Home' The Wellingtonian : September 29th 2011 Contents 2 THE WELLINGTONIAN, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011
Tawa Pool closed
Tawa Pool will be closed from Monday 10
October and will reopen in April 2012.
Maintenance will include:
• replacing the roof and installing a vapour barrier
and acoustic ceiling
• replacing window bays
• resurfacing foor areas
• improving access to the mezzanine area
• tile repairs
• pump, motor and pipe work maintenance
• heating and ventilation maintenance
• general interior painting.
For more information about the closure and to fnd alternative
Council pools, phone 499 4444 or visit Wellington.govt.nz
Historic hotel's future uncertain
Halcyon days: The Tramway Hotel in its prime in the 1960s.
MARK COLE/WELLINGTON TRANSPORT MEMORIES
By GREG WHITBURN
Iconic Wellington watering hole
The Adelaide s future is in doubt
following the council s crackdown
on earthquake-prone buildings.
The 112-year-old building, on
the corner of Adelaide Rd and
Drummond St, has been red-
stickered and will have to be
strengthened or demolished.
Owner Avil Relph said the
building s future was uncertain.
He is investigating whether
repairs are financially viable.
His son and business partner,
Craig Relph, said strengthening
could cost up to $800,000.
Apparently the piles need to be
six metres deep. Obviously it
couldn t be done without
destroying the fittings and the
floor, Craig Relph said.
The Adelaide, formerly known
as the Tramway Hotel, has had a
colourful history. It was a busy
working-class hotel, home to a for-
mer Prime Minister, and a violent
hotspot and murder scene.
More recently it has been a
financially struggling pub.
The hotel, built in 1899, was
named the Tramway because of
all the old tramway barns nearby.
It was classified as a heritage
building in the late 1960s after
being renovated by former owner
Brian Le Gros.
It was never built like that. I
did the pub up to look like a col-
onial pub, then the council made it
a heritage building, Mr Le Gros
said. The outside had blue tiles;
[it] looked like a urinal really.
By the late 1970s the hotel had
acquired a reputation as a violent
trouble spot. In 1981 Mongrel Mob
leader Lester Epps died after a
brawl at the hotel.
[It] had the highest death
count of any hotel in New Zea-
land, Mr Le Gros said. Another
guy was shot in the phone box,
and there were pedestrian
fatalities in Adelaide Rd.
Mr Le Gros is also the former
owner of Wellington strip clubs
Liks, Hole in the Wall and Tiffan-
ies. When there was a big rugby
game at Athletic Park, he would
put on a strip show in the back bar
of his hotel.
Former Tramway worker
Graeme Goodman drew a different
picture of the hotel in the 1960s.
There was never any trouble
when I was there, Mr Goodman
said. Anyone who got drunk was
still nice; there was no belligerent
The late 1960s wasn t long
after Maori were allowed to drink
only on licensed premises.
There was 6 o clock closing.
Beer wasn t refrigerated. There
was a trapdoor on the footpath to
the cellar, and kegs were rolled off
the truck with a couple of ropes.
In the 1960s Island Bay and
Miramar were dry areas, so the
Tramway Hotel was one of the
busiest pubs in the area, he said.
[It was] a proper hotel. Four
bars, 30 rooms upstairs.
There was a house bar for hotel
guests, Cats bar for women, the
public bar, and the private bar,
where business people drank.
Mr Goodman recalled that TB
patients frequently drank there.
They used to say to the barman
to break their glass instead of
The Tramway used to deliver
alcohol to dry suburbs. If they
were under age, they d leave a
note saying the money was in the
mail box and to leave the beer at
the back door, Mr Goodman said.
Former Prime Minister Norman
Kirk lived at the hotel in 1972
after being kicked out of his flat in
the Labour Party headquarters in
Vivian St. He was a friend of the
proprietor, Des Armstrong.
In recent years, The Adelaide
has run accommodation upstairs
and a pub downstairs. It has
hosted bands such as the Neck-
stretchers, Shitripper, Not Quite
Right and Belligerance.
The pub struggled to be
financially viable, with four
proprietors in the last decade.
Wellington City Council man-
ager of compliance Stephen Cody
said there were six red-stickered
buildings in Wellington.
At this point six buildings are
listed as having red EQP notices,
and 682 are identified as poten-
tially earthquake prone. We have
issued 203 earthquake-prone
building notices, Mr Cody said.
A red sticker means the build-
ing is not to be occupied. Buildings
with an earthquake-prone notice
require strengthening work, but
can be occupied.
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