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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

St. Albans

St. Albans.

There are very few boroughs in the colony which contain so many fine and attractive residences as St. Albans. Houses in brick, wood, stone, and in divers styles of architecture, from those of the Swiss chateau and the Indian bungalow to that of the two-storied English mansion, are to be seen within the boundaries of the borough. Some of the streets resemble lanes, hedged and prettily fenced, often in rural fashion. St. Albans has the appearance and the urban atmosphere of an English town, and almost suggests the idea of having been imported straight from England, to the page 389 special order of English people who have come to reside in New Zealand.

St. Albans Borough Council. The members for 1902 consist, of Mr. T. H. Davey, mayor, and Messrs H. E. Morgan, J. Andersen, W. Newton, A. W. Buxton, A. H Hobbs, C. Carter, J. Jackman, R. M. Cresswell, G. Hyde, W. Keig, A. F. Carey, and F. J. Barlow, councillors; Mr. John H. Morley, town clerk and surveyor. The borough of St. Albans, which originally formed a part of the Avon road district, was incorporated in November, 1881. Its area is 1,500 acres, and its population 6,607. It contains 1,490 dwellings, and 1,783 ratable properties. The unimproved value. on which the rating is based, is £285,763. St. Albans contains forty miles of streets. The total revenue for the year ending the 31st of March, 1902 was £5,603. There is a general rate of 3d in the pound on the unimproved value, and a special rate of 7/8ths of a penny in the pound for a loan of £23,000, raised at 4 per cent in 1898, for the purposes of kerbing, channelling and asphalting. There are also a drainage rate of 3/4d in the pound, a Waimakariri River Board rate of 1/5d and a charitable aid rate of 1/8d. The total expenditure for the year ending March, 1902, was £7,031. The public debt is £21,282. St. Albans has a mile and a half of tramway running up Papanui Road. A fire brigade is supported by the Borough Council; water is obtained from an artesian supply, and there is a sewage system of drainage within a certain area.

His Worship The Mayor, Mr. Thomas Henry Davey, joined the St. Albans Borough Council as a member in 1897. Eight months later he was elected Mayor, and has filled the position with credit from that date to the present time. Mr. Davey has taken an active part in endeavouring to promote the Greater Christchurch scheme, and the municipalisation of the tramway service. He has been a member of the Hospital Board and the Domain Board, and has also been vice president of the Trades and Labour Council, President of the Typographical Society, President of the “Lyttelton Times” Sick Fund Society, and was for many years “Father” of the “Lyttelton Times” companionship. Mr. Davey was born in Liskeard, Cornwall, England, in 1856, but was brought up and educated at Uxbridge, Middlesex, where he was apprenticed as a printer on Broadwater's “Buckinghamshire Advertiser.” When this business was sold he removed to Ealing, Middlesex, and took up a position on Ackworth's “Middlesex Gazette.” In 1874. Mr. Davey arrived in Wellington, by the ship “Douglas,” together with his parents. The family then went to Feilding, where Mr. Davey had an experience of colonial life for seven years, during which he was engaged in bush-felling and in sawmilling at the Aorangi and Tainui mills. He then returned to Wellington. where he worked for three months in the Government Printing Office, after which he came to Christchurch, and found employment with the “Lyttelton Times” Company, with which he has been connected ever since, with the exception of a short interval of three months in Dunedin. Of late years Mr. Davey has been a member of the editorial staff of the “Canterbury Times.” On the 6th of September, 1902, he was presented with a requisition asking him to become a parliamentary candidate for Christchurch. It bore 1000 signatures. At the general election, on the 25th of November, there were nine candidates for the three Christchurch seats, and Mr. Davey was elected to the third with 6,329 votes to his credit; his fellow members being Mr. T. E. Taylor with 8,113, and Mr. H. G. Ell, 7,914 votes. Mr. Davey is married to a daughter of Mr. John Dobson, of Oxford, and has a Family of two sons.

Standish and Preece, photo.Mr. T. H. Davey.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. T. H. Davey.

Councillor Jorgen Andersen was elected to the St. Albans Borough Council in 1900. He is a native of Denmark, where he was brought up as a watchmaker and jeweller. Mr. Andersen landed in Lyttelton in 1874, and now carries on business in Hereford Street, Christchurch.

Councillor Frederick J. Barlow, of the St. Albans Borough Council, is referred to elsewhere in connection with his profession as an architect.

Councillor Alfred W. Buxton, of the St. Albans Borough Council, is referred to elsehere in connection with his nurseries at St. Martins.

Councillor Andrew Fuller Carey, who was elected a Member of the St. Albans Borough Council in April, 1901, was born at Wolverhampton, England, in 1863, and learned the business of a draper in London. He arrived in Dunedin by the ship “Benan,” in 1881, and after a short stay there, and a year in Oamaru, he came to Christchurch, where for three years he had charge of the fancy department of Messrs W. Strange and Co. He next managed a business at Ross, and in 1889 returned to Christchurch, where, in conjunction with his partner, Mr. Toneycliffe, he started the business of Messrs [gap — reason: illegible] eycliffe and Carey. Mr. Carey has served as a member of the St. Albans school committee.

Standish and Preece, photo. Mr. A. F. Carey.

Standish and Preece, photo.
Mr. A. F. Carey.

Councillor Charles Carter was elected to the St. Albans Borough Council in 1901. He has been proprietor of the Spring-field Road and St. Albans coaches since 1893, and is one of the oldest members of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles.

Councillor Robert Marshall Cresswell, of the St. Albans Borough Council, was born in London, and came to New Zealand in the ship “Sir George Seymour
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.Mr. R. M. Cresswell.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mr. R. M. Cresswell.

page 390 in 1850. Before leaving he attended the special service held in St. Paul's Cathedral, and also the banquet given to those who were sailing in the first four ships. After settling in New Zealand Mr. Cresswell was for many years engaged in cattle-dealing, and in supplying stock to the butchers of Christchurch. While thus engaged he met with many rough experiences in travelling about the country, in the early days before there were roads or bridges. It was he who, in conjunction with Mr. Twentyman Hodgson, took the first shipment of draught horses from New Zealand to Sydney, and he sold the animals at very high prices. Later on Mr. Cresswell was appointed manager of the freezing works at Belfast, and, in consequence of the careful attention which he paid to grading and other important details, the consignments from Belfast soon commanded a higher price than any other meat sent to the English markets from New Zealand or Australia. After leaving Belfast, Mr. Cresswell was engaged by the underwriters of New Zealand to inspect and report upon the various freezing works of the colony, the treatment of stock before and after killing, the methods of insulation, the manner of handling frozen meat at the different ports, etc. The directors of the Wanganui Freezing Works engaged Mr. Cresswell to give their establishment a three years' start, and Messrs Nelson Bros. subsequently engaged him to manage their works at Hornby, and to grade their meat for the English market. Mr. Cresswell has been a member of three school committees, of two of which he was elected chairman. He is, for life, a trustee of the Papanui Domain Board. As a member of the Wesleyan Church, he has held all or nearly all the offices open to a layman, and has represented his church at the various Conferences. Mr. Cresswell likes to recall the incidents of the passage of the “Sir George Seymour,” the ship by which he arrived in Lyttelton in December, 1850. She was the last of the historic four ships to set sail from England, and just as she was about to leave, Mr. Cyrus Davie, who had booked to come out by the “Randolph,” but had reached the docks too late for his ship, made an appeal to be taken on board the “Sir George Seymour,” The request was granted, much to Mr. Davie's relief, though his whole wardrobe except what he wore was aboard the “Randolph.” However, on the 4th of October, in the tropics, the “Randolph” was sighted, and the captain of the “Sir George Seymour” lowered a boat and sent Mr. Davie to his own ship. The hero of this episode afterwards became Chief Surveyor in Canterbury, and was in the habit of jocularly asserting that he had come to New zealand in two ships. Another incident was that, when in sight of Madeira, the “Sir George Seymour” was found to be on fire. After several hours of hard work by all on board, the flames were put out, but not before a lot of the ship's stores had been damaged. When Lyttelton was reached on the 17th of December, 1850, the “Sir George Seymour's” passengers found that the “Charlotte Jane” and “Randolph” had arrived on the day before, with only a few hours of difference in their sailing time from England to New Zealand. While the “Sir George Seymour's passengers were landing Mr. and Mrs Watts Russell, afterwards well known in connection with the historic homestead of “Ilam,” were capsized into the sea. Mr. Russell could not swim, but Mrs Russell, being an excellent swimmer, held her husband up till both were rescued by a boat sent to them from one of the ships. Mr. Cresswell married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. Joseph Pattrick. Mr. and Mrs Cresswell have now living eleven children, out of a family of fourteen. The eldest son, Mr. Charles Cresswell, is manager and secretary of the Wanganui Freezing Company, Mr. W. J. Cresswell is partner of Mr. J. W. Stringer, Crown Prosecutor, and Mr. T. R. Cresswell, headmaster of the Boys' High School, Rangiora.
Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo. Mrs R. M. Cresswell.

Wrigglesworth and Binns, photo.
Mrs R. M. Cresswell.

Councillor Arthur Harry Hobbs was elected a Member of the St. Albans Borough Council on the 24th of April, 1901. He was born in St. Albans in 1868. and is a son of Mr. W. B. Hobbs. Mr. Hobbs served as apprenticeship as a bookbinder, and was for fifteen years with the firm of Messrs Whit-combe and Tombs. In 1900 he accepted his present position as superintendent of the binding department in the establishment of Messrs Horace J. Weeks, Limited. Mr. Hobbs was for some time a member of the Christchurch Engineers, and he was also a member of the Garrison Band for three years. He is a Forester, and has passed through the chairs of the Juvenile Lodge. In 1894 Mr. Hobbs married a daughter of the late Mr. B. Midgley, of Sydenham, and has two daughters and one son.

Councillor George Hyde was elected to the St. Albans Borough Council in 1901. He is a native of Huntingdonshire, England, and came to New Zealand in 1866, and settled in Canterbury.

Councillor John Jackman, of the St. Albans Borough Council, was born in St. Albans in 1868, and is a son of Mr. E. J. Jackman, who arrrived in the colony in 1860. He was brought up and educated in Auckland, to which he had, while a boy, removed with his parents. In 1882 he returned to Christchurch, and entered the office of the “Lyttelton Times” Company, with which he has ever since held a position. Mr. Jackman is married to a daughter of Mr. G. Newall, of St. Albans, and has one daughter.

Councillor William Keig has been a Member of the St. Albans Borough Council for over fourteen years. He was born in the Isle of Man in 1842, and brought up as a millwright and engineer. In 1863 he came to Lyttelton, by the ship “Canterbury,” and has for nearly forty years been employed in the firm of Mr. James Goss, timber merchant. For the last thirty years he has been manager of Goss's Canterbury Steam Sawmills. In 1872 Mr. Keig married a daughter of the late Mr. Stephen Brooker, of St. Albans. Mrs Keig died in 1896, leaving a family of eight sons and four daughters.

Councillor Hugh Edward Morgan, of the St. Albans Borough Council, was first elected to that body in 1882, and has been returned at every election since that date. Mr. Morgan is well known in connection with the Loyal Papanui Lodge of Odd-fellows, and holds the office of secretary.

Councillor Walter Newton was elected to the St. Albans Borough Council in 1899, and is a member of the works and fire brigade committees. He is a native of Leicestershire, England, and came to New Zealand with his parents in the ship “Northampton,” which arrived at Wellington in 1877. Shortly afterwards the family settled in Christchurch, where he learned the upholstering trade. As a Druid, Mr. Newton is an active member of the Hope of St. Albans Lodge, which he joined in 1890. The various offices of the lodge have all been filed by him, and also the offices of the District Grand Lodge and ho was representative of The Hope of St. Albans at the District Grand Lodge for four years. He took a leading part in the introduction of the graduated scale of contributions, and is now Past District Grand President, Mr. Newton's skill and tact have enabled him to do good service to his fellow workers. In 1897 he was appointed secretary of the Furniture Employees' Union, which he has represented on the Trades' and Labour Council, and before the Board of Conciliation and the Arbitration Court. He has been through all the offices of the Trades' and Labour Council, and was the president of that body for the year 1899 and 1900, during part of which he was the Council's representative at the New Zealand Trades' Conference, and was workers' representative on the Board of Conciliation.

Mr. John Hedley Morley, Town Clerk to the St. Albans Borough Council, was appointed to the position in 1899. He was born in Leeds, England, in 1859. when twenty years of age he came to Lyttelton by the ship “Lady Jocelyn,” and settled at Kaiapoi, in 1880. Mr. Morley was manager of the Northern Brewery at Kaiapoi for seven years, and afterwards engaged in building and contracting. Prior to receiving his present appointment he was Town Clerk of Kaiapoi for seven years. As a Freemason he is a Past Master of the Southern Cross Lodge, and as page 391 a Forester he was for some years secretary of Court Woodford. Mr. Morley married in Kaiapoi, and has a surviving family of two sons and one daughter.