Williamstown Historical Society is hosting a display of Streets with Stories at the Mechanics Institute.

Museum director Ada Ackerly said the history of Electra Street, where the institute is located, would form part of the History Week display.

“Electra was a Royal Navy ship that looked after the Port of Melbourne during the gold rush,” she said.

“Probably the most interesting streets are the ones that were named for admirals. So, you’ve got Horatio Nelson, which is Nelson Place. You’ve got Sir Hyde Parker, who is Parker Street.”

“You’ve got Rear Admiral John Pasco for Pasco Street.

“When Governor Bourke came down to have a look at how everything was going to be set out, he told the surveyors what he wanted.

“He had a look at Williamstown and he said, right, I’ll have this street for my daughter, Ann, and this street for my son-in-law, ED Thomson – it didn’t have a ‘p’ on it when it first started.”

Ms Ackerly, who has been researching Williamstown’s history since about 1970, said often a street was named after a well-placed person to curry favour.

“In those days it was patronage and so you were going to go back to England and you wanted a good job when you went back so you’d name them for admirals, you’d name them for privy councillors, you’d name them for dukes, you’d name them for Lord this and Lord that.”

The display is on October 24-25, from noon to 5pm. Inquiries: 93971534.