The Crystal Palace Theatre

What was left of the Crystal Palace Theatre was demolished in 1986, I would have been 10.  My love for movies (and Christchurch’s history too actually) was planted in me when I was very young. During the school holidays, my mum and I would bustle down to the bus stop outside the Caltex Petrol Station …

First Ground Broken For Streets

Thanks to what has been stolen by the earthquakes, it is really hard to recognise where this photo (top left) was taken…trust me, I was standing there and couldn’t believe the changes all around me and I knew the street well. Embedded into the very pavement is a plaque acknowledging the spot where the very …

Chancery Lane

From 1851 Dr. A.C. Barker had always had problems with others concerning his plot of land on the corner of Cathedral Square, where the former Government Life Building is awaiting to be demolished today.  Nicknamed the ugliest building in Christchurch, it has never the less – since the 1960’s – cast its shadow over the …

“…out of that we had to make our home and live.”

“It appears that, as usual, these settlers have been deluded by having had their expectations raised to an unreasonable pitch. They appear very well pleased with the country, but evidently had been lead to expect comfortable dwelling houses and every other accommodation prepared for them”. Charles O. Torlesse (Canterbury Association Surveyor) – 5th January 1851 …

View of Cathedral From The Ugliest Building In Christchurch

This great photo was in The Press last year (2012)! The Government Life Insurance Building, dubbed the ‘ugliest building in Christchurch’ was demolished by CERA due to quake damage. This photo was taken during its construction in 1962. The site of the Government Life Insurance building once belonged to pioneer doctor and artist/photographer Dr. A.C. …

Memories of Elizabeth Hawdon nee Barker

Elizabeth Barker was the eldest daughter of Dr. A.C. Baker and his wife Emma. The Barkers arrived in Canterbury aboard the ‘Charlotte Jane’ on the 16th December 1850. Emma was pregnant with Elizabeth during the voyage. The couple already had three boys. Elizabeth was born on the morning of the 15th March 1851 under a …

The Press – since 25/5/1861

Nihil stile quod non honestum – Nothing is useful that is not honest – The Press – www.press.co.nz motto.So true. The Press are onto something!I was completely ecstatic to see this in the foyer of the new Press Building on Gloucester Street.This pillar displays the very first edition of The Press, dated 25th May 1861. …

William Francis Warner (1836 – 1896)

Growing up with older siblings, it was common place for my sister to get all dolled up and head out to meet with friends at Warners, the pub and hotel in Cathedral Square. Old Warners didn’t fight well against the earthquakes and is now an empty lot. The old historic icon in Cathedral Square is …