The Big Fire

29th January 1926


One of the most memorable events in the early history of Chertsey was the day of the big fire, started by the morning express, and fanned by a raging nor'west gale. When it reached Taverners Road the front was 2 miles wide.

The Minister of Railways was reluctant to acknowledge responsibility, but on the intervention of Gordon Coates (Prime Minister) payment for 50% of the assessed damaged was recieved. Mayfield farmer John Brown came to the resuce by offering free grazing on his farm for sheep until fences were rebuilt.

                                         The Big Snow

                                        14th july 1945

Here are some of the 1945 snow .I wasnt born at the time but have heard different storys that have grown over the years but by all accounts and Newspaper storys it was of similar depth to our 2006 one whick was about 500mms but 20inches in those days with the probably only diffence in 1945 they had big snow drifts which im told were up to 4 ft or 1240 mms The two girls in the photo are my elder sisters Marion and Helen 

The Big Blow

1st August 1975


tHere is a picture of Bill Lynch with horse and  his  dog Nipper with destruction caused by the big wind around the Chertsey cemetary in the background

The storm began on Thursday 31st July 1975 with a gale force nor'wester and swept through New Zealand ,with Canterbury being the hardest hit. By the early hours on Friday morning the winds had increase to hurricane force, paddocks were stripped, power was cut, roads were blocked and ironically being Arbour Day trees were blown down throughout the country.Empty grain silos blew over and rolled some crossing the main road without even touching the fences some were recovered up to 10 kms away

Below are reports from the children at Chertsey School who experienced the Big Blow.

  • I woke to ear the window break and cold air in my room
  • We had no School
  • It was frightening, a tree came down on our garage and dented our car
  • One of our silos ended up over the main road about two miles away, it had leapt over the fences
  • The seed cleaner was blown right through the open gate into the paddock
  • Some of our sheep were killed by fallen trees
  • Corrugated iron crumpled like tinfoil
  • Our washing was ripped to shreads
  • Our caravan was blown over

                                  The Next Big Snow 

                                    12th June 2006

 On the 12th of June 2006 we awoke to 500mms of snow on the ground  arguably as big as the 1945 snow. People here were without power some up to a week as power poles went down like dominoes and  lineman were bought in from other districts to help with the repair.

As the snow covered the whole district it was a major job and it was 3 days before we could get out of our house and then for the only time in my life i had to shovel snow off the drive so we could go to Town for supplies.

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