“I’ve chosen horses as my theme, and the various roles they played in life in Lyttelton. As an additional theme, a few slides at the end relating to my family and logistics.”
A former speech therapist, Winsome Dormer accepted an opportunity to start up a ship supply business, Independent Provedoring Co Ltd in Lyttelton in 1989.
31 years later Winsome reflects on the personal and business journey that opportunity presented: Customer service is the number one driving force behind this now NZ-wide business. Whilst specializing particularly in the NZ fishing fleet, the services of Independent Provedoring Co Ltd also extend to cruise ships; bulk carriers; car carriers; scientific research vessels and tankers and we are very proud to have provisioned the Italian Expedition to Terranova Bay in Antarctica for the past 31 years. The company not only supplies all food items but the full range of deck, engine, safety, hardware, pantry - in other words anything a vessel requires!
As well as her daily view of Lyttelton from her office window, Winsome shares with us another personal connection to Lyttelton’s history – see the last slide in the show for a special building with an old Lyttelton connection.
“There was still a chemist on this corner when I first came to Lyttelton in 1987, as indeed there was until the earthquake of 2011. The 'inter-island steamer' sign on the telegraph pole also tells a story. And then there's the Empire Hotel, which when I first knew it had an Irish landlord and the carpet squelched underfoot. One night Viktor the Russian trawlerman played the accordion in exchange for drink and we ended up on board his ship eating ersatz caviar from a tin and drinking, inevitably, vodka.”
“Like most of the Norwich quay pubs the Canterbury was a relic of former times, when sailors poured off the boats and into the first pub they met and when the wharf employed thousands. The rooms at the back seemed to go on for ever, and included a ball room of sorts that I never saw used.”
“Until, I think, 2001, you could not only park in the port you could wander along the quays and slap the great iron sides of the ships and admire the metal guards that they used to slide over the hawsers to keep the rats from coming on board. They painted them with cats' faces. And you could fish for red cod and spotties.”
“That road on the right of the photo is Ticehurst Terrace, leading to the top of Ticehurst Road and then onto Bridle Path Road. I lived for ten years at 35 Ticehurst Road. Here it's still just a paddock with a path through it. Many of the cottages in the gulley still exist, if much altered.”
“Who knows where this was taken, or when, or why? You've just got to love the grins.”
“The dry dock and the rail tunnel are extraordinary feats of engineering from the days before the internal combustion engine. And they are still functional. Today there's a ship in the dry dock held upright by exactly the same method as depicted in this photo of Scott’s Discovery from 120 years before.”
“I'm guessing this crowd is milling to come in to some sort of jumble sale or similar. But the point of the photo is the two kids sitting apart by the wall. One's eating. One's drinking.”
“Evocative stuff: the bare land behind Reserve Terrace, the weatherboard fronts, the verandas on the south side of the London Street, the empty road dotted with horse shit, and a solitary man in a hat.”
“This is pure wild west, a frontier town. And two years later most of it burned down.”
“A neighbour in Ripon Street, Les Hinds, who was over 90, told me how as a boy he used to fish in the open water on the bottom right of this photo. It's the tank farm now.”
“Another of the big Norwich Quay hotels that was lost to the earthquakes. We often used to drink there after playing squash, unless one of our friends who worked on the wharf was with us. He wouldn't drink in the Royal for some reason associated with union solidarity.”