Bill Mutch talking to Trevor Pollard at McHughs of Cheltenham

Our December 2023 meeting was a blast – literally! We enjoyed listening to local historian Lisa Truttman, who shared with us the story of the H.&W. Fowler factory explosion in 1966.

This was one of the most dramatic events in Auckland’s industrial history, as the metalworks factory in Rosebank erupted in a massive fireball that shook the city. The explosion was caused by molten nitrate salt used for the heat treatment of metals exploding in a steel bath. Some of the witnesses, who had experienced the war in England compared the blast to that of a V-2 rocket.

We ended 2023 with a wonderful Christmas Lunch at McHugh’s of Cheltenham, a charming restaurant on the foreshore of Cheltenham Beach. We enjoyed a delicious buffet meal and admired the stunning views of Rangitoto, North Head and the Waitemata Harbour.

Before going to McHughs we visited Devonport Museum. We were greeted by David Veart, a member of the Devonport Museum society and an archaeologist who worked DOC at Maungauika/North Head for 25 years. The museum is housed in a former Presbyterian church, run by volunteers passionate about preserving and sharing Devonport’s history and stories.

View of displays inside the Devonport Museum

This newsletter features some excellent photographs related to Lisa Truttman’s talk and of members at the Devonport Museum and McHughs of Cheltenham.

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