Community Board Notes West Otago

This past Sunday saw the West Otago Vintage Club host an open day.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it until much later in the day when everything was winding down, but I was told they had about 100 visitors through the door during the day.

They were a combination of locals, and those who had travelled from other parts of the country with an interest in vintage machinery and also those who used to live in the area.

I have to admit, even though this club is just further up the same road I live on, I hadn’t visited for quite a few years.

So I am pleased to be able to bring you this story.

The club is in the process of fundraising for a new 850sq m shed to be built across the road from its original building, where members will house their growing collection of tractors and other vintage machinery.

Some of these tractors are housed in the existing display shed.

When moved, this will leave a large space, which will allow much more room to display the household items and other items on display in a much more interesting way.

Some of the areas set up already include: the telecommunications section; electricity revenue metering throughout the 20th century; phone exchange and phones throughout the years; the forestry section and kitchen and household items Grandma may have used.

A recent project undertaken by the club meant an additional room within the building has been built and made available to add to their existing other rooms of household items and historical records.

All costs for having this room built have been very generously given free of charge.

Another big project for the club in conjunction with the building fundraiser, is a second fundraiser which will allow them to restore their beloved steam engine, Stella.

Stella is well known in vintage machinery circles.

She is a 5hp 1912 Marshall which needs major repairs done.

This doesn’t come cheap.

She is the heart of the club and she needs boiler repairs and new tubes.

It is important to keep these machines alive — they made this country, and bring a lot of joy to thousands of people.

The club have set up a Givealittle page to help with their fundraiser for Stella’s restoration.

Members would be delighted with any donations, which can be made via

I look forward to following the story of Stella’s restoration (perhaps we can persuade a member to give us an update from time to time), and also to visiting again soon and seeing what the group have decided to do with their newly acquired spaces to display items in a more workable way.

Vicky Newman at

Idealprint, Tapanui