North Shore Times : January 3rd 2013
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AVAILABLE AT One discount meal voucher per new member BEEF A LI o GAME RE ON IBLY Closed on 7 January Contact Us Ph 489 4189 Fax 486 1950 Editorial email: nsnews@snl co nz Editor Peter Eley Chief Reporter Liz Willis Sales Manager Alan Barr email: a barr@snl co nz Circulation Ph 525 2022 Fax 580 1648 email: delivery@snl co nz Classifieds Ph 525 2100 Fax 580 1643 email: firstname.lastname@example.org 73,488 Audited Circulation (ABC for 12mths to 31 Dec 11) Delivered each Tuesday/ Thursday/Friday to Albany, Beach Haven, Bayswater, Bayview, Belmont, Birkdale, Birkenhead, Brookfield, Browns Bay, Bushlands, Campbells Bay, Castor Bay, Chatswood, Chester Park, Devonport, Fairview Heights, Forrest Hill, Glenfield, Greenhithe, Hillcrest, Mairangi Bay, Meadowood, Milford, Murrays Bay, Northcote, Northcross, Oteha, Pinehill, Rothesay Bay, Schnapper Rock, Stanley Point, Sunnynook, Takapuna, Torbay, Unsworth Heights, Waiake, Wainoni, Westlake, Windsor Park. 1 Byron Ave, Takapuna. Office Hours: 8.30am -- 5pm P.O. Box 33235. www.northshoretimes.co.nz Apt home for magical dragons New friends: Reporter Marnie Hallahan checks out magical dragons Millie, left, and Willheim Belchmuch, in Brian Holloway's cliffside garden in Northcote Pt. A new world: The Northcote end of the Auckland Harbour Bridge during construction. FROM Page 1 The Holloways have lived under- neath the landmark bridge for almost 30 years. Not that you would know it once you step through the doors of their 100-year-old villa on the slopes of Northcote Pt. That's the funny thing,'' Brian says. You can't actually see the bridge from anywhere in the house or hear it. It's quite hidden.'' So one could forgive a retired yachtie for indulging in fairytales and friendships with dragons in this spec- tacular backyard. The ambience of this place is incredible,'' he says. At night time we look across to a fairytale city. And when there are fireworks, this is the best seat in the house.'' The Holloways' section reaches down to the water with a private beach and their catamaran Whiskers anchored a few metres out. We swim and fish from the beach and have our dinghy tied up there and we row out to the boat. If it wasn't for the bridge this would be paradise on earth.'' The cliff was a sheer drop when Brian moved in and he's slowly tran- sformed into a green wonderland, the perfect home for magical dragons, one might say. His first glimpse of the Princes St house was almost 20 years before that when he was a marine broker visiting a client. I was just gobsmacked. A seed was planted and I thought that if ever there was a day that I'd be lucky enough to buy this house, I'd be in heaven.'' And lucky he was, homes in this neighbourhood are rarely up for sale. Ah yes, we're long stayers here,'' he says. It's a neat little community, we've had the same next door neighbours for 25 years and they're wonderful.'' But for 11 years they opened their home to visitors from around the world as a bed and breakfast. We worked out that we'd had around 8500 people stay here,'' Brian says. And there's hardly one of them who wasn't blown away by this place.'' Visitors were even introduced to Brian's wonderland and the resident dragons. And with this the dragon family has grown. People get really get into it and we get sent dragons from all over the world -- each with their own little story,'' Brian says. And with such a treasured patch of paradise it's easy to understand their outspoken opposition to further expansion of the bridge or the pro- posal of a second harbour crossing that would have sandwiched them between two hefty structures. We were very nervous when it was all rumours that they were going to build the walkway basically right through our house.'' In fact the grandson of the woman who lived in the house in the 1950s when the harbour bridge was built knocked on the door one day, Brian says. He asked if they would do an afternoon tea for her birthday and they had a little party for her. She reminisced about the days before construction started when the whole of Northcote Pt was surrounded in strawberry fields. The fields are long gone but the cou- ple still has a breath-taking view, not to mention front row seats to all sorts of mischief. They laugh while remembering the mis-endeavours'' of an amorous man who escorted a pair of women onto his boat only to fall overboard after a few drinks. Ah yes, everything about this place is magic, there's no other word to describe it,'' Brian says. And from their garden nook, Millie and Willheim nod in agreement.
December 27th 2012
January 8th 2013