Saturday, February 21, 2009

Manners Street - Perrett's Corner - 1905

Willis Street at Manners Street, looking north circa 1905.

The car had not yet arrived in such numbers to stage a takeover of Wellington streets by 1905. This view - looking north on Willis Street with Manners Street to the right - shows horsepower providing the main source of transport power in early 1905 (based on the postmark on the postcard, though the view itself may have been taken a few years earlier).

Perrett's chemist stands to the immediate right of the women crossing the street with a pram (short for perambulator or baby carriage) and close to the photographer's position. Perhaps the women have just purchased one of Mr Perrett's potions to cure their ailments or to restore their nerves.

A hansom cab stand existed just around the corner to the left on Boulcott street as pictured in the view below. Electric trams introduced to Wellington streets in 1904 were more affordable to the average citizen and a number of routes ran down Manners Street on to Willis Street. With the extension of tram service to outer parts of the city, faster subdivision for housing proceeded during the 1900s.

Hansom cab on Boulcott Street with the Manners Street, Perrett's corner intersection in the middle background, circa 1913.

The streets were not yet paved so in the summer Wellington's residents coped with the dust, horse manure, and flies as best they could. It was not unknown for horses to die on the streets on occasion requiring their owners or the council to remove them. In the winter, the rain turned the streets into mud baths with potholes and ruts thrown in for good measure.

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