William Birch Pool

Although I could find very little information on the place, I  did find a few articles.

The Ototoka Stream feeds what was once a community swimming pool known as 
William Birch Pool.
It was built in the 1934 and used by Maxwell School, nearby, according to this site.

Since it wasn't easy to get to the ocean, the Pool became a public place for swimming.

After falling into disrepair, it was filled in with dirt and then eventually restored according to this article with public toilets installed at the entrance gate.

As we sat on a bench eating our lunch, I could imagine the activity this place saw at the height of its popularity with moms in their modest suits watching young ones in the shallow end and older children jumping off the diving board at the other end.

It seems that the water quality is the main reason it isn't maintained.

It's easy to see why it was a popular place and, even though I never saw it in its heyday, 
I feel quite sad that it sits unused.



Even if you've never been to London, you have probably heard of Harrods, the world's most famous department store, at some time or another. We even have a Harrods in New Zealand, but it's not quite as famous. This Harrods was once the general store of Rangataua but, for many years it has been a family ski house that sleeps 17! 

Sadly, there is nothing online about this place, so I assume it has closed its doors.

Some Harrods trivia, according to Wikipedia: 
In 1986, the town of Otorohanga briefly changed its name to "Harrodsville". This was a protest in support of a restaurateur, Henry Harrod of Palmerston North, who was being forced to change the name of his restaurant following the threat of lawsuits from Mohammed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrod's department store in London.
As a show of solidarity for Henry Harrod and in anticipation of actions against other similar sounding businesses, it was proposed that every business in Otorohanga should change its name to "Harrods". With support of the District Council, Otorohanga temporarily changed the town's name to Harrodsville.
After being lampooned in the British tabloid newspapers, Al Fayed dropped the legal action and Harrodsville and its shops reverted to their former names.
The town's response raised widespread media interest around the world, with the BBC World Service and newspapers in Greece, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada covering the story.

*edit* On the 5th of May, 2015, I got this lovely email about Harrod's:

I have been searching Harrods of Rangataua on the web just to see what comes up and saw your lovely blog.
I just thought I would let you know the History of this Harrods.
It was the general store of Rangataua from 1908-1964, During this time it had a petrol pumps, a garage, chicken coops, hairdresser as well as the general store. In 1981, 3 couples including my parents bought the building as a ski House.  A friend of theirs who came to see the new house and said that as it was the worst store in the world it should be named after the "Best Store" in the world and so we have Harrods of Rangataua.
We were not involved in the "Harrodsville" situation. Many years before this happened we had received a letters from the London store asking to remove our signs. The 6 owners were all in London as the same time and visited management , showed them photos of our quirky family holiday house and as long as we never trade as a retail store and we can keep our signs up.
We rent Harrods out to help with the maintenance and annual bills of the property but it is largely as it was in 1981 when my parents purchased it.
It was nice to see an old photo of her.
Thanks Kate   


US Marine tribute

In Queen Elisabeth park in Paraparaumu, there is a memorial to American Marines.


douglas boarding house

Built in 1906 for weary travelers, this is now a heritage site with an interesting past. Click here for some history.