A Brief history of the Early Records Society

On Sunday 26 November 2017 a group of more than ninety supporters and friends of the Rangiora Museum gathered to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the museum building on its present site at 29 Good Street. The official opening on 2 December 1967 by Mr H.E.L. Pickering, M.P. was the culmination of more than seven years of work and planning by the first committee and members of the Rangiora and Districts Early Records Society which held its inaugural meeting on 25 February 1960.

The committee members had been elected at a meeting held on Thursday 3 March 1960. The members were Mr Langton Leech, President; Dr L.M. King, Vice President; Mr W. L. Stewart, Secretary/Treasurer; Mrs W. G. Wendelken; Mr G. C. Beattie and Mr N.C.H. Bell. The Society was founded to record the local history of the area. In October 1960 membership increased after a display of early photos, old maps and other memorabilia, was held in the Rangiora A & P Hall.

Soon it was realized that storage was needed for material being gathered and a museum was proposed. The local BNZ was about to be replaced and arrangements were made to obtain the upper storey, which had been the bank manager’s home. This was placed on Council ground – once a shingle pit, then the town rubbish dump, now a reserve. The building was cut into 4 pieces and moved onto the prepared foundations. The collection of artefacts and historical records continued to grow and an addition to the rear of the building was completed in 1971.

A slide show of our Museum and Cob Cottage history

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were offered material from a local cob cottage built by the Doak family a replica of a small cob cottage was added to the site using the original 806 blocks and making more to complete the building. At present this is awaiting council restoration after earthquake damage.

The museum has an extensive collection of photographs and glass plate negatives. This began when a large collection of plates was found in the attic of the house that photographer John Miles Verrall had owned. Later the Society received a further collection which had belonged to Charles Ivory Jennings who was the local reporter for the Lyttelton Times. These are all well over 100 years old.

The records now include a wealth of information on local families, businesses and organisations.

Here is a slideshow of what we have to offer our visitors

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other Museums in our District and Surrounding Districts

Kaiapoi – kaiapoimuseum.co.nz/
Cust – www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3123
Oxford – oxfordmuseum.weebly.com/
Kowai Archives – www.hurunui.govt.nz/our-district/history-and-heritage/kowai-archives/