From ‘hop kiln class’ to new Parkvale School

Nearly 400 photos from across Parkvale School’s ‘lifetime’ have been loaded onto the Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay’s website, just as the school celebrated its 100thbirthday this month.

There is a huge range of topics, from photos of the first students laying a brick each on the site of the new building in 1919 and opening day the following year, to class and sport team photos and celebrations over the decades.

One of the photos is of the ‘hop kiln class’, taken in 1919, before the new school building had been constructed. Searching across the Knowledge Bank’s records reveals that a double-kiln oast house was built in 1882, used to process hops grown in Riverslea.

Presumably following the demise of that business, it was used as a classroom leading up to the move to the new building. The chimneys of the oast house collapsed in the 1931 earthquake – some decades after the children had moved into Parkvale School.

Another shows the school picnicking in Beatson’s Park, as it was then, in 1922. An article by Hawke’s Bay historian Michael Fowler shows that date preceded the clearing of many of the trees for firstly a nine-hole golf course and later a swimming pool and tennis courts, followed by the skating rink, in the 1950s. The park was renamed Windsor Park in 1935.

Most of the Parkvale School images are dated, except for the gymnastic teams and some of the class photos, says Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust chairman Peter Dunkerley.

He says anyone with more information is welcome to provide it to the Knowledge Bank team.

“These sorts of records are exactly what we envisaged when the organisation was set up nine years ago.

“It’s amazing what is out there and we are passionate about making sure these records are available for our residents now, and their descendants. Imagine in another 100 years, when the school is 200 years old; the interest there will be in these.”

Knowledge Bank is a charitable trust which collects, digitises and uploads written, oral and photographic records from across Hawke’s Bay, to ensure the region’s history is preserved future generations.


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