Photograph of family

Gimblett family collection

Photographs of the Gimblett family and Heathcote Valley, from the 1890s through to the 1940s.
Archive 949.

Image Credit: Group of young people outdoors with cricket bat. CCL-Arch949-Gimblett-042

Count of items in this collection
Gimblett family collection
Alternative Title
Archive 949
Biographical Note
For over forty years William Gimblett (1845-1913) was an important figure in horticulture in Canterbury. A Cornishman, he emigrated on the Mermaid in 1866 and worked on a farm in Papanui for six years. He bought the property of James Davis Hargood (1820-1868) in Woolston and began fruit-growing and market gardening. Gimblett also carried on business as a seedsman, fruiterer and greengrocer in Colombo Street and later bought a nursery business on 5 acres of land. The 1882 Return of the freeholders has a description of William Gimblett, nurseryman, Christchurch who owned 12 acres worth 1800 pounds in the Selwyn County [land in the Heathcote Valley] and land worth 370 pounds in Woolston Borough. Gimblett planted the hill portion of his Heathcote property with fruit trees, mainly apricots and cherries. His wooden house, Hillwood, which he built around 1905 to replace an earlier dwelling, was high up on the hillside amid bluegums. By 1900 the Heathcote Valley was one of Christchurch's biggest suppliers of orchard and market-garden produce. Gimblett sold his Christchurch business to focus on this enterprise and another fruiterer's shop in High Street was sold shortly before his death. In 1893 Gimblett sent several cases of apples to Queen Victoria at Balmoral. They were not only a gift but also a trial to see how well they travelled. He planted the lime trees in Victoria Square. William's first wife, whom he married in 1872, was Elizabeth Burman (1841?-1888). His second wife was Sarah Kitchingham (1858?-1929) whom he married in 1890. His children included Ernest William (born and died 1891), Egbert William (1892-1969), Harold Victor (1893-1895), Madeline (Maidie) Elizabeth (1895-1968) and Dorothy Thomasine (1897-1998). Dorothy married William Burnell. After William Gimblett died, none of his family wished to take on the business and it was sold in 1924. His grand-daughter, Ruth Trent, née Burnell, donor of the collection, appears in some of the images.
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98 items
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