Naming Christchurch – Local street and place names

”]Cars, bicycles and a bus create a busy scene at the Bank corner, Christchurch [ca. 1930]Want to find out how and why Christchurch streets and places got their names? Christchurch street and place names is the resource for you. It aims to give the origins of Christchurch street and place names. Information has come from published works and anecdotal information.   

It is researched and regularly updated by Margaret Harper (Aotearoa New Zealand Centre, Christchurch City Libraries) and if you would like to contribute, please contact us.   

Did you know Antigua Street used to be called Windmill Road?  It is one of the original streets of Christchurch, named by surveyors Joseph Thomas and Edward Jollie. The names of these original streets were taken from bishoprics listed in Burke’s Peerage, and included familiar streets like Antigua, Barbadoes, Cambridge, Cashel, Chester, Colombo, Durham, Gloucester, Hereford, Kilmore, Lichfield , Madras, Manchester, Montreal, Oxford, Peterborough, St Asaph, Salisbury, Tuam and Worcester.   

Free fun for the kids this holiday

TumbleBook Library is an online collection of  animated talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading. TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book.  Kids love to play with these interactive books -I promise you peace and quiet …

TumbleBooks are designed to be experienced in either automatic or manual mode. In automatic mode the pages turn by themselves and are narrated – while in manual, the narration is turned off and children turn the pages and read at their own speed.

  • Story Books: Old time favourites such as “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, as well as newer titles like “Matthew and the Midnight Tow Truck” and “Abra Cadabra and the Tooth Witch”.  Plenty of titles to interest boys and girls.
  • Chapterbooks: Older students can read classics such as “Black Beauty” and “Matt Christopher: Goalkeeper In Charge”.
  • NonFiction books: “Animals in Camouflage” , “Who Likes The Rain?” and “Meet The Meerkat”
  • TumblePuzzles and Games: A collection of online puzzles, concentration games, spelling games that reinforce concepts from the book featuring a picture from the book.
  • Language Learning: A growing selection of bilingual books in mainly French and  Spanish.

You can access Tumblebooks and many other useful databases from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries.

In A Strange Room

In my blog about two weeks ago: My Pub Quiz Fantasy  – The Man Booker Prize, I hoped that In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut would be this year’s Man Booker winner. Well, I’ve just finished reading it and I no longer care if it is the Booker winner or not. I just want other people to read it. I want to share it. It’s that good.

Three stories make up the book: The Follower, The Lover, and The Guardian. Galgut is the central character throughout. In each story he fails either to follow, to love or to guard. But put that way off to one side because he excels as The Storyteller in prose that is clean, compelling, almost hypnotic.

Arguments against this novel as a work of fiction seem spurious. All memory is fiction. Try comparing your memory of an event with someone else’s. Greg and I can barely agree as to the exact sequence of events on The Night Of  The Earthquake and that was only a month ago. I rest my case. Galgut gets round this by writing mainly in the third person “he” and then unexpectedly switching to the first person “I”. He explains this early on in the novel on page 5:

“He sits on the edge of a raised stone floor and stares out unseeingly into the hills around him and now he is thinking of things that happened in the past. Looking back at him through time, I remember him remembering, and I am more present in the scene than he was. But memory has its own distances, in part he is me entirely, in part he is a stranger I am watching.”

Needless to say book clubs  around the world can expect me to foist this latest Galgut on them. As a tribute to his writing I will finish off in Galgut style:

She knew she would put this latest book into her book club. She could see her lovely friends skirt it warily, see people pick it up and put it down. She could feel that they would rather have had another Jodi Picoult. But I don’t care, I want to share this with them. I want us to remember this book together.

Someone out there, read this book. Share your comments. I am lonely here in my one woman Damon Galgut Fanclub!