#throwbackthursday Notice to quit: WWII’s effects on the bach community

Rangitoto is best known for its historic bach homes, however, WWII introduced a new purpose for this island: military defence. With the threat of invasion at Auckland Harbour, Rangitoto was declared a “Prohibited Area” and was used as a harbour defence fire control and radar station.

The New Zealand Herald, 30 September 1941

The New Zealand Herald, 30 September 1941

Beginning in 1939, bach owners on the western end of the island were instructed to evacuate (with the exception of a few year-round residents). By October 1941 the entire island community was given orders to leave. Despite these military restrictions, bach owners were allowed to visit the island on the last Sunday of every month from 10:00 to 16:30.

The Auckland Star, 3 October 1939

The Auckland Star, 3 October 1939

Although military use of the island continued up through the end of the war, by 1943 bach owners were permitted to access their homes once more. For some, the ban had been in effect for nearly four years! In response to this inconvenience, owners were compensated for lease fees paid during the period in which they were unable to access the island. /VS

The Auckland Star, 24 December 1943

The Auckland Star, 24 December 1943

#throwbackthursday Take a summer cruise on “SS Ngapuhi”

Another vessel which ended its days at the Rangitoto Island ships’ graveyard was SS Ngapuhi, built for the Northern Steam Ship Company (1900–1941). Between 1904 and 1908, it was used for summer cruises which travelled around Great Barrier Island, Hen & Chicken Islands, Whangerei, the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa Harbour, Totara North, Mangonui, Doubtless Bay, Kawau Island and Waiwera. The cruise, costing 7 pounds and including an overnight on the Friday, combined the stunning NZ scenery with fantastic food and entertainment—onboard entertainment including a library and a photography darkroom.

The Northern Steam Ship Company's annual summer cruise - SS Ngapuhi. Photo by Jones & Coleman (Auckland, N.Z.) [Postcard] (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=45582)

The Northern Steam Ship Company’s annual summer cruise – SS Ngapuhi. Photo by Jones & Coleman (Auckland, N.Z.) [Postcard] http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=45582.

The vessel was laid up in 1930, dismantled in 1941 and beached on Rangitoto Island on November 3rd 1944. /MF

#throwbackthursday Life of “Columbia” (the Showboat)

Today’s #throwbackthursday features one of the abandoned vessels on Rangitoto Island. Columbia, later known as the Showboat, was a four-masted schooner constructed in 1899 in Washington, USA. In the earlier years of its life, the vessel was employed in the timber trade around the North Pacific. In 1926, the ship sailed to Napier, New Zealand, with a cargo of timber. In September of the same year, the ship was purchased by the Devonport Ferry Company and sailed to Auckland to be converted into a coal hulk.

The American four-masted schooner Columbia, which has been purchased by the Devonport Ferry Company. Auckland Star, Volume LVIII, Issue 230, 28 September 1926, Page 8

The American four-masted schooner Columbia, purchased by the Devonport Ferry Company. Auckland Star, Volume LVIII, Issue 230, 28 September 1926, Page 8

During this conversion, the vessel was stripped of useful material including, sails, rigging, and machinery. The vessel was then moored in Freeman’s Bay, Auckland and there it would stay for another 9 years. Freeman’s Bay became know as ‘Rotten Row’ due to the number of moored hulks.

Crane dismantling Columbia 1926. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19448, 2 October 1926, Page 13

Crane dismantling Columbia 1926. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19448, 2 October 1926, Page 13

Stripping the vessel of anything useful. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19452, 7 October 1926, Page 13

Stripping the vessel of anything useful. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXIII, Issue 19452, 7 October 1926, Page 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 9th December 1935, Columbia was once again sold and this time converted into a floating cabaret. It seemed like a good business idea at the time, however the venture was never successful. The business changed hands twice and the vessel was subjected to a suspected sabotage attack where it sunk while moored at the Eastern Reclamation.

Columbia Hulk being converted into the Showboat. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXII, Issue 22287, 9 December 1935, Page 8

Columbia hulk being converted into the Showboat. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXII, Issue 22287, 9 December 1935, Page 8

New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXV, Issue 22976, 2 March 1938, Page 17

Floating cabaret sinks at the Eastern Reclamation. New Zealand Herald, Volume LXXV, Issue 22976, 2 March 1938, Page 17

In 1938, with the cabaret no longer making a profit, the decision was made to sell the vessel for demolition. When the deadline for tenders closed on the 16th September 1938, it seemed no one wanted to touch it. The decision was then made to tow the vessel to the Rangitoto Island ships’ graveyard. On 27th October 1938, the vessel went up in flames. /KB

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19381102-44-2

Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19381102-44-2

#throwbackthursday Islington Bay

Today’s #throwbackthursday features the bach community of Islington Bay. You can see the increase of baches between 1936 and 1954. These aerial photographs are both taken from above Motutapu Island. /MF

Image

Islington Bay, Rangitoto Island, Auckland. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-55956-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22830615.

Image

Rangitoto Island and Islington Bay, Auckland. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-34368-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22722088.