Clyde heritage day well attended

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An I Love Clyde Heritage Day last Sunday was very successful, Clyde museum curator John Hanning said.

“It was really good. More people came out than what I and others anticipated.”

The day was organised by Clyde Historical Museums Inc and the Central Otago District Council to encourage locals to share ideas for the future of three sites – the Briar Herb Factory complex, the Clyde Railway Station and the Clyde Historical Museum in Blyth St.

Visitors were able to leave their feedback about the future development of the buildings. The information would contribute towards a feasibility study being conducted by Andrea Farminer, of Origin Consultants.

Dr Farminer said a wide range of comments had been received so far. Most people had been positive about Clyde’s museums, and many young people had shared their thoughts.

As well as reflecting community thoughts, and suggested scenarios, the feasibility study would include ballpark figures for costs of repairs, including earthquake strengthening, Dr Farminer said.

Buildings in the Briar Herb Factory complex were opened to the public for the first time in more than two years, Mr Hanning said.

The 10 buildings within the complex could not be opened on a regular basis because they were earthquake prone. Some areas were cordoned off, but others could be viewed through windows and doorways, he said.

“Virtually none of them meet the earthquake minimum standards, so that is all part of the overall study – what happens, what do we do.

“Personally, I would like to see it open as soon as possible, and I know there’s other people in the region who have been through it in the past, and they keep saying ‘You’ve got to keep that going, it’s amazing’.”

The complex included the processing factory, which processed up to 18,000kg of thyme from the 1930s until its closure in the 1970s.

Also within the complex were farming equipment, horse-drawn equipment, sheep-shearing equipment and a wool press, a blacksmith’s, stables, kitchen and laundry, Mr Hanning said.

Locals who were unable to attend the heritage day could still contribute their comments via an online survey.

For details: www.surveymonkey.com/r/clydemuseums

The study was due to be completed in September, at which time the public would again be consulted on the results, Mr Hanning said.