Live from Ferrymead

Radio Ferrymead, Christchurch, New Zealand

Radio Ferrymead, Christchurch, New Zealand

Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, portrays an early twentieth-century township, complete with trams, trolleybuses, buses, trains, a working cinema, shops and houses, populated with volunteers in costume.

It’s in the same genre as the British museums at Beamish [], the Black Country []  and Blists Hill [], and reminds me of Old Sturbridge in Massachusetts [].

Its constitution is interesting:  because of its historical development [see], Ferrymead is run by an umbrella trust and provides a home for a fascinating variety of independent societies, in the same way that some British rail and tramway museums offer homes to subsidiary groups [see Shunter Hunters].

Its transport exhibits include steam, diesel and electric trains, running on the trackbed of the first railway in the South Island (opened 1863, closed 1867, restored 1964 onwards), as well as tram and trolleybus services [] and a magnificent aircraft display [].

The museum has a convincingly scaled tiny picture house, a post office which accepts mail and a practical radio station that broadcasts on AM, using 78rpm, vinyl and cassette recordings for mature listeners.  When the station is on air, it’s possible to listen online at [].

The museum escaped serious damage in the February 2011 earthquake [], and is back in operation:


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