News, Events and Culture

262 Cuba Street - Cooee Dry Cleaners

Cooee -Dry -Cleaners

Building Details

Building Name: Cooee Dry Cleaners (formerly Pink and Collison Building)
Address: 262 Cuba Street
Construction date: 1905
Architect: E Larcomb
Builder: Unknown
District Plan Category: Street Character 16
Building number: 92
Heritage NZ Category: Nil

Physical and Social History 

There is some question as to whether this building is the 1905 Larcomb building that was the original building on this site. That building was described in a separate article on the day the tender notice was published, as being two-storied and intended to be shops and offices. Perhaps the reporter concerned got the description wrong. Certainly there was no two-storied building on the site in a c1912 photo taken from the top of the old main Post Office, while this building was certainly present by 1937.

Prior History
The land upon which this building stands was formerly part of a Borough Council reserve, and thus the certificates of title do not grant certainty over who the owners of the actual building were - although the various leaseholders probably were. This property was initially Lot 2 of Section 257, however, the reserve was later resurveyed and it became Lot 9 of DP2639. Thus this transformation, which occurred in the course of the lengthy CT 214/247 (which included the leases etc of a number of sections on the reserve), can be complicated.

CT WN17/96 shows that the first certain lease of this property in its own right occurred in 1902. This was the lease of Lot 2 for a period of 21 years starting on the 1 of December of that year. The lessee was James Henry Carson, the Wellington-born son of two Crimean War veterans - his mother having also served there with Florence Nightingale. He was foreman of CW Brodie's cordial factory in Wellington, when after some 25 years in the trade, he decided to move to Palmerston North and start a cordial factory. Perhaps he initially considered this site for his cordial business. However, by August 1903, Carson & Co's Aerated Water Works was located in Rangitikei Street between Osgood & Hancock's premises and Gattsche's Brewery. He was also a life member of the Working Men's Club/Cosmopolitan Club at the time of his death in 1941, and so this might have had some bearing of his leasing of this property.[1]

In January 1905 (meaning the event probably occurred in late 1904), the lease was transferred from Carson to James Copeland and Henry Montgomery Copeland as tenants in common.

The Building

The Manawatu Times of 17 January 1905 included the tender notice for what seems most likely to be this building. It stated simply that architect Ernest Larcomb sought tenders to build a brick or concrete premises in Cuba Street for Messrs J & HR Copeland. The tenders were required by 25 January.

The local news column of the same edition recorded the following: Mr E Larcomb architect, calls for tenders for the erection of premises in Cuba Street for Messrs Copeland Bros, of Rangitikei Line. The new building is to be in brick or concrete. It will be situated next to the old Working Men's Club. The total width will be 33 feet and the depth 88 feet, and the two stories will be divided into shops and offices.[2]

There was no indication as to who won the tender. However, the 1905-6 PNBC Rate Book shows a building to the value of £600 being added to the previously bare land - which had an unimproved value of £330. The following year the neighbouring single-storey Arcade/Mr Models building was erected for £700, and so this also appears to support the likelihood that there never was a two-storied building on this site.

The next evidence is provided by PN Library photo Sq 142, which was taken from the old main Post Office Clock Tower in about 1912, based on the presence or otherwise of buildings shown. Any two-storied building on this site, would have been visible alongside the Kerslake/C 2 C building - which is clearly visible. However, there is nothing two-storied there, and the known single storey building (Mr Models) is obscured by the buildings that front The Square. Thus this building appears to predate the photo and to have been as invisible as its single storey (but still taller) neighbour.

A search of the PNBC/PNCC Rate books between construction in 1905 and 1937, shows only a single unknown addition in value (other than the standard reviews to property values) to the property, and this being during the 1911-12 Rating year. This totalled only £30 and might have been something like the addition of a verandah or alterations inside the building. A loss by fire and replacement with a much cheaper building might not have increased or reduced the capital value as shown in the Rate books. However, such information was not located during this study. Certainly there is no reference to any harm coming to any neighbouring buildings during the fire that effectively destroyed the old two-storied wooden Working Men's Club building on 16 August 1905. The 1905 Copeland Bros. building immediately next door, should have been complete by this time. 

For the purposes of this study, it will therefore be assumed that this is the 1905 building - especially given Larcomb 's regular advert of 1907 that said he was now designing handsome buildings of moderate cost, which would be proof against earthquakes, fire, weather, vermin, and would last for ages.[3]

Messrs J & HM Copeland
What was traced for this study regarding the brothers James and Henry Montgomery Copeland, suggests they were comfortably off and probably well connected. Their father was Captain James Copeland of Otago, while their maternal grandfather was Captain Henry Montgomery of Wanganui. James Copeland junior also served as a PN Borough Councillor between 1901 and 1903. The 1902 Wises' Directory described the brothers as land agents, while the 1911 Palmerston North Electoral Roll included James Copeland, secretary, of Cuba Street. However, no other family members were listed.

The 1905-6 PNBC Rate book lists their sister Frances Mary Copeland of Rangitikei Street as occupier of this property - of which the Borough Council was the owner (of the land).

It seems that no sooner was their new building was likely to have been complete, than the brothers left the country. The Manawatu Evening Standard reported in May 1905 that: Messrs J and HM Copeland, of Palmerston, left by this morning's train on an extended trip to the Old Country. They will be absent from the colony about 12 months. During their absence their business in connection with the Starr Bowkett Building Society will be carried on by Mr G Hirsch, and the Government State Fire Insurance Office will be conducted by Mr T Rodgers, of Messrs Rodgers and Larcomb. An advertisement relating to the State Fire Insurance appears in another column.[4].

The Manawatu Evening Standard of 8 March 1906 recorded that a letter had been received from James Copeland, announcing that his daughter had just married Sir William Earl in London amidst a large and fashionable gathering of friends.[5] Although the Copeland brothers returned, they did not remain in Palmerston North. Their aforementioned sister, Frances Montgomery Copeland, died in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on 23 July 1916 - where their widowed mother was then living.[6]

Messrs Copeland Bros paid the rates on this property until its transfer to Laurence Kavanagh, by then of Hawera, in the 1907-8 Rating year. However, Kavanagh had had an interest in the property by late 1906. He had taken over the lease that year, and had also briefly obtained a mortgage at that time from the Copeland brothers, although another lender took this over almost immediately. The Copelands then disposed of the same mortgage to yet another lender the following year.

Although CT WN17/96 shows the lease remaining with Kavanagh until 1911, the Rate books show the property transferred to James H Gilchrist in the 1908-9 Rating year, and then to William Seaton of Raurimu, during 1909-10. The following year William P Seaton was living at Ngaruawahia. During the 1911-12 Rating year, the property was transferred back to James H Gilchrist, a local commission agent, as also was the lease with the Borough Council

During the 1912-13 Rating year, JH Gilchrist made some unknown improvement to the property to the value of £30. He then retained the property until 1914, when the lease was transferred to Albert McBeth, whose address in the Rate books then was c/- A Paterson, Inglewood. By the 1919-20 Rating year, McBeth was living in Hamilton.

The nearly expired lease was next transferred to Charles Abel Peters in December 1922. He then began a new 21-year lease with the Borough Council, which started on 1 December 1923. Peters was not traced in this study, however the Rate books give his address as Cuba Street until 1924-25, when it is changed to 2 Andrew Young Street. In 1932-33 it changes to Stratford, and in 1936-37 his address is c/-Dominion Motors, Stratford.

It appears that the building was subleased out by mostly Taranaki-based landlords over a great many years. Little is known of them or their reason for owning this building. Albert McBeth might be the man of that name who lived in Stratford at the time of the 1916 Wises Directory, while Charles Peters might be the manager, of Stratford, referred to in the 1936 Wises Directory. The only Laurence Kavanagh traced was a farmer of that name who died aged 78 in Hawera on 6 August 1961.[7]

Occupants of the building prior to 1925 
Wises 1908 - Cuba St - JB Clarkson Ltd, cycle depot (Jno B Clarkson, manager)
Wises 1911 - 19 Cuba St - W Moffatt & Co, land agents
Wises 1914-16 - 19 Cuba St - Chas J Adams, motor garage
Wises 1920-22 - 100 Cuba St - Chas J Adams, motor garage
Wises 1925 - 100 Cuba St - Empire Auctioneering Co

At the time this building was erected in 1905, JB Clarkson & Co Ltd was trading from a shop in Coleman Place that was "two doors from the firebell." The aforementioned photo Sq142 reveals that it was one of two shops on the site later occupied by Everybody's Theatre (later the Midland Hotel). Clarkson's firm had been established in 1894, and in 1903 he reportedly bought 1,000 bicycles when overseas and was considering opening a new shop. However, his shop was still in Coleman Place in mid-1905 when the building under study here was probably complete. By mid-1906, when JA Nash & Co Ltd was about to open The Arcade "by the firebell", Clarkson was advertising his shops in Palmerston North, Feilding, Levin, Foxton and Bulls, and sponsoring the 88 mile Clarkson Road Race that had attracted 56 male cyclists - 36 of whom completed the race.[8]

It was Messrs JB Clarkson & Co Ltd's cycle shop that attracted the Nonpareil Cycle & Motor Co to Palmerston North in 1906. The latter firm's entry in the 1908 Cyclopedia of New Zealand[9] included the following description of the business and premises they had just purchased: In November 1906, the firm bought out the retail cycle business of Messrs JB Clarkson and Company, Limited, of Palmerston North, and removed the headquarters of the firm to that town. The premises are amongst the finest in the town; they have 2000 square feet of floor space, are fitted up and appointed in the most up-to-date and attractive manner, and comprise a commodious showroom (capable of displaying 100 machines), a suite of offices, and large workrooms.

It is unlikely this description involved the building under study here, however, Nonpareil occupied the aforementioned premises "two doors from the firebell" by the 1908 Wises Directory, and in 1911, leased The Arcade next door. Clarkson appears to have stopped advertising his Coleman Place shop on 22 November 1906[10], and as his business appears using the building being studied here as a cycle depot in the 1908 Wise's Directory, it is possible that he used it to supply his other cycle shops.

Chas J Adams Ltd
The firm Chas J Adams Ltd occupied this building - as a motor garage - by 1914, according to the Wise's Directories. Then in 1922, when the lease on the neighbouring Arcade building (Cuba Street end only) came up for renewal, Adams Ltd took over the new lease and ran this building and the former Arcade building in conjunction. The firm had probably occupied the former Arcade'building soon after Nonpareil left in April 1921.

Charles John Adams' obituary in 1946 recorded that after being in control of one of the leading motor showrooms in Christchurch (then the Adams Star Cycle Company) he had come to Palmerston North in 1904 (via two years in Wanganui) to manage another branch of the firm. This firm became one of the pioneers of the car business in the town.

The 1905 regular advert of the Adams Star Cycle Company indicates that it was then in the newly rebuilt Clarendon (Hotel) Buildings in The Square.[11] However, before long the firm operated from a two-storied brick garage in Rangitikei Street, its entry in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol 6 in 1908, describing it as a motorcar and cycle engineers and importers, that also had its head office in Christchurch. In 1906, the Palmerston North showroom sold 20 cars and 180 bicycles.[12] The firm was to occupy its two Cuba Street buildings until February 1924.

The 1924 Fire
The newly departed Adams Ltd, which was the New Zealand agent for Studebakers, re-opened for business in its new premises in Rangitikei Street (those previously occupied by Messrs Wackrill & Stewart) on 18 February 1924. Four days later, on 22 February 1924, a huge fire broke out in the block Adams Ltd had just left, destroying and/or damaging seven shops. The fire had originated at the centre of the block, and at the rear of the Empire Auction Mart building. The Kerslake/C 2 C building - on the eastern boundary of this building - was completely gutted, with only its brick walls surviving. Meanwhile one of the two shops behind the Kerslake/C 2 C building (facing The Square) was also badly burnt - however, both of those buildings were repaired and survive today. Meanwhile the building under study here seems to have survived the encroaching flames and the showers of sparks unscathed - with the help of the fire brigade.

While this building was unaffected by the fire itself, but being newly empty meant that it was quickly snapped up as the new home of one of the burnt out businesses. Similarly, Watson Bros had quickly moved its Universal Supply Co grocery store into Adams Ltd's other former premises, the old Arcade building - and that shop reopened for business only three days after the fire. The Empire Auction Mart moved into this building soon after. The 1927 and 1928 Wise's Directories also list the Forest Radio Co between the Universal Supply Co and the Empire Auction Mart (all three then being 100 Cuba Street), however, it is not clear which former Adam's Ltd building this business was in.

Empire Auctioneering Company
What appears to be the Empire Auctioneering Company's first advertisement at their new premises is dated 5 April 1924. It stated that they had re-opened in brick premises, 100 Cuba Street (late Adams, Ltd, garage), next to the Universal Supply Stores. They had also had the premises thoroughly renovated and these afforded excellent facilities for display.[13]

Charles Abel Peters sublet the former Adams Ltd property to Mark Briggs and Bertie Victor Cooksley, for a term of five years starting 4 August 1924. However, they had clearly occupied it at least four months before that.

The 1920 Wises Directory lists the firm Brown & Briggs, auctioneers, as located in premises where the Mowlem/Costas building now is. The 1922 Directory lists a motor garage at that address, however, by 1924 and the time of the fire, the auctioneering firm was back at its former site and was variously called the Empire Auction Mart (according to its adverts) or the Empire Auctioneering Company. Mark Briggs' obituary describes the business as having been a combination of a furniture store, land agency and auction rooms.

The owners of this business are some of the most significant in terms of social history located during this study. They also create a surprising contrast with each other and probably also those around them. Briggs' biography in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, states that he had emigrated from Yorkshire in 1904 and worked as an itinerant labourer around the North Island before becoming a flax worker. He joined the flaxmillers' trade union in Manawatu and became a supporter of the radical Red Feds group. Then in 1916, he and fellow radical unionist Bob Brown, formed the Empire Auctioneering Company. They also operated an employment agency.

Briggs was a conscientious objector during the First World War, refusing conscription in 1917 on socialist grounds. After imprisonment for a time, he and thirteen others with similar views were sent from Trentham Military Camp to Britain, and then to France. There they were subjected to an array of extreme abuse as outlined in the above publication, including Field Punishment No 1 (ie. tied to posts in range of enemy shells) and other ill-treatments in an effort to break them of their views. In February 1918, he and the two others (one being the well-known Archibald Baxter) who were still fighting from the original thirteen, were sent to the trenches - and in Briggs' case this included being dragged about 1,000 yards across rough ground and duckboards by wire tied around his chest, while in range of enemy shells. The physical injuries resulting from these experiences saw him invalided back to New Zealand as unfit for service in early 1919.

Although Briggs is described as having been keen sportsman, generous and popular in business and caring to his family and friends, as well as patron to cricket and rugby clubs, and a boxing coach, it is also possible to hope that this tragic and far-reaching fire that started behind or within their premises in 1924 was simply an accident.[14]

By 1924, Briggs' business partner was Bertie Victor Cooksley, who also saw noteworthy war service. He was a Gallipoli landing veteran who won a Military Medal, before serving in France. He also saw service in World War Two, before leading a New Zealand party of Gallipoli veterans to lay wreaths at Chunuk Bair on behalf of the Government in April 1965. An executive of the market gardening association of the day, he had also organised and led a protest against Kuku land resumption in 1939.

The politics of these two men also contrasts. Briggs was a staunch Labour supporter who ran unsuccessfully for the Labour Party in Palmerston North in 1935 and 1938, although he polled well. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1936 and in 1940 was the only Member of Parliament to vote against conscription. Cooksley, meanwhile, was the National MP for Wairarapa between 1949 and 1963.

The 1925 Wises' Directory records both men living in Palmerston North, however, Cooksley subsequently moved to Wellington and managed Boyday Cooksley Ltd. according to the 1933 Stones Directory. He died at Waikanae on 26 July 1980.

In 1929, the Briggs and Cooksley sublease was transferred to Mark Briggs alone. Then in 1935, the sublease was passed on to William Harold Dawick[15] The Dawick business was formed in 1933 and the 1933 Stones Directory shows no listing for this address, suggesting the actual change of occupancy might have occurred about then. Instead Briggs' Empire Furnishing Co. appears in the Directory, relocated to the Cuba Street building then next to the old RSA building. The Hon Mark Briggs died on 15 March 1965, aged 80 years and is described as an auctioneer in PNCC cemetery records. His obituaries typically overlooked his war record.[16]

Dawick's Electrical Services
Charles Abel Peters remained lessee of this building until 1946 (including renewing the lease for a further twenty-one years in 1944), at which time the lease - but not occupancy - passed to the owners of the motorbike firm Pink & Collinson. However, the tenant from about 1933 (and certainly by the 1936 Wises' Directory) was Dawick's Electrical Services, which was an automotive electrical specialist.

The 1937 book From Swamp to City contains an article on Dawick's Electrical Garage, which includes the above photo of the building at that time. The upper façade is the same as at present. However, the concrete work on the lower façade is much different. At that time the verandah was supported by four plain verandah posts, and the front door was centrally located with plate glass windows on either side. Nowadays there is a ranch slider on the left side of the façade and a roller door on the right. There is also a plate glass window across the original front door site. These were part of the 1954 alterations outlined below.

The article in From Swamp to City[17] records the following:  Coming from that long-respected pioneer family of Dawicks, known so well when in the service of the community in Dawick Bros' Buffett, later called The New Royal Hotel, sons of Mr William Dawick, Messrs Harold and Stan. Dawick now, in recent years step forward to take their place in the ranks of the giants of industry in the business of Dawick's Electrical Garage, Cuba Street.

As the motor industry has progressed there has arisen the important need of specialised car electrical service both for the motoring public and also for the trade.

Established in 1933, Messrs Dawick's Electrical Garage now plays a prominent part in the car electrical repairs and parts supply service. All car electrical equipment - batteries, starters, generators ignition lights - and all electrical accessories and parts supplies are very efficiently catered for.       

With the same pioneer qualities - character, integrity, skill, experience - the basis of this fine progressive business, the motoring community, and that is all of us, can have every confidence in and respect for Messrs Dawick's Electrical Garage.

A letter sent by Dawick's Electrical Services to PNCC on 6 August 1954 states that they had been unexpectedly asked to vacate the building: Under duress of circumstances whereby we must vacate our present premises at a very early date, we have tentative arrangements made for a short term tenancy of the premises situated at 225 Cuba Street, now owned by Collinson & Son Ltd. The firm was seeking permission to make alterations to an old building then on the present site of the Firecats Strip Club.[18] The Wises Directories still list the firm at that address in 1960, by which time Auto Electrics Ltd was its neighbour in the old Beattie & Procter building (also part of this study) at 229 Cuba Street. By the 1973 phonebook, the business was in Queen Street. Stanley Hoddinott Dawick died on 19 February 1980 aged 65. He was described in PNCC cemetery records as a company director.

Pink & Collison
The motorbike firm Pink & Collison Ltd was formed in 1930, and until 1954 it was located in premises across the road from this building. However, the firm's owners Ernest Frederick Aubrey Pink and Douglas Kennedy Collison, took over this building's lease in 1946. Like Dawick Electrical Services, they had also had an entry in the 1937 book From Swamp to City, and this provides a history of the firm until that time. This is entitled: "Pink and Collison, Experts with Motor Cycles".

In no business is sound, carefully acquired personal knowledge and experience more essential than in a business devoted to the sale, servicing and repairing of motor-cycles, for so much, not only in the way of safely, but of comfort and reliability, depends on accurate workmanship and scrupulous thoroughness.

These essential qualities are characteristic of the work of Pink and Collison, of Cuba Street, who can rightly claim that few are more fitted than they to carry on such a business. Having served a long experience at the trade, both Mr FE Pink and Mr DK Collison know their job through and through, having had long experience prior to setting up in partnership in 1930. Their record since then has been one of consistent progress. Their workshop has greatly expanded, and their workshop staff from two seven years ago has increased until it now numbers nine. Two salesmen are also kept on the road.

Having the advantage of the very latest in machinery Messrs. Pink and Collison carry out in their premises all manner of repairs and have earned the name of having a workshop not excelled for equipment or resource elsewhere in the Dominion. Acetylene electric wielding and cylinder restoring are among difficult jobs expertly carried out, while a special valve-seat grinding machine is a great asset.

The business holds agencies for the principal English motor-cycles, including Arials, BSA, Panther, James and Triumph. This is an important department of the activities of this motor-cycle shop, the proprietors of which, incidentally, are both well-known on the grass tracks of the Dominion, holding most New Zealand Records for 2¾ and 3½ class championships.

The firm advertised in the 1959-60 Wises' Directory (p245), stating that it sold and serviced BSA, Dot, Triumph and Jawa motor cycles; DKW, Hobby, Cezeta and Prior motor scooters, DKW and Viktoria power cycles; Raleigh, Humber and BSA cycles; and Morrison Motor Mowers.

The PN City Library Photographic Collection contains two photos of the Pink & Collison shops. Photo BC205 shows the earlier shop opposite this one, which accompanied the above 1937 article. Photo BC 182 shows this building in about 1960, with the c1954 alterations in place and a large BSA motorcycle sign on the front of the verandah

In 1965, the lease was again renewed for a further twenty-one years, starting 1 December 1965, this time in the name of Pink & Collison Holdings Ltd. Then EFA Pink, described as a company manager in PNCC cemetery records, died on 13 January 1967, aged 65. DK Collison died on 3 March 2003 aged 98. He was described in PNCC cemetery records as a general manager.

A new company, Pink & Collison 1973 Ltd was incorporated in 1973. This company is still registered to a local address, but it is not known if it is trading.[19] Its name appears in the 1977 phonebook as a Honda agent, with the after hours contact numbers being G Sell and RK Pink. The same edition lists the neighbouring Coo-ee Dry Cleaners, still in the building (the Kerslake/C 2 C building) where the business had been for at least forty years. By the 1980 phonebook, Pink & Collison was gone, and Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd had relocated into this building next door.

Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd
The business that on 30 August 1973 was registered as Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd, traces firstly to Chinese-born Sam Lee's laundry that was in the neighbouring building by 1920, and especially to a firm that began soon after the 1924 fire with the partnerships firstly of McAffer & McShane (1927) and then McAffer & Dinley (1930). This story is covered in more detail in the story of the building at 264 Cuba Street. However, the original post-fire company was named Coo-ee Tailoring & Dry Cleaning Co Ltd, and in 1933 it was managed by Neil McAffer.

CT WN 16C/1500 records that in 1977, the lease on this building was transferred to Thomas David Pearce, a dry cleaner, and his wife Christina Mary Pearce, who are directors of Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd.[20] Then in 1983 PNCC sold the property to a partnership of Christina Mary Pearce and Albert Joseph Kells (½ share), and Thomas David Pearce and Albert Joseph Kells (the other ½ share). In 2002 it was transferred to the present ownership arrangement of Thomas David Pearce, Christina Mary Pearce and Albert Joseph Kells.

Additional & Alterations
PNCC Building Permit file C100/258 contains specifications dated May 1951 to alter the premises for Pink & Collison. This included removing the verandah, and plate and sheet glass windows at the front of the building. As Dawicks Electrical Services was still in the building until 1954, possibly this work was only prepared in 1951, for enactment in 1954.

In 1954, Pink & Collison requested a permit to erect a mezzanine floor in the building at a cost of £400. The plans for this show a spiral staircase near the front of the building and that the mezzanine floor travelled around the entire building.

A set of three undated plans associated with the various 1954 alterations, by Ronald J McMillan, show the building much as it is now, except that it has double, hinged doors installed in the present locations of the ranch slider and the roller door. However, while the present doors are flush with the front walls of the building, the earlier doors were set into the building some two feet (measured as marked on the plans).

Alongside the doors on the left is a show window, with a floor area about two feet square (in the left side of the doors, but protruding out to the front walls of the building). The doors and window created a similar size opening to that now occupied by the present ranch slider and its extra windows. The right side doors have a petrol pump sketched to their right side, thereby balancing the appearance of the façade.

Between these doors is a large central window - doubtless the present front window - and the new wall beneath this window is recorded as having been made of plaster on bricks. The sign along the new verandah front reads: "Pink & Collison: The Big Bike Men"

In 1975, the new firm Pink & Collison (1973) Ltd, requested a Motor Spirits Licence.

On 31 October 1977 Cooee Drycleaning Ltd applied for a permit to erect a partition wall and to lower a ceiling within the building. Their plan in the file shows a narrow area on the right side of the building - behind the present roller door - that was being partitioned off. This is marked as lettable. The remainder of the building consisted of the reception area, stairs on the left side of the building, and a large working area at the back.

Most of this building's usage until 1977 revolved around the sales and servicing of various forms of transportation. However, for almost a decade it was the premises of an auctioneering firm that belonged to two future MPs, one of whom was a noted conscientious objector. If this is not the 1905 building, then it certainly seems to predate about 1912. It is not known if there was ever an internal access between the two buildings in their Adams Ltd days.

Architectural Description 

The building is designed in the Edwardian Free Classical style with symmetrical façade, Classical details such as a pediment as part of the parapet, pilasters on the parapet and few other stylistic details on the above verandah part of the façade. The below verandah has been modified from the original. 

A ground floor plan available from the PNCC archives shows a rectangular floor plan divided into an 'L shaped space with reception area at the street frontage and a working area to the rear.  The remainder of the space faces the street is denoted as lettable.

The exterior is cement rendered and it is probable that its main form of construction is brick.

Statement of Significance 

This building has moderate local significance for historical and design values, representivity of building style and type andlevel of external authenticity. 

This building has high historic values in its associations with the architect, Ernest Larcomb who designed a number of significant buildings in Palmerston North.  These include the main public hospital, many shops around the Square, several large houses such as the Wattles, the Empire, Albion and Occidental Hotels. It is one of few buildings constructed in the central city over 100 years old.

The original and later ownership and tenants reflects moderate level of continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout the city.

The building has moderate design values as a representative example of the Edwardian Free Classical style, a not uncommon for commercial buildings in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.

The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.

The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.

[1]Manawatu Evening Standard 4 August 1903 5(1) & 8(5); 18 July 1941 6(3). It is noteworthy that the Carsons lost two of their six children in the First World War (one of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic), and in 1907 the third of their five sons had died in tragic self-inflicted circumstances aged 12. (MES 21/8/1907 5(6), 23/8/1907 4(6) & 8(6); 13/11/118 1(1) & 4(7).

[2]Manawatu Times 17 January 1905 1(8) & 2(6)

[3] For example, Manawatu Evening Standard 21 August 1907 5(7)

[4]Manawatu Evening Standard 13 May 1905 5(1)

[5]Manawatu Evening Standard 8 March 1906 5(1) The surname 'Earl' might instead be 'Earle'. The website has an article from the Otago Witness of 30 November 1899 (p55) reporting what appears to have been a 'society wedding' in its area. Amongst the huge array of gifts reported were a silver sugar basin from Mrs James Copeland (of PN), a silver-mounted purse from the Messrs Copeland and a lace handkerchief and bangle from the Misses Copeland. This perhaps outlines the family.

[6]Manawatu Evening Standard 27 July 1916 1(1) & 5(1)

[7] South Taranaki District Council online cemetery database.

[8]Manawatu Evening Standard 24 July 1900 1(5); 11 August 1903 4(7); 4 June 1906 5(5) & 4(2); 5 June 1906 5(6-7)

[9]Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol 6, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wellington (Christchurch, 1908), p685

[10]Manawatu Daily Times 1(1-2)

[11]Manawatu Daily Times 1 May 1905 2(2-3)

[12]Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol 6 (Christchurch, 1908), p684; Manawatu Evening Standard, 4 February 1946 4(6)

[13]Manawatu Evening Standard 5 April 1924 8(5)

[14] This view is qualified by my personal studies of anti-Germanism, both locally and nationally, during World War One, which includes some interest in the conscientious objector situation, the distribution of  'white feathers' (ie. subtle accusations of possible cowardice) etc that culminated in my 1999 MA thesis on the Somes Island Internment Camp for enemy aliens. It is noteworthy that the Manawatu Times of 23 February 1924 p7(4-6) said that a woman had been seen entering a shop fronting The Square that also backed onto the Empire Auction Mart premises, shortly before the fire was first seen at 11pm. A policeman broke in the door of the smoke-filled building and went inside looking for her, but he did not find anyone - VA Burr.

[15] This sublease is on CT WN413/183. This CT was not sighted during this study, however, its contents are recorded on the study of this property by some Victoria University students who, in 1980, tackled the daunting task of unscrambling the highly complex collection of lease and land ownership changes on the land in the Cuba, George, Coleman, Square, Rangitikei city block. Ref: Research file A175/154, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.

[16] Manawatu Evening Standard 16 March 1965 p.12 (M. Briggs obituary); 2 April 1965, p8-9; Who's Who in NZ, 11 Edition (Wellington, 1978) p88 (BV Cooksley); David Grant, 'Mark Briggs' in Dictionary of NZ Biography, Vol 3 (Wellington, 1996), pp66-77; Waikanae Cemetery records, online on the Kapiti Coast District Council website, and on the Cemetery microfiche at PN City Library.

[17] 'Dawick's Electrical Garage' in From Swamp to City: A short history of the growth and development of Palmerston North, NZ (Palmerston North, 1937). No page number in book.

[18] PNCC Building Permit file C100/225-227, Beattie & Procter building.

[19] Pink & Collison Ltd, Company No 28359. NZ Companies Office website

[20] Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd, Company No 28270. NZ Companies Office website