By Chelsea Boyle
Masterton’s museum of sheep and shearing is expanding in a bid to show off more displays and artefacts than ever before.
Over the past decade ‘The Wool Shed’ has collected more items than can be displayed, and organisers believe they “deserve to see the light of day.”
Shear History Trust Chairman Gavin Tankersley said the new structure will blend into the existing buildings.
The two existing sheds, Roselea and Glendonald, both a have rich history, having been operational wool sheds that were trucked to the site in 2005.
Roselea was donated by Peter Wyeth, from his property Rangitumau, and was originally built in 1892 by Robert Wilton.
“[It is] one of the largest split Totara structures left in the country,” Mr Tankersley said.
The new complex will join onto Roselea and is set to cost just under $200,000, on a “shoestring budget”.
Volunteer work had always underpinned the success of The Wool Shed, he said.
“The sheep farming industry started here in the lower Wairarapa.”
The museum preserves that national history, he said.
He hoped the new building will draw more visitors to the attraction, he said.
Administrator Deborah Keats said the museum is a real grass roots operation and showcases the entire production of wool – shearing of sheep, the spinning of wool and knitting – on certain days.
“It’s amazing how many tourists come in here and they are just blown away.
“It’s important that that knowledge is retained.”
Architect Darryl Silverwood has been working with The Wool Shed since the two sheds moved here, and has designed the new complex.
Construction is set to start in January next year and will take about two to three months.
The Wool Shed will remain open during that time.