Our Story - Where
have we come from?
1964 – 1999 Manawatu Society for the Preservation of
Horse-drawn Vehicles Inc
It was realised during the
1960s that many horse-drawn vehicles were not being preserved for future
generations. Therefore a group of local enthusiasts created an organization
to lessen the loss. The Society was established in 1964 with Mr Don McLennan
as its first President. For the next 25 years a collection was assembled and
several vehicles were restored. As the collection grew in numbers, by the
early 1960s, the need for suitable premises had become an urgent priority.
The Society approached the
Feilding and Districts Historical Society with a request to house the
collection in Feilding and soon a working party was established, who
investigated potential premises and made submissions to the Manawatu
District Council for financial support.
1995 – 1997
Once the new
Manawatu Historic Vehicle Collection Trust was established, the Preservation
Society gifted the collection to the new Trust Board, satisfied that its
original vision would be safe for posterity.
10 years of rapid growth and recognition
The Manawatu Historic Vehicle Collection Trust
With a vehicle collection
of historical importance and an exciting concept for the museum theme, the
Trust then embarked upon an extensive and successful fund raising campaign.
The 38-40 Bowen Street premises were purchased and from this point forward
the museum told the story of the development of the Manchester Block and
Over the years since the
museum was opened there has been a steady growing recognition of the part
the museum plays in preserving the heritage of the region. A major
development in 2005 was the expansion of the Bowen Street display with the
popular Guy Gallery exhibiting a growing number of restored, horse-drawn
2006 saw the collaboration
of like minded community groups; Feilding and Districts Historical Society,
Feilding Genealogy Group and MHVC Trust Board who established the Feilding
and Districts Community Archive to accession collate and house the many
items of social history being offered for safe keeping.
Project Aorangi - Coach House Move and Expansion
In 2009 the offer of a
nationally significant collection of John Deere tractors and ancillary
machinery - the 'Crawshaw Collection', was donated. Other collections also
offered were the local and Internationally noteworthy ‘Jim Spall
Collection’, The ‘Cheltenham Dairy Company Burford Truck’, the ‘Police
Museum Buggy’ and ‘Motat Wheelwright Machinery’. All of these gave the Trust
belief that the opportunity was there to further expand the agricultural
development of the Manawatu Region and expand the range of historic
interest. With the availability of a long term lease of a large,
well-located building from the Higgins family, the Trust grasped the
Funding from Friends of the
Coach House, Manawatu District Council, Central Energy Trust and Eastern &
Central Community Trust, moved Project Aorangi forward.
The development has encompassed
the erection of a large new entrance foyer to house the Archive, cafe area,
kitchen and toilet facilities, before entering the display gallery. Development
of the mezzanine floor is planned, which will give space for a large meeting
room. The Display Gallery was reroofed (where required) by contractors and
displays, lighting and internal walls were erected by volunteers.
The development was tagged
‘Project Aorangi’. It involved over 8000 hours of volunteer labour in moving the
existing collection and Archive, renovating, re-fitting and preparing the new
building and its displays. The Coach House Museum continues to be run by
volunteer energy and enthusiasm, overseen by the Museum Manager who reports
directly to the Trust.
The Coach House Museum
re-opened its doors in its new location on 6th May 2012. A blessing ceremony was
performed, followed by an official Opening Ceremony.
The Coach House Museum is an
outstanding new home for our rural stories.
||Mr and Mrs Perc Martin at Rangiwahia 100
in the family buggy purchased in Wanganui in 1900. The Martin family
have been in Rangiwahia since 1886.
Richard Martin and family in the same buggy,
cleaned up and painted, taken at the 125th celebrations at
Rangiwahia in February 2011.
This buggy is now part of the Coach
House Museum collection.