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To coincide with the opening of the fire station location of the museum, Breakwater Against the Tide was published. The author, Elsdon Craig, details the history of Papakura. Two years later in 1984, the museum published the first edition of Town Growing Up by Ernest Clarke, with a second edition published in 1993. In 1986, Clarke edited They Come and They Go which was a booklet published by the PDHS. Then in 1990, Big Hats, Scent Pots and Old Joe was published in conjunction with the Papakura Council for the New Zealand 1990 Project. In 1995, Papakura was declared a borough of Auckland, and the PDHS proposed that there should be a compiled history of the district from 1938 to the present. In 1997, Papakura: The Years of Progress 1938 - 1997 was published to chronicle Papakura history starting with the population explosion that happened when men returning from WWII brought their families to the area.
In 2011, the first edition of Open All Hours; Main Street Papakura c1865 - c1938 by Dr Michelle Ann Smith was published by the museum. This publication looks at the importance of the town's main street, as well as including information and anecdotes about some of the business owners and workers. The second edition was published in 2016. The next publications in 2015, Thirteen Ships - The Waikato Immigration Scheme, 1864 - 1865 and "Digging Up the Past: Papakura Cemetery Heritage Walk", were both published as part of the Auckland Council Heritage Festival that year. In 2016, Dr Michelle Smith published "About Town - Heritage Walk, Great South Road, Papakura" which was supplemented by a guided walking brochure that Rob Finlay created for the previous year's Heritage Festival.
In 2020, a companion booklet was created for the 'Art of War' exhibit. The next year Alibi Press published a children's book called The Takapuna Tram. Collated by Terry Carson, a poem by Elizabeth Welsman Dawson was used with illustrations by Elva Leaming. The book was designed by Anna Egan-Reid and produced by Mary Egan Publishing. In 2022, "Lens on Papakura" was published as a companion book to the temporary exhibition of the same name that was held at the museum during the same time.
There are a select number of these publications that are available for purchase at the front desk of the Museum.
The Takapuna Tram
Return to the days of steam
In 1923 Elizabeth Welsman Dawson, a Takapuna resident, wrote and sent a humorous poem to the newspaper about the difficulties of travelling on the Takapuna Steam Tram. The noisy, black smoke belching little tram was the main means of public transport on the North Shore between 1910 and 1927.
Now almost one hundred years later Elizabeth Dawson’s grandson, writer Terry Carson has taken the poem and aided by former North Shore retired librarian and artist, Elva Leaming turned the poem into a heritage style children’s book telling in a delightful way the story of the Takapuna Tram. The steam tram ran from the ferry wharf at Bayswater to Takapuna, and around Lake Pupuke to Milford. Pictures and references to Jamuna, the Auckland Zoo’s famous elephant, the old passenger ferries and seaplanes, together with the familiar sights of the beaches and Rangitoto Island take the reader back a century to the early days of settlement on the North Shore.
At a time when local history is becoming part of the school syllabus, The Takapuna Tram is an entertaining introduction to a colourful period of North Shore history. The rhyming humorous text and the colourful quirky art work will make this unique children’s book attractive to both child and adult reader alike.
Terry Carson is delighted to bring his grandmother’s poem and the Takapuna Tram back to life.
Copies can be obtained from the Alibi Press website and in the Museum for $30.