Topic: Byron Place (TDN 01/01/2022)

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Byron Place street sign

Byron Place was created as part of a multistage subdivision by Beazley Homes Limited in the late 1970s. Operating under the slogan “more home for your money”, Beazley Homes was established in Mount Maunganui in the 1950s by father and son Fred and Barry Beazley. Twenty years later they had 80 franchise builders around the country, constructing more than 1500 prefabricated homes annually. The company became Fletcher Homes in 1992.

Byron Place and several of its surrounding streets in Whalers Gate were copied from names in the Devon city of Plymouth, drawing on the theme of great British writers.

George Gordon Noel, the sixth Lord Byron and perhaps the most famous Romantic poet, was notorious for his sexual escapades and flamboyant lifestyle. Born in London in 1788, he came from a noble family who had fallen on hard times - Byron Bay in Australia was named after his grandfather, Admiral John Byron, but his father was known as “Mad Jack” and died heavily in debt.

The handsome young Byron had numerous affairs with both men and women, everybody from actors to his own half-sister, proclaiming that men were cleverer but women kissed better. Ever the eccentric, he would terrorise fellow students at Cambridge by walking a bear on a leash around the university grounds. He took up his hereditary seat in the House of Lords at 21 but a trip to Greece inspired his first works of poetry which were published to great acclaim, making him famous overnight.  Described by one of his lovers as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”, Byron was fascinated by the supernatural, filling his home with skulls and coffins. People copied his clothes and hairstyle, and he received mountains of fan mail.

Lord Byron died fighting for Greek independence from Ottoman rule in 1824. He is still considered a national hero in Greece, a country he loved. “Byromania” continued unabated after his death, with thousands buying tickets to see his coffin when it was brought home. His works have since inspired artists around the world, from Pushkin to Bram Stoker.

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Byron Place (TDN 01/01/2022)

City:New Plymouth