Ever since I started writing for the Guardian and this blog, I have found myself gravitating towards the odd and unusual. If you have followed us for a while, you will remember several articles about odd photos, weird crimes and unusual occurrences involving some very unique personalities. Many of the lives we’ve talked about have... Continue Reading →
Dotted around the old estates and stations lay the homesteads (or what is left of them) that housed many farming families throughout the district’s early history.
It was early June in 1940, and the Radiant Hall was abuzz with all the activity that comes with preparing for a new show. While standing there watching the stage and scenery fall into place for the Repertory Society’s play “The Last hour,” Mr J Dundas Walker, who took the principal role in the play, shared some of his reminisces with a Guardian reporter.
From its practical uses in surveying to the novelty factor of seeing your house from above, everyone can agree that aerial photography is a very useful, if not purely interesting, form of photography.
Tancred Street was once an entertainment hub for Ashburton – what is now a set of unassuming offices used to be the St James Theatre, formerly His Majesty’s Theatre. The theatre was popular and successful throughout most of its life, from His Majesty’s Friday night opening in August 1912 through to St James’ closing in... Continue Reading →
An early image of the Ashburton railway station entrance. The Ashburton Railway station was once a social hub of the town: a place where goods and people moved from one place to another. There were two earlier stations - the first was built in 1874, when it took 72 minutes to get from Christchurch to... Continue Reading →
Spending months at sea aboard merchant ships was an ordeal for many – death and sickness often marred such voyages, but the story of Henry Knight and his family’s journey aboard the clipper Merope in 1879 shows a more hopeful side of the nineteenth century immigrant experience.
Other than a scant few mentions, the story of Ashburton’s seventeenth mayor, who suffered an untimely and sudden death at the age of forty one while in office, has not been presented in full since 1988.
There is something unique about photographs from the nineties – through them we peer into a world that still feels and looks very much like the present at first glance, until the illusion is shattered when you take a closer look.