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Industrial heritage in good hands

5 July 2005

Industrial heritage in good hands

A $15,000 grant from The West Coast Development Trust has secured the future of the last Ruston engine on the West Coast. Weighing 10 tonnes, the single cylinder Ruston oil engine was used to drive the Waiho sawmill which closed down in the late 1970s.

The Development Trust has also made available $10,000 in low interest loan finance to help the Westland Industrial Heritage Park (WIHP) house the engine and other examples of West Coast historic machinery.

The WIHP, a subcommittee of Heritage Hokitika, was established to collect examples of the Coast’s industrial past and store, restore and make them available for public display. With the support of the Westland District Council, who made available land near the Hokitika airport, the WIHP plan to construct a display building (estimated to cost $30,000) where the public can view the restored Ruston engine and other historic machinery, such as the old Seaview fire engine.

“Almost all of the West Coast’s historic machinery has been taken off the coast – we only have a few examples left, which is why places such as the Westland Industrial Heritage Park are so important,” says Frank Dooley, chairman of The Development Trust. “We are pleased to be able to support a project that will help preserve and develop the West Coast’s unique cultural heritage.”

ENDS

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