It’s Margaret Mahy Playground’s 2nd Birthday!

The Margaret Mahy Family Playground opened on 22 December 2015.

Three mornings a week I bike past it, on the corner of Manchester and Armagh Streets. The Park was once part of the Elsie Locke Playground, while the new expanded area was named after Margaret Mahy, one of Canterbury’s most-loved authors.

Portrait of Margaret Mahy by Glenda Randerson
Portrait of Margaret Mahy by Glenda Randerson. Flickr CCL-2012-07-24

Part of the Government’s Recovery Plan following the earthquakes of 2010/11, the playpark is the largest playground in the Southern Hemisphere. Its designers won a New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence for 2017.

Known for her rainbow coloured wig, her love of children and magic, Margaret Mahy’s books are all about empowerment through exploration and imagination. The park’s activities reflect her philosophy, encouraging children to take safe risks in their development.

Margaret Mahy Playground, November 2017.
Margaret Mahy Playground, November 2017.

There is always activity there. From grandparents taking little ones out for the morning, to larger groups of children in the afternoon, there is something for everyone to play on. There is water play too – great for hot days. The playground offers opportunities for children to take safe risks to promote development and well-being. This explains the “screams of terror and excitement” reported by The Press. The playground is safe for all ages, with lots of safety matting, and sports sun shades too, after this question was raised with the community after opening.

I also see many walking through – there is a pathway into town along the River Avon (Ōtākaro), which borders the park. It is well-lit at night, as is the playground for late night visitors.

My favourite to play on? The tunnel slides on the bank!

Stories at the Margaret Mahy Family Playground
Under 5s storytelling session, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, Thursday 3 February 2016. Flickr 2016-02-03-photo_3263

The Mobile Library will be at the Margaret Mahy Playground on Tuesdays in January 2018 – the 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th.

Library at play: Picturing Canterbury

Audience at Mark Sommerset reading at Central Library
Audience at Mark Sommerset reading at Central Library Tuam.
Photography bookface
Bookface at Shirley Library.
Zombie librarians
Zombie librarians at Zombie Day at Upper Riccarton Library.

Cyclists at Barry’s Bay, and Movember: Picturing Canterbury

Cyclists on a trip to Akaroa, at Barry's Bay  [1886]
Cyclists on a trip to Akaroa, at Barry’s Bay [slide] [1886]
CE_Movember_2009_DSC07890
A fabulously follicular Movember effort from some of our library colleagues.

Cup and Show: Picturing Canterbury

All our libraries are closed for Show Day (Friday 15 November) but here are some New Zealand Cup and Show Week images. See some more images in the A&P Show DigitalNZ set.

On the grand stand. Carnival week in Christchurch: the New Zealand Cup meeting.  [November 1903]
On the grand stand. Carnival week in Christchurch: the New Zealand Cup meeting.
[November 1903]

Grand Parade, A&P Show
1976: A chilly Show Day at the Canterbury A&P Showgrounds, 1976. This was the Grand Parade, with cattle, horses, donkeys, and scots Pipe Band visible. Heritage Week 2008 Competition Entry

Aerial view of the Christchurch Agricultural and Pastoral Show, Addington
Aerial view of the Christchurch Agricultural and Pastoral Show, Addington
from the Canterbury Progress League Archives, Christchurch City Libraries Archive 72

Show Day Dolls
ca 1954 Canterbury A&P Show, probably 1954 by the look of my ‘gappy’ smile! Left: Irene Watts; Right: my cousin, Margaret Brown. Going to the show was an annual treat, with a doll on a stick the highlight of the day. This must have been a special year as we both have windmills as well. Note we’re in our best clothes! (Traditional for Show Day) Shirley Temple ringlets as well. Heritage Week 2008 Competition Entry

Photo hunt entryChristchurch Photo Hunt

Do you have your own cool images to share? Enter the Christchurch Photo Hunt. You could win a tablet or one of three e-readers. Submit your photos by 5pm 17 November.

New Brighton motor races: Picturing Canterbury

The Christchurch Motor and Cycling Club's motor races on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch  [1905]  The start for the scratch race of nine miles is shown. B. Ogilvie was the winner. The original New Brighton Pier, which was in existence 1894-1965, is shown
The Christchurch Motor and Cycling Club’s motor races on New Brighton Beach, Christchurch
[1905]
The start for the scratch race of nine miles is shown. B. Ogilvie was the winner. The original New Brighton Pier, which was in existence 1894-1965, is shown

Photo hunt entryChristchurch Photo Hunt

Do you have your own cool images to share? Enter the Christchurch Photo Hunt. You could win a tablet or one of three e-readers. Submit your photos by 5pm 17 November.

Nature Play Park: Picturing Canterbury

There is a new park in town on Hereford Street – Nature Play Park – Papatākaro Ao Tūroa.  This Department of Conservation has established the garden is a partnership project with Greening the Rubble Trust and it has been supported and sponsored by other businesses and organisations.

As part of FESTA Festival of Transitional Architecture, there was face painting, weta handling and more at the park on Saturday 26 October 2013.

Nature Play ParkWeta handling at Nature Play Park

Photo hunt entryChristchurch Photo Hunt

Do you have your own cool images to share?

Enter the Christchurch Photo Hunt. You could win a tablet or one of three e-readers.

Submit your photos by 5pm 17 November.