Ferrymead Heritage Park is a museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, housing groups with historical themes, mainly transport related. Formerly known as Ferrymead Historic Park, it was founded in 1964 by groups, local government bodies and other interested parties. It is in the Heathcote Valley, at the site of New Zealand’s first public railway.
This was the original name of the park. Groups came together in the early 1960s with a common interest in forming a museum of scientific and industrial history, including the Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society, which had formed in the late 1950s to cater for local rail enthusiast interests. A pilot project was in Garvins Road, Hornby: their original proposed site was at Prebbleton, south-west of Christchurch. When that site became unavailable, interest was kindled at Ferrymead.
The park is in the Heathcote Valley. Being close to the sea and low-lying, it was historically subjected to frequent flooding. A major event was the „Wahine Storm“ of 1968, in which a large part of the site, then in embryonic development, was under water. This is no longer a major issue due to the filling of large parts of the site. Since the active involvement of the CCC began in the mid-1990s, flood and stormwater management have been implemented in the park and surrounding lands. The major project of the Heathcote Valley Park aims to integrate these along with the development of wildlife habitat areas and native plantings.
In the days of being managed by the Heathcote County Council, prior to local government amalgamation of 1989, part of the site was used as a rubbish dump. The raised location known as „Woods Hill“ was formed artificially by the large-scale compacting of refuse dumped there over a number of years. This area is rather unstable land and buildings constructed there without appropriate foundations have been damaged by subsidence. The Tamaki Brothers of Rotorua received substantial CCC assistance to construct a tourist Māori village on the site, which opened in 2007.
Radio Ferrymead is a radio station operated by the Radio Preservation Society (RPS) in Christchurch, New Zealand. The RPS is a non-profit incorporated society based at the Ferrymead Heritage Park, whose aim is to collect, preserve and display radio and radio related historical items. The station normally broadcasts from Friday 8.00am through until Monday midnight and from 8.00am to 6.00pm during Statutory and Christmas/New Year Holidays. The studio is open to the public on weekends between 10.00 am to 4.30 pm. Live broadcasts are done by volunteers during daytime and automated music plays at night.
The station broadcasts a mix of historical musical recordings from dancebands, stage, screen, radio and television covering music from the 1930s to the 1980s. The station transmits on 1413 kHz AM at 900W from a nearby aerial, and its historic call sign was 3XP. The station plays music from 78rpm recordings as well as vinyl LPs and 45s, compact discs, cassette tapes, reel-to-reel tapes and automated mp3 music on computer.