Dec 07 2016

Street Walk: Belleknowes

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7/12/2016. Belleknowes. E. Leaders: Lester and Peter B.

Route Map, Belleknowes, courtesy Ian.

Route Map, Belleknowes, courtesy Ian. 15 Hikers. York Pl, Town Belt, Alison Cr, Michie St, Bellevue St, Hart St, Highgate, Cuppa, Delta St, Beta St, Epsilon St, Gamma St, Beta St, Accessway, Belgrave Cr,Highgate, Falcon St. lunch in playground park, Highgate, Kilgour St, Leven St, Braid St,York St. Coffee at Green Island.

The walk was short but far from lacking in interest. First surprise was at the bend at the extreme top corner of York Place where it turns sharply down into Russell Street. Behold, a path through the Town Belt, leading across Queens Drive into Alison Crescent. Here on our right was a gully of seriously shaded houses each reachable only by a wooden bridge across the ditch.

Further on. Houses in the Greek-letter-named streets of Delta, Beta, Epsilon and Gamma (where was Alpha?) were notable for well-maintained three and four groupings of identical designs, (one group even with finials), and strikingly, as the street curved around, so did the house alignments, parlours strictly front-facing, regardless of where the sun struck them. Of course nothing new, but made obvious by the similar wooden buildings.

An interesting Accessway between Delta Street and Belleview Crescent was new to us. Knowledgeable ones among us said this was part of an old cable car route.

Red ticketed power pole. (Ian pic and caption.)

Red ticketed power pole. (One of two supporting large transformer.) Corner of the Accessway. (Ian pic and caption.)

We lunched early (11.20 a.m!) in a light drizzle in a hidden playground reserve off Falcon Street. It had the longest stainless steel slide down a steep slope the writer has seen. How on earth was present day Health and Safety permission for it obtained, one wonders. Sadly it was far too wet on this occasion for any of us to give it a go.

We were struck by some grand house and gardens along Highgate. Lester pointed out where the original owners had built houses for their servants down a side street. In one case, (Kilgour St?), built as they were on a steep falling away slope, they required small bridges from street path to front door. Goodness only knows what Health and Safety requirements (as too in the Alison Street bridges) they would be obliged to meet today. One couldn’t help reflecting today on the contrast between our own land-owning gentry class, of which we are part, and that of the thousands of New Zealanders unable to access even basic decent accommodation, with winter on the horizon.

House. (Ian pic and caption.)

Renfrew House, Highgate. (Ian pic and caption.)

House and garden. (Ian pic and caption.)

Lovely house and garden. Leven St. (Ian pic and caption.)

Anyway, enough of that. An interesting return trip down Braid Street through an extensive bit of the Town Belt soon got us back to the cars.

As noted at the beginning of the report, the ‘tramp’ was short but full of previously unexplored interesting gems. Our thanks to Lester and Peter for searching it out. – Ian.

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