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The Hub to become centre of Hornby history for Carter Group Heritage Week 2006

10 October 2006

If you’ve lived in Hornby most of your life you need to visit The Hub to write your life experiences on a memory card provided there from 20 to 22 October.

The Hornby community is running “Hornby History” at the local mall, The Hub, as part of the Carter Group Heritage Week, October 13 to 23: Celebrate Great times, Great people, Great places.

The high level of interest in Hornby over previous Heritage Weeks led to the idea for the Hornby History project, which has been funded by the Wigram-Riccarton Community Board to help the community build its own history – much like Addington has done.

In the last three months what has come to light is a picture of hardy and diverse residents who survived major industrial closures that would have crippled any other community, but for the tenacity of some strong families.

Project leader Fiona Gouldthorp of VividPast, the company contracted to drive Hornby History, says that from 20 to 22 October, people will be able to fill in memory cards at The Hub to share their Hornby memories and hopes for any long term projects. Fun tours of Hornby historic sites are also available on buses leaving and returning to The Hub from 12pm to 4pm, on Sunday, 22 October.

Ms Gouldthorp talks with top New Zealand singer-songwriter Anika Moa, who grew up and wrote her first album in Hornby, about her beginnings in the neighbourhood on a Plains FM radio series of interviews featuring various Hornby personalities, at 8.10am from 16 to 10 October.  Anika Moa is the first interview on Monday.

Ms Gouldthorp says The Hub display aimed to get people to realise that their memories and bits and pieces stored in cupboards and garages were of great value to local history. Personal histories shared, to date,  indicated that German glassblowers arrived in the aftermath of World War 2 to help set up the Crown Crystal Glass factory. This was followed by people of different nationalities arriving to work in the freezing works industry and more recently an influx of Samoan residents becoming the second largest Pacific community in Christchurch.

When Crown Crystal and the freezing works shut down, they had a great impact on the Hornby community, but many families stayed on and made the best of the area. It is these stories that Ms Gouldthorp seeks as part of Heritage Week.
“We’re not talking dry, dusty books, but a living history that the community can continue to have access to. We want to pull together knowledge – young and old – of a very unique community that has survived the odds,” Ms Gouldthorp says.

She had been working with Branston Intermediate School on two projects, “Your Place, My Place – why is it special?”, and “Families are Our History”. Your Place, My Place involved getting students to photograph different Hornby people and locations, then research how they could match heritage criteria to a place or person, and what made them special. The “Families are Our History” had students interview a member of their family about a special object, whether it be an old school uniform or Rugby League trophy, and ask them what its significance was to their community.

The culmination of this work will be a Hornby History display at Our City O-Tautahi from 11 December 2006 -18 January, 2007, but Heritage Week was a great opportunity to spread the search for the area’s history much wider, Ms Gouldthorp says.

“It definitely provides the glue for a community to greatly value their area and each other as being the main ingredient of what makes Hornby so special,” she says.

Hornby History is one of more than 350 events being offered during the Carter Group Heritage Week 2006, October 13 to 23. The full programme of Heritage Week events is available at all Council libraries and services centres, and on line at or on request by phoning 941 8628.

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