Museum breaks free with covered walkway

Builders have completed a covered walkway to house agricultural relics as part of Havelock Museum's makeover.

Builders from the Ross McLean firm completed the walkway between the museum building and the Jack Shand building in early February and the space will be used to house agricultural and timber-cutting equipment, including donated machinery from former mills.

The job cost about $20,000 with the majority of the funding coming from the Pelorus Trust.

The work was part of a larger ongoing plan to upgrade a substantial part of the museum, including strengthening and insulating the walls, replacing the roof and improving the lighting which the museum's management committee has raised more than $100,000 towards.

Upgrade plans for the museum's interior are called Breaking Free because it was hoped the cages around the exhibits will be removed.

Museum committee chairman Ian Cameron said Bill and Jane Brownlee, whose family were early settlers to the area, are considering donating a lathe, a tool that rotates an item on its axis, from their family's Blackball mill which operated in Pelorus Sound from 1885 to 1915.

The family donated other equipment in 1972 which had been left sitting outside the museum along with a donation from fellow descendants of early settlers, the Crispin family, in 2010.

The projects were designed to "make the building a more suitable repository for the treasures of this region," he said.

The donations proved the potential was there to make the walkway a "most-interesting" part of the museum.

Its best attendance figure since it started recording them two years ago was 108 during a sausage sizzle and flea market on December 27.

About 22 people visit the museum each day over summer.

The Marlborough Express