Topic: Young Street (TDN 05/08/2017)

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Young Street 

Young Street in central New Plymouth dates back to the earliest days of European settlement. It was one of the names chosen by the surveyor Frederic Carrington and is a tribute to a director of the New Zealand Company.

George Frederick Young was born in 1791, the son of Vice-Admiral William Young and his wife Ann Curling. He became a leading figure in the shipbuilding firm, Curling, Young & Co., and developed an interest in colonization. He was also elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom on two occasions in the 1830s.

Young lived in London with his wife, children and a number of servants. The 1861 English Census records them as employing a footman, a cook and two maids. Life would have been a little easier for the Young household than those living in New Plymouth at the time.

In New Plymouth the section of Young Street closest to town was once part of an area known as Devonport - loosely bound by Queen, Young, Dawson and St Aubyn Streets.  The first settlers to arrive in New Plymouth in 1841 were offered quarter acre sections there on a two year lease while more permanent arrangements were made.

They named the picturesque spot Devonport after the naval port in the English city of Plymouth. Apart from the iconic Devonport Apartments in St Aubyn Street the name has all but disappeared from use.

Also gone are any trace of these early residences, and commercial premises now dominate this section of Young Street. A walk along the rest of the street reveals an eclectic mix of old cottages, villas, bungalows, 1960s units and more modern houses.

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