I only remember ever once having a holiday from Hastings that was not to either Wellington or Taupo. My memories are a bit hazy but I will try to give a flavour of it. It was Easter 1950. My parents rented a house at Te Awanga, a beach south of Napier on the road to Clifton and the gannet sanctuary. The house was unique as it was ‘round’, i.e. octagonal, so the angles of the rooms were very odd. Years later someone told me it had been demolished and of course there are no photos to be found. Te Awanga was a small village so it did not have the facilities of Hastings. I remember the milk was delivered but in a billy. I can also vaguely recall going to buy things at a general store. My main memory, however, is of my mother building a ‘car’ in the sand. This was like a giant sandcastle but designed as an open-topped car. Margaret and I were able to climb onto the ‘seats’ and take imaginary rides in it. The sand was very firm so I assume it was built below high tide mark and that it disappeared when the tide came in. I also have a feeling there was no electricity in the house.
We returned to Hastings on the Thursday. The next day was my fifth birthday and my treat was to have lunch in the restaurant of the Hawkes Bay Farmers store. This was a small department store aimed at the farming community. It was mostly very boring for children but had an X-ray machine in the shoe department where we used to have our feet measured before buying a new pair of shoes. These machines were banned years ago of course.
I think I went to lunch with my parents, Margaret, paternal grandmother and my aunt. The restaurant was upstairs and it was seeing a photo of it that has reminded me of the whole holiday.
I remember having ham salad and the salad dressing (it would not have been proper mayonnaise in 1950) came in little individual jugs. Margaret remembers the lettuce which she says was cut very fine.
There are more photos of the Hawkes Bay Farmers store to be found at Hawkes Bay Knowledge Bank, https://www.knowledgebank.org.nz/ This is a relatively new website with some wonderful items for those of us with Hawkes Bay connections although you may have to enter some search terms.