Tides Out At Collings & Bell

Tides Out At Collings & Bell
photos & details ex Harold Kidd

When the Collings & Bell boat yard / shed in St Mary’s Bay was vacated due to the Harbour Bridge construction project, a lot of cool items were just left lying around, on a sneaky visit Barry Davis discovered a selection of Chas Collings’ glass photography quarter plates showing St Mary’s Bay during an ultra low tide in the 1930s. The photos show that in the days before dredging most of the launches and yachts are aground.
Even though the plates were cracked & damaged the detail is amazing & they could be blown up to view the boats in detail. To secure these negatives was a great find as most of the plates were tossed into the bay by the apprentices.

In photo #4 Harold’s father’s schooner TAHITIENNE is at right background out in the stream in RottenRow.

9 thoughts on “Tides Out At Collings & Bell

  1. And just this side of WAITANGI is an open hull which is a twin to MARORO with that odd American vee-stern.


  2. I rescued from destruction these glass negatives. In recent years I passed them on to an intermediary to pass on to Harold. The black lines across two of them are broken negatives, the third one with a black hole in the centre is where water had dissolved the emulsion. This was the condition I found them in when I salvaged them. There were hundreds more, many already smashed others damaged like these ones, others still in good condition. I was only about 13 or 14 years old at the time and wanted to get more of them, but ran out of time. I hope Harold has the remaining few I did get.


  3. Well done, Harold. Thank goodness there are people like you around who can see the value in records like this, and who do something about it. Good wished, Judith W


  4. The top photo is of great interest to me as our launch “Waitangi” (Beautiful Waiheke} is the one to the centre right listing to starboard.


  5. It is sad to see the march of progress. The city councillors and others just think that it is all nasty mud at low tide and is better covered up with a road or buildings or both. First tipping heaps of rubbish in. The joys of seeing the tide inching its way over the mudflats is quite spiritual. Read Maurice Griffiths on the subject of sitting aground and awaiting the tide. Such fun.


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