Photo Hunt October: The Union Methodist business Girls Sports Team, Lancaster Park

The Union Methodist business Girls Sports Team, Lancaster Park..
Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt. This photo was Highly Commended in the 1940s Decade entries. Kete Christchurch HWC08-SU-127 CC-BY-NC-SA NZ 3.0

“Uniforms were made by Ray Milliners in New Regent Street. 15 teams in the competition.  Peggy is 2nd left in photo. Teams would perform a folk dance, drill, potato race, relay. Would practise in Latimer Square at lunch times. Won the event 5 years in a row.”

Date: 1949-1950.

Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008.  The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.

Enter the 2016 hunt online or at your local library.

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

Photo Hunt October: Off to the game

Off to the game..
Entry in the Christchurch City Libraries 2008 Photo Hunt. File Reference: HW08-ANZC-098 CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0NZ

“Three Christchurch Boys High lads at the Lancaster Park turnstiles on their way to watch a Wednesday afternoon rugby match in 1956.”

Lancaster Park opened on 15 October 1881 and was Christchurch’s  primary sports venue until it closed following the earthquakes in 2010/2011.

Christchurch City Libraries has been running an annual Photo Hunt in conjunction with the city’s Heritage Week since 2008.  The 2016 Photo Hunt is running again from 1 – 31 October. During the month of October we will be posting a series of images from earlier Photo Hunts.

Enter the 2016 hunt online or at your local library.

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

Memorial Entrance Gates, Lancaster Park

Lancaster Park was opened with an Athletics meeting on 15 October 1881, the land for the ground having been bought by The Canterbury Cricket and Athletics Sports Club Ltd from Benjamin Lancaster. For the next 30-plus years much hard work went into developing facilities for the different sporting codes –  athletics, cricket, cycling, rugby football, tennis, even swimming and horse-racing.

Creator unknown :Photograph of Lancaster Park war memorial, Christchurch. Ref: 1/1-011707-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23019652
Creator unknown :Photograph of Lancaster Park war memorial, Christchurch. Ref: 1/1-011707-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23019652

Thanks to the wonders of modern digitisation projects, we can read an account from The Star of 29 July 1881 of how the grounds came to be purchased, and the work done to date.

But with World War I, all sport on the grounds stopped, and despite efforts to raise money to cover costs (including growing potatoes!), Lancaster park was £8,000 in debt and facing bankruptcy by the War’s end.  The Canterbury Commercial Travellers and Warehousemen’s Association came to the rescue – making huge efforts to pay off the debt, and secure the grounds in perpetuity for the athletes of Canterbury.  Their only request was that part of the money raised be used for the Memorial Gates to commemorate the sportsmen who had died in the War.

The name Lancaster Park was changed to Victory Park with the Victory Park Act of 1919, and  the official opening was held on the 27th March 1920. Architectural firm of J S and M J Guthrie designed the Memorial gates, and they were built by G L Bull in 1924

Between 1924 and 2011 many were the Cantabrians who walked through the gates to watch the cricket, see a concert, sit on the embankment …

Who knows when we will next get the chance?

File Reference CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0076
Some of the 13,000 spectators leaving Lancaster Park after the second test match between New South Wales and New Zealand, 1 Sept. 1923 [1 Sept. 1923] File Reference CCL PhotoCD 8, IMG0076

More about Lancaster Park

Lancaster park turns 130 …

… and in time for that milestone, Richard Greenaway (our genealogical guru) has written a fascinating piece on Benjamin Lancaster and the origins of Lancaster Park.

Here are some photos of Lancaster Park gone by:

Balloon ascent, Lancaster ParkCaptain Lorraine's balloon shown taking off from Lancaster Park, 3 Nov. 1899
Fred Wood of England and W. Brown, Lancaster Park
Ten mile championship of New Zealand