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