The First Hundred - 1961


Last Modified: 18-3-2023 16:37

Mayor: Mr E. P. Meachen

Councillors: Messrs C'. C. Dix, D. S. Hall, S. P. Harting, L. S. Jellyman, H. E. McKinley, G. E. Marshall, J. G. Walker, G. H. Whimp, S. H. J. Wiblin.


4: The M.C.C. cricket team (N. Watson, captain) plays Marl­borough (J. McGuire, captain) at Horton Park.

19: Parker's Bridge, on the Middle Renwick Road at Springlands, is replaced by a five-foot culvert.

A building which had been a dental surgery and residence occu­pied successively by a Mr Lloyd, Mr H. R. Bagge, Mr D. E. McArthur and Mr L. G. Macdonald for 60 years, on the corner of Queen Street and Maxwell Road, is demolished.

Miss B. H. Stace, aged 80, retires as shorthand-typist at Dalgety & Co. Ltd.


2: The first children attend the newly-built Mayfield Kinder­garten. Miss Jill Moorehouse, director.

11: Someone dyed the Seymour Square memorial fountain water green.

The four-roomed Blenheim Police Station in Wynen Street is totally inadequate for 16 policemen.

17: A Government cameraman, Mr J. S. Murphy, takes a series of photographs of Blenheim for a feature called "A Typical New Zealand Town."


1: Mr Jack Adams completes 30 years service with Shell Oil N.Z. Ltd in Grove Road. He started work the day the depot opened.

6: The third Blenheim Girls' Brigade Company formed. Mrs A. Screen, first captain.

10: The first N.A.C. jet-prop Fokker Friendship aircraft lands at Woodbourne.

The Council spent 90 minutes of its 160-minute monthly meeting in committee.

Miss A. A. L. Woods, supervising matron of Wairau Hospital, retires and Miss D. E. Talbot is appointed.


24: The Marlborough Public Relations Association formed. Mr F. L. Smith, president. The Chamber of Commerce sponsored the formation of the association and canvassed for the necessary finance.


8: Sandra Drummond, of Blenheim, becomes the first Marl­borough girl to receive the Queen's Guide Badge.

Mrs E. M. Rudd, who was matron at Wairau Hospital for 20 years (1921-41) is awarded the Florence Nightingale medal. She had a distinguished career, and gave meritorious war service.


Ratepayers vote heavily against the striking of a special rate to finance the Centennial Hall.

13: Wright Stephenson & Co. buy the old-established (1877) retail shop of Girlings Ltd, in Market Place.

14: A school for intellectually handicapped children is opened in the Girl Guide Hut in Eltham Road. Mrs M. J. Heagney, president.

24: Blenheim electrical appliance shops draw big crowds watch­ing television test transmissions from Wellington.


Owing to a dispute, Blenheim butchers man the floor of the abattoir after a walk-out of slaughtermen.

Work commences on the Council's £12,500 sewerage scheme at Farnham.

8: Mr A. Beverley is appointed Marlborough Public Relations Officer.

31: Mr W. B. Bendall is the first Marlburian to be appointed a district governor of Rotary (District 298).


1: In an opinion poll conducted by The Express, Pollard Park receives a 60% vote as the best site for the proposed Centennial Hall.

New equipment at the telephone exchange enables Blenheim operators to dial direct to Wellington subscribers.

14: The Blenheim Police report that bicycle thefts have reached almost epidemic proportions.

19: Mr F. M. Bateson, resident astronomer at the Black Birch observatory testing station, is serviced and supplied by the Marl­borough Industrial Development Committee.


8: A 75-yard-long store building off Main Street, behind Hopwood-B end all's and McKenzies, is destroyed by fire.

11: S.A.F.E. Bristols make 60 crossings of Cook Strait in one day.


The Council fights the "Battle of Barricades" and continues the prohibition on vehicles entering the central business area on Christmas and New Year's Eves. The retailers strongly op­posed the ban. Barricading was discontinued in 1967.

Rates produce £97,831; building permits £701,066; population 11,956; valuation, capital £10,462,000, unimproved £2,272,000.

Cite this page

Beverley, A. (2023). The First Hundred - 1961. Retrieved April, 24, 2024, from