Topic: Coronation Hotel 1902

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Coronation Hotel

The Coronation Hotel on the corner of Bridge and York Streets was built in 1902 for James Hawkins, previously the lessee of the Normanby Hotel.

An application for a licence was put to the Licensing Committee on 5 June 1902, while the hotel was still under construction. The contractor, Leslie Steel (New Plymouth) produced plans showing that the hotel would have 34 rooms, six of which were finished and 14 more were nearly complete. He indicated that the hotel should be ready by 25 June and the decision of the committee was to delay the decision to 1 July.

After hearing further evidence on 1 July the Licensing Committee granted the licence to Hawkins for the Coronation Hotel. The chairman explained that the evidence was overwhelming that Eltham needed another hotel with suitable accommodation – but not two, as another application on behalf of George Moir application was refused.

A report in the Hawera & Normanby Star on 14 August 1902 (linked) described the hotel in some detail. It was designed by well-known New Plymouth architect James Sanderson at a cost of £3,000. The contractor (Steel) was complimented on the workmanship as were the sub-contractors: James Nash (painting and decorating), Mr F. Griffiths (plumbing), Mr Mander (brickwork), Messrs Twigg & Co. (joinery) and the staircase was built by Mr Hogg. All the furnishing was supplied by Messrs Smith & Caughey of Auckland.

It was named in honour of King Edward VII who had ascended the throne the year previously, but his coronation ceremony did not take place until August 1902. 

In the 1980s, the Coronation Hotel featured in the film “Came a Hot Friday” based on Hāwera novelist Ronald Hugh Morrieson's book of the same name.

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