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

Government Institutions

Government Institutions.

Post Office.

The Greymouth Post and Telegraph Office is a very fine wooden building, with a square clock-tower. The telegraph staff is under the supervision of the chief postmaster. There is a telephone exchange with a large number of subscribers. The building has a large public office, telegraph operators' room, chief postmaster's office, mail room, and messengers', room. Mr. G. W. Sampson is the Chief Postmaster.

page 555

The Customhouse at Grey-mouth was first established in the year 1865 on the Quay, and in 1890 the present building was erected in Tainui Street, adjoining the Post Office. Gold and coal are the chief articles of export, but the timber industry has been going ahead with extraordinary rapidity. A comparison of the imports and exports for the years 1894 and 1904, shows a large increase in the volume of business passing through the Greymouth Customhouse. The total exports in 1894 amounted to £232,031, while ten years later they were increased to £450,448. The imports show an even greater proportionate advance; namely, from £26,121 to £70,400.

Mr. John Howie was appointed Collector of Customs at Greymouth in September, 1903. He was born at Wanganui in 1860, and entered the Government service in the Customs Department in Dunedin, in the year 1881. He has filled various positions in the colony, and was for three years chief clerk in Dunedin before he received his present appointment.

Mr. Thomas Redmond , Landing Waiter and Locker of the Customs, Greymouth, was born in the year 1801 in London, England, and was educated in London and in New Zealand. He came to New Zealand at an early age and arrived in Wellington, by the ship “Salisbury.” Mr. Redmond afterwards joined the Telegraph Department in Wellington, and continued the connection until the year 1887. He subsequently joined the Customs in Wellington, on the 24th of July, 1894, and was appointed Assistant Tide Surveyor. Mr. Redmond was transferred to Greymouth, on the 7th of August, 1899. He is a member of the Order of Druids in Greymouth, and is a Past Arch of the Order.

Public Trust Office.

The Public Trust Office , Greymouth. The Greymouth branch of the Public Trust Office was opened in May, 1893. Besides administering the estates of deceased persons and fulfilling other functions, the office attends to the administration and collection of rents from the various Native Reserves in the district. The town of Greymouth itself is partly built on a Native Reserve, and the rentals supply a very fair annual income to a number of Maoris. The office also administers the “Brunner Disaster Fund,” so liberally subscribed to by the people of New Zealand, for the relief of the sufferers by the Brunner mine explosion in 1896.

Inspection Of Bridges.
Mr. William Alfred Pyne , Inspector of Bridges for the Westland-Nelson section of railways, was appointed to his present position on the 13th of November, 1904. Mr. Pyne was born in 1864, in Cornwall, England, where he was educated, and apprenticed as a wheelwright. In the year 1886, he arrived in Napier, by the s.s. “Kaikoura,” and after ten months' employment at Hastings in connection with sewerage work, he
Ring, photo.Mr. W. A. Pyne.

Ring, photo.
Mr. W. A. Pyne.

joined the maintenance branch of the railway at Napier. Mr. Pyne afterwards became leading bridge carpenter, and held the position for ten years, before his promotion to the office of inspector. As an Oddfellow, Mr. Pyne is a member of the Waipawa Lodge, Manchester Unity. He was married, in 1885, in Cornwall, to a daughter of the late Mr. William Deacon, and has two sons.
Police Department.

The Greymouth Police Station was established about the year 1866, and the present buildings were erected in 1893; they include the inspector's office, clerk's office, and men's quarters. The lock-up is in an adjoining building, and contains five cells with a bathroom and a store-room, Greymouth is the police headquarters for the whole of the Nelson and Westland provincial districts. The staff at Greymouth includes an inspector, sergeant, detective, and fifteen constables, and forty-four men are stationed in the district.

Inspector Edward Wilson has been in charge of the Nelson and Westland Police District since 1902.

Public Works Department.

The Public Works Department of the district of Westland was opened in Hokitika, in the year 1870, by the late Mr. C. Y. O'Connor, afterwards Engineer-in-Chief in West Australia. It was subsequently removed to Greymouth, and since 1893 has been in charge of Mr. John Thomson, B.E. M. Inst. C.E., Resident Engineer. Members of the staff for the year 1905: Messrs G. C. McGlashan, J. H. Dobson, T. B. Bartley, and F. S. Dyson (assistant engineers); H. R. Atkinson (surveyor), H. Vickerman, B.Sc. and H. Patterson (engineering cadets); G. T. Grace, W. Southern, and H. Colvin (clerks); J. J. Fraser (draughtsman); W. J. Reynolds, F. Barrowman, W. H. Green, J. McDonald, J. Nightingale and D. Doyle (overseers); and T. O'Connor (chairman).

Mr. John Thomson , B.E., M. Inst. C.E., was appointed Resident Engineer-in-charge of Public Works at Greymouth, and of the Greymouth Harbour Board, in the year 1893. He came to New Zealand in 1877, from Belfast, Ireland, where he had been on the engineering staff of the Harbour Commissioners.

Mr. George C. McGlashan , Assistant Engineer under the Public
Ring, photo.Mr. G. C. McGlashan.

Ring, photo.
Mr. G. C. McGlashan.

Works Department, has charge of the construction of the Coal Creek State Mine railway, also the Ngahere-Blackball railway, and the Hokitika railway. He was born in 1857 in Dunedin. Mr. McGlashan was educated in Dublin, Ireland, and Edinburgh, page 556 Scotland, where he also learned engineering. He returned to New Zealand, completed his education at the High School, Dunedin, and entered the Public Works service in 1873. Mr. McGlashan was afterwards stationed at Oamaru, where he was engaged in survey and construction work, on the main trunk railway. He was then transferred to Nelson and Marlborough. After leaving the department, he followed mining pursuits, returned to Wellington, and was appointed by the City Council of Wellington to take charge of the tunnel constructions for the city sewerage works, under Mr. R. L. Mestayer, M.I.C.E., City Drainage Engineer, and remained on these works until their completion. Subsequently Mr. McGlashan again joined the Public Works Department, went to Canterbury, and was employed in supervising tunnel construction on the Midland railway. He was transferred to the West Coast, where he carried out the survey of the Reefton-Inangahua section of railway, and also the construction of the same for a time. Mr. McGlashan has surveyed the Ngahere-Blackball railway, and many other important works.
Labour Department.

The Department of Labour prior to the year 1903 was represented in Greymouth by an officer of the police force, as labour agent, and inspector of factories. Then a permanent inspector, with a separate office, was appointed to have jurisdiction over the entire West Coast. His office is situated in Mackay Street.

Mr. James Isdell was appointed Inspector of Factories and Labour Agent in charge of the West Coast in 1903. He was born in the year 1836 in County Westmeath, Ireland. Mr. Isdell went to Victoria. Australia, in 1859, and came to New Zealand three years later. He was chiefly engaged in goldmining, which he gave up owing to indifferent health.

Railway Department.
The Westland Section of New Zealand Railways includes the lines, Greymouth to Hokitika, Greymouth to Reefton, Stillwater to Otira, and Greymouth to the State collieries. The headquarters are at Greymouth, with Mr. J. Ashley as Traffic Manager. The Grey-Brunner railway was constructed under the Nelson and Westland Coalfields Act of 1877, as an outlet for the Brunner coal from the mines to the nearest port. The estimated cost was £200,000, there being four miles of embankment, and a viaduct of a most expensive nature. The Grey-Hokitika railway is twenty-four miles in length, and was constructed at a total cost of £195,000. This was opened in the year 1894, and is very largely used for the carriage of timber and merchandise generally. The Midland
S.S. “Corinna” landing Coal at Greymouth. Ring, photo.

S.S. “Corinna” landing Coal at Greymouth. Ring, photo.

page 557 railway connects Reefton with Brunnerton, a distance of thirty-eight miles. At Stillwater the main trunk line, which will ultimately connect with Canterbury, has been extended forty-two miles to Otira. A bridge has been constructed over the Grey river, and a railway four miles in length connects with the Grey State coal mines; this makes the total length of the Westland section 116 miles. Quantities of coal, timber and dredging, quartz, mining and battery machinery are carried over these lines, and the traffic is steadily increasing.

Mr. James Ashley was appointed Traffic Manager of the Westland Section of the New Zealand Railways, in June, 1904. He is further referred to on page 153 in the Canterbury volume of this Cyclopedia.

Mr. Charles Bathgate , Foreman of Works on the Nelson and West Coast section of New Zealand railways, was appointed to his present position in the year 1904. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to New Zealand with his parents, by the ship “Helenslea,” in 1864. After he left school he learned carpentry, and
Ring, photo.Mr. C. Bathgate.

Ring, photo.
Mr. C. Bathgate.

found employment at that trade for a number of years. In the year 1886, Mr. Bathgatts joined the railway department in Auckland, and continued in that district until he has transferred to Picton in 1896. He held the position of leading bridge carpenter on the Picton section of railways for seven years, and was afterwards for a year bridge inspector on the Wellington-Napier section.

The Engineering Department (Maintenance Branch) of New Zealand railways for Westland district, has its head office at the Greymouth railway station. The railways throughout Nelson and the West Coast are under the control of this department. The staff consists of a district engineer, stationed at Grey-mouth, a foreman of works, a bridge inspector and two other inspectors, a chief clerk, a draughtsman, four clerks, and twenty-seven gangs of men employed on the lines. About 200 miles of railway are under the control of the Department.

Mr. Frederick Widdop was appointed Acting District Engineer at Greymouth in the year 1904. He was born in 1877 in Wellington, where he was educated, and entered the railway service in the Engineering Department in 1891, Mr. Widdop was for four years stationed at Wanganui before he received his present appointment.

The Greymouth Railway Station is situated at the north end of the borough, and contains the traffic manager's, district engineer's, and clerks' offices, besides waiting rooms. A goods-shed, covering over 2000 feet of space immediately opposite the station, is used for town work, and two large sheds on the wharf are used for the import and export traffic. The main station, which was erected in the year 1895, is fitted up with the latest signalling and interlocking appliances. It has an extensive passenger platform, and there is a platform on the wharf across Mawhera Quay. Forty-three persons, including guards, porters, and the clerical staff, are under the control of the station-master, and about fourteen trains arrive and depart daily.

Mr. William Frederick Spindeler has been Stationmaster at Greymouth, since December, 1904. He was born at Stafford, Westland, in 1867, and received his education on the West Coast. In 1884, Mr. Spindeler entered the railway service in Dunedin, and continued on the Otago section, until he was transferred to Greymouth district. He became chief clerk at the Greymouth station, and held the position for eight years and a-half, before his promotion. As a Freemanson, he is attached to Lodge Greymouth, English Constitution. Mr. Spindeler married a daughter of Mr. J. Duncan, of Dunback, Otago, in 1891, and has one daughter.

Mr. John Francis McGarthy was appointed Chief Clerk at the Greymouth railway station in the year 1904. He was born in 1875, at Sandhurst, Victoria, Australia, but was brought to New Zealand in the following year, and was educated at Timarau, Christchurch, and Heathcote. On leaving school, he entered the railway service at Timaru as a cadet, and subsequently served at Christchurch, Rakaia, Temuka, and at Timaru again, before being appointed clerk at Lyttelton, where he served for six years, and was for six months afterwards a relieving stationmaster. Mr. McCarthy was then transferred to Waitotara, where he continued for two years as stationmaster, and was subsequently for five months at Sefton, Canterbury, in the same capacity, and for two years at Springston, whence he was promoted to be chief clerk at Greymouth. Mr. McCarthy is well known in the district as an accomplished violinist. He plays the first violin in the Orchestral Society, and is leader of St. Patrick's choir. In the year 1900, he married a daughter of Mr. George Agar, a well known resident of Lyttelton, and has one son and one daughter.

Mr. Ernest Nicholson was appointed Traffic Clerk at the Greymouth railway station in the year 1899. He was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, came to New Zealand in 1884, went to Dunedin, and there joined the railway department as a cadet. In the year 1890, he was transferred to Wellington, where he served for six years in the accountant's office; was in the office of the locomotive superintendent for a year, and was transferred to Greymouth in 1899, Mr. Nicholson married Miss Playle, of Karori, Wellington, in the year 1896, and has one son.

Mr. Peter Alexander Clark has occupied the position of coaching foreman at the Greymouth railway station since the 20th of January, 1899. He was born in July, 1863, at Stornoway, in the Island of Lewis, in the north of Scotland, where he went to school. Mr. Clark followed a seafaring life for nine years, and became, successively, boatswain, third mate, and second mate. In the year 1876, he came to New Zealand by the ship “Assaye,” and landed at Port Chalmers. In November, 1877, he joined the railway department, in the goods shed, at Dunedin, where he became porter on the platform. He was then appointed signalman, and was afterwards promoted to the position of guard. He married a daughter of the late Mr. McRae, of Glasgow, in the year 1878, and has, surviving, two daughters, and five sons.

The Greymouth Railway Workshops consist of a large wood and iron building, near the railway station, and include a fitting shop, a machine shop, a smith's shop, a boiler shop, and a wood workshop, in addition to the running-engine shed. The machinery includes four lathes, three vertical drills, shaping machines, page 558 three forges, two punching and shearing machines, circular and band saws, and a wood lathe and morticing machine. The plant is driven by a twelve horse-power stationary engine. Cars are erected at the workshops, but the chief work consists in repairing all kinds of rolling stock. Fifty-three persons are employed in connection with the workshops. The engine-shed contains thirteen locomotives, and thirty-two men are employed, including drivers and firemen.

Mr. William James Watson was appointed Foreman of the Greymouth Railway Workshops and Locomotive Running Shed, on the 16th of April, 1891; he also has charge of the whole of the hydraulic cranes and plant on the wharves at Greymouth. Mr. Watson was born at Stockport, England, and served his apprenticeship at Crewe, under
Ring, photo.Mr. W. J. Watson.

Ring, photo.
Mr. W. J. Watson.

the London and North Western Railway Company. After nine years' service, he came to New Zealand in the year 1880, and arrived at Lyttelton by the ship “Hereford,” on New Year's Day. In December of the following year Mr. Watson entered the Hillside Workshops, Dunedin, and eight years later was transferred, as leading fitter, to the Addington Railway Workshops, Christchurch, where he remained for ten years. Mr. Watson was married in Dunedin in 1887.

The New Zealand Government Hydraulic Cranes occupy a substantial brick and wooden building immediately opposite the loading cranes, and close to the wharf. The engine-room has two 16-inch high pressure cylinders, with a 20-inch stroke. The fly-wheel is six feet in diameter, and the crank discs measure 2 feet 3 inches. The other measurements are: Connecting rod, 3 feet 6 inches, and piston rod, 3 feet by 3 inches. The machinery has been fitted with cleverly designed oil sponges, the invention of Mr. Nuttall, the officer in charge. The engines are from the workshops of Sir William Armstrong. There are two Cornish boilers, which are employed in driving a double-acting horizontal high-pressure steam engine, with 17-inch cylinders and 20-inch stroke, besides a double-acting pump attached to each piston rod. A weight of eighty-six tons is raised seventeen feet, and gives a pressure of 728 pounds to the square inch. The power is thence transmitted to two eight-ton hydraulic cranes on the wharf, where they are used in delivering coal from the trucks into the ship's hold. There are also three capstains to haul the full trucks towards the cranes, as the empties are pushed further along the line.

Mr. William Nuttall , who was formerly in charge of the hydraulic machinery, was born in 1857, and is a native of Blyth, England. After receiving an elementary education, he began his industrial life in the boiler-maker's shop of
Mr. W. Nuttall.

Mr. W. Nuttall.

Sir Charles Mark Palmers at Jarrow-on-Tyne. Mr. Nuttall came to New Zealand in 1878, and found employment with the Spring Coal Company He was appointed to take charge of the Government cranes at Greymouth in 1890.