Geoff Mein from the local newspaper popped by recently to hear what we have been up to. He spent some time with co-directors Andrew and Mike Blackwell, and wrote a great story about us in the Northern Outlook of 3 September 2011.
Geoff was keen to know how we were going with plans to re-build the front of the store. It’s taken us a while to sort things out with the insurance, and our architects are drawing up plans for a new front structure now. The photo at right shows Mike and Andrew looking over the draft architectural plans.
Andrew told him how we don’t have issues with the land under the building. “The plan is to build another distinctive building on that corner,” says Andrew, “but there is no desire to reproduce the old building.”
Andrew is very clear they want to look forward, not back. “After the first quake we had the choice of being very pessimistic about the world.” There were certainly days when it felt easier to give up, but the Blackwells and their staff are determined people.
Community support for Blackwell’s has been fantastic. “Right from the start Kaiapoi people wanted to support not only us, but the whole local business community,” says Andrew.
All our efforts now are going into planning for the re-build and we hope to publish some draft designs very soon.
Thanks to Geoff Mein and the people at the Northern Outlook for permission to use the photo above, and quote from the article.