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November 11, 2019 November 2019 No Comments

Buckeridge’s Martinborough Hotel

Newspaper item from NZ Mail May 20th 1882: ‘C Chatfield, Architect, shows plans for a new Hotel Martinborough. Two frontages 55X86 feet balcony all around building, to be 2 storey. It will catch traffic on both streets. Interior; dinning room &commercial rooms, separated by Folding Doors, this to provide greater  when needed, 40 feet in length when opened, also Large Billiard Saloon. Upstairs 22 Bed Rooms plus 3 sitting rooms. Also on plan 3 parlours, Bar and  Tap Room. Building of wood and iron roof. When completed will be one of the most comfortable in the Wairarapa’. 

Construction commenced at the end of May. There are no reports on the construction however there was one in August of that year  on the construction of the billiard table by Mr John Ruck ‘from scratch an unaided. He turned the legs and fitted all the wood work, only portions not his the Rubbers and Cloth’. 

An advertisement from that time for a barmaid:  ‘A piece of Bar Furniture (Barmaid)’. A reply included three photos of the young lady in different dresses each suitable for a different duty, cleaning, serving etc. It was not recorded if the lady got the job. Under the employment law of the time it was illegal to employ females between the hours of 6 pm and 9 am or for more than 8 hours a day. Fine fifty pounds ( 2019 = $6,690).

Mr Buckeridge advertised his new hotel in the Wairarapa Standard thus:

Martinborough Hotel, close to Waihinga Race Course. E Buckeridge proprietor. The Proprietor begs to inform the Wairarapa and elsewhere The Martinborough Hotel has been built without expense. It possess every modern improvement, without exception one of the Finest Hostelries to be erected in NZ. Every Convenience and Comfort  for Gentlemen, Families, shooting parties and commercial travellers. Domestic part under competent supervision. Furniture and bedding first class. Travellers and vehicles to receive every attention. Substantial stabling and securely fenced paddocks. Latest improvements will be found in Bath rooms, Billiard room Large and Lofty and well ventilated. Public may rely on getting Purest Ales, Wines and Spirits Combined with Civility and Attention. 

The Wairarapa Standard reported on a dinner given in July 1883:  ‘There was great jollification at Mr E Buckeridge’s Martinborough Hotel on Tuesday evening. About 100 persons sat down to dinner Lavishly provided by host Buckeridge. The usual toast followed, the health of Mr and Mrs Buckeridge  being drunk with great enthusiasm. The boards were cleared fro dancing the music being provided by Messrs Fuller and Lundqvist. There was an absence of all rowdyism and the whole company had an enjoyable time’. 

Another advertisment was for ‘ The Martinborough Christy Minstrels entertainment show to be held at the Martinborough Hotel  

Mr Buckeridge had previously had the hotel at Waihinga Bridge and then in 1891 also built the  Club Hotel across the Square.

Mate Higginson 

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