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Just by Chance(s)

June 25, 2016

Moves by Unley Council’s Administration to change the name of (probably) the city’s shortest street could sever the last remaining  physical link with one of the area’s earliest and most interesting families…

Prompted by news that Chances Lane in Parkside  was destined to be amalgamated with adjacent Park Lane, off Unley Road, “Grumpy” went to the obvious fount of all early local knowledge…Joan Praite, widow of tireless and meticulous chronicler Ron.

In their exhaustive volume recording the history of Unley from 1871 until 1971 George Payne and Elma Cosh  penned a “thankyou” …”To Ron and Joan Praite, with sincere good wishes and deep appreciation for your tremendous support and assistance”.

And it is that assistance which can set the “mystery” of Chances Lane to rest.

The threatened lane, probably the shortest bit of tarmac in the whole of Unley, owes its name to the Chance family, with William Chance, who came to the Colony in 1839, buying a block of seven acres in Mary Street at 12  pounds per acre. In 1850 Mr Chance senior took a 21 year’s lease of a block at the north-east corner of the South Australian Company’s section, known as North Unley , and established a jam factory.

A member of the Chance family is quoted in the above-mentioned book  as remembering when there were just 16 families living in  the whole of Unley, when Parkside  was owned by the Government known as “The Green Slip”, and where, in about 1846, he witnessed a native sham fight  on the site of today’s Weller Street, with five to six hundred natives present.

Fascinating stuff. All of which would make it sad to see the Chances name disappear.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian S permalink
    June 26, 2016 11:34 am

    Given the historical reference, perhaps Park Lane could be renamed to Chances lane instead?


  2. cllrmikehudson permalink*
    June 26, 2016 5:25 pm

    Now THERE’S a sensible alternative. I’ll put it up. Thanks.


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