Posts Tagged ‘Terminus Hotel’

Happy New Year

a wee drapHAPPY NEW YEAR

I thought this postcard was appropriate for New Year’s greetings. Hopefully you didn’t partake of too many “wee draps” in your celebrating.

Here’s the reverse of the postcard. It was actually a birthday greeting sent to someone from Edie. I’m not sure who it was sent to – my guess would be to Edie’s nephew George WILSON.

a wee drap reverseTranscribed:

Just to wish you many happy returns of your birthday & many wee draps to gang the same way to celebrate it. What what? Love from Edie

While still on the subject of “a wee drap” – here’s an interesting photo I was given recently (Thanks very much Barb). This is Donald SMITH (Barb’s grandfather) behind the bar at the Terminus Hotel, Picton. The photo would have been taken some time between 1908 and 1913. Donald was married to Helen Mitchell WATSON, eldest daughter of William and Ann (nee BALFOUR) WATSON. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Donald SMITH behind the bar at the Terminus Hotel, Picton

Donald SMITH behind the bar at the Terminus Hotel, Picton


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William Balfour WATSON was the second son and sixth child of William and Ann (nee BALFOUR) WATSON. He was my grandfather’s (David George WATSON) older brother so I guess that makes him my great uncle. I believe he was known to family as Bill.

William (Bill) was born at 5.10am on 24 March 1891. His parents were living in Main Street, Kinross at the time and William Watson (snr) was a coal merchant. Bill was aged 14 when the Watson family emigrated to New Zealand.

On 22 May 1912 Bill married Josephine Maud PINKHAM (known as Maud) at the Terminus Hotel, Picton. [Click on the image to enlarge.]

This photo is of the wedding party and family members. The photo was taken, I presume, inside the Terminus Hotel. Don’t you just love that lino on the floor? I don’t know the names of all the people in this photo but will name the ones I know.

Front row from left to right: John WATSON, Hester LEWIS (Maud’s cousin and bridesmaid), Maud PINKHAM, William Balfour WATSON, David George WATSON and Ernest PINKHAM (Maud’s brother). John, William Balfour and David George are brothers.

Back row from left to right: William WATSON, his daughter Julie WATSON, Ann Mitchell WATSON. The two little boys are probably John and Effie WATSON’s children William and James and the two little girls most likely Annie and Barbara SMITH, daughters of Donald Moir and Nellie (Helen) Mitchell (nee WATSON) SMITH. The woman with the hat is, I believe, Effie (nee EWAN) WATSON and the woman in black next to the youngest girl is Nellie (Helen) Mitchell (nee WATSON) SMITH. The minister, John DICKSON, is standing between Effie and Nellie.

I don’t know who the remaining five people are – possibly members of Maud’s family. ‘Family legend’ says that Maud’s mother refused to go to the wedding because it was being held in a hotel.  Perhaps the couple in the back row are the bridesmaid Hester’s parents. Hester was born in 1897 so was 15 at the time of the wedding in 1912 – it’s quite feasible that her parents would have attended the wedding. Hester’s mother, Susannah’s maiden name was HILTON.

We can be fairly sure that Maud’s father was not at the wedding. I found these newspaper reports on the Papers Past website.

The Evening Post, Thursday 14 February 1901 page 6

The Marlborough Express, 24 June 1901 page 2

Gosh, poor Clara. What a tough life that must have been for her and her children. I wonder if Ed had been a heavy drinker and that influenced her decision not to attend the wedding in the Terminus. Interestingly, I couldn’t find a marriage on the NZ Births, Deaths and Marriages website of a Clara HILTON to Edward PINKHAM in 1887. There was, however, a marriage of a Clara ALLPORT to Edwin Drummond PINKHAM in 1887 (Registration No. 1887/3295).  Now I’m confused – was she a HILTON or an ALLPORT? More searching on the BDM site gave me the answer. Turns out her maiden name was ALLPORT, she then married Ed PINKHAM in 1887 and in 1901 (presumably not long after her divorce was granted) married Henry HILTON (Reg. No. 1901/4520). So the details on the marriage certificate are not quite correct.

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This article appeared in The Marlborough Express on Friday 3 December 1909.

It was interesting to find out that the Terminus Hotel had about 15 bedrooms upstairs and about six servants employed there.

It would seem Mr Samuel Hugh Strain was a bit of a ‘notorious hotel thief’ – read the following newspaper report that appeared in The Evening Post on Saturday 18 February 1911.

Jessie BALFOUR was William and Ann (nee BALFOUR) WATSON’s niece. She emigrated to New Zealand with her parents Archibald and Jessie (nee SCOTT)  BALFOUR in 1906. This photo of Jessie was taken in Scotland in 1900 when she was 12 years old.

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If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them
Or don’t you really know.

Some strange discoveries are made
In climbing family trees.
And some of them you know –
Do not particularly please.

If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row
There might be some of them, perhaps
You wouldn’t care to know.

But there is a different question
Which requires a different view.
If you could meet your ancestors
Would they be proud of you?

I found this poem (written by Anonymous) on the internet in 1999. In my genealogy journey I have not come across any ancestors that I wouldn’t care to know (there may yet be some lurking out there) but I have definitely discovered some that I am proud to call family.

Genealogy, for me, is not just about documenting facts. It’s about building a picture of my ancestors and their daily life, putting flesh on their bones, telling their story, making them live again.

I love stumbling across snippets of information like this article found in The Marlborough Express 3 September 1912 page 5.

Who knew William Watson kept chickens at the Terminus Hotel? It’s obvious, really, that he would – they could certainly use the eggs in the hotel kitchen, but it’s something I had never thought about prior to finding this article.  Even a seemingly insignificant snippet of information can help give a better picture of the daily life of an ancestor.

And just in case you were wondering what happened to young Horace and Daniel, it would seem they didn’t learn their lesson in 1912. Read what they were up to in 1915 and 1917.

NZ Truth, 27 March 1915

The Marlborough Express, Wednesday 21 November 1917

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Confined to bed

Found this little snippet in The Marlborough Express.

I, too, have been confined to bed – inner ear infection which causes dizziness and imbalance means not too much time in front of the computer. Be back soon hopefully.

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I have said before that William WATSON loved to fish and that didn’t change once he arrived in New Zealand. His Angling Register shows that on the opening day of the 1906 fishing season (October 1st), less than three months after arriving in New Zealand, he was fishing in the Manawatu River.

Angling Register belonging to William WATSON

The Marlborough Express, Wednesday, 30 September 1908 printed the following article written by their Picton correspondent.

The Marlborough Express - Wednesday 30 September 1908

Now, just in case you are like me and don’t have a single clue as to what ‘become disciples of Isaac Walton‘ means, here’s a little bit about Mr Walton from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/635163/Izaak-Walton (It’s worth reading, as the article gives a description of The Compleat Angler.)

Izaak Walton,  (born Aug. 9, 1593, Stafford, Staffordshire, Eng.—died Dec. 15, 1683, Winchester, Hampshire), English biographer and author of The Compleat Angler (1653), a pastoral discourse on the joys and stratagems of fishing that has been one of the most frequently reprinted books in English literature. Since the late 18th century, more than 300 editions of The Compleat Angler have appeared…

And land o’ cakes?? Well, I went here http://www.robertburns.org/encyclopedia/LandoCakesThe.504.shtml and found this:

The Land o’ Cakes 

Burns used this expression to describe Scotland in the opening line of his poem ‘On the Late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations Thro’ Scotland’:

“Hear, Land o’ Cakes and brither Scots”.

Robert Fergusson had already used the expression in his poem ‘The King’s Birthday in Edinburgh’:

“Oh, soldiers! For your ain dear sakes
For Scotland’s, alias, Land o’ Cakes.”

About the middle of the 14th Century Froissart visited Scotland, and in his Chronicles, described the staple diet of the Scots soldier: ‘Under the flap of his saddle, each man carries a broad plate of metal; behind the saddle, a little bag of oatmeal. When they have eaten too much… sodden flesh, and their stomach appears weak and empty, they place their plate over the fire, mix with water their oatmeal, and when the plate is heated they put a little of the paste upon it, and make a thin cake, like a crackenel or biscuit, which they eat to warm their stomachs; it is therefore no wonder that they perform a longer day’s march than other soldiers.’


Here’s the Angling Register for 1908. And, yes, William managed to go fishing on the opening day of this fishing season too.

Angling Register belonging to William WATSON

It’s interesting to see that the additions to the Terminus Hotel had already commenced by the time William became licensee in 1908.  I have discovered that they were to continue for quite some time.

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Long live the King

I found this account of Coronation Day celebrations at Picton in The Marlborough Express published on Friday 23 June 1911.

The Marlborough Express - Friday 23 June 1911

I wrote to the Picton Museum hoping they might have a photographic record of Coronation Day and last night I received an email from Mike Taylor at the museum.  Just look at what he attached to the email! Thank you Mike!! [Click on image to enlarge.]

… The only building decorated was the Terminus Hotel, which was gay with ferns, palms, and evergreens.

Terminus Hotel, Picton - Coronation Day - 22 June 1911. Photo courtesy of Picton Museum

Way to go William!! He certainly celebrated that day. Wouldn’t that have been a sight, seeing him at the front of the parade on horseback as a Red Cross Knight?  And the Terminus certainly was ‘gay with ferns, palms, and evergreens’. There are two banners on the balcony – the writing on one is barely visible, but it looks like it says GEORGE V LONG MAY HE REIGN. It looks as though there were smaller flags attached to the posts on the upstairs balcony. I can’t positively identify William in this photo – the most likely candidates are the man at the extreme left or the man in the centre of the photo who seems to be standing at attention.

The parade and decoration of the Terminus weren’t his only contributions to the days festivities.

…and a good display of fireworks was given by Mr W. Watson, which made things lively.

More searching The Marlborough Express (via PapersPast website) found this article.

The Marlborough Express, Thursday 13 July 1911

And here’s a copy of the letter that Mr J Blizzard, Town Clerk, wrote to William on 18 July 1911.

Letter from Picton Borough Council - 18 July 1911

I am really thankful that William kept that letter from the Council. It was only after I had seen the original letter that I thought to do a search in PapersPast for a newspaper article about the day. And it was only after reading the newspaper article that I thought somebody might have taken a photo.  Now, thanks to Mike Taylor at the Picton Museum, we have a photo that really brings the day to life. William was obviously a man who involved himself in community affairs. He’d only been in Picton for three years, yet here he was leading the Coronation Day parade, decorating his hotel and providing the fireworks display.  I’m proud to have William as my great grandad.

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