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Photo on left shows Oxford Street, Levin, circa 1920. Taken from the roof of the building on the southwest corner of Oxford Street and Queen St. intersection. The Post Office is on the left and the Levin Hotel on the right. Plane trees line both sides of Oxford Street.
There were at least five stores cum groceries and many other goods, including B. Gardener, Gibsons, H. Gapper and Hamiltons.
There were butchers. A. Georgette, R. Butt and J. Hanson, while Fred Pink and Norths had footwear shops.
There were two barbers, Hugh Hall and W. Jenman.
Cycles were sold and repaired by Clarksons and J. Smith, with motor bikes sold by the Scot Motor Cycle Co and Clarksons.
Two photographers advertised their services, S. Adamson and H. Sigglecow.
Chalk and Son ran a restaurant and Immortal Phipps also had the Silver Grill, where National Mutual are now. He also ran the Temperance Hotel as a boarding house, where Nolan’s Menswear are now.
W. H. Wilson ran a bakery at the rear of the Arcadia Hotel and F. O. Smith had one where the flats are now west of the maternity hospital in Bath Street. Other bakeries were Joseph Scott, leasing F. O. Smiths from 1905 - 1910, A. Toser, Bulls and B. R. Gardener at his store.
Miss D. Smart Jones on the corner of Queen Street and Oxford, the former post office store and Miss Palmer ran stationer's shops.
A. Heaseman and Carl Frechling were tailors and Ernest Levy and J. Day were chemists.
Louis Bowen and C. Ketterman were jewellers and Marco Fosella and Te Aro House were shops stocking varied items.
Dr Mackenzie and Dr Kennedy were the medical practitioners and Sydney Hall was the dentist.
The horse era was serviced by James Middlemiss, the saddler, with Henry Anstice and Pascoe as farriers and blacksmiths.
N. Holderway was a wheelwright, farrier and coach builder, where South End Cycles are now, and William Macintosh had his coach building business from 1900 where Writeprice are now.
Hudson and Easter and Harris (R.R.) and Sussex were land agents. Jamieson was a cabinetmaker and undertaker and G. K. Douglas was a joiner and builder.
Peter Arcus was also a builder as was Mr Standon.
C. F. Johnson ran a coach from Foxton and Alf Tomlinson had the first plant nursery in Levin in Queen Street East, where Timms Flooring Specialists are now.
W. M. Clark extended his shop several times north and south of his original shop in 1901, 1905 and 1907.
The Agricultural and Pastoral Association was formed and the first show was held in 1906 at the racecourse.
Although the county council was administering Levin, the Whirokino Road Board was still active as in 1905 it advertised for tenders for stumping Mako Mako Road.
In 1904 an attempt was made to form a borough for Levin when the population reached the required 1000. There was strong opposition against this led by Mr Fred Roe. He had been progressive and very active in the formation of the racing club and the agricultural and pastoral association, but opposed formation of a borough.
This information was given to The Chronicle in 1934 by Mr Graham. He said criticism by Mr Roe was largely responsible for the sound position of the borough today.
In 1904 a committee was formed to promote the borough formation comprised of Messrs Dan Hannan, John Davies, James Prouse, Charles Nation, Charles Williams, G. G. Graham, helped by Mr W. H. Field, MP.
They were successful in 1906. The population of the area was 1300 and the boundaries were Kawiu Road and the now MacArthur Street; Bartholomew Road; the now Hokio Beach Road; Tiro Tiro Road and a little west of Mabel Street.
The boundaries ran on a line east from Beach Road and south from Bartholomew Road covering an area of 1350 acres (540h).
The proclamation of the borough was read from the steps of the lamp standard in the “Square” on the Oxford Street - Queen St intersection.
There were four candidates for the mayoralty: Messrs Basil R. Gardener (shown in photo on the left), John Davies (chairman of the Whirokino Road Board), Charles Williams and E. G. Graham.
The latter thought there were too many candidates and it was decided that he and Williams would withdraw, but through a misunderstanding, the latter’s nomination was not withdrawn.
The result of the election was Gardener 256 votes; Davies 129; Williams 120.
It seems Williams was quite a character, a little comic according to stories about him.
He addressed the election announcement gathering saying, “many more people had said they would vote for him” - probably influenced by the fact that he was publican of the Weraroa Hotel.
He had an affliction of speech. He said “there’s ttt hhh hundred bbb b-y ll liars in Levin”.
Sixteen people were nominated for councillors. Those successful were Messrs John Ryder (farmer); Thomas Hudson (partner in Hudson and Easter); J. D. Hankins (on staff of Swainson and Bevans’ business); Ernest Levy (chemist); Dr H. D. Mackenzie; Charles Palmer (sawmiller); James and Richard Prouse (sawmillers). The unsuccessful candidates were Richard Butt, F. O. Smith, Daniel Hannan, Marco Fosella, H. Boggs, Alf Warren and George Phipps.