Vintage machinery club opening doors to public

That's snow business . . . A Snow Trac used in the Antarctic. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The Otago Vintage Machinery Club will open its shed doors to the public at the weekend.

The club will host its annual open day at 23 George King Memorial Drive, Outram, on Sunday (November 17) and will be joined by the Taieri Historical Society and Museum.

Machinery club member Ray Elfield said much preparation went into the event.

“We are running around in circles trying to get things going.”

Items on display included the “pride and joy” Rolls-Royce diesel generator, cranes, a concrete mixer, sewing machines, geology equipment from the University of Otago used to crush rock samples and a tea bag-making machine.

There was also an old engineering workshop and a room of old phones.

The fog horn, which could be heard about 18km away, would sound during the day, he said.

Mr Elfield said a woman cycled to the club, in Outram, from Henley after hearing the horn one day.

The club has been operating since 1980 and has amassed about 800 pieces of machinery – much of which has been given by the public.

“A lot of people are just generally interested in the machinery itself.

“They come here and talk to us about it.”

The club keeps most machinery and other pieces are sold to members to look after.

The society is home to six early Taieri buildings, which were moved to the part over the years as their future became uncertain.

All the buildings have thousands of exhibits, mostly used by early settlers on the Taieri.

Among the new items this season is a mannequin sporting a Taieri Pipe Band uniform and bagpipes, loaned by the band.

There is also a Christopher Aubrey sketch from the late 1880s of Outram’s main street with the original hotel and the shop across the road.

The open day will run from 10am to 4pm.