Post Offices of Marlborough
Blenheim Post Office through the years

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Record 89/89
Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc
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Collection Don Furness Photograph Album
Description Page 1 of 27: Seven views of the Blenheim Post Office, then and now. A postcard and a coloured photograph, numbered A and B, have come loose and are now in envelopes - they can be seen in their rightful place in image 1. A coloured postcard and photograph, numbered C and D, were on page 2, but have also come loose and are now in envelopes with this page - they can be seen in their rightful place in image 2.

1. First Post Office and Courthouse 1866, has a horse and gig parked in front. Alfred Dobson's 1857 plan of the town of Beaver allows section 97 for the Courthouse and jail.
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A copy of photograph (1) was used in exhibit 37 - Post Offices of Marlborough - October to November 2012, with this label:
Blenheim's first Post Office about 1866, east side of Sinclair Street.
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2. Post Office in 1876, has an oxen team and load of wool parked in front. This is the second Post Office and it is in Market Place on section 97 (see page 3, where a small section can be seen beside Litchfield's store). This the Government buildings which were lost in the great fire of Thursday 2 November 1876 at 1am (see Papers Past 4 November 1876 for the original writeup - the computer generated text can be seen in Notes).
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A copy of photograph (2) was used in exhibit 37 - Post Offices of Marlborough - October to November 2012, with this label:
Blenheim's second Post Office 1870 (sic), Market Place.
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3. Postcard marked A. Showing the third Post Office with a label saying it opened in 1878. It is in Market Place and the Cleghorn Rotunda, opened in December 1889, is also there, so this photograph is taken after that date. View clearly shows the two statues in their alcoves and the Royal Arms (see image 5 & * in Notes) under the clock tower. They went missing sometime before his building was demolished about 1974. A sign, Miller & McKay's Show Room, is on the side of the building to the left. High-wheeled horse drawn vehicles and men with bicycles are in the area. On the front is written, "Government buildings, Blenheim". Photograph by S.C. Smith numbered B.27. Mr. Furness has put a small label on the left top with, "Opened 1878". On the back he has written, "Have a copy and neg of this one". Tanner Brothers Limited Photographic Series.
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A copy of photograph (3) was used in exhibit 37 - Post Offices of Marlborough - October to November 2012, with this label:
Blenheim's third Post Office, opened 1878, Market Place.
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4. The third Post Office taken in 1902 during the celebrations for the coronation of King Edward VII which were held on 9th August 1902. "A great procession, children's sports, speeches and a Maori hangi are held to mark the coronation. In the evening there were a torchlight procession, fireworks and music. The day ended at 10 pm with the firing of Blenkinsopp's cannon", as quoted from Beverley's book. A traction engine with a head of steam is in the foreground and there are crowds of people. The Boer War ended on 1 June 1902 so it was a double celebration.

5. Coloured photograph marked B. Undated view of the Post Office in Market Place, showing two buses in front, the rotunda to the left and one wheel of a high-wheeled horse drawn vehicle to the right. Men with bicycles mill around. The statues and intact clock tower are still there.

6. Coloured post card marked C. This is one of two now views, possibly taken in the 1960s. Blenheim Chief Post Office is written on the building, the rotunda takes centre stage and cars drive about. There's a star on top of the rotunda, so it may have been taken around Christmas time. Thomas's business takes the place of Miller & McKay's Show Room, (see number 3). On the back is written, "Market Square - Blenheim. Blenheim is the principal town of the prosperous Marlborough Province. Photograph: Robin Smith Photograph Limited. [There has long been a debate over whether the correct name is Market Place or Market Square. I am using whichever is on the item at the time. Alfred Dobson named it Market Place in 1857.] The statues are missing and their alcoves are filled in. The clock tower has the top portion missing.

7. Coloured photograph, undated, possibly taken in the 1980s. The Post Office has been demolished and the Forum has yet to be developed. The rotunda is still standing proudly and Thomas's is visible on the left. Possibly taken at Christmas time as large red and yellow candles and lanterns are spaced on poles around the area. The infamous "Boulder Banks" - an attempt to beautify the central area of town with large stones arranged in banks - can be seen all through the square.
Year Range from 1866
Year range to 1994
Object ID 1995.015.0185
Object Name Album, Photograph
People Smith, S.C.
Smith, Robin
Dobson, Alfred
Place Marlborough
Title Blenheim Post Office through the years
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Last modified on: December 19, 2014