Category: Powerstation Museum

Closure due to COVID-19

Update 13/07/2021:

Temporary closure of museum 

Tamworth Regional Council has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close the Powerstation Museum from today in the interest of the health and wellbeing of staff and volunteers.

Council’s Director Art Gallery & Museums, Bridget Guthrie, said many museums across regional NSW have already closed under the current COVID-19 public health orders, including in Moonbi and Manilla.

 “After much consideration we have agreed to temporarily close the museum until further notice,” she said. 

“The safety and welfare of our staff and volunteers is paramount. Many of our dedicated and hard-working volunteers are older members of our community who are considered by health experts to be among those at increased risk for contracting COVID-19.”

Other museums across the region have been closed for weeks, since the public health orders were announced 26 June, 2021.

Volunteers will continue to work behind closed doors at the museum as they continue to perform various documentation and administration tasks. However, the museum will be closed to the public until further notice. 

Face Masks to be worn

Update 29/06/2021: The Tamworth Powerstation Museum is currently open with normal operating hours. Face masks are required for all adults entering the museums. Children 12 years and under are exempt for wearing a mask under the currently enforced NSW Government rules, however Children are encouraged to wear a mask where practicable.

Any potential visitors who have been in the greater Sydney area on or from 21 June must self-isolate for 2 weeks and are not permitted to visit.

Update 10 October 2020: The Museum has returned to our normal opening hours – Wednesday to Saturday 9am-1pm.

Update 28 August 2020: The Powerstation Museum has taken steps to ensure our staff, community and visitors comply with directives from the NSW Government. To find out what we are doing to make your experience a safe one, click here. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support during these uncertain times.

Update 8 July 2020: The Powerstation Museum will continue to be closed to the public as the Museum is run by a group of fabulous volunteers who are classified as being at greater risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms due to their age. To ensure the safety of these wonderful volunteers the Powerstation Museum will not be opening their doors just yet. However, anyone is more than welcome to contact us for an appointment by calling 02 6767 5248 and we can organise a personal tour.

Initial Statement: Tamworth Powerstation Museum will be closed from Wednesday 18 March, 2020 for the foreseeable future to minimise any possible risks to its mostly elderly volunteers due to the spread of COVID-19.

It is not a decision that has been made lightly. “We are all disappointed that this has had to happen,” said volunteer Ron Greer. “A large number of the people who visit the museum are elderly and many of the volunteers are elderly. Some of our volunteers have health issues which are well managed but it makes them more vulnerable – we have to act in the best interests of everyone’s health.”

Some of the volunteers will continue to work behind closed doors in groups of three or four at a time to continue cataloguing tasks and working to maintain and update displays.

Tamworth Regional Council Director Gallery and Museums, Bridget Guthrie, said the volunteers are passionate about their work at the museum but felt they had no alternative but to step away from their roles temporarily as part of the community-wide measures needed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

K- 6 Education Kit

A K-6 Education Kit that links pre-visit, visit and post-visit activities to syllabus outcomes in Science and History is now available to download here.  There is also a downloadable Risk Assessment for School Groups here. Museum volunteers are available to give guided tours. The museum is a significant educational resource illustrating the history, social impact, and evolving technology and…

The Veness Letter Book

The Veness Letter Book from the Tamworth PowerStation Museum is now inscribed on the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register. The UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Program is one of the sixty Memory of the World Programs globally. The aims of this program are to: Preserve documentary heritage. Improve accessibility to documentary heritage…



The Night the Lights Went On

An oral history and other stories from the Tamworth Powerstation Museum.
Written and compiled by Sally Inchbold- Busby.

This publication is an outcome of the research project undertaken by Sally Inchbold-Busby as the 2011 Powerhouse Museum Moveable Heritage Fellowship recipient.

Cover image: Sid Cross changing the light globes, Tamworth, 1933.


City of Light

A History of the Tamworth Electricity Undertaking and Peel-Cunningham County Council.
Ian R. Lobsey, 1988.





Monographs by R.W. Greer:

Ronald William Greer ASTC., FIEAust. CPEng, was the Chief Electrical Engineer to the Peel-Cunningham County Council at Tamworth, NSW. In retirement, he is a volunteer on the staff of the Tamworth Powerstation Museum. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2015.

  • The Story of Light
  • From the Steam Plough Works to Tamworth
  • The Incredible Crompton
  • The Electric Telegraph
  • The Mighty Incandescent Light Bulb
  • Vincent Guy Kable 1891-1947: A Biography
  • Michael Faraday, FRS, Grand Master of Experiment
  • Tamworth Powerstation Museum It’s History

The Museum in the Media

 CELEBRATION: Tamworth Powerstation Museum steam engine driver Steve Bailey and Tamworth Regional Council cultural collections officer Naomi Blakey. Photo: Gareth Gardner 291020GGG03

NDL: Madeline Link – 5 Nov 2020

Tamworth things to do: Tamworth Powerstation Museum family fun day event to commemorate first city of light

THE FLICK of the switch that made Tamworth the First City of Light at least 130 years ago will be celebrated with an electric event.

Tamworth’s Powerstation Museum will hold a free, family-friendly event to commemorate the anniversary of the historic milestone, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) cultural collections officer Namoi Blakey said.

“The fact that Tamworth is the first city in the southern hemisphere to have municipal street lights and the story the museum tells makes it important to the council to hold this event,” she said.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

Tamworth Dramatic Society takes centre stage on story telling

NDL: Jacob McArthur – 11 Nov 2018

TAMWORTH is more than a stage and launching pad for country music and it’s a message being beamed through an amalgam of new technology and old-fashioned story-telling.

This weekend marked 130 years since electric street lights were switched on in Tamworth and the city became the southern hemisphere’s electrically lit in the process.

While it’s a shining claim to fame, the achievement is often outshone.

This year, the Tamworth Dramatic Society took centre stage with a devised piece about story of electric lighting and Tamworth.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

How Tamworth beat the big smoke and became the first city of light

Eleri Mai Harris, based on Professor Genevieve Bell’s Boyer Lectures – October 21, 2017

The first city in Australia to use electric street lights wasn’t Sydney or Melbourne — it was Tamworth. And it all unfolded in a very Aussie kind of way.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

Powerstation Plan Adopted

Madeline Lewis – June 15, 2016

A strategic plan has been adopted by council for the Tamworth Power Station Museum.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

Powerstation volunteers receive host of bouquets

NDL: Jamieson Murphy – 15 Jun 2016, 9 p.m.

TAMWORTH Regional councillors have paid tribute to the “superb” volunteers at the Powerstation Museum in approving a strategic plan to secure its future.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

Tamworth powers on

NDL – 25 April 2016

TAMWORTH was once again the City of Light on Friday, as the Powerstation Museum lit up the night with an artwork inspired by the city’s original street lighting plan.

Click on the link to read the whole article.

Vintage love resurrects the past

Kelly Fuller, ABC Radio, 7 December 2015

A love of all things vintage has inspired a push to bring a new audience and new life to an important Australian museum.

Tamworth Powerstation Museum to fire up historic steam engines

NDL – 21 Jan 2016

THINGS are heating up at the Tamworth Powerstation Museum where locals and visitors can see two stationary, historic steam engines all revved-up, with nowhere to go.