Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Newmarket's gun

Newmarket's gun has come to some grief since I last photographed it back in 2005 (see below.)

To be fair, Auckland City are in the throes at the moment of upgrading stormwater at Lumdsen Park and doing a redevelopment. The gun might have been taken away, out of sight. At least, for the moment, it's still "guarding" the south road, at the corner of Khyber Pass which itself is named after Imperial tussles up in the mountain ranges of the Indian sub-continent.

This is an example of a rifle muzzle-loaded gun, or RML, ordered during the 1870s after one Russian Scare, and in place somewhere on the coastline of the Waitemata Harbour in time for the next Russian Scare of the 1880s. They were declared obsolete in 1910, and the Newmarket Borough Council were given this one to have on display, installed on its own carriage, close to where it is today.

During World War II, fearing the sight of the old gun might attract Japanese bombers, the Borough Council buried it -- and lost track of where it was. The carriage was disposed of on a tip, leaving just the gun, somewhere under the grass of the domain. It was relocated in 1968, and placed on a traffic island in the middle of Broadway. This wasn't such a good idea: a number of car vs. gun incidents gave the old weapon a late 20th century infamy amongst drivers. It was relocated again in 1972 to where I took these photos, the southern end of Lumsden Green.

The gun itself looks okay at least, apart from the rubbish an uncaring public decide to try to fill it with. It's wooden supports need a bit of work, though.


  1. That gun looks very imperial, sitting there proudly, surveying all before it.
    I can imagine the car insurance reports detailing the grief caused by the gun LOL.

  2. It's pointing in the same direction, as a matter of fact, that the hairdresser took on his mad dash from the coppers in 1875. He'd have passed that very same spot on the way.

  3. LOL
    Had it been there I imagine he would have vaulted it easily :)