The First Hundred - 1885


Last Modified: 11-1-2023 11:17

Mayor: Mr G. Henderson

Councillors: Messrs J. J. Sinclair, R. Wanden, W. Ching, D. Wemyss, W. Douslin, W. Gillespie, M. Healy, G. W. Riley, W. B. Parker, G. Houldsworth, R. McArtney.


A by-law is adopted requiring all carts and traps to show lights at night.

The Express suggests that something should be done about Blenkinsopp's cannon, which some rude boys had rolled into the willows down the bank of the Omaka. It should be preserved for visitors to see.


Blenheim businesses announce that they will close at 11 am on race days.

The Royal Hotel is enlarged and improved at a cost of £1057.


Council overdraft is £1571.

Mr Thomas Redwood subdivides 325 acres in Redwoodtown. The Catholic Sisters canvass the town for funds to build a convent in Maxwell Road.


Council proposes to obtain a steam fire engine. The Blenheim Chess & Draughts Club is formed.

A visiting judge complains that the rehearsals of the Friendly Society's Band render the night hideous with their excruciating music.


Clark & Pickering run a regular coach service to Nelson.

John Hale opens a nursery garden in Springlands.


The Registrar of the Supreme Court receives a salary of £100 per annum, the Magistrate £200, and the Chief Postmaster £390.

Someone puts a pound of gun powder in a local blacksmith's furnace bellows (it was discovered before exploding).


22: The new steam fire engine arrives. It produces 90 lbs pressure with two hoses and has 2000 feet of hose.

Twenty-five carpenters out on strike for two days to reduce the working week from 48 to 46 hours. The employers agreed to their demands.

The Salvation Army is granted the use of Market Place for religious meetings on Sunday afternoons.

The Hospital Committee has 50 acres at Amersfoort (as it was then spelt) at its disposal for a hospital.


Council proposes to borrow £10,000 for forming 10 miles of streets and for drainage of the Borough.

Council contributes £64 towards the cost of the Co-op. Drain. Council proposes to spend the £10,000 as follows: Drain, Arthur Street, £2000; tramway from Opawa River to Alfred Street, £2700; forming and metalling streets, £1900; Alfred Street, Omaka Bridge, £1000; flood control, £2200. Term of loan was 20 years at a rate of 5d in £ as security.

The proposal was later dropped and Council resolved to borrow only £3000. The term was 15 years at 6%, with a special rate of 21/2 d in the £ as security.


The Blenheim Mounted Rifles changed to Marlborough Hussars.

30: Sisters were installed in the new Blenheim Convent, which was opened by the Very Rev. Father Seauzeau, S.M.


The Express operates a steam-driven printing press.

The Opawa River has eight feet of water at low tide. Diphtheria claims the lives of some Blenheim children.

There are bitter local arguments over the siting of the new Amersfoort Hospital.

A Blenheim man eats 27 dozen oysters in a competition.


The Express describes the Blenheim Hospital as a "wretched, bug-eaten edifice."

21: A man known as "Young, Laurie" walks from Market Place, Blenheim, to Picton in 2 hours 10 minutes. He immedi­ately walked back in 3 hours 26 minutes.


28: A site is bought for the new Congregational Church in Blenheim.

The Express describes the attendance at a meeting as "small, not many more than 100 people being present."

A "thrill of consternation" runs through Council when it is re­ported that the Council horse was sick. A replacement is hired. Estimates £4246.19.6; rateable value of the Borough £25,373; rates 1/- in £; population 2700.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1885. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from