jeweller (and, apparently, a shareholder of the soon-to-be shaky Bank of New Zealand) Richard Beck, was called in during 1892, and Beck then sold the windmill half of the property to James Wilkinson for £330. Now, according to Joseph Partington (as later reported by George Everard Bentley), he'd approached Wilkinson himself as Wilkinson was "a shining light in the Wesleyan Church", the same church to which the Partingtons belonged. Perhaps Partington felt that, as a fellow Wesleyan, Wilkinson would work in with him, and allow Partington to continue his business there without hindrance. A lease of three years was arranged between Wilkinson and Partington. During this period, Partington was bankrupted from the end of 1892 to the end of 1893, released from bankruptcy in May 1894.

In 1895/96, the lease ended and was not renewed. (Wilkinson may have had concerns over Partington's bankruptcies, amongst other things). From that point on, Wilkinson arranged with Partington that the latter could only be a tenant as far as the windmill went, and even that was only on a week-by-week basis. Another reason why this might have happened was the odd position of the main mill residence -- cut in half by the boundary between the factory land and that of the windmill, with Partington living in one half, next to, as his chronicler Bentley was to put it in 1898,  8 members of the Wilkinson family, with the mother "unhappily a raving lunatic", screaming for much of the time. Whether this was correct or not, it clearly showed that any admiration Partington may have once had for his fellow Wesleyan evaporated. As those who knew him were to say in the following century, after Partington's death: once he took a dislike to someone, that dislike remained.

On 20 August 1897, Wilkinson served his tenant Partington with a notice to quit. Partington retaliated by removing machinery from the windmill to the factory. Some of that equipment, Wilkinson later charged, belonged to himself.

Wilkinson sold a piece of land in behind the dual-accommodation cottage in November 1897 to surgeon T Hope Lewis, who lived elsewhere on the block, for the purpose of a stable. Partington was furious, petitioning the Council against allowing a building permit for the stable which, at two storeys, made it difficult for Partington to safely repair the dilapidated sails of the windmill. The stable would have been wooden, but the Council approved a brick structure instead. Partington blamed the fact that T Julian, the stable's builder, was also a city councillor.

Partington wrote a letter to the NZ Herald on 22 February 1898 about the stable, his petition against it, that Wilkinson and Lewis were both able to build wooden dwellings in brick areas, and that the Council should have no control over Mill Lane. Wilkinson countered his points in a letter published in the same newspaper three days later. Because the Herald refrained to publish Partington's further response (Wilkinson had accused him of illegally uplifting equipment and machinery from the windmill, and had taken Partington to court over it), Partington then went on the warpath.



Cover (detail below) of "The Story of the Old Windmill", 1898, G E Bentley. Copy held at Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries.


Partington commissioned New Plymouth journalist George Bentley to write The Story of the Old Windmill, of which 1000 copies were printed by Albert Spencer. Aside from the printed statements made in the booklet mainly against Wilkinson and his character, describing him as "an avaricious and flint-hearted landlord", the front cover is interesting, said to represent the two mills 20 to 30 years before the publication.
[The] neat fence and shrubbery to the right have been superseded by dwellings and other frontages ... which run up to within 14 feet of the Mill and in a line with the right hand post of the open door of the old biscuit factory at the back. The left street boundary now would cut through the hind quarters of the horse in the shafts of the laden waggon standing in front of the Mill, the space between the latter and the boundary being about 10 feet.
Bentley was convicted of publishing a libellous pamphlet (he distributed 300 copies of the pamphlet, while another 600 were taken by Partington) in September 1898, and sentenced to time served. But Partington, even though he did no time in gaol thanks to posting bail, and wasn't involved in the first court case, didn't get off lightly. Wilkinson sued him for £200 damages for libel, with £100 awarded plus costs in December 1898. Two days before Christmas, Partington was once again in bankruptcy, when he failed to pay Wilkinson his money.



The Windmill and Mill Lane, 1898. Reference 4-149, Sir George Grey Special Collections.

It appears that Partington had prepared for this eventuality. In August 1898 he assigned the lease for the factory over to Miss Frances Dynes -- his housekeeper -- for £200.  He claimed to have sold the rest of his assets to her as well and was working for her, at the factory, for 30/- a week. Before she came to testify before the official assignee, however, she refused to do so, and had to be arrested and escorted to the hearing.
Frances Dynes deposed that she had been housekeeper for Mr Joseph Partington for nineteen years and she claimed the whole of Mr Partington's estate. She bought it last March. She bought everything Mr Partington possessed for £200, and she also gave him £20 for mining shares. She bought the estate because Mr Partington was going to England. However, he did not go. Witness paid for the estate £60 in March, 1898, there was £20 due to her for wages at the same time, which made £80. The next payment was £20 in August, 1898, which made £100. She paid £50 next, also in the month of August, making £150. The next payment was £50, and also £20 for shares, all in August. Some of the payments were made in the sitting-room at Mr Partington's house. This was the first money. The next sum was paid in the sitting-room, also the two other sums of £50 were paid in the office of Mr Reed, Solicitor. She thought the £22 was paid in the house. Her sister, Jessie. Dynes, was present when the payments were made in the sitting-room. She could not give the actual dates when the amounts were paid. Witness said she saved the money and kept it in an iron box. Her first payment was made from this box and she had some left in it yet. Her sister also gave her £75; she still had got the £75. She kept about £300 in the iron box; it was her savings from her wages. She kept no bank account. She got £1 per week for her services, and Mr Partington supplied the house. She had got £1 per week ever since being in Mr Partington's house. All of the moneys she paid came out of the iron box. Witness was further examined as to her purchase of the business of Mr Partington, and who managed it. The purchase, she said, took place in March. Mr Partington kept the books and managed the business for her. She kept no bank account after she went into business. Various deeds and assignments were then put in by Mr Cooper. Witness said she bought the business because she liked it; and Mr Partington wanted the money to go to England. She did not know at this time of Mr Partington being engaged in litigation, but she did know of the dispute between Partington and Wilkinson. She did not know how much money was at present in her little box.
Auckland Star 29 March 1899

Partington's application for discharge from bankruptcy was initially declined. I haven't yet found out when he did finally receive discharge. But it is possible that his enemy Wilkinson didn't get see a farthing of his award for the libel.

At the close of the Windmill's first five decades, Joseph Partington was still in residence and working at the factory, alongside James Wilkinson, without even a fence between them.

To Part Two.

The Mill, 1898. Reference 4-2619, Sir George Grey Special Collections.