From horses to cars

JOSEPH ROMANOS
Last updated 09:32 16/11/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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Newcombe Cres, which runs off Karori Rd, is easily identified by the large A-framed St Ninian's Church on the corner.

The 400-metre street was named after Englishman William Newcombe, one of the early Karori land-owners. It has changed markedly over the years.

Initially it ran west off Karori Rd into a dead end. Between the wars the street was pushed through to connect with Reading St and became a crescent.

The Newcombe family, who owned a farm in neighbouring Friend St, moved into a house opposite St Ninian's before World War II. William Newcombe's daughter, Gwen, lived there until her death in 1991 at the age of 92.

The street's longest surviving residents now are Pam and Don Paterson, whose family moved into No 16 in 1928, when the house was only a few weeks old.

"In those days," said Don, now 87, "the street was not asphalt.

"The horse and cart delivering the milk would come down the street and the part at the bottom had to be wide enough for it to turn around. That area is now used as a car turning bay."

The street has had some other notable residents.

Sid and Dorothy Moses, National Party stalwarts, moved into No 6 about 1940 and lived there for 60 years.

Dorothy was a pioneering women's journalist who worked for New Zealand Freelance and New Zealand Woman's Weekly for decades.

Her husband, a champion motorbike racer in his younger days, was a principal in the Maple Furnishing Company in Manners St and chairman of the Decimal Currency Board from 1964 till 1968.

The Shallcrass family, including noted educationalist Jack Shallcrass, have lived in Newcombe Cres for decades.

St Ninian's was built in the late 1930s and had the distinctive A frame section added in 1961, at a price of [PndStlg]31,000 ($1.3 million in today's terms). It was initially a Presbyterian church, but in 2003 became St Ninian's Uniting Church.

At No 11 is the Marsden Club, a daycare centre for elderly people suffering from neurological disorders. It moved to Newcombe Cres in 1987.

Newcombe Cres has a large stream running under it, which may explain why at least one of the houses has a well in its back yard.

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- The Wellingtonian

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