Remembering Christchurch, 2011
I hope that these photos and the words that accompany them bring back warm memories for many of you who see this. I know some of those memories will be painful, much of what is here doesn't exist anymore and some of you also have the added pain of memories of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us, maybe there is a glimpse of them here.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have taken these, and to be one of the last guests of your city to see it as it was in all it's beautful glory, and it would be incredibly selfish of me to keep them to myself, the journey I made is a part of my history but the city is a part of yours just as you are a part of its.
When time and logistics permit, it is my intention to donate physical copies of these to somewhere you can visit them like an old friend. Not everybody has the internet so again, it would be selfish to keep these from reaching those who cannot see them here.
My Journey, Your Home
I visited Christchurch in Feb 2011, just a few days after my 30th birthday and just a few days before the earthquake that would rip through it.
I'd decided that the best way to welcome my new decade would be to have a little tour of somewhere I'd never been and pretty much as far away as you can get from my home in London. I'd also let Rachel borrow my scarf one evening, Rachel had moved back to Auckland which provided a wonderful opportunity to get it back while taking in some new scenery and meeting some lovely people along the way.
I'd found out that Lee was also doing a tour of NZ and since he was starting at Auckland and finishing in Christchurch, I decided to start my adventure with a few drinks with Lee in Christchurch and finish it with a few drinks with Rachel in Auckland.
So, off I went!
Being English and especially from London, naturally the first thing I did was head to Brighton Pier and eat fish & chips, I normally don't actually do that but it's not the worst stereotype to uphold.
At the time I'd just left uni, having studied architecture for four years, I was a keen photographer and whenever I travel I love photographing the places that I visit. Not necessarily the tourist attractions, I prefer to photograph just normal everyday life, that's how you get to know a place. Just walking around almost aimlessly can teach you so much.
As time has gone on the more grateful I am to be able to look at these and see little peeks into everyday life for Canterburyans.
I chose to stay in Addington as Addington, Beckenham and Sydenham are places in London very close to me in Norwood (which comes from North Wood, which you also have in Christchurch).
The thing that struck me first was the mixture of British and seemingly American influences.
Obviously I sampled some of their offerings, it would be rude not to.
A little gem of Art Deco architecture, typical of many department stores and the like of the era.