True Crime: Rakaia

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 →

Mr Walker Likes Stale Bread

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.

Spreading the Word

As time went on, the world benefited from rapid advances in the typesetting and printing sectors – Ashburton included. In the early days of New Zealand’s European settlement, it was a sign of progress and advancement to have a local newspaper in your town – sometimes more than one!

The Soaring Southern Cross

An article from the Ashburton Guardian, 26th of January 1928, mentions one attempt to fly across the Tasman by a Lieutenant Moncrieff and Captain G. Hood, who “met an unknown fate in the attempt to fly over the Tasman Sea.” Not long after this incident, on the 11th of September that year a very special Fokker Trimotor dubbed ‘Southern Cross’ made the first Trans-Tasman flight with legendary pilot Charles Kingsford Smith at the helm.

Snow on the Alps

For many of us, winter is a time of shivering through our time spent outside, finding refuge in a cosy blanket and a hot drink whenever we have a minute to relax.

No job too tough

While conducting some research for a member of the public, Senior Curator Maryann Cowan discovered the exciting legacy of yet another interesting Ashburtonian – that of Mr. James Russell Richardson.

The Doctor and the Deputy

Not only are medicine and doctors important in everyday life, but back when Ashburton was in its infancy, people often took up more than one vocation due to lack of residents – doctors included.

Proper Papers, Pretty Pictures

The Ashburton Museum is home to countless documents, diaries, pamphlets and books – we seem to have examples of just about every kind of archival material relating to Ashburton District and its history.

More district mischief

It's that time once again! At the Ashburton Museum we often come across some strange things from day to day, including odd and interesting stories from the archives.

Albert Ager, an architect of note

Albert Ager was an architect from Christchurch who briefly made his mark in Ashburton during the late 1890s and early 1900s. Ager trained at the School of Architecture at Canterbury College, Christchurch. It seems that before coming to Ashburton, he lectured at the School of Art. He delivered a series of lectures on the history... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑