A new whale for a new generation

It looks just like the original.

Many might assume that an old friend has returned to New Brighton.

But it is, in fact, a replica.

At the Whale Pool, 1970. Kete Christchurch. PH14-307. Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Creative Commons License

Along with the lighthouse, the concrete whale has been an iconic feature of the pool at the New Brighton playground for over forty years. Known as the ‘whale pool’, such is the attachment that local residents have towards it, that when a survey was held in 2016, asking them what they expected from a redevelopment of the playground and pool, 90 per cent of the respondees stated that they wished for the whale to remain.

Children of Christchurch were first introduced to the whale in 1971, when, after years of planning, the playground opened on 16 December.

The origins of the playground lie in the formation of the New Brighton Pier and Foreshore Society which was established in 1964 to save the historic New Brighton pier (built in 1894) from demolition. Although the pier was eventually demolished in 1965, the society continued to serve the community. In 1967 the organisation decided to build a children’s playground and pool.

The northern carpark by the beach was chosen as the location, and in 1968 proposed designs were made. In the following year they were submitted to the Christchurch City Council but these were rejected as inadequate. To remedy this, the society hired a professional architect to bring their plans up to a required standard. Eventually these plans were scaled down, and when presented again to the council in 1971, they were approved. The pool and playground were completed in time for the summer holidays.

Like many of the other paddling pools in Christchurch, the whale pool was damaged during the February 2011 earthquake. Repairs were made and the pool officially reopened on 17 November 2012.

Whale Pool Re-opening Day – 17 November 2012. Kete Christchurch. Whale_Pool_Re-opening_Day_-_17_November_2012__DSCF3403. Creative Commons License

As early as 1998, there had been discussions surrounding the concept of a saltwater hot pool complex at New Brighton. After the restoration of the whale pool, the idea was raised once again. In December 2016 the council approved the funding for the Beachside Playground and coastal protection works to be carried out by Development Christchurch Limited. Construction on the new playground began in August 2017 after a sod turning ceremony was held.

Although it was initially planned to keep the old whale (but with a new water jet installed), an engineer’s assessment found that it would not survive the relocation. Given that it was important for the whale to remain a part of the playground, a fibreglass mould was made and a replica whale produced. The ‘clone’ of the original was set into place on 5 December.

The new playground (complete with replica whale) is scheduled to open on Wednesday 20 December 2017 at 10.30am.

Find out more

Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017 – The winners

Christchurch Photo Hunt poster 2017Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way was the theme for 2017.

This year we had some excellent individual photographs and collections submitted telling wonderful stories of people, family and Christchurch. Thank you so much for sharing your memories and contributing to our photographic history.

This year’s judges were Sarah Snelling the Digital Curation Librarian and Masha Oliver, Information Librarian at Central Manchester Library joined by Jacqui Stewart from the Kete Christchurch Team. They met on 27 November to decide on the winners in the categories of Places – Your landmarks in time, Your People – How we lived, and an overall winner.

All category winners and highly commended entries win a book prize.

This year’s entries

Photographs date from 1913 to October 2017 and it has been a great to receive so many photographs from the 1960s, 70s and 1980s. Of note is the collection of photographs from Cynthia Roberts. These photos document women involved in the Christchurch Women’s Resource Centre in the 1970s.

The judges noted that this year the photos reflected Christchurch’s social history, depicting everything from anti-nuclear awareness and anti-mining protesting to Cantabrians at work and play. We also see buildings and landscapes that have been lost due to development and earthquakes.

Several entries are recent photographs beautifully highlighting the magnificent landscape we live in.

Overall winner

Rehua Marae, 1980. Cynthia Roberts. 

Rehua Marae, 1980
Hui at Rehua Marae. Carolyn with pram, 1980. Rehua Marae by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This image was awarded the overall winner for multiple reasons. One of the judges commented that so much was being told by the photograph it has an almost illustrative quality to it. A strong composition is balanced by the people in the foreground.  This photograph was taken in 1980 and shows Māori, Pākehā, a family group and people of different age groups. The woman with the pram and suitcase fits in with the “finding our way” theme. The image shows people in places and a sense of community spirit.

This photograph is part of a wider collection that Cynthia submitted focusing on people in the 1970s and 1980s. Our digital heritage collection has really been enhanced by Cynthia’s photographs.

People

Winner

Group by Lyttelton Harbour, 1948. Doug Bovett.

Group by Lyttelton Harbour
Group by Lyttelton Harbour by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Doug’s image is part of a wider collection of twelve photographs taken by his mother in the late 1940s. The collection shows pictures of a group of friends that caught the daily train from Rangiora to Papanui High School and went tramping and socialised together, showing what young people did in their leisure time.

The judges fell in love with the images of young women enjoying themselves and living life in post WWII Christchurch.

It was noted that this photograph has a feeling of a modern selfie and that really not much changes in 69 years. Teenagers still hang out and take photos of themselves. It was also commented that the clothing was not the active wear and shoes we wear now but everyday clothes, maybe even school uniform.

This collection continued the story of a photograph on Kete Christchurch that we published as a post card for this year’s Photo Hunt. Doug’s collection has told more of that story.

People – Highly commended

Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening, 1976. June Hunt.

Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening
Making a Yogi Bear Snowman in the evening by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

June Hunt’s photograph of the snowman was highly commended as this photo and her other submissions show her story and everyday family life in 1970s Christchurch. The excitement of the first snow, the clothes people wore and what people did in their leisure time.

Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu, 1930s. Bryan Bates.

Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu
Masons preparing stone for the Memorial Church Tai Tapu by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ license

This photograph was judged as highly commended as it tells such a lot about what was happening in post-WWI New Zealand. We can see what men wore to work – craftsmen doing a trade that may have been in its decline. The depiction of stonemasons working on stone to build a church when so many of our stone churches has gone after the earthquakes is also significant.

Leader of the band, 1913. Name withheld

Leader of the band, 1913
Leader of the band by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This photograph is one of the oldest we received this year. It shows Fredrick Wilson the leader of the Stanmore Brass band in 1913.  The Wilson family ran the tearooms at the Sign of the Bellbird and Fredrick also helped Harry Ell build the walking tracks.

The image shows what people did in their leisure time and a bygone era when nearly every suburb had a brass band.

Charlotte on a motorbike. 1923. L Sullivan.

Charlotte on a motorbike, ca. 1923
Charlotte on a motorbike. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Charlotte is 18 years old and dressed in her boyfriend’s clothes riding his motorbike that she liked riding fast. The photograph was awarded a highly commended. It shows an adventurous young woman who had a long life in Christchurch. She travelled throughout Canterbury on the back of her boyfriend’s bike, “finding their way”.

This photograph continues the theme of many of this year’s submissions, strong women enjoying life in Christchurch.

Places

The images in this category included landscapes, images of Banks Peninsula, interiors and buildings.

Winner

Rugby match at Lancaster Park. 1960. Des Pinn

Rugby Match at Lancaster Park
Rugby Match at Lancaster Park. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This image was chosen for several reasons. It shows a crowd at a rugby game at Lancaster Park – they may be leaving after a game. Socially it reminds us of what many people did regularly on a Saturday afternoon, what people wore and what people did in their leisure time.

A judge also commented that it feels like the crowd escapes the photo.

Places – Highly commended

Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co. Ltd, 1979. Alan Tunnicliffe.

Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co. Ltd
Kaiapoi Woollen Manufacturing Co.Ltd by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This photograph was taken in 1979. We have very few photos of the city at this time and the photograph shows a lost city scape, specifically the east side of Manchester Street between Allen and Eaton Streets.

Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009. Phil Le Cren

Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009
Shag Rock, Sumner Beach, 2009 by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

An image of iconic Sumner at sunset. Taken in 2009 the landscape was dramatically altered by the earthquakes.

Men’s Toiletries Department at Hays, 1960. Des Pinn.

Men's Toiletries Department at Hays.
Men’s Toiletries Department at Hays. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

This a unique image as it shows the interior of a shop in 1960, and it shows a display introducing Old Spice.

Totara tree, 1995. Merle Conaghan.

Totara tree
Totara tree by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ License

Merle’s photographs taken while out on Banks Peninsula with her walking group have added greatly to our collection. She highlights the varied landscape found on Banks Peninsula, from the coast to the rugged hills.

The Totara tree looks like a sign pointing in several ways tying in nicely with the “finding our way” theme.

We welcome submissions of photos, information and stories to Kete Christchurch at any time.

Ballantynes’ Fire 70th Anniversary – 18 November 2017

About 70 years ago, on 18 November 1947, should you have been wandering down Cashel Street towards Colombo shortly before four in the afternoon, you would have seen a strange sight: Ballantynes co-owner, Kenneth Ballantyne, climbing down the parapet of his storefront. Flames all around him, he is the last to escape the Ballantynes’ fire with his life.

41 other people were not so lucky.

Rescuing Mr. Ballantyne from the Burning Building on Colombo Street, Christchurch. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0018.
Rescuing Mr. Ballantyne from the Burning Building on Colombo Street, Christchurch. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0018.

This Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of the Ballantynes’ fire. If you would like to learn more about the tragic sequence of events that unfolded in 1947, Christchurch City Libraries has a digital heritage resource containing transcripts and images, among other resources, to help you paint a picture.

Firemen at Ballantynes Fire 1947. Kete Christchurch. PH14-001.jpg Creative Commons License

Photos are our glimpses of the past, and you can browse spectacular photographs taken of the Ballantynes’ fire through the following sources:

Aerial View of the Gutted Shell of the Three-Storied Department Building. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0016.
Aerial View of the gutted shell of the three-storied department building. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0016.
Battling the Flames: Tense Firemen in Action. CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0017.

More resources about the Ballantynes’ Fire

Gallops – and they’re off and racing!

https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/758060037_harrySaturday 11th November marked the beginning of the NZ Cup and Show Week 2017 in Canterbury. Every year during the middle of November, Canterbury celebrates the province’s anniversary holiday.

Will you be going to the A & P Show or having a flutter on the horses? I love the gallops events at Riccarton Park Racecourse. The thrill of their speed pumps my adrenaline.

Find out more

Students Avon River Bike Race: Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017

Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.

Christchurch City Libraries has produced a set of four postcards promoting the competition which are available from your local library. Each week during October we’ll be featuring one of the postcard images on our blog.

Students Avon River Bike Race by kevinkemp. Kete Christchurch. Avon_bike_race.  Licensed under a CC BY 3.0 NZ License.

Avon River bike race for University of Canterbury rag day.

About Kete Christchurch

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

Bathing beauties at Corsair Bay about 1920: Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017

Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.

Christchurch City Libraries has produced a set of four postcards promoting the competition which are available from your local library. Each week during October we’ll be featuring one of the postcard images on our blog.

Bathing beauties at Corsair Bay about 1920. Kete Christchurch. PH13-127. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Bathing beauties at Corsair Bay about 1920. Neck to knee bathing costumes and what looks like a shower cap for a bathing cap. Mother and daughter Alice and Venis with two cousins.

Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt.

About Kete Christchurch

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

A 1920s bloke’s shed at 60 Aikmans Road, Merivale: Picturing Canterbury

A 1920s bloke’s shed at 60 Aikmans Road, Merivale. Kete Christchurch. Pearce_family_photos_45. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

A 1920s bloke’s shed at 60 Aikmans Road, Merivale. This shed held the prized family car, the motorbike, tools and was also used for the family business. Arthur James Pearce did his cobbler work in this shed. This shed was every 1920s mans dream, hence why it got its own photo! Taken by Arthur Cyril Pearce in about 1920.

Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt

Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.

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

Hang gliding – Port Hills: Christchurch Photo Hunt 2017

Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.

Christchurch City Libraries has produced a set of four postcards promoting the competition which are available from your local library. Each week during October we’ll be featuring one of the postcard images on our blog.

Hang gliding – Port Hills. Kete Christchurch. Hang_gliding_-_Port_hills_2966945852_o. Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Unknown group hang-gliding on Port Hills.  We were passing by and saw them.  It was a relatively new sight in Christchurch in 1976.

Photograph by Irene Absalom.

Date: 1976.

File Reference: HWC08-SO100

Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt.

About Kete Christchurch

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

From the Sign of the Takahe: Picturing Canterbury

From the Sign of the Takahe. Kete Christchurch. PH13-135. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

Taken from the Sign of the Takahe out a window across the Canterbury Plains to the Southern Alps.

Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt.

Photo Hunt 2017: Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way

This year the theme for Photo Hunt is Plains, Port Hills & Peninsula – Finding our way. However, the photos you submit are not limited to this theme. We invite you to share any of your photos and help grow the city’s photographic archive. All entries must be received by 31 October.

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

Isaac House

Isaac House stands in solitary splendour on the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets. Located at 779 Colombo Street, it is a Category 2 listed heritage building in the distinctive Georgian Revival style. It was completed in 1927 for Henry Owen, proprietor of chemists
Cook and Ross. If — like me — you are a fan of this architectural style, 69 Worcester Street is another fine example.

The owners of  Isaac House kindly let the public in to have a gander yesterday to see how they have restored this gem. Here are some photos from the past, and yesterday.

Male and female cabin crew of TEAL standing at the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets [ca. 1960] CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0044
Male and female cabin crew of TEAL standing at the corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets
[ca. 1960]
CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0044
National Bank
National Bank 1963. Corner of Colombo and Armagh Streets. Flickr HW-08-FE-12
Victoria Square and Armagh Street
Wednesday 17 September 2014. Flickr 2014-09-17-IMG_2188
Isaac House
Wednesday 11 October 2017. Flickr 2017-10-11-IMG_3833

More about Isaac House