What do you do for Halloween? Quite possibly you don’t buy decorations or festoon your home with pitchforks and slime. You or your children perhaps don’t wear a mask or scary costume to roam the neighbourhood, but perhaps you do get prepared and purchase lollies for other adventurous trick and treaters. It does seem, that of... Continue Reading →

The Bulford Kiwi

A number of people comment on how interesting they find our ‘heritage page’, many state they always learn something new. We are no different – a colleague was recently talking about how during World War One disgruntled Canterbury soldiers were forced to construct a ‘Bulford Kiwi’ on the side of an English hill. It was... 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 →

Photographs in the Archive

While the word ‘Archive’ is commonly thought of as referring to a building where old books and documents are kept, they can (and often do) include other items as well. Photographs especially are very useful tools in documenting the past. Photographs often come in to the Ashburton Museum Archive with records of clubs and family... Continue Reading →

Whale Tales

  Recently a friend of mine posted an image on Facebook that made me extremely envious. It was a rather long distance shot of a spray of water which he stated was from a whale, or possibly whales. He said that he had originally thought it was the sail of yacht but on a second... 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 →

"In the shadows of the night, a veiled woman lurked in the garden, staring at the house watching waiting. It all started with a mysterious telephone call that plunged Harriet Lacey into a suffocating atmosphere of terror. With no one to help her, she was forced to turn to Flynn, the brilliant but bitter writer,... 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 →

Does Ashburton have history?

The team from Ashburton Museum are often out in the community, talking to schools, service and special interest groups about the work that we do. We welcome thousands of visitors to the Museum each year, who gain a sense of Ashburton’s heritage and unique identity. The Museum collection is unusually large for a district the... 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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