Feb 28, 2008
Feb 27, 2008
4 April 2008 - Christchurch newspaper The Star reports that Barry King (82), who operated the city's oldest bicycle shop from the premises for 63 years has sold to new owners who will renovate the building for commercial use.
Feb 26, 2008
8 March, 2008 - 9th Anglican Bishop of Edmonton, Matthews, who was nominated twice as Canadian primate, pulled the church in a more conservative direction...
Scots Highlander 'Jock' Mackenzie became one of New Zealand's most enduring folk heroes when he was arrested for stealing 1000 sheep from The Levels station, near Temuka.
Mackenzie's daring exploits won him the admiration of many of the marginalised; small would-be farmers wanting their own land, or resenting the power of plutocratic wealthy landowners, could identify with him, as could those who didn't fit the smugly Puritan mould of bourgeois Canterbury society.
Theatre Royal Celebrates a Century
The third Theatre Royal, which stands opposite the original site in Christchurch's Gloucester Street East, opened on the 25th of February, 1908 with a performance of the Broadway Musical The Blue Moon.
There is a display of theatre programmes from the last 100 years at the Christchurch Central Library (25 February - 16 March 2008, daily 10:00am - 4:00pm). The presentation also includes a 1997 documentary film Shadows on the Stage. Narrated by Judy Newburgh, an Usher at the Theatre Royal for over forty years, the film reveals not only the theatre's history and architecture, but also a behind the scenes account of life at the theatre. The screenings are every hour between 10 am and 4pm.
Feb 23, 2008
The Canterbury Heritage Biographical Index indicates that between 1863 and 1875 not less than 40 emigrants from the Shetlands and 19 from Orkney settled in the Province.
Feb 22, 2008
Hay's subsequently became Haywrights in 1968 and then Farmers in 1987. The old building was demolished in 1997, but the new Farmers department store is but a fraction of the size of its famous predecessor. More on the Christchurch Libraries' Heritage web site.
Feb 21, 2008
Now enjoying a revival, this was something of a daring architectural experiment for the time. But its acceptance is evidenced by Mountfort's use of the same cladding on the 1875 Administration building & Surgeon's premises for the Christchurch Hospital.
Situated in Rolleston Avenue on what is now part of the site of Christ's College, the building was demolished in 1919. However, the original door and portico survive as a gate between the College grounds and the Botanical Gardens.
Note: the use of corrugated iron as roof cladding does not appear in the Canterbury photographic until 1879. Thus "restored" buildings predating that year and sporting an iron roof are not authentic. Prior to the 1880s Australian hardwood shingles were the most common form of roof cladding, with Slate tiles as a more expensive option.
Feb 20, 2008
The 1866 Yellow Pages, extracted from the same source, lists all agencies of government and commercial enterprises at the port.
Feb 19, 2008
Feb 18, 2008
In 1892 forty-eight year-old William Minson arrived in the city with a young family. Settling at the "The Hollies," on the banks of the Heathcote river in Opawa, he purchased a hardware shop originally established in 1857 by William Neeve. As Minson & Company he turned the business into a replica of the old family crockery and glassware emporium at St Ives in Cornwall.
With what was probably the best range and quality in the city, Minson flourished to the extent that he moved the shop further up Colombo Street into the 1882 three-storied Compton House. In 1912 he extended the premises through to Gloucester Street. Succeeded by Arthur William, the oldest of his three sons, Minson died in 1925 aged 81 and now lies in Linwood Cemetery.
Carville Stewart recalled Minsons in the late 1920s: '... a long narrow shop on Colombo Street, north of Cathedral Square, that sold good quality china, cutlery and glassware - they kept a great deal of their stock on island displays alongside a central aisle that ran down the length of the store. The floor was wooden and when you walked down that very long aisle, every piece of china, on every one of those island displays, rattled alarmingly. It sounded as if every piece of expensive china was going to fall off and break into a thousand pieces - quite terrifying for a shy little boy who just wanted to see the Micro Models at the back of the store."
Externally, the building will be sheathed in stone for the first six levels with a pyramid on the roof, serving both as an architectural feature and a platform for generating energy.
The pyramid assembly will support solar water heating panels and may also house a wind turbine beneath the apex. These systems will generate energy for the building and the national grid. The pyramid will also be used as a communications tower and become a distinctive landmark on the city skyline with an illuminated beacon at the top.
The ground floor plan includes a restaurant and a cafe-cocktail bar with hotel reception. Levels 17 to 20 will include eight three-bedroom apartments.
Moved in 2005 by the Lions Group to the grounds of Waimate Museum, the Mayor addressed a crowd in a top hats and coat tails yesterday at the re-opening of the restored School.
Feb 17, 2008
From here horse-drawn fire engines, with steam-powered pumps, sped along Lichfield Street to quell the Great Fire of Christchurch; sixteen substantial inner city buildings were gutted that Summer's evening, a century ago.
On the South-west corner of Madras and Lichfield Streets, the building was remodeled in 1927 by the remarkable Charles Luney (1905-2006) and occupied by Radley Brothers, Produce Auctioneers, for the next four decades. Herbert Edward (Bert; 1902-1975) and Geoffrey Radley's business soon became the city's largest wholesale produce market.
By the early 1970s the introduction of supermarkets and processed food effectively brought an end to the produce markets, which had been a feature of this area since the days when "Cabbage" Wilson had his market gardens here in the late 1850's (William Barbour Wilson was also the city's first Mayor).
With a Taekwondo Centre upstairs, Turner's Car Auctions subsequently occupied the street level until 1993. Since then the old Fire Station has been the city depot of Ricki Shaw's Apex Car Rentals.
This study of cultural evolution, scheduled to appear Feb. 19, in the online Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, compares the rates of change for structural and decorative Polynesian canoe-design traits.
Deborah S. Rogers and Paul R. Ehrlich
16,837 Teddy Bears (along with their friends) attended the World's largest Teddy Bears Picnic in North Hagley Park.
Feb 16, 2008
Bob Waitt and his chum Joe Thomas arrived at Wellington in 1840. Robert Waitt (1816-1866), a 24 year old canny Scot settled at what was then known as Te Aro Beach, establishing himself as a General Merchant, Agent, Auctioneer, Importer, Exporter and Coastal Trader. Joseph Thomas (1803-1881), a former Army Captain, joined the survey staff of the New Zealand Company.
Described as an engaging character the eccentric Waitt, a Wellington Municipal Councilor by 1842, sealed his letters with a neat Dinna Forget in place of the usual crest or monogram. In 1850 he opened a branch of his business at Lyttelton and by 1854 had also leased the Motunau station from Edward Greenwood. To the North of the Waipara River, and then known as Double Corner, he renamed it Teviotdale Station (in his text Waitt refers to Motunau as Motinua).
Fellow run holder Charles Cox described him as a red-faced man with tow-like white hair, large prominent tusks of teeth, and abundant evidence of being addicted to tobacco for chewing purposes. A picturesque story-teller, his friends are said to have known him as "white-headed Bob, the liar."
At some time between 1854 and 1857 Waitt purchased the 50 acre Casterton estate in the Heathcote Valley from the Reverend Robert Paul, where he is described as a Gentleman by 1860 - a presumption that would probably have invited ridicule in his native Jedburgh. He died, aged 50, in 1866 and is buried in Christchurch's Barbadoes Street Cemetery. Survived by only one of his three children, he was thereby the grandfather of Leo Acland, author of the renowned The Early Canterbury Runs.
The ostensible recipient of Waitt's loquacious paean led the Canterbury Association's 1848 preliminary expedition. Acting as the first resident Agent and Principal Surveyor he appears to have offended many of the 110 Europeans employed in the early development of the Theocratic Utopia. Said to be overbearing, unreliable and impulsive, the large, burly and bespectacled Thomas was unable to brook advice or opposition.
The opinion of his assistant Edward Jollie was that Thomas was not altogether in his right mind, "...he had had so many losses from putting trust in other people's honesty that he had become suspicious of everyone. He was however a very honest and hard working administrator of affairs for the Association..."
Joseph Thomas' boss arrived at Lyttelton in April 1850, expressing dissatisfaction at what he considered the excessive expenditure on some of the works which Thomas had thought necessary. The eventual consequence being that Thomas left the Province in January 1851, departing the colony permanently in the following year.
Perhaps one of the least fortunate aspects of his legacy was a refusal to allow his assistant to include broad avenues and crescents in the city plan, describing them as mere "Gingerbread."
However, Waitt's contemporary perspective on the early development of the Province makes for an interesting read.
The Progress of Canterbury : A Letter Addressed to Joseph Thomas, Esq., Late Principal Surveyor and Acting Agent of the Canterbury Association
Feb 14, 2008
The adjacent Church bought the late 1880s house in 1961 and opened the club the following year. By the late 1980s it had become the Cleopatra's on Avon restaurant. Now sporting a most exotic interior the old building is partially obscured by the facade of the Indochine restaurant, as it is now known.
To the Right in the earlier photo is the 1873 Primitive Methodist Church, destroyed by arson in 1981.
The house to the Left at 207 Cambridge Terrace was probably built about 1873 on to the front of an earlier two-roomed cottage. It first enters the photographic record in 1878 and the porch was a later addition.
Demolished in 1965 it was replaced by the commercial photographic studios of Mannering and Associates Ltd. Subsequently the premises of Diederik van Heyningen's Lightworkx Photography, in 2008 it's the design studio of Sons & co.
At street level of the recently restored Edwardian baroque England Brothers House and opposite the Schools of Jazz and Fashion on lower High Street, the Globe is situated at the center of student and arty life at the funkier end of town.
The Nation and the State
How has the writing of history, especially the scholarly aspect of it, been associated with the nation and the state?
Memory and History
Why do historians change their view of what's important? Who decides what's important anyway and what do they use as their sources?
Families in history
How does our relationship with our ancestors change our view of history? Can we ever escape from our family and should we want to?
Individuals in history
Is there something about the way we think that changes the way we remember history? When it come to our memory of big events, do our minds play tricks on us?
Completed in 1874, the Club building on Cambridge Terrace was situated next to the original home of the city's first Bishop. Built by the civil engineer Henry Cridland in 1851, it was the first dwelling West of the river.
An archaeologist was on hand yesterday to search for artifacts under the foundations of the Canterbury Club's caretaker's cottage on Worcester Boulevard. As part of the club's $5.5 million upgrade, the 19th century cottage is being relocated.
Feb 13, 2008
Normal life was disrupted and by the time the epidemic had passed 458 people had died (out of a population of 92,773). The nearby Royal Hotel and even the Bishop's residence became over-flow wards for the afflicted.
Seated in front of his house, with his wife and two of his eleven children, is Fortunatus Evelyn Wright (1829-1912).
In a frontier town, where too many middle-class parvenus (with some of the veneer, but little of the substance) described themselves as "Gentleman," Forty Wright was the real McCoy. Descendant of French Dukes and the author John Evelyn (1620-1706), he was Canterbury's first Postmaster General.
Manager of the city's first Bank in 1856 and Consul for Sweden and Norway, Wright was also a director of the New Brighton Tramway Company and a Justice of the Peace.
Also among a litany of distinguished forebears was his namesake; the English privateer Fortunatus Wright (1712-1757). However, he should best be remembered for a paper that he read to the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury in 1873; On the desirability of dedicating to the people of New Zealand small areas of land assimilating in character to the village greens of England.
Newspapers took the matter up and the recreational reserves that abound within the garden city are his lasting legacy. But the recreational reserve that once formed part of the grounds of his home is named after a local politician...
Shown above in a circa 1875 photograph, the eighty year-old mansion was demolished to make way for a much smaller house in spacious grounds, where archaeological evidence of its predecessor continues to be revealed in an extensive organic garden.
The previously unidentified lower photograph is in the collection of Christchurch's Canterbury Museum.
The company is proposing to construct a new multi-storey building behind the facades of the 1877 Palace Hotel and the 1876 second Theatre Royal in Gloucester Street. More...
The Press, Wednesday, 13 Feb 2008
Feb 12, 2008
Approximately 1,470 historically significant photographs are restored and added to the archive each year. The next update will be 31 March 2008.
Amuri Motors was the local agents for Studebaker and the British Standard and Triumph cars, which were assembled at the NZ Motor Assemblies Ltd factory on the South side of Tuam Street at the Fitzgerald Avenue corner.
Built on the site Doctor Edward Jennings' ostentatious Otakaro House before 1918, the garage first appears in a 1928 streetscape, at which time the business was the agency for the American Dodge Brothers automobiles.
Demolished in 1965, the old name survives as the Amuri Courts building.
Feb 10, 2008
Originally a residential area, the 1933 purchase of Llanmaes House (subsequently the Student Union and now the Dux de Lux restaurant), completed the acquisition by the University of the block enclosed by Worcester, Hereford, Montreal Streets and Rolleston Avenue.
The Medieval Gothic Revival buildings have comprised the Christchurch Arts Centre since 1991.
From the top; 1877, 1878, 1882, 1891 & 2007.
Feb 9, 2008
The older photograph shows Dunstable House at the corner of Colombo and Cashel Streets burning, with a loss of 41 lives.
It boasted a separate ladies' dining room, thereby preserving the refined sensibilities of the town's matrons from the rough and ready manners of the seamen and wharfies who frequented the popular Fish & Chip eatery.
But perhaps Luney's most significant offering to posterity was his eldest son; Charles Seymour Luney (1905-2006). Into his late nineties the city's most renowned builder continued to preside over the enterprise, which constructed many of the more significant buildings of his century.
Barely recognisable in its current incarnation, the early 1870s building is now an apartment duplex.
Archaeologist Kiri Petersen has been checking out the Heaton Street site prior to work on a new courthouse beginning and located a pit containing hundreds of bottles dating back to the 1870s.
The site was probably that used by a bottling factory for five or six years in the 1870s-1880s, according to South Canterbury amateur historian Jeremy Sutherland who has researched the history of South Canterbury breweries and bottling companies.
He suspects Mrs Petersen had located an area where the bottling company dumped its broken or unusable bottles.
The Alton Brewery began production in 1873 on the site now occupied by the Countdown supermarket. It later became the New Zealand Breweries and operated through to the mid 1970s.
Mr Sutherland said it was possible the bottling company had bottled both beer from the neighbouring brewery as well as bottling aerated drinks.
He noted virtually all the torpedo shaped bottles recovered were damaged, which supported his view it was the dump of a commercial operation. The bottles could either have been broken by youngsters attempting to get the marble out, or the glass might have gone cloudy making it unsuitable to be reused.
Mr Sutherland said it was common for brewing and bottling companies to dump bottles on site. When the nearby brewery site was cleared 12 years ago, three old wells were located. Each had been filled in using bottles and other rubbish.