Upper restoration

The history of the Upper brick wall

Initially backed by Old Boys in 1919, the original Upper wall was supported by the Board of Governors and the Domain Board. Post-World War I, the importance of building that original brick wall and seating – between the Botanic Gardens and Upper – was underlined by the decision to move the annual College versus Christchurch Boys’ High School Rugby match to the Showgrounds in Addington because of a lack of seating for spectators. While the Old Boys had quickly committed to the proposed brick wall – and donations were forthcoming – its erection was delayed until 1922. Prior to building the wall, a CCOBA sub-committee had to navigate a lack of wall materials – especially cement – and the cost of the project. It also had decided to prioritise contributions to a War Memorial Fund.

In October 1922, tenders for the Upper brick wall were finally opened and the lowest – from bricklayer A Lemmon for £687 – was accepted. It was then suggested that the wall would need strengthening to account for the proposed seating. In January 1923, the completed wall bays were numbered from the eastern end, with the location of names – representing each donation – allocated by ballot. Further donations to Upper were recognised, with more names added into the 1950s. In total, about 70 families contributed to the original Upper wall, with multiple plaques – and familiar names – still on the wall today.

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