A world class industrial heritage site

The Fitting Shop

This is news about our major project – the Fitting Shop restoration.

Three important events from the Gasworks Museum

Saturday September 20:

Join the Dunedin Gasworks Guild of Gadgeteers at the Time Travellers Ballus for an evening of dancing and general frivolity and splendidness. Captain Hansom and the Operonicon’s will be providing entertainment. Imagine you have time travelled from another time, place or dimension, and come along suitably attired, with prizes on the night. 7.30pm to 12.30am, Toitu. Tickets from mytickets.excellentevents.co.nz or call 03 477 8048.Dunedin Gadgeteers 2

Saturday September 20: 

Come one, come all, and view at your leisure the finery of the Gasworks Guild of Gadgeteers Carnivale Day. Take your photo dressed in steampunk. A Steampunk exhibition, High Tea by gold coin donation, raffles, a talk about steampunk fashion, a talk about the history of Absinthe plus tasting opportunity. Dunedin Gasworks Museum, 20 Braemar St. $5.00 per person, children under 15 free. All monies raised will go to the Gasworks Museum.

Saturday September 13 – 20th

Blacksmith Master Classes and Demonstations

To coincide with the visit of Barry Brickell to Dunedin and his exhibition at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery  HIS OWN STEAM: A BARRY BRICKELL SURVEY, the Dunedin Gasworks Museum is holding  series of Blacksmithing Demonstrations and Master classes that are open to the public. These are being held  in the recently restored Fitting Shop Forge.

These classes are being run by Nate Savill who has worked at Barry Brickell’s Driving Creek Railway on commissions for the Barry Brickell Gallery.

Blacksmithing Master Class: Cost $150.00 (includes all material and equipment)blacksmith
•    Saturday 13th September: Daytime workshop 11am-3pm
•    Tuesday 16th September: Evening workshop 5.00-9pm
•    Thursday 18th September: Evening workshop 5.00-9pm
•    Saturday 20th September: Daytime workshop 11am-3pm

Available from mytickets.excellentevents.co.nz or call 03 477 8048

Nate Savill and Peter Mason  working in the the Fitting Shop Forge
•    Sunday 14th September 12 – 3pm
•    Sunday 21st September 12 – 3pm

Good News – the Forge is back in business


“Nothing works at the Gasworks” is no  more! Not only do we have steam thanks to the great efforts of Tom and John and the operations team in reinstating the new boiler, but also Peter Mason our blacksmith has the forge up and running having had to repair a leak in the tuyere  (the air pipe coming directly in contact with the fire on the bellows of the forge).  If you want to find more out about the operations of a Forge check out this site http://www.beautifuliron.com/forge.htm.

Peter is presently cleaning up old equipment by an annealing process where the steel is quenched (rapidly cooled)  in oil.



Ruston Steam Shovel Moves

Today the volunteers moved the Steam Shovel to the front of the Museum site. Unfortunately this could not be achieved under its own power or even under compressed air as intended. A winch truck had to be hired to move it. An estimated 42 tonnes takes alot of moving!

Here are some photos of the interior of the cab of the Ruston and a photo of it in its new position. Thanks to Bob and his team for there effort today.

Ruskin Steam Shovel


Open day

Conservation, Completion, Celebration

Overview of the Fitting shop celebration

Today we celebrated the completion of the fitting shop project. Invited guests attended the celebrations along with trust volunteers.

Chairman Barry addressing the guests

Trust member stalwards inspecting the face bucket machine

Ann, Jessica, and Clive at the "business end"

Ann, Jessica, and Clive at the "business end"

Dunedin City mayor Dave Cull addressing the guests

Barry Brickell – Driving Creek Railway Pottery.

Barry Brickell  having a discussion about his Gaswork Museum involvement with Craig Bush

Barry Brickell having a discussion about his Gaswork Museum involvement with Craig Bush at The Driving Creek Railway and Potteries

I have had an interesting day today visiting Barry Brickell of the Driving Creek Railway in Coromandel. Bob Bradshaw told me that Barry was associated with the Dunedin Gasworks Museum. I received a warm reception from Barry who indeed told me he worked with Elizabeth Hynes and George Emmerson to establish a committee to preserve the gasworks and lobbied the Dunedin City Council to ensure that part of the Gasworks was saved. Barry had seen the gasworks when he held exhibitions in Dunedin. His interest in Gasworks goes back to his upbringing in Devonport where he explored the local town gasworks plant as a child and was fascinated and somewhat fearful of the furious expulsion of gas and flames from the old retorts. He told me that the coke from the retorts was used in the adjoining clay brickworks factory which made a high quality silca brick  which was used to line the retorts. I wonder if that was where Barry got his interest in creating wonderful pottery and terracotta sculptures from? Anyway he told me he worked in the Devonport gasworks during his university holidays, which helped fund his studies.  Then he went and found this book on a history of the Christchurch Gasworks from his Library. I spent another pleasant hour reading “Requiem for a Gasworks” by John Pollard Canterbury University Publication 1987. It has many references to the Dunedin Gasworks in it, and has some useful information and diagrams of instruments to measure gas purity as well as wonderful anecdotes of experiences of working in the gasworks. it is a first class resource and the Gasworks Museum should try to attain a copy.
If you have not been to the Driving Creek Railway and Potteries it is a must do on any visit to Coromandel.

Conversation & Conservation

Fitting Shop  Project
Tuesday, 26th October

Today a meeting was held in the Fitting Shop of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum. Sara Sinclair from the Otago Settlers Museum, who is in charge of the educational, discussed details with Ann Barsby and our intern Jessica details about the planned educational programme in the Fitting Shop.

The first meeting was directly followed by a meeting with Peter Petchey and senior conservator Francois Leurquin and conservator Laurence Le Ber,  two specialists from the Otago Settlers Museum.

In the centre of interest were the walls of the Forge room of the fitting house.