Central Park Steps

FIND THESE STEPS – At 22 Brooklyn Road from the lower level, and from the top at Brooklyn Road and Ohiro Road.

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Central Park – thirteen hectares of refuge from any sense of being in a city.  A 1903 housing report recommended an open space for relief from the local slums, and a public subscription raised the purchase price to allow the opening in 1913.

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Mayor John Pearce Luke was mayor during the war years and the flu epidemic, and went on to Parliament. Lukes Lane in Wellington is named for the location of his engineering business. His wife, Jacobina Luke, was a signatory to the Women’s Suffrage Petition, and organised women for the war effort and relief from the 1918 flu epidemic. The mayor “turned the first sod” on 27 October 1913, according to The Friends of Central Park.

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Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 6.35.39 PMAlong from the entrance, a fountain, usually dry.  “Presented by the Evening Post 1916”.

Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 6.35.18 PMThe steps are just to the left of the entrance and the fountain.

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Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 6.04.14 PMAnd at the top of those steps is the park with a flying fox. Not a flying squirrel.

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Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 6.04.01 PMFollowing along up the road you find these steps leading out to Brooklyn Road.

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And there you find Renouf Tennis Centre.

Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 4.08.44 PMFrom the top at Brooklyn Road and Ohiro Road.

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Fitchett’s diary farm was located in the Brooklyn hills in 1910, which produced much of Wellington’s milk supply, according to the ‘Thematic Heritage Study of Wellington’, Wellington City Council, January 2013.

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Looking down along Ohiro Road. Just over this road are the Tanera Crescent steps.

Caretakers Residence

And further along on Ohiro Road is one of my favourites – a little intriguing mystery of history.

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This marker leads to the Caretaker’s Track and evidence of another time in Wellington, and New Zealand, when the city provided a residence for the Central Park caretaker. I can’t find any references or photos and it is a sad loss, I think, of the city’s dedication for public property that has vanished.

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Just down this path from Ohiro Road,  leading to a small, carefully built stone wall and very narrow stone steps.

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That leads up the hill through bush and then the caretaker’s memorial bench.

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This little spot was the caretaker’s cottage, and the family of Alex Kettles have donated a bench for enjoying this lovely view.

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“The site of caretakers residence Central Park. In memory of Alex (Sandy) Kettles. 1945 – 1959. Donation by Family.”

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And finally – more steps, just down from the caretaker’s memorial.