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Friends of the Hill receive a lift up

Media Release 26 January 2004

Friends of the Hill receive a lift up

PHOTO: Friends of the Hill local committee displaying a Trustpower Supreme Community Award the group has recently received.

A loan of $12,440 has been approved by The West Coast Development Trust to The Friends of the Hill Charitable Trust. The loan will be used by The Friends to publish a book of historical stories about the Denniston Incline and life on the hill.

“The West Coast Development Trust see’s benefits from supporting initiatives that preserve the West Coast’s heritage, such as enhancing tourism and building community pride in our region,” said Development Trust Chairman Frank Dooley.

Started in 1993 and formed as a Charitable Trust in 1998, Friends of the Hill has the goal of promoting the preservation of local history within Denniston and to educate the wider community about the area’s history. Trust volunteers run a museum and information centre located in the old Denniston High School. They currently have 160 members nationwide.

In 1880 the first consignment of coal went down the Denniston Incline, fondly referred to by the locals as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’. In its day, the Incline was one of New Zealand’s most famous engineering feats and for nearly 90 years it delivered coal from localities like Coalbrookdale, Burnett’s Face, Whareatea and Iron Bridge, all high on the plateau.

2004 is the 125th anniversary since the completion of The Denniston Incline. Friends of the Hill wished to celebrate this history with the publication of a book to be written by respected author Dai Hayward.

Sylvia James, Secretary of the Friends of the Hill Charitable Trust is enthused about the project saying the history of Denniston is enshrined in people’s memories. “We have captured a unique opportunity - Dai Hayward, the author, grew up on the hill at Burnett's Face and he has made contact with many others whose experiences are recalled of townships now gone. I wish to express thanks to the whole community which has been so supportive of Friends of the Hill.”

Thanks to the Development Trust loan, the book will further build on The Friend’s efforts to celebrate the anniversary that has also included the recent construction of a working model of the Denniston Incline.

Information about The West Coast Development Trust, funding criteria and other West Coast information can be found on their website that has recently gone live at www.wcdt.org.nz.


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