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 →

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 →

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 →

Papers on Canvas

One never knows what will be donated to Ashburton Museum and last year a rather large and old piece of canvas was brought in, which contained a number of seaman’s discharge papers and letters dating from the 1860s that once belonged to Robert William Shearman. The canvas and papers turned out to be an important... Continue Reading →

  One of our popular exhibitions from last year was Make, Do and Mend. It promoted the idea of recycling and reusing items in clever ways. Today these principles are part of a philosophy of reducing waste to save the planet. In the past, however, people made, mended or reused items because it made economic... Continue Reading →

  We live in a highly globalised and connected world. Worldwide shipping and communication networks have intensified and become less costly over time too, meaning that it is now normal for us to do something like purchase an item that was produced in another country while out shopping. Evidence of international and intercultural sharing of... Continue Reading →

Japanese gifts

As in many societies, gift giving is a very important part of Japanese culture. In Japan, as in New Zealand, gifts are given on anniversaries, weddings, births, graduations, housewarmings and so forth. Children's achievements are also celebrated with gifts. Omiyage | お土産 and temiyage | 手土産 are two important types of gift given in relation... Continue Reading →

Renting a flat can be a massive headache – challenges often come in many forms such as appalling flatmates, black mould, inadequate insulation, and so on - but none of these come close to the hardships faced by early European settlers. Polynesian settlers, upon their arrival in New Zealand, quickly utilised their prior knowledge of... Continue Reading →

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