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Little bit of history found in pavilion wall

A little treasure has been found tucked away in a wall of the Havelock North Cricket Pavilion, dating back to 1938.

As befitting a memento left by the original builders it is plain: Just their four names, the fact that they were the builders and contractors, and the date pencilled onto a piece of tongue and groove. It was then placed into a “Mitchell’s Prize Crop Tobacco” tin and tucked into a side wall of the kitchen area.

The message on the wood reads: Arthur Clapperton; J A Gardner; D Joll; A Lindsay: Builders and Contractors: 1/9/38.

It has seen the light once more between then and now, almost 10 years ago when alterations were done to the kitchen. Builder Trevor Ellmers must have found the tin, realised it was a little treasure, added his employers business card with his name and the date on the back, and tucked it back into the wall again.

The tin was found by Atkins Construction builder and site foreman Ernest Harding on Thursday (October 6). He rang Hastings District Council with the news.

He said he found it as he worked on the refurbishment of the building and hoped it would be put back into the wall, perhaps with another business card with the current crop of builders’ names on it. “It was pretty neat to find it and we would like to see it carry on being inside the wall. It should be a long time before someone finds it again as this sort of work doesn’t happen that often.”

At the end of August the pavilion was moved from its old home on the Karanema Dr side of the Havelock North Domain to the Te Mata Rd side of the park. The shift is part of the once-in-a-lifetime rejuvenation of the public space, which is being renamed the Village Green.

It had been intended to leave the pavilion where it was, however the public asked that it be moved to a more central position and offered to fundraise half the estimated $300,000 it added to the $1.5 million cost of the project.

The “lion’s share” of the extra cash had been raised and the building was moved into its new position August 31.

One wing of the building will house the Toy Library and Plunket while the other will be new public toilets. On the park side, stepped down decks into the park are being added.

Work on the plan is running on budget and on time, with most of the new facilities expected to be completed by mid-December, weather permitting, said Hastings District Council parks manager Colin Hosford.

Public consultation on what should be included in the Village Green was held last year. The plan includes a new playground with children’s water play area, sun shades, a revamped skate area and new seating and tables. The once-in-a-generation revamp will also include spaces for outdoor entertainment, and gathering places that will encourage the generations to mix; things like table tennis tables and built-in chess boards.


4 October 2017

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