Wednesday July 24th 1912 was a fairly unremarkable day. No liners collided with icebergs, no Archdukes were assassinated and no Kings were crowned. But today does mark a special centenary that I thought I’d share with you.
It was one hundred years ago today that the Lyttelton Railway workers enjoyed their annual ball. I know this because I have a double ticket.
It is hard to believe that I’ve managed two and a half months of blogging about history and haven’t yet introduced one of my smaller but favourite ephemera obsessions. I’ve been collecting ball tickets and dance cards for at least a decade and the pickings can be very slim. It has taken that long to amass enough to warrant keeping them in their own album and that is one of the reasons they are among my most prized collections.
Is it appropriate for a Kiwi male to collect dance cards and ball invitations? Probably not but that hasn’t stopped me yet. They offer a rare personal glimpse into the social life of yesteryear and one thing I love about them is that in most instances it seems probable that any existing cards will be the only example of that one left in existence. That is except for the Lyttelton Railway Annual Ball of 1912, I know this because I have two of them.
So what details of the event can we find out from the ticket? Continue reading