Frankton is a central suburb of the city of Hamilton, New Zealand. It is the site of the city's passenger railway station, a major industrial-commercial stretch of State Highway 1, and a commercial shopping area. Frankton Borough Council was formed in 1913, but merged with Hamilton in 1917, after a poll in 1916.
Three people were killed, seven victims were badly injured and damage to property was heavy after a tornado swept across Hamilton from the north-west shortly before midday on Wednesday 25 August 1948.
The tornado, which appears to have originated in the Frankton or Forest Lake area, went through the business area of Frankton then over the hill into Hamilton West where it passed between the Hamilton Lake and Victoria Street (the main street). Then, it travelled across the Waikato River to Hamilton East where damage occurred in Wellington, Naylor and Grey streets.
Buildings were lifted off their piles, chimneys were snapped off, houses were unroofed, trees uprooted, and power and telephone lines were left hanging in the streets. The air was filled with flying corrugated iron, branches of trees, timber and other debris. Heavy rain accompanied the storm and overhead lightning flashed and thunder boomed. The storm passed quickly and was succeeded by a strange calm.
Frankton was once home to Frankton Junction, a very important railway station, and the now-closed Frankton Tea Rooms, where passenger trains without dining cars would stop to allow passengers to purchase food and drinks. Many workshops and railway workers homes were in the area west of the railway.
Today, it still acts as the location of the junction of the North Island Main Trunk Railway and the East Coast Main Trunk Railway, and is Hamilton's only passenger railway station, but now freight trains are handled at the Te Rapa yards further north and only the Northern Explorer passenger train stops six days a week on its journey between Auckland and Wellington.
The main street of Frankton, Commerce Street, and the streets surrounding it, form one of Hamilton City's largest suburban non-mall shopping areas. This includes west Hamilton offices of many major banks, such as Bank of New Zealand, ANZ and Westpac, as well as a branch of New Zealand Post and Kiwibank.
The area is dominated by the well-known locally-owned department store, Forlongs Furnishings of Frankton. The family-owned business operates a number of specialised departments, such as furnishings, furniture, video games, electronics, outdoor equipment and fashion, across several blocks. A characteristic jingle is used for the store's widespread local and national advertising.
Other businesses in the Frankton Area include the very well known Frankton Model Shop, Forlongs of Frankton, Moshim's Discount House, Trevor's Barber Shop and 1 of 3 independent butchers remaining in Hamilton. Hamilton's only Charcoal Chicken Shop, Chicken Spot, is also located in Frankton.
- Frankton Primary School, opened 3 April 1911.
- St. Columba's Catholic School, established in 1918.
- Aberdeen Primary School.
- Suburbs of Hamilton, New Zealand
- Photo of Frankton Junction Station, early 1890s
- St Columbas Catholic School, Hamilton, New Zealand
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