.......a tough survivor from the Gold mining days of    Grahamstown THAMES NZ.........

..........has had a very turbulent History indeed ....first serving the  gold miners and elite strata of the Gold entranced
population  of THAMES during the boom time of the GOLD RUSH fever, the Hotel  was made obsolete when licensing control came to Thames in 1950. It then sold  & became a storehouse for AV Price & the Thames Electricity Dept.,unfortunately this was the  begining a slow but sure descent into squalid obscurity, over a long period of time getting stripped piecemeal of all her Edwardian glory to become an empty  echoing shell of a once proud beauty. Standing in bleak isolation  inhabitated only by squatters, rats, ghosts of yore, druggies and more than a few Thames police visitations, this once beautiful vibrant building became a hollow rattling derilect skeleton of her former self, forgotten neglected, slowly but surely rotting away.   Stripped of anything of any historic significance ie the staircase grand newel post, chimney top,coloured glass window, top staircase bannister, baths, basins, toilet fittings, all kitchen fittings, light fittings, finnals, fretwork,all fancy and brass door handles  etc., etc., anything of any historic value just went. The Hotel Royal is classed " Heritage grade 2 Edwardian Hutch "
The 'HUTCH' bit mystifies me somewhat as there's nothing left inside?????
Owner/s? over the years perhaps have attemped to bring her back to life but there was certainly nothing to show of that in 2001/2, when we looked it over, with its rusted out leaking guttering and many areas of dank rotting timber. All was pathetically grotty and dismally neglected, with utterly disgustingly filthy over flowing waste from the one toilet, we did report that at the time to the Thames Council.....?? Here I say 'OWNER/S'  as one has had a futile time trying to find out just who has owned the ROYAL HOTEL in the past, hence THE MYSTERY! Only 2 sales that I can ascertain to August 2008.
and the 'HISTORY'of who did what in this particular time frame is just as eluding? One can only ascertain by what one saw with ones own eyes.
At present moment the Hotel  Royal is up for sale once again,(August 2008) one just hopes that its special  atmosphere and ambiance will not be shattered by some earnest modifications......
For the serious restorer there are many antique reproductions/fittings  that would cater for the authenicity of the furniture and general items needed for the Royal Hotel , and with the right amount of money and the urge to recreate her exclusive Edwardian character into the present time, it would be a shining asset for  town of THAMES.
it would indeed be most unfortunate to see this HISTORIC GRADE 2 rare Hutch building  gradually disappearing into Natures melting pot........but unfortunately as years pass, the neglect and gradual rot of this once grand hisoric building is sadly only to clear to see...

Below is a little poem penned by my good friend Shirley of the time we first saw the ROYAL HOTEL, 2001/2 and  who also has a love and desire to see the restoration the ROYAL to her former glory....

UPDATE  12th Novemeber 2009: The HOTEL ROYAL is once again up for sale by the present owners, look on the Internet....now  what a fabulous  opportunity for someone with the means and the vision to bring this slumbering Edwardian beauty back to life....
         MADAM ROYAL

Some time ago, my friend and I,whilst driving through the town
espied a Grand old ladywho was looking very down.
She was standing on a corner one could see she was upset
flood waters once had reached her knees and her skirting was quite wet
her face devoid of makeup oh what a dreary sight!
she had seen better days her future once looked bright...
We are speaking of 'Madam Royal' and its a crying shame
that a beauty such as this one is going down the drain!
She cried to us,"Oh come on, take a look inside,
my heart is solid Kauri and so is my outside - but
alas I've been neglected ,owners, some have tried
to restore me to my glory but none with me reside.
Only squatters did invade me, and of course the rats
don't know how the rats survived with all those hungry cats!
I am so cold and desolatend feeling oh  so tawdry
it doesn't make me happy looking like a chinese laundry!
My staircase it was carpetedit was really quite lush
but now with windows broken all has turned to slush!
Please don't go down that passage I'm feeling quite ashamed
of the loo thats overflowing and the stench of outside drains!
Once I had lots of loos, showers,baths, the water hot,
but someone came along one day and damn well flogged the lot!
Be careful where you place your feet watch out for that nail,
my balcony is quite unsafe please dont lean on that rail!
My beautiful wood panelling  was painted white-for what?
The painter should have known better what a silly clot!
My insides have been ransacked there's nothing left in me
there was talk of being beautified but nothings  garanteed....
Oh yes , the ghost,  nearly forgot, he does reside downstairs
but even he is going to leave his groans they reach no ears
so I hope that you will buy me, I can feel it in my joints
that you are meant to live here
and restore all my good pointsbut if you can't afford me, well try to get a loan and save me from my sorry fate
and have a Happy Home...

copyright Shirley Ayoub 2009           

email me
SCRIPT TYPE="text/javascript"> var message="protected image can not be saved."; function click(e) { if (document.all) { if (event.button ==2) { alert(message); return false; } } if ( document.layers) { if (e.which==3) { alert(message); return false; } } } if(document.layers) { document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN); } document.onmousedown=click;