The Penrith Museum of Printing has been officially reopened following a ceremony last night, featuring some 95 people in attendance, the first to experience the newly renovated space.
Taking 12 months and costing some $120,000, the Museum funded the renovations through its tours and other activities. Run by a team of volunteers, including Bob Lockley, former group director of print and distribution at Fairfax, the Museum was born out of the closure of a local newspaper, The Nepean Times, founded in the 1880s.
Many of the original presses are still in working order, as the only fully-functional museum of its kind in Australia.
Delivering a speech to guests, Lockley noted, “The footprint of the Museum was increased by 130sqm to accommodate more equipment, including a foyer which proudly displays the Copper Muriel of Guttenberg’s Workshop donated by James Cryer. Also, the last front page of The Age in Hot Metal in 1988, donated by Fairfax, and a Gestetner duplicator donated by Craig Dunsford from PMP.
“As I said it has been a mighty effort by a small dedicated team and the ongoing support from the Penrith Paceway, Fairfax Media, SWUG, Screen Australia, the Museum volunteers and to the many friends of the museum, too numerous to mention.
“A special thank you to Stephen Brique, who for 13 years worked hard for the museum and recently retiring as president, a position he held for the last eight years and leading us to this stage, we wish him well for the future.
“The Tours are very popular, we have had 34 tours, with a total of 1000 visitors, since November 2017, and that doesn’t count the Saturday visitors or the courses in typography, poster printing and Adana press.
“We introduced meet ups which are occasional talks on a range of subjects, such as typography, history of print, different printing processes.
“The tour group organisers are always encouraged to utilise the Paceway facilities, which they do. We have Probus, Tennis Clubs, Industry Groups, Rotary and many others who frequent the museum and the paceway.
“The museum is especially suited to groups in bus loads as the parking is very convenient and the facilities at the club are excellent.”
The Museum's most recent claim to fame was appearing in the Ladies in Black movie. A scene showing the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper being produced in 1959 by actor Shane Jacobson as a linotype operator was filmed in the building.
Lockley explains, “This segment was filmed in this very room about 13 months ago and our staff were extras, including John and George. Another scene filmed here was when the car dropped Lisa off at Goodes (David Jones) in Sydney. That scene was shot in the stables just behind this building in the Paceway.”
The Museum is actively seeking more volunteers to help run its workshops on weekends, and says donations would also be welcomed. Those interested can get in touch with Bob Lockley at [email protected]
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