Why do we name things? Giving something a name personalises it, transforming it from an interchangeable item into a distinct entity with its own character and significance, often carrying emotional weight.

How are streets in a town named? Quite often street names are chosen after famous people, or places, or even a building in the settlement. Most places have a Church Street…

Warrnambool is no different to the rest of Australia in how we have named streets.

Many have been named by those who subdivided the area and their partners, children, racehorses, and even a motorcycle!

Here are a couple of notable street names and how they came to own them.

Aitkins Road – the mistake! Aitkins Road was originally named after James William Manifold Aitkin who came to Warrnambool in 1847. Aitkins Road was originally named Aitkin Road by Council on 2nd August in 1872 as per council minutes from that meeting, however when the map was published later in 1872 it was named Aitkins Road – and has been so ever since.

Amaroo Court – of aboriginal origin like many of the other streets in the subdivision, meaning “lovely place”.

Balmoral Road – originally called Victoria Road, but it was renamed in 1975 to Jubilee Road to avoid confusion with Victoria Street. It was then renamed to Balmoral Road to avoid confusion with the road leading to Jubilee Park! How confusing!

Baynes Street – don’t teach a child to count odd numbers on this street! The numbers on the northern side jump from 39 to 127, but the even numbers on the south side don’t. How odd.

Beechnut Place – named after a successful racing pony in the 1930’s!

Boona Place – of aboriginal origin meaning “ti-tree”.

Caroville Drive – named after Neville and Carol, the subdividers.

Carramar Crescent – of aboriginal origin meaning “shade of a tree”.

Casino Court – named for the S. S. Casino which was built in Dundee Scotland and traded between Warrnambool & Melbourne from 1882 to 1932, when she was wrecked at Apollo Bay with the loss of 10 lives.

Cassie Close – another named after a successful racing pony, “Lady Cassie” who raced with great success after World War II.

Cheryl Court – named after the daughter of the subdividers. Cheryl was only 27 years old when she died in a plane accident in 1999.

Cleveland Street – the name of a bull registered with the Hereford Herd Book Society from the Marrakai Stud.

Connemara Road – named by the subdivider, an Irish word meaning “Land of Horses”.

Coramba Court – originally called Hopetoun Street, renamed after a coastal vessel that ran a weekly service between Melbourne, Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland. It disappeared in a gale and was later found wrecked with all crew perished.

Craig Street – named after one of Warrnambool’s first landholders, John Hollis Craig (1817-1884).

De Lemos Court – named in recognition of Warrnambool’s Portuguese connections.

Dixon Street – this should have been named Dickson Street after the purchaser of the land in 1877, James Dickson.  There was, however, a spelling mistake on the map! There is a different street in West Warrnambool named Dickson street after the same person.

Ekard Avenue – Named after the subdivider Lindsay Gordon Drake – Ekard is Drake spelt backwards!

Goldie Court – named after the subdividers motorcycle!

Goodwin Avenue – named after a registered Hereford bull from the Marrakai Stud.

Grace Avenue – originally called Potts Lane, it fell into disrepair and could not be repaired by council as it was a private street. Then mayor John Younger, donated £6 with the residents contributing the rest. The name was changed to Grace (the mayors daughter) in appreciation.

Ingpen Court – The first street in Warrnambool to be named after a woman in her own right – Sister Amy Gertrude Ingpen conducted a private hospital called Alveston.

Janlor Drive – named by combining Janice and Lorraine, the wives of the subdividers.

Johns Lane – Samuel Johns was one of the crew of the whale boat that entered Warrnambool Bay in 1844.

Lineda Court – of aboriginal origin, meaning “peaceful and quiet”.

Lockett Drive – named in recognition of AFL star Tony Lockett, a friend of the subdividers.

Mawarra Street – of aboriginal origin, meaning “happy meeting place”.

Merri Street – of aboriginal origin, meaning “stone” or “rocky”. Early spellings were Merai, or Merrai.

This is just a few of the notable names of the streets in our beautiful town; for a full list see the Warrnambool City Council website or contact us and we can send it direct.

“Discover the history of Warrnambool’s streets”, www.warrnambool.vic.gov.au

 Photo Credit: The Warrnambool Standard