Today the CEISMIC programme office sadly farewells Digital Content Analyst Alexandra King, who’s off overseas. Before she leaves, we asked her to share some memories about her time in Christchurch, and tell us about her exciting plans.
Where are you going, and what are your plans once you get there?
I am moving to London on a two year working visa. I am currently unsure of exactly what I will be doing there when I arrive, (which is a bit scary) but it’s all part of the adventure. The one thing I do know is that in my first month there I will be travelling to Berlin, and also taking a trip to meet a friend of mine in Amsterdam. Ideally I would love to get a job in archives or heritage, and travel as much as possible!
Anything you’ll miss about Christchurch?
Yes there are so many things I will miss about Christchurch. I will miss the unique artsy feel of the place. I have loved seeing the city in the midst of the rebuild, and all the great events, shops, cafes and restaurants that are popping up everywhere. I will miss the crisp mornings with the blue sky; something that I will always think of as quintessentially Christchurch. I will miss biking to work, and working in an office where that is the norm. I will miss my favourite spot in Christchurch, the Christchurch Farmers Market; it’s definitely the best in New Zealand.
What’s been your favourite moment working at CEISMIC?
The best thing about this office is the people. As soon as I started here I felt so welcomed and at home, so any moment spent with my team has been a good one. Apart from working with these amazing people, my favourite moment has been working on heritage projects and doing on-site visits to places like the Christchurch City Council Heritage Team offices. Being shown around the Mainland Media archives, and getting a tour around the Canterbury Cultural Recovery Centre are also high points. The team cake breaks are also pretty up there in terms of favourite moments.
Any particular gems you’ve found in the archive that you’d like to share?
One of the stories in the archive that always fascinates me is that of 550 Colombo Street, where the Smith’s City car park is. Following the earthquake on 22 February 2011, Heritage New Zealand (previously NZHPT) commissioned archaeological digs on all sites settled pre-1900. Heritage New Zealand allowed CEISMIC to archive these reports. What is interesting is that this car park turned out to be the former site of the Atlas Range factory. Uncovered beneath the car park were five brick furnaces were that were associated with the Scott Brothers Atlas Engineering Works during the 1870s. Smith’s City then needed their car park back, so the archaeologists photographed the kilns, refilled them in with clean river sand, and then it was paved over as a carpark. Now the only way you can get to see the kilns is through the record in CEISMIC.
I also love the Raymond Morris paintings of Canterbury’s heritage buildings and think they are definitely worth a look at.
And the question that’s foremost in the minds of the rest of the CEISMIC team: which of us gets to take over your much-coveted standing desk?
That would be Lucy-Jane, she put dibs on it as soon as she found out I was going!
Thanks Alex, and best of luck for wherever your travels take you!