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Come and sit next to Rudyard Kipling

Come and sit next to Rudyard Kipling

Addington’s Kipling Street celebrates its heritage on Saturday with the unveiling of a new artwork paying tribute to Rudyard Kipling, who wrote ‘The Jungle Book’. Sydenham Borough Council renamed the street after Kipling in January 1880, also naming several other streets in Addington, Sydenham and Waltham after well-known writers and poets.

The ‘Kipling’ companion bench, where the lone figure of Kipling sits waiting for someone to join him, has been created by Christchurch sculptor Chris Reddington as a piece of street furniture for use by local residents. The sculpture features Kipling’s uplifting words “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody – it saves so much trouble”.

The new artwork is part of the recently completed upgrade of Kipling Street. It’s the first step in a major Christchurch City Council programme to enhance the appearance and character of the Addington neighbourhood, one of Christchurch’s oldest suburbs. The work also includes upgrading streets, better landscaping, and traffic calming measures.

‘Kipling’ will be unveiled at a special breakfast event this Saturday 5 February at 9am. Addington Brass Band will set the atmosphere, and a free breakfast will be served to local residents after the bench is revealed.

Before being renamed, Kipling Street was known as Hawkesbury Street. Other ‘poets and writers’ streets named at the same time include Dickens, Wordsworth, Byron, Tennyson and Shakespeare. Work to improve Addington’s Ruskin, Burke and Barrie streets will start soon, maintaining the literary theme in street furniture and features as the project progresses over the next five years.

ENDS

Information contained on plaque on artwork

“Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay. He began writing stories and poems as a young man. His work caught the public imagination and when he left India for England aged 23, he was already famous. In 1891 Kipling visited New Zealand. While here, he wrote the short story One Lady at Wairakei. Mrs. Bathurst followed in 1904, about a woman who kept a public house near Auckland, though she was based on a barmaid at Cokers Hotel, Christchurch. In 1907 Kipling accepted his greatest reward, the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was a modest and likeable man whose stories for children, particularly The Jungle Book and Just So Stories, were much loved. The artwork Kipling was created by Christchurch sculptor, Chris Reddington (2004)”.

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