Topic: Water Lane (TDN 14/05/2016)

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Water Lane 

When it was formed in the mid-1800s Water Lane was just a pathway from Young Street down to a bend in the Mangaotuku Stream. The Mangaotuku flows on from here to meet the Huatoki River near Brougham Street.

By the early 1890s, most of the land in the streets surrounding Water Lane was owned by the School Commissioners. This was a government body that purchased and maintained land for the development of new schools. However, until it was decided where the schools would be located, the commissioners would usually lease out the land.

The stonemason Henry Hooker, responsible for the 1866 extension to St Mary’s Church, leased a section on the corner of Water Lane and Young Street.

Later survey maps reveal that the School Commissioners had abandoned plans for a school and land surrounding the lane was sold into private ownership. Henry Hooker was one of those that purchased his site and like others built a home for his family.

The surface of the lane was covered in metal in 1908, at a cost of £8, and electric street lighting was installed about 1909. That same year, the relatively short-lived St. Aubyn Street Quoits Club was established.  The quoits club held regular events on Mr. J. Stagpoole’s paddock bordering the lane.

By the 1940s, the area was changing again, this time from residential to commercial subdivisions. Today, apart from the intersection with Young Street, Water Lane is an entirely commercial area and the Mangaotuku Stream at the end of the lane flows underground and cannot be seen.

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