Monday, June 28, 2010

Newmarket gun hits the headlines

Further to earlier posts here and here.

NZ Herald published this article yesterday.


Newmarket residents are miffed that a historic 125-year-old cannon has been "dumped and forgotten" while the Auckland City Council has approved $120,000 for a book on its own history.

Joan Morrow, who was secretary at the Newmarket RSA before it closed three years ago, is disappointed the cannon has been left "completely out of sight" at Olympic Green, having previously stood at Lumsden Green.
She said old soldiers had approached her wondering what had happened to the seven-tonne cannon, which dates back to 1885 and was part of fortifications overlooking the Waitemata Harbour to defend against a feared Russian invasion.

"It's just been dumped up there and left out of sight. It's ridiculous because it is such an important part of our history," said Mrs Morrow. "We want it mounted and with a plaque in front so that people can have the pleasure of seeing it and understanding it."
More at the link.

I did get a .pdf letter from the Mayor's office last week, promising that the matter had been referred to "senior Council officers" and that I could expect a reply in ten working days. Now, it might be sooner than that, I reckon ...

8 comments:

  1. Fabulous :-) public awareness is what is called for! Good job.

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  2. Seems someone agreed with my idea of contacting the media to shame them into acting.
    Good if it results in something decent being done asap.

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  3. ROBERT NEIL SHAWJuly 29, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    THE NEWMARKET CANNON

    'SPOKE THE CANNON
    THINKING LOUDLY' 1885

    I KNOW THAT I'M A FORGOTTEN WAR MEMENTO OF YEARS AGO.
    ALSO THAT I NEED A COAT OF PAINT AND SOME WOODEN FEET.
    I HAVE NEVER EVER SPOKEN A THUNDEROUS WORD IN ANGER;
    EVEN QUITE, AT AN EXPECTED RUSSIAN INVASION,YEARS AGO.
    I COULD HAVE SPOKEN OUT LOUDLY AND MAY HAVE FOUND SOME FAME ____ BUT IT NEVER CAME TO THAT.


    'SPOKE THE CANNON
    THINKING LOUDLY' 1939

    ALONG CAME ANOTHER WAR; AND TO STOP ME FROM TALKING LOUDY,
    THEY DUG A VERY LONG HOLE,THEN THEY PUSHED ME IN.
    TO MAKE SURE THAT I SHUT UP,THEY HEAPED SOIL ALL OVER ME.
    FOR TWENTY NINE YEARS I HELD MY PEACE,MY OPEN MOUTH AND STEEL BARREL FILLED WITH NEWMARKET SOIL.
    A COUNCIL MAN WITH A GIEGER COUNTER:HE SOON DUG ME UP.


    'SPOKE THE CANNON
    THINKING LOUDLY' 1968

    I WAS WASHED,CLEANED AND PAINTED BLACK,I LOOKED LIKE NEW.
    WORKERS THEN PLACED ME IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONCRETE ISLAND ON BROADWAY'S KHYBER PASS FOR THE TRAMS TO GO AROUND.
    TRAMS WERE ALWAYS COMING AND GOING FROM THE SAFTY ZONE;
    THE ONEHUNGA AND REMUERA ONES COMING DOWN KHYBER PASS SHOWERED ME IN SPARKS,
    LURCHING AROUND BROADWAY'S BEND.


    'SPOKE THE CANNON
    THINKING LOUDLY' 1968 - 2010

    THOUGH THEY PUT ME IN DANGER,I STILL RECEIVED THE BLAME.
    THEY GAVE ME A NEW CARRIAGE ,THEN I WAS OFF TO LUMSDEN GREEN.
    THEY RESPECTED ME,FOR I WAS NOT BURIED UNDERNEATH THE GRASS
    BUT PLACED ON TOP FOR THE CHILDREN AND PLANTS TO CLIMB OVER.
    ALTHOUGH I NOW LIE DISCARDED IN THE GRASS,ONCE YOU SAT ON ME FOR A PHOTO:
    REMEBER ! AND I MAY GET TO SIT IN THE SUN AGAIN.

    ROBERT NEIL SHAW.

    LYING IN WEEDS AND LONG GRASS IS THE CANNON

    THE NEWMARKET CANNON

    IT WAS FOUND LYING ON ITS SIDE
    NEEDING A PAINT AND A NEW CARRIAGE.

    IT'S NO WAY TO TREAT AN ICON

    THERE WILL BE AN EXPLANATION,'THERE ALWAYS IS.'

    THE NEWMARKET CANNON MAY WELL BE A GUN
    BUT WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO ALL THOSE WHO
    KNOW IT'S A GUN.

    TO MOST OF US IT'S A CANNON
    BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A CANNON.

    IT'S NEWMARKET'S CANNON
    BUT ALL AUCKLANDERS WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT
    SITTING IN THE SUN AGAIN.

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  4. I agree absolutely with the sentiment -- but just one thing: there were no trams in Newmarket in 1968 (the last one was in the mid 1950s), so none would have showered the old gun with their sparks.

    Thanks for this -- glad to see more proof that folk care about it. Hope Council is getting a move on!

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  5. YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT ''TIMESPANNER''THE LAST TRAM IN AUCKLAND RAN SOMETIME IN DEC 56. AS A LONG TIME RESIDENT AND RATEPAYER OF NEWMARKET,I'M SURE THAT TRAMS DID GO AROUND THIS CORNER AT THE TIME THE GUN STOOD ON THE ISLAND. IN THE 40s AND 50s I LIVED AT NO 4 BROADWAY NEWMARKET,TIHUTAHI FLATS,OPP THE BLIND INSTITUTE: THEN AT 3a CLAREMONT STREET GRAFTON. MIND YOU IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO AND MEMORIES DO FADE. NEWMARKET WAS A GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP IN AND LIKE NOW; IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO SHOP IN.

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  6. Hi Robert,

    Trouble is -- the gun was buried from World War II until it was rediscovered in the 1960s in the reserve which is now Lumsden Green. It definitely caused heaps of trouble to motor traffic from the late 1960s until it was relocated back to the reserve in the early 1970s.

    I agree -- Newmarket is an interesting place. I'll be keeping an eye on what the Powers That Be do regarding the gun.

    Thank you very much for your comment on the blog.

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  7. MY NEWMARKET

    NEWMARKET WAS THE PLACE WE GREW UP IN.
    TIHUTAHI FLATS'
    TIHUTAHI FLATS,UP THE ROAD FROM THE OLYMPIC SWIMMING POOL.
    NEWMARKET HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE PLACE FOR ME.

    MY NEWMARKET MAY NOT BE THE SAME AS YOUR NEWMARKET.
    FOR MY MEMORIES ARE NOT WHAT YOU SEE TODAY.
    MY THOUGHTS OF BROADWAY ARE OF TRAMCARS AND SAFETY ZONES.
    THE MAIN STREET STILL STARTS ON A BEND,BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME OLD STREET IT ONCE WAS.
    TODAY THE SHOPS GO STRAIGHT ON UP IN THE AIR____________THATS NOT WHAT THEY USED TO DO.

    SOME OF THE OLD BUILDINGS REMAIN TODAY,
    THEY REMIND ONE OF HOW THE YEARS ROLL BY.
    THESE BUILDINGS ARE NOT OF THIS AGE.
    THESE OLD BUILDINGS DO NOT APPEAR AS HIGH AS THEY WERE,
    AGE DWARFS ALL THINGS IN TIME.

    THE NEWMARKET THAT I GREW UP IN,HAS GROW UP ON HIGH.
    THE NEWMARKET OF YESTERDAY HAS GONE !
    REPLACED BY THE NEWMARKET OF TODAY.
    I HOPE I'M AROUND TO SEE THE NEWMARKET TO COME.

    NEWMARKET: A GREAT PLACE TO GROW UP IN.

    NEWMARKET: STILL A GREAT PLACE TO SHOP IN.


    IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR MOTHER,
    ZENA MARY SHAW.

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  8. The Newmarket I've studied wouldn't be the one you know, Robert -- I've studied back to the 19th century, hence why I say it's interesting. Actually, if you dig deep enough and look beyond the glitter and the glam, interesting is still the word I'd use for today's Newmarket. But I do envy you for your memories.

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