Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The signalman's house

In Devonport halfway up Mount Victoria is this cute little period house now named "The Michael King Writer's Centre". Michael King was New Zealand’s most prominent writer of non-fiction. He had a great sense of humour, huge curiosity, and a scholar’s intensity, but always with a popular touch.


His histories appealed, beyond any specialist audience, to the wider New Zealand public. This house can now be used by writers who need a quiet place to work.  Originally this house was known as "The signalman's house" though. The first signalmen lived in a tent or a raupo hut on the top of Mt Victoria and later a house was built on the summit. The summit was fortified because of the Russian scare in the 1880s and it was eventually taken over by the Defence Department. In 1898 the Auckland Harbour Board decided to build a new house for the signalman on the current site, about half way down the southern slope of the mountain. 

The first signalman started in 1842 and the 4th and final one lived here in 1934. 

Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.

18 comments:

  1. That's really interesting. Hoping to get there soon #WordlessWednesday

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  2. I wonder if I could pretend to be a writer and spend some time in the house.

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  3. a very interesting story. And a beautiful house. :)

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  4. I must walk up Mt. Victoria if I ever get back to Auckland.

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  5. I enjoyed the story, Amy. That is indeed a beautiful house.

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  6. Those old houses have a character all of their own :)

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  7. I confess my ignorance - what does a signalman do?
    It looks like it would be easy to find one's muse and being to craft a lovely story in that house.
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/05/ebony-ivory.html

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    1. So a signalman is a person responsible for sending and receiving naval or military signals like from the top of the mountain so boats etc can see it.

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  8. Was that the Michael King who wrote about NZ and Maori culture? I have many of his books. He was one of my tutors at Wellington Polytech half a century ago

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    1. I think so, I need to check out his books I think.

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  9. That must be an inspiring place to stay and work..the house and the view

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  10. ...it's a beauty! I like the trim on the porch, thanks Amy for sharing.

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  11. The house is beautiful and a great getaway for a writer to go and write.

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  12. I like the architectural style.

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  13. Very interesting and a great place now for others, kind and clever.
    Can you recommend "Penguin History of New Zealand"?

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  14. What a perfect spot for writers to use Amy, inspirational even 💜

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  15. There is so much history here that needs to be re-discovered by those on a journey. Great captures and history.

    Thanks for being part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

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  16. Where there´s Russia, there´s the problem.

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