Tricky job puts church back together

GERMARI HERSELMAN
Last updated 09:01 22/05/2014
 The Loft
SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIRFAX NZ

TOPPING OFF: The roof of the old Tuamarina Methodist Church is lifted back in place at Brayshaw Park by Coffey House Removals yesterday afternoon.

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The 139-year-old Tuamarina Methodist Church which is now at Brayshaw Park in Blenheim, has been reunited with its roof.

The 10-metre-long roof was lifted into place yesterday afternoon in a custom designed cradle.

Coffey House Removals owner Gerard Coffey said it went off without a hitch. The special cradle held the more than 4m-tall roof together as it was moved by crane.

"It went right back together, needed a bit of adjusting to make sure all sides were in place, but she is pretty much watertight now," he said.

Marlborough Historical Society treasurer Ian Conway said he was happy the roof was safely back on.

The Tuamarina Methodist Church donated the building to Brayshaw Park. The roof and the church building were transported separately to Blenheim on March 31.

The roof had been repaired on the ground at the new site.

"It was much easier and far less hazardous replacing the sheet metal roof at ground level," he said.

The society was grateful to Scaffolding Marlborough for providing the scaffolding as a labour only contract.

"And Mr Coffey has to be commended for his patience with us. This project has had many stumbling blocks along the way, but they were overcome and the church is back in one piece - ready to be refurbished," he said.

The Historical Society appreciate the community's financial and practical help with the project.

The next step will be to replace the damaged cladding of the exterior walls with treated ply and new treated battens fitted to restore the original look of the church.

"This will save us having to painstakingly strip the paint off the old weathered boards and would add more strength to the structure all in one move," Conway said.

The society is still seeking funds and supplies and any donations would be appreciated.

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- The Marlborough Express

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