Ferrymead: Fifty years of ye olde memories

Ferrymead_Heritage_Park__8_April_2012__SAM_4889_medium
Ferrymead Heritage Park, 8 April 2012 #SAM 4889 (Cecil) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Ferrymead Heritage Park* is something of a Christchurch institution. Certainly when I was growing up any visit by out of town relatives was an excuse to take in the sights, and Ferrymead was on the top of the list.

To me, it has always been “old”, replicating, as it does, an Edwardian, early 1900s village. Given that the park has always been “stuck” in the same era it seems odd to think of it as a product of the 1960s, but in fact it is. It started in 1965 as the Museum of Science and Industry and Ferrymead celebrates its 50th anniversary this Labour Weekend.

Fifty years is quite an achievement for any tourist attraction, which by their nature tend to come and go with changing fashions.

The location of the park is significant as it was one of the first places new colonists came to after travelling the Bridle Path over the Port Hills. From 1851 a ferry service took them across the Heathcote River to the meadow on the other side, hence the name “ferrymead”.

Ferrymead_tram_2_October_2011_202sml
Ferrymead tram 2 October 2011 (D M Robertson) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

In 1863 it was from Ferrymead that the first public rail services began, transporting goods and people that travelled from Lyttelton, into Christchurch. So it’s no surprise there’s such a strong rail history presence within the park.

The park itself is run by The Ferrymead Trust, which is actually a collection of individual societies that care for and maintain the various attractions and exhibitions within the park.

What are your best memories of Ferrymead? The Print shop, the schoolhouse? For me it’s the smell of cream buns wafting from the bakery.

Read more about Ferrymead

*formerly Ferrymead Historic Park

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s