Cole’s Buildings

Coles Buildings

George Cole, a local real estate and land agent, owned all the buildings from 142 to 144, now 382 to 396 Remuera Road, that is, from Victoria Avenue to the motor garage.

He built them in the 1920s, with Wylie’s Pharmacy as the first tenant, occupying the corner shop for 70 years before moving to Airlie Court. Bakers Delight now occupies the corner site.The middle units have always included a fish monger and a butcher. The end shop was initially a motor garage workshop, later becoming The Avenue Service Station.

Remuera Fisheries

The first fish shop at 388 Remuera Road was run from 1927 to 1930 by J B Jenkin, 1932-1939 by Anton Milicich, 1939 to 1979 by George Young, and 1979 to date as Remuera Fisheries, with Bob Lovett as fishmonger and proprietor from 1995 to 2016. The Milicich family also had a fish shop at 354 Remuera Road (Clemens Building) from 1935 to 1950, followed by Pattersons Fisheries 1960-1964 and Mills Fisheries from 1956 – 1975. Sanfords also had a fish shop at 127 Remuera Road (now 387 Remuera Road) from 1927 to 1935 with George Young as manager. According to Hal Lawry, George Young sold raw fish and Milicich sold fish & chips and takeaways. George Young had a smoke house at the back where he smoked his own fish.

Fruiterers have been at 142B/384 Remuera Road since 1911:

• Kwong Hing & Co from 1911 to 1935

• J Alexander from 1937 to 1945 • Ern Foster to 1950

• Chinn Brothers from 1950 to 1970

• Alan Tarm and Willy Wong from 1970 to 1979

Gracious Living Interiors has occupied 384 and 386 Remuera Road from 1975 to the present.

There has been a butcher at 392 Remuera Road for over 100 years from 1911 to 2017:

• Robert S Magill from 1923 to 1939; Harvey Magill from 1939 to early 1940s

• A J Jones (Jimmy Jones) from 1946 to 1975

• Dutton’s Quality Meats to 1979

• The Meat Keeper from 1980 to 1993

• Gourmet Meats from 1993 to 2017 when the retail shop closed and went online

Carlton’s Seeds and Nurserymen occupied 390 Remuera Road from 1956 to 1975 when it became the Remuera Plant Shop till 1990.

Wylie’s Pharmacy was operated by Rowland Wylie and his son Peter from 1924 to 1987 when it was taken over by Scott Milne until 1996. The Wylie’s Pharmacy building also housed doctors and dentists:

• L M Horrocks dentist from 1924 to 1936

• M Wagner dentist 1937 to 1945

• Dr A M Ross from 1946 to 1956

• Dr Stuart Brown from 1956 to 1975

• Dr W L Daniels from 1976 to 1979 when it became the Remuera Family Health Centre

• Dr Donald MacCulloch from 1964 to 1973

• Dr J B Lovell-Smith in the 1970s

On the 9th January 1938 there was a violent explosion in the Remuera shops which demolished one shop and partly wrecked several others in the Cole’s Building on the corner of Remuera Road and Victoria Avenue. Just before 7.30am a passing motorist Mr O Broad of 4 Clonbern Rd saw thick smoke near the front of Wylie’s chemist shop and using a street alarm called the fire brigade. The firemen had not had time to alight when there was a loud explosion which shattered the glass of the front and side windows. Firemen and onlookers were thrown off their feet. Five people just escaped serious injury and were taken to hospital. The injured people were

• Mr Alfred Patrick Lynch, 46, garage proprietor of 144 Remuera Rd, who received a compound fracture of the right arm and severe cuts and abrasions;

• Mr Albert Clarke of the Remuera Fire Brigade cuts and abrasions;

• Mr F T Barber 82 Kowhai St Remuera cuts on the face, legs and arms;

• Mr Daniel Glennon of the Remuera Fire Brigade cuts and abrasions.

Mr Wylie’s shop was reduced to a mess of rubble of bricks, glass, shop fittings and drugs with an overpowering odour of chemicals. The cause of the major explosion was the gas from the electrolysis of water being ignited by a fault in the cable. The Auckland Electric Power Board was already in the process of replacing vulcanised bitumen electric cables in Remuera Road, near the Remuera Post Office, along with the changeover from direct current to alternating current, when the explosion occurred.  Read more here.

Lynch Alfred Patrick brother James Michael Herman Schmidt 1910

Mr Alfred Lynch ran the Avenue Service Station and Garage from 1927 to 1960 at 144/394 Remuera Road. Cars entered off Victoria Avenue and exited onto Remuera Road. The narrow driveway to the petrol station became the Peppercorn shop, owned by Michael Horwood. Alfred Lynch died in 1950 aged 58 but the Avenue Service Station continued until 1960.