Bon Scott Crescent and Jimmy Little Street, fancy living in a Moncrieff street named after an idol?

Bon Scott Crescent and Jimmy Little Street, fancy living in a Moncrieff street named after an idol?

What part does a street name play in your decision to buy a home? On the whole, probably almost none, but perhaps in Moncrieff diehard music fans will hanker for an address that commemorates an idol.

Bon Scott Crescent will surely be a target for fans of the AC/DC frontman, who died in 1980 aged just 33, but whose It's A Long Way to the Top is no doubt still bellowed in the shower by late-middle-aged fans home alone.

AC/DC in Sydney in 1976.

AC/DC in Sydney in 1976.

Photo: L. Thomas

Moncrieff's streets are music themed, named after dead Australian musicians and entertainers.

Jimmy Little Street might appeal to the romantics, O'Keefe Avenue to ageing rockers, Amphlett Street to fans of the Divinyls' Chrissy Amphlett, and Slim Dusty Street to just about everyone.

Chrissy Amphlett on stage in Melboune in 1991.

Chrissy Amphlett on stage in Melboune in 1991.

Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

But it's not all international trail-blazers or rock, pop and country. Moncrieff features some whose achievement was more local, such as Hoffmann Street, named after Canberra band leader and music critic Bill Hoffmann.

Bernard Heinze​ Avenue commemorates a professor of music and conductor, and Ruby Hunter Rise an aboriginal musician and partner of Archie Roach.

Mummery Terrace is named for Australia's most celebrated tenor of the interwar years, Joseph Browning Mummery, who sang at Dame Nellie Melba's farewell performance of La Boheme at Covent Garden in 1926. Dame Nellie Melba herself isn't featured in Canberra's musical suburb, since she already has an entire suburb named after her, plus three streets – Melba Court in the eponymous suburb, and Melba Place and Melba Street in Downer.

Musical instruments also get a look-in at Moncrieff, with Crackerjack Way named after the Australian brand of mouth organ, Warup ("wa-roop") Street after a Torres Strait Islander driftwood drum, and Yidaki​ Way after the north-east Arnhem Land name for the didgeridoo.

Jimmy Little at his home in 2009.

Jimmy Little at his home in 2009.

Photo: Janie Barrett

Plus there's Bandstand Street, named for a show that screened from the first years of television in Australia in 1958 to 1972. It launched, says Planning Minister Mick Gentleman, the careers of Col Joye, Little Pattie, the Bee Gees and Olivia Newton-John – none of whom are featured among the Moncrieff place names in their own right, presumably on account of still being alive (except in the case of two of the Gibb brothers). Street-names policy dictates that names will not be used till at least a year after a person's death.

The suburb itself is named for soprano Gladys Moncrieff, who starred in musical comedies and operettas and entertained troops in World War II, and is remembered by the Place Names Committee as "a legend in Australia in her lifetime".

The suburb name is not to be confused with Moncrieff Street in Dickson, which is more prosaically named after Alexander Moncrieff, "noted engineer; responsible for many South Australian public works and utilities".

Mr Gentleman said the names had been researched by the ACT Place Names Unit, including nominations from the public, and were then recommended by the ACT Place Names Committee after consultation with the families involved.

Co-chairman of the committee, Jeffrey Brown, who is surveyor-general of the ACT, said as a keen harmonica player, he was particularly delighted at the choice of Crackerjack Way.

Moncrieff is perhaps the lucky suburb in the choice of a musical theme. Another new suburb, Denman Prospect, has been given the much more weighty theme of "activism and reform".

Kirsten Lawson

Kirsten Lawson is news director at The Canberra Times

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