At the final SLANZA event for the Wellington region, Clare Gleeson (librarian at Queen Margaret College) gave a fascinating talk about the book she had written entitled 'Meet me at Beggs'. The book is the history of Beggs Music shops that I am sure all of us have some knowledge of.
Charles Begg & Co Ltd, or Begg’s as it was better known, has an important place in New Zealand’s social and business history. From 1861 until 1970, Begg’s expanded until its network of branches and agencies covered the country from Whangarei to Invercargill. Synonymous with music, Begg’s was not only a retailer but also a manufacturer of instruments, publisher of sheet music, promoter of overseas artists and supporter of music in all its facets. Coupled with this was the company’s major role in bringing overseas innovations and technology to New Zealand by way of gramophones, radios, televisions and a myriad of other electrical appliances. Meet Me at Begg’s looks at the history of the firm from its beginnings in Dunedin to its demise in 1970. Clare undertook the writing of the book because being the great-great-great-grand daughter of Charles Begg she was interested in the social history of her family.
Clare entertained us with her witty ancedotes and after the talk we had a song-a-long from a selection of songs that Begg's made famous.
Wellington Region Chair
Karori West Normal School
04 476 6165