Helensville Museum progress

Leigh and Robyn with volunteers at the end-of-year thank-you morning tea.

Totting up the wins and losses over the last couple of months, Helensville Museum is definitely on the plus side of the ledger.
Along with a generous donation from Kaipara Classic Car Club, the Museum was blessed with a fence fairy who quietly and anonymously repaired all the broken pickets. President Leigh Bosch and Vice President Robyn Stewart would love to thank the fence fairy in person, but the perpetrator of the good deed has yet to materialise.
A theft at the end of November saw items stolen when padlocks were cut on a storage container.
Police were notified at the time and Forensics attended the scene. While the act itself was upsetting, nothing of value was stored there and, on the upside, the theft had the effect of exposing the weak spots in the security system. Global Security came up with solutions whereby the shipping containers and tool sheds are now protected by the new, state-of-the art alarm system, as is the rest of the site. When the thieves returned in December, this time breaking into the container, two sheds and the barn, the alarm system swung into action and the thieves scarpered, leaving behind crowbars, bolt cutters and a bag of loot.
The painstaking work on pest eradication continues, with as many hours spent methodically researching solutions as are spent acting on expert advice received. Along with the material artefacts and historical documents, the buildings are also being given much-needed attention. In the annexe, for example, the pervasive musty smell was found to be caused by living black mould. Robyn has taken on the mammoth task of rebuilding the annexe, which involves treating and rebuilding it from the ground up with some help from Leigh and committee member Toni Walmsley, whose main focus is on preparing archival material for freezing.
“We’re basically a team of three, with some very welcome help from other volunteers,” says Leigh. “Every day there’s something new and we’re learning so much. We’ll keep going through January and hopefully will be able to open Hedley House around February/March, then we’ll do the courthouse, then the schoolhouse, then the Sunshine Block. This is our area’s history, and once the stories are gone, they’re gone, so whatever happens we’re not giving up. We’re setting it up to survive.”

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