The sponsors of Old London performed their duties more conscientiously than most of their successors; as a consequence, the names of the older streets of the capital serve not only as keys to their several histories, but as landmarks by which we can measure the changes wrought by time in the topographical features of the city.
The book of days: a miscellany of popular antiquities in connection with the calendar, including anecdote, biography, & history, curiosities of literature and oddities of human life and character
by Robert Chambers, 1832
I was interested in an article by Mary Costello in The Age this week regarding street naming, and it started me thinking about how we name our streets and what that tells us about our history, our culture and our people.
Before our time, the first settlers to Australia had an opportunity to start from scratch in the naming of the streets they were creating, and they chose to name them predominantly in a number of categories:
- To commemorate and remember where they had come from: York Street, Kent Street, St Kilda Boulevard.
- To honour people important at the time: King Street, William Street, Murray Street, James Street.
- To commemorate events: Coronation Street, Centenary Drive, Olympic Avenue, Federation Way.
- To point to topographical and/or commercial features: Mill Street, Barrack Street, Exhibition Street, Hill Street, Spring Street, Station Street, Church Street.
- To interpret Indigenous names for local places or features: Toorak Road, Dandenong Road, Warra Street.
- Rudd Road (after the Prime Minister of the day)
- GFC Circuit (for a current day event)
- Cholesterol Court (this will be the street the fast-food shops will be on)
- Water Feature Way (as every housing estate has to have a man-made lake)
- Pokie Place (for the street the local Tabaret will be on)
- Three-ars Parade (the road where the school is)
- Empty Nest Avenue (to commemorate and remember where you've come from)