Newspaper Article 2018 – Photos see light after 50 years

Photos see light after 50 years


They sat hidden in musty boxes in a cupboard of an old Napier photographic studio for half a century.

More than 100 old photographs and negatives were recently discovered during a renovation of the former AB Hurst photographic studio, on Napier’s Emerson St.

AB Hurst was a local photographer, who was best known for his images taken during the aftermath of the 1931 Hawke’s Bay earthquake. The Emerson St building, built in 1932, was one of the first to rise after the quake.

Arthur Bendigo Hurst (1890 -1964) established the business in 1920. It became AB Hurst & Son in 1952, and continued operating into the 1990s.

The photographs were believed to have been taken in the 1940s and 1950s. They were discovered by the property’s developers, Wallace Developments, and then given to the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank to be copied, scanned and put on the bank’s website.

The images have now joined the more than 7000 photos in the bank’s collection.

Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank office manager Linda Bainbridge was seeking information about the identity of anyone in the photos.

“We don’t know anything about them, who the people are or when exactly they were taken. There are portraits, wedding photos, photos of choirs, rugby games, all sorts,” Bainbridge said.

The knowledge bank collects information and images of all historic subjects in Hawke’s Bay. It is based in the Stoneycroft homestead in Hastings.

The found images can be viewed at

Original digital file


Business / Organisation

Hawke's Bay Knowledge Bank

Date published

14 February 2018

Format of the original

Newspaper article


The Dominion Post


  • Linda Bainbridge
  • Arthur Bendigo Hurst
  • Marty Sharpe

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