Yesterday, I ignored the sizeable aftershock in the Heathcote Valley and drove out to see what things were like in Lyttelton. I don’t think you could really underestimate the damage. The harbour town has always been a special place with unique buildings, and the damage to those buildings is very significant. One has to wonder how Lyttelton will cope with such a massive change to it’s skyline, and it’s sense of community. The Harbourlight theatre is probably the most high-profile casualty. I have to admit that I’ve never been into it before – and I guess that I never will. The crack that runs down the side is fairly worrying, and London St in front of it has been closed off, in case it falls. If it falls forward, it may damage the supermarket, which may in turn damage one of the most loved bars in town, if not the whole country, the Wunderbar.
The Eastern were meant to be playing at the Wunderbar on Saturday night, but have moved that show to the Loons next door. According to Adam McGrath,
ok the wunderbar is beat but not out, but no shows for some time
So, as with a lot of the information I’ve got, I haven’t been able to verify any of this with the owner of the Wunderbar. However, it looks like the quake managed to pop cinder blocks off of the outside of the building, which suggests that it has suffered fairly extensive structural damage.
While it looks like one could put the blocks back in fairly easily, I think that the fact that they have popped out means that it must be in a pretty bad way. Also, a number of the bricks have fallen out towards the Monster Bar, which is another great part of the Lyttelton scene that may be too broken to fix.
El Santo – in the old British Hotel – looks to be fine. Flip Grater is playing there tonight, and I’m meant to be there tomorrow (if I can get my band gear out of the central city.)
There were a number of other non-musical buildings in Lyttelton that have been badly damaged – the Empire Hotel being one. I spotted this sign in the window of the shop two doors down from the Harbourlight that I thought was appropriate:
If you want to help out with the buildings in Lyttelton, then I’d suggest you go and see the Eastern on Sunday, at the Loons. Suggested donation of $10 on the door, but more would always be welcomed: