Henry Upfield, the founder of Bayswater, was an ambitious man with a ludicrously poor grasp of the facts of geology (as can be readily seen by the name he gave the first locality he founded). But he was far from done, even as the mockery of Bayswater grew ever louder. Shutting his ears to the naysayers, Upfield attempted to work out why his new township was not attracting many settlers, and eventually came to the conclusion that it was lack of work. (In truth, this being the 1850s, it is far more likely that the answer was ‘lack of gold’).
Upfield was capable of reading a map (though not of understanding that locations like Lemuria and Atlantis probably didn’t belong on them), and realised that Bayswater was far too distant from the city when the fastest means of transit was horseback. Still anticipating the realignment of coastlines that would vindicate his naming choices at any moment, Upfield hit upon the idea that his new bay would be a thriving port, boasting the finest shipbuilding facilities the Southern Hemisphere had ever seen (or possibly, had seen since the sinking of lost Mu). And the rounded valley immediately to the east of Bayswater seemed tailor-made for these purposes: in his mind’s eye, Upfield saw it as a bustling port thronging with ships of all nations, a place where captains in need could put in to have the repairs they so desperately needed made.
The crown of all this activity would be extensive drydock facilities, and it was their honour that the area was named – or possibly, Upfield honestly believed that he’d be able to flood and drain it as needed. It seems insane, and yet oddly plausible for a man of his eccentricities (Upfield was too wealthy to have derangements, or even peculiarities). And so it was that the only place in the world to be named after the empty part of a drydock came to be. It’s been the Basin ever since, in name at least…
Suburbs near The Basin: