Russell Lights – Vol 7 Issue 21 – Oct 2004

This view of the Strand and Cass Street’s northern corner shows the modest office of A.E. Fuller and Sons Ltd beside the Marlin Tearooms (originally Ernest Ford’s and later Baker Bros shops), the Duke of Marlborough Hotel and the Police Station.

Alfred Ernest Fuller and his wife Maud Amy (nee Baker) began a small maritime cartage business, later expanding to excursion and gamefishing launches and car ferries.

By 1965 under sons, Norman and Neville, there were offices at Russell and Paihia to cope with the increasing number of tourists wanting to explore the Bay.

In the offices a network of phones and radio phones kept in touch with launches and road, rail and air depots.

A party could charter a game fishing launch for about £12 a day – which included fishing gear and food.
The Lady Doreen advertised Cruise as you fish and fish as you cruise the beautiful northland coast.

Or they might take a boat trip calling at Otehei Bay or Deep Water Cove for lunch. Cape Brett trip $4 and Cream Trip $5 in 1967.

Before a road link to Rawhiti, Fullers ran a weekly pension service to Russell picking up from Hauai, Rawhiti and Parekura in the morning and returning in the afternoon, for six shillings. Passengers would visit the post office, then the store for supplies and spend some time at the “Duke”.

Locals wanting to go “overseas” to Paihia could buy a 12-trip concession card for $1.75 in 1968.