McCoy Hut in the headwaters of the Clyde River has long been a critical facility for trans-alpine trampers heading into or out of the Gardens of Eden and Allah, as well as being a good base for recreational tahr hunting. It was one of the first S70 6-bunk huts built in the Canterbury region and sits in a strategic location on the junction of Francis and McCoy Stream; two waterways that can easily flood when the weather turns bad.
Late in 2019 the Governers Bay Volunteer Firefighters contacted the Backcountry Trust about picking up a hut renovation project as some of them obviously not content with already doing a great bit of community volunteer work. As many of them were keen recreational hunters, we suggested this solid S70 6-bunk hut seemed an ideal project for the summer of 2020.
The crew was led by Christchurch builder Matt Annand and included fellow volunteer firefighters Nick Tilley, Shane Edwards, John Abbott and his son Jack. Stratco roofing of Christchurch and ITM McVickers gave the group an excellent deal on materials for this community project and the team were flown into site on Friday the 6th of March by Station Air from Mesopotamia Station.
There first job was to remove the old roof and then to fit the new ply linings between the rafters and then fit the new roof and underlay. Young Jack repainted the old Pioneer woodburner while the others started the preparation for the new woodshed and meat safe. There were many jobs to be completed over the next few days and after the roof was on, both windows were replaced, the front door was repaired, the entry foyer was repaired and lined. The floor was also scraped down and cleaned and safety rails were added to the top bunks. The entire hut was also repainted inside and out.
John and Jack had to head out after three days, while the others continued for a further two days hard work using the old roofing iron to clad the new woodshed and finishing off all the repair jobs. All told the group put in 180 hours to complete the work and this 1961 hut is in superb condition to shelter people adventuring into this part of Canterbury.