Author Archives: Jenn

Coalface Audio Tour App now available

After several months in development, we are now proud to announce that the Coalface Experience Audio Tour App is now feely available through the Apple App Store and Google Play store. The App is primarily designed to offer visitors to the Coalface Experience an opportunity to listen to stories about various displays in the museum via their smart phones. This technology replaces the rather outdated Dataton Pickup units previously used to deliver the audio experience.

The free App can also be used away from the Coalface Experience, and we encourage everyone to download the App to their phones to share with family and friends. You can find the app by heading to your phone’s app store and searching for the Coalface Experience, or by scanning the QR code below (or at the Workers Club).

Celebrating 25 Years!

The 5th of February, 2015 marks 25 years since Wharrier and Mr Ed, Australia’s last working pit ponies, were retired from No.2 Mine at Collinsville. A rich and unique history, the story of the miners of Collinsville and their pit ponies remains fresh in the memory of locals. As the town struggles with the slowing coal mining industry, does this rich history hold the key to the future, and reigniting our community spirit.

For more information, check out the Pit Pony webpage: www.pitponyexperience.com.au/celebrate

60th Anniversary of Collinsville Mine Disaster

Today marks 60 years since the Collinsville Mine disaster that took the lives of seven men.On this day, each year, Collinsville pauses to mark the occasion, remembering all who have been killed in coal mines in Collinsville and across Australia. Guest speakers this year include Joann Miller, Member for Bundamba and coal miner’s daughter, and Wayne Hartley, Queensland Mines Rescue Service CEO.
You can download the program here: Memorial Day Program 2014

1971 Collinsville Mines Rescue

In 1971 the Collinsville Mines Rescue Team won the EK Healy Cup, and a spot on the cover of the Queensland Mining Journal. Team members in group photo: Back L-R: Greg Watson, Ron McKenna, Stephen Bullock. Front L-R: Jeff Williams, Presenter, Ken Robertson, Bill Barry, Ron Woolley.
The EK Healy Cup is still an important event on the QMRS calendar today.
Want to see more? Check out the interactive timeline at www.coalfaceexperience.com.au

Mining around the Collinsville District

Did you know… Gold was discovered around the Collinsville district by Richard Daintree around the same time he examined the coal seams in the Bowen River area.
Mt Wyatt was the first official gold mine in the area, opening in January, 1867. In 1883 Sunbeam mine opened, producing gold and silver. Between the years of 1883 and 1934, Sunbeam produced 21 tonnes of silver.
Several other gold and mineral deposits are known around the district and there is still alluvial gold found there today. The old workings of the mines are still visible as you drive past.

1967 Powerhouse Strike

1967: Collinsville Powerhouse Strike – more than 200 workers rallied outside the gates of the powerhouse for 13 weeks over a dispute in pay and allowances. ABC Four Corners documented the struggle and life in Collinsville in the late 1960s. A must watch for all current and past Collinsville locals:

The Davy Flame Safety Lamp

Do you know what this is?

The flame safety lamp was invented by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1815. The lamp housed a flame within a cylinder of gauze that would dissipate the heat of the flame so it would not ignite any gas present. The lamp could then be used to check for the presence of methane gas or firedamp. If the flame burned high and with a blue tinge, then methane was present. If the flame grew low or went out, the miner would know that oxygen levels were low. Unfortunately the original lamps did not give out a lot of light and many miners would remove the gauze cylinder, heightening the risk of explosion.

In Australia the Davy flame safety lamp remained in use until 1986. An explosion at Moura No.4 mine, resulting in the deaths of 12 miners, led to an Inquiry and amendments to the Coal Mining Act, including the banning of flame safety lamps underground.

Coal mining in the early 1900s… Did you know:

As the world plunged into the Industrial Revolution, coal become a highly sought after commodity for the powering of steam engines. The first coal discovered in Australia was in 1791 and by 1801 Australia’s first commercial coal mine was in operation.
At the turn of the century the safety of miners underground was the responsibility of the mine owner and the miner themselves. Safety equipment was primitive and often not used at all. It was only after several mine disasters that the Australian government began to regulate the industry and introduce safety measures. As a result of this new awareness, the first Queensland Mines Rescue Brigade was formed in 1910.

BCCM Garrick Tunnel Entrance

This is one of the most recognised historical photos of Collinsville – but do you know who the people are? The photo was taken in 1920 at the entrance to BCCM Garrick tunnel. And the people: from left – Norman Poole on Darkie, Tom Henderson, Ted Rowell, Dinny Dinsdale, Molly Gordon (girl bringing lunches), Tom Poole, Jack Poole, John McNaughton (Mine Manager) and Digger Hoffmann.

(click image to open large version in new window)