Christchurch Earthquakes – 22 Feb ’13

Update Feb ’13


Flowers placed in traffic cones to commemorate the earthquakes Sadly the quakes still continue and not just tremors – a moderate one was felt last week. Daily update can be seen of the following sites: http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz/today

Several hundred people gathered for a memorial service in Latimer Square, near where 115 died when a six-story office building collapsed during the magnitude-6.1 quake. Others placed flowers in road cones or tossed them into the Avon River to commemorate those who died.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister John Key focused on rebuilding efforts.

He said he understands there’s frustration at the time it’s taking to get homes rebuilt, but that in a few years, Christchurch will be “one of the best and most livable cities in the world.”

People around New Zealand observed two minutes’ silence at 12:51 p.m., the time the quake struck.

For older news of ‘Mount Doom’ eruption see: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/eruption-fears-rise-zealands-mount-doom-230919751.html Shocks Continue     Updated  August 2012 August 5th

Christchurch has been rattled by a 4.8-magnitude quake this evening. The quake, centred 20 kilometres east of the city, struck at 5.06pm and was 8km deep. It follows a 4.1 quake this morning, which was centred 20km west of the city, was 10km deep and struck at 9.35am.

After all this time there are still regular aftershocks see this site for daily updates: http://www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz

Update 20th Feb ’12–  9,988 and counting

Bev tells me that they are  ‘still having earthquakes …we are up to 9,988 now and that was a couple of weeks ago so be more than that now. Just when you think they are slowing down to go away then we get another around 4.3 -4.5 just to let us know that mother nature hasn’t finished with us yet I feel that we will still get another bit one around the 7 mark yet before it is finished …forever hope not but it is in the back of my mind all the time.’

 23 August ’11 Heritage Buildings no longer insured

High-profile Christchurch heritage buildings damaged in the earthquakes are no longer insured. Insurance cover has been cancelled for the Arts Centre and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament after major claims lodged following the February quake. The claims already lodged will be honoured, but the buildings will not be covered for any damage from a future quake.

Arts Centre director Ken Franklin said he was “extremely concerned about the risk future earthquakes pose for the Arts Centre”.

Cathedral leaders were less concerned, saying further damage from any future quakes would not dramatically increase the repair costs they have already claimed for.

The Arts Centre was badly damaged in the February quake, with nearly every building in need of extensive repair, while most of the Catholic cathedral in Barbadoes St will have to be deconstructed.

20th May

News from Bev working for The Star in a porta cabin in Hagley Park:

‘we get around 6- 8 (aftershocks) each day and have just had a good one 5.3, which they are calling another one for claims as it did quite a bit of damage. Just yesterday we got a 4.7 which lasted for 4 minutes … the buggers are still here!’

Pictures from The Red Zone City Centre – 30th March

Provincial Chambers

Cashel St Mall Area

Colombo St (between Lichfield & Tuam)

Manchester-Gloucester -SW corner

Manchester St – Lichfield St NW cnr

Montreal St-Kilmore St old Normal School

Old Metro Cinema – Worcester St

Stonehurst – Gloucester St

Kenton Chambers – Hereford St

In Ruins

Christchurch Memorial Service Westminster Abbey 27th March

Not being a church goer it was truly memorable experience to find oneself in such a historic building with 2000 people, mostly ex pats like myself. Hearing the Maori language, hymns, prayers, singing the NZ national anthem – seeing Prince Charles laying a wreath, and when Haley Westenra – the young opera singer broke down while trying to read her thoughtful testimony – it was all many of us could do not to collapse in floods of tears. The complex organisation and security arrangements went like clockwork and were no doubt a good rehearsal for the royal wedding to be held there next month.

It will take quite some time to process the variety of emotions that the experience left me with. On the train home we shared the carriage with many NZers on their way to Twickenham to the rugby game with a Sth African team which had been due to be played in Christchurch but was re located here.

Update from Christchurch 6th March

From Bev who is very happy to be alive:

‘Go to http://www.starnews.co.nz and you can see our building as well as the papers we are putting out …

I am back at work and we are in a porta shed on the side of the road. It never lets up really as still having big after shocks and a lot are around 4.6 -4.8ish so makes you wonder if it is going to be another big one – they reckon we are going to get a big one – around 5 at least, every month for around 6-7 months and also in that time another 6 so guess just have to ride it out.’

This link is from the 2nd March here in London  at Westminster Cathedral:


For aftershock updates see:


I’ve never felt so proud to be from there, what amazing people! In the midst of all the Middle East upheavals the tiny city of Christchurch lies in ruins with over 300 people confirmed dead or missing and the NZ’ers living here  organised  this beautiful tribute.



Arts Center Christchurch

Christchurch was the hub of our community – the very core of our heritage and although it is many years since I lived there, my most poignant younger memories centre around  Christchurch Cathedral – running up the spire with my father as a tiny child, my first hamburger from the bar beside it and picnics on the river Avon’s grassy banks and the wonders of the museum. Poring over the cabinets of butterflies and bugs, gazing in wonder at the huge dinosaur skeleton and being enchanted by the Victorian shops and coaches.

My grandparents (William and Maud Turnbull) lived in Sydenham and my mother had won a scholarship to attend the Christchurch School of Art – now the Arts Centre, and also badly damaged in the earthquake – until she was forced to go out to work by the depression. She spoke of watching the soldiers march in silence through the Bridge of Remembrance on their way to war as women threw flowers. Her father had fought in the Middle East in  a cavalry unit in WW1. She also witnessed the horrific fire at Ballentines from the window of Beaths opposite, where she worked as a tailor.

My father’s family, the Armstrongs, were among the first settlers in Christchurch moving there from Newport Pagnall with a family of 10, in the 1800’s – my grandmother being the only one to be born in NZ. They owned property called Willow Nook on the banks of the Avon.

The Yardbirds

As a teen my friends and I would pile into Bruce’s old Humber and drive the 50 miles up from Ashburton to a sweaty, smoky underground disco dive to hear Hendrix played with strobe lights flashing – so decadent it seemed to us in the 60’s. Eating at the Coffee Pot on New Regent St was the height of luxury and toasted sandwiches and hot chocolate at the Albatross Coffee Bar – all within sight of the lovely old Cathedral. We also saw live bands such as The Yardbirds, The Beach Boys, The Animals and Roy Orbison who also  played in Christchurch helping to ease the isolation and bring us closer to swinging London.

Weaving by Vivienne Mountfort

Vivienne Mountfort

On a visit back ‘home’ in the 1980’s proudly seeing my cousin Vivienne Mountfort’s exhibition at the Art Gallery in the Botanical Gardens – a tiny 80 year old fibre artist  who did huge weavings including one of the Edmonds ‘Sure to Rise’ baking powder factory, with famous women ‘s faces in each window.

Could this be taken as an inspiration for the future of Christchurch?

Will they re-build? It seems that a third of the buildings in the city center will have to be demolished as they are so badly damaged and apparently the liquifaction oozing up from the ground and doing so much damage is due to the water table being close to the surface – Christchurch was build on a drained swamp. My dear friend Bev, who works for the Christchurch Star sheltered under her office desk and survived but was badly shaken and had to wade through this muddy ooze to get to her car. Her daughter Carmen was bruised by bricks falling on  her and still the aftershocks continue. How are people managing to sleep I wonder? After the first quake people had begun rebuilding but I fear that many will not have the heart to rebuild again.

So what does it all mean to the community? Christchurch had never had an earthquake before although most of us would remember the Inangahua earthquake in 1968 which we felt even though the epicentre was on the West Coast. My uncle Arthur Turnbull,  was the notorious owner of the pub there which took a bit of a battering but everyone survived that one.

Lunch time in The Square

Did Christchurch’s official Wizard survive? Yes, but apparently he plans to return to Australia where he will no doubt be unwelcome by those who remember him as Ian Brackenbury Channell, a right wing activist who fled from 1970’s Melbourne after death threats from the lefties and reinvented himself as a wizard entertaining the lunch time crowds with his pro royalist rants.


This has also been the week in which I celebrated my 60th birthday and saw myself on ITV’s House Gift  so its been a real roller coaster of emotions. FAME

Twickenham Rowing Club – Lee Campbell Prints from Frames of Twickenham

Last summer an ITV film crew shot some footage in my studio and around Eel Pie Island and it finally made it onto the telle this week- 22nd Feb. 2013 All good fun and Gillian said some very nice things.

Eel Pie Dawn – oil on canvas – Lee Campbell

Eel Pie Bridge – Oil on canvas -Lee Campbell


4 Responses to “Christchurch Earthquakes – 22 Feb ’13”

  1. 1 Graeme
    May 28, 2011 at 8:52 am


    You wrote on 19th March about your grand parents owned a property in Christchurch on the Avon called Willow Nook. I have just purchased a property on the Avon of that same era and my parents inform me that it was previously called “Willow Nook” I believe that this may be the same property.
    I’m currently living in London and have been for 14 years but intend to return to NZ about sept, next year with my girlfriend. we intend to live in this property and slowly restore it. It would be nice if I could find some history and maybe some old photos of the property. Your blog came up when I was searching Willow Nook this morning so here I am.

    I look forward to hearing from you

    Graeme Edwards

  2. March 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Hi, I will publish a non-profit boardgame called “REBUILD CHRISTCHURCH”, and I want to use some of your photos for this game. Is it okay with you to do so? All royalties of this game will be donate to the people of Christchurch in great need of help. Please, let me know asap, thank you!

  3. June 18, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you just shared
    this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. August 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Christchurch Earthquakes
    – 22 Feb 13 | Lee Campbell – Artist <Liked it!

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