Upper Hutt: Hazelwoods goes into Liquidation

It survived two world wars, the Depression and several economic downturns, but the recession has proved too much for a 115-year-old Upper Hutt shopping institution.

Furniture store Hazelwoods went into liquidation this week with the loss of 10 jobs. It first opened its doors in October, 1894 selling groceries and general goods but began selling furniture in 1984 in Upper Hutt’s Queen St.

Company owner Michael Gibbs said the furniture industry had been hard hit in the past few years and the business could not survive a downturn in sales because of the recession. The company had employed many people over the years and there were lots of fond memories, he said. A liquidation sale in which all furniture will be sold to maximise the return to creditors and shareholders is expected next week in both the company’s Upper Hutt and Tawa stores. The Tawa store is also closing.

via The Dominion Post

Well as a young fella I was trotted around Hazelwoods as my Mum looked  in the haberdashery department at the latest patterns, before heading up to Evans to do the same.

I remember clearly how I hated it, all these woman with these big pattern books flicking through them, probably only akin to the sense of earnest appropriate to the Six O’Clock swill for the men of the same decade. It was torture for me, any chance to escape to the toy department hindered by my young age and a firm grip from mum. That era was probably Hazelwoods halycon period, a time from a bygone era of single car families, if you were lucky, and black and white Tvs, and not a lot of competition.

For a lot of Upper Hutt folk, this shop is their Maceys of New York, and has been a regular port of call.

A somewhat fading giant over the last couple of years, it certainly will be the end of an era, and I hate to say it, Upper Hutt has always had Hazelwoods, no longer, bit sad really, it will leave a large gap in Main Street to fill.

Recession, Credit crunch and Harvey Norman, you Aussie import, with your interest free loans have a lot to answer for……..

Upper Hutt: Spring Festival 2009 highlights

What a beautiful day, with just a light sprinkling of snow on the Tararuas overlooking Upper Hutt for this years Spring Festival.

Thanks must go to the Upper Hutt Womans Centre  and the Rimutaka Trust for organising the event. The Womans Centre estimated profits from this years event would be around $12,000, which would help fund courses, counselling and operating costs. The centre is among the many organisations running community education classes whose funding has been axed by the government from next year.

Many other local community and business groups did a roaring trade as entertainment of all sorts was provided to what must have been a record crowd in attendance. It still was difficult to travel down Main Street at 2.30pm, just shows what great weather can do.

Just some video highlights below of the activities and entertainment offered :-

The huge crowd in attendance

More of the entertainment on offer

Vintage cars from Wellington Classic Car Clubs including vintage Hazelwood Delivery vehicle