Punters will have a chance to explore the old buildings of the Lithgow Small Arms Factory during LithGlow, as part of the Small Arms Factory Museum’s extensive program for the festival.
Tours of the factory site will open buildings that have not been seen by the public eye since the 1970s, including the maintenance repair, the main workshop (where rifles were produced for World War I), tool room and maintenance workshop.
Secretary of the museum Kerry Guerin said the opportunity to walk through the factory had received great interest.
"A lot of people have been getting on to us whose parents worked in the factory at sometime and who want us to point out where they would have worked in the buildings,” Mr Guerin said.
“Others own Lithgow guns and they just want to stand where their gun was made.”
It has been over 45 years since the public has had the opportunity to walk through the buildings.
“The last time they opened up the factory to the general public for tours, 10,000 people turned up and they just had to open the doors and let the tide go,” he said.
“We hope that doesn’t happen… bookings are essential.”
While the machinery has been removed from the factory, participants of the tour will be able to see the museum’s usually non-accessible collection of factory machinery, including original pieces from the factory’s opening in 1912.
On Saturday night the museum will become part of Lithgow’s light show, with projections bringing the facade of the factory to life.
A genuine World War II search light will also be lit for the evening on the factory’s lawns.
“The beam projects thousands of metres into the sky and is likely to be seen from Bathurst to the Blue Mountains,” Mr Guerin said.
The museum will also run demonstrations of some of its most fascinating guns between 6-10pm during extended museum hours on Saturday night.
“We will be looking at unique and rare handguns, the evolution of flintlock to automatic guns and also focusing on barrels,” said museum custodian Donna White.
She said some of the special guns they will be showing include a Chicago palm pistol, a Gyro Jet (which shoots small rockets instead of cartridges), a Dardick (which takes triangular cartridges) and a Kolibri, the smallest self-loading pistol ever made.
Mr Guerin said he was glad to see the LithGlow event back in action for 2018.
“It’s a great idea and the best part is that it combines the heritage festival,” he said.
Tours of the factory will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, each running for approximately 45 minutes. Bookings are required.
SAF LithGlow Program
Tours: 10am-4pm Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, in groups of twelve. Cost is $20 per person. Bookings can be made by calling 0427 560 238 or emailing email@example.com.
Demonstrations: 6-10pm on Saturday, May 12, at the museum, during extended museum hours. Museum entry fee applies.
Projections: From 6pm on Saturday, May 12, on the museum lawns, free entry. Food will be available.