Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Brighton Pier

The pier was opened on 1 November 1997, on the site of the original New Brighton Pier which had been demolished more than 30 years previously. It is the biggest ocean pier in Australasia.
The original pier was opened back in 1894 by the Governor General, Lord Glasgow, in the presence of large crowds who travelled to the beach by special trams. The pier provided the citizens of Christchurch with a recreational destination in the traditional British style - the pier had a “penny arcade” full of games and amusements and even a nightclub.
By 1965, the pier had become so run down that the council ordered that it be demolished. On the night of October 12, between 2.30am and 7am workmen, demolished the pier using a bulldozer. About 100 20 ft piles were winched out or cut off 18 inches below ground level.
A group of residents formed the Pier and Foreshore Society to try to save the pier and they continued to campaign for a new pier after its destruction. Thirty years of lobbying and fundraising in the community saw almost $2 million raised from the community which was matched by a further $2 million from the Christchurch City Council and a new pier design was finally approved in 1994.

The pier is used today for recreation and fishing. Hector dolphin can often be seen swimming in the waters immediately around the pier.
These historic photographs of New Brighton show the pier over the years.
Pier facts:
Length: 300 metres
Height: 7 metres above high tide
Width: 6 metres
Deck: 900mm thick pre-stressed concrete
Piles: 17 piles, 1.4 metres diameter, 20 metres apart

Is Madame Staying in the Chicken Palace or the Chicken Hut?

Once we had got settled into our new house we always intended to keep chickens. After buying 10 pallets of firewood for $200 I had more than enough timber to build a fine chicken residence.

My first attempt was losely based upon an A frame and is 8 foot long by 7 foot wide. It was a big structure and it was christened the 'chicken palace' during its day long construction. I was thinking that would be amply big enough to keep plenty of chickens for both eggs and meat. However, I had not reckoned on my two children, Jake & Kirsty, claiming squatters rights and moving in to immediately after it was built. It has now been reclassified as the 'childrens den' and is used for sleepovers - it can easily accommodate three youngsters on camp beds. I have since received requests to install a carpet and some shelves!

The Chicken Hut is again made from the firewood and is a much smaller affair. It will not accommodate children as the perch will get in the way (I have made sure of that!) but should be good for 6 chickens to live very comfortably.

Cow Sitting

Canterbury has had a very dry year and good pasture is currently at a premium. Our neighbours have six head of cattle and they were getting concerned about the amount of grass left on their section for the stock to eat. Their paddocks desperately need time to recover and they did not want to use the feed that they have put aside for winter.

We have not had the time to cut the grass on the other half of the section so we were very happy to put their cattle to work ..... cutting the grass and fertilising as they go. They are doing a cracking job.

Mark (our neighbour) has been 'testing ' the electric fence (without any test equipment ... he's a kiwi .... what did you expect?) and this has proved to be excellent entertainment throughout!!!

Hot Air Balloons

I was laid in bed on Sunday morning when a hot air balloon drifted by my bedroom window. It got me straight out of bed and running for the camera. It was magical seeing the balloon float past on what was a frosty morning. The balloon eventually came to rest in a farmers field about 400 metres from the house.