'Thrilled' at support for cottage move

The cottage is moved along Braemar St, South Dunedin. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
The cottage is moved along Braemar St, South Dunedin. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.

Heritage campaigner Ann Barsby says she is encouraged by the response to her appeal for help over the costs of shifting a 19th-century cottage from near the Dunedin Gasworks Museum South Dunedin.

The building was shifted by truck and trailer this week from its previous location, in Braemar St, opposite the museum, to a temporary site in a nearby street.

In the late 19th century, there had been many worker's cottages in the area, but the shifted house was the last of its kind in the street.

Mrs Barsby said the dwelling began life in the 1880s or 1890s as a cottage, but its front was modified about 1904, including the addition of two bay windows, which gave the house a villa-like appearance.

Nevertheless, the roof and other features reflected its cottage origins, she said.

Mrs Barsby, who is the founder of the Southern Heritage Trust, recently ''went out on a limb'' and provided about $14,000 of her own money to save the house, which otherwise would have been demolished.

She recently sought help from interested people to help meet the relocation costs and was ''very encouraged'' by the response.

One person had donated $300. A Dunedin trust had approached her, and might provide support for later phases of the project.

She was also ''thrilled'' the project had gained support from several South Dunedin businesses, which had donated the cottage, provided building materials and made available a temporary site for the building.

Andrew McColm, owner of nearby Shaws Yard Ltd, a building material recycling firm, donated the cottage.

Mr McColm and his wife, Jane, were ''delighted'' with the success of the house-moving project, he said.

They were also ''really pleased'' a significant part of South Dunedin's heritage was being preserved, he said.

Mrs Barsby said it was ultimately hoped to shift the house back close to the gasworks site, where it would become an interpretive ''hub'', to tell some of the social history stories linked to the gasworks.

It was expected preparation work for a conservation report on the house would start in about two months.

Some people had said she was ''mad'' to have used her own money to save the cottage, but she was convinced she had done the right thing.

- john.gibb@odt.co.nz

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