Waimate Edwardian Heritage Group

Was founded around a kitchen table by a group of women with a love of heritage!

As other like minded people expressed their interest, the group was formed with the aim.. 'To be beneficial to the community by promoting the District's Edwardian Heritage and the preservation of the District's Edwardian architecture and places of historic interest; to encourage the community to recognize, nurture and enjoy the heritage assets of the district; to take pride in that history, to foster growth, revitalize and market the area by encouraging tourism through highlighting aspects of heritage architecture, Edwardian life, culture and entertainment, to hold events with an Edwardian theme, raising the profile of Waimate as a heritage tourist destination.'

In early days the group decided one of their main objectives was to hold an annual event to celebrate Waimate's Edwardian history. Seddon Square a small tree lined park complete with band rotunda situated in the main street of Waimate was the ideal venue. It was from here that 'Promenade in the Park' was hosted for the first time in 2006.

This initial event was a Royal occasion with King George and Queen Mary attending giving their Royal seal of approval to the group! The event was only slightly marred when upon the Royal couples arrival at Seddon Square they were greeted by several suffragettes with placards, some had even chained themselves to the railings!

The event started with an official opening at the iconic 'Savoy Tearooms' where some 60 members and public enjoyed Devonshire Tea before promenading along Waimate's main street to Seddon Square for a free day of Edwardian entertainment, stalls, fashion parades, antique appraisals and children's activities. Saturday evening completed the weekend's activities with an evening of glamour, dinner and dance.

Since then the event has grown and is now staged over two days concluding with a church service on Sunday; 'Promendade in the Park' is still the main event of the weekend. Each years event have got bigger and better with unforgettable themed weekends based around 'Remembering the Titanic' complete with seven course meal from the pages of the Titanic , 'Moulin Rouge' including risqué Can Can dancers and in 2009 'A Right British Affair' with a double decker bus tour around Waimate's heritage homes, mock battle and evening Musical Hall dinner and dance. 
In order to stage such events the group have embarked on numerous fundraising activites including, thanks to the generosity of one of its members, the opening of historic 'Belvoir House' for spring garden parties where members of the public and group alike delighted in thousands of daffodils blooming in Belvoir's grounds.
Silent film evenings, raffles and mid winter Christmas dinners all help to raise funds.
Another project the group are currently working on is the renovation of 'Lanes' cottage now on its new site at Bushtown, a historic working timber town currently under development. 'Lanes' cottage was donated to the group by members Harold and Margaret Prue, Margarets grand parents having lived in the cottage. The group intend to totally renovate the cottage inside and out.
To date the Waimate Edwardian Heritage Group has 50 members many of whom are from neighboring historic groups including Christchurch's Ferrymeade, Oamaru's Victorian and Dunedin's Times Past groups. We enjoy the close bonds forged with these groups and actively attend each others events.
Our members were possibly thought of as a bit of an oddity when they first started walking the streets in Edwardian dress however these days they are greeted with enthusiasm from locals and visitors alike and it is not uncommon for people driving past to stop and take photos!

Members meet on the first Wednesday of each month for Devonshire Tea and a catch up always in Edwardian attire.


Edwardian Group

Butter making

Vice President
Joanne Barlow 03 689 7860

 'The Edwardian Costumier' - 33 Harris St
(the Groups Wardrobe Hire service)
Open by appointment -  Edwardian costumes for hire - hire fees apply.
Contact: Vee 03 689 6229 or Clare 03 689 1422

2016 Events

Saturday 13 August - 'Dress to Impress' Trims and Hats workshop
To be held at Jennie Kitchen's home.  Admission fee and contribution to pot luck lunch. 

Should you be interested in joining our group, learning more about us or attending our forthcoming events please feel free to contact Elizabeth Nevin 03 689 7864 for further information.