Oamaru’s Ann Stewart has seen one major change in the three decades she has lived in Severn St, which is part of State Highway 1. Oamaru Mail reporter Daniel Birchfield finds out more.
When you have lived in the same street for 29 years, you would expect to see a few differences over time.
For Anne Stewart, there has been one significant aspect of life in Severn St that has moved with the times – literally.
“Basically, the traffic. But everything else is the same – the trees are the same, the banks are the same.
“There’s been a massive increase in traffic, but you can’t hear it from here. Whether it’s the fact we’re tucked into the hill, I don’t know, but noise has never been a problem. Even the trucks, and there’s a lot more of them, don’t worry me.”
Mrs Stewart, who was born in Oamaru and has lived here her whole life, and her late husband Graham bought the section her house stands on in about 1987, after the couple decided to move on from the Leven St property they shared for 13 years.
In those days, there was not much to see on the section.
“There was originally a great big paddock and there was a couple of horses in it .. it was an empty section for a long, long time. We bought this section and rented the house in front while it was being built.”
The two-storey house with ocean views, accessed from Nicholson Tce, was prefect, Mrs Stewart said.
“You get the sun in the morning and we get no southerlies tucked down in here.”
She also enjoyed having a good bunch of neighbours, and how handy her location was to everything she needed.
“I have wonderful neighbours. I don’t see too much of them, but you don’t get better neighbours than Sally-Ann [Donnelly, Oamaru restaurateur].
“Everyone seems to keep to themselves, really. I don’t know if people still have the time to talk much to their neighbours. When you’ve got young children, you do have a lot more to do with your neighbours, I think, but as you get older, you don’t so much.
“I like the locality, and the convenience of it too.”
Mrs Stewart said life was never dull on one of the town’s busiest stretches of road.
“It’s just incredible. There’s something happening all the time.
“You never feel lonely .. if it’s not cars, it’s people walking up and down the street. You have ambulances and fire engines going by – there’s just always something to see.”
Asked if she planned to stay in the street long term, Mrs Stewart believed that would be the case.
“I would like to think so. The house is fine .. maybe in time, I’ll move, but I don’t really want to.”