From the archive: August 4, 1989

04:43, Jun 11 2014
church st overpass
1993: Looking north along Theodosia St, this photograph shows the scale of the earthworks required to construct the Church St overbridge, as part of the State Highway 1 bypass project. The Herald's Bank S premises, the newspaper's home for 28 years, are just to the north of the earthworks, and the Hydro Grand is dominant in the background.
timaru dump
1985: Back in the day, the dump really was a dump, where the seagulls swirled above and the rats scurried below, and you offloaded pretty much whatever you wanted from your car or ute. For avid scavengers, though, the risk was heading home with a bigger load than they’d got rid of. Here, Ivan Robinson keeps an eye on proceedings.
world record jazz
1987: Timaru people filled Strathallan St in a world record attempt for the largest street jazz-aerobics class.
temuka flood 1945
1986: Thousands gathered in Wrightson's wool stores on Evans St for an auction of cars water-damaged in the devastating 1986 South Canterbury floods.
1991: Rob Peck launches his hang glider in the classic birdman competition held on Timaru's wharves.
barry lovegrove
1990: Timaru man Barry Lovegrove returns to Timaru after being held hostage in Baghdad for 10 weeks.

Arson was immediately blamed when the classroom block of Timaru Main School was destroyed by fire early in the morning of August 4, 1989.

The 12-classroom, two-storey block was damaged beyond repair in the biggest school fire Timaru had seen for many years along with tens of thousands of dollars of teacher resource materials and computer equipment.

Click on the gallery for photos from our archives.

Three fires were lit that night, the other two in Butler St near Rattray's retail store and warehouse. It was said that attempts had been made at the school to light a fire on external decking before entry was forced and a fire lit just inside the door.

Accelerants were not thought to have been used but the fire spread upward and outward, gutting two rooms on the ground floor and extensively damaging almost the entire upper floor, including the library.

The school was rebuilt, but then closed in the sweeping closures of 2005 and merged with Timaru West School on their site to make Bluestone School.


The Timaru Herald