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Our Cambridge Collection has changing exhibitions about Cambridge.  Much of our collection is in storage to ensure its preservation for future generations.


100 Years: 1905 Jan – Dec

January 1905

“The old year did not pass out without a parting sob.” It rained for three days but many people were “promenading the principle thoroughfares” on New Year’s Eve. “When the hour of midnight arrived, the Band struck up a farewell tune to 1904 and St Andrew’s bells rang out a parting peal.”

Cambridge Oddfellows’ second annual sports on Victoria Square were nearly postponed as the “atmospheric conditions were decidedly of a wintry nature. The afternoon broke fine, although heavy winds blew across the ground, and one or two light showers fell”. About 700 people braved the elements.

Mr C C Tarrant (one of 16 farmers at Maungatautari) sold his farm for £3 15s an acre.

E A Jones resigned as Captain of the Fire Brigade and T Kite was appointed in his place. The Cambridge Anglers’ Club fenced in about 30 yards of the water-race by the water tower for a trout nursery and the Borough Council gave 10/- for £1 subsidy (up to £10) to get it up and running.

Mrs Bartlett moved her nursing home to ‘Treborough House’ formerly occupied by H J Davys – corner Queen and Lake Streets.

Cambridge Borough Council was considering asphalting Victoria and Duke Street footpaths and would go ahead – providing applicants guaranteed half the cost of the work. They were also looking at curbing at 2/- a foot – but funds weren’t available.

70 members and friends turned out when Mrs Sarah Earl started the ball rolling at the new Croquet Club on George Hewitt’s lawn in Queen Street .

His Excellency, Lord Plunket, Governor of New Zealand, accompanied by Lady Plunket paid an official visit to Cambridge. Union Jacks and NZ Ensigns were unfurled to the breeze and there was a good display of bunting. The party visited the Cambridge Domain, St Andrews Church then travelled around the Pukerimu and Pukekura districts. Lord Plunket was most impressed with the dairy farms. They stayed overnight at the National Hotel and the following day visited Te Waikato Sanatorium.

In Fencourt, the settlers who at this time had leased their land for 999 years, came to realise that they had to form a Drainage Board (under the provisions of the Land Drainage Act) to get financial help from the government to help drain their farms.

Preparations were made for the second Annual A & P Show and a number of newly invented milking machines were to be on show. The Maungatautari Racing and Athletic Sports were being more properly organised this year with more prizes and a varied programme. The local turnip growers were hoping for a bit more rain.

The Cambridge Library had spent £52 13/- on 211 new books over the previous year. The Borough Council sold its piano and gave the money, £32 1/-, to the Library as a nucleus for a new library building fund.

The Gricedale (Roto-o-Rangi Estate) correspondent reported that – “The want of a mail service in our thriving district is badly felt”. They either had to journey to Cambridge or rely on the butcher or baker for deliveries. They had 13 suppliers to the creamery and the school was to be opened shortly. A recent social was delayed as the pianist, Mrs R Simpson, had an accident when a wheel came off her buggy and she had to walk to the school.

The contractors for the High Level Bridge offered to make a name-plate and the Council wanted to keep away from Governors and Premiers. ‘Constant Reader’ thought the name Kotahitanga (Unity) was euphonious and pretty. ‘Old Resident’ thought ‘Victoria ‘ was a pleasant sounding name.

Anniversary Day was spent with bowls and tennis, the Methodist choir had a picnic at Chas Lake’s Fencourt property, there was a trip to the Hora Hora Rapids, there were trout and deer stalking expeditions and picnics in the country.

Fitzgerald’s Circus set up their tent on an allotment near the railway and the Australian wombat created as much interest as the wild animals. Clowns created merriment, the trapeze and wire walking were much applauded and the performing horses and dogs seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the audience.

A crowd assembled at the fountain and cheered the cyclists who had raced from Hamilton. Ireland came in first in 48 minutes 59 seconds and C Hally second.


February 1905

“Telephonic communication is now established between the Cambridge Post Office and Cambridge West.”

The Cambridge Dramatic Society outdid themselves with a performance of ‘A Life’s Revenge’ at the Alexandra Hall. Frank Grist put on a memorable performance as Humpy Logan, Joe Richards was the villain and Charles Boyce the suffering husband. Miss Alice Hanlin’s acting was full of naturalness and force and Miss Ada Boyce as Lettie Lightfoot had many chances of fine comedy acting.

Although improvements were being carried out to the road to Te Waikato Sanatorium, Miss Beck and Miss Blackburn were upset out of their buggy over a 30 foot cliff. Fortunately help was near and they were rescued.

A correspondent mused about ‘Gas or Electricity for Cambridge’. “And think, sir, what a thing of beauty and of joy, amid the blackness of the night, would be the gleam and glow of that delicate arch [bridge] spanning the eddying river – lit up with a double row of incandescent lamps?”

The local photographer, Lionel Isherwood produced a photo album of 16 Cambridge views and they were selling for 2 shillings a copy. Lionel also took photos of all the Cambridge Co-operative Dairy Company’s creameries in the district.

The courtcase of a local rape was gaining momentum and the Independent sent its own reporter to Auckland. 33 witnesses, including the town’s two doctors, were waiting in Auckland for the case to be called.

Master Edward Hally had a narrow escape from drowning in the Waikato River, and five year old Carl McDermott was severely burnt about his arms and legs when he set fire to a tent. The seven year old son of Mr Wynyard was thrown from his horse and had his scalp torn over his skull to the back of his neck.

The ladies were out practising cricket as they were about to have a fun game to raise money for the Fire Brigade. Their male opponents (from the Dramatic Society) were to bowl left handed and wear skirts.

A start was made on tarring and sanding the footpath in Victoria Street from Alpha Street to R T Tudehope’s store.

Hautapu School put on their annual concert with action songs, solos and recitations. The room had a new coat of paint and was decorated with evergreens and flowers. The money raised went to prizes for the pupils.

The Cambridge Musical Society started practising for the operatic cantata ‘Phyllis The Farmer’s Daughter’.

A correspondent brings up a point against owners of dogs who allow their pets to follow them to church. “For in the most cases they find their way inside, to the great discomfort and annoyance to those who are near them.”

The Editorial with regards to the upcoming local elections listed a programme for consideration – Introduction of gas or electricity; Erection of new Council Chambers and Library; Removal of Saleyards from the centre of town; Re-erection of the Post Office; Re-erection of the Courthouse.

The cricket match – Dramatic Society vs Ladies – saw the men in ladies skirts and the latest styles in feminine headgear. They not only bowled left handed but were only able to catch the ball with one hand. And still they outdid the Ladies, 79 runs to 59. £7 was raised towards the Fire Brigade funds.

All the local churches were decorated for harvest festivals. A movement was on foot to raise subscriptions for the erection of a band rotunda. And W Potts shot a 4 foot 7 inch eel, at Hora Hora Rapids, weighing 25 lbs.

McDermott’s Biograph Company attracted a large attendance at the Alexandra Hall showing scenes of the Russo-Japanese war. “The pictures were remarkably clear and distinct, and there was an absence of ‘flickering’ on the canvas.”

To Let – Furnished House 15 shillings per week. Cottage 9 shillings per week.

For Sale – Double Buggy £25. Milk Waggon £19.

Wanted – at once, Diggers to lift 7 acres potatoes, good price per sack.


March 1905

Builders Potts and Hardy had the contract to build the Presbyterian Church at Paterangi. Marcroft started work on the new Cambridge Lock-up and stables for the Police Department. The Salvation Army were feeling cramped and were making plans for new Barracks. And the contract for the new high level bridge was about to be signed.
“The dismal and decrepit structure which does duty as the Courthouse was originally used by the Armed Constabulary as a barracks.”
The newly invented Lawrence-Kennedy Milking Machines were on display at the local show. At the cost of about £75 (for one Pulsator and the power to run it) one man could then milk 25 cows an hour – the work of three men. Points in favour of the new Milking Machines were – They will work without getting tired; they will not kick or otherwise abuse the cows; they will not clear out during holidays; they are thoroughly clean; and do not require feeding and lodging in the house. They eliminate the undesirable employment of children. They are effective and economical.

The second annual Waikato Central Agricultural Association Show was held over two days at the Racecourse. “It was an ideal summer’s day, and nature shone out in all its loveliness”. One of the judges (R B Hamilton from Taranaki) was greatly impressed with the district. He had visited forty years ago when there were no roads, no bridges and no houses. In those days they had to ford the swamps.
As well as entries for horses, cattle, sheep and pigs there were also awards for butter, bread, scones, produce, horticulture and wood chopping. £605 was given in prize money. “A pleasing feature was the number of entries from the smaller farmer who was beginning to appreciate the value of a well-bred cow” – a tribute to the adaptability of the Waikato for dairying purposes.
Shopkeepers were exceedingly wrath as a dust storm raged and covered their goods for sale with “a thick coating of a mixed variety of street refuse”.
The burial ground at Cambridge West was gazetted as a public cemetery. The original 7 acres increased to 13½ acres and the howling wilderness cleared and greatly improved.

St Patrick’s Day was a holiday and the Maungatautari races were a popular attraction. 300 to 400 people attended the horse racing and sports events in perfect weather. Goodwood School also held their picnic at Fencourt on William Qualtrough’s property.

Notice –
“A reward of £2 is offered to any person who will give information which will lead to the conviction of any youths interfering with the Trout Hatchery, or molesting the fish. W V Dixon, Secretary Anglers’ Society.”
The mayor, Thos Wells, went to Wellington with Mr H L Jones (attorney for the American Bridge Co) to finalise arrangements for the high level bridge, with the Public Works Department.
The combined branches of the Farmers’ Union held their annual picnic at Ruakura Experimental Farm. “Visitors from this district were conveyed thither in Messrs Crowther and Bell’s waggonettes”. Hot water and milk were provided.
Only one ton of butter was being produced daily from the Hautapu factory owing to the dry weather and the scarcity of food.

For Sale –
Suburban section; delightful situation and view; consisting of 15 acres; high level land; wire fenced with new small cottage; buggy shed; fowl house; good water. 15 minutes’ drive to Cambridge P.O. £445. One third cash, balance on mortgage of 5%.

J T Henshaw of the Waipuna Cordial Factory [formerly Hallys’ Brewery] disposed of his business to Mr Amos of Tauranga.
At the opening of the Auckland Freezing Works at Penrose the local farmers were able to see the works running. The first bullock killed belonged to Richard Reynolds of Cambridge and had been exhibited at the local show.

W R C Walker had taken over the command of D Squadron of the No 3 Waikato Mounted Rifles in Cambridge. “He was sorry to say that there were a number of men who were of no use to the company; they neither attended parades or the shooting practices. He wanted to get rid of those men”.
Ratepayers who had not paid their current rates were not only liable for an additional 10% but would not be able to vote in the upcoming local body elections.

April 1905

Mr W F Buckland had two variegated chrysanthemum blooms (‘Henry Perkins’ and ‘Rosy Morn’) on show in a local shop window – one was eight inches across and the other ten inches. He was a leading prizewinner at the Auckland Chrysanthemum Show and advocated the refining influence of the love of flowers.

The Maungatautari Block came before the Native Commission in a dispute between the Ngatiraukawa and Ngatikoroki.
The Maungatautari Poi Dancers, who were awarded first prize at the Ngaruawahia Regatta, gave an exhibition in the Alexandra Hall.

J R S Richardson wrote to the Cambridge Road Board complaining that John McCann insisted on filling in the drain from his swamp. A Public Notice then appeared with John McCann saying that seeing J R S Richardson’s 50 acres were infested with furze he was not going to have the drain water running through his property.

W F Buckland and Thos Wells were running for Mayor and the Editorial says that the large audiences at the candidates’ speeches – “shows that the electors are fully alive to the future welfare of the borough”.

The first monument was erected in the Pukerimu Cemetery over the grave of Miss Laura Anderson who died 13 December 1904.
Cambridge Primary School roll for 1905 was 254. Both inspection and examination reports were of a highly satisfactory nature and testified to the good work done by the teaching staff. The High School, now in a specifically built room, had 25 pupils.

Wynn Brown, W H Goodwin, John Hannon, Andrew Jamieson and Robert Swayne were elected to the Board of Trustees for the Fencourt Drainage Board.
A new lockup was built at the police station and the old lockup turned into a stable for the constable’s horse.
‘Maid Marion’ wrote suggesting that it maybe time to have one or two lady candidates for the office of Borough Councillors. (18 men were standing for the 9 positions.) ‘Draw the Line’ replied that women would be “out of place” in Council and nine out of ten men could not respect a woman who would abdicate her sphere in life for his.

The telephone service started in Cambridge at 9 o’clock on the morning of 15 April. Farmers could connect a private wire to the Exchange wire with an annual charge of £5 per subscriber.
Farewell services were given for Rev S J Gibson of the Methodist Church and a welcome was tended to Rev W Beck. Adjutant Brown of the Salvation Army was on his way to Wellington to hear General Booth. St Pauls held weekly meetings of the Christian Endeavour Society.
The results were regularly reported for bowls, croquet, Waikato Mounted Rifles, tennis and gymnastics. Reports were also run on the Orchestral Society, the Drama Society and the Band.
The Kaiser had a dream – to separate France and England; to induce Italy to repeat her flirtation with France; to dictate terms to France. The ideas were frustrated though, owing to Britain’s attitude.

Eighteen candidates came forward for 9 Borough Council seats. W F Buckland won the mayoral race from Thos Wells – 198 to 193. (One lady was escorted from the polling booth by the man in blue, after getting into an argument with her husband.) Soon after, Mr Wells announced his retirement from public life.

All the householders met to elect committees for the various schools in the districts. At the Cambridge School the chairman was deplored by the apathy of only 25 pupils enrolling in the High School. The mayor hoped that in the future the benefits of higher education would be more appreciated than what they had been in the past.
W J White’s tender of £3 12s 6d was accepted for two kissing gates at the Cambridge West Domain. J Chambers and A White complained about a hole in Hemans Street as “they found it impossible to wend their way home on dark nights without falling into it”.

May 1905

The Chrysanthemum Society’s fourteenth annual show had 411 entries. The results indicated that the gardens of Joseph Chambers, Miss Ewen, Tom Richards, the Wells, Sharkey, Richardson, Willis, Roberts and Brooks families – must have been putting on a beautiful show.
It was coming into winter and 27 businesses advertised that they were going to close at 5.30pm from May to August. Once one left Victoria and Duke Street the town was in darkness.
Mr C Boyce of the Victoria Bakery had a new bakehouse built – double the size of the old one which had served the town for 25 years. The two new ovens were capable of holding 350 and 250 loaves of bread respectively and two or three batches could be turned out daily. They provided special lines of milk bread, bermaline bread and pork and mutton pies.
Charles Arnold sold his butchery business (established 1867 by his father John Arnold) to William Law of Gisborne.

The St Andrews Anglican church had 200 members with an average of 117 attending Sunday services. During 1904 they had 41 baptisms, 31 confirmations, 3 marriages and 14 burials.
The Trinity Presbyterian Church had 116 named on the Communion Roll and 57 at Sunday School.
The Pros and Cons of Bible in Schools received a lively debate in the Letters to the Editor column. The Bible in Schools Referendum League came to Cambridge hoping to restore the Bible to its place in the curriculum of the public schools.
The Waikato Hunt opened its season at Hautapu running through Banks ‘Gwynnelands’, Hookers, Karls and Forrests farms. “Altogether, both horses and riders made an excellent display.” The next week was fine at Bruntwood but the following week wet at Fencourt.
A Land Commission was gathering evidence in the district on the Leasehold versus Freehold options. The local feeling was that the settlers who worked the land should have the right to purchase. And that purchasing the freehold was essential to the welfare of the farming community.

The Maungatautari School was to get a schoolhouse built by Carter and Ross for £315.
The Cambridge West School committee was concerned at the number of different books which were continually introduced into the schools by the Education Department. This was a serious tax on the purses of the parents.
Miss Hammerton, a representative of the Imperial system of dressmaking, gave sewing lessons at the St Andrews Schoolroom. An exhibition showed, a riding habit, a dark green costume, a cream voile dress, an assortment of black skirts, a tea gown and blouses.
An envelope containing three ten pound notes blew out of a window of the Sydney Government Savings Bank into the street. The clerks gave immediate chase, but failed to find them.
A local, giving his dogs some exercise in the river, was – “precipitated in to the surging Waikato. Being a good swimmer, however, he soon regained land, nothing the worse for his emersion”.

Miss Janet Russell and Miss Mary Watt were the Sunday School teachers at Hautapu and their entertainment in the school-house was a great success. There were pianoforte items, songs (solos, duets and chorus) and recitations. Then competitions of hat trimming and patching for men, nail driving for ladies, weight guessing and cookery. £6 10s was raised for the Sunday School.
For the past month Jarrett Bros had been doing an immense amount of threshing, hay-pressing and chaff-cutting in the Roto-o-Rangi, Maungatautari, Pukerimu and Pukekura districts. Splendid yields had been realised at Ed Allen’s, John Fisher’s, A Anderson’s and W Wallace’s.
At Maungatautari, Hay Bros called for tenders for clearing and ploughing 150 acres of fern land. They were about to set up a milking machine to be powered from a waterfall on their property.
A young local man shot himself (in the region of his heart) as the parents of his young lady did not favour their courtship. He was carried on a stretcher to Nurse Russel’s hospital by McFarlane, Truss, Livingstone and one or two other gentlemen who were passing at the time.

June 1905

Empire Day was observed with a holiday for the school children, closing of the two banks and unfurling the flag on the Post Office. In the evening the Cambridge Musical Society performed ‘Phyllis The Farmer’s Daughter’ to a full house.
During the interval a presentation of caps was made to the City Junior Football Club.
William Connolly (last month’s ‘affair of the heart’) made steady progress although the bullet had not been located. He declared that the shooting was an accident.
Vicar and Mrs Willis invited 120 church workers for a social evening at the Anglican schoolroom. Mr Brooks specially referred to the unseen work of the bellringers “and the hearty thanks of the meeting was accorded to them”.
At the Pukekura Road Board meeting the tender of M Strong of £2 was accepted for filling in the Maori hole in Heman Street. His tenders were also successful for re-forming 18 chain of Raleigh Street and forming 15 chain of Chaucer Street. The Cambridge West Domain Board decided to plant trees along the whole frontage of Carlyle Street.

For Sale
1 acre section. Best position in town. £100
House, 8 rooms; close to town and station; 1 acre land. £500. Terms.
Dairy Farm, Pukerimu, 111½ acres first class land; £15 per acre. £1000 can remain at 5 per cent.
Cambridge West – New House – 7 rooms, pantry and scullery; 4 acres land laid down in grass; orchard and garden; grand views. When high level bridge is built this will be close to town.
The Library committee organised a ball and because of the pelting rain the supper marquee couldn’t be used. (The food left over was sent to the Childrens’ Home in Parnell.) A few days later a Juvenile Ball was held, also for Library funds.
Again the Alexandra Hall reverberated with music as the Orchestral Society gave a concert with selections from the overture ‘Romola’, ‘The Fortune Teller’ and ‘In a Birch Canoe’.
The Cambridge Musical Society were again practising ‘Phyllis The Farmer’s Daughter’ as the first performance was so well received.

The Cambridge Fire Brigade Sports held on the Prince of Wales’ birthday, were dogged with wretched weather. “They did the best they could to interest the spectators who shivered in the wet and cold.”
The football game Cambridge West versus City saw Wests on the verge of crossing the line several times but the score ended with City 11 and West 3.

Reports from news overseas:
– M. Camille Fiammarion (the eminent French astronomer who had been studying Mars closely for thirty years) was certain it was inhabited, “and probably by people who are much more advanced than we are”.
– Dr Doyen (the Paris surgeon who was so well known for his treatment of cancer) advocated that tobacco does not cause cancer.
– The Japanese completely surprised Admiral Roshdestvensky and destroyed the Russian fleet.
F W Lang, Member of the House of Representatives for Waikato, addressed a very good attendance (including a number of ladies) at the Alexandra Hall. About sixty or seventy people took advantage of a special train, from Cambridge to Hamilton, when W F Massey, Leader of the Opposition delivered his political address.

D Squadron (Cambridge) Waikato Mounted Rifles arrived home from their week’s encampment having won the coveted Regimental Shield.
The urgent necessity of moving the Cambridge Saleyards from the centre of town was exemplified when two bullocks broke out of their pens and rushed furiously through town. “They were stopped in their wild career before any damage was done”.
An ingeniously constructed sundial, made by Mr C Reid for the Goodwood School, could be viewed at his shop in Duke Street .
The Waikato Licensing Committee met and was told by Constable McNamara that the National Hotel had only one bathroom and another was much needed. The Criterion Hotel had a defective urinal and the Masonic Hotel was having its drains seen to when he visited. Other than that the provisions in the Licensing Act had been adhered to and all licenses were renewed.
The existing By Laws for Cambridge were, in some cases obsolete and the Mayor W F Buckland offered to devote his leisure time to the task of formulating a workable set.

In the local Magistrate’s Court H Giles took R Garland to court for the trespass of pigs. William Adams had Samuel Day in Court for crossing his land (a shortcut to the creamery) and leaving the gates open. Charles Roberts and Robert Brown had a dispute with regards to a boundary fence, and Thos Watkins claimed a week’s wages of 15 shillings from John Brown.
The Cambridge Road Board decided to purchase a road machine for £100 to be ordered from America .
The bachelors of Taotaoroa prepared the supper for a social in the Karapiro school. There was a large attendance with dancing and an amusing recitition from Mr E Martin.
Mr F C Bunyard, the Borough engineer, visited thirteen towns in Manawatu, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay to collect information regarding gas works and street tarring.
The town was abuzz as two weddings took place in Cambridge – F W Stembridge to Miss Louie Hill and E Pevreal to Miss Katherine Denton. In Auckland Harold Crowther (Crowther and Bell Stables) married Miss Olive Buckland.

July 1905

At the Cambridge Borough Council meeting eight residents of the north-east corner of town complained that they did not get a daily mail and telegraph delivery as they were over a mile from the Post Office.
The residents of Chapel Street wrote asking for a properly formed footpath. The Fire Brigade sent a deputation to get more hose as the first reel had just gone to pieces.
The Fire Brigade held their first Annual Meeting and Social Gathering and recounted the history of the brigade. At 10 pm there was the vigorous ringing of the fire bell and, “notwithstanding the revelry the Brigade had been indulging in, they eclipsed all previous records in extinguishing the flames”.
A A Smith of the National Hotel wanted to run the water from his new bathroom into the street – but new Sanitary Laws wouldn’t allow it.
Many Maungatautari residents witnessed a mirage which distinctly appeared as many houses and a moving train, over the northern horizon.
Crowther and Bell secured the contract for a daily service taking mail and passengers to and from Te Waikato Sanatorium.

Te Waikato Sanatorium patients were entertained with a concert by Matron Rochfort and staff, and one of the Sisters celebrated her birthday.
Mr Matheson of Karapiro while driving past the entrenchments in Victoria Street collided with the barricade and damaged his buggy.
Councillor O’Toole said they were throwing money away doing the gravelling work in Victoria Street as it was the wrong time of the year for such work.
For nearly a year the pastoral flock of the Presbyterian Church had been without a shepherd, so it was a red letter day when Rev William Gow was inducted. A soiree and concert was held in the evening, and representatives from various religious bodies welcomed Rev Gow to the town.
George Dickinson (undertaker) moved his premises to Alpha Street, opposite Mr Wells’ residence.
William Whinwray won the prize for most points at the Hamilton Poultry Show in Black and Buff Orpingtons, Silver, Gold and White Wyandottes, Brown and White Leghorns and Minorcas.

“A pale looking young man, named William Connolly, was charged with having attempted suicide on 22 May 1905”. He pleaded guilty but didn’t think he had done anything very serious. This riled the Magistrate who said that if he was his son he would take him into a small room and flog him. He was sent to prison until he could find sureties of £50 and £25.
The Croquet Club held a Basket Social and progressive Euchre party in aid of funds. Ladies made a supper basket for two and these were auctioned, “by Mr McCullagh whose keen perceptive faculties, even into the darkest recesses of the room, his eagle eye quickly caught the nod of a bidder, and thus the baskets and their contents were knocked down with lightening like rapidity, realising a total of £4 2s 6d.”
Adjutant and Mrs Brown of the Salvation Army were transferred to Onehunga and Adjutant Styles transferred from Onehunga to Cambridge. During his seven months in Cambridge he had increased the roll by five soldiers, made 1,279 calls, held 423 meetings and left £75 towards the new barrack funds.

Witnesses in the Pearson – Beuth rape case left for Auckland for the fourth trial. It was established that Herbert Pearson and Mrs Beuth were friends but . . . Sir Robert Stout had the jury locked up for the night.
An effort was being made to improve the school grounds and the elder boys had been industriously exercising their muscle in removing two or three unsightly stumps from the grounds.
The Farmers’ Club meeting expressed concern over penniless people being sent to the Government Sanatorium and becoming a charge on this charitable aid district. The Waikato Hospital Board wrote to the government asking that the discharged persons remain a charge on the districts whence they came.
Thomas Wells was given an Illuminated Testimonial by the Council for the service he had given to the betterment of the town over the past 25 years.
James E Fulton M.I.C.E. visited the site of the proposed high level bridge with the mayor and several councillors. He was to submit rough plans and estimates on a truss bridge, an arch bridge and a cantilever bridge.

August 1905

Pearson was acquitted of rape and some people applauded. At the Sunday service at St Andrews the Vicar reminded the congregation that two previous Judges were convinced that the jury was wrong and that the complainant and family warranted the sympathy and prayer of the congregation.
Mr F B Ruge’s skills as a taxidermist were displayed in a collection of birds including kiwis, cuckoos, tuis, kingfishers and other members of the feathered tribe.
A heated debate was on at the A & P Association as to whether or not the side saddle should be prohibited. The Horse Committee recommended in favour, for girls up to 15 years old, as it was safer. It was urged that the side saddle was altogether unnatural and constrained. Dr Levinge and others however, protested against such a revolution and that the side saddle was far more graceful and dignified. “If we prohibit the side saddle for girls we might soon be prohibiting for ladies”. And the old fashioned idea remained in favour.
Mrs Robinson, on her way home from work at Tudehopes’ store, fell over a cow which was lying on the footpath in Clare Street.

Mr Jas Peppercorn announced that the price of milk was reduced to 3d per quart.
D Squadron, Waikato Mounted Rifles held their sixth annual ball with close on 300 people present. The interior of the Alexandra Hall was decorated with evergreens, bunting, mirrors and shields “enhancing the animated and picturesque spectacle of the ballroom”. The supper was in a large marquee and the ladies “expeditiously attended to the living mass of humanity”. There was also a second marquee where tired dancers could rest. “The majority of dancers kept pacing it merrily until close upon daylight”.

It was found that when the telegraph pole was replaced in front of the Post Office, the step used by ladies for remounting their horses was thoughtlessly taken away. “If the Postmaster replaced the step, he would earn the undying gratitude of the numerous horsewomen in this district”.
W N Sturges of Kaipaki, Coates Bros of Roto-o-Rangi, Hay Bros of Maungatautari and Geo Watt of Hautapu had milking machines installed on their farms.
Souter & Co had the new ‘Onward Hall’ built in Duke Street and C Boyce enlarged the Alexandra Hall.

Settlers turned out in large numbers to a working bee to improve the school grounds at Maungatautari. The ground was cleared of fern and ti-tree and then ploughed and levelled. A number of shelter trees were planted and securely fenced and wire netting provided for the vegetable garden as rabbits wiped out the last year’s efforts.
The Musical Society practiced weekly for their upcoming operatic cantata ‘Sherwood’s Queen’. The Cambridge Dramatic Society were practising for ‘The Belt of Diamonds’, the Comedy Society were practising for ‘Betsy’.
The young men of Cambridge West organised a social and dance in the Alexandra Hall and a footballers dance was held a few nights later. Both a great success. The Pukerimu Church building couldn’t hold the gathering brought together for a concert. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union meeting agreed to continue with Band of Hope work in the district.
At the Anglican Archidiaconal Conference held in Cambridge, a paper was read on ‘The Sacredness of the Marriage Tie’ because of the growing laxity in the matter and legislation had just widened the grounds of divorce.

The Cambridge Comedy Society’s performance ‘Betsy’ was staged in aid of the uniform fund for the No. 3 Waikato Mounted Rifles D Squadron. There was scarcely a dull moment during the performance and at times the audience fairly shrieked with laughter.

The Maungatautari correspondent wrote that Mr and Mrs C H Cooper entertained a large number friends at a social in the schoolroom – “If I have to report the uncourtly mishap of dancers falling en masse, it only testifies to the excellent condition of the floor”.

At the golf links, the competition for the Ladies’ Driving competition was won by Miss Jessie Brooks with 116 yards and Miss Kath Willis second with 115 yards.
Mr Thomas Wells, who had just retired from public life, was presented with a purse of 150 sovereigns. He bought himself a gold watch and handed the remainder to his wife.

Cambridge Borough Council framed stringent by-laws to prevent consumptives living in Cambridge hotels and boarding houses.
The Postal Department supplied the Letter Carrier with a bicycle to ensure a more prompt delivery of correspondence in the Borough.

The latest addition to the Telephone Exchange is No. 38, Archdeacon Willis.

Mr Bockhart’s 15 horse-power Darracq motor car passed through Cambridge on a tour from Auckland to Bluff.
All that remained of the old Maori settlement of Rawehitiki was a meeting house, capable of seating 500 people and a number of deserted whares. This was the Maori Parliament of the 1890s and where the newspaper Te Paki o Matariki was published.

‘Street Loungers’ amused themselves in slaying an army of fat rats, as Mr C Roberts’ butcher shop was demolished in Victoria Street.
James E Fulton, engineer submitted his draft plans on the high level bridge to Council, supporting the cantilever type bridge.

Miss May Stewart, handsomely attired in a pretty grey voile dress and cream chiffon hat trimmed with ostrich feather, married Mr Jas Pyne. Miss Sarah Ritchie, who looked charming in a dress of blue cloth and hat to match, married Mr Robert Newcombe. Miss Mercy Chester, tastefully attired in a cream cashmere costume and the usual veil, married Mr Charles Denton.

September 1905

Hall Street was considered by many people as the entrance to the Showground and the Borough Council was asked to replace the dead trees with live ones.
Settlers in the Fencourt Estate district were engaged in stumping, ploughing and clearing, and an air of prosperity and contentment pervaded.
Mr T Dagg of Cambridge West, assisted by several drovers, took 700 head of cattle from Tirau through to Gisborne by road. Over the 19 day trip they only lost nine.
Miss A S Rochefort, late Matron of Te Waikato Sanatorium, was farewelled with an address and gifts from the staff and patients.
Strayed from Hinuera – a big dark red cow. Likely to be straying back to Ohaupo.
Wanted – Married Couple; wife to cook for four men, man to do carting and general work.
Wanted – Girl for Matamata, able to do plain cooking.
“A heavy thunderstorm passed over the district at 3:30 o’clock interrupting proceedings at the stock sale and making locomotion disagreeable.”

Something new for Cambridge was a Winter Fête in aid of funds for a Primitive Methodist Church in Cambridge. Families helping out were Lockett, Cudworth, Palmer, Jamieson, Beer, Anderson, C Reid, Brindle, Care, Gladding, Keeley, Ollard and Nicholson. The Alexandra Hall depicted an Old Country winter scene with snowflakes falling upon a nicely laid out garden. There was a concert the first night and a novel entertainment ‘Around the Campfire’ by a number of young men, the second night.
The local Anglers met to arrange the liberation of 25,000 rainbow trout fry. It was resolved to pay one shilling per head for the destruction of shags.
The Cambridge Assemblies, a series of dances, concluded at the Alexandra Hall with ‘powder and patch’ adding to the gaiety. “The scene, when the dancing was in full progress, was an animated one and a sight worth witnessing.”
Mrs James Hally was the hostess for three of the dances and Mrs James Taylor hostess for the fourth. The supper was light and appetising, all the provisions being of the best quality, and the dainties made by capable hands.

The new by-laws came into force and an Editorial ran – “People who have been in the habit of taking undue liberties with the public thoroughfares had better turn over a new leaf or else they will find themselves adding to the revenue in fines and costs, to say nothing of the time wasted in interviewing a stern and unsympathetic magistrate in the depressing atmosphere and gloom of a dirty old Courthouse. Driving horses at a furious pace along the roads and footpaths may be capital and thrilling sport for warm blooded young men, especially when ladies are in the way, but the question naturally arises whether the life and limb of those on foot is worth a moment’s consideration, or whether pedestrians should be requested to stay in doors when reckless and dashing horsemen are frolicking about.”
The Cambridge Camera Club wound up and handed £1 5s 6d to the Salvation Army.
Mr A Manson held a competition to name his new restaurant and picked ‘Noumai’ from about 100 suggestions.
The display of draught horses at the recent Horse Sale was equal to anything seen in the large centres.

The Catholic Fancy Fair held in the Alexandra Hall was a decided success with a bevy of energetic young ladies disposing of many useful and ornamental articles. The public was also entertained with a musical programme and competitions.
A novelty of interest to the fair sex in Mr A Beuth’s shop, was a saddle made specially for ladies who wore a divided skirt.
There were complaints of unruly behaviour by some of the young fellows of Cambridge West while attending a recent concert. The larrikin element interrupted proceedings with hisses and silly remarks until order was restored.
J L S Richardson auctioned his well known hunter ‘Comus’ and got £27.
Three shillings was the highest bid the local pound keeper got for a chestnut mare.
At the local Horse Fair which had been running for a fortnight, Mr William Hawkins bought upwards of 160 horses for the Indian market.
It was reported that Messrs Death Bros had sold part of their estate adjoining the Hora Hora rapids, to the Waihi Gold Mining Company for an electric power house.

October 1905

There was an abundance of Situations Vacant in October 1905 – Courts wanted a Girl to learn the trade. Mrs McVeagh wanted an apprentice dressmaker. W D Cheyne was looking for a lady cook for Te Aroha. Dixon’s Boarding House wanted ‘a boy to milk and drive to factory’. J Ferguson wanted a strong boy for the Blacksmith Shop.
It was recorded – ‘The countenances of old age pensioners wore a very pleasing smile when the aged ones lined up at the Post Office for payment under the new scale viz., 10s per week’.
The Inspector’s report for the Cambridge District High School read as follows :- ‘Compulsory subjects: reading, composition, spelling, singing, physical instruction – very good; writing – excellent; recitation, arithmetic, drawing, geography, history – good; moral instruction and health – satisfactory. Additional subjects: handiwork – very good; nature study, elementary science and needlework – good’.
An old man named Henry Brierly was charged with vagrancy in the local court. Brierly had called at the local police station and demanded to be locked up. He said he was too old to work and he preferred a term in Mt Eden. His request was acceded to – three months with hard labour.

Inspector Crowe’s report on the Primary School was, ‘Exceedingly creditable work was shown in this division in all subjects of instruction. Order, discipline and tone of the school very good. The school is exceedingly well taught, and is in a very high state of efficiency.’
‘A mild agitation is now on foot to form a Chamber of Commerce in Cambridge.’
Thos Hartly, who had been Town Clerk of Cambridge since 1902, resigned. His position was advertised at £150 per year – and the applicant was not to undertake any outside work.
Robert Tudehope displayed in his shop window a ‘novel naval show’ – three masts with miniature flags representing Nelson’s famous battle signal as flown 100 years previously at the Battle of Trafalgar.
A hail storm left the business area stranded with miniature lakes forming in low areas and a stream running beside the primary school. ‘The borough workmen immediately set to work relieving the channels.’
‘The charming little operatic cantata, ‘Robin Hood’ was produced by the Cambridge Musical society at the Alexandra Hall last evening. Notwithstanding the wretched weather, there was a large and appreciative audience.’

The Cambridge Musical Society’s performance of ‘Robin Hood’ reflected great credit on the producers Fawcett Rowe and J H Edwards. The audience, good-naturedly overlooked any shortcomings but the choruses were on a whole bright and tuneful, particularly in ‘Secluded Midst the Hawthorne Grove’, ‘Up Ye Merry Men’, and ‘Oh Happy Man’. The orchestra comprised Miss R Nixon – piano, Mrs Pilcher, Misses Pilcher, Sturges (2) and Boyce (2) – violins, Messrs C & T Boyce – cornets, Mr C S Stuart – clarinet, and Mr A Boyce – bass.
New By-Laws relating to the ‘pulmonary patient’ were no spitting in the borough, no tents for consumptive patients, and no hotel or boarding house keeper was allowed to house a consumptive patient.
13 businessmen met on 13 October and a Chamber of Commerce was formed in Cambridge with F J Brooks as chairman. It was decided that the Chamber would concentrate on commercial subjects and the Farmers’ Club could deal with their own affairs. Borough loans, railway, postal, the curse of the credit system and holidays were all subjects to be discussed.

About 20 persons attended a meeting held at the Masonic Hotel to form a Cycling Club. Mr Arnold Wilkinson presided and they set to and organised a road race.
The Trafalgar Centenary was discussed at the Chamber of Commerce meeting and Mr Tudehope thought the schools and Volunteers should be involved. Mr G E Clark thought it was in extremely bad taste to ‘crow’ over a fallen enemy and that the English and French had only just got on good terms. The Mayor thought that if they could celebrate Guy Fawkes there was no problem celebrating Nelson’s famous win.
There was another important meeting – the Borough Loan Proposal meeting. Perhaps the Musical Society could lighten the atmosphere and parade the streets in their ‘Robin Hood’ costumes?
At the annual Tennis Club’s meeting considerable discussion arose over the cost of balls. They spent £2 2/7d and at one stage the treasurer could not get any for love nor money. ‘Members showed gross carelessness in the regard to the use and care of the balls, and some means should be devised whereby members shall be held individually responsible.’


November 1905

The District High School was the scene for celebrating the Trafalgar Centenary on 20 October. The school children and Cadets lined up and the Mayor delivered a short address on Lord Nelson’s achievements. T F Rowe sang ‘Death of Nelson’ and the National Anthem, and the students spent the rest of the day picnicking at Maungakawa. One or two local businesses flew a flag and the Banks were closed.
The Cambridge Croquet Club held the season’s opening at their lawns in Queen Street and the Cambridge Musical Society started practicing ‘The Messiah’ for a Christmas Service.
Breaches to the new By-laws were before the Cambridge Police Court, and Susan Hanlin, William McMillan, Jas Young and Ezra Brockelsby were fined for allowing cattle to roam the streets at night. (Mrs Robinson, who fell over a cow in Clare Street on her way home from work one night, was probably quite pleased.)

The Chamber of Commerce were to write to the Postmaster General, ‘to use all possible expedition in regard to erecting the new Post-office in Cambridge.’ The members also agreed with the Council’s £10,000 Loan Proposal – except Thos Wells who admitted the works would be of a progressive nature, but it would mean increased rates.
Mrs Ann Webb, who was an original settler to Cambridge in 1864, died aged 74 years.
Mr E B Hill, chemist thanked his customers of the last seven years and informed them he had sold to J M Jefferson.
The headmaster at the District High School got an increase of £50 a year with the passing of the Teachers’ Superannuation Bill. The majority of compositions on the Loan Proposal by the High School students were in favour of the proposal.
The Chairman of the Cambridge Road Board announced that the road grader had arrived and had been placed in a shed, erected for the purpose, near the surfaceman’s house at Fencourt.

The opponents to the £10,000 Loan Proposal (according to all the letters to the Editor) had no problem with advancing Cambridge – but did not want their rates to rise. New works were – Gas Installation, Road Tarring, Water Supply and new Saleyards.
H Vandyke waxed lyrical :-

Venables, Wilkin – son and Co,
Verily think they ought to know,
But neither figures seem to tally
With Councillor Clark or Councillor Hally.
Let’s sink the difference and be wise
No longer doubt, or point or parry,
Be on your metal, strike while hot,
Improve our town, improve our lot.
Sons and sire, what can ye show
Ye surely must have gone too slow.
Awake! ‘tis time now to advance
With loan proposals, song and dance.

The poll results were 162 for, 92 against and 1 informal.

About 234 tickets were issued at the Cambridge Railway Station to the Hamilton Show and another 100 tickets were issued from the intermediate stations.
King Edward V11 64th birthday was observed with a holiday and a number of flags were flown. As well as visiting the Hamilton Show there were fishing, shooting, and a concert and fireworks at Te Waikato Sanatorium.
Another effort was being made to form a cricket club in town – two or three enthusiasts had the matter in hand.
Souter & Co, with characteristic enterprise, imported a lot of up to date fishing tackle. Nothing to equal the display had been seen in these parts before. And not long after it was reported that Dr Roberts had landed three decent trout near the Karapiro bridge.
The recently formed Cycling Club held their Plain and Fancy Dress Parade with about twenty five cyclists taking part. Arthur Popple dressed as ‘Night and Day’, Francis Higgins ‘Parson’, Jock Richardson ‘Lady’, Jim Webber ‘Russian Prince’, John Byrne ‘The New Woman’, Charles Ruge ‘Sailor Boy’, Frank Grist ‘Highlander’ and Vincent Plescher ‘Irishman’.

The monthly Band of Hope gathering at the Methodist Church had a programme of songs, recitations and readings. This youth group advocated Temperance and performed an item encouraging voters to ban alcohol at the upcoming election.
The Cambridge Dramatic society performed ‘East Lynne’ to a good audience in the Alexandra Hall. McDermott’s Biograph Company showed ‘The Trials of a Policeman’ and ‘The Lost Child’ – both comedies – the audience, ‘being quite mystified by the wonderful illusion of films.’
The Westminster Glee and Concert Company entertained – ‘It is safe to say that never before in the history of the town have the residents been treated to such a rich musical treat.’
The bakers in Cambridge have decided to raise the price of bread to 3½d for the 2 lb loaf for cash and 4d if booked.
Football – The New Zealanders at ‘Home’ – The overseas papers referred to the ‘electrifying display of the colonial backs, and the individual efforts of the players, backed up by good combinations.’ ‘The visit of the colonials is arousing an astonishing amount of enthusiasm.’
The Fancy Fair and Rose Show promised a weight guessing competition, a nail driving competition, maypole dancing, the Cambridge Brass Band and a concert in the evening

December 1905

At the Anglican Fancy Fair and Rose Show, Thos Wells took 8 first prizes and 2 second prizes in the Pot Plant section and Miss H Wells took five prizes in the cut flowers. The ‘Twelve Varieties of Roses’ prize went to Dr Douglas – but then Dr Douglas was the judge!
Members of the No-License Movement were out campaigning. Mr Watkins addressed a large crowd at the Fountain and subjected to a little ‘barrack’ from a number of youths. ‘The Town Band enlivened the proceedings with one or two spirited selections.’
Mr Lang M.H.R. and Mr H J Greenslade were addressing the masses as candidates for the upcoming elections. They met their constituents at the local creameries, schoolrooms and halls. On polling night the Post Office was open from 7pm to 2am and the results were posted at the Waikato Independent office where the Cambridge Band played a number of selections.
The Maungatautari school was closed for two weeks as the teacher was ‘suffering from a painful affection of the throat’. The Karapiro ladies met to organise the annual school picnic during the holidays.

The Cycling Club made a run to Hamilton in 53 minutes and back in 50 minutes. There was a fair number taking part and the day was beautifully fine. They intended to organise a run to Tamahere, in order to give lady cyclists a chance to prepare for the road race to Te Aroha.
In the recent elections the No License League won out in Invercargill, Oamaru and Grey Lynn, and Waikato showed a decided advancement. The reason, according to the Inde’s editorial, was the poor conditions of the hotel buildings. Mr H J Greenslade won the Waikato seat by 78 votes from Mr Lang.
No 3 Waikato Mounted Rifles presented Mr T A Hicks with an enlarged photo of the squadron on his retirement from active membership and made him a life member.
The District Chief Ruler of the Independent Order of Rechabites attended the Cambridge meeting and gave an interesting address descriptive of the Order, its history, organisation and progress in the colony and elsewhere. He also advised all present who were not already a member of any similar society to join the Rechabites.

Cambridge’s beauty spot, the Lake Domain, was looking extremely well with a perfect blaze of colour.
Robert Sharkey and ‘Bob’ Krogman came first in the School Gardens competition at Cambridge East School. Second were Basil Lockley and Ken Mullins. Third, Allan Willis and Charles Ferguson. Girls – Katie Swayne was 1st, Gwendoline Roberts 2nd and Ethel Carr and Lily Bell, Vera Western and Muriel Onyons were 3rd equal.
Willa Young established a record at the District High School by not missing a single half day for seven consecutive years.
H J Greenslade M.H.R. told the parents at the school breakup that he would do all he could to get a Manual and Technical School for Cambridge.
Two or three attempts had been made by the Waipa County Council, at breaking up Shakespeare Street. The last attempt was with a traction engine but the ploughs etc still broke. They then called for tenders.
The Cambridge Band played a choice programme of music at the Domain grounds. ‘It is time that some movement was made in the direction of getting a suitable rotunda erected for the use of the Band.’

New uniforms and music were badly needed for the Town Band and they asked the public for financial help. They had always given their services willingly and gratuitously and were to serenade the residents during Christmas week in the hope of a favourable response to their appeal.
Mr A C Hill, who had been superintendent of the Cambridge West Methodist Sunday School for eleven years, resigned.
The annual combined picnic of the Taotaoroa No 1 and 2 schools was held at Whitehall. Rounders, cricket and other games were played and races were held for the young ones. The ladies’ committee was kept busy attending to the requirements of the inner man.
Editorial – ‘There are a number of factors which have contributed to the existing prosperity of the district, mainly of an agricultural nature, and while the excellent farms which surround Cambridge are worked as they are – intelligently and on business-like lines – and the associated industries continue to t hrive, then the gratifying condition of things referred to will continue to grow, and we are not alone in thinking that the ‘Sanatorium of the North’ as someone has called Cambridge, has a fine future before it.’

Preparations were underway for Boxing Day picnics of the Methodists at Richard Reynolds’ Pukekura property ‘Trecarne’; Presbyterians at Geo Watt’s, ‘Abergeldie’ Hautapu; Anglicans at James Taylor’s, ‘Bardowie’ Hautapu.
The Salvation Army were to have their picnic at Mr Hogan’s property in Cambridge West on New Year’s Day.