Wollongong Heritage and Stories

Category tag: balgownie heritage school museum, industry, mining

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 working shift using steam from the boiler plant. In periods of intermittent work the whistle was also used to signal work or no work.  

As mining towns were small communities and most mine workers lived in close proximity to their mines, the whistle was an effective timepiece for the miners and the community.  Children playing in the streets and paddocks would hear the whistle and know that Dad would be home soon.  The women who spent their working day in the home, heard the whistle and knew that soon it would be time to have dinner on the table.

Balgownie Heritage School Museum

220 Balgownie Road, Balgownie, NSW, 2519

Opening Hours

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