On 18th November 1874, town and country met with the opening of the Addington Saleyards.
The birthplace of what would become the yards began in the early 1860’s with the building of the Carlton Hotel on the corner of the North Town Belt (Bealey Ave) and Papanui Road. Publican Alfred Money soon realised that most of his punters were farmers, drovers, abattoir staff or dealers in town on business. So, with the remaining seven acres of his property, he constructed stockyards and soon the place took on a life on its own. It became too small for the business it attracted and this resulted in the opening of the Addington Stockyards on the West Town Belt (Deans Ave).
The complaints were instant! The Riccarton Road Board was formed mainly to deal with these complaints; its first job on the list was to get rid of the Addington Stockyards. As livestock was droved in on foot, it was dangerous for those caught out on the streets and bad for your garden if you left your front gate open. And the stink!
The stockyard stood their ground, liking their location as it was near the railway and three main roads (Moorhouse, Blenheim and Riccarton). They stayed in business for 123 years. Nearly three million pigs, four million cattle and sixty million sheep went through the yards by its 100th anniversary.
The forsaken administration building that has just been demolished (as of 2014) was built in 1954. As 2014 draws to a close, the fate of the 4.5 hectare site is still unknown. Whatever happens, it will be another chapter of Christchurch’s rebuild.
*Image courtesy of Rural Livestock Limited – http://rurallivestock.co.nz/*