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 often 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 is a Boothmac hay baler a 1920s’ rowcrop tractor and some horse drawn farming implements including a seed drill, two hay tedders, two fertilizer spreaders, a tipping cart with a Case bulldozer tucked away at the rear. The double doors st the rear are two of the  doors taken from the St Columba church when it was upgraded many years ago, the pair of doors mounted to the left are the internal doors of the church

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.

The Warkworth Museum has a fairly large collection of maize related artefacts and this would suggest that it was a fairly common crop cultivated by the early settlers in the district. One of the most interesting and popular items we display to visitors and on open days is the Black Hawk corn sheller. Invented in the USA in the mid 1800’s the design is still in use almost  unchanged ever since and it’s inventor WA Patch became one of the biggest sellers of agricultural machinery around the world. The handle revolves a circular disc with raised teeth that remove the corn from the cob and  delivers the empty cob out one side, it is adjustable so that it can process various sizes of cob.

In these videos, Volunteer Alan Britton tells us more about the corn sheller and chaff cutter in our collection