During the mid 1960s, a few groups of heritage enthusiasts and societies all got together to open a park that would be enjoyed by the people of Canterbury. It was called the Museum of Science and Industry. We now know it as Ferrymead Heritage Park.
Several city locations were considered for the set up – such as Prebbleton – but when land became available at Ferrymead, it was thought by all involved how perfect that would be as the area was already rich with history. It was after all, where our settlers disembarked from the Bridle Path and where the country’s first railway opened back in December 1863.
So the Edwardian-era Museum opened with these societies running and maintaining their own individual interests. This almost proved to be the park’s downfall as this meant certain areas of Ferrymead would be open whereas others weren’t – being purely operated by volunteers. By the mid 1990s, there was a real threat of closure.
In 1995, the C.C.C stepped in as manager and took on the responsibility of the park’s debts. By 1998, known as The Ferrymead Park Ltd, the museum had taken on a new lease of life and secured its place in the hearts of Cantabs. At present, 19 active societies continue to make this very special place and is truly outstanding in a ‘heritage loving’ city.