Friday, 18 April 2014

Summer days and soft drink

by Jean Bennett for the Tauranga Heritage Collection

Everyone appreciates a thirst-quenching drink on a hot day. In the early days of Tauranga, Spring Street held a pump and trough that drew water from a natural spring. It provided a cooling drink for travellers, horses and the occasional roaming cattle. It was also the ideal place to site a cordial factory to utilise the clear water.

TH Hall ginger beer bottle

Charles Clarke, a Mayor of Tauranga for five years, founded an aerated water and cordial factory around 1880. James Campny bought the business in 1901 and improved the factory buildings and equipment. In 1902, the firm was sold to partners Amos and Hall who named it the Tauranga Cordial Factory. When Amos left the business, the bottles were labelled T.H. Hall and are now collector’s items.

Innes Tartin label

The company expanded in the 1930s and moved further down Grey Street to a larger building. Innes Tartan Limited later purchased the firm and expanded throughout the Bay of Plenty. The wooden crates that held the soft drink bottles were stamped with a colourful tartan emblem. The business continued to produce cordial drinks in Tauranga until 1972 when a new factory was built in Rotorua and production moved there.

The Tauranga Heritage Collection holds a bronze-coloured glass bottle embossed: Hall’s Stone Ginger Beer Tauranga. No doubt the ginger beer was enjoyed by the person who emptied the contents so long ago, then returned the bottle to the shop for a cash refund.

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