Building carries a fair chunk of NZ history
At first impression it’s just a simple bulky shed with a sawtooth roof form. It’s likely to be found within the Timaru port zone surely, and makes no claim to fame – but this building carries a fair chunk of New Zealand history.
Faded though it is, the lettering comes through – Shaw Savill & Albion – one of the most important shipping lines in the history of our nation and its pastoral farming.
In David Lange’s intriguing autobiography My Life he explains how his university vacations spent in freezing works led to a sense of animosity.
It was an animosity against the British firms making strong returns out of New Zealand primary production through the ownership of meat works and at every step of the related export market.
A contrary view would be to say that the strong link of the UK to the colonies supported their economies, established their markets, and provided the very means of transportation.
The shipping line Shaw Savill & Albion plied this route from New Zealand, exporting meat, wool and grain to an expectant market on the other side of the globe.
The company began trading in the sailing ship era, moving later in to the development of steam and petroleum fuels.
There were several phases – one such fleet included the Gothic, used as a travelling hotel for a royal tour to New Zealand in 1953-54.
– David McBride