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Historic Images

On 2 November 1869 the first New Zealand meat preserving works was opened on this site and this act launched a major industrial change in the nation.  In 1888 John Cooke and James McNeight Watt secured the preserving works property for their Christchurch Meat Company and in July of the following year S.S. Doric sailed with the first shipment of frozen meat from the Islington Works. It was also in 1889 that the Islington township was surveyed.

Over the years numerous buildings were constructed to house the many and varied operations of the works and it wasn’t long before it employed over 500 workers – bringing hundreds of families to live in Islington. Everyone worked at ‘The Works’ and many other community spaces and businesses came about because of the population it brought to the area.

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