This is a wonderful early photograph of a crowd watching what appears to be a sporting event on the grounds of the old Normal School (later Cranmer Court apartments, now demolished). At the time the photograph was taken some of the people were moving, making some of the figures appear blurry (see especially the person walking along behind the crowd and the player dressed in white on the field). Adding a touch of unintended humour to the image is the man perched on top of the horse-drawn waggon looking over the crowd at the game. Meanwhile his horse presumably grabs a mouthful of grass (hopefully the horse didn’t bolt!).
The two wooden church buildings (above and below) are not identified (if anyone does know them it would be great to hear from you so we can update the database). I like how the angle of the photograph makes the church appear to be leaning to the right as if it is starting to tip over. The photograph below is also an outdoor portrait of a group posed in front of the gate. The woman on the left is holding a basket and looks to the camera. While the one on the right appears to be holding a child but both of them were moving too much during the exposure so the detail is lost.
The photograph of the Christchurch cathedral taken during the 1870s, shows horse-drawn transportation using the area outside the cathedral as a parking area. Zoom in close and see the different types of horse drawn carriages parked waiting for customers and the printed notices hanging on the fence beside them. The photograph was taken well before the 1888 earthquake which knocked the top of the spire.
Lissa Mitchell – Curator Historical Documentary Photography