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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Richmond lies at the lead of Tasman Bay, on the eastern side of the Waimea Valley, and is eight miles distant from Nelson. The land in the neighbourhood rises by easy gradations from the level of the sea to the mountain slopes, where the air is more bracing than it is in the valley. Tasman Bay aflords ample scope for fishing and boating, and sportsmen find plenty of hares, rabbits and deer amongst the neighbouring valleys and hills. The climate of the district is remarkably genial, and, generally, the countryside has a pleasing arcadian aspect. With the closer settlement of the land Richmond is sure to increase in prosperity, but, even as things are, it offers many inducements as a place of residence.

The Borough Of Richmond has a population of 570 persons, 138 ratepayers, and 136 dwelling-houses. In the year 1905, the rateable value of the properties within its boundaries was £96,547. There was a general rate of three farthings in the pound, and a water rate of four per cent., and the revenue amounted to £759 13s. Until the year 1886, the area of the borough was included in the Richmond highway district, but, owing to the scarcity of water in dry seasons, steps were then taken to form a part of the present borough into a town district with a view to obtaining a reliable water supply by gravitation. In 1887, the ratepayers sanctioned a loan of £2300, which was raised by the issue of debentures, and the work was thereupon proceeded with; the engineer being the late Mr. Daniel Climie, C.E., and the constructor Mr. Robert Lyon. Mr. J. G. Harkness, formerly member of the House of Representatives for Nelson, who was then resident in the district, and who was chairman of the Town Board during the entire term of its existence, took a leading part in the negotiations connected with the carrying out of the work. It was found, in the course of construction, that the amount raised was inadequate, and in 1889 a further loan of £600 was agreed to. This sum was advanced by the Government, under the “Loans to Local Bodies Act.” The water supply, which is drawn from a stream in one of the gullies behind the town, has proved entirely satisfactory. Even in the driest season there is an ample store for the requirements of a much larger population than is at present supplied; and as the reservoir is 400 feet above the sea, there is plenty of pressure for fire extinguishing purposes, even at the highest levels. As the water pipes were laid along nearly the whole length of the main roads, which were then under the control of the Waimea County Council, it was found desirable to form the town district, with an additional area, comprising in all 2300 acres, into a borough, in order to obtain control of these roads. The necessary steps were taken, and Richmond was gazetted as a borough in the year 1891. Mr. George Talbot, a gentleman long resident in the district, who has always taken an active interest in matters affecting the welfare of the community, was elected the first Mayor, and was re-elected to that office ten times without opposition. In 1894, the public cemetery, which had previously been in the hands of trustees, was placed under the control of the Borough Council. The roads and culverts are kept in admirable condition, without eneroaching unduly upon local resources, and the annual accounts generally show a fair balance at credit. Richmond Park, an enclosure of 100 acres adjoining the railway station, was formerly in possession of the Nelson Jockey Club, which laid it off as a racecourse, and erected a large and substantial grandstand, with other buildings. Evil days, however, fell upon the club, and the park is now the property of the Nelson Agricultural and Pastoral Association, though it is still used for race meetings. The annual shows of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association have been held in the park for some years, and the park is also a favourite camping ground of the volunteers. Richmond also has a recreation ground of ten acres. At present (1905) the Borough Council consists of Mr. John M. Croucher (Mayor), and Messrs J. Hunt, John Little, J. F. Papps, A. Sheat, William Coleman and William Hart (Councillors). Mr. Samuel Fittall is Town Clerk.

Councillor Alfred Sheat has served continuously on the Richmond Borough Council, since its inception in 1891. He was born in Richmond, in 1854, and has always resided in the district, where he is engaged in agriculture. In 1893, he married a daughter of Mr. T. J. Thompson, of Richmond, and has a family of one son and three daughters.

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Councillor James Hunt was elected to the Richmond Borough Council, in April, 1903, and is a member of the Works Committee. He is also on the school committee, and the committee of the Mechanics Institute, and is a steward of the Nelson Jockey Club, a member of the committee of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and a vice-president of the Richmond Cricket and Football Clubs. Mr. Hunt was born in Northampton, England, in 1863, and came out to New Zealand, with his parents, in 1871. The family settled at Riwaka, and there Mr. Hunt lived for many years. Subsequently, he acted as mail carrier from Richmond to Riwaka for seven years, and on relinquishing that contract, settled at “Bella Mona,” Richmond. He is engaged in stock dealing, grazing, and commission business, and is a Past Grand Master of the Motueka Lodge of Oddfellows. Councillor Hunt married a daughter of Mr. David Pollock, of Nelson, in 1890, and has a family of two daughters.

Tyree, photo. Councillor J. Hunt.

Tyree, photo.
Councillor J. Hunt.

Councillor William Hart was elected to the Richmond Borough Council in October, 1903. He was born in Stafford, England, in 1841, and when only a few weeks old accompanied his parents to New Zealand. For a few years he farmed with his father in Waimea East, and afterwards took up land in the Richmond district, where he has since had his home. Mr. Hart married a daughter of Mr. Joseph Hammond, in August, 1863.

Mr. Samuel Fittall , Town Clerk of Richmond, was born in London, shortly before the death of William IV., and is the fourth son of Mr. Stephen Fittall, of Kent. His first employment was with the Guttapercha Company of London, which at the time was connected with the construction of submarine cables. Mr. Fittall afterwards took up the business of a painter and house decorator, and left England for New Zealand in the ship “Montmorency,” which arrived at Wellington in the beginning of 1858. After a somewhat hard time in Wellington, Mr. Fittall proceeded to Hawke's Bay, and one of his first jobs in Napier was the painting and papering of a room for what was known as the “great Separation Meeting”; and the first Provincial Council of Hawke's Bay afterwards met in the same apartment. Mr. Fittall afterwards travelled the sparsely peopled country districts, where scarcely a settler had his house painted or papered, and some had not even windows in. He continued travelling amongst the stations for six years, and visited successively Nelson, Wellington, Marlborough, Canterbury and the West Coast, working for the most part on his own account or as a journeyman. In 1881, he arrived in Richmond, and for some time was overseer of roads and works for the Richmond, Stoke and Hope districts. He was one of the promoters of the Richmond water supply scheme, which has proved such a success; was also one of the prime movers in getting Richmond created a borough, and was for many years a member of the Council. For several years he was chairman of the local licensing committee, and he also filled the position of honorary secretary to the local school committee for a number of years. In church matters Mr. Fittall has been active as an officer and voluntary preacher, especially amongst the Baptists.

Mr. S. Fittall.

Mr. S. Fittall.

The Richmond Public School , situated on the corner of Oxford and Cambridge Streets, Richmond, is the principal suburban school of Nelson. It is a fourroomed building, with about two acres and a half of playground, and has accommodation for 200 scholars. There are 130 boys and girls in attendance, with an average of 110, who come from the Waimeas within a radius of five miles, and the numbers have been steadily increasing within the last few years. In all, over sixty scholarships have been gained by the pupils of the school; many more than the rest of the country schools An “honours board,” hung in the school, contains the names of those boys who have gained scholarships, or any special distinction since leaving. The list contains the names of James Harkness, B.A, headmaster of the Reefton school; George Harkness, M.A., Chief Inspector of Schools in the Nelson Education district; Dr. Talbot, M.A., M.B., Christchurch; A. R. Crump, M.A., Presbyterian College, Melbourne; Rev. H. N. Baker, B.A, and F. J. Wilkes, M.A., Motueka High School; and others.

Papps, Joshua Frederick, Coachbuilder, Queen Street, Richmond. Mr. Papps, whose business was established in 1874, has built up a large trade, with connections in all puits of Nelson, Westland, and Marlborougn. The shop frontage extends 100 feet on Queen Street, and has a depth of 40 feet. Mr. Papps was born in Holt, England, and came to New Zealand in 1873 by the ship “Forfarshire,” and landed at Wellington. He takes a keen interest in local affairs, and has long been a useful member of the Borough Council.

Wray, Alfred George . Upholsterer, Furniture Manufacturer, etc., Queen Street, Richmond. Mr. Wray's flourishing business was established in 1885, and is one of the most complete in the district. The premises are stocked with a variety of goods, which are sold at Nelson prices. The shop has a frontage of 40 feet, and a large connection has been formed throughout the district. Mr. Wray is a native of Stafford, England, and learned his trade with one of the best firms in the Old Country.

Mr. A. G. Wray.

Mr. A. G. Wray.

The Railway Hotel (F. T. Lipscombe, proprietor), Richmond. This hotel is close to the station, and was built in 1886. It stands on the corner of Queen Street and Gladstone Road, and is a wooden building two stories in height, and has an entrance from each street. The landlord stocks only the best wines, ales, liquors and spirits. The dining-room has chairs for fifteen guests, but by opening folding doors room can be made for twice that number. There are parlours, sitting-rooms, and smoking-rooms on the ground floor, and upstairs there are seven bedrooms, exclusive of those oc- page 126 cupied by the family and servants. In the hotel grounds there are situated spacious sale yards, where weekly sales of live stock are conducted by Messrs Bisley Bros and Co. Stabling and gig-houses are provided, and on sale days these are taxed to their utmost capacity. The Railway Hotel is well furnished, and is largely patronised by country people, who appreciate the proprietor's method of conducting the business. Mrs Lipscombe directs the domestic management of the house.

Brusewitz, photo. The Railway Hotel.

Brusewitz, photo.
The Railway Hotel.

Mr. Frederick T. Lipscombe , proprietor of the Railway Hotel, Richmond, took possession of the house in June, 1900. He was born in Devonshire, England, in 1868, and arrived in New Zealand in 1887. For a short time he was employed on the Highfield station. Amuri, as a musterer, and was subsequently for ten years on the Government survey staff. Mr. Lipscombe, since taking up his residence in Richmond, has identified himself with most of the local bodies, and is a steward and committeeman of the Jockey and Trotting Clubs; a vicepresident of the Athletic and Cycling Club, and of the Richmond Cricket Club. As an Oddfellow, he is a member of the Travellers' Rest Lodge. Mr. Lipscombe married a daughter of Mr. William Ronson, of Greymouth, in Greymouth, in 1900, and has a family of two daughters.

Tyree, photo. Mr. F. T. Lipscombe.

Tyree, photo.
Mr. F. T. Lipscombe.

Wanstall, William, Plumber and Gasfitter, Painter, etc., Queen Street, Richmond. Established in 1878. Mr. Wanstall, who carries on a first-class business, is agent for the Acetylene Gas Company and fits up the necessary plant where required. He was born in Liverpool, England, and there served his apprenticeship to the trade. Mr. Wanstall came to Nelson in 1877, and started business a year later. He has been secretary of the Richmond Fire Brigade, and Colour-Sergeant of the Stoke Rifle Volunteer Corps.

May, William Richard, General Merchant, Richmond, This business was established in 1857 by Mr. William Dartnell, who was succeeded by Messrs Hodden and Talbot, and then in 1881 it was taken over by the present proprietor, who is one of the most enterprising business men in the province. In 1891 he started a ham and bacon-curing factory and butter factory, an industry entirely new to Nelson. Mr. May is a native of London, and was educated at the military school in that city. In 1867 he came out to Christchurch, and received an appointment at Kaiapoi with Mr. John Beharrell, merchant, with whom he remained seven years. He then purchased the business from Mr. Beharrell, and successfully conducted it till he sold it and removed to Richmond. While Mr. May was at Kaiapoi he was for a number of years a member of the Borough Council, and of the Harbour Board and Licensing Bench.

Croucher, J. M., Flour Miller and Baker, Queen Street, Richmond. Established 1864. Private residence, corner of Main Road and Queen Street. Mr. Croucher's mill is centrally situated. The building has a frontage of 80 feet by 50 feet in depth, and has the best plant procurable for producing good flour and oatmeal, with which a remunerative trade is done throughout the district. Mr. Croucher is a practical miller, and his oatmeal is equal to that of any other brand. Constant employment is found for nine persons in and about the two businesses. Mr. Croucher makes the grinding of wheat for brow bread a specialty.

Mr. Thomas Henry Holland was born at Hope, in 1857, and is a son of Mr. George Holland. He was associated with the sawmilling industry for about twenty-eight years, and was, for twenty-two years of that period, engaged in it on his own account. Mr. Holland married a daughter of Mr. Joseph Price. He now lives in retirement at Richmond.

Mr. John G. Hornig was for some time a builder and contractor in Owen Street, Richmond, where he established himself in 1894. He built up a large page 127 connection in Richmond and the surrounding districts; his main shop had a frontage of 26 feet, and a depth of 30 feet, and there were convenient outbuildings. Mr. Hornig was born at sea, was educated at Nelson College and learned his trade with Mr. F. W. Holdaway, at Richmond. He is a member of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, and takes an active interest in athletics and volunteer matters. Mr. Hornig now (1905) resides in Hardy Street, Nelson.

Mr. Roderick Mcrae , sometime of “Bouovrore,” Richmond, had a property of one hundred acres, situated within the precincts of the borough of Richmond. The farm is admittedly one of the finest pieces of agricultural land in the province of Nelson. There is a great depth of alluvial soil, and the root and grain crops grow profusely to perfection. Mr. McRae also had a fine herd of well-bred cattle, and some purebred Lincoln sheep, noted as prize-winners, at the local shows. The Wangapeka run was formerly held by Mr. McRae, but he sold it out for goldmining purposes early in 1898. Mr. McRae died in 1904.

Mr. Charles Saywell , sometime of “Prospect Place,” Richmond, was born in Kent, England, in 1832, and came out to New Zealand in 1840, with his parents in the ship “Martha Ridgway,” which arrived at Wellington. In 1854 the family settled in Richmond, where Mr. Saywell engaged with his father in the building and undertaking trade, and he afterwards carried on the business successfully by himself up to the time of his death. He was a member of the Richmond Road Board, and of the Nelson Education Board for a number of years,
Sometime the Residence of the Late Mr. R. McRae.

Sometime the Residence of the Late Mr. R. McRae.

and took a “keen interest in the welfare of his district. In February, 1854, Mr. Saywell married Miss Ellen Avery, of the Hutt, Wellington, and died on the 5th of October, 1898. Mrs Saywell, who lives in the old homestead at Richmond, arrived in New Zealand in 1840, in the ship “Bolton,” and resided with her parents at the Hutt until her marriage with Mr Saywell.