Dry Docks and Sunspots

People are always trying to predict and speculate on the future – it’s often more important to us than the present. Whether we are thinking ahead at work, checking the weather, or making financial decisions, the future is always on our minds. The distant future, too, is often the subject of much discussion and thought,... Continue Reading →

Frank Guinness: entrepreneur, activist, magistrate

Ashburton’s magistrate in 1879, Frank Guinness, a grandson of the famous brewer, was not afraid of controversy and had a strong, even extreme, sense of his own authority. When he wanted something, he usually got it. Sometimes, however, he was on the receiving end – especially when he met the Ashburton Wizard, who may have... Continue Reading →

A tiny museum

Ashburton District is lucky to have a wealth of museums – from the relatively large Ashburton Museum, Aviation, Vintage Car, Lynn Woodworking and Plains Vintage Railway and Historical Museums, to the relatively small Staveley Museum, Mt Somers’ Foothills Museum, and Corwar Lodge near Barrhill. The Methven Heritage Centre includes several museum activities, including the New... Continue Reading →

Looking back at the Radiant Hall

If our past exhibitions at Ashburton Museum can highlight how a magnificent story can come from just one object, this is particularly true with the Radiant Hall exhibition. While Meet You At the Radiant Hall ran way back in 2017, we were once again reminded of it with our exhibition, Ashburton: Feels Like Home from... Continue Reading →

The Namesake of Our Valetta

While the team at Ashburton Museum were working on Ashburton: Feels Like Home, our 2019 Spring exhibition, we became even more interested than usual in all the things that make this district feel special and familiar. Home is a big theme, and it was especially interesting trying to tease out the myriad sights, ideas, experiences... Continue Reading →

Models that Feel Like Home

One exhibition we put on in 2019 at Ashburton Museum proved to be close to the heart of many locals. It was titled ‘Ashburton: Feels Like Home’ and included all kinds of quirky and iconic items and images that are a reminder of why this place is special to so many people. Among the exhibition... Continue Reading →

End of the Line

When I was a very young child living in Ireland, I had an ungodly obsession with trains. I loved everything about them – there was just some elusive appeal that drew me to anything that slid on rails and went “choo-choo”. I loved my Thomas the Tank Engine toys so much that I used to... Continue Reading →

Mount Somers Letters

Among the staff at Ashburton Museum are many volunteers who undertake various roles. Some act as receptionists, welcoming and assisting visitors with our popular programs, activities and research enquiries. Others help care for collections. A few transcribe records to provide access to fragile or interesting items that it would otherwise become damaged by use. Transcribing... Continue Reading →

Ice Ice Baby

The winter months means trying to find activities that are fun, even in the freezing cold. Ice skating is just one of the many activities that was, and is still, enjoyed by the people of the Ashburton District in winter. As times have progressed and fashions change, so has ice skating fashion! Long coats, fancy... Continue Reading →

More damaged negatives

Photographs from the Ashburton Museum collection are among the most popular items for visitors. We get countless enquiries from people seeking images of family members, events or places around our district. With over six million images in our collection, we can usually find what people are looking for. Many of these images have featured in... Continue Reading →

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