Friday, 13 December 2013

West Auckland history: family connections, Pt 3

Marge Harre, as featured in book ' 'Roadhouse Days: an account of a family, a house and a restaurant' by Drew Harré and David Harré (2009) and covered in blog posts on the 4 and 9 December, is part of a network of families in West Auckland, linking the Gardner and Clark families. These connections are explained in the 'The Clark Family History: the descendants of Josiah Clark & Ann (nee Rose) Clark of Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England' by Athol Miller (1989), which adds further background to Marge’s story.

(Rice) Owen Clark I (1816-1896), Marge’s great grandfather, immigrated to New Zealand from England in 1841. In 1854 he bought some land in Hobsonville and “[i]n 1862 he established the field tile industry [used for drainage in agriculture], which under his guidance and that of his son R O Clark II and grandsons Thomas Edwin, and latterly under his great grandsons Malcolm and Thomas Edwin II, was to grown into the firm known as Ceramco" (p.20, 'The Clark Family History').

Ref: JTD-11G-04973-1, cutting off field tiles by machine, 1957, West Auckland Research Centre
Whilst it was largely the Clark and Gardner men that made their name in the clay industries, Briar achieved success with her pottery and wrote 'Briar Gardner: Pioneer Potter' (2002). The book contains photos of her pottery, a foreword by Sir Thomas Clark, and has sections written by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Dave Harre and John Parker.

Ref: JTD-11G-03432, flower pot for hanging on wall, 1967, West Auckland Research Centre
Keen to find out more about these families? Then look no further:
If you browse through the West Auckland newspaper section in the Local History Online database, the indexes bring up a number of relevant articles in the Western Leader, including:
Copies of theWestern Leader can also be viewed at the West Auckland Research Centre, Level 2, Waitakere Central Library..

Author: Carolyn Skelton, West Auckland Research Centre

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