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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Coach Builders And Wheelwrights. — Including-Coachbuilders, Coach painters and Wheelwrights

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Coach Builders And Wheelwrights.
Including-Coachbuilders, Coach painters and Wheelwrights.

Annison, Cyrus Arthur, Coachbuilder and Wheelwright, Martin Street, off Abel Smith Street, Wellington. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand, Te Aro. Private residence, 125 Cuba Street. Mr. Annison was born in Hull, Yorkshire, in 1855, and learned the business with his father, Mr. E. S. Annison, of the Eastern Carriage Works, in his natiye town. Mr. Annison, senior, conducted a large and lucrative trade for fifty years, being specially noted as a maker of light spring business carts. After many years experience in connection with this large concern, the subject of this notice came to New Zealand per s.s. “Aorangi,” in 1885, landing in Wellington. He was for six months working at his trade in Masterton, when he returned to Wellington, and after three months with Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell, Mr. Annison founded the present business, commencing in a small way behind his residence in Cuba Street. The business has steadily developed. Following in the footsteps of his respected father, Mr. Annison, who is a great prize winner, has exhibited at several of the local Agricultural and Pastoral Shows. In the years 1889 and 1890, he took two first prizes and one second prize. Four years later he was the winner of four prizes for the best collection of vehicles, and in 1895 a splendid English rustic cart gained first prize, and a butcher's cart was placed second. It became necessary, in 1892, to secure much larger premises, and those now occupied were selected. The buildings, which comprise large storerooms with smith's forge, and a separate smithy behind a general workshop and paintshop, afford over three thousand feet of floorage space. Mr. Annison undertakes repairs of every description, and makes vehicles of any kind to order. At the time of the writer's visit, Mr. Annison was engaged on a pretty English dogcart, which would do credit to any gentleman's establishment. Mr. Annison receives a fair share of public support, and is usually kept busily engaged, a competent staff being employed to assist in the work.

Bohan, Michael, Coach Builder, Victoria Street Wellington. Telegraphic address, “Bohan, Wellington.” Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, 120 Cuba Strect, Mr. Bohan was born in Country Tipperary, Ireland, where he was brought up to a practical knowledge of the coach building and farming pursuits. He left the Old Country about 1859 for Victoria, where he worked at his trade for about two years. At the time of the Gabriel's Gully rush the subject of this paragraph crossed over tc New Zealand. Attracted by the news from the Shotover he went tc Arrowtown, and having decided to start a blacksmith's shop, went to Invercargill to procure the needful plant. Mr. Bohan found this no easy task, as everything had to be obtained from Dunedin, and a month elapsed before the bellows, anvil, and iron could be obtained. Once established on the Arrow Mr. Bohan had the first smith's shop in the district, and was getting £5 per set for horse shoeing. Freights were enormous at this time, £175 per ton being charged between Dunedin and Arrowtown, the charge for crossing Lake Wakatipu being £12 per ton. When the West Coast rush commenced Mr. Bohan was on the second boat that arrived in the Hokitika river and established the pioneer smith's shop. Twenty-five shillings per set was the usual charge for shoeing then. Mr. Bohan had four shops going at one time on the Coast, in addition to the Hokitika place. For eight years subsequently he carried on business at Charlestown and removed to Wellington in 1873, establishing the Wellington Coach Factory. A two-story iron building having over 6000 square feet of floorage space is completly fitted with every needful appliance for conducting a large trade. The draught for the forge fires is created by a five-horse-power engine. The factory produces work of every description, from the simplest wheelbarrow to the most elegant landau, the materials required for fittings being imported direct from England and elsewhere. Mr. Bohan sends vehicles to all parts of the Colony.

Cobham, Walter Samuel, Coach Builder, Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington. This business was established four years ago and is now a very substantial one. The various workshops cover an area of about 6000 feet, and have every convenience for the manufacture of articles of the trade.

Criterion Coach Factory (Charles Tandy proprietor), Vivian Street, Wellington. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand, Established in 1881, this factory and shoeing forge has steadily advanced in popularity, and the appliances for conducting the trade have been proportionately increased. Mr. Tandy, whose parents arrived in the early days of settlement in the Colony, was born and brought up in New Zealand. He learned his business with Mr. R. W. Watson and Messrs. Donoghue and Parr, of Wellington. After gaining large experience at his trade, Mr. Tandy purchased the Criterion Coach Factory in 1886. The wood and iron buildings occupied afford 2500 square feet of floorage space, besides which there are large yards. Mr. Tandy has an up-to-date plant for carrying out the details of the trade. He imports only such materials as cannot be locally produced. The specialties of his business are fire brigade appliances, to the manufacture of which he has given great attention. Mr. Tandy took a prominent part in shooting matches in connection with the Wellington Naval Brigade, winning the carbine district prize. In 1884 he visited Sydney to arrange about Australian hardwood timber, and now makes a boast of using more of this timber than any other coachbuilder in Wellington. Having visited nearly all the towns of New Zealand, Mr. Tandy can build any design of vehicle which may be required. As a protectionist, he advocates the reconstruction of the tariff, as he considers that there is not enough assistance given to the different trades.

Fitchett, John, Coachbuilder and Wheelwright, Wordsworth Street and Ohiro Road, Wellington. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Fitchett was born in Bradby, Derbyshire, England and came out to the Colony among the early settlers, arriving in 1841 per ship “London” He learned his trade in Wellington, and page 609 has graduated in every branch of the business. Few have had a longer or more complete insight into the minutest details of the trade than the subject of this notice. He determined early in life that he would learn to perform every operation with thoroughness, and his success as a tradesman is largely due to this decision. The business, which is one of the oldest in Wellington, was founded in 1860, since which time it has been carried on with a large amount of success. The extensive premises at the corner of Wordsworth Street and Ohire Road include buildings of wood and iron, of one story in height, and containing about 4000 square feet of floorage space. Mr. Fitchett has all needful machinery for the prosecution of a large trade, among which may be mentioned drilling, splitting, and tyre-bending machines. In order to be in a position to supply vehicles of the latest designs from the most durable materials, Mr. Fitchett imports direct from leading British and American houses the special woods and fittings needed. Mr. Fitchett employs on an average thirteen competent workmen to assist in the business. Buggies and waggonettes are among the specialties of his trade, and these are turned out to suit the means of his customers, cither plain and substantial, or finished in the most perfect style of the art. Mr. Fitchett has a large number of old customers who have dealt with him for years, and are perfectly satisfied with the character and quality of the work which he executes. His steady adhesion to principle has won for him many friends, who rejoice with him in his success as a business man.

Rouse and Hurrell (Henry Arthur Hurrell, Arthur William Petherick, Edward Young Crawley), Coachbuilders and Wheelwrights, Empire Steam Carriage Works, Courtenay Place, Wellington. Telephone 212. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This large factory is the oldest in the line in Wellington, having been established in 1859 by Mr. William Black. The premises, which have a large frontage, include a large building of wood and iron, containing no less than 12,000 square feet of floorage space. The motive power is a steam-engine with a nominal capacity of eight-horse-power. The firm have a great deal of machinery of the best and most complete description, including a circular saw, planing machines, turning lathes, and machinery for rounding felloes, and all kinds of wheelmaking machinery, also band saws and every other needful mechanism that is required for the trade. They employ about twenty-five hands in connection with the factory, and pay a large sum per month in wages. Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell are direct importers of iron and various kinds of appliances and other fittings for the purpose of the manufacture of vehicles of every description. Among the British firms with whom they deal may be mentioned Messrs. Berry and Son, Messrs. Butler Bros., and Greatrex and Son, of London. Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell have a reputation for turning out buggies, officers' dog carts, gigs, landaus, and many other styles of vehicles in a thorough, workmanlike manner. The writer has had some personal experience of some of the work which they have turned out, and can testify to the finish and durability of their manufacture. An engraving of one of the numerous specimens of their light carts appears herein. The firm have been exhibitors at several exhibitions, and at the Wellington Exhibition of 1885 secured the silver medal for New Zealand against all competitors, and two first prizes for their manufactures. It goes without saying that the success of this firm is entirely due to the energy, perseverance, and ability of the principals and the workmen employed. Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell have a connection extending throughout the central and southern portions of the North Island. They frequently get orders for vehicles from Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, and their fame has extended to the South Island as far as the West Coast is concerned. Mr. Hurrell is a native of Norfolk, and arrived in New Zealand in 1875 per ship “Dallam Tower.” He learned his trade in Wellington, and joined Mr. Rouse, his late partner, when they took over the business from Mr. William Black, the original founder of the Empire Carriage Factory. Mr. Petherick is a native of this Colony, his parents being among the number of the early settlers. He served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell, and having become thoroughly proficient in his knowledge of the trade, has been admitted as a member of the firm. Mr. Crawley is a native of London, and arrived in 1887 per s.s. “Coptic,” joining the firm in 1891. Mr. F. H. Wood, of Greytown North, represents the firm in the Wairarapa District, from which considerable orders are received.

Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell's Light Cart.

Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell's Light Cart.

Rouse, Black & Son (Frederick Rouse, Robert Black, and Henry Black), Carriage-builders, Taranaki Street, Wellington. Private residences: Mr. Rouse, Edge Hill, Kent Terrace; Mr. Black, Brougham Street. This factory, which was established in 1894 by Messrs. R. Black and Son, has been conducted by the present proprietors since the first of January, 1895, when Mr. Rouse joined the firm. The latter gentleman was born in Norfolk, but when only a few months old went to Ramsey, Hunts, and at eight years removed to Sussex, where he remained till leaving for London at the age of sixteen, and served an apprenticeship with Mr. George Edgeley, of Trafalgar Place, Walworth, London, completing his term in 1862. For some years afterwards he worked as a journeyman in various shops, and was for some years previous to leaving England employed in the carriage department of the Great Eastern Railway Works, Stratford. Mr. Rouse came to the Colony in 1874, per ship “Soukar,” to Wellington. For a short time after arrival he worked as a journeyman, and subsequently commenced business at the junction of Tinakori Road and Thorndon Quay in 1881. Finding the necessity for increased accommodation, the business was removed to Courtenay Place, and Mr. Hurrell joined Mr. Rouse in the well-known firm of Rouse and Hurrell. Mr. Rouse was the senior partner of this firm for eleven years, and in April, 1892, partly retired in order to visit England. During his visit, Mr. Rouse worked for eighteen months for Messrs. Alfred Rice and Brothers, carriage-builders, of London Road, East Grinstead, Sussex, where he gained a great deal of experience, and on his return in October, 1893, brought a large number of the latest and best designs for modern vehicles. Mr. Robert Black, who was born in Edinburgh, served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Cousins and Atkin, of Auckland, and completed his term in page 610 1868. For fourteen years subsequently Mr. Black worked for this well-known firm, only leaving to accept the position of leading blacksmith at the Government railway workshops near Fort Britomart, Auckland, where he remained for seven years. In 1889 Mr. Black came to Wellington, and worked for five years for Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell, commencing the present business as above. Mr. Henry Black completed his apprenticeship with Messrs. Rouse and Hurrell in 1894. All the members of the firm of Rouse, Black and Son are thoroughly practical men. Their premises, which are large, convenient and central, afford about 6400 square feet of floorage space. Mr. Rouse's name and reputation as a coachbuilder are well-known throughout the Wellington provincial district, and there is no doubt that a large trade will be done by the new firm. They intend to import all necessary goods to enable them to compete with the principal establishments of the Colony.

Williams, Andrew, Coachbuilder and Blacksmith, 60 and 62 Courtenay Place, Wellington, Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. The subject of this sketch was born in Cornwall, England. He served an apprenticeship as miners' blacksmith at the Cornish mines, following up the trade for several years after. In August, 1874, he arrived in Wellington by the ship “Conflict,” but was disappointed in securing employment at his trade. However, being an adept at carpentering, he took employment in that line, in which he continued for three years at various places. He returned to Wellington, resumed his trade, and started the above business in 1878, and since that time has carried on business as coachbuilder and blacksmith. The premises contain 5000 square feet floorage space, and are built of wood and iron. A specialty is made of ironwork for outrigger boats, Mr. Williams excelling in fine and fancy work. A wrought iron gate designed by Mr. Larkham, architect, of Palmerston, and manufactured by Mr. Williams, is worthy of special mention. The trade comprises local and country orders, which receive prompt attention, and nothing but first-class work is turned out. There are three forges, and accommodation for ten hands. Mr. Williams has patented an invention which effectually prevents the bolting of horses; also another invention known as an “axlo stay,” which prevents the spreading out of wheels, thereby avoiding any unnccessary friction. Altogether, Mr. Williams may be considered fairly successful as a colonist.

Other Coachbuilders, Etc.

Luke, George, Coachbuilder, Taranaki Street. Private residence, Wallace Street.

Mitchell and Co. (William Mitchell and C. R. Mitchell), Coachbuilders, Victoria Street. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. Established 1886.

Newman, Thomas, Coachbuilder and Wheelwright, 13 Tory Street. Established 1892.

Government Buildings.

Government Buildings.