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The Rock's Road, Nelson

Nelson. The S.S. Rotoiti leaving port.

The road along the Nelson Haven foreshore was completed in 1899. The first section of the wall was donated by an early settler John Tinline and his English friend James Tytler. Later the wall was extended and Thomas Cawthron was the benefactor. Surveyor and engineer Sam Jackel was commissioned to construct a concrete seawall. The wall was built by prisoners from the Nelson Goal and completed in 1897. The Chain Fence was erected along part of the wall in 1898 to protect the public from the vertical drop into the sea below. It is composed of a double row of chains strung between stanchions placed 3.2 metres apart.

Nelson Evening Mail Monday February 6th 1899
Opening of Rocks Road

A large number of people attended the formal opening of Rocks Road by the Premier, Mr Seddon. The Premier and party, with the Mayor and City Councillors, and members of the local bodies were driven to the Port in a procession of vehicles, under the direction of Mr Moller, and headed by the Garrison Band, returned to the Basion. Among those occupying seats on the platform were the Premier, Mrs and Miss Seddon, Mr John Graham, M.H.R., the Mayor and Mrs Task, Crs Akersten, C.J. Harley, Rout, Piper, Baigent, Moller, Lock, Kirkpatrick and Light, Mr Gully (Town Clerk), Mr Jickell (City Surveyor and Rocks Road engineer), the Mayor of Richmond (Mr Talbot) and Cr Papps, the Chairman of the Waimea County Council (Mr J. Bird), and Crs. Beuke, and Messrs W.H. Phillips, P. Adams, and Colonel Pitt. Mr Barnicoat, M.L.C, was also present. The Mayor said the initiation of the road was largely due to the present speaker but he would not have been able to carry the scheme through without the assistance of Mr Seddon as Minister of Public Works, He thanked Mr Seddon and Mr McKenzie, Minister of Lands and Mr Ballance, the City Councillors, the Mayor and Councillors of Richmond, Mr Jickell, Mr Hooker, foreman of works, Mr Henry, the stonemason. The road cost a large sum of money but he did not care, and nobody could take it away from them unless the road washed it away. He also thanked Mr John Tinline for his magnificent gifts of �400 and �140 towards the cost of the chains and stanchions, and coping round the road. Mr Seddon said it is a work that would stand for all time. They could see that mind had triumphed over matter, and that what had been formerly looked upon as an impossibility had proved a success. The completed work is a thing of beauty to be viewed and admired by visitors on entering the harbour. There is a similar work at Scarborough England. The fear of the sea encroaching as well as the inconvenience of the hills had made the work necessary. The road would also provide a healthful place for recreation. and would be an important adjunct to the contemplated harbour improvement. The road cost between �11,000 and �12,000 and the colony's share in material and labour was something under  �5000. The shipping at the Port and the Rocks Road wall were decorated with bunting in honour of the opening of the
the road.

When you visit Nelson drive along the Rocks Road from the city of Nelson to Tahunanui Beach just to see the chain fence.

The Port
The new entrance to the port was completed in 1906 and called The Cut.

1905. Note sandbank to the north. Ablion Wharf in foreground. Government Wharf in background.

The Main Wharf. F.N. Jones, photo.

The Colonist, 6 February 1899
Shipping Intelligence
February 5, steamer Haupiri, 396 tons, Nordstrom from Picton and Wellington and sailed for the West Coast today. Passengers:

Bucchinaster 	Mr
Cooper 		Mr
Draper 		Misses (2)
Dawson 		Miss
Dawson 		Messrs (2)
Fathers 	Mrs and son
Green 		Messrs (2)
Greenslade 	Mr
Hall 		Miss
Jeffries 	Mr
Jennings 	Mrs
Jennings 	Mr
Rogers 		Messrs (2)
Trice 		Mr 
West 		Miss
Wright 		Mr
and 6 steerage

-steamer Wainui arrived from Picton and sailed for the West Coast today.
Andrew 		Mrs
Bailie 		Miss
Boon 		Miss
Boon 		Mr
Bonar 		Master
Brislaw 	Mr
Brown 		Master
Croucher 	Miss
Croucher 	Mrs
Enright 	Miss
Eves 		Mr
Gribben 	Miss
Horner 		Master
Kelling 	Miss
King 		Mr
Kissell 	Mrs
Lindop 		Miss
Moynihan 	Miss
Moynihan 	Master
Mullan 		Master
Murray 		Master
Myers 		Mr
Norris 		Master
O'Brien 	Mr
Patterson 	Miss
Patterson 	Master
Perkins 	Mr
Pytt-Jackson 	Mr
Quail 		Miss
Roley 		Mrs
Snodgrass 	Master
Thompson 	Master
Todd 		Mr
and 2 steerage

-steamer Charles Edward, 154, Graham, from West Coast ports and sailed this afternoon for Wanganui and Wellington.
- steamer Wairoa, 47, Ricketts, from Wellington

February 4, steamer Tutaneki, 412, Bollans, for Wellington
5, steamer Haupiri, 396, Worrail, for West Coast. Passengers:
Baigent 	Mr
Beuke 		Mr
Davis 		Mrs
Draper 		Misses (2)
Fleming 	Mr
Franklyn 	Mr
Hitchcock 	Mr
Livick 		Mr
Lock 		Mr
Phillips 	Mr
Slater 		Mr
Talbot 		Mr
Webley 		Mrs
White 		Mrs

6, Lady Barkly, 40, Stevens, for Golden Bay. She returns on Wednesday morning.
- steamer Lily, 20, Scully, for Motueka
- steamer Wainui, 391 tons, Worrall, for Picton and Wellington.

7th Feb.
Riwaka. Wedding Bells.
A very pretty wedding was celebrated in Riwaka on Wednesday 25th ult., between Mr Harvey Holyoake and Miss Violet Fowler. The officiating minister was the Rev. R. McLean. The bride was given away by her father. Mr Owen Fowler acted as best man. The presents were handsome, useful and numerous. There was a gift from the bride's grandfather, and forwarded from Ashburton.

Rocks Rd, Nov. 2011

Arrow Rock (aka Fifeshire Rock) is situated within Nelson Harbour. Arrow Rock was site of the Fifeshire wreck in 1842, which gave the rock is secondary name. There is a narrow channel between the rock and Haulashore Island. Waterpainting.

Folks still stride or ride around the picturesque water's edge at any time of the day. "Any fool can make a straight road, it takes a good man to put the curves in." Samuel Jackel when asked why there were so many curves in his road. A substantial amount of labour came from the Nelson prisoners who were marched each day in a gang of about 15-20 men from the Sheldourne Street gaol over Pitts Hill (from Richardson Street.) Samuel Jackel was a British born engineer who was Nelson City's engineer from 1890 -1901. He previously designed the seawall in Scarborough, Yorkshire. He designed the Calliope graving dock in Auckland and railways, sewerage and bridge works in Melbourne. His Nelson seawall supported roadway was designed as a concrete block wall, in-filled with material from the adjourning cliffs. The concrete blocks were cast near Albion Wharf on  Haven Rd and taken by sea to the site. Work started in 1892 and was completed to gravel standard in 1897. The estimated cost had been 8000 but the final grand total was between 11,000 and 12,000. The money was co-operatively contributed from the Nelson City Council, the Waimea County Council and the Richmond Borough Council and the Government. The official opening was postponed to enable the post and chain barrier to be manufactured and installed and this was completed in 1898. The road, connecting the Port with Tahunanui was officially opened by the premier Richard Seddon 3 February 1899. The opening took place at the Basin Reserve. The work is a thing of beauty. The best original section of concrete block seawall remaining is at Connolly's Quay. The most recent stanchion replacements are still cast using the original pattern.