Milford Creek 1940/50’s – My Girl’s Old Home


My Girl was moored opposite white on road (top right of photo), Walter had a shed there



Elva and Trevor Bowman

Milford Cruising Club Yard

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As I touched on the other day in relation to my own woody – RainDance, its very special when out of the blue you are contacted by someone with details and photos on your boat. It was woody Jason Prew’s turn recently to get the call regarding his 1925, Dick Lang built launch – My Girl.

As I’m sure you are aware WW has rather extensively followed the restoration > launch > cruising log of My Girl so all the exposure has rattled a few memories – this time from Greg Bowman whose grandfather, Walter Brunton used to own My Girl at end of the 1940’s to 1960.
Walter Brunton lived in Castor Bay, Auckland and moved to Russell, in the Bay of Islands in 1950, after Greg’s mother, Elva, married his Dad Trevor Bowman. Like all good relationships in those days – they meet on the water.

When Walter moved north he turned My Girl into a fishing boat (now I know where that smell is from – just kidding Jason). Walter sold fish to the open market and to feed guests in his guesthouse in Russell, named – Arcade Lodge.
Back in those days My Girl had a Gray marine engine, and most years she won the New Year launch race out of Russell.

Greg sent Jason the collection of b/w photos above of My Girl and the Milford Creek, where she was kept in the late 1940’s. The top photo gives you an idea of the amount of dredging required to accommodate the marina that exists today.

It’s a bit cheeky (excuse the pun) but the photo below shows the on-board sanitation methods on My Girl, before inbuilt heads. I know the bucket and chuck it was around but the old rope did the trick – off course helped by the lack of duckboards back then 🙂

WW link below to show the journey My Girl has been on in terms of apperance and the extent of Jason’s restoration. And a photo of her post re-launch heading into Milford Creek or as some of the MCC woodys call it – Wairau Cove 😉

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9 thoughts on “Milford Creek 1940/50’s – My Girl’s Old Home

  1. Hi the photo of the four guys fishing .Keith Brown my father on the left and my uncle Sydney Brown on the right have the same photo in a collection at home ,Do not think either of the other two are Gordon the other brother
    Cheers Grahame Brown


  2. I remember being on Jane Gifford dredging at Milford. Must have been late 60’s.
    Later on I always admired checking out Alberta.


  3. What about the most famous Milford woody of them all, Ye Olde Pirate Shippe?
    Cheers and Stay Safe!
    Denis O’Callahan


  4. Wonderful early shots of Milford, the original boatbuilder (by the bridge ) was of course Alan Williams good to see pics of his lower shed which at times got cut off by the high tide meaning the occupants had to finish the crate before going home for tea…
    Possibly Arcadia Lodge Matauwhi bay Russell.


  5. My parents brought lady Evelyn in 1960 was lady joy at the time. We were living on Waiheke at the time dad removed the graymarine petrol repowerd with 3 cylinder lister , we commercial fished out of her for 7 years longlining reg #AK 282. We had but then shifted to Whangarei but fished out of Urquharts bay where we lived, the boat was sold to another Fisherman Spencer .


  6. 2 disassociated things, the top image was taken in the 1950s or or perhaps 60’s not the 40s, as it has one of the 1950s/60’s vintage larger McGeady sedan toppers in the background on the port hand of the inlet, & also a 1950s Ford Prefect in the foreground, & the image, with Elva & Trevor Bowman has the TAIPARU in the background. — KEN R


  7. I was brought up just above the Miford Creek…that was the bus shelter we caught the bus from. Just a walk over the old footbridge to Milford Beach. There were two boat yards there then – one was Johnny Gladden’s. Very evocative those early photos.


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