The Pegasus Arms

As a Management Committee member for the Canterbury Association, I’m sure Henry Le Cren felt a sense of achievement as he made his way down the jetty from the ‘Barbara Gordon” with all his worldly belongings. His cousin John Longden was with him – what an adventure to be in Canterbury, especially with the first …

The First Fridge

It was hard for the colonists to keep their food supplies fresh, even more so during the summer without the invention of a fridge or ice box. This was where the Avon River came in handy for those living close by. Meat such as mutton placed in huge casks and then inserted into the cold …

The Edmonds

Thomas John Edmonds was born in Poplar, London in the year 1858. As a young man he worked for a several different confectioneries where he learnt the mixing of different kinds of cooking powders. It was here that Thomas began to get ideas about making his own baking powder. In 1879, Thomas married Jane Irvine …

The Albert Edward Oak

The Albert Edward Oak, the oldest tree in the Botanical Gardens. This tree was planted on the 9th July 1863 in celebration of the marriage of Prince Albert to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. This tree is now regarded to be the beginning of the gardens that we know today. Prior to 1863, the gardens were …

Elephants In The Avon

A sight that hadn’t been seen before or will be seen again!! Circus Elephants bathing and drinking in the Avon River by the Armagh Street Bridge in 1934!! They had just been a part of a parade promoting the Christchurch famous Hay’s Department Store.  They were part of the visiting Wirth’s Circus, set up somewhere …

Good Pioneer Friends

The names of Rhodes and Barker, for Canterbury historians and alike, represent a delicious smorgasbord of old photos, journals, homesteads, memorials and real-life colourful characters who made the swamps and Toi Toi of Canterbury their home. The Rhodes Brothers – William, George and Robert – had settled on Banks Peninsula – from Akaroa in the …

The Avon River (Ōtākaro)

I can’t begin to fathom how surreal the afternoon/evening of the 16th December 1850 would have been for the Deans brothers. Especially as they may have stood in the doorway of the Deans Cottage while the shrieks and shouts of two stripped down male settlers splashed about in the Avon River – their echoes adding …

The Weeping Willows Of Christchurch

The Weeping Willows of Christchurch has such a lovely sound to it 😉 By the Avon in Victoria Square, the story of Canterbury’s Weeping Willows are told on this plaque, a nearby Willow it seems standing guard 🙂 François Lelievre was born in Les Parlierre, France around the year of 1811. He grew up on …