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Encyclopedia > Ferrymead Heritage Park

Ferrymead Heritage Park is a historical museum consisting of the diverse interests of a number of groups with common historical themes, the most frequent of which is transport. The Park, formerly known as Ferrymead Historic Park, was founded in the mid 1960s by the societies of these groups along with local government bodies and other interested parties. It is sited at Ferrymead, in the Heathcote Valley of Christchurch, at the site of New Zealand's first public railway. Introduction Ferrymead is a suburb in southeast of Christchurch, New Zealand. ... Heathcote Valley is a suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, dominated by the approaches to the Lyttelton Tunnel, a major arterial pass through the Port Hills that is part of State Highway 74. ... Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the third largest city in the country. ...



Museum of Science & Industry

This was the original name given to what became Ferrymead Historic Park. A number of groups came together in the early 1960s as a common interest in forming a museum of scientific and industrial history. A pilot project for the Museum was set up at a site in Garvins Road, Hornby. Included in these was the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, which had formed in the late 1950s to cater for local rail enthusiast interests. Their original proposed site was at Prebbleton, south-west of Christchurch, but when that site became unavailable, interest was kindled at Ferrymead.

Ferrymead Trust

The Ferrymead Trust was incorporated in the late 1960s to represent the common interests of all the societies that made up Ferrymead Park. For many years its day to day activities were controlled by various committees made up of members of some or all of its constituent groups. The Trust relied heavily on local and national government funding and many of its early building and construction work was carried out by unemployed relief workers participating in various central government employment subsidy schemes. By the mid 1980s the bureacratic structure of the Trust was seen as unwieldy and certain reforms were implemented to bring a more businesslike approach to its operations. These revolved around the devolution of day to day operations to appointed managers and what was considered to be a more effective means of representing society interests through a membership council.

The Trust continued to operate, but in the mid 1990s, it had sustained heavy losses in the operation of the Park, largely due to the uneconomic funding of a seven-day-per-week year-round operation of the Park with paid staff. As it appeared likely that the mortgage holder would foreclose on the Park's assets, Christchurch City Council stepped in and assumed liability for the Park's debt in return for hands-on management and the sale of various assets, including surplus land.

Ferrymead Park Ltd

Although the CCC identified the operation of the Park by numerous independent societies as a major stumbling block, this structure continues today, along with the reinstatement of a more active role for the societies in the strategic direction of the Park. This change was brought about to allow the costs of operating the Park to be reduced. One major change has been to relocate the Park entrance in the main village, aided by the construction of Ferrymead Drive alongside the tramway route. This provides better access to the Park for visitors without riding on a tram or train. However the cost of these rides is still included in some entrance fees. The Park is now operated autonomously by Ferrymead Park Ltd, a charitable company, and still receives some CCC funding. The ownership and control of the various resources of the individual societies continues to be vested in these groups.

Member Societies

The following societies are currently active at Ferrymead Heritage Park:

  • Canterbury Centre for Historic Photography & Film Inc
  • Ferrymead Post and Telegraph Historical Society Inc
  • Heritage Youth Inc
  • Canterbury Railway Society Inc (Ferrymead Railway)
  • Diesel Traction Group Inc
  • Ferrymead Printing Society Inc
  • Lions Club of Ferrymead Inc
  • Ferrymead 2Foot Railway Inc
  • Fire Services Historical Society Inc
  • Radio Preservation Society of New Zealand (Ferrymead) Inc (Radio Ferrymead)
  • Ferrymead Aeronautical Society Inc
  • Friends of Ferrymead Fraternity Inc
  • Society of Rural History Inc
  • Ferrymead Clydesdales Society Inc
  • Garden City Model Railroad Club Inc
  • Tramway Historical Society Inc (Ferrymead Tramway)
  • Ferrymead Museum of Road Transport Inc
  • Heathcote Studios Theatrical Society Inc

Several other societies have come and gone, notably the Ferrymead Military Museum Society. Heathcote Studios Theatrical Society is the most recent member. Introduction The Ferrymead Railway is a New Zealand heritage railway built upon the formation of New Zealands first public railway, the line from Ferrymead to Christchurch, which opened in 1863. ... Radio Ferrymead is a radio station operated by the Radio Preservation Society (RPS) in Christchurch, New Zealand. ...

Geographical Information

The Park is located in the Heathcote Valley. Being close to the sea and low-lying, it was historically subjected to frequent flooding. A major recent event was the "Wahine Storm" of 1968, in which a large part of the Park site, then in embryonic development, was under water. This is no longer a major issue due to the filling of large parts of the site. Since the active involvement of the CCC began in the mid 1990s, steps of flood and stormwater management have been implemented in the Park and surrounding lands. The major project of the Heathcote Valley Park aims to integrate these along with the development of wildlife habitat areas and native plantings. The TEV Wahine was a New Zealand inter-island ferry that foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in a storm on 10 April 1968, and capsized near Steeple Rock. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ...

In the days of being managed by the Heathcote County Council, prior to the local government amalgamation of 1989, part of the Park site was used as a rubbish dump. The raised location known as "Woods Hill" was formed artificially by the large-scale compacting of refuse dumped there over a number of years. This area is rather unstable land and buildings constructed there without appropriate foundations have been damaged by subsidence. The Tamaki Brothers of Rotorua have received substantial CCC assistance to construct a tourist Māori village on the site which is expected to open in December 2006.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Ferrymead Railway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (975 words)
The Ferrymead Railway is a New Zealand heritage railway built upon the formation of New Zealand's first public railway, the line from Ferrymead to Christchurch, which opened in 1863.
Ferrymead Heritage Park was also in financial trouble as a result of the economic downturn and a dropoff in Park visitors.
Ferrymead Railway and Diesel Traction Group locomotives and carriages have participated in each of these steam-based festivals, held on the Weka Pass Railway, except for the 2003 event.
NodeWorks - Encyclopedia: Ferrymead (583 words)
Ferrymead is a suburb in southeast of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Ferrymead is located on the shore of the estuary of the Avon and Heathcote Rivers, close to the point where the Heathcote drains into the estuary, and three kilometres west of the eventual outflow into Pegasus Bay.
The Heathcote Tunnel was completed in a much shorter time than envisaged; and consequently the Ferrymead Railway was officially closed on 9 November 1867, the same day as the railway line to Lyttelton was opened.
  More results at FactBites »



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