Mystery of pop culture posters' time capsule solved

Lorraine McDonald who grew up across the road and supplied many of the posters. - Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

The mystery of who created a 1960s pop-culture time capsule uncovered in a New Plymouth cottage last week has been solved.

The McIsaac sisters, Ann and Peggy, have travelled in from Stratford and Auckland respectively to be reunited with their childhood home.

When the cottage's current owner, Katey Pittwood, began removing Gib in a bedroom in the Lemon Street property, staring back at her were wall-to-wall posters of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Kinks and many more obscure stars of yester-year.

Realising how unique what she had discovered was, Ms Pittwood went public with her find to see if she could track down who had put the posters up. And the answer did not lie far away.

Lorraine McDonald used to live across the road and her daughter lives there now.

"My husband said to me 'see that house in Lemon Street', he said, 'with all those posters' and I said 'oh I don't care' and then my daughter who lives in our house she rang us and said 'that was Peggy and Ann's house'.

"And Barb my sister keeps in touch with Peggy all the time so that's how it all happened. We lived here and they lived there."

Lorraine McDonald who grew up across the road and supplied many of the posters.

Lorraine McDonald who grew up across the road and supplied many of the posters. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Ms McDonald confesses to having little memory of it, but she supplied the posters.

"I worked at a book shop and at the end of each month you ripped the covers off and sent away the returns and so I brought them home and gave them to Peg."

Ms McDonald remembers that Peggy had a penchant for the Beatles, whose posters were the most prolific in the room.

Ann Dynes (nee McIsaac) said she had a room out the back and confirmed the posters were Peggy's handy work.

The fact the posters had been found all these years later kind of passed her by.

"I just sort of thought oh and didn't really take a lot of notice of it at all."

Katey Pittwood was undergoing a renovation of her house in New Plymouth when she discovered a treasure trove of '60s band posters.

Katey Pittwood was undergoing a renovation of her house in New Plymouth when she discovered a treasure trove of '60s band posters. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Ms Dynes said it was Ms McDonald that put her in the picture.

She said it was her father who covered over the posters with Gib.

"Yeah, my dad he Gibed the rooms and obviously just left the posters behind. He never said anything to me about it."

Ahead of the women's arrival, Ms Pittwood said tracking them down was incredible.

"It's amazing I can't wait to meet them. One of the sisters had got the old photo albums out and found photographs of the house when they live there so I'm quite excited to see those as well."

Ms Pittwood said she had a lot of approaches from collectors for the posters and had found a new home for them too.

"Parachute Music in Auckland contacted me and said they would love to look after the posters and they've got temperature controlled rooms and stuff because it's a music studio.

"And their studios look absolutely incredible so they're sending someone down in the weekend to come and removed them all and take them away to preserve them."

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Photo: RNZ/Robin Martin

Creative director at Parachute Chris de Jong was rapt to get her hands on them.

"When we saw it at first I was like 'oh gosh, that's so cool' and then when I woke up the next morning, I thought 'this is crazy but I think we need to contact Katey" so I spoke to my husband who is our CEO and he's like 'it's a daft idea but let's do it'.

"So then we approached Katey and talked to her and I used to have a David Cassidy clubhouse when I was 13 under the stairs at my house so it took me right back."

Ms de Jong said Parachute would be able to display the posters for all the artists who use the studios to enjoy.

The timing was perfect for Ms Pittwood who needed to get on with her renovations.

"I'm just so glad someone wants to care for them, because I'm a bit of a hoarder and a bit of a collector and I would've loved to have kept them, but I had to be a bit realistic about it and push on with the renovations, because we move in in four weeks and I had got to the point where I needed them gone."

Ms Dynes said the sisters also could not be happier.

"Oh I think that's great. Yeah, if somebody wants to hang on to them good yeah. You'll never see them again will you."

Katey Pittwood found posters of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Kinks and many more obscure stars of yester-year underneath Gib of the walls in her house.

Katey Pittwood found posters of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Kinks and many more obscure stars of yester-year underneath Gib of the walls in her house. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

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