Opportunity to see machinery

Otago Vintage Machinery Club members Gordon Soper, of Fairfield, (left) and Ron Holdaway, of Dunedin, work on ''The Ruston & Hornsby'' at the club's museum in Outram. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Otago Vintage Machinery Club members Gordon Soper, of Fairfield, (left) and Ron Holdaway, of Dunedin, work on ''The Ruston & Hornsby'' at the club's museum in Outram. Photo by Linda Robertson.

A ''hidden'' museum showing off the region's industrial heritage is having an open day this Sunday.

Outram's Otago Vintage Machinery Club and neighbouring Taieri Historical Club are having a joint open day to coincide with this week's New Zealand Motor Caravan Association's National Easter Rally.

Otago Vintage Machinery Club acting secretary Tom Rietveld said the open day was an opportunity for motorhome visitors and anyone else to see some of the region's industrial heritage in action.

The club had saved local industrial machinery which would have otherwise ended up on the scrap-heap, Mr Rietveld said.

This included a 1929 Ruston diesel engine, which used to generate electricity for the Kempthorne Prosser Fertiliser works at Burnside, and a concrete skip system which came from a local bridge-building operation.

Several old engines would be up and running during the open day and the old Taiaroa Head foghorn would be sounded.

Being tucked away in Outram meant many people missed out on seeing the museum, which Mr Rietveld called a ''hidden treasure''.

''New Zealand's very good at having small museums in small towns and there is actually sometimes better treasures in those museums than in the bigger museums.''

People who came along on Sunday, between 2pm and 4pm, would also get to look around the Taieri Historical Club grounds, which was home to some of Outram's ''at-risk'' heritage buildings, which were moved to the site.

A free shuttle bus service was running from the Mosgiel A&P Showgrounds to the site for people at the rally, with a $5 charge for entrance to the two sites.

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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