Music, art and war

The many musical programmes in the Ashburton Museum’s archive would originally have been kept as a reminder of a concert attended, or perhaps for more personal reasons, such as a particular connection with a performer or an especially pleasant occasion. Today our interest in these programmes goes far beyond the bare details of what was... Continue Reading →

Pancakes from the tightrope?

I spend many days scanning images. Most times they are relatively straightforward and easy to describe. Sometimes, however an odd image catches my attention and demands investigation. This image was taken from a family photo album and at first I didn’t think much of it, and even debated whether it needed to be scanned. However... Continue Reading →

I was working on a series of clipping files pertaining to local businesses. Amidst the modern articles about openings and closures, I came across an envelope with photocopied photographs of the Bank of Australasia – a building which still stands on the corner of East and Tancred Streets. I was especially interested a series of... Continue Reading →

There's always a gripping last week of the Tour de France, that most famous cycle race of all, yet equally thrilling was an early classic of New Zealand road racing. The Timaru to Christchurch cycle race was established in 1899, four years before the famous Tour de France. It was regarded as the greatest cycling test of... Continue Reading →

A story from one receipt

With fewer people using postal services and our reliance on electronic forms of communication, receiving anything in the mail these days is worthy of note. At Ashburton Museum, however, we recently received something quite interesting by post. Looking at this item – dirty, tatty and at first rather boring (it is after all ‘only’ a... Continue Reading →

Museums do many things – and amongst the things they do, collecting is central. Yet it’s not just museums that collect. Many people do. Estimates range from 30-70 percent of us being collectors, yet it’s possible that collecting is an almost universal passion. What makes a collection? While some may think a collection needs to... Continue Reading →

Gunpowder ripples

Finding items or subjects to write about for this blog isn’t always easy. As far as the objects go, I tend to write about things I like, or items that I know something about. Sometimes however I am drawn to feature an object not for its story but for what it means to me. Memory... Continue Reading →

Mr Toner’s Court Case

One of the amazing things about newspaper stories, is the unusual discoveries that can be made through them, telling of history that cannot easily be found elsewhere. One such story is the tangled web concerning Mr Toner of Alford Forest, as told through local newspapers. On 17 April 1886 the story broke of Mr James... Continue Reading →

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