Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

25 April 2010

Open 7 Days 31. Fairfield Stores, Dunedin

I wrote and illustrated ‘Open 7 Days’. It was published in 1991. It’s a series of freeze-frames of some historic New Zealand general and convenience stores as they were preserved in the last decade of the 20th century. Bit by bit, on this blog, I re-publish some of the entries from that book.



FAIRFIELD STORES
37 Main Road, Fairfield, Dunedin.
Proprietors: Alan and Joy Deuchrass
One doesn’t have to search hard for the origins of this store – James Loudon clearly had a sense of history and proudly dated the commencement of an establishment that he, correctly, expected to last many years. As at 1990 he is not forgotten, and that’s more than may be said about most people who were around in AD1881!

Alan Deuchrass says that Loudon ran it as a general store and post office, making deliveries as far afield as Taieri Mouth by horse and cart – a round trip that could take two days. Loudon might have relished the odd night away – he shared the house next door with his wife and twelve daughters!

Loudon fades from the scene about 1916, after which there were numerous owners until Alan and Joy (who, incidentally, was a member of the national champion women’s bowling pair in 1990) took over in 1982. There their three children grew up and, until they left home, played their part in running this typical neighbourhood family store.
Inevitably the buildings have been modified over the years; a hay loft at the back became living quarters. A bacon-curing business was carried on at one stage, and Alan thinks the sides may have been hung in a large room he found under a trap door in the kitchen floor. Although there was extensive mining in the surrounding area, James Loudon would not permit it under the store, which has therefore never been affected by subsidence; clearly he was a man of considerable influence and foresight.

© DON DONOVAN
donovan@ihug.co.nz
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RANDOM SAMPLINGS F...
By Don Donovan