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West Otago Vintage Museum

87 Northumberland St. Tapanui
 
In February 1958 when old tractors and machinery were scrapped or taken out of the district Murray Herbert Rodger and Bill Thomson called a meeting at the Kelso Hall to gauge local support, draw attention to their concerns and form a vintage club or organisation. The following month a meeting was held and the West Otago Vintage Farm Machine Club was established with Murray Rodger elected President and Bill Thomson as Secretary.

The clubs aim was "To restore and preserve the relics as a tribute to those who invented them and those who pioneered their use".

The Club's first Monster Rally was held Saturday 26 March 1960 on "Elmbank", the property of Bob Hamilton, now the present site of Stuart Sawmill and David Young's property, "Mourne Park". Search the index or Read the booklet.

Behind the Forest Lodge Hotel were old buildings owned by the Flax Company who agreed to store the clubs first exhibits. Community support grew and with that new clubrooms were opened in Northumberland Street on 12 April 1985, containing club rooms and an area to display machines. The building was extended in 1997 to include an area displaying household goods, a comprehensive collection of historical information from the district with additional area for machinery display.

A section was purchased accross the road by the club and a large shed built in 2004 to increase storage for machines and equipment. The Club also has a steam section and its pride and joy is STELLA, a 1912 5hp Marshall Traction Engine. The Club also has a Stationary Steam Engine, an 1882 4hp Marshall.

Now, in 2011, there is a large collection of vintage tractors and implements in the museum, some trucks and other vehicles, a display of many household goods and collection of historical information including trading records of many old West Otago businesses, family history, photographs and articles to assist readers and researchers.

Contact Details
c/- The Secretary, 87 Northumberland Street, Tapanui 9155

Visitor Information
Northumberland Street Tapanui, New Zealand
Weekends and Public holidays 2pm - 4pm Or by arrangement via Information Centre Phone +64 3 204 8306 Adult $5.00; Child 50c



Source: Wilma Brock