Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Selwyn Street Ghosts, 5 months post quake

On 17.02.11 I wandered Selwyn St. Its ghosts were prophetic, as the 22.02.11, deadly, Christchurch quake struck 5 days later.

Pre Feb 22 quake, I couldn't blog this Selwyn Street Ghosts post, as our landline was down & was fixed by Telecom at midday just before the 12:51, 6.3 magnitude, 22.02.11 quake struck.

Miraculously our phones worked during the Feb 22 quake & aftershocks, enabling us to phone family & friends, while chaos reigned around us. Good on Telecom & linesmen.

Images, quake damaged Selwyn St:


17.02.11. This Selwyn St, brick garage tilted in the Sept 4 quake & collapsed in the Feb 22 quake

A Durban, journalist friend did a Daily News, front page article on Christchurch Feb 22 quake. He Facebook asked me to supply details of the Feb 22 quake & my feelings on the Feb 22 quake, which I did.


17.02.11. Blue tarped roof & quake damaged, brick wall, cordoned, closed business, cnr Selwyn St / Moorhouse Ave, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



As Jake had flatted in a ghostly, wooden house, corner Selwyn St & Hagley Ave, & as Luke had ghosted picture framing work at The Silvan Cafe Gallery, corner Selwyn St & Brougham St, it was time I ghosted Selwyn St to see how it had fared in the 4 Sept 2010, magnitude 7.1 quake & 5 months of aftershocks.


17.02.11. Quake damaged, brick wall, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



I parked my car on Hagley Ave & watched early morning joggers by the cricket ground. I coolpixed Jake's flatting house across the road. Further along Selwyn St I coolpixed quake ghosted houses: broken chimneys & walls.


17.02.11. Selwyn St, brick bldg, by the railway crossing, was boarded post Sept 4 quake. The brick wall collapsed in the Feb 22 quake


17.02.11. Selwyn St, brick bldg was boarded post Sept 4 quake. The brick wall collapsed in the Feb 22 quake

After crossing Moorhouse Ave, I coolpixed a Moorhouse Ave / Selwyn St corner bldg, fence cordoned, quake ghosted, blue, windblown tarp on the roof. Further along Selwyn St by the railway crossing, I coolpixed two more quake ghosted bldgs, ghost walls & roofs, one boarded at roof level.


17.02.11. Dog statue by historic brick house, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



I detoured along Disraeli St to look at a ghostly series of 8 rusty, iron statues, resembling cabbage trees with raised branches, ghosting into half cabbage tree, half human figures, with branches / arms raised, ending with a rusty, iron angel, half cabbage tree, half human, wearing a barbed wire halo, with raised cabbage tree branches / arms, & a nearby rusty, iron sign: "Is man an ape or an angel?..."


17.02.11. Addington open drain behind the rusty, iron statues, Disraeli St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. Rusty, iron statues, Disraeli St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



Further along Selwyn St I stared at Everybody's Butchery, quake ghosted, brick walls, next to Kidsfirst kindergarten. In Kidsfirst playground, orange, plastic cordoned, wooden bracing propped up Everybody's Butchery wall.


17.02.11. Quake damaged, old, brick Everybody's Butchery, next to Kidsfirst kindergarten, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. Wood bracing, Everybody's Butchery wall, 5 months post Sept 4 quake, Selwyn St, Kidsfirst kindergarten garden


17.02.11. Quake damaged, brick chimneys, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. Addington Cemetery gate, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. HAZARD sign, Addington Cemetery gate, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake

Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, was ghosted by vandalised, toppled tombstones, and more grave stones ghosted by the quake. Grave maintenance - ghostly. White & red plastic, DANGER tape was wrapped around quake ghosted tombstones. White & red, HAZARD warning signs hung at 3 cemetery entrances. Each read:

"Many of the headstones and monuments in this cemetery are unstable due to recent earthquakes.

Please proceed with caution when entering the cemetery."


17.02.11. Quake toppled tombstone, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake

Five months post Sept 4 quake, vandalism & quake dereliction at Addington Cemetery ghosted quake dereliction in Christchurch CBD, as there was still lots of quake ghosting in the city & nebulous rebuilding. With all the surface ghosting at Addington Cemetery, what did quakes do underground?


17.02.11. Quake damaged, taped tombstone, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake

Many graves had broken, sunken, concrete slabs; broken border concrete; broken, toppled, iron railings; broken, toppled, shifted headstones; broken, toppled, shifted monuments; overgrown shrubs & trees.

Only redeeming features were cut grass & a laminated plastic sign stuck on the Council history, information board, pleading for Friends for Addington Cemetery & Historic Cemeteries Conservation. As many more grave stones were broken by the Feb 22 quake, conservation would be needed.


17.02.11. Friends For Addington Cemetery sign, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. Quake damaged tombstones, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


Addington Cemetery, history board read:

"The Addington Cemetery was established in 1858. Although not the first cemetery in Christchurch, Addington was in fact the first 'Public' cemetery, 'being open to all persons of any religious community' and allowing the performance of any religious service 'not contrary to public decency.' The other major cemetery at Barbadoes St primarily provided for Anglican services, thus many of the more radical personalities who were not prepared to conform to Anglican services, opted for the Addington Cemetery..."


17.02.11. Quake damaged tombstones, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



"The profits made from the purchasing of plots went towards the acquisition of sites of religious and educational purposes, the relief of the poor and provision of bursaries for the Christchurch High School (today known as Hagley High School)."


17.02.11. Quake damaged tombstones, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



"The first burial took place in 1858, and these continued regularly up to the mid 1980s, with only a few burials since then. In the 1950s the St Andrew's Church trustees passed control over to the Christchurch City Council, who have maintained the cemetery as one of the city's recognised "green spaces.'"


17.02.11. Bronze plaque about early Christchurch drains, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. Many drains & sewers were trashed by Christchurch 2010-11 quakes

An Addington Cemetery's entrance had a replica drain with a bronze plaque which read:

"What a difference a drain makes!

Push the lever and look down to your right into a replica of our city's earliest brick drains.

In the 1880s Christchurch was the first NZ city to install these, reducing the plague of deadly diseases like typhoid.

Look around to see how the design of drainage today considers even more community values."


17.02.11. Quake damaged graves, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. During the Feb 22 quake, the left memorial angel fell, gouging a grave



Ridiculous, as quake shaking & liquefaction caused ghosting of Christchurch drains, water pipes & sewage pipes. "Design" referred to open drains made of loose stones, which were hazardous rubbish traps. I'd nearly broken my neck, tripping over tussock grass, while staring at rubbish in the Disraeli St open drains.


17.02.11. Quake damaged tombstones, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



Five months post Sept 4 quake, on Selwyn St I saw only one new bldg development between Moorhouse Ave & Brougham St. There were few post quake repairs, no demolitions, no rebuilding of quake ghosted bldgs.


17.02.11. Quake damaged tombstones, Addington Cemetery, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



At Selwyn St / Brougham St corner, I coolpixed quake damage to The Silvan Cafe Gallery where Luke had worked post Sept 4 quake. Rubble fallen from quake ghosted walls could still be seen on Brougham St side of the bldg, with black plastic covering a ghosted parapet, & wood bracing a wall above a lower roof. (The bldg owner was once our Halswell landlord).

The Silvan Cafe Gallery withstood the devastating Feb 22 quake, iron capping the parapet wall. Where there was no iron, the parapet fell. Most Feb 22 cracks were inside, where 2 old, brick bldgs joined. Post Feb 22 quake, the bldg was red stickered & the picture framing business was closed.

Luke told me the Silvan Cafe Gallery was haunted. The bldg was originally a pharmacy & the pharmacist had blown himself up in the basement while mixing chemicals. Luke said sometimes he'd felt a warm, happy presence in the basement while working there. Maybe the ghost was telling him something?


17.02.11. Quake damaged Silvan Cafe Gallery, cnr Selwyn St / Brougham St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



17.02.11. Red stickered business door, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake


17.02.11. Quake notices on business bldg, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake

Two quake notices, 1 hand written, 1 typed, on a Selwyn St bldg read:

DEAR CUSTOMERS:

NO LUNCH TIME TRADE

OPEN TUESDAY - SUNDAY

                   4.30 PM TO 9 PM

CHECKED

292 SELWYN STREET

THIS PREMISES WAS INSPECTED INTERNALLY /
EXTERNALLY BY A QUALIFIED STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
AND FOUND TO BE UNDAMAGED AND STRUCTURALLY
SOUND. MONITORING WILL CONTINUE.
For more information please phone the landlord on...


17.02.11. DANGER, quake cracked & metal braced, old, brick bldg, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. Bldg was demolished post 22.02.11 quake


17.02.11. Jim Anderton's electorate office, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake



Further along Selwyn St, I looked at MP Jim Anderton's office next to a quake ghosted, red stickered, metal braced bldg. It was demolished post 22.02.11 quake, leaving Anderton's office standing alone.

Across the road were fence cordoned, yellow or red stickered ghost shops. On Selwyn St / Rosewarne St corner, On the Spot shop awning & brick parapet were quake ghosted with rubble still heaped behind the fence cordon, obstructing pedestrian & vehicle traffic.

The shops, old, brick bldgs, damaged by the Sept 4 quake, were trashed by the Feb 22 quake. Thereafter a fence cordon across Selwyn St obstructed traffic while the shops were demolished. Gotta ask why it took authorities so long to demolish those death trap shops?

A Dancing Shoes shop window notice read:

DUE TO THE EARTHQUAKE THIS SHOP IS NOW
CLOSED...


17.02.11. Fence cordoned, quake damaged, closed shops, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. Shops were demolished post 22.02.11 quake



17.02.11. Quake damaged shops, with quake inspection stickers & notices, (shops were demolished post 22.02.11 quake) Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake





Another shop window notice read:

SUMMERFIELD UPHOL
HAS MOVED TO
201 WORDSWORTH ST...

Since the Sept 4 quake, over the last 5 months I'd seen many relocation notices in shop windows.

17.02.11. Quake damaged, cordoned, closed shops, Selwyn St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. Shops were demolished post 22.02.11 quake

While quake demolitions went slowly, quake recovery minister Brownlee wittered at meetings about quake recovery: "Waving a magic wand..."

Christchurch mayor Parker ghosted to Nepal, via Singapore, all expenses paid, to a natural disaster summit junket, giving a 15 minute talk about Christchurch quake (The Press 18.02.11).

Parker's & Brownlee's hubris, as days later, 22.02.11, Christchurch was struck by the devastating 6.3 magnitude quake, causing widespread damage &185 deaths. The Sept 4 quake & Boxing Day quake were dummy runs.

17.02.11. Together with our landlady, 2 EQC assessors inspected our Heath St rental house, more than 5 months post Sept 4 quake. The two male assessors found more quake damage to our rental house than we were aware of. The house pile foundations were not inspected.

Our landlady told us there was about $10 000 damage to the house & repairs would be done in due course. It remained to be seen what damage was done by the Feb 22 quake, as our rental house jolted & shook during the quake & many violent aftershocks.


17.02.11. Quake damaged, fence cordoned, closed, On the Spot shop, cnr Selwyn St / Rosewarne St, 5 months post Sept 4 quake. On the Spot was demolished post 22.02.11 quake


19.02.11. NZTV news reported that EQC had completed 42 000 claims out of 180 000 claims. EQC had spent 5+ months completing 23% of claims. It would be interesting to see how EQC completed the remaining 77% of claims by its declared 31 March deadline.

Post 04.09.10 quake, as EQC was inefficient over the last 5+ months, EQC needed to improve post 22.02.11 quake.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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