House was a Trendsetter

Number 21 Durham Street, a well-preserved house of the 1920s, is one that Mr Swanwick remembers being built when he was a schoolboy.

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It was built for, and by, a friend of his family, Archie Donald, about 1921.

The date was given by elderly Levin resident Mrs Hosie, as her husband was waiting for Mr Donald to vacate the building which is now the gas showroom so that he could open a plumber's business there.

The house has five bedrooms (needed for the five children in the Donald family), a large dining room and large lounge.

The exterior cladding is of the then new type of weather boarding, up to a plinth about five feet from ground level with the old type above. This grooveless weatherboarding was regarded with suspicion in those days because many people felt it would not be waterproof without grooving.

The bungalow-style roof, new for those days, and the width of the house, gives it a fine appearance even after 60 years.

Mr Donald operated a timberyard on the section to the west for some years.

Number 21 was later rented for several years by Mr George Cameron, a partner in Cameron Brothers, a well-known menswear shop in the late 1920s. By then it had apparently passed into the ownership of one of the local lodges. Mr Cameron subsequently bought the house.

It was sold to the late Mr Cresswell, a retired farmer, about 1958. In 1970 Mr J. Lockie Stewart bought the house from Mrs Cresswell. Mr Stewart, his wife Cathleen and daughter Cecilia now live in the house. 

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House was a Trendsetter

Creator:Corrie Swanwick
Creation date:16/06/1982
Publisher:The News