Down Town from High Street

High Street circa 1929
High Street, circa 1929. Source: The New Zealand traveller Christmas number 1930. Image Christchurch City Libraries File Reference CCL PhotoCD 9, IMG0042

The pace of town appears leisurely as pedestrians meander across High Street, while several trams slowly move past them c. 1929.  There are a large number of men on they bicycles – perhaps the photograph was taken as men made their way to or from work or on a Sunday when photographers preferred to take photographs.

The Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower stands in its original position – at the junction of High, Manchester and Lichfield Streets (it was moved to Victoria Street in 1930).

In the far distance, the impressive dome of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament’s is visible.  It is a striking contrast to the neighbouring industrial tanks of the Christchurch Gas Works which appear to dwarf the cathedral.

During this year, New Zealand experienced 678 earthquakes – a significant number.  The most powerful and deadly was a 7.8 magnitude quake on 17th June which was centred in Murchison in the South Island.   Seventeen people were killed and major landslips and flooding occurred as land slipped down the hill sides in to the Matakitai and surrounding rivers. The quake affected people of Murchison.  Many were displaced from their homes in forced to live in tents and sheds without water and food supplies as they waited for help.  Reminiscent of the quake affected in Christchurch almost one hundred years later.


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