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Queen Elizabeth at Ferry Landing

Queen Elizabeth at Ferry Landing in 1969

These photos are locally supplied by Elizabeth Nicholls. They were slides taken in 1969 by her father-in-law, Jack Nicholls, who lived at 1145 Purangi Road, Ferry Landing. Queen Elizabeth sailed into Mercury Bay on Britannia for the bi-centenary of Captain Cook’s visit in 1769 when he came to observe the transit of the planet, Mercury. She came with the Duke of Edinburgh, their son, Charles, and daughter, Anne. In the photo, they are seen disembarking from the Britannia’s tender to be transported up to Shakespeare’s Cliff where hundreds of cars and people were gathered to see them. The memorial of their visit is at the top of the reserve area.

Bacon and egg pie

“My name is Sharon Carter (via Whenuakite) and I live in Edinburgh with my Scottish partner.

Speaking with Mum in Gisborne, she recounted a story of when the Her Majesty’s Yacht, Britannia, arrived in 1969 to Mercury Bay for the 200-year anniversary of the landing of Captain Cook. The farming community were asked to host a sailor from the yacht for a picnic lunch. Our family, along with the Hinds, hosted two sailors (ours was from Liverpool) and we provided bacon and egg pie. I was only a baby, but Mum said it was a very relaxed atmosphere. The Queen and her family completed a walkabout around the families and came so close that she could touch her.

My partner and I are hoping to pay our respects either this afternoon or tomorrow as my partner served in the Armed Forces. It is a very sad but poignant time.


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