Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

15 February 2010

Open 7 Days 6. Clevedon Dairy

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.

Main Road, Clevedon, Auckland.
Proprietors: Ben and Julie Pohatu

While the crumbling paintwork and undulating boards of the Clevedon Dairy might excite the artist and titillate the historian, they don’t do much for the Pohatus, who plan to pull the building down and create a new complex.
Julie Pohatu reports that the store was built on this site around 1900 by G. McKenzie, who combined it with a billiards room. The game must have been popular with the local lads, for a later owner, T Murray, added a second billiards room and living quarters. The range of services has waxed and waned over the years; at one time the premises included a barber’s salon and at another, apparently, BNZ banking services. The click of billiards balls ceased in June 1936, since when, presumably, youth has not been misspent!

The Clevedon area was already an important supplier of dairy products for the Auckland market by the late 1850s, but it was more formally settled ten years later, after the Waikato land wars, mainly by immigrant Scots who were allocated parcels of land confiscated from local tribes who had fought against the British.

Nowadays it retains a feeling of rural peacefulness that contrasts pleasantly with the bustle of Manukau and Auckland cities. Clevedon is neatly placed as a watering hole for traffic going out from Papakura to nearby beaches. To the north lie Duders Beach and Maraetai, while the right fork leads east, past the historic McNichol homestead, to the pretty resorts of Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point.
For years the Clevedon Dairy has served as an oasis for travellers, providing meals and refreshments as well as general groceries. Now, recognising the needs of people on the move, Ben and Julie have extended their repertoire to include takeaways.


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By Don Donovan