Megan made a special trip to the David Cook: Meet Me in the Square exhibition last week after seeing a photograph in The Press of her and her friend at the Cathedral Square bus stop, taken in 1984.
Megan said that she would have been in the second year of high school when the photograph was taken. Finding the advert in the newspaper was a surprise to her, especially as she did not remember being photographed. She does however remember having the fern plant in her room as well as the ruffle collar and fingerless gloves being popular styles at the time.
Her experiences of the central city around this time include going to the picture theatres and to Pizza Hut, which used to be located at the current Rebel Sport store site on Colombo Street.
"I used to take the bus into town from Halswell. The long bus ride meant it wasn't something I did every weekend. Many of my friends lived even further away so they would stay the night at my house and we'd spend the next day in town together. In this photo we would have been waiting to catch the bus home."
Today she lives in Rangiora and is a mother to two teenage daughters. Looking at the photograph, she added, "I don't know whether I would let them come into town by themselves now at that age!"
Thank you Megan for sharing your story with us.
Without being too affected by Megan's comment, we certainly hope that whatever your age and choice of transport might be, you make it down to see the exhibition at Level 1, 209 Tuam Street on until the 24th of May.
The catalogue for this exhibition is available on our Online Shop and also in the exhibition space.
David Cook: Meet Me in the Square
Cathedral Square, Centennial Pool, Lancaster Park, schoolboys, punks, nuns – a photographic journey through 1980s Christchurch.
When Caroline first found out about the David Cook: Meet Me in the Square exhibition through the Gallery's Facebook page before it opened, she had an inkling that she might see her father in the show.
The significance of everyday things
During the winter of 1984 my mother, father and I packed an overnight bag and climbed into Dad’s Hillman Hunter. I was five years old and, as far as I could remember, it was the first time we’d ever ventured outside of Blenheim.
Karen Cunningham found out her photo was in the David Cook: Meet Me in the Square exhibition when a resident at Edith Cavell Home and Hospital brought it to her attention during a weekly game of housie.
Since the exhibition David Cook: Meet Me in the Square opened at 209 Tuam Street, the Gallery's Visitor Hosts have spoken to several people who either appear in the photographs themselves or have a personal story to share about a particular photograph in the show.
Meet Me in the Square
The first thing you notice, even before the pageboy haircuts and oversized plastic spectacles, is the absence of smiles. The unhappiness in the eyes of the average Cantabrian snapped on these grey, chilly streets seems palpable. Even the Christ's College cadet, cradling a rifle as part of soldiery drill, looks ready to turn the gun on himself. In 1983, the year when David Cook began a project to explore his hometown, a camera as his compass, most locals look distinctly brassed off.
Now's a good time to make Friends with the Gallery. We're offering Friends 20%* off our new book of photographs of 1980s Christchurch by David Cook.
The former DIC Beaths department store was converted into the former Christchurch Bus Exchange on the corner of Cashel and Colombo Streets.