Camden_St.jpg Camden Street sign (2011). Mike Gooch. Word on the Street image collection.

Camden Street is located off the northern end of Huatoki Street in Vogeltown. The English city of Plymouth also has a Camden Street and ours is named after this.

The likely origin of both street names is Camden Town in Greater London. Charles Pratt, an 18th Century barrister and politician was the first Earl of Camden and the area he presided over was once owned by William Camden.

William Camden was a well-known antiquarian, scholar, author, teacher and librarian in 16th Century England.

One of his more famous works was the Britannia, a historical and topographical study of Britain and Ireland. It was written in Latin, but was translated into English and several editions were published. He has been described as an affable character that made a considerable contribution to Britain's scholarly knowledge.

The Camden Society was named in his honour. This later merged with the Royal Historical Society and historical research through the society continues today. A memorial bust stands at Westminster Abbey, where he was buried after his death in 1623.

Famous in Camden Town is the popular Camden Market, located in a previously stagnant part of the town. It began in the 1970s and became known for its mix of bohemian clothing stores, eclectic goods and diverse entertainment venues. It's a unique and intriguing London tourist destination.

An early owner of the market was the architect and developer Bebo Kobo. A native of Israel, Kobo has been involved in several global projects, transforming economically and socially depressed spaces into vibrant cultural hotspots. It is fitting that someone slightly mysterious has had such an influence on Camden Market.

Equally fitting is the parallel between William Camden and Bebo Kobo, with their respective contributions of scholarly and cultural wealth to the Camden Town.

This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.

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