Thankyou so much for showing the us the Muster Point. Both the teachers and all students thought it was very interesting; it was a first visit for all of them. I'm sure there will be a few return visits as they tell their families and friends about it; I know students have sent their photos to various places around the world.
Some of the students were from Korea and Pakistan. In the preparation for our visit to the site they said they had lived near steel making industries in their home countries, and commented on the environmental problems associated with steel making in those places. You can't make an omelette without cracking eggs.
Thanks once again,
It was great to know you and have this opportunity to talk to you at Muster Point Tours.I did really enjoy your presentation about the history of BHP. Apart from your beautiful explanation the background music was appealing too.
As thanks, Samira
Last week I attended a group tour of Muster Point with the Amateur Geological Society of the Hunter Valley http://www.agshv.com/
I had hear of the Muster Point but didn’t know where it was. I was expecting a walk around a monument of some sort but I didn’t expect to be transported into another time and place and into others lives including your own.
Your explanation of the Muster Point, how it came to be and the stories that it holds was truly a moving experience. I could almost feel the heat of the furnace and the rattle of the rails and the jokes of the workers. Thank you for making the history of that place so real and for passing it onto others. Many would not bother.
I hope that the Muster Point http://www.niha.org.au can become more known as an important place in the history of Newcastle but also the country. I hope you can continue your gift of story telling for many years to come.
On behalf of all the people in the U3A tour this afternoon thank you very much for your time and the excellent tour. I think you really brought the steelworks alive with your talk of personal experiences and personal trauma. I hope you sold a few books. I bought one and I look forward to reading it. All of our people told me that they really enjoyed the tour and again thank you very much for your time, your expertise and your memories. Well done! Keep up the good work!
All eight of us thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at the Muster Point today. Your use of music to introduce and finish your story was very 'atmospheric' and certainly set the scene. Living at Carrington through the shutdown period, I heard all the things in the press at the time and walked over to the mangroves on Throsby Creek to watch the last burn off on the Saturday morning, but of course the stories you told us filled in so much more - you made it far more 'human'. I had walked in to look at the sculpture not long after it was first installed but today's visit made it so much more meaningful.
I would love to bring some of my eight grandchildren for a visit at some stage but it would be better for you to combine them with others at the same time. Perhaps I will contact you around school holiday time.
The idea to make it a park with machinery as you mentioned would be a great asset for Newcastle.
Thanks again for alll your efforts in preserving the history of Newcastle.
The opening of the Muster Point was a similar cause for excitement and sadness. Excitement at the thought of seeing a wonderful metal sculpture gracing the landscape in such a majestic style and likened to a cathedral. Sadness because here again is a tombstone that states that "people once worked here - where have they gone?" I would like to see a new sort of memorial become part of Australian working community culture. Rather than erecting monuments that are really 'gravestones for remembrance', we should get into the habit of erecting them while we live and work together and link the community into it as well. This is a binding mechanism that reconnects people toward their communities and industries and prevents the loss of hope and desperate detachment that many people feel today towards their regional communites.
THE MUSTER POINT
Commencing in July 1998, Squires’ work was not complete until September 1999 – such was the time needed to win support for the project from a number of departments within BHP, onsite contractors, to gain DA and BA approval from the local council and to also fabricate what is a very large structure. Made from more than 70 tonnes of BHP steel, the eight-metre high sculpture (measuring 8m x 12m x 8m) is an imposing structure. The exterior has a stylised representation of the BHP skyline encased within the design element of a BHP maintenance shop. Inside there are a number of references to the people and place of the steelworks such that as former employees visit with their family they can take them on a tour of their working lives. It is illuminated at night. For images of The Muster Point see Julie Squires' website.
Artist – Julie Squires
The Muster Point is a 70 tonne steel sculpture with bronze cast figures + objects, found objects + components from the Steelworks, 8m x 12m x 8m, associated pathways (railways sleepers and ballast), located near entrance to steelworks site, George St & Selwyn St off Industrial Drive, Mayfield.
Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association is pleased to offer personalised guided tours of the iconic sculpture "The Muster Point".
This house-size industrial artwork was constructed as a collaboration by famous Newcastle sculptor Julie Squires and steelworkers in 1999, to mark the closure of the steelworks.
The whole structure, inside and out, has many stories to tell about the history of steelmaking in Newcastle.
Well-known retired steelworker Aubrey Brooks conducts intimate, heartfeld journeys around and within the walls of this unique place.
If you know any small group that would like to soak up some of the emotion of life at the steelworks, contact Aubrey to make a booking.
Tours are free, but Aubrey has copies of the DVD of the steelworks and books on history of the steelworks for sale.
Email: email@example.com or call 49845264 for more details.
Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association