Angles, Sights and Sounds

While researching for one of our past exhibitions, Ashburton: Feels Like Home, the team at Ashburton Museum got to know a lot of areas of our district a little better, through some very quirky stories, objects and archival records.

Not everything we found made it into the exhibition, but we did end up with a fascinating range of material on display. From softly coloured aerial images of the town and district, models of familiar landmarks, to curious objects that helped tell the story of our district.

For visitors, one of the favourite (or to young people, mysterious) items was a school strap, cut into 19 pieces, which was donated to Ashburton Museum by an ex-Lynnford School pupil who remains anonymous.

Another much loved item, for those of a certain generation, was the Snowdrop sign from the popular ice-cream factory and shop, once located at the north end of East Street.

And for those with an interest in music, one unique item was a ‘Hymn to Lowcliffe’ handwritten in an exercise book titled ‘Songs and Rhymes’ that belonged to John Brown as a 21 year old bachelor teacher at Lowcliffe School. Dated 1899, the book includes an early style of musical notation and Mr Brown’s own lyrics.

While these items represent some interesting angles, sights and sounds from throughout our region, we also noticed a range of images that gave similar indications.

As they couldn’t all fit in the exhibition, they are featured here as a reminder of some different views of what makes this place special, as we come to the end of this very popular exhibition. 

By Rosie Twamley and Tanya Zoe Robinson

This article was originally published in the Ashburton Guardian, 12th of November 2019.


  1. A common location for all ‘Ashcoll’ students and visitors, the auditorium, as seen from student height.
  2. While some may not enjoy change very much, it is a part of a towns history.  With Mobil and the Post Office not there anymore, these photos tell the story of change in Ashburton, as seen from the walkway on the railway overbridge.
  3. Seen from a low pedestrian angle the iconic clock tower is a towering sight that’s quarter-hour sounds help Ashburtonians tell the time. Now covered in flashing lights, it’s also a great visual attraction.
  4. Being overshadowed by the Clock Tower and tall trees is the Grigg Statue in Baring Square, an important part of Ashburton History. Before drones, images like these required a nearby tall building or structure to climb.
  5. The cars out the front of the building look a bit different today! But the Ashburton Public Library is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, as seen from the end of the Ashburton District Council offices.

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