Topic: Whalers Rise (TDN 25/02/2019)

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Whalers Rise 

Whalers Rise is a short cul-de-sac near the junction of Barrett Road and Omata Road. The street was formed in the 1990s, however its name has links to the area’s first European settlers. Like Barrett Road, named after the famous early whaler Dicky Barrett, it is located in the suburb of Whalers Gate, which has been known by this name for close to 160 years.

The origins of the name Whalers Gate are somewhat unclear but there are references to a location around the area of the junction of Omata Road and South Road being called “the Whaler’s Gate” in newspaper articles as early as 1860.

Apart from the Barrett connection, it appears the area may have become associated with a number of Barrett’s former whalers who were allotted land in the vicinity in 1847. One of them, Robert Sinclair, owned a block of land near the current Barrett Road and Poplar Grove junction until 1885.

While that may explain the whaler’s reference, the reference to a gate is not so clear. There was a toll gate in the location, known as the Whaler’s Gate toll gate, but this wasn’t erected until the 1870s. Perhaps the best explanation for the use of the word “gate” was its old English usage, which originated from a Scandinavian term, meaning path, street or road.

Locals with an eye for grammar may have wondered why both Whalers Rise and Whalers Gate are not spelt with an apostrophe. In the early days of its existence it was indeed known as Whaler’s Gate, however somewhere over time the apostrophe was dropped.

It is current New Plymouth District Council policy – consistent with other naming authorities - to not include possessive apostrophes. Apostrophes that form part of a name after which the street is named (e.g. O’Connor Road) may be included.

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Whalers Rise (TDN 25/02/2019)


City:New Plymouth