Fireside talks at Kate Sheppard House

Through the cold winter months, Kate Sheppard House is keeping things warm with audiences enjoying afternoon tea and cosy talks from an interesting line up of guests in front the fireplace every Sunday afternoon.


The first talk was in the school holidays with Dr Simon Pollard about Who Lives in Kate Sheppard’s Garden.  The spider biologist and award-winning natural history photographer and writer, as well as advisor and presenter on many natural history documentaries, including the BBC’s Planet Earth, was in his element providing clues to the secret lives of small species that lurk in this Victorian garden. 

On August 1st, historian, author and great grand-daughter of Kate Sheppard’s second husband, Margaret Lovell-Smith presented Kate Sheppard – A Noble Bohemian.  Margaret was a member of the reference group setting up the interpretation in the visitor experience for the house and has written many books on suffrage including How Women Won the Vote; A Canterbury Perspective and Plain Living High Thinking: the Family Story of Jennie and Will Lovell -Smith.

On August 8th, children’s author, Maria Gill, current writer in residence at the Arts Centre in Christchurch will present Kate Sheppard, Leading the Way. Maria received the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for services to children’s literature in 2020.

On August 15th, HNZPT’s Dr Christine Whybrew will enlighten us about researching the history of your family home in Who Has Lived in My House? She will take us through how to uncover stories and secrets within the walls of old homes and share tips and tricks for tracing previous occupants and their daily lives. She will also share some new findings on Te Whare Waiutuutu Kate Sheppard House.

Julia Bradshaw, senior curator of Human History at the Canterbury Museum will share her findings on the tumultuous times of our country’s gold rush period, where women reinvented themselves and used the opportunity to escape undesirable legal and social restrictions in Adjustable Marriages: Relationships, Divorce and Bigamy on the New Zealand Goldfields.

You can book to attend these events on our Eventbrite page.