This week in Christchurch history (18 to 24 May)

18 May 1881
Christchurch Boys’ High School (designed by W.B. Armson) opens in Worcester Street. The school moved to the present Straven Road site in 1926, and the old building is now part of the Arts Centre.

Boys' High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
Boys’ High School, Worcester Street, Christchurch [ca. 1882], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0018
19 May 1910
Halley’s Comet visible by telescope in night sky. Prophesies of doom and superstition abounded while the comet was visible.

20 May 1861
Gold discovered in Gabriels Gully, Otago. As with other discoveries, the ensuing gold rush depleted the city of its more adventurous young men.

21 May 1866
City Council abandons the vital city drainage scheme because of its financial state. A huge shipment of pipes which had just arrived from England had to be sold off. This guaranteed Christchurch’s reputation as New Zealand’s most polluted and unhealthy city for another 20 years. It is interesting to compare the transport cost of these pipes from Glasgow to Lyttelton – £882 – with the cost from Lyttelton by lighter and cart to Christchurch – £400!

22-25 May 1988
Snow falls in Central City for first time in 10 years .

22 May 1868
William Rolleston becomes the fourth (and last) Superintendent of Canterbury. The 4 superintendents have been remembered in the names of the city’s “four avenues”, previously called the Town Belts.

Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
Looking south down Rolleston Avenue to the Port Hills [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0053
23 May 1960
Tsunami (tidal wave) causes water level range of nearly 6 metres in 2 hours at Lyttelton.

More May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (11 to 17 May)

11 May 1891
Sumner Borough formed.

Sumner [1895], CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0090
Sumner [1895], CCL PhotoCD 7, IMG0090
11 May 1908
Colosseum becomes the city’s first picture theatre. The building was claimed to have the largest wooden span in New Zealand. It had previously been a skating rink, a boot factory and a cab stand. It was demolished in 1931 to make way for New Regent Street.

13-15 May 1920
Visit of Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII).

One section of the unprecedented crowd in Latimer Square. The Weekly Press, 19 May 1920, p. 24
One section of the unprecedented crowd in Latimer Square. (Inset) The crowd in Cathedral Square before the Prince has passed on the way to the military review in Hagley Park. The Weekly Press, 19 May 1920, p. 24

14-15 May 1886
Flooding in city centre.

 

14 May 1868
“Lyttelton Times” publishes evening paper, The Star.

14 May 1907
Fire seriously damages the Antigua Street boatsheds.

14 May 1908
Municipal tepid baths in Manchester Street open. It was described as “the finest indoor swimming pool in Australasia”.

14 May 1947
Mabel Howard (Sydenham) becomes Minister of Health, the country’s first woman Cabinet Minister.

16 May 1975
Opening of Four Avenues, New Zealand’s first State alternative education school.

More May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (4 to 10 May)

4 May 1932
Christchurch Tramway strike. One of the bitterest in the city’s history, it lasted 16 days. There were many injuries and arrests among the strikers. The tram sheds were barricaded with barbed wire, and trams were fitted with wire mesh screens over their windows to ward off attacks.

Trams in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1931]
Trams in Cathedral Square, Christchurch [1931]
CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0016
4 May 1981
New southern arterial (Brougham Street to Curletts Road) opens.

5 May 1863
Christchurch Gas Company formed.

Photo of Australasian tennis team in the international competitions [1905], Anthony Wilding is standing dressed in white
Australasian tennis team in the international competitions [1905], Anthony Wilding is standing dressed in white, CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0011
7 May 1917
Canterbury Aviation Company makes first flights from Sockburn Aerodrome, New Zealand’s first airport.

8 May 1975
New Zealand’s first mini roundabout in operation at the corner of Riccarton Road and Deans Avenue.

8 May 1987
Sir Neil Isaac, founder of Peacock Springs Conservation Park, dies.

9 May 1915
Christchurch tennis star (4 times Wimbledon champion) Captain A. F. Wilding killed in action in Belgium.

10 May 1975
Ms Vicki Buck becomes the city’s (and New Zealand’s) youngest ever City Councillor at 19.

More May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (27 April to 3 May)

27 April 1872
Railway north open to Kaiapoi.

28-29 April 1983
Visit of Prince and Princess of Wales.

29 April 1974
Cr. David Caygill, aged 25, becomes the city’s youngest ever acting Mayor (for 5 days).

30 April 1875
New library building completed on the corner of Cambridge Terrace and Hereford Street. Designed by W.B. Armson, the building was demolished following the 2010-2011 earthquakes.

The Library buildings pictured from the Hereford Street bridge, 1897.
The Library buildings pictured from the Hereford Street bridge, 1897. Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 6, IMG0080

30 April 1971
6,000 protesters march against the war in Vietnam.

1 May 1975
Canterbury University completes its move from city to Ilam campus.

2 May 1872
New St Michael’s Anglican Church opens.

St. Michael's Church, Christchurch [ca. 1885]
St. Michael’s Church, Christchurch [ca. 1885], Christchurch City Libraries, CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0080

3 May 1851
George Gould opens shop in Christchurch. The business eventually became part of Pyne Gould Guinness and Co.

3 May 1985
6,000 Christchurch citizens rally against the All Black tour of South Africa.

More April and May events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

The First World War from a different perspective

Being the 100th anniversary of the First World War, there has been an avalanche of material arriving in the library on this subject. Many are long forgotten diaries and personal stories that are understandably harrowing and poignant to say the least.

Alongside these important stories are  some lighter – but none-the-less interesting – facets of war that haven’t previously been published.

The Great War CookbookThe Great War Cookbook
Contains over 500 wartime recipes,  from Ox-Brain Fritters and Fish Custard, to Shepherd’s Pie and Trench Pudding.  Apparently according to the publisher “there is something for everyone!”

Antiques Roadshow World War I in 100 family treasures
The ever popular Antiques Roadshow team decided to mark the centenary of the start of World War I by filming a series of specials at the Somme, where the public brought in their family’s war memorabilia and photographs. This book selects 100 stories that shows how they fit in to the wider history that was occurring around them.

FaFashion: Women in World War Ishion : Women in World War One
Women’s wartime roles as nurses, naval officers, factory workers of course needed the right clothes for the job. From the luxurious silks of High Society, to the boots and breeches of the Women’s Land Army, Fashion: Women in World War One explores the impact of war on fashion from 1914-1918 with unique images and beautiful original garments.

And the Band Played OnAnd the Band Played On
Songs, stories and singalongs played a huge part in keeping moral going during the long months spent in the trenches. This book seeks to recreate the music and the camaraderie that accompanied these men who went to war.

Beyond the BattlefieldBeyond the battlefield : women artists of the two World Wars
A fascinating account of female creativity in America, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand during the turbulent era of twentieth-century conflict highlighting women artists’ unique  portrayal of war at the front lines. Documenting everyday life on the home front as well as being nurses, voluntary aides, ambulance drivers, these artists somehow found time to create astonishing art while working in the middle of war zones.

Great War 100: First World War in Infographics
The Great War 100And lastly an interesting way of highlighting all aspects of the World War using infographics.

This leads to a compelling and very visual representation of data and facts about World War I.  See how the idea of depicting World War I developed.

This week in Christchurch history (20 to 26 April)

Trigonometrical and topographical survey of the districts of Mandeville and Christchurch: shewing the trigonometrical stations, 1850 / J. Thomas, chief surveyor.
Trigonometrical and topographical survey of the districts of Mandeville and Christchurch: shewing the trigonometrical stations, 1850 / J. Thomas, chief surveyor. ATLMAPS ATL-Acc-27187

20 April 1849
Captain Thomas (in a letter to Sir George Grey) reveals that he has chosen the present site of Christchurch for the new settlement – in spite of the fact that both the Nelson and Otago colonists had rejected it in 1841 and 1844 respectively.

20 April 1938
First Inter-Dominion trotting in New Zealand held at Addington Raceway. Originally scheduled for Easter, the contest was postponed by flooding throughout the city. Further flooding after the first races delayed the finals until May 4.

21 April 1971
Court Theatre’s first production, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.

22 April 1869
Visit of the Duke of Edinburgh (New Zealand’s first royal visitor).

23-24 April 1966
Visit by Queen Mother.

23 April 1895
Regular Lyttelton – Wellington Cook Strait ferry service inaugurated by “Penguin”.

25 April 1864
Canterbury Horticultural and Acclimatisation Society formed. This group introduced many animals, birds and fish to Canterbury, and helped to establish the Government Gardens, which eventually became the Botanic Gardens.

Photo: The Territorials Cross The Bridge Of Remembrance On The Way To King Edward Barracks (25 Apr. 1926).
The Territorials Cross The Bridge Of Remembrance On The Way To King Edward Barracks (25 Apr. 1926), CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0052

25 April 1977
Bridge of Remembrance becomes a pedestrian precinct.

25 April 1981
New $16 million postal centre in Hereford Street in operation. A determined fight by civic groups had failed to prevent its siting next to the old Public Library.

26 April 1852
Christ’s College moves from Lyttelton to Christchurch.

More April events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (13 to 19 April)

13 April 1876
Visit of tightrope walker Blondin.

Lady Racing Cyclist, Lancaster Park, Christchurch [ca. 1896]
Lady Racing Cyclist, Lancaster Park, Christchurch [ca. 1896], CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0062
13 April 1896
City hosts the first meeting of the National Council of Women.

16 April 1851
First sale of Christchurch town sections.

16 April 1974
Flooding throughout city after record rainfall – 124mm (4.89 inches) in 24 hours.

17 April 1880
First championship cycle meeting, Hagley Park.

18 April 1864
First Ferrymead (swing) bridge opens.

19 April 1873
Christchurch Golf Club formed. The first course was in Hagley Park.

19 April 1988
Proposal for 152 metre tower in Victoria Square abandoned after much public debate.

More April events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (6 to 12 April)

6 April 1982
Premiere of “Roadshow” road safety stage show. The show was later taken on a national tour for 6 months from February 1983. It played to a total audience of over 250,000, probably the biggest of any New Zealand musical show.

7 April 1859
Canterbury Rifles organised – the first military force in the Province. It was formed as a result of the Taranaki land wars.

Photo of Lyttelton and harbour [ca. 1888]
Lyttelton and harbour [ca. 1888] Coxhead, F. A. (Frank Arnold), b. 1851, CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0034
8 April 1883
First shipment of frozen “Canterbury lamb” leaves Lyttelton for the United Kingdom on the British King.

10-12 April 1981
Visit by Prince of Wales.

10 April 1882
Joubert and Twopenny’s New Zealand International Exhibition opens in South Hagley Park. The exhibition, complete with an educated pig and an armless lady, drew a total attendance of over 250,000 until it closed on July 15.

10 April 1965
Airport becomes New Zealand’s first jet airport with the inauguration of the first regular jet flights from Christchurch to Australia.

11 April 1968
Wahine storm (the city’s worst recorded storm) causes one death and widespread wind and flood damage.

12 April 1840
Sarah and Elizabeth lands Herriot, McGillivray, Ellis, Shaw (and wife) and McKinnon (with his wife and child) who try to establish a farm at Riccarton. They are the first European settlers on the plains.

12 April 1850
John Robert Godley, first leader of the Canterbury Association settlers, arrives with his wife in Lyttelton on Lady Nugent. He quarrels with Thomas, and departs for Wellington, not returning until November 28. (It appears that he had no intention of settling permanently in the new colony.)

Photo of statue of John  Robert Godley, Cathedral Square [ca. 1930]
The statue of John Robert Godley, Cathedral Square, pictured in the Cathedral grounds [ca. 1930], CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0022
More April events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (30 March to 5 April)

Plans for New Regent Street
Drawings & Proposed New Street connecting Armagh & Gloucester Street showing roadway & front elevation west to New Regent Street, CCCPlans New-Regent-28-4

30 March 1883
Two young boys die of exposure on the Port Hills. Monuments can still be seen near the Rapaki Track.

31 March 1863
21 Canterbury military volunteers sail north on “Phoebe” for duty in the Waikato land wars.

1 April 1932
New Regent Street opens, built on the site of the old Colosseum.

1 April 1949
Sign of the Takahe opens. This was the completion of the Summit Road developments begun by Harry Ell in 1908.

Photograph of Sign of the Takahe in the making [ca. 1927]
Sign of the Takahe in the making [ca. 1927], CCL PhotoCD 5, IMG0086
3 April 1967
Re-built Ferrymead Bridge opens.

5 April 1844
Frederick Tuckett and a party including surveyors, land at Lyttelton from the “Deborah” looking for a suitable site for a Scottish settlement in the South Island. They subsequently got lost in the swamps, so it is not surprising that their eventual choice was Otago, not Canterbury.

More March and April events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

This week in Christchurch history (23 to 29 March)

Cover of The Road to the West Coast23 March 1866
Road to the West Coast officially opens.

23 March 1977
Durham Street overbridge opens.

24 March 1887
First City Council offices open. This building at the corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street was designed by S. Hurst Seager. It was the first public building in Christchurch to break with the prevailing tradition of Gothic, Classic or Venetian style.

The Christchurch City Council Chambers on the north-west corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street [ca. 1890]
The Christchurch City Council Chambers on the north-west corner of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street [ca. 1890], CCL PhotoCD 3, IMG0034
25 March 1879
New Zealand’s first telephones in operation in City.

25 March 1930
New Zealand’s first country library service begins as Canterbury adult rural education scheme under the auspices of the W.E.A.

27 March 1848
Canterbury Association decides to buy land from the New Zealand Company.

27 March 1856
First wool cargo shipped to London from Lyttelton (via Auckland).

28 March 1981
New South Brighton bridge opens.

More March events in the Christchurch chronology: a timeline of Christchurch events in chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.