BACK IN THE DAY WITH LAKES DISTRICT MUSEUM

BACK IN THE DAY WITH LAKES DISTRICT MUSEUM

BACK IN THE DAY WITH LAKES DISTRICT MUSEUM 758 482 The Flyer Magazine

POST WORLD WAR II – THE ARRIVAL OF THE CRIBBIES

By the end of World War II, it was said of Arrowtown that the only thing moving in the main street during the day were the shadows. The population was in rapid decline and Arrowtown was in danger of becoming another gold rush era ghost town.

The First Half of the 20th Century

The first cribs began to be built just after the end of World War II. Owned mostly by people who had grown up during the Great Depression years when there were very few luxuries, followed by the deprivation of rationing during World War Two, families began to search for an escape. They were looking for somewhere they could relax from the stress of daily life, enjoy a place in the sun, and have their own piece of paradise in the Wakatipu.

The Cribbies, many of whom are still residents in Arrowtown today, began the growth in popularity of Arrowtown as a holiday destination.

During the 1950s and 1960s, the population of Arrowtown would swell during the summer as families from all over Otago and Southland, and the odd Cantabrian or two, would arrive to spend their summer holidays.

The construction of the ice skating rink in Nairn Street that opened in 1954, was the beginning of a new and exciting way to spend the cold winter days in Arrowtown.

The resident population was small but some lucky children lived in Arrowtown all year round:

“We didn’t go on any camps. Living in Arrowtown was like being on camp.”
Evan Dennison

“I never once thought about what I was going to wear…I think Queenstowners thought we were a bit feral. School was very relaxed, it was idyllic… I can’t remember much about the education side of it. I remember the smell of spring and summer and bulrush, running up and down those bee infested fields!”
Janine Askam

Photos and source: Lakes District Museum

Hullabaloo Art Space is holding its exhibition, Liminality, in the museum gallery from October 2 until November 1 with work from its wealth of extremely talented artists from all over the region on display.

Lakes District Museum is open seven days a week from 10am until 4pm.A

Lakes District Museum Logo

Clarke Collection – Kelvin Heights, 1968.

Hunter Family Collection – Kent St.

Hunter Family Collection – Kent St.

Russell Family Collection – Picnic top of Coronet.