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  • Writer's pictureNicole Ellwood

How did Taylors Mistake get its name?

An interesting piece of history and a remarkable set of coincidences I thought I would share with you. Not only one but THREE Captain Taylors are thought to have mistaken this beach for the Lyttelton Harbour entrance and ran aground here, all within the short space of 9 years.

1. In 1853 Captain Davidson on a barge named the Gwalior was sailing to Lyttelton, however suffering from Delirium Tremens (due to sudden alcohol withdrawal) he threw him self overboard, and control was passed to Chief Officer Taylor who is thought to have ran aground on the beach.

2. In 1858, Captain Taylor, no relation to the mate on the Gwalior, made the exact same mistake and wrecked his

vessel the Volga.

3. Even more astonishing, yet another Captain Taylor on 1864 repeated the same mistake in the American

schooner Catherine.

Perhaps anyone with the name Taylor should avoid the area...!

Taylors Mistake was previously known as ‘Te One-Poto’ by the Maori, which meant short or little beach, and is now popular with locals as a good surfing spot.

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