St Martin's Friendly Flea Market founding member Jean
Marchant (left), treasurer Ngaire Tunnicliff and booker
Diane Harper (right) are sad to see St Martin's Hall closed
because it is earthquake prone. Photo by Jonathan
The Anglican Diocese of Dunedin has closed two of its
buildings because they would pose too great a risk during an
St Martin's Hall, in Northumberland St, Northeast Valley, and
Holy Cross Church, St Kilda, have both been shut after
structural reports found they were not up to code.
Diocesan manager Graeme Sykes said the church was working
through a process of figuring out what needed to be done with
This involved discussions with the affected communities,
which had already begun informally at a parish level.
Holy Cross Church was built on an unstable sand base and
would be extremely expensive to repair and strengthen.
It was likely that it would need to be demolished, Mr Sykes
The Northumberland St hall was used by many community groups
and its fate would be discussed with them before anything was
''If there is enough support it could be repaired,'' Mr Sykes
The diocese owned about 70 buildings, about half of which
were in Dunedin.
These buildings had been assessed and Mr Sykes said it was
unlikely there would be more closures except possibly in
rural areas with buildings that were hardly used any more.
One community group that used St Martin's Hall was the St
Martin's Friendly Flea Market, which has held 11 markets a
year in the hall since 1978.
The market organising committee decided to discontinue the
market after the hall was closed.
Although the hall closure was the main reason for ending the
market, declining stall and patron numbers were also factors.
Founding member Jean Marchant said the market had been very
successful when it started.
Once there had been a waiting list for stalls but over the
years weekend trading and an increased number of op-shops had
made it harder to compete.
Many other community groups, including the Guides and
Brownies, an indoor bowling club, and table tennis club, also
used the hall and it had often been hired out for functions.
''The hall has a lot of memories for a lot of people,'' Mrs
''I'm sad to see it closed.''