I can’t remember why I went there.
I was probably just following my nose, as I often do when looking for images, but whatever the reason, I found myself on Duncan Terrace which is on the Western side of Kilbirnie, just below the town belt. This narrow winding street offers some interesting views down onto central Kilbirnie and Rongotai as well as South across Lyall Bay. I suspect that Kilbirnie is undergoing a slow process of “gentrification”, but historically, it has been an unashamedly working class suburb, home to everyday people. The houses are mostly modest, well-kept and close together. I confess that the boundaries between the suburbs of Rongotai, Lyall Bay and Kilbirnie are a mystery to me.
The higher streets in the suburb tend to enjoy great views, but you can understand that if you can see the South, then the South can see you, and they are interesting places to be in the worst of Wellington’s Southerlies. Yesterday, though the wind was not too wild, it was nevertheless generating a good onshore swell. The lens foreshortens the image, but those waves were ten or twelve seconds apart and that suggests slow heavy waves arriving on Lyall Bay Beach. Oddly, there was just one solitary surfer visible (on the left, between the second and third waves).
Looking back to Kilbirnie itself, a long-term feature on Onepu Rd has been the bus barns. When the first stage was built in 1910, they were of course, tram barns, and to this day there are lengths of tram line inside on either side of many of the inspection pits. They have reached the end of their life, and are deemed earthquake prone. As I understand it they will be demolished, with some attempt to retain some token historical brickwork. At one stage there were plans to redevelop it for housing and retail, but it seems that the present owner still needs it to be a bus depot. For now, at least, it is a vast rust-red eyesore from my viewpoint on the hill.
That’s all for today.