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Page 3 of 27: Four then and now views of Market Place looking down Market Street South, and two views of the Royal Hotel in Grove Road, Blenheim. 1. Market Place looking down Market Street South. Litchfield & Sons store is on the right at the edge of Market Place. A large tree can be seen over its roof. A corner of the second Post Office building can be seen on the extreme right of the photograph. Two buildings with awnings, the left one is the Royal Oak Hotel (see number 2) are across the square. Wynen Street is not obvious, but it is to the right between these shops and the next building which is the Masonic Hotel. A new business premises is being built next to the Masonic. 2. Undated, but 1878 or later. The third Post Office, which opened in 1878, is visible on the extreme right hand side. Litchfield's store has a new roof and signage. The Masonic Hotel also has new roofing with a sign. Wynen Street is still not visible, but a man stands on its far side waiting to cross the street. The Royal Oak Hotel has come down and a large brick or concrete building is in its place. This is the new Bank of New Zealand. They purchased the old Royal Oak Hotel corner in 1876 and opened their new bank about 1878. The trees have got thicker over Litchfield's roof. 3. Coloured postcard, undated, but probably early 1900s, as the Miller & McKay Show Room sign looks similar to the one on page 1. "5774 P.C. Market Square, Blenheim, N.Z." is written on the left bottom. "M& M" is written on the right bottom. It's now possible to see that the trees are in the vicinity of Maxwell Road and Scott Street, and there are a great many more shops and stores on the right-hand-side of Market Place South. Miller & McKay have taken over from Litchfield & Sons. The Masonic Hotel on the corner of Wynen Street and Market Place is still there, but the building on the other corner may have been replaced as part of the brick wall of a building now stands out from the Bank of New Zealand beside it. George Patchett, tobacconist, has a shop in the right-hand-side of the bottom floor of the Bank of New Zealand. Girling's Drapers is on the other Lower High Street and Market Place corner. 4. This is the now photograph, a coloured view, undated but probably the 1960s. Thomas's has taken over from Miller & McKay's. McQueen's Jewelers has the whole block from Wynen Street corner to Lower High Street corner and Wright Stevensons Department store has taken over from Girlings Drapery. The "Boulder Banks" are much in evidence having blocked off vehicle access to Market Street North. 5. Royal Hotel. Penney's Royal Hotel was on the corner of Auckland Street and Grove Road until it burnt down in 1878. This view shows the hotel surrounded by the flood waters of 1872. The Rainbow Hotel is on the left with the large lampstand and ornate light outside it and someone has put a ladder up onto the roof of what is most likely Girlings first drapery shop. A walkway leading down to a crossing over the Omaka river [now, 2011, the Taylor River], which came up behind the first Presbyterian Church [now part of the Clubs of Marlborough carpark] is between the Rainbow hotel and the building thought to be Girlings, where there is a horse's head between the two ladders. 6. This is the now view, probably taken in the 1980s. The Royal Hotel with the Lion Brown sign on the roof is not the same Royal Hotel as in 1872. When that hotel burnt down in 1878, the owner and proprietor, Aaron William Penney, sold the land and moved himself and his license to the Rainbow Hotel, which he re-named the Royal Hotel. This view shows a much changed and renovated Rainbow Hotel. Norm Fowke, Glass Merchant (who is not in the 1969 telephone book, but is in the 1994 one) is now where the old Royal Hotel used to be, along with the business beside him which is on the corner of Auckland Street. The space between Norm Fowke's and the Rainbow Hotel is the walkway, but there is now no way to cross the river here.
Market Place down Market Street South & Royal Hotel -Don Furness - Marlborough Then and Now -Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc

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Last modified on: December 19, 2014