The First Hundred - 1886


Last Modified: 11-1-2023 12:25

Mayor: Mr G. Henderson

Councillors: Messrs M. Healy, W. B. Parker, J. J. Sinclair, R. Wanden, G. Houldsworth, W. Ching, G. W. Riley, R. McArtney, W. Douslin, W. R. Clark, H. Jellyman.


Council workmen are paid 8/- per day.

A councillor moves that the Town Clerk's salary be reduced by £10 per annum. The motion was lost.

A local fisherman recommends kitten meat as the best bait for trout.

Interested persons are unable to find 20 Blenheim businessmen willing to be connected to a proposed telephone exchange.


The collector of dog tax receives 1/- for each dog registered. Council overdraft is £2972.

On the occasion of a visit from Sir William Jervois, Governor, the following was the order of the procession through Blenheim: The Blenheim Band, a mounted escort of Blenheim Hussars, the Governor, the Mayor, the local Member, the reception committee in carriages, the Hussars, the Blenheim Rifles, Spring Creek Rifles, the Rifle Cadets, the Borough School Cadets, the Friendly Societies, the Fire Brigade, and private carriages.


A tender of £500 is accepted for the new Catholic Boys' School in Maxwell Road.

Confusion reigns in the Supreme Court when it is found that the plaintiff and defendant have been called as jurymen in their own case.

13: Census shows that Blenheim has a larger population than New Plymouth.


10: The shock of the Mount Tarawera eruption was felt in Blenheim.

The Mayor's honorarium was fixed at £30.10.5.


A 4 lb loaf of bread costs 6d.

Council petitions Government to run the proposed Nelson ­Blenheim railway through Havelock and not Tophouse.

Council proposes to borrow £14,000 to buy the Gasworks. They had been offered to Council in August, 1883, for £8000.


The Express describes Blenheim streets as "wet, filthy and de­plorable, more like a primaeval swamp into which one sinks ankle-deep in mud after rain."

A tender of £575 is accepted for the Church of the Nativity vicarage.


Mr Lightfoot, of Nelson, values the gasworks at £9925.


3: Some chimneys are shaken down in an earthquake in Blen­heim.

6: A wool store in Wynen Street burns down owing to the inability of the fire engine to approach the site. Blenheim was flooded and fire fighters had to fight the blaze breast-high in water. Many families took refuge in the second storey of Mr W. B. Parker's flour mill. A sheep observed in the river had a cat and a rabbit on its back.


The £14,000 borrowed for the gasworks carries 6% interest and a rate of 9d in £ is struck as security.

9: A bad flood in Blenheim, many houses suffering as much as four feet of water.

Mail from Nelson and Havelock is delivered on horseback, the postal officer having to cross 14 rivers between Havelock and Blenheim.

A Mr Evans opens to the public "The Alabama Gardens," just off Alabama Road east of Maxwell Road.


"The Blenheim Ghost" frightens two ladies, who give vent to piercing screams in the night.


Telephone communications are established in Blenheim. Many Blenheim retailers open until 10 pm every evening.

24: The secretary of the Acclimatisation Society catches a 24 1/2 lb trout with his hands at St. Andrews.

Expenditure, £5319.0.10; rates 91/2d in £; rates to produce £1110.2.31/2; estimates £2131.2.3 1/2; rateable values £28.045; population 3098.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1886. Retrieved February, 28, 2024, from