Red by Night will give a glimpse into history like no other, when the museum relights the furnaces, and fills the place with the sights, sounds and smells of the industrial revolution.
The re-creation takes its name from the famous description of the Black Country as being ‘black by day, red by night’ – a reference to the round-the-clock fires that burned to power the region’s industry.
The event involves a team of skilled craftsmen and costumed demonstrators to help reenact just how life would have looked – and smelled and sounded.
Visitors will be able to witness a full scale replica of the world’s first successful steam engine, the Newcomen, fire up, hear the sound of hammers clang and see sparks fly with live demonstrations using centuries-old techniques to forge chains, nails and brass.
They can also stroll through the Museum’s cobbled streets and among the back to backs and watch as theatre brings stories to life. The Performing Arts Department at Dudley College will also be using audio effects and light projections to portray the scale and intensity of the industrial revolution.
Dr John Beckerson, Senior Curator at the Museum said the event will be as realistic as the team can make it.
“This is a fantastic event because it allows visitors to witness the Black Country how it would have been – noisy, smoky and full of life. It is all too easy to forget the conditions that people worked in and the consequences of that work.
“But this is the story of the industrial revolution, a turning point in Britain’s national story that the Black Country had a lead role in, allowing Britain to become one of the largest empires the world has ever known. We want visitors to come and immerse themselves in this story.”
Red by Night is being held as part of the European annual Museums at Night festival, and takes place on Saturday, May 16 from 7pm to 10.30pm. Tickets are available at half price rates – Adults £8.25 and Children £4.10. The event is advanced booking only, from the museum or by ringing o121 520 8054.