Date: 15 October 2009
The guns, tunnels and underground magazines of historic Godley Head will be brought to life at an open day this Sunday as part of Beca Heritage Week.
The Godley Head Trust is the ‘ambassador’ for this year’s Heritage Week. The 2009 theme is ‘doves and defences’. Department of Conservation ranger, Cody Frewin, has been working on the event.
Godley Head open day
“These stunning cliff-tops will host displays by the New Zealand Army, WWII memorabilia, gun emplacements, war-time newsreel footage, talks, refreshments and marching demonstrations courtesy of the Canterbury Sea Cadets,” said Ms Frewin.
“In addition, the top-class Leopard Coachlines Canterbury brass band will be providing the soundtrack for the day.”
The public open day will be held at Godley Head Coastal Defence Battery. Entry is by gold coin donation with the proceeds going to Godley Head Heritage Trust.
Department of Conservation (DOC) Mahaanui Area Manager, Bryan Jensen: +64 3 341 9103, mobile 027 229 7720
DOC Ranger, Cody Frewin: +64 3 341 9119, mobile 021 0221 3818
Godley Head has spectacular views over the Lyttelton Harbour entrance, the city of Christchurch and surrounding districts.
Fearing foreign invasion, the Defence Force began work on the battery just six days after the outbreak of WWII. The site included a long-range coastal defence gunnery – with associated underground magazines and gun emplacements – observation posts, plotting room, searchlights and accommodation for over 400 staff.
Godley Head is one of the most complete coastal-defence battery sites left in the country. Open days are a great way to raise awareness of the head’s history, gain support for its restoration and maintenance, and profile the department’s historic site management at a key site.