BLAST FROM THE PAST
BUILDINGS & FACILITIES: Overview
The Addington Racecourse being well established, the Committee was mindful of the need to improve the facilities. In January 1901 in was decided to erect a Stewards Stand at a cost of £470.
Alterations were carried out later to the Main Stand and the inconvenience of having to climb up many steps to the Stand was obviated when 15 feet was added to the front of the building. The lawn immediately in front of the stand was banked so that from this terrace to the front of the building was only a few feet. An additional 10 feet added to the East end greatly increased accommodation, 35 feet at the East end being partitioned off as a Members enclosure. The additional space enabled the luncheon room to be extended to 90 feet and a ladies room provided at the West end. Fifty feet to the east of the Main Stand the Stewards Stand was erected providing accommodation for the Press as well as the Stewards. The lower portion of the building was used as a Weighing-In Room and a Drivers Changing Room with the Stewards area, the Press Room and the Secretary’s Offices being located upstairs. At the front of the upper storey a balcony provided the Stewards and the Press with an excellent view of the races.
In 1903 Messrs Clarkson and Ballantyne, Architects, were instructed to draw up plans for a Peoples Stand in the outside enclosure and in September of that year Mr W Jacques’ tender of £944 was accepted. The funds for this stand were derived from the Totalisator fractions which were earmarked for the purpose. A new Judges Box was erected nearer the Stewards Stand, and its re-siting allowed those in the Stewards and Press Stands a better view of the finish. Underneath the new Peoples Stand were a large restaurant and other facilities. Between the Peoples and the Stewards Stand a small structure was erected for the use of Trainers and Jockeys so they could view the races and be close to their dressing room. A results board was provided on the inside of the track behind the Winning Post.
In 1906 it was decided that a new Totalisator House should be built and in August 1907 the tender of Mr Rowe amounting to £593 was accepted. The new Totalisator House was of an entirely new design and housed W H McDougall’s patent totalisator, which showed one grand total with investments being recorded as soon as made. Twelve receiving windows and nine payout compartments were provided. Above the grand total was placed a patent clock, the invention of Mr A I Rattray, which played an important part in the working of the machine. A stationary hand pointed to the advertised time of starting and an ordinary hour hand indicated the hour of the day and on its coming to the stationary hand a bell rang and the totalisator was closed immediately. This ensured that no investments were made after the advertised starting time irrespective of the time at which the race actually commenced.
In April 1908 tenders were accepted for extensions to the Stewards Stand and the Tea Rooms and in October Patrol Boxes were erected around the track.
With the prospect of major developments being planned in the latter part of 1909 a number of local builders objected to Luttrell Brothers being appointed Architects as they were also in the building trade. Luttrell’s proposals were proceeded with, with the exception of the Public Stand as it was decided that a competition be held for a suitable design. As none of the competition designs were acceptable, Messrs Luttrell Brothers were appointed Architects for the Stand which was to be of one storey and not to exceed £6,500. Luttrells laid down their terms for carrying out the Club’s work and their plans for the stand were accepted and tenders called. The tenders received were unacceptable and Messrs Luttrell Brothers were instructed to erect the stand, with seating, using day labour at a cost not to exceed £8,100. The stand built to the west of the Stewards Stand was an imposing and ornamental structure planned to be the largest and best appointed stand in New Zealand. It was 240 feet in length with seating for 2,500; a portion of the seating was reserved for Members who had access by a stairway at the rear. The public section of the stand had several flights of steps with passages leading from the lawn which was sloped up gradually to meet the stand. Dining room, bar and other facilities were included in the structure. The existing public stand serving the inside patrons was resited in the outside enclosure.
The foundation stone of the new grandstand was laid by the Club’s President, the Hon. Charles Louisson, on 10th February 1910. In May of that year, as the new grandstand was rapidly approaching completion the old stand was lifted off its foundations in preparation for its removal to the outside enclosure. The new stand was completed in September and as a result of the improvements the old tea rooms became surplus and were sold to the New Brighton Trotting Club and moved to its course.
Articles appearing in the NEW ZEALAND REFEREE in October and November 1910 described in detail the work that was being carried out at Addington.
“The new grandstand costing £9,000 will accommodate in comfort 2,500 people and as the stands in outside enclosure will seat 2,250, there will now be seating for 4,750. The new stand is quite the finest in New Zealand and is a handsome structure of stucco with plate glass windows at the ends and from every position a capital view of the whole track can be obtained. The ceiling is of wunderlich metal and as this and all the interior walls have been painted white the result is an effective airiness, the like of which is seldom found in similar buildings.
“The ground floor of the stand is devoted to a well appointed kitchen and servery, the public luncheon room 100 feet by 52 feet and a large public bar. On the next floor are the Members Rooms to which access is gained from the rear of the stand by a double flight of steps leading to a handsome portico which with its swing doors and leadlights would not be out of place in any public building. There is a private bar for the use of the Members on this floor access being gained by a separate staircase from outside the building. An essential improvement, a good water supply, was installed at a cost of £2,000 and an artesian well supplied a tank holding 20,000 gallons some seventy feet above the ground. New Cloak rooms and lavatories of approved design were built and all buildings connected with the main sewer. This work entailed the laying of nearly half a mile of piping. In many other directions changes were made all with a view to improving the general appearance of the Club’s property. At the entrance to the grandstand enclosure iron railings and gates of effective design were substituted for the former wooden barriers while in front of the grandstand the picket fence was replaced with iron railings.
”Further improvements planned include a new tea pavilion and a new totalisator house in the paddock and to enable that to be done the existing totalisator house was removed to the outside enclosure. The whole work has been carried out under the supervision of the Architects, Messrs S & A Luttrell, and as it has been done by day labour it can be understood that for some 12 months the Club has had to find the money for a large weekly wages bill. The flowerbeds and lawns were designed round the ornamental lake which forms a striking feature of the Club’s property.
“The Club and its architects and builders, Messrs Luttrell Brothers are to be most heartily congratulated on the improvements carried out”.
Following the completion of the Public Stand Luttrells offered to leave their commission for one or two years at 6%. This was accepted by the Club subject to having the right to repay the amount at any time.
Improvements continued to be carried out on the course and in the following year, 1911, new totalisator facilities, horse boxes and an up-to-date ladies cloak room were provided. Following authorization in August 1912 for the Architect to proceed with plans for new tea rooms there was some delay as no tenders were received. The construction was eventually carried out using day labour under the supervision of Luttrell Brothers.
In September 1913 the Club’s Executive approved of extension to and the upgrading of the Outside Public Stand.
In March 1914 the tea rooms verandah was enclosed and in July of that year following a decision to carry out further improvements tenders were called for a new Stewards and Members Stand to be designed by Luttrell’s at an estimated cost of £7,360. Tenders were called for the erection of the new Stewards and Members Stand with the work to be commenced at the conclusion of the August Meeting 1914. The top storey of the building was to be reserved for Members and provide accommodation for between 700 and 800. On the floor below were to be rooms for the President, Stewards and other Officers with a balcony running round the front and sides of the building. Provision was also to be made at this level for an area for Trainers, Riders and Drivers to view the racing. On the Ground Floor the Secretary’s Office, the Public Office, a Meeting Room, a Weighing Room and Dressing Rooms with hot and cold showers were included in the plan. It was anticipated that the Stand would be completed in time for the November Meeting, but because of the outbreak of the 1914-18 war the Committee decided to postpone the project. This action did not find favour with Members and some fifty presented a petition asking the Committee to reconsider its decision and proceed with the building. A Special General Meeting was held at which it was resolved that either one of two plans submitted by the Architects and estimated to cost £7,350 or £5,400 should be proceeded with. In October 1914 Luttrells were instructed to proceed immediately after the November Meeting with the erection of the stand at an estimated cost of £7,350. At the conclusion of the Meeting a gang of men demolished the old official stand in readiness for the building of the new Members and Stewards Stand. The progress on the Stand was such that it was available for use at the Meeting in February 1915 and was completed almost entirely prior to the Easter Meeting. The only criticism received was that the roof was galvanized iron and not in keeping with the tiled roofs of the other buildings. To help finance the building of the Stand Luttrell Brothers offered to loan £5,000 to the Club, their offer was accepted and five £1,000 debentures issued to them, but the Club reserved the right to repay the whole or part of the loan upon three months notice. The last debenture was repaid in November 1916.
A report published in the NZ REFEREE of the 4th of August, 1915 summarised the work that had been carried out during the year.
“The almost completed Stewards Stand with its concrete staircase and landings at the rear has made the top storey available for seating 900 in the Members section. This new facility would relieve the pressure on the Main Grandstand which would be available to the general public with the exception of a small area reserved for elderly members. The greater part of the saddling paddock had been given to the public in the outside enclosure and a portion converted into a motor reserve for Members with stalls to accommodate sixty two cars. The additional land in the south west corner of the property enabled a very spacious saddling paddock to be laid out with 114 boxes, 47 of which were closed and ample room given in the saddling paddock for owners and trainers as well as the general public. With the extension of the outside enclosure the totalisator house there will be devoted solely to the use of outside patrons, and the inside totalisator has been enlarged to double its former size. The building has been bought up to date in every respect with twenty four selling windows and adequate provision for all emergencies. The Clubs grounds generally which extend over seventy six acres are in great order and the August Meeting promises to be a brilliant success”.
The main item of historical interest which occurred during 1916 was the destruction of the new Stewards and Members Stand by fire on Cup Day. (Refer Chapter 13) Following the fire, plans and specifications were prepared by the Club’s Architects and lodged with the Insurance Companies concerned, but a considerable delay was experienced in their meeting the claim and this greatly inconvenienced the Club and its patrons. Certain temporary alterations were carried out so that the ground floor of the building could be used on race days. In February 1917 tenders for re-building were called but as no tenders were received the Committee instructed Luttrell Brothers to re-instate the stand with a tile roof at a cost not to exceed £7,500. By June work on the re-building was well under way and it was anticipated it would be finished in time for the August Meeting.
In 1919 the ends of the Members Stand were glassed in and in September 1923 extensions to the Members Stand accommodation were undertaken at a cost of £3,048.
In August 1928 the tender of Hammett & Sons for the building of a new Outside Stand to replace the one destroyed by fire in September 1926 was accepted.
In May 1939 an outside ladies cloakroom was erected adjacent to the Showgrounds fence, and in June of that year Mr A H Manson was appointed Architect to the Club.
A sub-committee investigated the building of a new outside stand linking with the Members Stand, and Canterbury Park signified its willingness to contribute £750 towards the cost. In July 1939 tenders were called with the price not to exceed £21,000. In June 1940 the Government was asked for consent to proceed with the new outside stand or a modified scheme, at the same time being advised that the Club intended to loan a substantial sum (£10,000) for the period of the War and six months after, interest free. The building of the proposed stand was not proceeded with.
In April 1943 the Architect was instructed to obtain an estimate for the construction of a counting house to be built in concrete. At the same time a report was asked for from J Sutherland & Son on the condition of the water tank. Acting on their report major reconstruction of the tank was undertaken at a final cost of £2,003 which included a larger tank with a capacity of 26,000 gallons. In June a contract was let to B Moore &Sons Ltd for £849 for the building of the counting house which was sited between the Members car park and the entrance to the inside enclosure.
The War Asset Realisation Board offered to sell their temporary buildings on the course, including the conveniences at the back of the Main Stand, for £119.17.0d, the salvage value of the buildings. The Clubs decided to accept the offer.
In June 1946 the position of the Judges Box was changed from the Members Stand level to the Stewards Stand level to allow the photo finish equipment to be sited at the Members Stand level directly above the Judges Box.
In August 1947 two horse stalls were converted into a horse clinic and in the following month the installation of a stand-by plant for the totalisator was agreed to.
In April 1948 following the granting of a building permit, work commenced on a new Main Entrance, and the area in the vicinity was suitably landscaped. The new entrance with twelve new turnstiles costing £40 each was completed and ready for the August Meeting.
The Architect Mr Manson submitted plans in January 1949 for extensions to the Tea Kiosk to provide Ladies toilet facilities, estimated to cost £4,000. In May of that year a tender was let to B Moore & Sons for the extensions, at a cost of £390 above the estimate.
In January 1951 plans were approved for a new Course Superintendent’s house, and in April that year the tender of B Moore & Sons of £5,095 was accepted.
In October 1952 the Architect submitted plans for a Cocktail Bar to be situated in the vacant area in the vacant area behind the Members Stand seating. This would become the fourth floor level. As the Bar was not considered to be a viable proposition it was decided instead to convert the northern wing of the Tea Kiosk into the Members Lounge Bar and Addington Trotting Course Ltd proceeded with this amenity which was available for the 1954 New Year Meeting.
In June 1953 the Company advised the Club that a contract had been let to Wormald Bros. for the installation of a fire prevention sprinkler system in the Stewards and Members Stand, and the Main Totalisator.
A joint meeting of the Committees of the two Clubs was held in March 1954 to consider and discuss with the Architect plans for the replacement of the outside stand burnt down in November 1953. In the following September various schemes were considered which included the return of two enclosures. In March 1956 a deputation to wait on the building controller was appointed, and in June the Directors advised the Clubs that a permit for a new Stand amounting to £170,000 had been approved in principal provided the work did not commence before June 1958. The Architect was instructed to prepare sketch plans for a Stand not to exceed £150,000. Because of the problems arising with the Architect, Mr A H Manson the replacement of the outside Public Stand was abandoned, and a new project combining a Stand for Members and Public with a three storied Members Amenities block was planned by the new Architect Mr C C Lamb. As his plan seemed to be a practical one, it was decided not to reinstate the outside enclosure which had not been used since the 1953 fire. With alterations to the positioning of some Totalisator facilities, including the housing of the doubles in the annex, one enclosure was adopted with an admission charge of five shillings.
For additional information on the problems associated with Mr A H Manson refer to Fires and their Prevention.
The new Stand sub-committee recommended that the Members and Public Stand being planned should cater for a maximum membership of one thousand, but that the Club should retain a limit of 850. On referring to Appendix 8 it will be seen that the Committees did not adhere to the sub-committee’s recommendation.
In December 1957 the Architect advised that the new Stand could not be completed in time for the 1960 Inter-Dominion Championships allocated to the Club. An approach to the Inter-Dominion Council resulted in the New South Wales Trotting Club holding the Championship in 1960 and this Club in February 1961.
The Addington Trotting Course Ltd had £87,000 available towards the cost of the new Stand and the balance of £66,140 was found by the two Clubs on a share-holding basis. The NZMTC contribution being £45,790. In September 1959 on the recommendation of the Architect, additional wiring and distribution boards were included in the plan as a provision for the possible introduction of night trotting.
In December 1961 a report was called for from Photo Finishes Ltd on the re-siting of the mirror at the finishing line with the object of eliminating the shadow problem, and during the winter of 1962 the mirror was re-positioned further back from the inside running rail, overcoming the problem in the main.
Information is contained in Chapter 13, on the fire which destroyed the Main inside Public Stand fire on Show Day 1961, including details of the costing of its replacement.
On the 21st of December 1961 the inaugural meeting of the new Public Stand sub-committee was held and comprised – Messrs J K Davidson, W M Ollivier, R W Saunders and C S Thomas (NZMTC) and H T Fuller, V J McKibbin, C S Peate and L S Smart (CPTC)
Following a visit to the North Island by Mr J K Davidson, President of the NZMTC and Mr L S Smart, President of the CPTC and the Secretary, the new Stand sub-committee met in early 1962 to consider the estimate by the Architect that a stand with seating for 4,000 patrons would cost £163,620. After receiving information regarding the new Stand built at Riccarton, it was thought the cost could increase to £182,476. A Committeeman of the Club expressed the opinion that the basis of the proposed Stand was wrong and that a mezzanine floor was not required as it would add considerably to the cost. Any money saved he said could provide for the seating, and the only section of the mezzanine floor needed would be at the East end for an Owners and Trainers Bar. He also held the view that there should be no Public Lavatory Blocks in the Stand, and that the Public Bar should be at the East end with only one access way through the Stand. At a meeting on the 13th of March 1962 a Club representative suggested that the Stand should be purely functional with seating for as many as possible and provide reasonable although not elaborate amenities. He pointed out that Stands at Lancaster Park seating 3,000 had cost £20 per seat, whereas preliminary estimates based on the sketch plans submitted by the Architect costed at £50 per seat. The sub-committee recommended that facilities included in the Stand should be a Public Bar, Totalisator windows and provision for Catering and that no less than two access ways should be provided from the Stand to the Mezzanine Floor, but toilet facilities be provided only for staff. At a combined meeting of the Committees of the two Clubs on 16 May 1962 the Quantity Surveyor reported that the estimated cost of the Stand would be £180,900 of which £118,500 would be available from the Insurance Claim leaving the Clubs to find £62,400.
The plans for the new Stand were approved in principal and the Architect was instructed to prepare final plans and call for tenders to carry out the project in two stages. Stage One for the Stand proper including walls, roofing, and seating and Stage Two for the amenities. The Architect pointed out that the Quantity Surveyors price was based on the contract being done by one firm, in a single operation. The Chairman of Addington Raceway, Mr J K Davidson said that together with Mr Smart and the Secretary he had had discussions with the Architect on the plans and final drawings and the Architect had expressed some doubt as to the design of the Totalisator area on the Mezzanine Floor which because of its shallowness would not allow the Totalisator to be operated to the best advantage. He suggested that the Mezzanine Floor be extended on stilts out to the line of the bottom of the stairways and estimated that an additional £5,000 would be required. The Chairman said that he and Mr Smart had agreed to the enlargement of the Mezzanine Floor and the decision was ratified by the full Committee.
In October it was agreed that as the new Stand would be built over the horse access from the stalls to the track new horse stalls should be built at an approximate cost of £75 per stall in preference to removing the existing stalls and re-siting them adjacent to Wrights Road.
The Club Treasurer Mr C S Thomas, who had been overseas during the planning discussions for the new Stand, tendered his resignation in December 1962 as a member of the new Stand sub-committee as he was not in agreement with the plan or the type of construction proposed and the consequent cost involved.
Five tenders were received for the construction of the Stand, Fletcher Construction Co. being the lowest at £216,578. The highest tender was £241,351. Fletcher Construction Co. was advised that theirs was the lowest tender but too high as far as the Club was concerned. Mr Lamb and his assistants were asked to confer with Fletchers with a view to finding some way of reducing the cost.
At a meeting of the new Stand sub-committee various suggestions were put forward for the deletion of certain items with a view to a reduction in the overall cost. At a special meeting of the combined Committees the Architect reported that the tender of Fletcher Construction Co. Ltd had been finalized at £198,379.9.6d and the two Committees agreed that a figure up to £200,000 be acceptable. It was left to the sub-committee to negotiate the contract. It was decided that the first part of the contract for the foundations be proceeded with immediately and the Contractors were authorized to place a shed on site after they signed the Contract providing it was on course by 10.30am on Cup Day 6th November 1962 just under one year after the fire took place. The Contractors advised that the lump sum of £21,426 was the fixed price for the excavations, foundations and main floor slab, and the basic rates in the schedule were the rates on which the remainder of the work would be priced.
The Committee of the Club agreed to a request from Addington Trotting Course Ltd that they negotiate a loan from the Commercial Union to provide the extra funds required to meet the total cost of the Stand, Night Trotting and consequent modifications to the horse stalls and other items, and that the request date from the 1st November 1962.
In January 1963 it was reported that 104 horse stalls could be built back to back using existing doors at a cost of approximately £8,000. The lowest tenderer J J Construction Co. Ltd quoted £11,787 for 123 slightly larger stalls in single rows. In spite of the fact that the Clubs were committed to a considerable capital expenditure, the tender of J J Construction Co. Ltd was accepted.
In April 1963 the Secretary submitted a sketch plan he had prepared showing a possible alteration to the use of the three large rooms in the Stewards Stand. This was referred to the Architect for his recommendations and an estimate of the cost involved. Following the Architect’s report he was asked to obtain prices so the work could be proceeded with, and in November it was reported that the re-arrangement of the three large rooms was completed, and involved the transferring of the Ladies Room to the Luncheon Room, the Luncheon Room to the Cash Bar and the Cash Bar to the Ladies Room.
In April 1964, a survey prepared by Felt & Textiles Ltd on the effect carpeting of large areas had on noise reduction was considered and a suggestion put forward that the noise level in the Members Club room would be reduced by the laying of carpet. This was held over for further consideration, but in September 1965 the Addington Trotting Course Ltd accepted the NZMTC’s offer of an interest free loan for the carpeting of the Members Club floor.
In December 1964 Mr D Spence, a Life Member elected in 1959 after fifty years membership, who owned the Metro Picture Theatre in Sydenham which was closing down, offered to donate as many of the theatre seats as would be required for the Stewards Stand. At the Addington Trotting Course Ltd Annual Meeting, the Chairman stated that Mr Spence had presented one hundred seats, which he had had renovated, to Addington Raceway as an appreciation of he hospitality extended to him by the three Clubs. The seats were positioned in the Stewards Stand at the start of the 1965-66 season.
In April 1965 a report was received on the final costing of the Public Stand, Horse Stalls and lighting for Night Trotting. The contract price for the new Stand was £198,275 with sundry expenses £3,131, Architects Fees £13,559, Sundry Fees and Clerk of Works £3,773, a total of £218,738 less Insurance recovered, £118,500. The Nett cost to the Clubs being £100,238. The cost of lighting the track and facilities was National Electric £72,072, C E Fenwick, Consultant £214, extra floodlights £188, a total of £72,474. The cost of the new horse stalls was £13,345. The total cost of the three projects amounted to £186,057. At this time the Members Restaurant and the Ladies Powder Room were carpeted.
In July 1966 it was suggested that the Architect should prepare a master ground plan which would include the filling in of the gap between the Stands in two stages. Stage one to be between the Public Stand and the existing Members ad Stewards Stand and stage two to be between the Public Stand and a new Members Stand to replace the existing one, with a view to establishing sitelines and locations for the eventual joining up of the two concrete buildings. A year late Mr Lamb presented a sketch plan based on linking the Public Stand with a new Stewards and Members Stand. Because of existing sitelines it would not be practical to extend the Public Stand any further east, as it was sited as far east and as close to the track as possible, without seriously interfering with viewing from the existing Stewards and Members Stand.
During 1968 and 1969 improvements were carried out including upgrading the deep fry booth, at a cost of £1,200, and providing twenty two additional horse stalls, at £7,800.
The re-designing of the lay-out of the top floor of the Members Amenities was put in hand and in September 1969 Addington Raceway suggested that extensions be carried out to the Members Amenities Block by building on the vacant area between the rear of the Stand the lift shaft giving an extra 900 square feet on each of the three levels. The Architects were asked to obtain a realistic costing for this project and in April 1970 four tenders were received, the lowest being that of Capon Construction Ltd. at $40,240. Other charges including fees brought the total cost to $78,471, which included approximately $7,500 for upgrading existing kitchen, and Members Amenities Block to comply with Waimairi County Council’s hygiene regulations.
In February 1970, it was decided that an open Stand in permanent material should be built on Smarts mound, to replace the wooden one which had been dismantled, and the NZMTC agreed to advance the monies required byway of an interest-free loan. In August 1971 it was reported that the Open concrete Stand on Smarts mound which would accommodate 1,000 standing had been completed at a cost of $12,481.
In February 1970 the Waimairi County Council advised that many of the areas used in the preparation or sale of food and beverages, did not comply with hygiene regulations. The estimated cost of complying with the Council’s requirements was $12,600, after concessions had been granted by the Health Inspector. The Architect outlined the requirements of the Waimairi County Council, which included the lining of the ceiling in the Tea Kiosk, and the consequent provision of additional sprinkler heads.
When the Members Stand and Amenities Block was built, certain items were excluded on the grounds of expense, and the Health Inspector had not insisted then on any additional facilities. A number of items previously excluded were now required under the hygiene regulations. In January 1972 the Architects had discussions with the Waimairi County Council’s Health Inspector, and as a result the cost of improving the washing facilities not asked for when the Public Stand was planned amounted to $4,750. Approximately $8,000 was spent in the Tea Kiosk to bring it up to the required standard. With Fees the overall cost of complying with the health requirements was $13,900.
In August 1971 it was reported that the extension to the Members amenities, gave additional accommodation on each floor and provide further bar space on the two top floors. The space on the Ground Floor previously occupied by the Milk Bar, Police and Staff rooms together with the Ground Floor extension became the kitchen and wash up area for the Members amenities. The re-siting of the kitchen, made it possible to convert the old kitchen area into a Members cafeteria, thus returning the cafeteria to its original size. The cost of the extensions to the Members Stand amenities was $76,364. As part of the improvement programme in the Members amenities the top floor bar was carpeted at a cost of $2,153.
In May 1973 the Club’s Architects Colin Lamb & Stewart advised that due to Mr Lamb’s ill health, they were unable to proceed with the investigations and sketch plans for a new Stewards and Members Stand, but were prepared to act in an advisory capacity. Messrs Austin & Warren, who were being considered as Architects for the project, waited on the Directors to discuss various aspects of it and agreed to inspect with the Secretary some of the latest North Island Stands. In October their appointment as Architects to Addington Raceway Ltd. was ratified by the Directors. Colin Lamb & Stewart were appointed Consulting Architects and Valuers for insurance purposes. The development of the new Stewards and Members Stand project was held up as the Committees were of the opinion that firstly improvements should be carried out to the Public Stand.
The proposed plans for the alterations to the Public stand were agreed to in principle, and the Architects were asked to proceed with working drawings. The Committee expressed concern that the Directors had decided that the upgrading of the Public amenities be delayed until the extensions at the rear of the Public Stand were let for tender. The Committee requested that the upgrading of the facilities in the Public Stand be accorded urgency, and Austin & Warren advised that the working drawings and specifications for the upgrading of the Public Stand amenities in conjunction with the extensions to the lavatories would be available in April 1974.
In October 1973 the re-siting of the Derby Lodge Complex in the Halls Road area, was investigated by Mr B B Woods and the Secretary, and their suggestions were submitted to the Committees of the three Clubs and approved. The Architects were asked to bring down a report on the possibility of building the Stable Complex in that area. They reported on the new Complex which would be completed in three stages. Stage One was the provision of twenty five stables with facilities and a Blacksmith’s shop. Stage Two was the provision of a Trackman’s flat, above a tractor and implement shed and Stage Three was to build barn type stables for visiting horses. The estimated cost was $100,000.
In April 1974 a meeting was held with the Secretary of the NZ Racing Authority, Mr L J Downey, the Authority’s Consultant Architect, Mr R Roberts, the Company’s Architects and the Directors. The meeting inspected the proposed improvements to the Public Stand which included a lavatory block, covering of the entrance ways and alterations to the Ladies & Escorts Bar. The meeting also inspected certain Stewards Stand facilities and the site of the proposed new Derby Lodge Complex. Mr Downey said that the Racing Authority engaged Mr Roberts as a Consultant Architect to look at Club’s planning of projects in relation to existing facilities and long range planning. He said that after the line of communications had been established, there was no reason why Mr Roberts and the Company’s Architects could not deal directly with each other, although Mr Roberts would report to the Racing Authority for their consideration and approval. Mr Downey stated that before any major projects were carried out the Authority would require a site plan of the proposed overall development of Addington Raceway. As a result of this meeting the Architects were asked to prepare sketch plans for upgrading the amenities in the Public Stand with particular reference to the re-siting of the Main Bar and the Ladies & Escorts Bar and alterations to the drainage to allow for any internal changes. In May the Racing Authority advised that approval had been given for the re-imbursement from the Amenities Fund of the cost of the additions to the Public Stand, and on 30th May the Architects advised that tenders would close in mid-June. In July they advised that the successful tenderers Paynter & Hamilton would be commencing the Public Stand development on 1st August 1974.
In June 1974 Austin & Warren submitted sketch plans for the new Derby Lodge Complex, and were asked to submit estimated costs of the full project, as well as unit costs. In July the project was held over for further investigation, an in September the scheme for the re-siting of Derby Lodge was approved in principle provided it was eligible for reimbursement under the Annual Minimum Disbursement Scheme.
The NZMTC advised Directors that it was prepared to underwrite $176,000 towards the cost of upgrading the Public amenities. As part of the upgrading a Tank Room was built, and four stainless steel beer tanks installed, together with a Waterflow beer system to provide separate lines from the tanks to each Bar. The cost of the four tanks purchased was $2,400.
In March 1974 following a fuzziness appearing on the photo-finish pictures, which was thought to be due to movement of the stand caused by the patrons enthusiasm at the conclusion of a race, the Architects were asked to instruct their Engineers to carry out whatever was necessary to ensure the safety of the Stewards and Members Stand. Their Structural Engineers, Hardie & Anderson, said that in order to comply with the safety factor, strengthening would be required in the tiered seating area and the roof structure. The seating area and the external stuccoed walls appeared to be the main problems. Strengthening of the existing trusses was paramount and would require a permit from the Waimairi County Council. The work was carried out by Paynter & Hamilton Ltd at a cost of $5,389. In December 1974 additional work was authorized foe the strengthening of the Stand and this was carried out by Paynter & Hamilton at a further cost of $7,800.
In January 1975 the Architects reported that delays had occurred in obtaining approval for their plans for improvements to the Public Stand as the Racing Authority’s Architect required one or two amendments to the scheme one of which was the circulation pattern which in his opinion was unsatisfactory. Mr Roberts required the Stand to be divided into fifty foot areas alternating eating, drinking and tote facilities and held the view that the top floor should be enlarged and re-designed before any action was taken on improvements to the Ground Floor. The Architects advised that if Stage One was completed and Stage Two proceeded with then the cost would be increased by $2,000. The Racing Authority was written to asking if approval of Stage Two could be granted to facilitate the completion of Stage One. The Authority advised they could not agree to the commencement of Stage One until they received the final report from their Consultant Architect. In February Mr Hartley, Chairman of Directors of Addington Raceway Ltd, reported that with the Company’s Architects he had visited Mr Roberts at his Palmerston North office and there was a frank discussion regarding the delay in permission being granted to proceed with Stage Two. Mr Roberts agreed to a concession that approval would be given to Stage Two of the Company’s plan, with the amendments required by the Authority but Stage Three must contain the proposals he required for further upgrading the Stand, including the provision of an additional stairway, alterations to the cafeteria on the Mezzanine Floor, and the division of the existing cafeteria into smaller eating and betting areas. The amendments required for inclusion in Stage Two were the removal of three selling windows from the Canterbury Park Bar, the addition of 9 Totalisator windows in the Metropolitan Inn and the provision of a food Kiosk on the Mezzanine Floor. The Directors approved the revised plans for Stage Two. The Racing Authority was notified that the Company wished to proceed immediately with the whole of Stage Two, including the extension to the Metropolitan Inn, as suggested by Mr Roberts, and giving an undertaking that Stage Three would proceed within twelve to eighteen months. In the following month the Authority advised that Stage Two had been approved.
In April 1975 the suggestion regarding the replacing of the Members and Stewards Stand was again raised by the Club, and it was referred to the Treasurers of the three Clubs for a joint investigation as to the means of financing the Stand. The matter was held over until July when three representatives from each Club formed a sub-committee to look into ways and means of financing the project. The Club’s representatives were Messrs G W Blaxall, D E Dalzell and M L Taylor with Mr E T McDermott Ex Officio.
Also in April 1975 further plans were submitted by the Architects for the development of the Public Stand area to include additional Bars and a Steak Bar in the New Brighton Room. The Authority did not favour work being carried out on a cost plus basis, so a Quantity Surveyor was engaged to check the cost and alterations to the original plan were referred to Mr Roberts. The Quantity Surveyors, Shipston, Davies & Partners prepared a revised estimate of costs, and advised that the ceiling price was $180,000 plus $10,000 Contingency sum to cover any increased costs. The ceiling price was for a high quality finish, but should the Stand be as originally finished the ceiling price would be $167,500 plus $10,000 for Contingencies. The Architects reported that there would be added costs for Trades and Services and submitted a total estimate, including professional fees, of $304,059.
In June 1975 Mr H M S Dawson, a Director of Addington Raceway, reported that he had had discussions with Austin & Warren, who would take over the valuations for Insurance purposes, and Colin Lamb & Stewart supplied their plans. Discussions were held with Mr R A Stewart on the question of finalizing fees due to Colin Lamb & Stewart and was agreeable, due to Mr Lamb’s ill health, to Messrs Austin & Warren being appointed the Company’s Architects.
At an informal meeting in December 1975 Mr Warren read a letter written two and a half years earlier regarding the building of the new Stewards and Members Block which had been shelved in view of the other commitments at the Raceway and the majority of the points raised then were still relevant. After a general discussion on the basic requirements including the Administration Block being in the building, it was agreed that no further points could be considered until it was known whether the Stand would be a Stadium or a multi-storey one. In March 1976 the Architects submitted a model showing the existing Stand complex and ideas for replacing the existing Stewards and Members Stand. The matter was further considered at a meeting in March, when five schemes were submitted. After a general discussion they were asked to modify two of the schemes and give an indication of any additional costs.
Updated a year later they reported that the estimated cost of a new Stand was $3.8 million and the Clubs were asked to consider the project and advise the Directors of their views as anything less than that proposed was not worth proceeding with. The Clubs were also asked to consider what other priorities had to be met.
In August 1977 the Committee decided that a new totalisator should take priority over the building of a new Stewards and Members Stand, and this decision was agreed to by the other two Clubs.
Derby Lodge was still under discussion, and in October 1975 the Architects were instructed to prepare a plan and estimate for a new Farriers Shop, as part of the Derby Lodge development. February 1976 saw then obtaining limited Tenders and in July Paynter & Hamilton’s quote of $24,978 was accepted, subject to the NZ Racing Authority’s approval. In August the Authority gave permission for the Farriers Workshop to be proceeded with under the Annual Minimum Disbursement Scheme and advised their Architect required more information concerning the balance of the project.
In March 1977 the Racing Authority advised that the Derby Lodge proposal was approved in principle, and in May the Authority advised that their Architect had been instructed that the long term development of Addington would be carried out by the Company’s Architects, and that he should only act in a Consultant capacity. In view of this decision the Architects proceeded with the working drawings for three stable units, but in August the Company decided they were not prepared to accept the Tenders submitted and that the project must be modified. Revised drawings submitted were still considered to be too costly. It was felt that there was a possibility that twenty two stalls with yards could be provided in the horse stall area, instead of Derby Lodge, but that the Trackman’s House should still be part of the new complex. In October 1977 the Architects advised that F & J Morris Ltd had tendered $18,850 for the construction of the Trackman’s House, and they were asked to negotiate with the builders for the provision of a tractor shed as the base of the house. The final quotation for the elevated house was $28,800 and an application was made to the Racing Authority for a subsidy under the Annual Minimum Disbursement Scheme. The Trackman’s House and Shed were proceeded with, and in April 1978 it was decided to move the old Derby Lodge bunkhouse to a site adjacent to the ring totalisator. The tenants were given one months notice as from the 1st August 1978 to vacate the old Derby Lodge property which was cleared, leveled and available as a car park in February 1979. The new trackman’s house was completed and his rental was fixed at 10% of his weekly gross wage.
In August 1977 the three automatic turnstiles developed by Automatic Totalisators Ltd and installed by them for demonstration purposes were retained for a period of three months and an exercise on costing carried out. In October, with the installation of seven automatic turnstiles and with the work proceeding on the Southern Motorway, the Gates Sub-committee in co-operation with Addington Raceway Ltd brought down a report on the resiting of the car parks and entrances. It was recommended by the Club to the Directors in December 1978 that they accept Paynter & Hamilton’s quotation of $62,370 for the construction of a new turnstile block situated by the building known as the Counting House. In the following month the Committee was advised that the new turnstile block would be proceeded with and the work carried out by Paynter & Hamilton.
In October 1977 the Architects advised that Paynter & Hamilton’s price for the suggested alterations to the Stewards Cash Bar was $7,877 and with first quality carpet, vinyl flooring and furniture the cost would be in the vicinity of $11,000. The Directors were not prepared to proceed with these alterations unless they were so directed by the Clubs which subsequently approved the work which was proceeded with.
In April 1979 the Architects, Austin and Warren, submitted their account for $6,504 for fees covering all the work undertaken by them including a new Stewards Stand which was not proceeded with as the replacement of the Totalisator was given priority.
As the replacement of tiles on the roof of the Stewards Stand was necessary the Architects recommended that concrete tiles be used on the west end of the roof and any tiles salvaged be used as replacements where necessary. A Quotation for carrying out the work, submitted by Briscoes (NZ) Ltd amounting to $2,456 was accepted. However, in January the Architects said that following experiments it had been decided that the concrete tiles when saturated would be too heavy and recommended that long run corrugated iron be used instead. This was agreed to and Briscoes tender for carrying out this work was accepted.
For many years at Annual Meetings Members repeatedly suggested that an escalator be installed in the Members Stand. Investigations were carried out by Thomas L Jones Ltd who submitted specifications and quotations for its installation at a provisional cost of $75,531. In July 1980 the Directors reported that there was a possibility that two escalators could be purchased at a cost of $50,000 from the Mutual Funds Building. The Architects reported that the estimated cost of installing the escalators could be up to $44,000. It was decided that it was not practical and no action was taken.
In August 1980 Automatic Totalisators Ltd advised they would no longer be operating in New Zealand and the Directors considered that there might be a possibility of purchasing the photofinish equipment and conducting its operation.
In September 1981 a suggestion was received that the Members Dining Room could be upgraded at an approximate cost of $25,000. The Directors stated that they could not see their way clear to proceed with this due to other commitments. The NZMTC Committee then decided that an interest free loan be granted to the Company for five years so that the upgrading of the Members Dining Room could be proceeded with and the repayment of the loan related to each Club’s privilege payment.
In July 1983 the NZRA advised that it was willing to recognize the amount owing on approved projects in total and not in the proportion allotted to the three Clubs. The Committee approved of this suggestion.
In July 1983 the NZMTC Committee was advised that neither the Canterbury Park nor the New Brighton Trotting Clubs had repaid the Met for the renovations carried out to the Members Restaurant.
Following requests at the Clubs Annual Meetings investigations were carried out as to the possibility of glazing the North wall of the Members Club Room but it was reported that because of the construction of the Stand such an alteration was not possible. However, the top floor was a different proposition and the Club requested the Directors to investigate the possibility of glassing in a section of the wall of the bar on the top floor and the Architect was asked to submit a feasibility study and an estimated cost of the work. In March 1984 it was reported that it had reached the stage in planning where tenders could be called for the work. A quotation was received from P McCosh amounting to $3,914 which was accepted.
In October 1982 the Architects were asked to draw up plans for the inclusion of toilet facilities in the Members Restaurant area. In December the following year Austin and Warren estimated that the cost would be between $66,000 and $74,000 and alterations to the first floor toilets between $33,000 and $39,000. They were instructed to obtain the approval of the relevant authorities with the object of having the work carried out. In June 1984 the Architects were asked to update the working drawings and costs for altering the two toilet blocks. In October 1984 plans for the proposed renovations to the Members Stand Foyer were in hand and the Architects were instructed to proceed to the tender stage. In March 1985 the Architects advised that the Waimairi District Council had granted a permit for the provision of additional toilet facilities in the Members Stand subject to certain requirements by the Christchurch Drainage Board being complied with. In July 1985 after some delay David McCosh’s tender of $72,550 for alterations to the ground floor toilets in the Members Stand was accepted.
In April 1984 the Club undertook to underwrite an approved scheme for the sum of $100,000 for the construction of the Drivers Room Complex, the estimated cost of which was in the vicinity of $180,000. As it was envisaged the Canterbury Park Trotting Club would help finance the venture the Committee authorized the Directors to proceed with the work. In View of this decision the Course Superintendent inspected several training complexes in the North Island and reported to the Directors. In May 1984 the sketch plans for the Drivers Room Complex were discussed and the three Clubs advised the Directors of their approval in principle of the Complex and requested the Directors to proceed. Canterbury Park Trotting Club agreed to underwrite the project for $30,000. In June a sub-committee of the Club asked the Architects to revise the plan for the Complex incorporating suggestions put forward by its sub-committee. The Secretary and Course Superintendent’s report on inspections of the Awapuni Complex was discussed and it was suggested that the idea should be discussed with Mr A J Williams, of the Trotting Calendar, with a view to running an article in that publication inviting Trainers and other to put forward ideas. In September 1984 the three Clubs together with the Canterbury Owners and Breeders Association, the Horsemen’s Association and the Stipendiary Stewards were advised that a feasibility study and plans were available for inspection at the Raceway. In December the Directors asked the committee for their comments on the proposed siting and plans for the Drivers Room Complex as doubt as to its practicability had been expressed. Those on the Committee that were particularly interested in the project were asked to peruse the plans and bring down their recommendations.
In February 1985 the Committee was of the opinion that the new Drivers Room Complex should be proceeded with and a sub-committee was formed to investigate the plans and evaluate the Clubs requirements including the entertainment of sponsors and submit their recommendations to the full Committee. In April the Directors were advised that the Club wished the Drivers Room Complex to be proceeded with and the site favoured generally being in the area immediately west of the
In June 1985 it was stated that as the Directors were investigating plans to join the Public and Members Stands as a replacement for the Stewards Stand the plans for the Drivers Room Complex would be held over.
During this period other works carried out were the provision of a storage shed behind the Showgrounds Totalisator costing $3,550 for the framework with additional costs for optional extras and cladding. David McCosh’s tender of $39,494 for repairs and maintenance to the Tea Kiosk was accepted.
In February 1985 the Directors agreed that they would be prepared to spend up to $2,000 for the installation of a Crèche for the use of children five years and under and that it be operated as a fully licensed crèche.
In August the Directors were asked about the redesigning of the Members Stand with particular reference to partitioning and acoustic tiling and to investigate the installation of a bar in the Ladies Room.
In March 1986 it was reported that the work of providing a bar in the recess behind the existing wall of the Ladies Room was in hand and that it would not interfere with the Clubs forthcoming Meeting.
Discussions were held with the Architect and his Engineer in December 1985 regarding the strengthening of the Stewards Stand and it was agreed that a financial exercise on the possibilities be prepared. At the same time Contractors engaged to replace the first six rows of tiles on the roof of the Stewards Stand recommended a complete replacement of the roof due to its deterioration and quoted $11,000 to complete the work. It was agreed that the contractors Newfield and Mill replace the remaining tiles on the Stewards Stand. In May 1986 Mr D Evans was requested to follow up his verbal advice in writing that the stand had been strengthened with the use of metal ties and the lessening of the weight on the roof had resulted in a lessening of the risk to the Stand.
In February 1986 it was decided that the existing metal folding doors around the Public Stand be replaced with aluminium frames and that the quotation of$45,824 from David McCosh be accepted.
Powell Fenwick were asked to report on the feasibility of providing a permanent structure with drainage and tote facilities for the use of the sponsors at the Showgrounds end of the front straight. In May 1986 a preliminary plan was submitted by the Architect for its construction with the inclusion of a two man totalisator, ladies and mens toilets and catering facilities for up to 260 persons. The estimated cost was in the vicinity of $136,000. An additional cost would be the provision of a marquee when required. It was decided the matter be considered in conjunction with the financial report being prepared by the Chairman and Secretary. The Committee expressed its disappointment over the apparent lack of progress in providing this area.
In June 1985 the Club forwarded to the Directors an updated memorandum on the future of the Raceway covering accommodation for Drivers, sponsors etc and providing Drivers with temporary accommodation in the Tea Kiosk. The long term plan being to demolish the Stewards Stand and join the Public and Members Stands with a new stand. The Directors decided to resurrect the plans which had been drawn up for the joining of the two Stands.
Credit: NZMTC: Historical Notes compiled by D C Parker