I posted about Newmarket's rifle muzzle-loaded gun back in January last year.
Since then, the work on Lumsden Green has been completed, and dignitaries reopened the reserve earlier this month. I popped across Broadway yesterday to have a look -- and to find the gun.
It was nowhere to be seen.
Lumsden Green looks very neat and tidy. The big artwork by Marté Szirmay, the 1969 Smirnoff Sculpture, is there ...
I came home, and looked on the internet. I found one report of the reopening of Lumsden Green, where Mayor John Banks did the honours on 8 June 2010 (same day Avondale Train Station was opened). In the text was this note:
"The 19th century cannon from the Green has been refurbished and relocated to Olympic Park."
Two thngs: the gun is not a cannon, and Newmarket has an Olympic Reserve, not an Olympic Park (the latter is actually over here, between New Lynn and Avondale). Still, at least I now had a location. I set out today, with finding the gun on my agenda for my Saturday journey.
I found Olympic Reserve. It's on the north side of the swimming pools complex.
On crossing over, I looked for the gun, and found it.
It looked for all the world as if it had just been dumped in the midst of a bed of tussocky plants.
It isn't even on its own stand, as it had been at Lumsden Green, just to the south. Just a couple of bits of concrete. The muzzle is now on the ground, and it looks like the gun is just left on its side.
It would appear that, being such a nuisance to the development of Lumsden Green as it must have been, the gun was simply shifted over as a bit of old metal, and used as piece of old stuff just on the landscape. No signage, no context about what it was all about, that it's at least as old as the late 1870s and part of Auckland's great Russian Scare.
There's probably an explanation for its fate, lying there like a piece of rubbish discarded in the greenery, but right now in my opinion it's appalling to see it end up this way. I'd appreciate readers' views.