Wollongong Heritage and Stories

mining

Balgownie 'cavil' box

In the ‘pick and shovel days’ of mining by hand, men were paid by the amount of coal they brought out of the ground, rather than by regular wages. Some areas of a mine were more productive…

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Pit Ponies of the Mt Kembla Mine Disaster

Horses and pit ponies were a major part of mining life up to the 1950s and even as far as the 1990s. Of the 30 horses or pit ponies at work in the mine on the day of the disaster, 18 were found alive.

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On a Quiet Afternoon in Mount Kembla

“The road to Mount Kembla is paved with sad memories. It is also a fairy land where green trees and wattle blooms make it a place of beauty.” Illawarra Mercury, 26 October, 1923

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We Lived Our Lives by the Whistle

Many mines had a boiler plant to supply the steam engines of the mine. A steam powered whistle identical to that used on steam locomotives was used at each mine to signal the start and finish of the…

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Lunch Crib

Life down the mine presented miners with all sorts of daily challenges. One of them was how to stop the rats eating your lunch!

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Shining a Light

Mining for coal by hand and underground is a dirty enough job without doing it in complete darkness. To make their work easier in this environment, miners used these oil fired open flame lamps. They…

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Mary Dungey of Mt Kembla

Mary Dungey, a miner worker's wife, was at home when the blast from the Mt Kembla Mine threw her across the kitchen floor. The cry rang through the village, `Oh my God, the mine has gone up!’…

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