Sumner Gas Works, two views, 1958 and 2010: Picturing Canterbury

Sumner Gasworks, two views, 1958 and 2010. Kete Christchurch. PH14-MaNo-SumnerGasworks-2Viewsl. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

View 1958: This is taken from a clay bank, looking down over the Sumner Gasworks on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Truro Street, Sumner. We lived in the stoker’s old home showing at the top left of the GasHolder ( which is still there today). Probably a rare view of the Gasworks which really doesnt seem to have had many photos taken of, apart from by our family who lived there about 45 years. The accompanying photo of my painting ( with the much smaller Gasholder ) is of the opposite view from our front door area.

View 2010: Triggered by the Sept 4 2010 Quake, I painted this watercolour of the Sumner Gasworks, which was situated on the corner of Wakefield Ave and Truro Street. My Dad, Roy Bradley, was a stoker there for 23 years from 1937 and stoked the last retort on Mon 20th Feb 1961. The Stokehouse was Demolished in 1970.

This is the View I lived with for 20 years. Is from our old home, the Stoker’s house next door. Painted mainly from memory with the help of a pencil sketch of my dad’s, and the background of a photo of family member. I’ve painted the Gas Holder much smaller than it was (artistic licence) as you will see in the other photo.

The painting view was just painted in 2010 but from sketches, old photo and memory. It is not how the Gasworks looked in 2010 as it was closed in 1960 and gone with-in a year or 2. I’d say the view I painted could be also dated as 1958 ( but painted 50 years later).

Date: 1958, 2010

Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Margaret Norwood.

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

Do you have any further photographs of the Sumner Gasworks? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

A Good Deed: Picturing Canterbury

Photograph of a carved meeting house
A Good Deed. Kete Christchurch. A_Good_Deed_5133408218_o. Entry in the 2010 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. CC-BY-NA-SA-3.0 NZ.

My great grandfather and his wife arrived in New Zealand November 1859 on the Zealandia. Parents told me John Hepworth did a good deed for a Māori chief and was presented with a Huia feather. The feather was in the possession of my father’s older brother .. in about 1940 … [but]  the  … family can no longer find the feather. I believe but am unable to confirm that the European man with the hat on in the photo is my G[reat] Grandfather.” – John Hepworth, Christchurch, 2010.

Date unknown but probably late nineteenth century.

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

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Ōnuku Church, 1940: Picturing Canterbury

Ōnuku Church, 1940. Kete Christchurch. 1940_Onuku. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

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

Do you have any further photographs of Ōnuku Church? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Winter in Canterbury: Picturing Canterbury

A selection of winter themed photographs from Kete Christchurch

Gilberthorpe Cottage in Snow 1945 by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Winter in the Garden City, by photopix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Snow at New Brighton Whale Pool, 2011 by heath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Snow in Early Akaroa by jan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Antigua Boat Sheds in snow by CityScape is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Christchurch Railway Yards and Gas Works, July 1978, by Kevin Hill, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Three views of the big snow of 1918, by CCL Photo Hunt, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Snowfall on Riccarton Road 1976, by CCL Photo Hunt, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Fun in the Street [Melrose St, 1945 Christchurch Snowstorm], by CCL Photo Hunt, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.
Snow on North Beach, 6 June 2012, by Gina Hubert, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License.

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

Do you have any photographs of winter in Christchurch and Canterbury that you would like to contribute to Kete Christchurch?

Harold Parsons, Horse and Cart: Picturing Canterbury

Harold Parsons, Horse and Cart, 1915. Kete Christchurch. PH14-AlTu-harold_parsons_-_horse_and_cart. Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Alan Turner. CC-BY-NA-SA-3.0 NZ.

Harold Parsons in suit with three children. Child on Harold’s knee is Basil Turner (later general manager of Turners Office Products, Colombo & Tuam St), others unknown.

Location: St Martins, Christchurch.

Date: circa 1915

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

Do you have any further information about this photo? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Old Accommodation House: Picturing Canterbury

Old accommodation house. Kete Christchurch. Pearce_family_photos_21. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0 NZ.

Old accommodation house, location unknown, date unknown but probably in the 1930s to 1950s.

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

Do you have any further information about this photo? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Boot Repair Shop: Picturing Canterbury

Boot repair shop. Kete Christchurch. Boot-Repair-Shop-. Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt. CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0 NZ.

Boot repair shop. Location unknown, but could be near the railway as there is a tank in the background. Somewhere around Waltham / Opawa, 1920s.

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

Do you have any further information about this photo? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Bishopdale 2017 – The Christchurch Documentary Project

The Christchurch Documentary Project has looked at Halswell and the seaside suburbs of the East. Now it is Bishopdale’s turn.

Photo by Janneth Gil
Photo by Janneth Gil

Photography students from the School of Fine Arts are photographing the people and the physical environment of Bishopdale from March through to August this year with the goal of building an archive of contemporary documentary images.

The photographers are: Thomas Herman; Robert Earl; Liam Lyons; Elise Williams; Janneth Gil; Lucas Perelini.

If you or your group would like to be photographed for this project, please contact the library on 941 7923 or at library@ccc.govt.nz

Photo by Janneth Gil
Photo by Janneth Gil

Train crash: Picturing Canterbury

Train crash. Kete Christchurch. PH14-197. Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Jan Orr. CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0 NZ.

Train crash. Date unknown.

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

Do you have any further information about this photo? If so, please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Opening of the Harbour Light Theatre

The queue had started long before the official opening at 8pm and while they waited the crowd was entertained by musical selections from the Lyttelton Marine Band. The Deputy Mayor, J.T. Morton, started the official proceedings, apologising for the absence of the Mayor, Mr Radcliffe, who had been unable to be present due to illness. Mr O.T.J Alpers on behalf of the directors, spoke next, remarking on moving pictures being a great source of education, especially in war-time.

And then the films began rolling…a wild life film, followed by a humorous study entitled “When in Rome” and then the main attraction, a drama, “The Deep Purple”.

Harbour Light Cinema, 1980s
Harbour Light Cinema, circa 1980s. © Jae Renaut.

So began the life of the Harbour Lights Picture Theatre when it was officially opened on 20th March 1917.

Situated at 24 London Street it was built in 1916, reputedly designed by John and Maurice Guthrie. Arthur William Lane had purchased the land in June 1916, transferring the title to Lyttelton Pictures Ltd in September. Mr Lane would be the theatre’s first manager.

Two storeys high, with a mezzanine floor, the theatre could seat 550 people in both stalls and circle. Initially just films were screened but in 1920 the building was extended and a stage erected to accommodate theatre performances, the first one “The N.Z. Diggers” opening on the 4th December. The theatre was now able to be used for performances, concerts, public talks and other social events as well as screening films.

Over the years the Harbour Lights went through a number of changes including building damage when the clay bank at the rear of the theatre collapsed into the stage extension in 1925. The main building escaped unscathed so film screenings continued but the stage was out of action for some time. Talking pictures arrived in April 1930, and attendance at the theatre continued to be a regular social activity for the townspeople. In the 1940s the theatre was advertised for sale or lease but ownership only changed in the 1960s when Lang Masters took over running the cinema and again in 1972 when Leo Quinlivan took over the building and after a major refurbishment reopened it as a theatre. In 1980 it was once again a cinema when Frederick E. Read, a film librarian, took over ownership.

The 1980s saw a squash court added, the auditorium stripped, the building turned into a restaurant, and then a night club. By 1992 it had evolved into a licensed entertainment and function venue and it continued to operate as such until the earthquake in February 2011.

In April 2011 the Harbour Light Theatre was demolished.

Further information