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Correction – Black Tunnel of Death

Posted by SC Comments Off on Correction – Black Tunnel of Death

I have recently had informed representations about my former use of  “Milk Track” for the cutting between Seaview Road and Beach Valley Road.

Having been challenged about where this name came, I have had to confess I do not know. Furthermore, having searched archives, oral histories and records, I cannot verify it. Consequently, I categorically withdraw all mention of “Milk Track”.

I must say the name never did make any sense. Mrs Ketterer, in Beach Valley Road, opposite RSA, had the historic milk supplies, collected by locals in a billy from a large container. All of us swung the billies of milk on the way home, marvelling that not a drop was spilled. But that would not explain why one particular track was called “Milk Track”.

I recall it being called “The Shortcut” or “The Cutting” which has some logic, as it saved the longer route down Seaview Road.

I am told there is convincing oral history evidence that the proper name should be “Black Tunnel of Death”. I will not go into the complex origins of this name, surfice to say it was the demise of many a young person who tried to negotiate it in pitch black. “Black Tunnel of Death” has a much more vernacular authentic Piha ring about it that the rather wishy-washy Milk Track.

Anyway, till evidence is presented to the contrary, Black Tunnel of Death it shall be on this website. This “complaint” was raised with me in the context of the “Black Tunnel” being recently sealed, sanitised and made white. Stumbling around Piha in the dark is a time-honoured tradition and there are fears that suburbanisation is taking all the risk, and the fun, away.

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