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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Clouston and Co. , General Merchants, Wool and Produce Brokers, Stock and Station Agents, Wine and Spirit Merchants, Blenheim. P.O. Box 11. Telephones—22; wharf, 7. This business was first established by Edwards and Co., of Nelson, in the early fifties, and is carried on in an extensive iron store, capable of storing 12,000 sacks of grain. It has the agency for the National Insurance Company, and the Australian Widows' Fund Life Office. Mr. W. E. P. Clouston, who carried on the business for some time, was born in Nelson, on the 24th of June, 1854, and was a son of the late Captain Clouston. He was educated at the Nelson College, joined Edwards and Co. in 1867, and was for many years managing the whole business previous to taking it over on his own account. Mr. Clouston was a Justice of the Peace for many years. As a Freemason, he was a member of the Unanimity Lodge, No. 1236, E.C., Blenheim, and took an active interest in all sporting matters. He died on the 7th of February, 1903.

Mr. Robert Priddle , Manager for Messrs Clouston and Co., was born in Devonshire, England, in 1870, and came to New Zealand with his parents nine years later. He was educated at the Blenheim Borough School, and then entered mercantile life, which he has followed for over twenty years. Mr. Priddle takes an active interest in Freemasonry, and he is a member of all the local athletic societies, and treasurer of the Marlborough Rugby Union, of which he is also a vice-president. In his day, he was a good short distance runner and footballer. He has been a member of the Blenheim Borough Council and Hospital Board, and president of the Marlborough Dog and Poultry Association.

Levin and co. (Edward Mead and Balfour Stewart Clouston, branch managers), General Merchants, Wool, Frozen Meat, Grain Brokers and Station Agents, Grove Road, Blenheim. Head office and warehouse, Grey Street, Wellington; Branch at Masterton. The headquarters of the firm are referred to at page 713 of the Wellington volume of this Cyclopedia. Though opened only in 1897, the firm's business at Blenheim has increased so steadily that additions to their premises have had to be built, to afford more than double the original storage accommodation. The warehouses at all times carry very large stocks, and the wholesale business extends throughout the length and breadth of Marlborough, and Mr. Clouston makes occasional trips down the West Coast. As suppliers of station and farm requisites, Messrs Levin and Company, Ltd., do a large trade, and carry full stocks of woolpacks, cornsacks, coal, standards, wire, twine, sheep dip, artificial manures, agricultural seeds, etc. They also make advances at the lowest rates of interest against wool, frozen meat, tallow, flax, grain and other produce. Messrs Levin and Co. also purchase produce outright and ship it on their own account. The firm holds the following important agencies: Shaw, Savill and Albion Company, Ltd., New Zealand Trust and Loan Company, Ltd., National Mortgage and Agency Company of New Zealand, Ltd., Thames and Mersey Insurance Company, Cooper's Sheep Dip, Highland Sheep Dip, Victoria Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and Westport Coal Company. Mr. Mead attends to the financial portion of the firm's business, and also controls the wool and produce department, whilst Mr. Clouston attends to the merchandise, and acts also as town and country traveller.

Mr. Balfour Stewart Clouston took up his present position in the service of Messrs Levin and Co., Ltd., in 1897, having previously acted as the firm's traveller in the Nelson, Marlborough and Westland districts. He was born and educated in Nelson, and is a son of the late Captain Clouston. On leaving college he joined the service of Messrs Nathaniel Edwards and Co., which, six years later, became known as J. H. Cock and Co. Mr. Clouston continued in the company's service for almost twenty-one years, and went through every stage essential to a commercial education. He has at all times taken great interest in sporting matters, and whilst in Nelson was a very active member of the rowing, cycling, football, and other clubs.

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Mr. Edward Mead , Manager of the financial branch for the firm, attends to the whole of the wool and produce department. He was born in London and came to New Zealand by the ship “Jessie Readman,” in 1874. Mr. Mead has been engaged in commercial work in various parts of the Colony, and has been a resident of Blenheim since 1883. He was the interim secretary of the Wairau Freezing Company, and was subsequently appointed a director of the Company, and has
Mr. E. Mead.

Mr. E. Mead.

from its inception taken a keen interest in its operations. Whilst he was connected with volunteering, Mr. Mead was for some time sergeant, and was latterly quarter-master of the Marlborough Mounted Rifles. He was one of the founders of the Wairau Cricket Club, and was for two years secretary to the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, of which he has also been vice-president.