Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

17 November 2009

Goldfields Hotel, Roxburgh

I wrote and illustrated ‘The Good Old Kiwi Pub’. It was published in 1995 and was a snapshot of some New Zealand pubs as they were at the end of the 20th century. I have decided to share some of the entries from the book from time to time on this blog.

Yellow and square as a block of butter, it’s the brightest thing in Scotland Street, the main highway through Roxburgh. It hasn’t always been yellow and its shape has probably altered over the years: it’s certainly changed its name for when it was established around 1870, it was called the Queens Head.

It became the Goldfields Hotel thirty years later, had a ‘face-lift’ in 1912, a pool room was added in the 1960s, followed by a dining room in the ’70s but then, in August 1992, there was a serious fire which burned out the roof of the bar and damaged some of the guest rooms. Although major re-furbishment was necessary on the inside, the outside of the pub was undamaged. As a reward for its sufferings, it was given a much deserved coat of new yellow paint.

These days, Roxburgh is all about fruit orchards - particularly apricots - and the hydro-electric power station north of the town. But Roxburgh (its first name was Teviot) was born out of the Otago gold rushes. Gold was first discovered in 1862 when two young men, Andrew Young and James Woodhouse, searching with two companions for colours in the area, did a little prospecting in the river while their clothes were hanging to dry in the bushes. They found such rich deposits that they precipitated a gold rush that lasted until the later dredging boom petered out in the 1920s.

Old goldfields water wheel
Be careful where you put your car in Scotland Street: if, inadvertently, you take Geordie’s carpark outside the Goldfields Hotel (his name is painted on the kerb, he’s parked there for 42 years) it’ll cost you a fine of one jug of beer; the proceeds to St John’s Ambulance.


No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive

Hits Counter


Loaded Web

Blog Directory for Albany, New Zealand


Blog This Here

Blog Flux

Commentary blogs
Blog Directory


  • <$BlogCommentAuthor$> // <$BlogCommentDateTime$>


By Don Donovan