Memories of a city, 50 years on

21:01, Feb 13 2013
HERITAGE LOST: Red Buses pick up passengers whilst work is underway on the Christ Church Cathedral's rose window. The Press building destroyed in the Feb 22 earthquake is at left.
HIVE OF INDUSTRY: Lyttelton port is full of ships in this 1962 image
JET SET: Passengers wait in Christchurch Airport lounge at Harewood. The airport opened in 1940 and become New Zealand's first international airport in 1950
TUNNEL VISION: The Lyttelton Road Tunnel access road is under construction in this 1962 picture. The tunnel opened in 1964 and carries about 10,000 vehicles a day now.
HIDDEN GEM: Akaroa harbour with the Onawe Penuinsula in the foreground as viewed from the Hilltop.
BUSTLING HUB: This view towards Cathedral Square shows a city becoming the centre of business activity in the South Island
DOMINANT FEATURE: Mount Bradley stands watch over Charteris Bay and Quail Island in this view of the upper Lyttelton Harbour.
INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP: In January 1962 the Indian Totem Pole of friendship stood in Little Hagley Park alongside Harper Avenue. It stayed there til 1980 and is now at Christchurch International Airport. It was a gift from the Oregon Centennial Commission and the Portland Zoological Society in appreciation of hospitality given to personnel of Operation Deep Freeze.
GROWING CITY: A view looking towards the city centre from the Summit Road, the greater Christchurch population had more than doubled in the 50 years previous to 1962 and would double again in the following 50 years.

When Neil Hollebone came across photos he took of Christchurch more than 50 years ago, he felt he had to share them.

"I thought perhaps the people of Christchurch would like to see them," he said.

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The 70-year-old took the photos in 1962, during a visit from England with his family.

"It was such a serene, beautiful, clean city," he said.

"Going over the Lyttelton hills was just magnificent.


"The Avon always impressed me. A river going through the middle of the city; I don't think there's any one in the world quite like that, with all the gardens beside it."

He returned to New Zealand several times, before coming in 1972 to stay.

Hollebone, who lives in Havelock North, was last in Christchurch in 1993.

He said he was saddened seeing footage of the city in ruins after the earthquakes.

The Press