Present renovations reveal shop's past

Blacks Road Green Grocer owner Christopher Wilson admires a recently uncovered sign on his 100-year-old shop. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Blacks Road Green Grocer owner Christopher Wilson admires a recently uncovered sign on his 100-year-old shop. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
You never really know what you are going to find when you start refurbishing a century-old building - usually an expensive and dispiriting surprise.

But Blacks Road Grocer owner Christopher Wilson struck it lucky recently when he discovered some historic signage from his North East Valley shop's previous owners.

''We were replacing the weatherboards and the signwriting that was on the side of the building because it was falling off.

''But when we pulled it all off, there was another layer underneath with all this old signage for Roughans A-1 Store.''

He believed it had been there since the 1960s.

The shop dates from the early 1900s, when John Thomson set up as a grocer.

He was followed by his son, Albert Victor Thomson, until the early 1940s, and the shop has gone through many changes of hands since then.

Rather than remove the historic sign, Mr Wilson hoped to put new weatherboards around it and protect it by putting a glass window over the top, so people could see a small piece of the shop's history.

''I don't want to have it refurbished because it will be quite confusing for the public if it looks like a new sign.

''It's all rustic, the paint's all flaking off. It looks pretty cool the way it is.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Comments

very very cool and a great Idea to keep it