Cash, Raymond (Ray) and Valerie Irene Interview
Today is the 30th June 2016. I’m interviewing Ray and Valerie Cash. Ray would you like to tell us something about the life and times of your family?
I don’t really know much about my family, I don’t remember things. But I’ll just start off with my birth. I was born in Napier in a hospital that was for babies –
Maternity, that’s the word I’m thinking of – a maternity Home in Napier. I don’t remember the name of it but it’s not there any more. We lived at Clive in School Road. I lived there for, I think, eight years then I came to Hastings. Went to the Mahora School. Played sport, cricket and football. Went to the Hastings High School – it was a mixed High School then. Left school, joined Ernie Goodall in the jewellers’ shop. Learnt the trade of watch making. Did that I think for twenty four years. Then I did a milk run for three or four years. Then I bought a courier run for the Databank. Started off just doing Hastings and Napier, and in the finish I went from Napier to Eketahuna each day. I enjoyed that until I retired. I don’t remember the year I retired really – it’d be at least 20 years ago now. And I’ve had a good life.
Okay, well let’s go back to where your parents came from.
I don’t really know. My parents were both New Zealanders but where their parents came from … all I know is my father’s side is Cash, and there’s a Cash in Australia. I have heard of the history of the Cash bushranger, but I’m not sure if I’m any relation to him or not. And my mother’s side, she came from England I think it was, or her parents came from England. She was born in New Zealand of course. The Dockarys on my mother’s side lived at Clive. Quite a big family – well known family. And my father … I think they moved around a bit but before we were married they were on a … orchard. They called it Grasmere, opposite the Showgrounds.
So the Dockarys then – you must be related to Glenis Rich.
Ray: Cousin, yeah. My mother was Eva Dockary. I think they had thirteen Dockary children. Her father worked on the Railways. They lived in a railway house for some time and then they built a house in Main Road, Clive – backed on to the river just a few hundred yards from the Police Station or Police House. I remember that building quite well, it was well off the road. They’ve built in front of it since then. They had a lovely big garden in the front. I remember during the war they grew a lot of vegetables and things on that lawn.
You must have been very close to the Thorntons then, were you?
Yes, the Thorntons were just a couple of hundred yards towards Hastings.
That’s right, ‘cause they had a big …
A big section with one house right in the middle. But Dockarys had sort of a built up area there. One side was the Crosses. I know that they used to do a bit of fishing. [Chuckle]
A bit of fishing – they were the fishermen of Clive.
Yeah. I’m not quite sure who was on the other side, but I think there’s a – more newer house there.
I went to Napier Boys’ High School, and so we used to pick up Hellyers and all the Clive boys and …
That’s right. I don’t remember the things they did. There were five boys, there was Stewart, Alf, Bill, Roy, Ron and Dave – that’s six, and there are 4 girls, Eva, Maud, Nellie and Ollie. And they lived at Clive, I think nearly all their lives, I think. I think grandad went away for a little while with the railways. They came back and built a house in the main street.
And living in Clive – Clive those days was subject to flooding wasn’t it?
Yeah, but I don’t remember any of the floodings. I was born in I think 1927, and the earthquake was ‘31. I think I remember the earthquake – I think we were walking down … we lived in School Road past the school. So we were going down to Clive to her Mum’s house, and I think we were right outside the school when the earthquake came. And actually the policeman, Mr Murray I think his name was, took us to our grannie’s in his car. I don’t remember what kind of car it was. But that’s the earthquake, yeah. And actually my father – he was growing vegies, and he used to deliver vegetables around Napier, and he was up on the hill when the earthquake happened. So he came home as quick as he can in his Model T truck. He was lucky to get over the bridges there. Yeah, I don’t remember much about it really – just what people talk about.
We came to Hastings when I was about eight to Mahora. But there was a house there in those days and the house had been knocked down and two town dwellings or whatever you call them – flats – put up in its place. Went to Mahora School, played football and hockey. Swam, they had a Mahora Swimming Club, I joined the Club and after I left school I sort of got on the committee and things, I was there for quite a few years. I went to the Hastings High School – I took engineering subject there and I didn’t know how I could get out of school – I didn’t want to go then, and I didn’t like it much more. [Chuckle]
And a job came up with Ernie Goodall to be a watchmaker. I thought I haven’t got any brains so that might help me. So I joined Ernie Goodall. And Ronnie Jones worked there for a little while after he came out of the Air Force and then he went back to his father’s place where the Herald Tribune was. They had a house on that section there and he opened up his own jewellers’ shop in that house. I think later on he moved up to the Municipal theatre somewhere.
He was by the Regent. It was the little shop by the entrance to the Regent.
That’s right, yeah. Yeah, well Ronnie Jones moved up there. But he did his apprenticeship with his father. I think Ernie Goodall – I’m not sure where he did his apprenticeship – no, I’m not sure about that. But in those days there were quite a few jewellers’ shops. They all had their watchmakers. But today they seem to be more in the selling rather than the repair.
Well, my brother-in-law was a jeweller – manufacturing jeweller – for a chap up – the last block this end of Hastings. I can’t remember his name now.
There was Grieve’s on one side and …
It was the other side but further up. He wasn’t one of the old jewellers. He was not a young man though, but he was a very good jeweller.
Oh, I see, I’m thinking more or less of the owner of the place – Garland I think it was – Garland.
No – I knew Keith, but no – further up than that. Beyond the Embassy Theatre, or the Cosy Theatre.
Oh, that far up. Well Ronnie Jones was there for a while. He had a shop. He personally didn’t do jewellery, he just did the watches. But we all – all the jewellers’ shops in some way worked with one another. Ernie Goodall didn’t have a jeweller so he’d send his work out – sometimes it would go to the city, some I don’t know where. Other times it would go up to … upstairs, anyhow. I think it was somebody just by the railway line, but no, I can’t think – there were two or three jewellers in town but I didn’t really know them.
So you started an apprenticeship then? And at some stage or other – were you playing any sport? You were still swimming?
When I left school I joined the Hastings High School Old Boys’ Football Club and played in that Club for twelve years I think it was. Played one game for Hawke’s Bay, played Wairarapa. One was enough though. At that time the Hawke’s Bay team wasn’t very strong. After the war I got a game with the Hawke’s Bay side. But I quite enjoyed my football in those days. Still watch it on TV and that, but haven’t seen a live game for a long time.
No – it’s much easier on TV.
I listen to the radio but if you don’t know the players you don’t know which side he’s on.
No, that’s right. So you learnt your apprenticeship when watches actually were wound up [speaking together] or they were automatic. But things have certainly changed over time haven’t they?
Amazingly – amazingly.
Yes, they’re almost throw away now aren’t they?
Well, they are. They reckon they can make a unit for about 10 cents or something. Yeah.
I know. It’s incredible.
It is amazing.
So at some stage then, you met Valerie.
Yeah, I don’t know what stage it was. [Chuckle]
Ray: Yeah, I’m trying to think – I’d been in the football club I think about ten years then I would think. Oh, it might not be that long.
Valerie: Played softball, six years.
Ray: Yeah I played softball as well, but I’m thinking more of the football. Yeah it wasn’t really through the football that I met her – I met her because I was playing softball. Softball wasn’t very strong in those days. Locally it was fairly strong, and I was in the Hawke’s Bay team and went to Auckland one game that I remember. But we went down to Wellington, to Hutt Valley wasn’t it? Or Lower Hutt, to play in a tournament down there for a weekend – must have been Easter weekend. And Valerie went down just to keep a friend company who used to play in the girls’ team. That’s where we met. And I don’t think I dated her straight away, I think it took quite some weeks to get to a place to be able to date her. I wasn’t a dancer so it was a bit tough to know where to go out with her – I think we went to the pictures quite regularly. [Chuckle]
Well, Valerie, would you like to tell us where you grew up and where your people came from?
I grew up in Taranaki. I was born in New Plymouth, and my Mum and Dad lived on a little farm – out of New Plymouth up towards the mountain – on a little farm there and that’s where I was born and where we lived. I had three other sisters and we lived there until I was about the age of ten. And then Dad decided to leave Taranaki and we went over to Edgecumbe in the Bay of Plenty and Dad went share milking over there. And went to school there – went to the Whakatane District High School. And in those days because it was only a small place there weren’t a lot of jobs, but when I was old enough to leave school a job came up. There was a very big dairy factory there, the Rangitaiki Plains Dairy, and there were about fourteen girls working in the office there and I was able to get a job there. And later when my sister was old enough she came too. And we were there until … until I was about eighteen I think, and then Dad decided to move over here to Hastings. And he went into business with my uncle and they had a nursery up in Grove Road and they did that for quite a few years.
What was the name of the nursery?
Grove Road Nursery. They did that for some time. Because I had worked in the Dairy Factory at Edgecumbe I was able to bring my CV, and I worked in the offices here of the Heretaunga Dairy Factory.
Did you really?
Yes. I worked there right up until I was married.
Oh, we used to supply – we were dairy farmers.
And we left there in 1961 and went to town milk, so …
Right – what area?
Thompson Road. Those were the days of Darkie Ebbett as a driver and – we used to know them all once – I’ve forgotten, it’s all such a long time ago.
Oh, Fred Ebbett was one of the drivers.
Fred – we used to call – he was known as Darkie Ebbett.
Yes. And my sister, who was eighteen months younger than me … when she came over she got a job across the road at the Farm Products, in the office there. And my friend who worked in the office with me at the Dairy Factory – she was keen on sports – I wasn’t, but I’d go along and watch while she did all her sporting things. And then one week when … she said to me “we’re going down, would you like … there’s a spare seat on the bus, would you like to come?” So “yes, I’ll come”. And on the bus I said “Who’s that guy down there”. “That’s Ray Cash”. Well, you see, apparently because I wasn’t sporty but my sister and my friend Margaret were, they would go and watch all the football games, and I’d hear about this Ray Cash did this, and Ray … “Oh, so that’s Ray Cash.” And then of course I got to know him and we finally managed to date.
Ray: She knows me better than I know myself now. [Laughter]
Valerie: Then I think it must have been 1954 we finally got engaged and we were married in 1955.
It’s interesting that Ray went to school across the road, the family home was here, and you’ve ended up back here. You haven’t gone far have you?
Ray: When I got married we just shifted to Totara Street, a couple of blocks away. And all our kids went to Mahora.
That brings us to the stage of you getting married. We’ll pick up the children later on.
Valerie: [Showing a photo] That’s one of the old milk trucks. The office girls put in a float for Blossom Week.
Oh, gosh, that’s wonderful isn’t it? I don’t think we’ve got any of those. We’ve got ‘We Help Mardons’ – you remember Pernel Orchard? We helped them do all their … [Speaking together]
Valerie: They had lovely ones.
… real flower ones. Natural flowers.
Before I was married I joined the Hastings Musical Comedy Club.
Oh, my goodness.
Do you want to know about that?
Yes, you could talk about that now.
‘Cause that was before I was married. We were there when they first formed it. Harry Poppelwell and someone else, they decided they would like to start up a group and there was a notice in the paper ‘Anyone interested in singing’. And so my sister and I joined and we were there for quite a few years in all the different productions. And my uncle who worked for my Dad in the nursery, he actually produced one of the shows. Charlie O’Donnell was my uncle and he produced one.
Well, see that’s history too. I’ve interviewed one of the Poppelwell family , so we’ve got …
Betty, or Michael?
Michael. So we’ve picked up a lot of the history of the Poppelwells going back, ‘cause they collected a lot of material. But that’s wonderful. So what did you do?
[Speaking together] Got his name on there. Oh, I was just in the chorus. One year I had a duet to sing.
And you were never …
Valerie: But your friend was. That’s another reason … how we managed to get together, through all that, wasn’t it? Ray wasn’t involved but his friend was. But there were several different ones, and these are all the different scenes.
James Morgan, who’s the chief of Stoneycroft, he was very involved with the Musical Comedy Company during the years. Greater Hastings – that was started by Poppelwell and Jack Jones. Yes, they were all great workers for the community. We’ll go back to Ray – you got married?
Ray: We were married [clock chiming] in St Andrew’s Church by the football coach, [chuckle] the Reverend Mitchell. There were many boys married there because he was their coach. I think he did a good job – we’re still married, still together. Had three children, two girls and a boy.
Valerie: Built the house.
Ray: The oldest is a girl, the middle’s a girl, the youngest’s a boy. We built our house with the money we won through our Building Society. I don’t know why they don’t still have the building societies going, they were marvellous things.
Which one was it?
Northern. People just put money in and then one person had …
Valerie: We won the ballot.
Ray: We won the ballot, and that’s how we got our house so early, so quickly. It was quite a nice house built by Alex Roil, a local builder who is a good friend to my brother, and also went to Mahora School and the High School and played for Old Boys, so part of the family as it were.
All our children went to Mahora School primary and to the Intermediate. No, I’m sorry – the girls went to Girls’ High School, the high schools were split by then. The Girls’ High School in Pakowhai Road – the girls went there and the son went to Karamu High School. They all did very well … all quite musical, all have good marriages and the marriages are still going. Got five grandchildren …
Ray: Oh, I’m sorry – seven grandchildren and one girl.
Valerie: One great.
Ray: We’ve been really blessed. We’re both Christians, belong to St John’s Church in Frederick Street and we both have had a good life I believe.
Valerie: When we won the ballot – when we got married Ray bought a section in Totara Street which was still being developed. And it didn’t go right through … there’s a lane goes through … there wasn’t any lane, there was the horse stables, Camerons’ Horse Stables, and we were two from there. And Ray’s brother-in-law built a big double garage which we fitted out like a flat and lived in until our first child was a year old. By then we’d won the ballot and were able to build a house.
I often think that Northern Building Society gave us a kick start. So you built the house there and when you stopped working for Ernie Goodall you started a milk run. That was an unusual change wasn’t it? Did you buy one that was going?
Ray: I left the watchmaking outfit. I think I just got sick of it and didn’t know what to do, you know.
Valerie: When did you work for Dad in the bakery?
Ray: Well that’s what I was going to say – I left the jewellery work and had nothing to go to. And my father-in-law at the time was making pies in the Crutchleys’ Bakery.
Valerie: And shortbread.
Ray: Crutchleys’ old Bakery?
Where was that at?
Opposite Cornwall Park gates. The gate – Celebration Gate?
Yes I do, yes I do.
Well they had a brick oven there that Crutchleys used to make their bread. They’d finished making bread at this stage and Mr Green leased it and made shortbread and pies and things. The dairies around or they wouldn’t have had any pies. And I delivered those pies … six or ten months, or something like that. And then a milk run came up – I could lease one. I leased Neil Treacher’s milk run for two or three years, and then I – in those days it was all run by the Milk Board, and they’d give the man in the milk run the longest a chance to improve his milk run. So I applied for this and I got it. But it was one that started at 2 o’clock in the morning. The one that I was doing didn’t start till about 6 and finished by 8. It started outside the Milk Depot and wound up there.
Anyhow I bought this one and had it for two or three years, and then my brother who was in the courier business – he wanted to get out, so I thought it would be good for me to have a change instead of going out seven days a week away, you know, falling asleep at night before the kids had finished their tea or I’d finished. I applied for the courier run and got it. I did that for 10 years I suppose. Started just doing Hastings-Napier then I finished up going to Eketahuna every day.
Valerie: And up to Wairoa.
Ray: And while I was in Eketahuna – there’s a shop there, grog shop …
Valerie: Wine & Spirits.
Ray: Wine & Spirits, that’s the word … shop, and I used to do his deliveries and had to go right back to Palmerston North and right out to Lake Ferry and all that. Only did that once a week, that run, but I quite liked the driving and made good friends with those people.
And then a couple of times driving I found myself running off the road. You know, I’d wake up and I’m almost off the road, so I thought it was time to give up, [chuckle] so I retired. And – I’m not quite sure who took the run over – no, I don’t remember who took that run over. But anyhow, I think NZ Courier – that’s who owned the run – I think they took it over. I think the whole situation changed. At that time we had a centre in Hastings bringing all the cheques back to Hastings but just after I finished they closed down, and everything had to go to the aeroplane, at the airport. They sent that up to Hamilton and even today I don’t think they’ve got those runs at all because it is all computerised. They still need the cheques to go through, but doesn’t matter, doesn’t have to be there the same day, so that’s all changed. I’ve had a varied life which I’ve enjoyed.
Yes, so did you retire from the Courier?
Did you belong to any Clubs?
No I didn’t play bowls. I just didn’t have the time. I had a quarter acre section and a garden and tried to keep that going. I wasn’t keen on work but you do the things you have to do.
Coming back to the original trade you were in, when you think about, you know – watches once were made to last forever, and they talked about the movements and …
Yeah. Well I’ve seen on this programme on television, you know, this English programme where they sell things, bring them in Antiques Roadshow, and they’re selling watches for £400-500 which – I don’t know how long they went for, how long they’d go for. It’d cost you now about $100 now to have them overhauled. Makes you wonder what it’s all about.
Valerie: Before I was married Ray mentioned about my Dad being a baker. When my Dad gave up the nursery business he took on the Cornwall Park Tea Kiosk. You remember that?
Yes, I do.
Well Dad took that on and he picked up on the baking. He’d been a farmer but he was very good at turning his hand to most things. And he and Mum ran the tea rooms, and there’d be bus loads coming out from Napier. They used to run tour buses in, and they’d come in and us girls who were in the office during the week would come and help Dad on the weekends. And we did all the afternoon teas for the visitors and cricket. And so the cricket guys would come for afternoon tea as well. And Dad did lots of catering around town for weddings and balls, and when he gave that up he took on the Bakery. And in the meantime he’d got – from a very old man, he’d given him this recipe for Scottish Shortbread. So he used to make lots and lots of that and sell it all round the country. And it was called Aberdeen shortbread and became quite well known.
So what was your father’s surname?
Oh, you can’t miss that can you?
So the kiosk was down towards where the cricket pavilion is now.
Yeah, it’s now a play centre or something.
Yes, I can remember it vaguely going down there with my mother and brothers and sisters and having afternoon tea, but why it closed up … I suppose there just wasn’t enough to keep it going.
There was a fire. And it was probably after that you know – they closed it down and he went on to the Bakery. When Dad retired from that he sold his business to another man called Frank Daynes and he took over the shortbread business.
Ray: He learned to build his own oven I think, in Grays Road. He moved out of the bakery down here. He built a house in Grays Road and I think was baking from there. I presume in those days you had electric ovens and all that jazz.
They probably did, yes. Can you think of any other little things? Have you travelled much around New Zealand?
Valerie: Yes. [Speaking together]
Ray: We’ve done the …
Valerie: We did the South Island twice.
So you’ve had a good look round the country.
Valerie: Oh, yeah, been right up to the North Cape. We used to like going in … we had a campervan. That’s the way to do it.
Yes. So can you think of anything else? Your grandchildren, they’re all local?
Valerie: Both our girls went to Teachers’ College and trained – one as pre-school and one as primary. Deborah met her husband at Tokoroa, teaching. He’s an Australian and when they got married he snatched her away to Australia for seven years. They were over there for seven years, but at least we had – I had three trips over and Ray had two which we would never have had. Our second daughter decided to go away on her OE to England and she met a boy from Scotland. She came home married, so that was that. And our son, he did a trip over too, to England, and he came back. He settled down and he got a job the same as Ray, at the Databank.
Ray: We’ve been really blessed because our three live in Hastings.
I can see you’re very comfortable with Hastings as a family because you sure haven’t moved since you’ve come to Hastings. I think we’ve probably got a picture of your family and I think we may as well call it a day at this point.
I’ll just share this about the bike shop. Must have been before the war. My father’s father died when he was fairly youngish and his mother remarried of course, and he bought a bike shop. He owned it, and he put these three boys in the shop. They called it the Leading Bike Shop. It was in the Municipal block on the right hand side going out to Havelock. I think it was right next door to the Power Board in those days – quite a big building with offices and that – well the bike shop was right next to that. Then there was Fred Sturrock’s Bakery. He used to bake pies and things. Fred Sturrock, I think that was his name. He used to send pies all over Hastings. Well Claude used to manage the shop. My father Harold was a mechanic, and youngest brother Arthur were two mechanics there so the three boys worked in that shop.
And when war came along Arthur was called up, being the youngest, so Claude and Harold kept it going for a while. Then Claude was called up, and he was called up – he was the eldest, but – he was married I think, but he had no family at that stage. So he was called up before my Dad who had 3 kids. I don’t think he went out of New Zealand but Arthur went over to the Middle East. My Dad joined the Home Guard I’m not sure whether he joined or he had a choice. And when Claude came home he started up the bike shop again across the road on his own. I think he called … I’m not quite sure what the name of the shop was. But he was in that for some years and he had four sons and a daughter.
Valerie: That’s Claude.
Ray: Claude’s sons.
Claude – he was up by King Street wasn’t he?
When they opened up they were in the Municipal right next to the Power Board. I think when he came home he was across the road in the same block. I think.
Well that was Stephens.
No, Stephens were next, closest … closer to the Municipal. ‘Cause when Claude went into the Armed Forces they closed the shop of course, and Dad – my Dad went to work for Stephens. He worked there for about six months, and Stephens had a shop in Napier and Hastings so after about six months Dad went into Napier every day. He’d go … Dad’d go down Frederick Street here and catch the bus at Frederick Street, leave his bike at Mrs – oh, I’ve forgotten her name, used to work at the Power Board. But left his bike there, catch the bus and go to Napier; come home and ride the bike home again.
I always remember Claude’s shop because he had a sign above the door: “Cash is my name cash is my business, don’t ask for credit”. [Laughter] And this particular day – I was only a primary school boy – I was in Hastings and I asked him if I could blow my tyre up at the front. And I blew it up, and I couldn’t get the thing off the valve and I blew the tyre out. And I went in and he wasn’t very sympathetic. He said “no, no” he said “you’ll have to walk home”. I said “but it’s seven miles to where I’ve got to walk home to”. No – he wouldn’t bend. He said see that sign up there?
He must have changed because he was – I’m not sure what the word is, but he was in the theatre – he was quite a good sketcher. He did a lot of things.
Yes, I met him after several years and I joked about it to him. But you know, it was one of those things that happened.
Yes, stays in your mind.
He might not have been having a very good day.
That’s right, stays in your mind.
Every step I took I thought – ‘Cash …’
He had his finger in a lot of things and quite good at it but he mastered nothing kind of thing, you know? He went with something for some years and then get out and do something else. He was in the theatre for some time. He didn’t marry till fairly late – he was late I think in age when he married. And he married a girl …
Ray: Harris. You know, that family?
Arthur Harris wasn’t it?
Yes. It was Cassie … Cassie Harris … became Cassie Cash.
Okay, well look, I think we’ve probably covered … so thank you very much Ray and Valerie. That was very interesting.
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Interviewer: Frank Cooper