Machinery & Restoration Department


‘The Big Shed’

The large shed at the rear of the main museum building contains further displays of a mechanical and technological nature. On Wednesdays, you’ll find museum volunteers tinkering away in the machinery workshop out back. You are invited to pop your head in and see what they’re working on.

In the lean-to on the left are a couple of 1920’s tractors, a wool press and some horse drawn farming implements including a seed drill, two hay tedders, two fertilizer spreaders, a tipping cart with a Case bulldozer standing guard at the front.

Many of the larger items and the working machines are displayed on the right-hand side of this area, as is a large number of stationary engines the Museum has in its collection.

These engines were a boon to the settlers in the period after the First World War and most of them date in the period between the wars. However, one engine is dated pre-1914, it is in excellent condition and runs on a regular basis.

Their uses were endless, milking plants, water pumps, grain mills, chaff cutters, grinding stones, shearing plants, and generators for providing electricity, as power came late to most rural areas around New Zealand.

A two stand shearing plant, in working order is on one side of the building it is driven by a 3.5 horsepower Super Masport engine. Other engines in this display include a Twigg engine also 3.5 HP and a collection of Anderson engines from 2-3 HP.

The oldest engine in the display is a 3.5 HP Allan engine made by Allan Brothers of Aberdeen.  This Scottish company made a number of engines varying in size from 2.5 HP up to 38 HP.

Around 4500 engines were made between 1904 and 1940, the Second World War put paid to the company and they ceased production in the early 1940’s. The engine we have is dated to around 1909 and is a Hot Bulb or “Hit & Miss” engine.

A collection of miscellaneous agricultural and horticultural items are housed here varying in size from a horse-drawn hay mower to cattle branding irons, chaff cutters and grain mills, pitchforks and hay rakes………..the list goes on and on.