Wollongong Heritage and Stories

Category tag: balgownie heritage school museum, industry, mining

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!

These lunch boxes were made from metal to prevent rats eating the miners’ lunch, or crib as it was called. Food stored in coat pockets was easy prey for hungry rats. The miner also carried his drinking water in a metal ‘pit bottle’, slung across his shoulder and hung on a nail in his working place. Whilst rats in the mine, were not in plague proportions, their presence was very evident, hence the use of a metal crib tin.

All materials required to support the mining operations were brought in on rail track trollies and skips. It is assumed that the cunning rats would hitch a ride from the surface hidden in pit timber and ventilation cloth in the skips.

Balgownie Heritage School Museum

220 Balgownie Road, Balgownie, NSW, 2519

Opening Hours

Open 2nd Sunday of each month 11am-4pm