Wandering Around the town of Broken Hill – Part 2

Here is part two of our days roaming around Broken Hill. We took in museums, art galleries and checked out sights of general historical interest. There’s plenty more to come too, in future posts…

The Syndicate of Seven

The photograph below shows the sculptures of the guys who basically made BHP and put the town of Broken Hill on the world map. In 1883 seven work-mates each put £70 (seventy pounds) into a joint venture to stake a claim on what became the richest deposit of silver, lead and zinc in the world.

Their names are: David James, James Poole, Charles Rasp, George McCulloch, Philip Charley, George Urquhart, George Lind. These men became known as the Syndicate of Seven and formed what became BHP.

The Syndicate of Seven

The Broken Hill Proprietary company (BHP) was formed in 1885. Although it ceased operations in Broken Hill in 1939 it went on to become BHP Billiton the world’s largest resource company.

Old mine workings. Things like this are dotted all over the place in this area.
Giant Ant sculpture – dedicated to hard working miners everywhere.

Another BHP?

After visiting a few places we stopped for some lunch in the classic Broken Hill Pub (aka BHP). Classic looking from the outside but modernised inside. Broken Hill probably has more pubs per square kilometre than anywhere else I have been so far in Australia. Mining is thirsty work though I suppose…

The Broken Hill Pub – aka BHP hahaa

Railway museum

The original railway station on Sulphide Street has become the town’s railway museum. Enthusiasts could spend a full day in there but a short visit with a six year old was enough for me. There is a charge to enter the museum – I forget how much now; typical – but it is worth it.

Original Sulphide Street Railway Station
Dani on board one of the steam train carraiges.
There are a few examples of old steam engines…

The main thing I wanted to see was the old train that carried passengers on the route we had just travelled. It is called the Silver City Comet. A classy looking art deco design, this train operated from 1937 to 1989 and was Australia’s first air conditioned train. It actually only ever ran the send half of our journey – from Parkes to Broken Hill.

The Silver City Comet

There were also old fairground attractions at the railway museum. This one with the clowns looked particularly spooky…

Vintage fairground game, although this one looks a little scary eh? Straight out of a horror movie in fact…

The Big Picture…

‘The Big Picture’ was painted by a local artist, Peter Anderson (aka ‘Ando’) and is housed in the Silver City Mint and Art Centre. Before you get to see it there is this large painting…

The sign besides this large work of art (above) basically tells you what to expect. “The Big Picture is 82 times larger than this painting.” Indeed it is. It measures 100m wide by 12m high and used 9 tonnes of paint. It is said to be the biggest acrylic painting by a single artist in the world.

Part of The Big Picture
More of The Big Picture
Yet more of The Big Picture

The picture itself is huge but it is made all the more dramatic by the 3-D scenery in the foreground. Very impressive and well worth a visit. This work of art has become the number one tourist attraction in the town. When you see it you soon know why… Again, there was a charge to enter the Big Picture area, and again I forget how much. Suffice to say it is definitely worth the money.

I tried to make a video to capture the full length of The Big Picture but it’s not great. Not to worry….here it is anyway…

 

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