Musical Architecture of Band Rotundas

Brass bands developed as a popular form of musical entertainment in the late 19th century. By the early 20th century, many businesses and suburbs had their own bands, which would play for the public at weekends and during celebrations, as well as compete in competitions.

Sydenham Park : with reading room, band rotunda and water tower. [ca. 1900]. CCL PhotoCD 5, IMG0069
Sydenham Park : with reading room, band rotunda and water tower. [ca. 1900]. CCL PhotoCD 5, IMG0069
Band rotundas were built in many public spaces across the city to create permanent outdoor locations for the bands to play in and to help to project their music into the surrounding area. The rotundas also provided a space for public speeches and commemorations.

The opening of the Bandsmens Memorial rotunda, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch [19 September 1926] CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0068
The opening of the Bandsmens Memorial rotunda, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch [19 September 1926] CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0068
The band rotunda on Sumner beach [1911] CCL Photo Collection 22, Img01269
Edmonds Band Rotunda, viewed from Oxford Terrace [ca. 1930] CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0072
General view of pier and enclosures : showing terminus of two trams and pier front. [ca. 1920] CCL PhotoCD 18, IMG0020
The oldest band rotunda in Christchurch was built in Latimer Square. This was relocated to Victoria Square in 1894, and later moved to Waltham Park after the Edmonds Band Rotunda was opened on the Avon in 1929. The Edmonds Band Rotunda, built in the High Renaissance style, was gifted to the city by Thomas Edmonds as part of a River Bank Improvement Scheme.

Another band rotunda built in the 1920s was the Bandsmen Memorial Rotunda in the Botanic Gardens, but this was built for very different reasons. This was the first memorial in New Zealand to be erected to the memory of bandsmen who died in the First World War. This rotunda was designed in the Classical style and was completed in 1926.

The Rangiora Fire Station, North Canterbury: Picturing Canterbury

The Rangiora Fire Station, North Canterbury. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 5, IMG0012.

The Rangiora Fire Station, North Canterbury  [ca. 1900].

The fire brigade was formed in 1874. The sheds at left were built in 1877 to house the engines. The bell tower was built in 1896 to replace an old one.

Do you have any photographs of fire stations in Christchurch and Canterbury? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

The Rangiora Fire Station, North Canterbury

Messrs Minson & Co.’s Premises, Colombo Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

Messrs Minson & Co.’s premises, Colombo Street, Christchurch [1898]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0020.
This was for many years a leading Christchurch crockery and glassware store. It was opened on 1 Jan. 1857 in Colombo Street by William Neeve, an ironmonger, who owned it for 16 years before selling it to John Hallifield Spencer in 1873. Later owners were James Mortlock and Thomas Hudson who traded as Mortlock and Hudson. In 1892 William Minson took over the business, renaming it Minson and Company. The shop was situated at 220 Colombo Street, Sydenham.

Do you have any photographs of former Christchurch businesses? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Messrs Minson & Co.’s Premises, Colombo Street, Christchurch

Lighthouse, Akaroa: Picturing Canterbury

Lighthouse, Akaroa [1898]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 9, IMG0091.
The Akaroa lighthouse began operation in Jan. 1880 with an oil-illuminated light. It was converted to electric power from a diesel generator in Nov. 1951 and later to the mains power supply. It operated manually from Akaroa Head 1886-1977, when it was replaced by an automatic light. The building was shifted to Akaroa township in Oct. 1980.

Do you have any photographs of the Akaroa lighthouse? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

The Hanmer bath-house buildings for the hot pools at Hanmer Springs built in 1904: Picturing Canterbury

The Hanmer bath-house buildings for the hot pools at Hanmer Springs built in 1904 [ca. 1910]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0033.
Although known to Māori, and later used by local European settlers, a bathing facility at the hot springs in Hanmer Springs was not constructed until 1883 by the Government Lands Department. Ever since, the bathing facilities have featured in tourist promotions and guidebooks for Canterbury.

Do you have any photographs of Hanmer Springs? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Undergraduate students in gowns in the quadrangle on their way to lecture rooms, Canterbury College: Picturing Canterbury

Undergraduate students in gowns in the quadrangle on their way to lecture rooms, Canterbury College [1926?]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0085.
Founded in 1873, Canterbury College (now the University of Canterbury) was the second oldest university in New Zealand. The university was originally situated in the precinct of heritage listed buildings which is now known as the Christchurch Arts Centre prior to its relocation to the Ilam campus (beginning in 1961).

Do you have any photographs of Canterbury College? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

A section of Armagh Street, Christchurch: Picturing Canterbury

A section of Armagh Street, Christchurch [1899 or 1900]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0024.
Horses were volunteered by the public for use by the New Zealand Rough Riders in the South African War (1899-1902). Here sixty of them are seen being officially inspected outside the Rink Stables of W. Hayward & Co. at 199 Armagh Street. Fourteen of them passed all tests and were taken to camp that night. Fodder was supplied by George Treleaven & Co., produce merchants, of 193 Armagh Street and shipped to South Africa for the horses.

Do you have any photographs of Canterbury’s involvement in the South African War? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Digging up the past

New Zealand Archaeology Week runs from 28 April – 6 May, with events up and down the country, including an exhibition courtesy of Underground Overground Archaeology at our own South Library called Pubs of the Past: the archaeology of Victorian Christchurch Hotels, so this seems like a good time to mention some of the archaeological books, magazines, and other resources that you can find at Christchurch City Libraries.

Books

The Library has thousands of books and eBooks about archaeology for both adults and children. Because archaeology lies at the interface between art, history, and science, books on this subject can be found in several different places among our non-fiction collection, so if you’re having troubling finding what you’re looking for, then ask a librarian for help.

Here is a list of a few of my personal favourites that have recently been added to the library’s shelves, including some fiction that features archaeologists as characters…

Archaeology

List created by robcruickshank

Books about archaeology and archaeologists for adults and children, including both fiction and non-fiction

The 50 Greatest Prehistoric Sites of the WorldCover of The 50 greatest prehistoric sites of the world – A guide book to archaeological sites

A’a – The fascinating story of a Polynesian artefact, now in the British Museum, that became an inspiration for Picasso

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes – The consequences of an archaeological hoax come back to haunt the characters of this 1956 novel

Built on Bones – What happened when we started to live together in cities? – the archaeological evidence

Cover of Cigars of the PharaohCigars of the Pharaoh – A classic!Cigars of the Pharaoh

The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders – Not just archaeology, but I love this children’s “lift the flap” bookThe Incredible Cabinet of Wonders

Keeping Their Marbles – The uncomfortable story of how archaeological objects from around the world were acquired by western museums, often by coercion and theft

Cover of A little history of Archaeology by Brian Fagan

A Little History of Archaeology – Stories of some of the great archaeologists and what they found – one of the “Little Histories” series

Lost in A Pyramid – Twelve tales from the golden age of the mummy story, collected and published by the British Library

Mayan Mendacity – The second mystery for Dr Elizabeth Pimms, archaeologist and librarian – sequal to Olmec Obituary

My Life in Ruins – What is it actually like to be an archaeologist?

Cover of The quest for ZThe Quest for Z – A delightful retelling for children of a doomed expedition to find a lost city in the Amazon jungle

The Story of Tutankhamun – A beautifully illustrated book for children about perhaps the most celebrated of ancient Egyptian pharaohs

View Full List

Magazines and eMagazines

The magazine Archaeology is available both as a hard copy and as an e-magazine through RBDigital. Check out the January/February 2018 edition for an article called “New Zealand’s First City, Uncovered”, which tells the stories of the early European colonists of Christchurch through some of the artefacts found among the rubble in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes, as well as presenting evidence of earlier occupation by Māori dating back as far as 1250 AD.

We also have many other general science and history magazines that include articles about archaeology, such as All About History, BBC History Magazine, DiscoverSmithsonian Magazine, etc., in both hard copy and digital formats. Check out the library catalogue for details.

eResources

A library card gets you free access to a huge number of electronic resources that contain information about archaeology, many of which can be accessed from home. The best way to find out about these is to log on a take a look. In particular, you might want to check out some of these:

These are in addition to our extensive collection of eResources about local and family history. If you are a Christchurch resident, but not yet a member of the library, you can join online, with the option of a digital only membership if you just want access to our online resources.

Other places of archaeological interest in and around Christchurch

Fans of Egyptology should check out Tash Pen Khonsu, an Egyptian mummy on display at Canterbury Museum. For those with more classical tastes, the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, run by the University of Canterbury, is well worth a visit. This relatively new museum opened in May 2017 and is located in the recently refurbished Arts Centre on Level 1 of the Old Chemistry Building at 3 Hereford Street. It is currently closed, but will re-open during New Zealand Archaeology Week on 5 May with an exhibition called “Beyond the Grave: Death in Ancient Times”.

More information about archaeological sites in Christchurch can be found on the websites of Christchurch City Council and Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as the Historic Places Trust), which has an extensive archaeology section that includes a wealth of fascinating and useful information, and of course on our own Library Website.

Happy digging!

Map of a scheme suggested by the Port and City Committee showing a new road tunnel to Lyttelton: Picturing Canterbury

Map of a scheme suggested by the Port and City Committee showing a new road tunnel to Lyttelton [1926?] Port and City Committee (Christchurch, N.Z.). File Reference CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0001.
“An aerial view showing Christchurch in relation to the magnificent natural harbour of Lyttelton, and the proposed highway and vehicular tunnel through the barrier of the Port Hills which, in conjunction with the present railway, will enable the city to employ modern transport methods in the carriage of goods and passengers to and from the ships.”

Date: c.1926

Although a rail tunnel linking Lyttelton to Christchurch had been in existence since 1867, it wasn’t until 1956 that legislation was passed allowing for the construction of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel. Construction began in 1962 and was completed in 1964, opening on 27 February.

Do you have any photographs of the Lyttelton Road Tunnel? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Map Of A Scheme Suggested By The Port And City Committee Showing A New Road Tunnel To Lyttelton

Credo DK Eyewitness eBooks for Kids

Credo Reference is a great series of online eBooks that you can search and browse. Filled with pictures as well as information, they make a perfect starting point for that school project, or a interesting resource to satisfy a curious mind. Keep the kids entertained (and still learning) in the holidays, with this collection of eBooks.

Whatever they want to do when they grow up, we have it covered.

Meteorologist

Palaeontologist or Archaeologist

Astronaut or Astrophysicist

Geographer

Marine Biologist

Historian

Spy