When the Kendricks moved from Talbot St to Jellicoe St in 1933 they walked their possessions over to their newly rented Whanganui house.

They were Alfred and Winifred Kendrick, and they raised their nine children in the three-bedroom 1913 dwelling. Allan was one of them, and at 10 years old he pushed their possessions across the suburb in a pram.

In World War II he was a machine gunner in Egypt and Italy. On his return his parents were still living in Jellicoe St and the owner of the house sold it to him, interest-free.

Allan was a roofer, and worked on the tile roofs at Wanganui Collegiate School. That's how he met Lucy, who worked in the office there. They married and at the age of 20 she joined Allan and his parents in Jellicoe St.

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The two had four children, two boys and two girls. It was a very basic house, but Allan loved it and was continually making improvements to it.

Lucy (left) and Anne Kendrick sit outdoors at Jellicoe St. Photo / Stuart Munro
Lucy (left) and Anne Kendrick sit outdoors at Jellicoe St. Photo / Stuart Munro

"He would spend hours and hours in his garden, and just talk to anyone. He knew everyone in the street and became the self-proclaimed Mayor of Jellicoe St," daughter Anne Kendrick said.

Lucy had had two children before the house got a fridge, and three before it got a washing machine.

"You got one thing, you paid it off with family benefit, and got something else. It wasn't an easy time," she said.

She made the children's clothes herself, did lots of preserving, bought whole sides of lamb, made furniture and even tried making soap.

An alcove in the dining room used to contain a coal range. Photo / Stuart Munro
An alcove in the dining room used to contain a coal range. Photo / Stuart Munro

The children went to Catholic schools, and there were always children from the street coming and going. Both Lucy and Allan came from big families, and there were big gatherings of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Lucy had a second round of child-rearing after her daughter Alison, married to a Sudanese ophthalmologist, died of a brain tumour in 1997. Alison's daughter, Hannah, spent her teenage years at Jellicoe St.

The Kendricks' hall has the high ceilings typical of a villa. Photo / Stuart Munro
The Kendricks' hall has the high ceilings typical of a villa. Photo / Stuart Munro

Allan died in 2007, from the effects of a stroke, but Lucy still lives at number 37. She has help in the garden but manages inside on her own, with her dog, Bisou.

The Kendricks can still show the original title to their property, written in fountain pen ink on parchment. Lucy's practical son, Murray, has suggested she sell the big house and move to a little unit.

"It's the last thing I would ever think of doing," she said.