From the archive: April 17, 1951

19:14, Jun 12 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.
birdman
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.

The top floor of Timaru's Colonial Mutual Life Assurance (CML) building on the corner of Stafford and Strathallan streets was almost completely destroyed by fire on 17 April 1951.

The fire was thought to have started in the kitchen of the SC Women's Club and was well involved by the time it was discovered.

Click on the gallery to view photos from our archives.

Tasman Electric was located on the ground floor and several other nearby business were also under threat - the street was said to have resembled a high-class jumble sale as public, police and boy scouts helped remove stock to safety.

The street was littered with electrical equipment, fur coats, rolls of carpet, delicatessan products, fruit and confectionery.

The Timaru Fire Brigade was credited with saving the day with the help on their new 75ft extension ladder, recently imported from England, which enabled them to direct water into the centre of the blaze and gain eventual control.

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