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Ferrymead Post & Telegraph Society




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Site last updated:
Apr 30, 2018



The Ferrymead Post & Telegraph Society Inc. was formed in 1977 & currently has some 80 members. The Society’s headquarters, depicted below, are in Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch New Zealand.

Exhibits are housed in a vintage building altered to replicate a 1920's small town Post Office. Exhibits are made up from a large supply of equipment & artifacts from the then NZ Post Office & later from Telecom Corp NZ. We also hold items from NZ Post, NZ Railways & donations of memorabilia from individuals. We are adding to our collection all the time.

AWPost Office

The Post Office building, as seen above, is typical of the communication facility found in small towns throughout NZ before the spread of automatic telephone switching after the 1950s. Such buildings were presided over by a Post Master, who was a skilled telegraphist & lived on the premises. There was a public counter for postal activities, payments for government services, a booth for long distant telephone calls, receipt & delivery of mail & a manual telephone exchange.

Our Post Office displays most of this & is an agent of the NZ Post for public postal service. Stamps & postcards are sold over the counter, mail is accepted & cancelled with a Ferrymead date stamp. The manual telephone exchange is in working order as is also a sample of a Western Electric Rotary telephone exchange.

The telegraph room has Morse apparatus & a sequence of teleprinters & teletypes, all working. There is a large collection of telephones from Graham Bells era to modern. Another display is the top part of a telephone pole with arms, insulators, wires & terminal box. The old Post Office Savings bank is remembered by a display of school savings books & boxes, as well as a display of pre decimal currency. Two Step by Step PABXs & a variety of different Interphone systems give children the opportunity to try out their skills on dial telephones.

Another building houses 3 vintage line trucks & a well stocked line store.

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