Historical Photos

The photos on this page cannot be claimed. They belong to the Spiller family and are just put up here because they are of interest.

Digital copies of these photos are available @ $10.00 per photo, per copy. Please use the contact form to request a copy.

Telegram Photo

This is a photo Russell took of the telegram sent from the Naval Admiralty instructing the commencement of war with Germany Р3rd of September 1939.

This next set of photos were taken by Russell’s older brother, Lal, after the Napier Earthquake in 1931. To the best of our knowledge these photos have remained unpublished until here and now.

Earthquake 1

Nurses Home, Napier Hospital


Earthquake 2

Municipal Theatre


Earthquake 3

St Pauls new church – unfinished


Earthquake 4

Looking up from Battery Road, Ahuriri end.


Earthquake 5

Tech College. Cnr Station St and Munroe.


Earthquake 6


Earthquake 7


Earthquake 8

Hastings Street – new Post Office on left.


Earthquake 9

Possibly the Masonic


Earthquake 10

Inner harbour emptying out


Earthquake 11

Pettigrews Corner now, Simla Tce above.


Earthquake 12


Earthquake 13

Midland Private Hotel, Thackeray Street. Steam Laundry on right.


Earthquake 14

Nelson Park


Earthquake 15

Nelson Park, East side.


Earthquake 16

Tent City! Nelson Park covered in Bell Tents.


Earthquake 17

Park Island, Old Mens Home.


Earthquake 18

Possibly Park Island


Earthquake 19

HB Club and Dr Moores cracked Hospital.


Earthquake 20

Possibly Park Island Old Mens Home


Earthquake 21

Hastings Street. The X on the photo is where Lal Spiller (Russell’s brother) and his Mother were standing when the quake hit. ANother minute or so and they would’ve been in the car, under the rubble. This photo was taken some time after the quake and fire, by a sailor from one of the Navy rescue ship crews. It is also the place where Lal (Lionel) discovered a girl killed by falling buildings. A friend who he knew well and who was to have been married the following Easter.


Earthquake 22

Hastings Street. Similar scene, but this time, Lal was the photographer and the sailors were in the picture. Tennyson Street on right. Napier’s saviours off sloop H.M.S. Diomede and Veronica. The Cruiser Dunedin arrived the next day.


Earthquake 23

Tom Parker’s demolition. Tom was the only man with Earthquake Insurance.


Earthquake 24

Tom Parker’s taylors shop.

[ more to come ]


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