A window-shopping walk up and down Manchester Street Christchurch, between Moorhouse Ave and Bealey Ave, would take me about two hours. There were snazzier streets in Christchurch than Manchester St, running parallel to Colombo St main street, but Manchester St had meaning for our family as we had more to do with Manchester St than other snazzier streets.
When we first arrived in Christchurch from SA, I registered with a Manchester St house rental agency, but we got our first rental house at Sumner through The Press vacancy column. Our other associations with Manchester St were business and music.
2008. Pak 'n Save carpark, Manchester St view of Old Station & Hoyts, Moorhouse Ave. 4 Sept 2010 quake: Clocks stopped on the station clock tower, which was later reinforced against aftershocks with wooden bracing. Post 2012, the station was demolished
In the CBD, Manchester St began at a T junction with Moorhouse Ave where Pak 'n Save traded at the corner. Hoyts cinema was on the opposite side of Moorhouse Ave, with a railway line behind. The old brick station was converted to Science Alive, Hoyts cinema and Salvation Army workshops. I'd attended interviews at the latter, and my sons Jake and Luke found productive pursuits at Science Alive and Hoyts movies.
Besides Pak 'n Save at the beginning of Manchester St, there were various furniture shops and car dealers like Nissan, Honda, BMW, Triumph, Archibalds, and motor bike dealers like Harley Davidson, Suzuki, and also bicycle shops.
Manchester St, busy with business by day, became the Red Light District by night. Besides other shops, sex shops, massage parlours, pubs and restaurants adorned Manchester St.
2008. Alice in Videoland (old Post Office) cnr Tuam St & High St, Christchurch. Alice in Videoland survived the quakes
A detour off Manchester St took us to Videoland to hire videos from a building on the corner of Tuam St and High St. A block away, Jake had flatted in an old brick building, "Poplar Mews" in Poplar St, a lane parallel to Manchester St, between Tuam St and Lichfield St. While Jake flatted on the third floor, "Lichfield Lanes" around his flat were converted to upmarket pubs and restaurants. I was glad when Jake left his Poplar St flat, as I thought the old brick building was a fire trap, with little chance of escape from the top floor where Jake had flatted.
2008. Poplar Mews, Poplar St, Christchurch. Poplar St was damaged by the 22.02.11 quake. Poplar Mews & most Poplar St bldgs were demolished post quakes
2008. Manchester St / High St / Tuam St intersection, Christchurch. High St was badly damaged by the 22.02.11 quake and 13.06.11 quake
Up Manchester St, Jake moved to a flatting house beyond Bealey Ave at 464 Manchester St, which was leaky and grungy. We observed that Jake's "cheap flats" were badly maintained by landlords, who were quick to evict if rent payment was tardy, but slow to do needed maintenance. That rental house was near Edgeware Rd, where in 2007 two street-partying school girls were run over by murderer Sila, who also injured other party-goers with his car on Edgeware Rd.
2008. Manchester St Rental House, Christchurch. Survived Christchurch quakes well
2008. White Elephant Clubhouse above Dick Smith, cnr Manchester St & Bedford Row, Christchurch. The bldg was demolished post 2010-2011 quakes
In 2008, once a week I took Luke and his drumkit to White Elephant Clubhouse on the corner of Manchester St and Bedford Row, where Luke practised with his Galaxy Stampede band mates. There I bumped into fathers doing "Dad's Taxi" lugging amps, guitars, rock music stuff into an old lift and up rickety stairs.
2008. Rock Shop, Manchester St, Christchurch. 4 Sept 2010 quake: Manchester Courts behind was quake damaged & demolished post quake. Post 22.02.11 quake, Rock Shop relocated to Hornby & all the bldgs in the pic were demolished.
Up Manchester St, Luke popped into the Rock Shop to buy music scores and music kit.
2008. Octagon Restaurant / Trinity Church, Manchester St, Christchurch. 4 Sept 2010 quake: Octagon Restaurant / Trinity Church was quake damaged & post quake aftershocks braced with metal bracing. Post quakes, Octagon tower was gone, but the rest of the bldg survived, but stayed closed for years awaiting restoration
Up Manchester St, at The Civic Luke played drums in one of the Smoke Free Rock Quest elimination rounds, and also frequented teenager dances at The Civic. In the City Hall, Luke's lead singer and guitarist mate got best musician award in the Canterbury Rock Quest competition.
2008. The Civic, Manchester St, Christchurch. Damaged by 4 Sept 2010 quake aftershocks. The Civic was demolished post 22.02.11 quake
2008. The Civic Staircase & Chandelier, Manchester St, Christchurch
Up Manchester St, we'd turnoff at Oxford Tce along the Avon River to swim at the council pool. (The Avon was full of E. coli bacteria stopping swimming in the Avon). Across the Avon at the old bandstand Rotunda restaurant, off Manchester St, we'd feed ducks and watch punters on the Avon and trout cruising the Avon.
2008. Verkerks Butchery, Manchester St, Christchurch. Verkerks was demolished post 22.02.11 quake
Up Manchester St, we'd pass Saint Lukes Anglican Church with its white wooden bell tower, separate from the church bldg.
After 2010-2011 quake damages, St Lukes was demolished.
2008. Saint Lukes Anglican Church & Separate Wooden Bell Tower, Manchester St, Christchurch. 4 September 2010 quake: St Lukes gables were damaged in the quake. After subsequent greater quake damages, St Lukes was demolished post 22.02.11 & 13.06.11 quakes
Up Manchester St, Luke bought his second second-hand piano from an old man. (He'd bought his first second-hand piano in Halswell). The piano-tuner who tuned Luke's first piano had found the second walnut piano, which Luke kept despite his drumming passion. He sold his first piano to a Chinese girl.
Up Manchester St, Leah borrowed school books from the National Library of NZ. Behind the library, Leah liked browsing at Briscoes and shopping at the Asian Food Warehouse.
2008. National Library of NZ & Asian Food Warehouse behind, Manchester St, Christchurch. Both bldgs were damaged by the 22.02.11 quake & demolished
Up Manchester St, early days I went for a couple of usless training / job interviews at the Christchurch Academy, a gloomy but photogenic Victorian bldg. Next door was livelier Saint Marys Catholic Church School.
2008. Saint Mary's Catholic Church School Playground & Christchurch Academy, Manchester St, Christchurch
Coda: Manchester St was badly damaged by 2010-2011 quakes. After the deadly 22.02.11 quake, Manchester St was fence cordoned for months with the rest of quake trashed Christchurch CBD. Cops and soldiers guarded cordon access checkpoints into the CBD forbidden zone. Manchester St cordoned businesses stopped, some relocated elsewhere.
Most of the photographed bldgs in this post were quake damaged, some were demolished.
Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont