Sandwiched between the iconic White Hart Hotel and the Universal Boot Depot at 223-225 High Street, was the business founded by Mr James Freeman, a pastry cook and caterer. Opened in 1891, the building had undergone extensive renovations, making it into one of the city’s finest and most modern refreshment rooms of the time.
Charismatic, athletic and intelligent, Jonathan Roberts came from a respectable family. A native of Cornwall, he immigrated to New Zealand with his family as a small child in 1862. After leaving school, he worked as a BNZ clerk in Timaru, Christchurch, Akaroa and Wellington, where he later became a commission agent. While in Wellington, his…
“Strange Freak of a New Zealand Girl”
Dressed in a black cutaway coat, dark trousers and a white silk neckcloth, and sporting a Billy-Cock hat over short hair, Henry Jame Muir stood before a London magistrate in 1889 dressed in the clothes he had been arrested in. Smoothed face, tall and attractive, Muir looked very much like a respectable young man.
The Misleading Lady
From 1919 until 1963, New Zealand audiences were guaranteed ‘snappy scenes, bright singing, excellent dancing and sparkling comedy’ when attending a Stan Lawson Production.
Flipping Fried Eggs
Retired Aircraft Engineer, Corporal Colin Creighton, No. 41 Squadron, RNZAF recounts his experiences serving during the American Vietnam war.
The Triangle – Noxious Exhalations, a Precocious Wastrel and a Special Earthquake
“William Wilson was formerly a cabbage dealer in Canterbury; but fourteen years ago he was poor, whereas now he is rich, a circumstance attributable to a lucky speculation in a piece of land called the Triangles, at Christchurch, which was offered to more than one, previously to being bought for £200 by Wilson, who, unlike…
The Cabman’s Last Stand and the Triumph of the Taxi
For as far back as 1856, when the first hansom cab plied the streets of the Christchurch, the cabbie has been an important part of the city centre, conveying visitors and locals alike from the extremities of town into and around the burgeoning hub. There were cab stands at the Railway Station on the South…
‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ – The Turkish Bath Culture in Christchurch, NZ
The health benefits, cleanliness and exoticism of the Turkish Bath so appealed to Canterbury settlers that it became the height of fashion in the 1880s. Today we enjoy city operated spa facilities and hot tubs in our homes that owe their existence to the development of the Victorian Turkish Bath Movement.
Notes on a Journey: Ōtautahi
“In the bay in which we landed, we found two or three miserable primitive Maori cabins, inhabited by half-a-dozen helpless old creatures and a few diseased children — forming a pa named Rapaki.”
“The Publican and the Sinner.”
The story of a rugby mad church cleric, his neglected wife and a widowed publican. Read time approximately 26 minutes. He was a widower and father of two children. She was a cleric’s wife, temporarily released from her duties as wife and mother, with the novelty of time on her hands. In the 1880s, life…
Antigua Street Bridge – from the beginning until 1945
“Bridges are as much a distinctive part of the Christchurch landscape as its well-planted appearance and its old Gothic style provincial buildings. The chance which placed the city by the river Avon has made possible in these later days the special beauty of its river banks, but it has also made necessary a great number of bridges, for until they were built the convolutions of the river were a considerable obstacle to traffic.”
Government Building Worcester Street – Building for the Future
The construction of government buildings have long attracted opinion and criticism and the Italian Renaissance style Government Buildings on the corner of Worcester street and Cathedral Square were no different. Cabinet passed the plans for the construction of the new Government Buildings on 28 June 1910. They would be built on the site of the…