The roaring twenties

While for many the roaring twenties evoke thoughts about the USA, Great Gatsby and feather headbands, there is actually a lot to be said about the 1920s in New Zealand. Radio, cinema, gramophones, motor cars, electricity, fuel, the broadening of educational and professional sectors and cities were all expanding as ‘modern’ New Zealand came of... Continue Reading →

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 →

The Topp Twins: A Kiwi History

In late 2019, the Ashburton Museum hosted Te Manawa Museum's popular exhibition ‘The Topp Twins: An Exhibition for New Zealand’. It celebrated the outstanding contribution these inspiring women make to our nation’s social, cultural and political landscape. The Topp Twins relates well to our small town, kiwi can-do attitude common to many communities around New... Continue Reading →

Kia ora Ashburton

While increasingly English became the dominant language of New Zealand, these new New Zealanders were also interested in what gave their new nation a unique identity.

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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