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All Hands to the Pumps at the Museum of Fire

An update from our CEO, Belinda McMartin


The team at the Museum have come to accept that April and May are now our busiest time of year with lots of activities at the Museum, school holidays and our attendance at the Easter Show as well as the Hawkesbury Show. Rather than be daunted by the numerous tasks at hand our team rally and tackle each event with new vigour.

To allow these activities to take place our entire staffing body is required to lend a hand, all hands to the pumps as it were, which means that many of our heritage tasks are put on hold as the Heritage Team join our frontline staff at the offsite events and host several of our onsite events as well.


This means you may not see the same amount of historical content being shared on our social media as normal, but our ever-prepared team do plan ahead in hopes of keeping our promise to share historical content, so you’ll never go without at least a few heritage posts each week.


Speaking of the Easter Show, while sorting through some old documents we discovered that it was at the Easter Show, 40 years ago, back in 1983 that the fourth instalment of the NSWFB And Museum of Fire swap cards were released. The NSW Fire Brigade (NSWFB, today Fire and Rescue NSW, FRNSW) had a static display which was used as the vehicle to promote the cards.

NSWFB (now FRNSW) at the Easter Show display [Museum of Fire Collection]
NSWFB (now FRNSW) at the Easter Show display [Museum of Fire Collection]

The Museum and NSWFB swap cards proved to be very popular and today the Museum still receives at least one offer a week of people wanting to donate their complete sets. While our team appreciate these kind offers the Museum has several complete sets and cannot accept anymore as per the Museum’s collection policy. For those wanting to add to their collection or complete their collection the Museum still has original stock available for sale. Visit our website for the sets that are available in the shop.


The Museum was recently closed to the public so that essential maintenance to our fire safety system could be undertaken. To allow this to take place many of the displays and exhibits had to be removed from the Museum. Some of these had not moved in over a decade so we took the opportunity to make some radical changes to the exhibition space. If you haven’t been back to visit the Museum since these recent changes, I highly recommend you make a trip to Penrith. Some of these changes are just step one as our Teamwork towards several other changes we hope to have in place by the end of the year. Watch this space!

New Horse-drawn era layout in the Museum of Fire, 2023
New Horse-drawn era layout in the Museum of Fire, 2023

This Friday the Museum is holding our annual Junior Caretaker’s morning once again to celebrate Earth Day. This event was so popular in previous years that our team have decided to make it a staple of our calendar. No booking is required, and the activity is open to children of all ages between 10am and 12pm. Visitors are welcome to visit our junior caretaker garden beds near the entrance to the grounds and plant an Australian native. These plants are then cared for by our volunteers throughout the year before they grow big enough to be moved to new homes around the Museum grounds. This is a great way for the Museum to continue our dedication to the local environment.

Junior Caretakers Day 2021 at the Museum of Fire
Junior Caretakers Day 2021 at the Museum of Fire

- Blog By Belinda McMartin, CEO Museum of Fire

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