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RADIO NZ: Lyttelton stories collected for guided tour of historic town

From Morning Report, 7:56 am on 2 November 2018 


Over the last two years Our Stories founder Kris Herbert has been gathering audio of local children and interviewing long-standing Lyttelton residents on their experiences growing up in the town.

Mrs Herbert said while using the app people could get notifications while walking around the town.

"You can stand above the dry dock and hear about kids rescuing fish, when they drained the dry dock when the port was completely open and kids were running wild.

"You can stand at the spot where the Harbour Light [theatre] was demolished, and hear about the importance of Saturday cinema for kids, of kids being naughty at school, of their favourite fish and chip shop, treats from the dairy."

Mrs Herbert said the oldest interviewee was a 98-year-old who lived her whole life in Lyttelton.

The stories also conveyed how much the town changed over the years, she said.

These days anyone going on to the port area needed high visibility clothing, closed footwear, photo ID, and induction into the site. But Mrs Herbert said when she first moved to Lyttelton in 1997 there was completely free access to the wharf.

Mrs Herbert said one of the clips was of locals talking about swimming in the dry dock at the port, and having to time your swim carefully to get in between the ship exiting and the water draining out.

"They used to actually hold the official swimming zones competition in the dry dock," Mrs Herbert said.

"It was just an amazing swimming pool, and the kids tell stories of rescuing fish. Some say they put them back in the sea and some took them home for dinner, but when it drained out there would be fish in the bottom and the kids were always hanging around ready to run down the stairs and get them."

The app was expected to be running by mid-November and would be free, but there would be a small charge for individual tours, about $4.50.

Mrs Herbert said the interviews with Lyttelton residents would continue and she hoped to expand to cover other towns in the future.


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