A refreshed and renewed Fire and Earth Gallery reopened this week at Newcastle Museum, including the extremely popular BHP sound and light show, which is back in action after a maintenance closure.
The lighting and audio visual systems have been improved for the show, with the room significantly darkened, making it even more spectacular and dramatic. Now that it is back on line, the show will return to its regular schedule, It is played every hour on the hour between 11am and 4pm every day the Museum is open (Tuesday to Sunday, as well as Mondays during school holidays).
Once a dominant industry in Newcastle, steelmaking employed 11,000 people and produced two million tons of steel a year. When the BHP Steelworks closed in 1999 after 84 years of operation, the company chose Newcastle Museum to preserve its heritage. BHP donated $2.5 million for a permanent exhibition, which captured the BHP steelmaking experience and includes interactive displays suitable for kids.
The Fire & Earth Gallery was closed in order to make repairs to the Museum roof and it also provided an opportunity to refresh and renew a number of objects and displays related to industry in Newcastle. New additions include a series of three quilts made by the wives, mothers and families of BHP workers, a new time card display on which visitors have recorded their memories of the Steelworks, and a new audio visual display that tells the story of the introduction of Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (B.O.S.) to the Newcastle plant.
Still, it’s the bright lights and big sounds of the steelmaking demonstration show that captivate visitors, giving them a taste of a hot and dangerous industry and a Newcastle way of life in times gone by.
WHAT: BHP exhibition and light/sound show, Fire and Earth Gallery
WHERE: Newcastle Museum
WHEN: Every hour on the hour, 11am to 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday (Mondays during school holidays)