Billboards, hoardings and the prosecution of William Posters

Cover: Paste UpI have always liked the music posters that adorn the hoarding around construction sites. Whilst waiting for the bus to arrive, I would discover that open mike night was on Wednesday, a band with a doubtful name would be playing in a seedy bar in an unsavory part of town, and the National Ballet would be performing The Nutcracker in two months’ time.

Unfortunately, not everyone appreciated these informative, ephemeral works of art. One night the posters were ripped off, the hoardings painted white and “Bill Posters Will Be Prosecuted” was stencilled across the hoarding in big, black letters. My early morning reading material was gone. How was I to find out when my favorite band was going to tour my home town or release a new album? Thank goodness, a new poster soon appeared: “William Posters Is Innocent”. The posters came back and Split Enz released a new album in early April 1978.

At Shirley Community Library, the spirit of Bill Posters lives on. Our small billboard promotes Music Month and the acts that will be performing here: Helen Webby, Shirley Primary School Kapa Haka, Sam Dally and Midge McCleary.

The bills went up when no-one was looking and William Posters was not prosecuted.

NZ Music Month display at Shirley Library From the Digital Images Collection

P.S. For more photos of the display, check out our Flickr photostream.

Helen Webby – New Zealand Music Month

Helen Webby in performanceA full-sized harp is a thing to behold . Its size dwarves the human player and (get this ‘air guitarists’) the expanse of its strings requires the player to manoeuvre to reach the lower notes. Its profile is like the prow of an elegant sailing ship. But what exquisite sounds it can produce!

In the hands of the highly talented and internationally acclaimed Helen Webby it is truly enchanting and magical. Last night Fendalton Library hosted the first of Helen’s recitals for Christchurch City Libraries New Zealand Music Month line up of entertainment.

Her choice of programme ranged widely from a movement from the famous Harp Concerto by Handel, to Fields of Gold by Sting, a few Irish Hornpipes, Jigs and Reels and a couple of pieces she commissioned from New Zealand composers Rachel Clement and Helen Bowater.

Perhaps the most famous and familiar piece, the brief solo for harp from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, was mesmerising. Helen mentioned that hearing this piece on her parents’ record player at the age of 11 inspired her to learn to play the harp. Since then she has gone on to play for the Christchurch Symphony and NZSO, played in chamber music ensembles here and in Europe and has a very successful solo career.

On thanking her for yet again being a part of the Libraries’ Music Month entertainment she said that libraries were one of her favourite places to perform. This certainly comes out in the warmth with which she talks to her audience both during the recital and afterwards.  She performs again in our libraries during May and if you have kids to bring along it will put smiles on their dials!

Helen Webby soothes Central Library

Helen in action
Helen in action
Helen Webby charmed a capacity crowd at Central Library this afternoon with a play list of both traditional Celtic, classical and contemporary Kiwi composed pieces. With standing room only (we ran out of chairs!) Helen amply demonstrated the versatility of the harp, at times playful and jaunty while at others delicate and lulling.
Helen, principal harpist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, played a new composition by guitarist and saddle-maker John Egenes called “The Mule Colt”, a piece Helen describes as having a “groovy feel” and a Midwest swagger.
Anyone unlucky enough to have missed Helen today can catch her at:
  • Sumner Library on Friday 15th at 1pm, 
  • Fendalton Library on Saturday 16th at 11am
  • South Library also on Saturday 16th at 1pm with the added performance bonus of Helen’s students
  • Shirley Library on Tuesday 19th at 11am
  • Papanui Library on Friday 22nd at 3pm
  • Spreydon Library on Tuesday 26th at 11.30am

For more information on Helen go to