'Hallelujah' after Baldwin St loses title

Reaction has been mixed to the news that Dunedin's Baldwin St has lost its title as the world's steepest street, one resident greeting the news with a "Hallelujah".

Ffordd Pen Llech, a street in the North Wales town of Harlech, was this morning officially awarded the title of World's Steepest Street on the Guinness World Records website.

Baldwin St has last its status as the world's steepest street. Photo: Linda Robertson
Baldwin St has last its status as the world's steepest street. Photo: Linda Robertson
Long-time resident Liisa Tate-Manning said she had endured the disruption caused by tourists while living on the street for about 30 years.

That included tourists parking over her driveway or peering in her windows, although most were polite, she said.

Asked for her reaction to the announcement, Ms Tate-Manning said simply: "Hallelujah!''

She hoped the crowds would get smaller, but expected many would continue to visit "because it is a tourist attraction''.

"It's not their fault, because they are brought here by tourist buses.''

Some residents were less keen to talk to media, including one man, emerging from his home, who brushed past the ODT while refusing to discuss "trivia''.

The Otago Daily Times visited Baldwin St this morning and found a steady trickle of tourists climbing the steep incline.

Among them was Kathryn Ruge, of Christchurch, who was with her children - twins William and Daniel (both 12) and daughter Lucy (15).

Mrs Ruge said her sons' birthdays were tomorrow and, as she was in Dunedin for a visit anyway, felt climbing the steepest street in the world was a good way to mark her boys' final day as 12-year-olds.

The news Wales had taken the title from Dunedin was "a bit distressing really''.

"It's a New Zealand icon, like the jaffa. The two go together.''

The change meant the family might have to "doctor our photos to say the second steepest street in the world'', but she would visit again anyway - especially given the attraction was free.

The new title also had a ring to it, she believed.

"It has the honour of being formerly the steepest street in the world.

"It's like 'the artist formerly known as' - it's the street formerly known as the steepest in the world,'' she said.

Another tourist, Venus Yeh, of Taiwan, was visiting Dunedin as part of a tour group with her family.

She said was "a little bit disappointed'' to hear the news, but the street was still "beautiful'' and very steep, leaving her "very tired''.




I have no doubt Baldwin St actually is still the steepest.
Britain lost the longest place name to NZ many years ago, so one way or another they weren't about to lose this one too.

Only a few are saying Hallelujah so I wouldn't use that as a headline unless ODT is saying that too. I would like to see how Guinness came to their conclusion. However Dunedin never really realised how famous the street was, just like Invercargill has little idea how famous their march is. On that basis there is a famous 'Dunedin March' composed by the worlds top march composer but bet you no one in Dunedin knows that. Yeah this street should have been supported better by DCC and perhaps a bit of "roadworks" done. Those I spoke to in DCC brushed it all off.

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