Tell me by telegram: Ashburton joined telegraph system in 1871

Once upon a time, before texts, emails, and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat there was… talking to each other! Aside from sending letters, the telegraph system provided a relatively quick means of communication across Aotearoa. It developed first across the South Island and then up into the North. What was once a technological marvel... Continue Reading →

Beards and Braids

Trendy hairstyles are always changing, and these days we tend not to think much about how people tend to wear their hair. Personal preference is the norm. Trends do factor in for a lot of young people; the 'middle part' has gained popularity among Gen Z, and the classic (yet infamous) mullet is pervasive as... Continue Reading →

Old-timey Easter fun in Ashburton

Whether you like chocolate eggs or not, we can all appreciate Easter. Many people around the Ashburton District enjoy Easter as a Christian holiday, while others who are not so inclined simply see Easter as a chance to take a break. Like Christmas, it is a time for us to celebrate, catch up with friends... Continue Reading →

The Ruapuna Cemetery – Who is the Whiting Child?

An interesting comment on the early records of the Ashburton District is the information these original documents may reveal, or in some cases the paucity of information. The records (2 minute books, 3 incomplete receipt books and a Treasurer’s notebook/cashbook for 1895 - 1948) held by the Ashburton Museum for the Mayfield/Ruapuna Cemetery on Coskeries... Continue Reading →

Ashburton and the 1880 Irish Relief Fund

The Irish famine of 1879-1880, which has come to be known as the ‘Little Famine’ occurred as a consequence of poor successive harvests in the preceding years and spelled trouble once again for the general Irish population. Since the Great Famine, Ireland had recovered a great deal and had become increasingly urbanised, with a railway... Continue Reading →

Library and Council under one roof

Te Pātaka o kā Tuhituhi/Te Waharoa a Hine Paaka, Ashburton's new Library and Civic Centre, will unite the Ashburton Public Library and the Ashburton District Council under one roof - an idea that may give some of you a bit of déjà vu.

When the i-SITE moved on

In late 2020 the Ashburton i-SITE information centre building rolled off in style to start the next chapter in its life as the new clubrooms for the Mid Canterbury Aero Club. This familiar building was the second of its kind, and its departure marked the end of an era for East Street and the CBD... Continue Reading →

An egg-celent business

The phenomenon of the Ashburton Egg Circle was brought to my attention recently – it is one of those funny sounding things that once you hear it you just can’t let it go until you figure it out. Googling the term only comes up with kitchen gadgets for frying eggs – so what was this... Continue Reading →

The Tekau Story

Back in the winter of 2018 we held one of our most beloved in-house exhibitions, ‘Tekau: Don’t be Dull,’ which explored the memories associated with the Tekau knitwear company. Since then, we have learned more and more about Tekau – their products, their people, and the challenges they faced throughout the turbulent twentieth century. Recently... Continue Reading →

True Crime: Rakaia

Ever since I started writing for the Guardian and this blog, I have found myself gravitating towards the odd and unusual. If you have followed us for a while, you will remember several articles about odd photos, weird crimes and unusual occurrences involving some very unique personalities. Many of the lives we’ve talked about have... Continue Reading →

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