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Does Thames Really Need Pseudo History?

This TCDC presser out yesterday draws attention to the laudable effort - of long-time staff member Michael Jones in leading the effort to clean up the area where Pollen St intersects with Queen St at the northern end of the CBD - an eye-sore for sure!.

Michael and his team of volunteers have done a great job making these buildings attractive, and welcoming, but does that really warrant perpetuating the totally false history surrounding the naming of the block "The Foundry."

As any long time resident could tell them, this was never a foundry - at best it was storage used by A & G Price over a long period, and previously a failed marketplace where stall-holders - mainly from the Kauaeranga attempted attain well intentioned permanency. The promoter apparently painted "The Foundry" on the building as a reflection of what was going on over the road at the real foundry operated by A & G Price.

It is not 'big deal,' but the current promoters of the renovation - Thames Business Association, and all those hopping on the bandwagon should perhaps reflect on the need for authenticity when dealing with all aspects of what happens in a heritage town. Call it "Ye Olde Market," or whatever comes to mind, but certainly not "The Foundry," thus perpetuating confusion, and false history that detracts from the real history of the town of which there is plenty to be proud.

I for one am not proud of a falsity being promoted in this manner.

Others are welcome to contribute other history of this site that may provide inspiration for the good people behind the renovation.




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Reader Comments (2)

Good point Bill. Part of this complex of three buildings was constructed in 1911 as a fish cleaning filleting and smoking operation - being a part of the towns very substantial fishing industry at the time.
The branding of the building as "The Foundry" may suggest to passers-by and new residents that the building complex is, or was, part of the original foundry complex established by A&G Price on the Beach frontage site in 1871. As you say, the branding of the building was part of a (premature) move to establish a market. In this era of 'fake news' it is important that we are careful with facts so as to not (unintentionally) mislead people. I don't know that the promoters of the scheme intend to promote falsity or to mislead however.
I too commend the efforts of locals and the building owner to 'make tidy' the area.
We ought to be enormously proud of our local A&G Price Ltd business and to support it in whatever way we are able.

June 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I heard from a friends friend that Jones was made well aware of the fact it was not foundry and that name only appeared in the mid 1980's-but choose to ignore the the request to not repaint the wording.
You are correct Bill in that history in a 'heritage' town such as Thames should be protected and not misleading as it is in this case.
I too congratulate those involved in cleaning up the northern end of Grahamstown, but not the misleading sign on the building.
Sadly the cleanup was an opportunity to remove an advertising sign not to perpetuate a misleading piece of history!

June 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHistorics

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