One of the restored lamps at Cobblestones.
A visit by Cobblestones Museum volunteers to the refurbished Government House on an open day in 2011 has resulted in an amazing tale of restoration.
Nine of 13 ornate standard Victorian style gas lamps that once lined Government House’s driveway were found discarded and deteriorating on the ground around the back of the complex.
Cobblestones stalwart, Will Holmes, said it was the late Chris Slater who “fossicked around” at the site which resulted in all 13 obsolete lamps removed for use by Cobblestones.
A team at Greytown Menz Shed, led by Ron Allan, cleaned, sanded, primed and painted the cast iron and steel standards, and replaced the acrylic panels that protect the gaslight style bulbs.
Funds needed to be raised to complete major infrastructural works before the lamps could be installed.
Cobblestones trustee Bruce Cole who led the $50,000 project said he was delighted it had finally come to fruition.
“We’re grateful to Eastern and Central Community Trust, our private donors, Masterton District Council and to our contractors for their great work, namely Hoskins Energy Systems, Pope and Gray and Poltech.
“They definitely enhance the heritage buildings and established trees throughout Cobblestones’ garden setting.”
Jeremy Perrott, principal at Athfield Architects who led the design team for the Government House refurbishment, said their research showed that the replica lamps were unsuitable for the site and should be replaced with a fitting which was “appropriate for the original style”.
“As part of the new landscape works, additional light fittings were required at Government House,” said Mr Perrott, adding that the existing posts needed serious refurbishment.
“We researched what should stay and what should go back and discovered the posts Cobblestones now has were not original.
“I’m very glad to hear those fittings are now well restored and have a good home,” he said.