Southern Heritage Trust member Ann Barsby and Peter Mason, a volunteer at the nearby Dunedin Gasworks Museum, examine plans involving the worker's cottage behind them, which is near the museum. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Heritage campaigner Ann Barsby has ''gone out on a limb'' to
save a rare 19th-century worker's cottage near the Dunedin
Gasworks Museum but her action could come at a big personal
''They think I'm mad,'' Mrs Barsby said about her friends'
reaction to her decision to dip into her own pocket to pay
about $14,000 to save the cottage.
The wooden building, probably built in the 1880s or 1890s,
was originally constructed as an ''ordinary plain cottage'',
in Braemar St, near the gasworks. However, about 1903 it was
extended, with two bay windows added at the front.
Mrs Barsby is a founding member of the Southern Heritage
Trust and is a member of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum board.
She said there had once been many such cottages in Braemar
St, but this was the only one remaining.
Its new owner had kindly donated the building, which had to
be relocated to avoid demolition.
The building would be moved to a site in a nearby street and
it was eventually hoped to bring it back closer to the museum
to provide a hub for interpretation of the social history
linked with the museum, she said.
International industrial heritage authority Sir Neil Cossons,
who is the museum's patron, said the Braemar St cottage was
''important'' and was now a rarity, reflecting what once had
been dense housing in South Dunedin.
The cottage deserved a future, and he commended ''most warmly
efforts to save this small and moving reminder of the city's
Mrs Barsby had no doubts about the rightness of her actions
in saving the cottage, but was somewhat concerned about
having to face the financial cost alone.