Sampson Avenue is located in the Links subdivision and is one of the only streets without a golfing connection.
Charles and Mary Sampson were early settlers who arrived in New Plymouth aboard the Timandra in 1842. They settled first at Henui (now Strandon/Fitzroy), before purchasing land out in Bell Block once this was opened up for settlement.
On the outbreak of the First Taranaki War they were forced to leave their land and return to the relative safety of New Plymouth. Charles joined the Taranaki Militia, while Mary and the children were evacuated to Nelson. Eventually the family moved back to their land at Bell Block (known as Langdon Farm), where they farmed until the late 1880s before retiring to live in New Plymouth.
Charles died at home on 26 May 1895, at the age of 77. Only seven months later his wife Mary died, leaving a large family including seven daughters and three sons.
The naming of the road in the Links after this large and well-respected family was a tribute to their long connection with Bell Block. Instrumental in alerting the developers to this was one of their descendants, Kinsley Sampson.
This name will be familiar to some New Plymouth residents. Kinsley’s 45-year career in local government started in 1955 at the Waitara Borough Council and ended in 2000 as general manager of the New Plymouth District Council.
His son, Nick Sampson, was a member of the well-known 1980s band the Netherworld Dancing Toys. He co-wrote their hit song, For Today, penning some of the lyrics while working a summer job in a Taranaki freezing works.
This story was originally published in the Taranaki Daily News.