Sydenham and Waltham Joined The Greater Christchurch – 1st April 1903

On 1 April 1903, Sydenham and Waltham joined the Greater Christchurch and came under the care of the C.C.C.

When Charles Prince arrived in Lyttelton in 1858, I’m sure he had no idea that two future suburb names would be influenced by him with very little effort made by him at all.

An ex-school master, Charles seemed to have no plans to follow his previous working path. By 1860, his crockery and china shop named the ‘Sydenham House’ was advertising in the Lyttelton Times. It stood roughly a mile south from the South Belt, now known to us as Moorhouse Ave.  Sadly in 1867, he was forced to file for bankruptcy in this venture.

Maybe the fact that Charles also ran a 12-room boarding house just down the road may have helped him stay balanced during this tough time. He named his establishment ‘Waltham House’. It sat on Gasworks Road, now known to us as Waltham Road.

In 1866, Charles’ tenants and others decided to pull a joke on their landlord and friend in good humour. They sent in an advertisement (pictured) to THE PRESS that they held a meeting and decided to call the area Waltham after their house. It appeared on 27 October 1866 and completely backfired. The name stuck and by 1870, the term was a household name.

Charles Allison, a town clerk and surveyor, found his trade and future also in the future Sydenham. He had arrived in Lyttelton as a 10 year old in 1856. He would go on to become Christchurch’s Mayor, from 1908 to 1910. For some reason, best known to himself, he remembered Charles Prince’s china shop and suggested the name of Sydenham at a borough formation meeting during the late 1870’s. It was agreed upon.

*image courtesy of Papers Past – http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/ *

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