Full steam ahead for vintage expansion

Buzzing ... West Otago Vintage Club member Dwain Devereux and club Chaiman Dan Meeklah stand on the site for the clubs new shed. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS

The West Otago Vintage Club is creating a new space to house its growing collection of vintage machinery.

Many of the machines at the museum site and off-site locations will be moved into the new shed.

Club chairman Dan Meeklah said the project was in its early stages.

‘‘It has been on the cards for a few years but it was cemented in December last year,’’ Mr Meeklah said.

‘‘We’re hoping to raise a deposit before we go forward more.’’

The new shed will be built alongside the current storage shed, across the road from the museum in Northumberland St, Tapanui.

The two sheds will be joined on one side.

He hoped building would begin in 18 to 24 months, he said.

The current shed has an area of 650sq m and the new shed will have 850sq m.

The site for the new shed was bought a few years ago and had been dug out and flattened.

The construction of the shed had been made possible by the voluntary input of club members as well as local contractors, Mr Meeklah said.

‘‘The new shed is desperately needed to help contain the growing number of unique, valuable vintage farm machines.’’

‘‘The club started off as vintage club collecting tractors; it’s just expanded from there.’’

Once the shed was built, the museum would be cleaned and used more like a museum than a storage facility, he said.

‘‘It is important to make sure that each machine is given the care and attention it deserves, to preserve its place in the history of this proud farming and forestry district.’’

Club member Dwain Devereux said community support for the club had been exceptional.

‘‘We’ve been grateful for the local contractors that have helped us prepare the site,’’ Mr Devereux said.

Monthly working bees are held by the club to help with the project.