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Elbe’s Ice Cream: The Plot Thickens

In A&P Shows, Birds Eye Frozen Foods, Birds Eye NZ Ltd, Bodgies and Widgies, Denne Brothers, Dennis Knight Turner, Desserts, Elbe's Ice Cream, Elbe’s Milk Bar, Fonzies, Fred Elbe, Frozen Foods, Frozen Vegetables, Griffin’s, Happy Days, Heavenly Creatures, Hokey Pokey, Hokey Pokey ice cream, Ice Cream, Ice cream sundaes, John Waters' Cry-Baby, Juvenile delinquency, Laverne and Shirley, Louis Gottfried Christian Elbe, Mazengarb Report, Milk Bar Cowboys, Milkshakes, Moral Panic, Peter Pan Frozen Foods Ltd, Peter Pan ice cream, Rebels with a cause, Rockers and Greasers, soft drink, T.C. Denne, teenage decadence, The Petone Incident, Thomas Clement Denne, Tip-Top, Warren Elbe on January 12, 2015 at 10.46

Elbe's icecream logo 1950s copy

Recreation of an Elbe’s Ice Cream sign, imagined as late 1950s, inspired by their A&P stand logo (photo further down), and the colours of the milk bar interior.


Now, as we know from my previous article here, a lot of people like to mark their territory in hokey pokey history – and quite often that involves claiming they invented it.

Having read my story on New Zealand’s favourite ice cream flavour, an Elbe descendant contacted me. After trading quite a few emails (as well as a bit of cursory snooping by me) it was a done deal that there was more than plenty for a story here – contenders to the hokey pokey crown, scandalous behaviour, and juvenile delinquency!

Elbe’s first opened as just a milk bar at 98 High Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington, “next to Woolworths”. The earliest mention I was able to locate was in a humorous article “On Trial”, in the Hutt News, early July 1936 – in which a mock court case is conducted at the milk bar of Frederick Elbe Esq., as part of a stag party celebration. At that time, apart from milkshakes and sundaes concocted for customers on the spot – the Elbes made their own ice cream on the premises and sold pints, quarts, and ice cream party cakes commercially.

The story begins with Louis Gottfried Christian Elbe – who hailed from Uralla, New South Wales, Australia, born 1887 to Louis (Ludovick Gottfried Elbe, 1858-1936) and Mary Phillipa (nee Goddard, 1864-1953). By the time Louis was on the scene he was already a second generation Aussie; the family had arrived from Erbach, Nassau, Germany in 1855. In 1906 Louis married Ada M. Marshall in Newtown, Sydney. After marriage they resided at 91 Evans Street, in Rozelle.

Elbe's Milk Bar 1950s courtesy of Sherry Elbe

The interior of Elbe’s Milk Bar in its 1950s heyday. The colour scheme was a very modern cream, lime green and black. Image courtesy of the Elbe family.


Apparently quite mismatched – things went south with the union very quickly; in less than two years Ada had been abandoned. She quickly arranged for a court warrant issued in nearby Glebe, for Louis’s arrest – citing desertion. However it seems he had truly flown the coop. In not much more than a year, he reappeared in New Zealand, in 1909, now named Frederick Louis. A few short months had seemingly allowed him enough time to settle, meet, and marry Ann Elizabeth Lowry. Hopefully he was divorced from his initial wife first – but it doesn’t look hopeful right now.

Thus far my researches have been unable to locate any record of Fred arriving to Aotearoa. Running off, he likely switched countries under an assumed name.There’s no evidence that the Elbes ever divorced in Australian records, or that Frederick Elbe ever returned to Australia to sort this situation out before remarrying. The New Zealand Immigration Passenger Lists show no Elbes that even vaguely qualify. At least – not up until the 1930s when several records clearly indicate a Mr. F. Elbe, of the correct age and occupation, returning from Australia to Wellington on a number of occasions, from then on through to the 1950s. Not the kind of thing families really want to discover but that’s how it is – and not that uncommon either.

Why New Zealand? Perhaps he thought it best to get out of the country completely, but in tandem wanted to remain as close as possible to his family. So it was probably the most logical option. The speed with which he remarried indicates he may have already met his future second wife, perhaps in Australia, hence his absconding with no explanation. Either that or he was a very fast mover. It was more likely the latter – but we will probably never know exactly how it played out.

Anyway, now a Kiwi tailor named Fred (records show a registration for Elbe Tailoring Company Ltd in Wellington), his transformation was almost complete. Between at least 1919-1922 Fred Elbe was advertising suit making from 276 Lambton Quay; “fit and style perfection…above H.B.” (which stood for Hallenstein Brothers), and later 262 on the same street where H.B. now stood for “Hannah’s Building”. Grandchildren recall a one-time career as a traveller and a manufactory for belts and men’s suspenders later on.

Frederick Louis (Fred) Elbe- ( government name Louis Gottfried Christian Elbe) courtesy of Sherry Elbe

 Frederick Louis aka Fred Sr. (government name Louis Gottfried Christian Elbe), a tailor, was the first to come to New Zealand; it was his son that founded the ice cream business. Image courtesy of the Elbe family.


The couple eventually had three sons; Rowland Carl (1913-1987), Roy Sheldon (1920-2007) and Louis Frederick Elbe (1910-1982). Their parents both passed away in Hutt in 1966 respectively. However as an interesting aside, the couple seem to have been living separately from at least 1946. Around this time Fred’s mother had arrived from New South Wales and was residing with him. Given how some wives feel about their mothers-in-law, it may be why she moved out!

It was Louis Frederick (who like his father also called himself Fred – we’ll call him Fred Jr. from here on to differentiate), who actually established the Elbe’s brand. How exactly he gained knowledge and training of the  art of ice cream production remains unanswered. It was likely the business was started in the mid 1930s, although it’s now not known exactly what year. One source says “just prior to the war” which almost tallies with the earliest newspaper date. Fred Jr.’s two sons with wife Rewa Ellen, nee August, were Warren William and Maxwell Richard Elbe. However it’s Warren that people mostly seem to associate memories of the Elbe’s Milk bar heyday with. In the mid-late 1940s the Elbe’s takeaway product roster expanded to add “Homepacks’, and ice cream Christmas cakes “frozen extra hard”.

Upon returning from the war it was Roy who became “chief ice cream maker” at the milk bar. As the business and brand became successful, premises were purchased just across the road – and a factory started production under his management. A picture which has been taken of a stand around 1959 at a Bartons Bush A&P specifies some novelties such as vanilla slices and “Rockets” (the full name of the item is partially obscured; it’s either frozen, space or chocolate).

An image of the interior of the shop, taken in the 1950s shows that Elbe’s had expanded into a line of fountain syrups for drinks. Other items they served were soft drinks and fancy concoctions like peach melba, chocolate peanut and date snowball sundaes, the Snowman, the Rainbow Special – as well as individual Dixie-style tubs, vanilla slices, chocolate coated novelties (probably similar to Boms). There was also a full candy counter in the corner and a jukebox for the latest in pop music. Of course (the not-so-ubiquitous) milkshakes, about which Brigitte Bönisch-Brednich recounts in “Keeping a Low Profile: An Oral History of German Immigration to New Zealand”: “I vividly remember in my teenage years Elbe’s. The art of making milkshakes was developed to a very fine pitch.”

Ice Cream Cake box Elbe's Milk Bar 1950s RECREATION copy

Recreation of the Elbe’s ice cream cake box, seen on the top shelf  behind the bar in the 1950s photo of the milk bar interior (above). Gavin Elbe recalls “…these were about ten inches diameter and about three deep, with a glittery paper band around them – sometimes decorated on the top for special occasions. I never got one.” Harsh!


During the first half of this decade Fred Jr. registered a design he cooked up in collaboration with a Roy Butterworth (1904-1978) with the Intellectual Property office. I was unable to find out what exactly that was, but I speculated it was most likely a piece of manufacturing machinery or packaging rather than a recipe. Since Butterworth worked through the 1930s-1950s as an upholsterer, essentially pattern-making, I’d make an educated guess it was the latter.
The family story goes that another invention of Great-Grandpa Fred Jr.’s may have been the Hokey Pokey ice cream recipe which he then sold to Tip-Top, who have of course themselves claimed (falsely, it’s now fairly clear) that they actually invented it during the Forties. Further to this cuckooing of Elbe’s – Fred Jr.’s motorised ice cream cart now sits in MOTAT with a Tip-Top signage emblazoned on it instead of the Elbe’s logo (how it went from the Hutt to Auckland – I’m not sure).

Gavin Elbe, one of Fred Jr.’s nephews, recalls: “I was born in 1947, and I cannot remember a time when we did not make Hokey Pokey ice cream. In my school days I did odd jobs there at the factory during the holidays and weekends. As soon as I was old enough, I had the job of breaking up the slabs to put in the mixture.” He was unsure where the confectionery came from, but thinks that it, along with chocolate for novelty products, may likely have been supplied by Griffin’s – which makes sense since they were based in the local area. Then he tacked on – ” This was years before we were bought out by T.C. Denne…”
Wait, hold up a minute. Did he just say Denne? The same T.C. Denne who founded Peter Pan Ice Cream, that I’ve previously written about on a number of occasions?

Interesting, to say the least, that in all my research on the Dennes and their businesses, and the various interviews I conducted, they never once mentioned they purchased the Elbe’s business! I wonder if that got left out (deliberately) or perhaps just forgot to get a mention (unlikely). It makes one wonder that if Elbe’s were making Hokey Pokey first, then Peter Pan may have acquired the recipe with their purchase – and thus have to forfeit their claim to be front runner – or even one of them at all.

When I pushed Gavin for a little more of a fix on the date he states “the Hokey Pokey smashing definitely began (in my) pre-teens”, putting a definite date before 1960. In comparison to other confirmed dates from Peter Pan and Newjoy Ice Cream Co. this isn’t the earliest, so actually brings me no closer to solving the mystery of who made it first.

Elbe's Ice Cream ads 1943-1945 copy

Various Elbe’s product adverts from the Hutt News, from clockwise top left: April 1944, October 1944, November 1943, and November 1944. Images courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


“After Denne’s purchase of Elbe’s, we continued to make a range of lines in Lower Hutt for distribution. Until one day my father got a phone call from the Dennes to say he was to lay off all staff, and arrange the strip out of our factory. No visit – just a phone call. I still remember that day because I had biked down to the factory after school to do some jobs, as I frequently did, and found all of the staff in a sombre mood.”

Gavin vaguely recalls some kind of connection with ” Levin and Company, (and) with the Birds Eye brand as well – but I am short on detail.” I’ve tried looking into Levin a bit, who made a great deal of their money in Amber Tips tea from the 1890s onwards, and I am not sure where they are at these days – if it even still exists, or in what form. It’s a very old company, founded by some Jewish fellows, and going as far back as the 1850s. Seemingly during the war years one of the things they were handling was sugar – a very precious commodity for confectionery and ice cream makers, obviously. That said, ice cream makers were off the hook a bit more than chocolate companies because there was no rationing restriction on dairy – so sugar was their only problem. Birds Eye was not launched by Unilever in New Zealand until 1947, and Wattie’s as far as I know did all their frozen fruit and vegetables for them, and probably still do.

Levin and Company had both freezing and import-export enterprises so if it wasn’t to do with sugar, then it’s (more) likely the connection was distribution. Many of these companies were connected through distribution deals because they needed to pair up with others, for transport reasons, to make their enterprise profitable. It’s why so many companies that started off with ice cream branched out into frozen vegetables otherwise it wasn’t viable financially to distribute their product. This means many reciprocal deals were done to move product around the country efficiently.

One acquaintance remembers her father being friendly enough with Fred Jr. to “visit…shortly after the opening of the milk bar. We were given a tour of the business, including out the back, where ice cream was made. In a large freezer room were shown a box of peas, still in their shells. He opened one pod to show that the contents were in mint condition. He predicted correctly that this would be a major method of preserving food in the future.”

Although the mention of frozen peas is interesting, there’s no memory of any frozen vegetables ever being produced by the Elbe’s factory. So it is not really relevant to the fact that Peter Pan bought out quite a number of freezing businesses, including ice cream operations, up and down the North Island in a methodical campaign to advance their distribution over the years. However there may have been more of a motive at play here for the acquisition. Is it possible that Peter Pan got it’s Hokey Pokey recipe from its acquisition of the Elbe’s factory?

Elbe's icecream and cola stalls Bartons Bush A&P late 1950s courtesy of Sherry Elbe

aTaken at Hutt Valley A&P show, late 1950s, Bartons Bush. Fred Jr.’s nephew Gavin Elbe remembers: “We had the concession for ice cream and Coca-Cola stalls, also a candy floss machine. My job was refunding the empty bottles, at two pence each – or a packet of chewing gum.”


As it did in every major city, business exploded during WWII due to the influx of R&R servicemen to Wellington; the Elbe’s business did not solely flourish because of this, but later Elbe’s provided supplies for the ice breakers who were part The IGY team ( The International Geophysical Year  was an international scientific project run from July 1957 – Dec 1958).
Gavin recalls “…they loved it (Elbe’s product) because it was much creamier than American ice cream. In those days it was a legal requirement for ice cream in New Zealand to have a minimum percentage of real butter and milk powder to help protect the dairy industry. Very early on I remember real cream was used, also.”
It should be noted  how the advent of a great number of foreign, in this case particularly American servicemen, had great impact on culture and business in large cities; and this in turn had a lasting effect on trends for foodstuffs, clothes, and entertainment that went on for decades – as it is particularly pertinent to the themes here.

By the 1950s the Elbes were, in the words of one of their punny former neighbours “creaming it…with true entrepreneurial skill the Elbes had in no time made a fortune and moved …to a flash two-story house in an up-market suburb.” With the interior of the milk bar decked out in a snazzy contemporary theme of lime, cream and black – Elbe’s had now become the hottest teen hang out in the Wellington area.

It’s recalled that “Friday and Saturday nights were so busy that a staff member would be stationed at the entrance, ensuring that when full, those wishing to enter matched those leaving. It was normal during peak periods for a queue to form outside – waiting patiently for their turn to enter.” Someone else remembers as they “…queued up round the street, (there would be) fighting to get in the front door.” So no doubt a “bouncer” was in place to prevent the scuffles as well.

It was frequented by local kids “at a (nebulous) loose end” – as well as “Bodgies” and their female counterpart “Widgies” – as they were known in Australasia; the monikers given to the down under equivalent of the American movement of “Rockers” and “Greasers”, or the British version – “Teddies.” “Bikers” per se, came later, in the 1960s; not to be confused with “Milk Bar Cowboys” who were basically Bodgies with motorbikes  – and the variation was lumped into this supposed ragtag bundle of various youth subculture groups. I s’pose the inferral is that there were bound to be wars between factions – but given their definitions (not much different from each other it seems), and objectives, it does not seem that it was as likely as expected.

The movement revolved around newfangled rock ‘n’ roll music, and was also influenced by rebellious teen movies like “Rebel Without a Cause.” Fashion icons were James Dean and Elvis, amongst others.There was an obsession with American style – which was to again resurface later on, in the mid-late 1970s with a feast of nostalgia for the period – exemplified in TV shows like “Happy Days”, “Laverne and Shirley”, and “Sha Na Na” (and also resulted in the cheesy retro snack Fonzies).

Elements of the Bodgie/ Widgie/Milk Bar Cowboy style featured pegged trousers and moccasins, Zoot Suits and luminous socks, exaggerated bright shirts, tight white tee-shirts with leather jackets, flannelettes with Adidas boots, or tight jeans and suede brothel creepers, topped off with a greasy “Rack” hairdo, or Brylcreemed quiffs  finished at the back with D.A. (Duck’s Ass).

As throughout history, with the pinpointing and victimization of many a minority, people took umbrage simply because the so-called “Milk Bar Cowboys” looked and acted differently to the plebeian majority. When fraternizing, add motorcycles into the mix and there’s bound to be public pearl-clutching to relish in. It all sounds very much like John Waters’ movie “Cry Baby”:

The Sydney Morning Herald critiqued “…’bodgies’ growing their hair long and getting around in satin shirts, and ‘weegies (sic)’ cutting their hair short and wearing jeans… confusion seems to be arising about the sex of some adolescents.” Apparently not so confused about sex; because then Elbe’s went from popular to notorious overnight.

Somehow an outrageous story got out that teenagers, some under the age of consent, were using Elbe’s Milk Bar as a meeting place to arrange illicit trysts in nearby Strand Park and down by the Hutt river. Their milkshakes were literally bringing boys to the yard. Young patrons were engaging in “sex acts”, and not only that – but somehow were obtaining contraceptives to boot. It quickly came to be known as the “Petone Incident.”

Moral panic was the headline of the day, exacerbated by the untimely incidents of two separate milk bar murders in Auckland (the fact that they could have happened anywhere seemingly irrelevant) and the horrific Parker–Hulme case (later made by Peter Jackson into Heavenly Creatures with its themes of teen perversion, angst, rebellion and tragedy). Sensationalist media reports of course did not help, but sold papers and made coin.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister of the time, Sir Sidney George Holland, attempted to use this simmering unrest to his advantage and called for a thorough investigation into this wanton depravity; a special committee was set up, chaired by a local lawyer, Dr. Oswald Mazengarb, to examine the supposed social factors that was causing “delinquency” and subsequent juvenile immorality. The hearings and investigations took place over a period of eight weeks.

The text of the Mazengarb Report, in full, the “Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents”, was released in late September 1954. It cites the appearance of witnesses Mr L. F. Elbe, of Elbe’s Milk Bar, Lower Hutt, along with employees Mr. W.L. Ellingham, and Mr. A.L. Lummis, who appeared in the hearing line-up and were examined under oath as numbers fifteen to seventeen respectively.

John, aka “Oldrider”, writes on a forum that he was one of those “Milk Bar Cowboys” in the 1950s Hutt. Dubbed so “because we rode bikes, cavorted with the ‘sexually active’ girls from Hutt Valley High school and Petone Tech, and hung around the milk bars in the weekend. I was definitely a member of that group of guys and gals so named…a great bunch of people to associate with. So, yes, I used to frequent Elbe’s Milk Bar among others (it wasn’t only milk bars that were frequented, either) – but I was not responsible for the saga. The girl in question lived just down the road from me.  (In retrospect) it was pretty pathetic press run by the “Truth” newspaper about the behaviour of the so-called ‘juvenile delinquents’ of the day. They made it very big news, (but it was) pretty tame stuff really!”

the Bodgie A E Manning Wellington Reed 1958 Dennis Knight Turner design copy

“The Bodgie” by A. E. Manning , design by Dennis Knight Turner, published by Reed, 1958.  Formula: If you added a motorbike to a Bodgie, Rocker, Teddy or Greaser  – rather like making a shake – you had instant “Milk Bar Cowboy.”


Another member recounts the bounties of the hilariously nicknamed private school “Sacred Tarts”: “I remember well, afternoons in the early Fifties ,when I rode my bike from Naenae College into the Hutt. There, we’d meet up with girls from Sacred Heart College, and do a bit of ‘experimenting’ in the back booths at Elbe’s. But not until I’d scoffed a chocolate peanut sundae first! Their gym frocks always smelled, well, inviting.”

So there was definitely some kinky stuff involved, it’s true. That particular individual who is recalled as being in the middle of it all apparently refers to the fifteen year old girl who decided to blab to the authorities about the sexcapades of what she called the “Milk Bar Gang”, and numerous young people in the area allegedly confessed to police their instances of “sexual misconduct” (probably defined as hickies at that time) – however it’s said some were actually charged with carnal knowledge of minors. It’s all a bit vague, really. Too hazy for my liking – and deliberately, I suspect.

However Elbe’s was hardly the “notorious den of teenage lust” it was made out to be, except maybe lust for sweet treats. Merv Griffith says that rather than rumpy, the goal was to “pick up a bird”, and subsequently “the main aim was to go like hell; the louder the screams from the pillion seat, the more successful the mission. Apart from that it was to sit round and comb your hair and try and look beautiful on your bikes. Then you would go in and have a milkshake.” So more toffee than totty. Not exactly titillating stuff.

Even local member of parliament of the time Michael Moohan called them on it and opined it was the report itself that was internationally stigmatizing, dubbing it sensationalist. “I think it is a terrible thing…to give the impression that there is such a grave problem….when such is really not the case.”

However governments usually aren’t very interested in the facts unless they happen to marry with some kind of desired outcome. One way they use situations like this is basically for crowd control, often by scapegoating. Recurrently Instigating “moral panic ” is the perfect way to regulate a society. If the truth of what was involved in “The Petone Incident” was known  – there probably wouldn’t have been that much fuss, or subsequently a reaction. However, once people start actually looking for reasons to break up the party – they can usually find one if they really want to.
Thus a post-war movement for independence essentially came to be considered a “problem” simply by issuing pamphlets to hundreds of thousands of households regarding this revolting rebellion of unbridled teenage decadence.

cry-baby-clan copy

“The Cry Baby Clan”: Still from pope of trash  John Waters’  hilarious 1990 musical satire on juvenile delinquency and moral panic. Recommended watching.


 The report ultimately laid the blame on a breakdown of dreary urban Nuclear family life; the culprits were teen temptresses, comic books, working mothers, rock ‘n’ roll, and modern cities. Oh, also peace time (because that’s really a bad thing, right?) and generally having too much money (also a terrible burden to anyone). Maybe they should have called it the “Moot Report” since the only astoundingly new thing there was a style of music. Mazengarb, a notorious right wing killjoy and puritanical prude, disapproved wholeheartedly of just about everything as most fundamentalists do – and the list was long. As most fundamentalists also do – I am sure he was hiding something. I like to call it the J. Edgar Hoover Principle, and it’s a pretty reliable rule.

The report resulted in the drafting of new Acts increasing censorship of “obscene and indecent content” in publications, The Child Welfare Amendment Act which made sexual behaviour officially “delinquency”, and the banning of contraceptive sales to minors, because the one thing every parent wants is an underage pregnant daughter to deal with, right? The lack of logic is mind-boggling, and that’s something that hasn’t changed.

The impact had its desired effect, though. Alison Gray discusses in her review of “Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand” by Jarrod Gilbert, that “I was in primary school in Lower Hutt. I can still remember my parents discussing the report behind closed doors and banning us kids from going anywhere near the notorious Elbe’s. We had no idea what they were on about, but we knew it had something to do with people not much older than us, behaving very, very badly. Our minds fairly boggled. It was my first experience of a moral panic and it was a little bit scary. I realise now that it was probably even scarier for my parents. The “juvenile delinquents” looked like us, walking down our streets, and sitting in the very booths where we ate our ice cream sundaes. No wonder my parents were afraid!”

Silver-Tex condoms The Killian MRG Company 1950s Te Papa GH010168 copy

Silver-Tex, by Killian MRG Co., 1950s. Image courtesy of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, ref GH010168. Something I never thought I’d ever be writing a caption for on this blog; condoms. The only other example I’ve seen thus far is Durex from the early 1960s. It wasn’t even made common knowledge that they were available, if at all (some businesses like the strictly Catholic Galliens, flatly refused to sell contraceptives) so they weren’t exactly advertised – and the object obviously wasn’t to keep them if you could help it – so few examples survive.


Nevertheless there wasn’t much to worry about because by the beginning of the next decade, the “Milk Bar Cowboys” would be finished – replaced by the British Mersey sound, and all that new movement entailed. It was farewell Jailhouse Rock, and welcome to Carnaby Street. Following that, the Hippie movement. Inevitably ensued by an older generation’s shock and disgust. And so it goes on, generation to generation. Here’s a long overdue idea – maybe it’s easier just to get used to it.
As for Prime Minister Sidney Holland who rehashed this often used “moral panic” tactic to bolster his polls – could he have been less disingenuous? It was, in the end, hardly a boon for him – as he won another term that year anyway. Those in the know say that ultimately it had little effect on that outcome, and it was wasted energy beating up the situation; however the damage it all caused was done and it was deep, destructive and lasting.

According to a 1996 article on Roy and Nola Elbe and the milk bar history, entitled “Elbe Romance Blossomed Over Counter’ by Lee-Anne Edwards for the The Hutt News, it’s said the the ice cream factory ceased manufacturing around 1960 and had at least one ownership change before the Dennes of Peter Pan Frozen Foods came into the picture; but details are now unknown.  I’m not sure when the milk bar its self closed – I know the Elbes still had it in the very late 1950s as Andrea Elbe, Fred Jr.’s granddaughter, recalls an amusing anecdote in which “…the power went off one night, and my dad Warren had to race down there. He reckoned that Mum deliberately caused it because, pregnant with me, she had terrible middle-of-the-night cravings for ice cream. She got her wish!”

It’s not known how much the so-called “scandal” marred the business interests of the Elbes who were unwittingly caught up in it. However the fact that the milk bar apparently changed hands before the decade was out may be telling – except that the new owners must have been trading on the Elbes’ good business name – because that didn’t change. Bill and Betty Lummis acquired the milk bar and ran it through the 1960s. Their son Lox served with his brothers Brian and Kevin, who says that in their day “…bad behaviour never happened inside, my dad would not stand any nonsense like that.” So Elbe’s heyday as a denizen of vice, corruption and commotion was put paid to.

THE MAN IN THE STREET Upper Hutt Leader Number 22 20 June 1946 - Copy 1 copy

I don’t know what they or it says.  Since the riddles hint at matters equestrian, one can assume that as Fred Elbe Jr. accumulated some wealth, he dabbled in the business of racehorses. Upper Hutt Leader Number 22, 20 June, 1946. Image courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


Today Amalgamated Video occupies the original site on the southern end of High Street. However to add a little bit to its iconic status, it has been announced just recently that Artist Tim Barlow is recreating Elbe’s Milk Bar with the three Lummis brothers – as an installation this year – one of 11 artworks that will form “Common Ground’, Hutt City’s inaugural public art programme as part of the Fringe festival.
In that case, I guess that Elbe’s won’t be forgotten any time soon; and the family can in retrospect be pleased that they played a star role in a very interesting and significant piece of New Zealand’s history.

Thanks to the Elbe family -Sherry, Andy and Gavin , and Vicky Ireland for their assistance with information, material and images for this story. Also thanks to several sources for permission to quote their work: Both Andrea O’Neil  and Alex Fensome at Dominion Post as well as Papers Past all on behalf of Fairfax Media; Oldrider and others at Kiwi Biker forum, social historian Alison Gray, and Merv Griffith’s recollections from Ben Schrader’s “City children and youth – Bad behaviour”, published by Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, © Crown copyright 2005–2015 Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, which were originally quoted with permission of historian Redmer Yska from his book “All shook up: the flash bodgie and the rise of the New Zealand teenager in the fifties Auckland”: Penguin, 1993, p. 66.


Addendum late Oct 2015: I’ve been meaning to add these for months – pictures of some of the family members mentioned in this article, which were kindly passed to me by Fred Elbe Sr.’s granddaughter Andy Elbe, after the article was published in New Zealand Legacy magazine. 

Elbe family From L Fred Jr Fred Sr Rowland Elizabeth Ann nee Lowry Roy late 1920s edit sml

The Elbe family: From L, Fred Jr., Fred Sr., Rowland, Elizabeth Ann nee Lowry, and Roy, taken in the late 1920s.


Fred Elbe jr and Rewa Ellen marriage edit

Fred Elbe Jr.’s marriage to Rewa Ellen August, 1933.


Marriage of Ernest John August and Mary Adam 1905 Rewa Ellen's parents Ann Elizabeth Lowry knew them edit

The marriage of Ernest John August and Mary nee Adam in 1905. These are the parents of Rewa Ellen August, who became the wife of Fred Elbe Jr. However Ann Elizabeth Lowry, who became Fred Elbe Sr.’s New Zealand wife, knew them as she was part of the wedding party and is third from the right. It’s curious, because did the family forget that they were associated with the Augusts before Fred Elbe was ever in the picture? Or just a weird coincidence? 


Louis Frederick (Fred Jr) Elbe (b1910) and Rowland Carl (b1913) c 1915-1916 edit - Copy - Copy

Louis Frederick (Fred Jr.) Elbe, with Rowland Carl Elbe, circa 1915.




All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2015. All rights reserved.


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In Air New Zealand, Auckland Yellow Buses, Auckland Zoo, Bata Bullets, Bournville Cocoa, Bramley Doll Repairs, Canterbury clothing, Chic Littlewood, Children's toys, Chocolate Crackles, Crewe murders, D.H.Davis & Co, Dunedin Railway Station, Edmonds, ethnographic sexualised cliché, Freddy Fruit Salad, Gaiter Tyre Co, Ginger Gems, Goodnight Kiwi, Griffin’s, Hi Life Yoggit, Holdsons games, Holeproof socks, John and Betty book series, Kellogg's rice bubbles, Kiwi Bacon Company, Kremelta copha, Leo O'Malley's men's clothing, Maycey's, Māori culture, N.Z. Honey Marketing Authority., New Zealand Department of Education, New Zealand Post Office, Para Rubber, Pat Booth journalist, Pulmonas throat pastilles, Ready To Read book series, Ryko toys, Shum's stores Dunedin, Speedee appliances, Stacey Brothers, Sunday School Union building, TEAL Airways, Terribly un-P.C., Tidy Kiwi campaign, Tourism art, Tourism posters, Tourist souvenirs, Unity Hall Auckland, Witches Britches, Worthy Manufacturing Tailors, Wrigley's chewing gum on January 6, 2015 at 10.46

1- 134 likes, 19 shares Maori dolls

The number one most popular image for 2014, by a long shot, was this trio of Māori dolls. Someone remarked that they like to think of them as “cultural representatives”. Yeah, of people’s living rooms in the 1970s. Then following that –  garage sales, which is where you see them most of the time these days. I’m not sure if they’ve regained their hip factor – I suspect they never had one in the first place. Still, they bring back many happy memories for people and that’s what ultimately counts.


When I began this blog, I had a very clear-cut agenda – and my goal was to post at least once a week. As I got deeper into the research aspect, I quickly developed standards about the stories –  and the frequency dropped down to a fortnightly post, to accommodate that. By 2013 I had resumed tertiary education – and with much struggle, I managed to keep this pace up for a while, before it finally dropped off to a story a month towards the end of the year. This year I only published a pitiful fifteen articles. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t constantly thinking about it, having ideas, as well as researching and recording data.

Many people contacted me and sent in advertising and packaging items they thought I’d be interested in, or gave me good tip-offs, and also some great photos were uncovered via the History Always Repeats page on Facebook – which is on its way to 2,400 members. This is the stuff that makes it worthwhile. However, along with the good things, I had a serious moment this year when I was going to press the *deactivate* button on everything  and quit. Something kept stopping me whenever I got close. I am still trying to reconcile the situation. It brings me back to that unpleasant topic of being ripped off again.

I have again battled, on more than one occasion this year, people taking and selling my work for commercial purposes. I don’t know if I end up on the receiving end of this more than anyone else in a similar position; but I can tell you that it gets bloody boring having to tackle these issues. One instance was a very well-known TV production company, which I won’t get into too much detail over. They were cooperative and the matter was settled to my satisfaction –  so there’s no need to go into it, since they clearly didn’t want a fuss made. What I just can’t believe is that people would go on prime time TV and lie they found my stuff second hand in a vintage store. The audacity of it was outrageous. That’s all I’m saying on the subject.

More recently a jerk in the U.K. took my posters and reproduced them as metal signs. I’ve prevented him from selling them as best I can – but I was not compensated, and I have no other way to stop him permanently. Just retouching on this topic makes my blood pressure start rising, so moving along to the yearly summary before something bursts…

The top reads for 2014 were quite different to the previous year, with some new entries. My piece on the number one Kiwi-established  chocolate manufacturer “A Sticky Business: Whittaker’s” took out  the top spot yet again with around 1,100 people reading the story.

The next most-read was a new entry; my story on the James Smith department stores of Wellington.

This was followed by my history of the ever-popular hokey pokey – which was another new charter at number three most-read.

Number four was my piece on that Boomer icon Moggy Man, formerly the TT2; dropping down from the number two slot last year.

And the number five most read story was on New Zealand’s most successful commercial artist Bernard Roundhill – who designed so many things over his decades-long career – that everyone is familiar with at least one whether it’s the Air New Zealand Koru, the Teachatot game or  the Bycroft biscuits running boy.

An interesting thing I’ve noted previously – and is consistent – short stories get a huge number of reads in the short term, but this never lasts. It’s always the longest, rambling stories – the ones I think people would generally not have patience for – that come out on top.

Finally, the History Always Repeats  page got a long overdue sister Twitter account, so if you’re a member of that social media platform then please follow me there. I try to post stuff that’s different from Facebook.

Without further delay, here’s the top fifty most popular images for the last year as rated by readers and members. You can congratulate  yourself  for some interesting, and at times unusual,  choices. All the best to my readers and members for 2015.


2 - 103 L 39 S The Mount Maunganui motor camp and beach, 1960s, by Gladys M Goodall

2. The second most popular image was Mount Maunganui motor camp, taken in the 1960s, by Gladys M. Goodall – who began photography in the 1940s, selling images to bus tours. It wasn’t long before her work caught the attention of leading publishers Whitcombe & Tombs; at their behest she travelled to every nook and cranny countrywide to get her pictures. In the days before digital manipulation, the lengths she went to in capturing the exact shot she required were quite amazing – even bribing firemen to shovel more coal into a train’s engine for just the right amount of smoke. Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, ref GG-02-0466-1.


3 - 93 L 15 S

3. This not-particularly-good photo of an unopened packet of P.K. chewing gum, which the seller says dates from the early 1970s (dubious), came in at number three. Wrigley’s product was present in New Zealand from the 1910s; it was first imported from the U.S., then manufacturing switched to Rosebery in Sydney, Australia in the Twenties. It took until the 1950s for it to be made domestically.


4 -  92 L 19 S  vinyl covered foot rest probably dates from the second half of the 1960s to the early 1970s.

4. This vinyl-covered footrest probably dates from the second half of the 1960s-early 1970s. Almost ubiquitous – dozens of people came out with stories of their family’s own special poof –  even my grandparents had one of these in beige and brown. The parallel discussion was whether the latter name was still P.C., and if  it was still appropriate to sit on one at a party.


5 - 88 likes Chicaboom - Copy

5. Cecil (Chic) Littlewood had success in children’s shows of the 1970s-1980s with  shows “Now C Here”, “Chica Boom” and “Chic Chat”. British-born, as such his variety-style kid’s programs were influenced by traditional English style of music hall and holiday camp shows. In 1964 he gained interest from the BBC; however he had already decided to emigrate to New Zealand. It wasn’t long before his characters such as Cockney “Golf Cap Charlie” got him attention on Kiwi television, and the rest is history. As prime time success wound down, he had involvement in the Basil Brush Show, then segued into serious acting. However for a generation of kids he will always be remembered for characters like Willie McNabb. You can see a 1981 episode here.


6 - 86 L 24 S  Members of the 28th Maori Battalion performing a haka in the Western Desert in Egypt

6. Māori Members of the armed forces performing the Haka in the Western Desert, Egypt, July 1941. Formed in 1940 as part of the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2NZEF), the 28th  Battalion had a deserved  reputation as fearsome fighters; they were the most decorated battalion in WWII.  This image, edited by Doug Banks for website Colourise History, went viral and caused consternation as usual. Apart from that contingent of the public who always somehow find a reason to be offended about anything at all – some rusted-on old photography purists seemingly felt that changing the picture from its original compromises the integrity.


7 - 68 L 28 S  The Goodnight Kiwi and Cat

7. The Goodnight Kiwi was illustrated by one of New Zealand’s most celebrated commercial cartoonists Sam Harvey, whose animation house was also responsible for Ches and Dale. Kiwi and his cat pal were introduced in 1975 as a sign-off for end of broadcast each night on Channel 2. Yes, it used to go dead as many will remember. With today’s 24/7 coverage of everything, it’s pretty hard to imagine a TV screen going depressingly blank, but that’s how it was. Kiwi was retired in 1994 but was revived in 2007. Not sure what the status is, as a campaign was established in 2012 demanding he be brought back.


8 - 62 L 19 S David Shum outside his fruit and veg shop, Caversham Valley, Dunedin, 1983

 8. Local Dunedin personality David Shum outside his “oasis” of a fruit and veg shop, Caversham Valley, 1983. The name was actually spelled Quun, but the Shums, who still own the Four Square store in the area, phonetically anglicised it for ease. Image courtesy of Owain Morris collection via the Growing Up In Dunedin page.


9 -58 L sliding and flying Ready to Read series, Ministry of Education

9. “Sliding and Flying” from the “Ready To Read” series of books – is one of only  two repeat entries from last year’s top fifty. I believe this series was issued  around 1970, although the Ministry of education had been publishing from the 1920s onwards.


10 - 56 L 11 S New Zealand Post Office savings books

10. New Zealand Post Office savings “books” were actually piggy banks. They were literally shaped like a leather book, but underneath the cover was a tin container with a lock. They’re not so common now but used to be easy to find. These were issued from the late 1950s through early 1980s, although by the latter decade they were plastic.


11 - 56 L K Road doll repairs

11. Back in the day, things were made to last – And when they finally did break or wear out you’d take them to get fixed instead of just throwing them in the trash. Bramley’s was present in Karangahape Road, Auckland, for quite some time as this post got an excited response from many baby boomers with sad stories of cracked toys – and then their subsequent jubilance at the return of the item in one piece – courtesy of this business. This advert was published in the Woman’s Weekly in late 1946.


12- 55 L Air New Zealand Tiki, 1970s

12. The Air New Zealand Tiki, 1970s, was once handed to every passenger as a comp; these often ended up with the kids upon someone’s return from an overseas jaunt. “Oh, here – I got you something.” Gee, thanks. This also made it on to last year’s list attesting to its sentimental appeal.


13 - 54 L 6 S  so far CHECK Auckland Zoo dragon

13. A postcard of the Auckland Zoo’s big concrete playground  dragon, with its frighteningly sharp and dangerous teeth (later dramatically filed down),  was on last year’s list.  Shona Moilliet  submitted this photo of herself, with her brother in its mouth, taken around 1962. Photos of the dragon are seemingly far and few between, so thanks to her for sharing this great image with us.


14 - 54 likes 2 shares Para Pools, New Zealand Woman's Weekly, October 1974

14. Splashing water and shrieking from back yards is the throwback sound of summer for most. This advert for the very popular pools from Para Rubber resonated with many – it was published in the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, October 1974.


15 - 51 L 36 S The Kiwi Bacon factory and classic Auckland yellow bus, photographed in the 1980s

15. Two classics in one: The Kiwi Bacon factory and a yellow bus, photographed in Auckland, in the 1980s. The revolving figure from the roof of the factory is apparently now on top of the Auckland Airport Kiwi Motel, McKenzie Road, Mangere. Image courtesy of and © Robin Morrison.


16 - 51 like 3 share Red plastic telephone.

16. Most people remember these dial telephones – which were still in use in our household into the late 1980s – in a dull olive tone. However these rarer brightly coloured ones are highly sought after in good condition. In particular mint green ones typically reach hundreds these days. Image courtesy of Teacup and Saucer – vintage, retro and handmade collectable items. 


17 - 51 likes 3 shares Tellow bus Karangahape Rd, Auckland in 1980

17. Trolleybus ARA No. 102, working the Queen Street Shuttle. Photographed outside O’Malley’s men’s clothing (which is still present today) on the corner of  Karangahape Road at Pitt Street, June 1980. Image courtesy of and © Leroy W. Demery, Jr.


18 - 46 L 26 S Witches Britches knee-length underwear packet by Lane Walker Rudkin, probably 1960s

18. Witches Britches were knee-length underwear by Canterbury commonly worn by many under college gym frocks of the 1960s and 1970s. Mary Henson recalls: “We wore them to cover up the horrible gap between undies and stocking tops. Miss Pugh would not hear of us wearing tights. We had to wear black!  Absolutely NO coloured lace, or off to detention for you my girl!” Image courtesy of Mike Davidson collection.


19 - 44 L 15 S Chocolate Crackles, Woman's Weekly, July 1964

  1. That perennial kiddie’s favourite, Chocolate Crackles – religiously made with Cadbury’s “Bournville” cocoa, Kremelta copha, Kellogg’s rice bubbles, and CSR icing sugar. This image from the Woman’s Weekly, July 1964.


20 - 44 likes 2 shares Mr and Mrs Ward with Pamela, Carolyn and Muriel Clark standing next to their car in Kawakawa, 1950s.

20. Mr. and Mrs. Ward, along with Pamela, Carolyn and Muriel Clark, standing next to their car in a Kawakawa street, sometime in the 1950s. I remember travelling rural Aotearoa in the Eighties, and many small towns still looked like this! Photo by Ron Clark, courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, Record ID 1207-1655.


21 - 44 L 2 S Ginger Gems  irons, manufactured by D.H.Davis & Co Auckland & Christchurch, likely in the late 1970s

21. One of my earlier primary school memories is the domestic education classes where we made Ginger Gems with these typical irons; these ones manufactured by D.H.Davis & Co Auckland & Christchurch, are likely to date from the late 1970s. Original image courtesy of Dave Lapthorne.


22 - 44 L The Stars in the Sky, Ready to Read series, Ministry of Education, published 1970.

22. “Stars in the Sky” from the New Zealand Department of Education’s “Ready To Read” series, published circa 1970. These books are one of two repeat entries from last year’s top fifty – and as exhibited by entry 9 – the only double-up in this year’s list (last year it was all about milk products and blankets). Besides “Sliding and Flying”, 0ther books in the series of  six were “The Hungry Lambs”, “The Dragon’s Egg” “Sweet Porridge”, and “Boat Day.”


23 - 43 L 3 S Old Fashioned Raspberry Drops from Auckland company Mayceys

23. I remember Old Fashioned Raspberry Drops from the 1970s, but they’ve probably been around much longer. Made by Auckland company Mayceys, who were also responsible for other classics like Glo Harts, Sweet Cents, Blackberries & Raspberries, and Emerald Drops. However the Stacey Brothers made their big money in cough lozenges and pastilles from the 1910s onwards; Pulmonas, Eukols, Bants and Lixoids to name some successful ones – as well as  Kurols  – which are still available in Countdown supermarkets.


24 - 42 L 5 S Playmates  from the The John and Betty readers series, published in New Zealand by Whitcombe & Tombs, 1950s

24. “Playmates”  from the “John and Betty” readers series, published in New Zealand and Australia by Whitcombe & Tombs, 1950s. It was apparently an English series “Janet and John” originally.  This is the third entry in this top fifty for Ready To Read publications. A number of these types of out-of-date books showcasing a carefree, perfect post-war life were very much in use when I was at school – and along with the old “Murder House” health posters – it was like being stuck in another era. Image courtesy of Rosie at Westleigh College Northcote blog. 


25 - 39 likes Holeproof walk socks

25. Walk socks: Guaranteed to make hot blonde chicks get out their Duraware for you. This image from an Intact Holeproof package of the 1970s. The consensus is that they seem to have been particularly popular with teachers, for some reason.


26 -38 L 12 S Dew Drop Inn Douglas saddle C 1910

26. “Dew Drop Inn” was a tacky, generic name popular in the 1950s-1960s era; when we were growing up, there was a local fruit shed named this, decked out with a sequin sign. However the moniker apparently goes back much further. This one served booze aplenty as demonstrated by the window wares. Perhaps over-indulgence is the reason why one of the fellows has clambered on the bull instead of his horse. It was supposedly situated in Douglas Saddle, Taranaki around the 1910s. However Auckland historian Lisa Truttman raises questions on the location (and perhaps even the country of provenance) – as the only known Dew Drop wasn’t a Taranaki establishment – but in Kaiteratahi, Poverty Bay area, and much earlier. Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, ref  MNZ-0698-1/4-F.


27 - 38 likes Carefree Holidays

27. “Carefree Holidays”, silkscreen tourism advertisement  poster created between 1930-1940,  artist unknown, image courtesy of the Library of Congress collection Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. USA. 


28 - 37 likes 4 shares Griffin's biscuit tin, featuring a picture of a cat

28. Kitsch classics: Serving Family batch realness with  a 1970s Griffin’s biscuit tin, featuring a picture of a cat of course, and Nanna’s crochet blanket. The beach shack was where all items, that were too out of date or ugly  to have in the house, but weren’t yet ready to be discarded because it was unethical for whatever reason, went to serve a second term until death. It was like the penal colony for household goods – and House and Garden it wasn’t.


29 - 36 likes 14 shares War Dog of New Zealand postcard

29. “War Dog of New Zealand” postcard issued 1914-1915. Artist and provenance unknown,  Image courtesy of The New Zealand Journal blog.


30 - 36 L 4 S The Dunedin Railway Station's spectacular mosaic floor

30. The Dunedin Railway Station’s spectacular mosaic  floor is made up of hundreds of thousands of Minton (later Royal Doulton) tiles. The decorations, first  laid in 1906, also encompass friezes around the walls. The original floor consisted of 725,760 half inch porcelain squares, manufactured especially, and imported from England.  It was replaced by a replica in 1965 when it became necessary to rebuild the floor on new foundations. Image courtesy of Owain Morris collection.


31 - 36 L 3 S Portrait of Princess Ngaperapuna, probably late C19th

31. Portrait of Princess Ngaperapuna, probably late 19th Century, hand-coloured by yours truly. Not much to be known about her except that this image was taken sometime between 1890 and 1920, and the photographer has not managed to be identified in most collections, but looks like it was taken by Josiah Martin – as there is anther unidentified shot of Ngaperapuna in a picture called “Two wahine in Cloaks” by him, that looks like it was done in the same session. This would mean it was taken before 1916.  Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Online prints and photographs catalogue, U.S. Library of Congress. Call Number: LOT 11356-15.


32 - 36 likes 3 shares Poster for the Matson Line to New Zealand by Louis Macouillard

32. Poster for the Matson Line to New Zealand, created in the USA, 1955, by Louis Macouillard (1913-1987). Image courtesy of  The Image Gallery.


33 - 35 likes

33. This chromolithograph Yuletide banner was published by A. R. Hornblow & Son of Wellington, circa 1920. Image courtesy of the Manuscript and Pictorial Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, ref Eph-D-CHRISTMAS-1920-01.


34 - 35 L 3 S An old metal lamp and a Edmonds baking powder tin

34. A rustic scene and nothing more: An old metal lamp and an Edmonds baking powder tin. The classic “red lead” colour of the paint on the wood elicited a few memories too.


35 - 34 L 2 S Tidy Kiwi campaign

35. The “Tidy Kiwi” campaign has been such a hit – it has run for decades now – encouraging New Zealanders to keep it nice. This promotional badge dates from the 1970s.


36 - 33 L 4 S Pedal car, possibly by Ryko, a toy maker in the Wellington area in the 1960s

36. A children’s pedal car, believed to be by Ryko, a manufacturer of strollers  and toys  in the Wellington area in the early 1960s.


37 - 31 likes Maori possessed doll

37. Before Annabelle: If you want a doll that just sits in the corner and eats your soul with its empty black eye sockets, or if you’re even luckier clambers onto your bed at two in the morning and stands over you with a kitchen knife until you wake up – then I think I’ve found the one for you. 


38 - 30 L 11 S Silver threepence coin,1936

38. Silver threepence coin, issued 1936. King George V was on the reverse side.


39 - 30 L 5 S John Powell, unlawfully killing sheep with intent to steal sentenced to two years, in 1889.

39. John Powell, charged with unlawfully killing a sheep with intent to steal the carcass, and subsequently sentenced to two years, in 1889. Other crimes: Randomly appearing in children’s dreams and terrifying them forever. See more old New Zealand mug shots in one of  New Zealand: History & Natural History’s “Rogue’s Gallery” here.


40 - 30 L 3 S MAORI PERFORMANCE TROUPE Whenuapai airport in the mid 1950s, with the plane being a DC-6

40. Photo of a Māori performance group on the tarmac with a TEAL DC-6 plane, likely at Whenuapai Airport; the hostess uniform  was in use from 1958 to 1961, giving a fairly accurate date. I guess it’s probably a promotional image of some kind  – yet looks a bit informal for that. I don’t know for what purpose it was taken, whether it was some kind of special event, such as greeting the arrival of someone famous or important; and there is  no knowledge of the image’s provenance.


41 - 30 likes 2 shares Iconic footwear Bata Bullets are back

41. Iconic footwear “Bata Bullets” are back as of November 2014, in stores around the country  – in the exact original style. Founded in Czechoslovakia in the 1890s and becoming a global company with an innovative, socially conscious philosophy that was way ahead of its time – Bata New Zealand was formed in 1948 with the first factory opening at Owhiro Bay, Wellington, in 1951 producing slippers.  Bullets were being produced by 1969 and the line had sold about 10 million pairs by 1974.  


42 -28 like 4 share From a postcard entitled Maori Beauty, dated 1906

42. From a postcard entitled “Māori Beauty”, dated 1906. Although reducing cultures to an ethnographic sexualised cliché  was nothing unusual the world over, going way back –  this one is pretty tame and innocent, as most of the Kiwi ones were. This one, not quite so much.


43 - 27 L 2 S freddy Fruitsalad Sticker set published from 1980 to promote Hi Life Yoggit

43. Freddy Fruit Salad, as part of a Sticker set published from 1980 through the first half of the decade, to promote Hi Life Yoggit. These stickers were popular on leather school satchels and exercise books (well, maybe not this particular one). The dodgy stereotypes did not go unnoticed, apparently resulting in school age children dubbing the brand “Lo Life”. This one definitely made it into the ” Terribly Un-Politically Correct File”. Image courtesy of Steve Williams collection.


44 - 27 L 2 S Magnetic Chinese Checkers, issued by Holdson games, 1974

44. No seat belts: Magnetic Chinese Checkers, issued by Holdson games, 1974. I certainly remember playing this; and I think you’d be hard pressed to find a household that didn’t have this in their games cupboard.


45 - 26 l 2 s Upper queen st 1928 unity hall

45. About seven years before my Grandpa Joseph moved his business in: Looking up the west side of upper Queen Street, Auckland to where Mayoral Drive meets it today. Looking from the corner of Airedale Street showing the Sunday School Union building aka Unity Hall, the tallest building with the arched windows on the first floor at the end of block. Worthy Manufacturing was on the second (the top) level for around twenty years making suits, uniforms, coats and dresses – and shared the building with another tailoring business – Standard Coat & Costume Co. The building still stands and has a Christian bookshop at street level. It’s suspected to have been snapped on a Sunday – hence the very quiet street. Photographed January 1928, by James D. Richardson. Image courtesy of Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, ref 4-1919.


46 -26 likes 4 shares William Hugh Mawhinney and William S. Johnson outside 87 Albert Street, Auckland

46. Free air: Lisa Masterton sent me this fantastic image found amongst her late uncle’s possessions; and she was interested to know what the significance was. Turns out, one of the men is her uncle’s father William Hugh Mawhinney. Gaiter Tyre Co gets its earliest mention in May 1921. Mawhinney and William S. Johnson, who established the Auckland company, stand outside 87 Albert Street, Auckland in the early Twenties. The business advertised between 1923-1931 later at 60 Albert Street, then 95 Albert Street. However number 87 continued to have a history associated with automotives; It was home to Auckland Motor Co at the end of the 1920s and then through the 1930s the Independent Motor Co. I love how you can still see in the background cosy looking houses, a horse and barn, remaining right in the middle of the city at that time, a far cry from today’s streetscape. 


47 -26 likes 4 shares Glass magic lantern slide, hand-inscribed with the text Guide Susan, wife of Maori Policeman, Rotorua

47. Lots of Māori stuff made it onto the list this year; there are ten entries relating to indigenous Aotearoa. Are people more culturally conscious, or have I just posting more in that category? A glass magic lantern slide, hand-inscribed with the text “Guide Susan, wife of Māori Policeman, Rotorua.” Era unknown, possibly 1900s-1910s. Strangely, this was produced in Carlton, Victoria, Australia – when there were certainly plenty of businesses in New Zealand at the time that created these.


48 - 26 L 4 S Speedee electric jug, Auckland Star, November 1935.

48. Unbreakable! Well, apparently. Advert for an early electrical appliance, the Speedee jug, Auckland Star, November 1935. Speedee were around for many decades, and I remember appliances like water heaters from when I was a youngster; many Boomers remembered these particular kettles – of which the design remained unchanged through the years. 


49 -26 likes 4 shares The All Blacks Book for Boys, By Pat Booth, 1960.

49. The All Blacks Book for Boys, By Pat Booth, 1960. An early publication by veteran journalist and activist Booth, who  has long been considered one of the country’s finest press members. He is principally noted for proving that police planted evidence which falsely implicated Arthur Allan Thomas in the infamous Crewe murders –  not only one of  New Zealand’s greatest unsolved cases but also one of the most controversial in history.


50 - 26 L Pure NZ Honey tins were one of a number of periodically issued generic containers 1950s and 1960s.

50. These “Pure New Zealand Honey” tins were one of a number of periodically issued generic containers over the decades by the N.Z. Honey Marketing Authority. I’d say they date from the 1950s and 1960s. I’ve counted at least twenty different apiaries around the country that issued their product in this particular can design. 


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