Michael Horwood 1934 – 2018

Long-term Remuera resident Michael Horwood passed away on 14 December 2018 at the age of 84.

Remuera Heritage spoke with Michael on 14 October 2014 about his memories of growing up in Remuera and of the Remuera shops. Michael Horwood was the owner of Peppercorn kitchenware shop in the 1980s and 90s.

Michael was born in 1934 in Victoria Avenue and has always lived in Remuera. He went to Remuera Primary School, Auckland Grammar School, St Aidans Church and the Remuera Bowling Club. His father Charles started a grocer’s shop in the 1920s in the backyard of an antiques shop. Michael lived in Greenlane Rd (no. 45) during WW2 where there was an acre of garden with 3 little cottages sited from Ascot Avenue up to the Schofield’s House on the corner of Lochiel Rd. He attended Mabel Johnson’s/Jock Hutchison’s School of Ballroom Dancing/ Dorchester Ballroom and Johnnie’s dancing classes in Omahu Rd near the Bowling Club on the corner of Dromorne Rd in the 1930s and 40s through to the 1960s.

In the 1940s his father Charles Horwood managed his grocer shop as a Blue & White Store owned by L D Nathan. It was a self-help store located down the right of way where the Village Green is now. In the 1950s Charles Horwood owned Glover’s Four Square across the road. Michael used to deliver groceries to pilot Freddie Ladd who would fly them to Kawau in his Widgeon aeroplane for customers.

Vear’s Electrical (now Laser Electrical); Shell Station, was originally owned by Mrs Sparks and was then Anderson’s Garage; The Auckland Bridge Club was Mr Wilson’s house, opposite the Kerridge house; down the driveway was Mrs Drummond and the Nathan’s house.

The two Mitchelson daughters had a cake shop on the corner of Norana Avenue and Remuera Road, where the BNZ was. Their parents lived in Armadale Road. Dr McGregor Grant had a large house on the corner of Norana Avenue and Remuera Rd, where the Remuera Arcade now sits.

The Tudor theatre was owned by Selwyn Hayward – people had their own allocated seats upstairs at the Tudor. If you weren’t going, you phoned up and the theatre sold your seats. There was an intermission at halftime where you could go downstairs for coffee. On Saturday afternoon there were children’s movies, 6d downstairs and 9d upstairs where you went with a pocketful of acorns to throw downstairs.

Remuera Rd

Dorothy Cake Shop

From the Tudor Theatre was:

  • Mrs Susan Russell’s haberdashery,
  • a milk bar,
  • Irvines cake shop and bakery on the corner of Armadale Rd and Remuera Rd, owned by 2 sisters,
  • Kellers shoe shop which included shoe repair and a cobbler,
  • a house owned by Mr Woods the plumber,
  • Wheeler’s Bookshop (originally Halligan’s), then
  • the Blue and White grocer,
  • Finlayson’s sweet shop
  • Ah Chee fruit shop
  • Remuera Pharmacy owned by Fred Blott and then Bruce Culpan;
  • Barber shop and drycleaners;
  • Marriott’s Grocery (owned by L D Nathan, was L J Keys), then
  • Hellaby’s butcher on corner of Clonbern Road;
  • the Dorothy Bakery;
  • Lums greengrocer (originally Kwongs);
  • Puritan cake shop owned by the Hobhouse family;
  • Mr Maxwell’s cycle shop;
  • Mrs Downs Blue Salon;
  • Hutchison’s Grocery;
  • Garland’s Furnishings;
  • Don Hawke Chemist on corner of Hutchison’s Arcade/Tudor Mall;
  • Chestnuts café (then Benzonis, Turners, and Kismet);
  • David Elman shoe shop in Skelton’s Building;
  • Lingerie shop

Bob Milne of Milne & Choyce lived in a large two-storeyed house at the top of St Vincent Avenue next door to the Paul Cropper house, Araroa, where “7 St Vincent” retirement village is now located. His son was Scott Milne who partnered with Peter Wylie of Wylie’s Chemist on the corner of Victoria Avenue and Remuera Rd, owned and moved the Wylie’s chemist shop to the site of Milnes of Remuera in the 1980s. There was a petrol station on the corner of St Vincent Avenue and Remuera Rd opposite the Remuera Library. Edward Marnie was an ironmonger and hardware retailer from the 1940s.

Beale’s the grocers was situated behind Wylie’s the Chemist and had a large truck for deliveries to all of Remuera and the eastern suburbs. Craigs who owned a building company had a large concrete house on the corner of Remuera Road and Garden Road.

The Mandalay reception rooms on the opposite corner of Garden Road and Remuera Road were demolished in 1963 to make way for Milne & Choyce department store, then Milnes of Remuera. The large 16,000 sq ft department store had a food hall and coffee bar until it closed in 1978 and then became Milnes of Remuera in the 1980s. It became Airlie Court in 1999.

  • Mr E C Kerkin was a painter and paperhanger who sold his house at 336-338 Remuera Rd to the ASB Savings Bank. • There was Glover’s Dairy,
  • the fish shop owned by Mr & Mrs Miletich,
  • a ladies dress shop,
  • Remuera Florist (Strickers?),
  • Mr Cole’s shops (Coles Buildings).
  • There was a driveway down to Mrs Brett’s dress shop.
  • There was Bruce Swallow’s book shop,
  • the Post Office,
  • delicatessen, and
  • The French Shop owned by Gus Fisher with very expensive women’s fashion.
  • There was another bookshop with a private library at the back of the Remuera post office.

Across Victoria Avenue was:

  • Wylie’s the Chemist, with Dr Max Wagner a German dentist upstairs.
  • Gracious Living 384 Remuera Rd opened in 1969 was always there selling haberdashery and furnishings. • In the Coles Building:
  • The fish shop was originally owned by Sandfords Ltd and run by Mr & Mrs Young and is over 100 years old.
  • There was a butcher Mr Jones,
  • Avenue Service Station was a petrol station and greasing bay on Remuera Road. Cars entered off Victoria Avenue and exited onto Remuera Road. The driveway to the petrol station became the narrow Peppercorn shop.


Next to Wylies was a fruit shop owned by the two Miss Ah Chee’s.

  • Mr Gray, a doctor or dentist, had a big house and built buildings there in the 1950s.
  • Lorraine Flowers had the Petrouchka dress shop for 20-30 years.


The IGA grocery had shelves from floor to the ceiling with high chairs for the ladies to sit down on. There were bins for food such as potatoes and onions. Groceries were delivered by the delivery boys who put food on the fridge and were given fresh baked scones by the cooks in the large houses.

Children also took the tram into town on Fridays and in the school holidays. Mother would have lunch in town at Milne & Choyce in Queen St every Friday. His father Charles Horwood had the first 3-litre Rover in New Zealand after World War 2.