Aug 2, 2009

Christchurch Heritage Tragedy

It was announced on the 31st of July, 2009 that a two storey Sydenham warehouse dating from the late 1860s is to be demolished to make way for a new terminus for Leopard Coachlines.

Situated on the eastern side of Montreal Street, between the railway line and Disraeli Street, and forming part of the complex of buildings that has been the premises of CRC Salvage and Demolition since 1984, it is Christchurch's oldest surviving industrial building.

Canterbury Heritage calls upon the Christchurch City Council and the Historic Places Trust to save this historically significant part of our cultural heritage from destruction.


Above: details from street and rear views of the historic warehouse, from a set of seven photographs by Greg O'Beirne.

Aug 1, 2009

Now & Then: Christchurch Unchanged

There are few views of Christchurch that have not changed signficantly in the last century, but this south-westerly aspect of the Antigua Boatsheds and the Hospital footbridge from Cambridge Terrace can be counted among them. Glimpsed through the trees to the upper Left in the drawing is the spire of the hospital's original chapel and also the water tower, which was demolished in 1946.

The 1909 pen and ink drawing is by the English artist Sydney Robert Jones (1881-1966). A notable watercolourist, etcher and illustrator, Jones studied at the Birmingham School of Fine Arts and then worked for an architectural practice in that city. After the First World War Jones specialised in depicting rustic England. He toured the country with his wife, Frances, recording in pencil drawings and water colours, English villages, cottages, and manor houses. Jones also wrote several books on the English countryside, including Old English Country Cottages, The Charm of the English Village, The Manor Houses of England, London Triumphant, etc.

As yet we have been unable to locate an historical record that indicates that a 28 year-old Sydney R. Jones visited Christchurch.