Aug 1, 2009

Now & Then: Christchurch Unchanged

There are few views of Christchurch that have not changed signficantly in the last century, but this south-westerly aspect of the Antigua Boatsheds and the Hospital footbridge from Cambridge Terrace can be counted among them. Glimpsed through the trees to the upper Left in the drawing is the spire of the hospital's original chapel and also the water tower, which was demolished in 1946.

The 1909 pen and ink drawing is by the English artist Sydney Robert Jones (1881-1966). A notable watercolourist, etcher and illustrator, Jones studied at the Birmingham School of Fine Arts and then worked for an architectural practice in that city. After the First World War Jones specialised in depicting rustic England. He toured the country with his wife, Frances, recording in pencil drawings and water colours, English villages, cottages, and manor houses. Jones also wrote several books on the English countryside, including Old English Country Cottages, The Charm of the English Village, The Manor Houses of England, London Triumphant, etc.

As yet we have been unable to locate an historical record that indicates that a 28 year-old Sydney R. Jones visited Christchurch.


Anonymous said...

This SRJ illustration appears in a book called"Sons and Daughters of Australasia" Published by Blackie & Sons in the early 1920's. In this book there are illustrations of other Australian and New Zealand cities. The book is part of a series entitled "Our Glorious Empire. There are 5 parts, covering the Motherland, Canada, Australasia, India and Africa. Given that SRJ was a serving officer in WW1, published a book of wartime illustrations and experiences in 1919 and would barely have been demobilised, I consider that the extensive worldwide travel needed for all these views would have been impossible in the time available. Much more likely that they were produced from existing photographs to suit the printing processes available at the time.
Like you I have no evidence that SRJ ever travelled further than Prague and even that is suspect.

car maintenance said...

They mean so much to people and it is also such a tragedy to see. .... Retrofitting heritage buildings that barely have proper footings is a whole lot ... what remains of Christchurch's heritage will be demolished

Tod said...