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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 2, Issue 5, November 1971

Charming Glenduan — An Undeveloped Nelson Resort

Charming Glenduan — An Undeveloped Nelson Resort

page 24

Advert for Glenduan

page 25

On the opposite page banner headlines, about one third original size, and descriptive text are reproduced from a prospectus of sections offered for sale in the Glen area by a local syndicate in 1904. The prospectus measures 35 by 22 inches and is well covered with illustrations and information on conditions of sale. Near the corners are four rather murky photographs, and occupying the main portion of the prospectus are maps, a large tinted one showing locations and details of the sections and a smaller locality map which includes the Boulder Bank. There is no indication that work on the Cut (New Entrance) was already under way.

The four corner illustrations depict pleasant fertile farming land backed by scrub covered hills; also a weatherbeaten stony beach with driftwood, tough looking shrubs, and (in one of them) a foreground dominated by a broken paling fence. The most interesting photo is entitled "'Penguin' passing Glenduan on her way to Wellington. On the beach is to be seen the commencement of the Boulder Bank, and Tasman Bay and the Mountains in the distance." Owing to poor reproduction the mountains are now invisible but the U.S.S. Co.'s "Penguin," a regular visitor to Wellington, is steaming past gaily in an easterly direction, only to be wrecked under such tragic circumstances five years later on the Wellington coast.

Many of the sections, averaging about one quarter acre in area and practically undeveloped, were bought by local residents at reasonable prices, about £20 upwards. So far as can be ascertained, no staging for boats (as described in the advertisement) was ever erected, and the business section of Glenduan township appears never to have grown beyond tea-rooms in occasional use some years ago.

This Nelson resort did not seem to have attracted many Wellingtonians, local residents buying up most of the properties where many of them and their descendants have followed rural pursuits on the neighbouring low hillside or reclaimed mudflats enjoying "a most charming outlook", details of which are so vividly described in the 1904 prospectus of the would-be developers of Glenduan.

Ships still pass impressively, and indeed, majestically along the Boulder Bank "to and fro from Wellington and elsewhere," and in increasing numbers. Many are of great size and of unusual appearance, being designed for special commercial purposes undreamt of by Nelsonians of nearly seventy years ago.

This interesting and little-known prospectus was kindly introduced to my notice by Mr. Len Kain who has farmed in Glen Road since 1918. He acquired in 1921 two sections, on a remote area of the map, to round off his property. More than half the sections had by then been sold.