140 years of mayhem and mischief

Last year, the Ashburton Guardian celebrated 140 years of reporting. Among that coverage are many stories of mayhem and mischief, showing how nineteenth-century life in Ashburton and in Canterbury as a whole was not as mundane as one might think. Old Guardians are peppered with reports of stand-out incidents and occurrences, ranging from macabre to... Continue Reading →

  It’s no secret that some advertisements try and make the subject seem as great as possible, at least within reason, since that’s the whole point of advertising. Of course you want your product to seem like the best of its kind, the only logical option, and the best bang for your buck. However, when... Continue Reading →

Many scientific practices or areas of study that were once considered progressive or novel are now considered pseudoscience and quackery - phrenology included. You may see phrenology head models and head charts occasionally in odd shops, making the notion of the practice seem a bit “hipster”, but phrenology was as dubious as it was intriguing.... Continue Reading →

The two Emily’s

This week the Ashburton Museum continues to highlight the many interesting and capable women who have contributed to our community. We celebrate two Emily’s who were included in last years exhibition to mark Suffrage 125 celebrations.   Emily Begg Emily Maria Hill was born at Wakanui in 1875 to Charles and Maria (nee Hyde), a... Continue Reading →

The diversity of suffrage

Most will be aware that we were the first country to allow women the vote, although territories or states – such as Wyoming in America- were earlier. While we often hear the term ‘women’s suffrage’, some women, like some men, could vote much earlier than 1893. In 1876, the Municipal Corporations Act allowed ratepayers of... Continue Reading →

Slow News Days

We are no strangers to uneventful days, and it is painful to imagine how much more boring these kinds of days were a hundred years ago. Old issues of the Ashburton Guardian contain a lot of what you would expect – local developments, war updates, and pages upon pages of agriculture-centric advertising. However, it seems... Continue Reading →

Remembering Soldiers

  In 1918 Ashburton’s third Anzac Day was commemorated. The Ashburton Guardian anticipated it would ‘differ slightly’ from previous celebrations. Indeed, the government had declared Anzac Day 1918 a whole day holiday. A free day meant more time for more people to be involved, and more time for more expansive demonstrations. The proposed re-introduction of... Continue Reading →

Ashburton’s first Anzac Day parade set off from the Drillshed in Burnett Street. Already the departure point of the many farewell parades for men drafted as reinforcements, the Drillshed now saw yet another procession set off. The Citizens Defence Corps Band (formerly the Temperance Band) and the Salvation Army Band, both with their own ranks... Continue Reading →

The highly respected Robert Galbraith was Ashburton mayor from 1915-1931. It was his misfortune to be the sitting mayor during and after The Great War. His story is linked to how the War Memorial in Baring Square came about. It is a classic story of debate, intrigue, politics, delay and money. Letters to the Editor,... Continue Reading →

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