Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Street Stories 19: Lincoln, Norfolk, Kent and York in Ponsonby

A sequel in a way to Street Stories 18, about Henderson's Lincoln Road.

A reader this morning drew my attention to John Davenport's book on Auckland street names (and, when I checked, the library's street's database as well) which suggests that Lincoln Street in Ponsonby was named (or probably named) after the Earl of Lincoln (pictured, from Wikipedia) who was, for a time, Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1859-1864. Which was around the time Allotment 31, Section 8, Suburbs of Auckland was first being subdivided and the roads mapped (1862-1863) -- see plan Deed Blue V, and deeds index 2A.987. The two businessmen behind the subdivision were named Whitaker and Wood. Short of a trip to Archives New Zealand to hunt up the actual deeds themselves, my money would be on the wager that these two were Frederick Whitaker, and Michael Wood (another chap born in Lincolnshire).

The original streets on that subdivision (just beside Richmond Road, off Ponsonby Road) were Lincoln, Norfolk, Kent and York (York losing out to Mira Street in 1883 when the Auckland City Council changed names around). Considering that the subdivision had two street names which are also names of important provincial centres in England, and two which are also counties, I'd say it was more likely that Wood and Whitaker went geographic rather than biographical in their choice.

A bit of an odd thing -- on the old subdivision plan mentioned, Deed Blue V, Kent street appears to have originally been called York Street. Mira seems to have been a bit of an afterthought, but was eventually called York (until the 1883 change of course). I suppose as Kent and York were both small connecting streets between Lincoln and Norfolk, they were swapped around a bit.

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