Wednesday, 27 August 2008

1855 Earthquake

Te Ara Report
n 1855 a magnitude 8.2 earthquake – the most powerful ever recorded in New Zealand – rocked the southern part of the North Island. Caused by movement along a fault in Palliser Bay, it altered the landscape of the Wellington region and affected its subsequent urban development.
Intensity of the earthquake
The evening of 23 January 1855 was the end of a two-day holiday, the 15th anniversary of Wellington’s founding. Shortly after 9 p.m. a violent earthquake began; in Wellington the main shock lasted for at least 50 seconds. People fled outdoors, where they remained for the night in tents and makeshift beds, as incessant aftershocks rocked the area – one person counted 250 in the first 11 hours. The aftershocks would continue for months. For the first day after the main quake, as far away as New Plymouth an almost continuous vibration could be felt by people sitting, or when leaning against walls.
After the 1848 Marlborough earthquake, many Wellington buildings had been rebuilt in wood. Some new commercial premises, however, were constructed of brick because of fire risk. The 1855 earthquake damaged many of these, including the jail and the bank. The local council chambers and adjoining government offices, both two-storey wooden buildings, collapsed. However, single-storey wooden houses survived: although many were damaged by falling brick chimneys, or shifted on their foundations, few collapsed.
The number of fatalities caused by the earthquake is estimated at five. The sole casualty in Wellington was Baron von Alzdorf, who died when a brick chimney in his hotel collapsed. Two people died in a fissure in the Manawatū. In the Wairarapa, several Māori (their reported number varies from two to six), were killed when a whare collapsed. Surprisingly few people were injured. The quake was fekt as far South as Christchurch & Kaikoura to New Plymouth and Wanganui in the west to as far North as Palmerston North, Hawke's Bay including Wairoa.

Effects on land and sea
In the Hutt Valley, slips blocked roads and large fissures opened up in the ground. Numerous landslides scarred the slopes of the Rimutaka Range. The earthquake caused a tsunami in Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour; some buildings on Lambton Quay near the shoreline were flooded by tsunami waves.

The shock was felt across almost the whole country, and was highly destructive in Wellington 8.2 and severely damaging in Wanganui and Kaikoura. Between seven and nine people were killed in the earthquake, and five others sustained injuries that required hospitalisation.
The earthquake originated on the Wairarapa Fault and caused extensive faulting and uplift in epicentral areas. The latter was most dramatic at Muka Muka, on the western side of Palliser Bay, where the ground was raised by 2.7 m. Significant uplift also occurred in Wellington city, most noticably around Wellington Harbour, altering the city's shoreline considerably. Today, Wellington's Basin Reserve sports ground sits on land lifted by this earthquake; the area had previously been part of a waterway that led into the harbour. The ground level at Pauatahanui, Lowry Bay, and to the east of Lake Wairarapa was also raised, but it is possible that this was caused by material being deposited, rather than tectonic uplift.
The earthquake triggered extensive landsliding on both faces of the Rimutaka Ranges, along the Kaikoura coast and in Wellington, where access to Petone was cut off when a large landslide containing ~300,000 m3 of material cascaded down to block the coastal track north. The slip is still visible today along the Hutt Road. The shaking also created numerous slump cracks in flat areas of Wellington, the Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, and in the Manawatu district. In these areas the earthquake also triggered sandblows and the eruption of groundwater at the surface, the result of massive pressure increases underground that were caused by the shaking.
The earthquake was followed by many aftershocks, some of which were very damaging. There is strong evidence that the earthquake generated a local tsunami and it is also possible that small tsunami accompanied some aftershocks.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Roswhita Robertson Fashion Shows of the 50's and 60's in Hastings

Roswitha Robertson was born in the town Vienna and attended London to study fashion at the London Technical College. Roswitha Married a Senior Warrant Officer in the NZ Air Force.

After World War Roswitha move to NZ with her husband a they settled in Hastings. In 1956 astings was proclaimed a city, with apopulation of just over 20,000. Vienna had a population of 1.9 million and was only a town. Roswitha started her own dressmaking business. She was influenced by Christian Dior and Coc Channel.

The first Christian Dior couture show was scheduled for 12 February 1947. Clothes were still scarce and women wore the sharp-shouldered suits with knee-length skirts that they had cobbled together as makeshift wartime versions of Elsa Schiaparelli’s slinky 1930s silhouette. The Paris couture trade, which had dominated international fashion since the late 18th century, was in a precarious state. What it needed was excitement and Christian Dior delivered it in a collection of luxurious clothes with soft shoulders, waspy waists and full flowing skirts intended for what he called “flower women”. Then in 1948 "Dior New Look" fashion, beige silk hussore jacket with black wool skirt, the advent of the Tight fitting coat, and the bar suit. This fashion would stand the test of time.
Spring 1955's "A-line," with its undefined waist and smooth silhouette that widened over the hips and legs, resembled a capital "A."
Her first fashion show was for a Bicycle Queen pagent to raise money for the Red Cross. She had to prepare 30 garments for the fashion parade. This was all at her own expense. The show was raised some money for the Red Cross, but she didn't sell one garment and it was a financial flop for her.

In 1953 The "Greater Hastings" organisation formed and organised a "come together" to get the town a country together for the betterment of Hastings. They took the City to the country.

In 1957 the idea of a Blossom Parade and fashion show was mooted. This was to be the start of the annual Blossom parades. This time the country came to the city. There were excursion trains from Wellington and Gisborne bring people for the weekend. 50,000 people came for the Blossom Parade a nd fashion show. This harmonised the city and everyone dressed up to show off the city to the visitors. Skirt dresses and coats knee level were in and by early 1960's the bar suit above knee level was in fashion then came the minis and the hippie sixties.

1963 was Roswitha was asked to provide a selection garments for the "Selwyn Toogood" fashion Show to held in Hastings in 1964.. This was to be her biggest business gamble as it was going to take months to prepare she had to clos ethe business for 3 months while still paying her staff so she had time to make the arry of grments required. The Municipal Theatre had a cat walk built in the middle protrding out from the stage. Roswhita was required to fill the theatre full twice.
There was Selwyn Toogood, Musicians, Models and all. Selwyn Toogood tried to used the models changing room but was told by Riswhita to use the gents toilets.
29th August 1964 a full house standing room only. Roswhita fill it twice with standing room only.
Roswhita did numerous fun raising pagents. including Red Cross, Plunket