Members of the public inspect masonry equipment during the
Bingham and Co liquidation auction in Dunedin yesterday.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Bingham and Co, one of Dunedin's oldest companies, has
been placed in liquidation after battling to keep afloat
because of high business costs and the illness of managing
director Bruce Blucher.
The company was started in Dunedin, by Henry Sydney Bingham,
about 1911, and has been involved in much of the major
stonework in the city and its environs.
Liquidator Iain Nellies, of Insolvency Management Ltd, said
the company was involved in the construction of a private
mausoleum for overseas investors in the Mackenzie Country
which proved "uneconomic".
Prices had been fixed for the project meaning the company was
hit by rising costs in materials.
It was put into liquidation on July 7 after a resolution by
the five shareholders, including Mr Blucher.
He declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
In its early days, H. S. Bingham Monumental Masons, as the
company was known until 1980, worked on almost all the
building jobs in Dunedin where stonework was required
including First Church renovations in 1933, Knox College, St
Matthew's Church renovation, Caversham Presbyterian Church,
Hanover St Baptist Church, Olveston and the Savoy building.
The company also created various war memorials, including the
cenotaph at Queens Gardens and the McKenzie Memorial Cairn on
Puketapu Hill above Palmerston.
Henry Sydney Bingham built the marble stairs in the Otago
Museum and Regent Theatre.
He arrived in Dunedin, from London, in 1905, and secured work
at one shilling and sixpence an hour, on the new Dunedin
He found work as a mason with George Lawrence, who was
building the Musselburgh School.
When this job finished, Mr Bingham bought into Munro
Monumental Masons in Moray Pl, at some stage changing its
name to H. S. Bingham.
The company's involvement in significant stonework continued
in recent years.
Ian Bingham, the grandson of Henry Sydney Bingham and son of
Claude Bingham, was involved in the company for 44 years
including 28 years as owner.
He sold the company to the present shareholders in March
In 2001, Ian Bingham sculpted the Millennium Cross which was
placed at Queens Gardens.
In 2007, the company replaced each of the 14 chimneys on
Larnach Castle, on Otago Peninsula, and repaired the
88-year-old Rongahere War Memorial, near Beaumont.
Mr Bingham said it was disappointing the company had been put
into liquidation especially as it still bore his surname.
Mr Nellies said in a report 45 creditors were owed money,
including 40 who were unsecured.
The total amount owing and whether a dividend would be paid
to creditors had yet to be established.
Much of the company's debt related to advances made by the
five shareholders, he said.
Yesterday, many of the company's assets were put up for sale
at an on-site auction at its Vogel St premises.
For sale were granite slabs, headstones, plinths, and
obelisks as well as tools and vehicles.
The money raised from the auction would be put towards any