With another great bang and crash, Christchurch snaps another tendon and spasms in pain yet again. More historic buildings collapse – more demolition is due. Amazingly, yet again, there are no deaths from the latest one – especially seeing as there are numerous Engineers, Demolition crews, and Council officials roaming the streets down there. Christchurch lost at least one heritage building conservator in the big February earthquake, who was killed while working on some heritage restoration of buildings damaged in the September quake.

Most notably of course is the loss of the TimeBall station in Lyttleton – already built from unreinforced basalt rock masonry on an unstable hilltop, and badly / almost completely damaged in the big Feb Quake, apparently it has now completely disappeared in a puff of smoke. We were discussing this at the Fish the other day – one of us believed it could be saved, the other said it wasn’t worth saving.

Apparently the Historic Places Trust were planning to dismantle it stone by stone, while suspended from a cage hung by a very large crane parked lower down the hill – seeing as those cranes costs thousands of dollars per day to hire, that wouldn’t have been a cheap option. Still: at least they don’t need to worry now. The demolition has been done for them.

Sometimes, you just have to let it go…

And remember the memories instead. You can’t bring something back from the dead – once it has gone, it has gone for good. As a piece of outdated technological history, it was still of a passing interest to curious tourists – but is it worth dying for? Nope.

So here’s a nice picture from when it was relevant: remember this instead.

On a slightly more relevant, up to date note, have you, like me, ever wondered when the Christchurch (and Wellington) supermarkets are going to start putting lips on their shelves so that the produce doesn’t go crashing into the aisles every time ther is a quake? The staff must be getting tired from sweeping up broken glass every few weeks…. It would be such a simple measure to take…