Pioneer village grows in popularity

Step back. . . Wynd ham School pupils (back from left) Emily Cameron (7), Caitlyn Blaikie (6), Niah Cairns (both 6), Matilda Webb, Hope Le Gray (both 5) (front) Amelie Ayers (left) and Tahlia MsEwan (both 5) check out the plough which was made by blacksmith John Trapski of Wyndham in the late 1890s during their school’s visit to the village. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Hokonui Pioneer Village needs more volunteers to show increasing numbers of visitors around the complex.

The village is open seven days from 2pm to 4pm.

Two volunteers are needed each day to staff the times the village is open.

Village secretary Nancy Stronach said museums were growing in popularity and visitors wanted to have a guided tour.

“It’s not just looking at things now,” Mrs Stronach said.

Not every museum was the same and many of the exhibits had stories people were interested in hearing, she said.

“You’ve got to be prepared to interact with the people coming through.”

Sometimes a visitor knew more about an item than she did, Mrs Stronach said.

“We are learning things all the time.”

It was very satisfying talking to people about the exhibits.

“It is promoting your district.”

All the hard work required to set up the museum was finished.

“It’s all built for us – we are just developing those displays and learning experiences and that’s fun.”

There were also more school groups visiting the facility and the group had planned activities for children to make their visit more interactive, she said.

Many of the volunteers are getting older.

“We need the next generation to come in with new ideas.”

Volunteers are rostered on and can choose how many times a month they help out.