Ever wondered how someone came up with the name of the street you live on?
Some - like Main, High, Victoria, Prince, Regent etc- are in every town. And then there are the more musical Maori names.
But what about the stranger ones? Are there stories behind them?
Petone’s Riddlers Crescent caught my eye and I couldn’t resist doing a little research.
(I was pretty sure it wasn’t named after the Batman villain).
Turns out it's a family name.
Thomas Riddler was the son of William and Elizabeth (nee Sparrow) Riddler who came to New Zealand in 1842. William, from Harefield, Gloucestershire in England came on the Thomas Sparks, caring for a cargo of stock for the Hon. Henry Petre - one of Wellington’s founders - who had a 100 acre block in what is now Petone encompassing what is now Riddlers Crescent.
He gave it to William who settled down there with his wife Elizabeth. Their children were born there, including Thomas. When he was born there were only four other houses. He was the first to be christened in the English church in the Hutt.
Thomas went on to be a stock agent and farmed at Tawa until the death of his father. He married Mary Hirst in 1873.
He helped create Petone and was one of the escort of calvary for the Duke of Edinburgh on a trip to Upper Hutt.
At the time of his death aged 87, on 21 August, 1936, he was one of the oldest surviving settlers in the Hutt and had six sons and two daughters.
His land was divided into lots and sold on his death - creating the area through which Riddlers Crescent runs.
He is buried in Christ Church cemetery in Taita.
Ever wondered about your street name? Tell us and we’ll take a look.
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