I'm going to share one of my favourite locations with you: The Dunedin Gasworks Museum.
There are only three preserved Gasworks left in the world.
That fact staggers me. Imagine waking up in just fifty years time to discover that there were only three remaining power stations left. This immensely important part of city infrastructure has dissapeared all over the industrialised world, with little fanfare. Not that I'm saying "bring it back", it was a dirty, difficult, dangerous way to deliver energy. But it's a part of Dunedin that quietly disappeared in a short space of time. Not completely though. A fraction of the original Dunedin gasworks site and machinery remains but Sir Neil Cossons, the Chairman of British Heritage described this place as the best example of a city gasworks in the world.
The sad thing is, hardly anyone even knows it exists. It's beautiful... in a victorian-come-early-20th-century industrial way. Next to no-one visits this little gem. I've almost got it all to myself as a location for photographs. But that will change eventually. The Museum Trust is working to fix that and I have to say that after spending just a few hours in the place, I'd love to help them.
The Trust is going about raising funds to preserve the machinery and buildings they've got, restoring what's been neglected or removed, and bringing people in to marvel at this little cathedral to industry.
I've joined the trust to lend a hand. And I'm definitely going back to take more pictures. I'd love to shoot some models there some time. What you see here is just a taste of what's there. The site is a long way from its potential and some of the really interesting parts like the boiler rooms aren't yet open to the public, but if you're in Dunedin, do yourself a favour and get yourself down to Braemar Street some time.
The Gasworks Museum is open with the machinery steamed up on the first and third Sundays of the month from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. It is also open every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.