Bake Off

We’re big on morning tea here at Hutt City Museums and are lucky enough to boast a number of very good bakers on staff. Some days we end up with cake for both morning tea and afternoon.

Leannes Farewell

So it’s probably not surprising we have a number of photographs of kitchens in the Settler’s collection.

House and Home, Victoria Birkinshaw, 2005, colour photograph, Collection of the Petone Settlers Museum.

House and Home, Victoria Birkinshaw, 2005, colour photograph, Collection of the Petone Settlers Museum.

In 2005 photographer Victoria Birkinshaw was commissioned by the museum to take a series of photos called House and Home, many of which show kitchens. These photos are remarkable by how ordinary they are, giving us glimpses into the everyday lives of Petone residents.

House and Home, Victoria Birkinshaw, 2005, colour photograph, Collection of the Petone Settlers Museum.

House and Home, Victoria Birkinshaw, 2005, colour photograph, Collection of the Petone Settlers Museum.

Peter Black

This photo from 1984 was taken by Peter Black, another astute recorder of life’s small moments. It’s a portrait of Bessie Nelson in her kitchen, and of it Bessie said, “Built in March 1902 by W.E Saunders. Mr T Fleet built the chimneys. They lasted for 40 years until the earthquake of 1942. It was a big one and lots of small ones all night. It shook all the mortar out from between the bricks, but not the brick fell. It was no bother to take the chimneys down, and now only the kitchen has one. So far the house has stood up to the southerly storms. The family still live in it, and have done so since our Dad built it”

Commercial kitchen in the Canteen, Unilevers, Petone

Further back in time, we have a set of photographs taken in the 1960s by Wm. E. Toms from Eastbourne. Many of these were commissioned by the Unilver company, such as this shot of a commercial kitchen in the Unilever canteen.

Hutt Valley Electric Power & Gas Board display kitchen - filling hot water jug. c. 1960s, Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 - 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

Hutt Valley Electric Power & Gas Board display kitchen – filling hot water jug. c. 1960s, Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 – 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

This stylish woman has certainly dressed up for the occasion. I’m not sure how practical the outfit would be for a serious Bake Off, but she sure looks good.

Black and white photograph of an industry exhibition/fair featuring three electric stoves and promoting electric cooking. 'Bring luxury to your kitchen with electric cooking'. Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 - 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

Black and white photograph of an industry exhibition/fair featuring three electric stoves and promoting electric cooking. ‘Bring luxury to your kitchen with electric cooking’. Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 – 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

And here’s a kitchen to end all kitchens…

 A Unilever, Petone publicity photograph. Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 - 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

A Unilever, Petone publicity photograph. Collection of photographic prints made by Wm. E. Toms between 1948 – 1972 at Eastbourne Studios. Collection gifted by Mrs. Valerie M. Blennerhasset (nee Toms).

And after the baking is made? There’s always the dishes to be done, sigh.

Emma Bugden, Senior Curator

PS: Do you know anyone in these photographs? Are YOU in these photographs? If so, we’d love to hear from you…

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