The history of Ballantynes is explored on their website:

Ballantynes was established in 1854 and was originally named Dunstable House by its founders David Clarkson, his wife Esther, and sister Elizabeth Clarkson. They lived in a cottage in Cashel Street. Esther came from Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England and had been trained as a milliner. She imported 2 cases of straw hats which she sold, with sundry other items of clothing, from the front room. Seeing how well she was doing, David built a small gabled shop for her, which extended out to the Street frontage. In 1854, a partnership with David’s cousin, Thomas Atkinson, was established and the “New Drapery Establishment” in Cashel Street was first advertised in the Lyttelton Times on 23rd September 1854.

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We have digitised a rather splendid 1902 publication Tourists’ guide to Canterbury.

I will share some of the interesting ads and pictures from it in a series of posts - there’s lots of information about local businesses and places in 1902.