Going Under Canvas at Sumner – 1890s

During the past year or two it has been customary for a number of parties of young men to go into camp at Sumner for the summer months, and to come up to Christchurch during business hours. Special facilities for this purpose having been offered by the Christchurch Tramway Company, the number of camps has…

Shaves & Shampoos on the North West Corner of Cathedral Square

It’s just before 3pm on a late summer day in 1914. Prolific Christchurch photographer, Steffano Webb is setting up his camera equipment inside the gents’ hairdressing saloon of well known Cathedral Square tobacconist, Frederick Woodward, the proprietor of Woodward & Co. The shop has been cleaned top to bottom; the floor swept clean so that…

Captain Lorraine’s Final Fatal Balloon Ascent

Captain Lorriane Loses his Life The Balloon Carried out to Sea A Terrible Fall. The Aeronaut Drowned, Fruitless Search for his Body. Star, Issue 6633, 3 November 1899, Page 4 Not one of the thousand spectators who gathered at Lancaster Park yesterday afternoon to witness the balloon ascent of Captain Lorraine would willingly pass through…

Electric Trams – “Horses No Longer Required”

Christchurch was the last of the four cities to introduce electric trams. They had tried to introduce the system in 1902, but it was prior to the amalgamation of the boroughs, so with the advent of greater Christchurch and the Tramway Board being established, the work was able to be begun.   Unlike Auckland, Wellington…

D.I.C. 1909 – ‘An up-to-date Emporium’

The New Premises of the D.I.C. Cashel and Lichfield Streets, Christchurch From the ashes of the conflagration which ravaged the business heart of the city a year ago, there has arisen a wonderfully spacious and thoroughly up-to-date emporium, designed for the occupation of the extensive business undertakings of the Drapery Importing Company, firmly established in…

D.I.C. Opens for Business in Cashel Street, 1884

“…the advent of a new Company that will sell goods at reasonable profits for cash…” To the Editor of the Press. Dear Sir, All undertakings of a public beneficial nature, which are likely to affect the interests of others, are certain to arouse the ire and enmity of those interested, and to call forth letters…

A Penny Stamp for All Places – Cathedral Square c.1908

“There are two classes of Christchurch postcards – those with the Cathedral and those without.” [1]   The elegance of a lost age is captured in this exquisite photochrom postcard taken in Cathedral Square. The Edwardian photographer has recorded a moment in time, circa 1908, taken from outside the Christchurch Post and Telegraph Exchange. Women…

Handsome and substantial – Warner’s Hotel, Cathedral Square

On the north east corner of Cathedral Square, the Commercial Hotel, owned by John Etherden Coker (1832 – 1894) was opened in 1863. The name Warner’s was not used until the hotel’s third owner, William Francis Warner (1836 – 1896) purchased the establishment in 1873 and renamed it Warner’s Commercial Hotel. [1] Warner the Hero…

“Letter From New Zealand” …or Provincial Propoganda?

Dear Father and Mother, l arrived here all safe on the 23rd of September, after a splendid voyage of 94 days without a single storm. I enjoyed the voyage very much and was kindly treated by everybody, plenty to do and plenty of friends. I have nothing to say against the Government, for they looked…

“The Sick, Faint Feeling of Violent Shakes,” Jane Deans

For one of our city’s most famous early women settlers, poor health had marred not only her voyage to New Zealand but also her arrival to her new home at Riccarton. From the moment Jane Deans boarded the sailing ship at Plymouth for Canterbury in November of 1853, she suffered from motion sickness. As the voyage progressed, her sea…

Rudyard Kipling’s Flying Visit to Christchurch

By Our Special Reporter Yesterday morning I was at the Christchurch railway station with the intention of going to Port by the five minutes to eight train, in order to meet Mr Rudyard Kipling, who was a passenger on the Talune. I found that the steamer had arrived early in the morning, and that some…