I have long believed that every idea that refuses to disappear, that remains tucked at the back of one's consciousness, will have its day. Sometimes that idea just needs a little encouragement, a shove. So it has been here. Back at the end of July I got an out-of-the-blue email from Marion...
Hi Jane,We digitised this on the library website recently. I thought you might be interested. http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/DigitalCollection/Archives/Archive17/Reminiscences/Marion Ogier Content Manager Digital Library Web Team
This digitised, 1935 booklet about Governors Bay surfaced an idea that had been lurking for some time - that I might write about the communities at the head of Whakaraupo/Lyttelton Harbour - Teddington, Allandale, Ohinetahi, Governors Bay. My first thought was to interview long-standing residents of the 'Head of the Bay' and compile a digital archive. With this idea in mind I contacted David Bundy whom everyone pointed to as the authority on Bay history. In the course of a two-hour conversation, David mentioned the need for a book about the history of the Head of the Bay communities. I sat there and said "I would love to do that".
Gulp! Here was me, someone who usually does things first and then talks about them afterwards, making a public statement, a commitment of sorts. My response was a measure of just how much the idea energised me. Later an email of encouragement from David...
Looked at the Library material sent. Remember most of those names, where they lived etc. How can i encourage you re the proposed book? Have some archive stuff here, a small no. of photos. Anything that is here will be available, would be so glad to see it contribute towards a book. Have done bits & pieces of research but only where it relates to an Historic Project, ie. the Lockup at Allandale and the TB Museum at Lyttelton.
The email from Marion, the positive response from David, have been enough to give the idea wings. The reality, of course, is fraught. It is not, as another friend put it, a commercial proposition. It is unlikely to attract a publisher for this reason. And I have to earn a living, however meagre - so it can only ever be a very part-time project. Nevertheless I want to do it - and my writing about it here is testament to that.