Heritage to be protected

The Lumsden jail which is to be shifted by the community board from the camping ground to the area by the railway station in the middle of town as part of new developments being planned.
JENNY CAMPBELL/Supplied
The Lumsden jail which is to be shifted by the community board from the camping ground to the area by the railway station in the middle of town as part of new developments being planned.

A new heritage trust has been set up in Lumsden to preserve the past, promote the future and provide an attraction for visitors.

Trust secretary Tim Hanna said the key driver behind setting up the Lumsden Heritage Trust was to give cyclists using the new Round the Mountain trail a reason to continue to Lumsden rather than simply circling on to Queenstown.

"We are in advanced negotiations with the Southland District Council about rolling stock and a diesel shunter from Wairio, similar to what used to be in Lumsden, hoping to bring it for display at the Lumsden railway station."

They also wanted to recover, clean up, display and later restore the two V class steam trains, built in England in 1888, and dumped in the Oreti River in 1928.

"We are looking to relocate the original Anglican All Saints wooden church to re-purpose it as a regional war memorial museum, " he said.

"A special committee has been set up to draw up a business plan initially for the building, with significant funding already secured."

The trust expected the initiatives to help position Lumsden as a gateway to Southland and to encourage further exploration of Southland by visitors generally.

"Although the trust has only been in existence for a short while, it is very obvious there is a lot of support and a significant number of people want to participate, " Mr Hanna said.

"We are looking for items of memorabilia and collections of historic significance such as books and old tractors."

They were particularly interested in materials suitable for exhibits to celebrate the 100th anniversary of World War I. An appropriate secure place to display these is essential.

People can become a Friend of the Trust by emailing timhanna@maxnet.co.nz

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