Topic: Hill Street, Eltham (TDN 09/01/2020)

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Hill Street 

Before Hill Street in Eltham was planned, the town laid out a sports ground in the area. It wasn’t a suitable location. Rugby teams with a lead late in the game wasted time by kicking the ball down a slope. This obvious problem wasn’t the only reason sportsmen soon moved on though.

In the 1890s work started on draining the Ngaere swamp. The improved access from the north meant land values in Eltham increased dramatically. George Moir, a prominent land owner, opened up what became Moir Street in 1905. Later he formed Meuli Street and part of Hill Street. However, he didn’t own the land at the top of the hill.

That area belonged to another local businessman, Charles Wilkinson. In 1919 Wilkinson sub-divided, extending Hill Street to the top and capturing the glorious views to the north.

The first section at the top was sold to Dr. Harold Cooper. He built the Mt. View Private Hospital. For many years it served as a maternity hospital. Today it is a private home, offering accommodation.

There was a bit of trouble with the Eltham Borough Council over the sale of Wilkinson’s land and the street extension. The council considered the sale was rushed, complaining that the usual requirements for shaping and curbing the street were not done.

Immediately to the east of Hill Street the land slopes away into a valley. Before World War One, and for a few years afterwards, the Eltham Rifle Volunteers used the area as its rifle range.

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