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Thames Heritage Festival, March 2021

A festival of yesteryears - join us in costume and bring the young ones.
One day they'll be in charge of our heritage.

Friday 12th March to Sunday 14th March   THAMES HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2021

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An annual event celebrating the rich history of our special town. In 2021 the theme is "CELEBRATING OUR PEOPLE". Thames town had at one stage a larger population than Auckland town, can you believe it! Thames town actually sent food to Aucklanders. There are many other facts about Thames you may not know, and the Heritage Festival is a great opportunity to delve into its past, and also to share your family stories with us. This photo is of Thames Hospital Staff with Matron Stewart in centre front C.1905. The nurses would have been the first registered from Thames Hospital School of Nursing. There is an extensive display of nursing photographs in Thames Hospital along the main corridor.

Venue: Thames Town
Price: N/A
Contact: MARGARET CROPP
Phone: 078681024
Email:



Friday 12th March 9pm - 1:30pm   ART WORKSHOP WITH LEANNE ADAMS

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Abstract Artist, Facilitator and Mercury Bay Art Escape member, Leanne Adams will be hosting an introductory portrait painting session. "There is something magical about the process of leaning to paint a face. It connects you to something deeper and more intimate as you learn to see more of what they are saying through their posture and expression. We will be exploring basic facial dimensions, tips and techniques, blending charcoal with acrylic to create dynamic, subtle soft edges and tonal values that are perfect for portrait styled work." Fun, relaxed and interactive, Leanne encourages you to learn by doing, to explore your own style and guides you to complete an impressionist style portrait inspired by a heritage photo of Lady Diamantina Bowen - wife of one of our first Governor Generals and the inspiration behind the names of Thames Heritage Hotels. Places limited so registration is required. Bring your lunch, apron and notebook.

Venue: Bella Street Pumphouse, Bella Street, Thames
Price: $75.00pp Includes all equipment, morning & afternoon tea.
Contact: Leanne Adams or Margaret Cropp
Phone: Leanne 021 2579249 / Margaret 07 8681024
Email:



Friday 12th March 12pm - 2:30pm   Open Afternoon at Lady Bowen B&B

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An opportunity for you to see inside this Bed & Breakfast which has an interesting past - it has been a hotel, boarding house, brothel, back-packers, and a guesthouse over its 150 years. Named after Contessa Diamantina Bowen who was the wife of Governor George Bowen (the Govenor of the colony at the time). It was one of the first hotels in the Thames area and stood on what was then the main road of Grahamstown. In the Thames Star on 30th September 1882 it was said "Unquestionably the Lady Bowen is one of the most complete and furnished hotels on the Thames, and in some matters, notably, the size and fitting up of the bedrooms, surpasses perhaps anything in Auckland".

Venue: Lady Bowen, 506 Brown Street, Thames
Price: Free
Contact: Stu or Barbara
Phone: 07 8688878
Email:



Friday 12th March to Sunday 14th March   Photograph Competition

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THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. Dust off your cameras and take a snapshot of someone in our community doing what they enjoy doing : work or play. The theme of the Festival is "Celebrating our People" so the photo must capture a sense of involvement in our town. The photo can be one from the past or taken today. Size of photo and frame is optional. Photos will be displayed during the Heritage Festival and will be judged by Thames Camera Club.

Venue: Entries must be handed in on Thursday 11th March:
Price: This event has been cancelled
Contact: Margaret Cropp
Phone: 078681024
Email:



Friday 12th March 10am - 12pm   SHORTLAND CEMETERY WALK

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Join us for a walk through this historic cemetery during "Parks Week" and as part of the Thames Heritage Festival Weekend. Wear good footwear. Several grades of walks available.

Venue: Cemetery, 201 Danby Street. Meet at Cemetery Entrance
Price: Free Entry
Contact: Paula Carr, TCDC
Phone: 07-8680200
Email:



Friday 12th March to Sunday 14th March   Women's Institute - 100 years

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The first meeting of a Women's Institute in New Zealand was held at the home of Amy Hutchinson in Rissington near Napier in January 1921, and Jerome Spencer was elected as President. The Women's Institute's aim was "the improvement and development of community life in rural areas, by bringing women together to discuss matters of mutual concern." There was a strong emphasis on practical knowledge, thrift and self-sufficiency, and frequent competitions encouraged members to participate and strive for excellence. During the Heritage Festival there will be a display at the Thames Museum for the Women's Institute's 100th birthday.

Venue: Thames Museum, Cnr Cochrane & Pollen Streets, Thames
Price: Entry to Museum $5.00/Adult, $2./child, $10./family.
Contact: Helen Udy
Phone: 07 8688984


Friday 12th March to Sunday 14th March   The Goldmine Experience

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With a guide you can marvel at the 19th century stamper battery in action, or check out the Weta Colony (torch and covered footwear required), pan for gold, and discover mining relics. This wonderful goldmine attraction has been built, refurbished, resurrected, and installed over many years by volunteers from the Hauraki Prospectors Assn, an amazing feat. Free entry for children over the Festival.

Venue: Goldmine Experience, Thames
Price: Tba
Contact: Tba


Friday 12th March 10:30am   Thames South School Big Day Out

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Te Kura Tuatahi o te Kauaeranga : Traditional Maori Games and old-time fun on the lawn of Thames Museum from 10.30am followed by waiata and other songs at 12 noon. Come along and join in this fun event.

Venue: Thames Museum, Cnr Cochrane & Pollen Streets, Thames
Price: Free
Contact: The Museum
Phone: 07 8688509
Email:



Friday 12th March to Sunday 14th March All Day   Sir Keith Park Memorial at Thames Airfield

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Sir Keith Park is an under-recognised, under-acknowledged, and under-honoured Kiwi. He was born in Thames and is our local hero. The replica Hurricane fighter is the first stage of the memorial at Thames Airfield. A statue of Sir Keith in his flying outfit with Mae West will follow later next year in time for the Battle of Britain 2022 Commemorations.

Venue: Thames Airfield, Ngati Maru Highway, Thames
Price: Free Entry
Contact: Geoff Furkert, President Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield Inc.
Phone: 021-833044
Email:



Saturday 13th March 8am - 12pm   Heritage Thames Markets

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Thames Markets has a wide range of stalls selling everything from plants & seedlings to copper artwork. Well worth a visit.

Venue: Grahamstown, Pollen Street, Thames
Price: Free
Contact: Peter & Angelika Poeschl
Phone: 07 8689841
Email:



Saturday 13th March 10am - 11:30am   Create Your Own Time Capsule

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Time Capsules are a collection of objects that represent a moment in time and are a fun way of preserving memories for the future. Join us at The Treasury Research Centre and Archive to create a time capsule for your future self. This workshop is for children aged 5-12 years. Bookings required.

Venue: The Treasury, 705 Queen Street, Thames
Price: $5.00
Contact: The Treasury
Phone: 07 868 8827
Email:



Saturday 13th March 3pm - 4pm   True Tales of The Treasury Guided Tour

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Join us for a tour of The Treasury Research Centre and Archive to learn about the history of both the Carnegie Free Library building and our purpose-built Archive. You will also get a sneak peek at some of the most significant collection items that are being preserved in our Archive for future generations and researchers. Bookings required.

Venue: The Treasury, 705 Queen Street, Thames
Price: Free
Contact: The Treasury
Phone: 07 868 8827
Email:



Saturday 13th March 10am - 1pm   St. James Union Parish Church

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Open Day : Visit this magnificent church which was designed by Mr WH Skinner and built by Mr WM Hay, with the foundation stone being laid on 5th February 1898. It is an excellent example of the use of Kauri for both structural and decorative elements. The interior has splendid Kauri panelling and a rare form of stained glass in the lancet windows.

Venue: St. James Parish Union Church, Cnr Pahau & Pollen Streets, Thames
Price: Koha
Contact: Ruth Efford


Saturday 13th March to Sunday 14th March 1pm - 3pm   MAD - OPEN DOORS

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Thames Music & Drama are proud to be part of the Thames Heritage Weekend "Celebrating Our People". For more than 50 years there has been talented locals producing community theatre in Thames. We invite you to visit our home based in the historical Old North School building in Tararu where a string of images will be displayed, commemorating all those who have contributed over the years. We are also offering "behind the scenes" tours of our wardrobe and greenroom, and a sneak peek at the set of our next show - a chilling thriller titled "I'll be Back Before Midnight". You are welcome to join us between 1.00pm and 3.00pm Saturday and Sunday

Venue: Tararu Art Centre, 604 Tararu Road, Thames
Price: Free Entry
Contact: Diane Connors
Phone: 021.1770746
Email:



Saturday 13th March 2pm - 4pm   St. Georges Anglican Church - HIGH TEA

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Come and enjoy a beautiful High Tea. The beautiful St. Georges Church which was opened in 1872 by Bishop Selwyn. It is a fine example of wooden neo-gothic churches built in New Zealand and has remained largely in its original condition. The robust exterior with its touches of Gothic decoration is complemented by the elegant interior.The church is a symbol of the Thames Town's goldmining heyday.

Venue: St. Georges Church Hall, 600 Mackay Street, Thames (Next to Hospital)
Price: $10.00pp or $15.00 per couple
Contact: Kate Jones
Phone: 021 958003
Email:



Saturday 13th March 5pm - 6:30pm   Guided Tour of Grahamstown

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Grahamstown was named by Auckland entrepreneur, Robert Graham who purchased land in 1868 between Shortland and the Kuranui Stream to be close to gold workings. The town centre moved to Grahamstown which had "Scrip Corner" where sharebrokers congregated, the wharves, and the foundries - Charles Judd set up in 1869, and A. & G. Price in 1870. They made stamper equipment, timber jacks and bush locomotives. A. & G. Price started building locomotives for the Railways Department in 1905. Take a leisurely walk with Russell Skeet as he guides you through the history of historic Grahamstown.

Venue: Grahamstown, Thames
Price: Gold coin
Contact: Russell Skeet
Email:



Saturday 13th March 10:30am   Thames Museum Victorian Games

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Come and join in the fun of children's games and Victorian games with the Steampunk Steamy Sisters on the lawns of the Museum. Weather permitting. FREE to join in these games.

Venue: Thames Museum, Cnr Pollen & Pahau Streets, Thames
Price: Entry to Museum: Adult $5.00/ Child $2.00/ Family $10.00
Contact: Carolyn McKenzie
Phone: Museum 07 8688509
Email:



Saturday 13th March to Sunday 14th March   The Pumphouse Open Days

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Take a tour around this very special building which houses a 14 tonne crankshaft discovered underground after nearly 100 years and reinstalled into its original position. It has been nearly 100 years since the Pumphouse engines last operated, but the original massive counter-balanced pumping quadrants are still in place over the main mineshaft, together with the recreated five-metre dia. flywheels and the crankshaft. A comprehensive photographic display and informative narrative given by museum volunteers will take you back all those years.

Venue: The Pumphouse, Bella Street, Thames
Price: Koha
Contact: Cara Penney
Phone: 07-8687820
Email:



Saturday 13th March 1pm   HAVE A GO AT CROQUET

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You are welcome to visit the Thames Croquet Club on Saturday 13th March at 1.00pm to "Have a Go" at this great game. Equipment will be supplied, but please wear soft soled shoes. You can have a cup of tea afterwards. Thames Croquet Club was established in 1906 and its members have enjoyed fun competitive games throughout all those years. There will be photos on display of past members and events at the Club.

Venue: Thames Croquet Club, 101 Beach Road, Thames
Price: Free to attend
Contact: Sheryl McConnell
Phone: 021-1050327
Email:



Sunday 14th March   Thames Museum - Researching and Writing Family History

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The Thames branch of the NZ Society of Genealogists will be on hand to help with the research of your family history from 10.30am to midday. From 1.00pm to 2.30pm you will be able to write your family history and/or write heritage poetry. FREE to attend these two events.

Venue: The Museum, Cnr Pollen & Cochrane Streets, Thames
Price: Entry to the remainder of the Museum Adults $5.00/ Child $2.00/ Family $10.00
Contact: Carolyn McKenzie
Phone: Museum 07 8688509
Email:



Sunday 14th March   Thames Small Gauge Railway

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Constructed by local train enthusiasts this railway is a labour of love, and you can enjoy a ride along the foreshore, loop into Victoria Park then back into the Station (which stands where the original Grahamstown Station was situated back in 1898. So come and enjoy a ride on the train - great fun for all ages.

Venue: Grahamstown Train Station, 401 Brown Street, Thames
Price: $2.00pp
Contact: Russell Skeet


Sunday 14th March 10am   ST. JAMES UNION PARISH SERVICE
 
A Heritage Service will be held at 10.00am as part of The Thames Heritage Festival

Venue: St. James Church, Cnr Pahau and Pollen Streets
Price: Free Entry
Contact: Ruth


© Thames Heritage Event Trust 2020-21