Delicate move for old cottage

Dunedin Gasworks Museum volunteer Peter Mason takes a close look as a 19th century worker's...
Dunedin Gasworks Museum volunteer Peter Mason takes a close look as a 19th century worker's cottage starts its journey from its Braemar St, South Dunedin, site yesterday afternoon. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.

Careful attention to detail and some delicate manoeuvring proved crucial yesterday for the successful removal of a 19th century worker's cottage from near the Dunedin Gasworks Museum.

Fulton Hogan heavy haulage division staff began preparing for the move early yesterday and by 3.30pm the operation had reached a delicate stage.

The house was on the back of a heavy-haulage truck-trailer and power wires crossing the street were being lifted out of its way.

The truck then had to be manoeuvred along a narrow section of the street, with only a few centimetres of clearance on either side.

Heritage campaigner Ann Barsby recently ''went out on a limb'' and pledged about $14,000 of her own money to save the cottage, which had been donated by the new owner of the land it was occupying.

The house has been moved a couple of blocks from Braemar St to its new temporary home. Some conservation work will be undertaken on the house, and it is hoped to later shift it back close to the museum.

In the late 19th century there were many such worker's cottages in the street, but this cottage, built in the 1880s or 1890s, was the last to survive.

Museum volunteer Peter Mason said it was ''great'' the cottage had been saved, and the move had gone quickly and smoothly.

Fulton Hogan heavy haulage manager Mark McNeilly said meticulous planning and specialised equipment - including the use of a remote-controlled house trailer capable of carrying 40-tonne houses - had played a key part.

Energy infrastructure firm Delta had also played a key role by moving power lines out of the way, he said.

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