It's good news and bad news for Paddy Snowdon of Linwood, Christchurch.

His huge historic house on Linwood Ave is standing but damaged - he reckons it's the oldest brick house in Christchurch.

The good news is that he is a demolition contractor, so apart from the earthquake being good for business he knows how to protect his asset. Built in 1856, the house looks all of its 154 years and it's a wonder it's still standing.

Paddy shows us around his house and how he has secured the facade of the old building with battens and strops to door frames on the inside.

Mark Mitchell, our Wellington based photographer is with me. We flew to Blenheim yesterday and drove down.

Paddy poses for pictures inside the house next to a Joy Division picture. The six tenants had supposedly moved out but they look pretty much still at home to us.

My niece Nina who lives nearby is giving us the benefit of her local knowledge for the day, and is thrilled to get a tour of the old brick house. It's one of those ones that people walk past and wonder what secrets lie inside.

Paddy takes a call from a friend who helped batten down the facade yesterday and we're on our way back out to the countryside near Darfield, the epicentre of the quake.