Lake Macquarie History

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John Darling Colliery, Belmont, Lake Macquarie, NSW.

  • John Darling Colliery, Belmont, Lake Macquarie, NSW.

    Photo Ref: 20415

    Creator: Baker, Mr Dennis

    L-R Graham Jennings, Barry Northey, Ken Heggs and Don Harrison. The John Darling Colliery operated over a period of sixty-two years. It was named after the tenth chairman and prominent member of the Board of Directors of the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP). The first superintendent of the colliery was Joshua Jefferies and John Fallins the first manager in1928. Mr Fallins later became superintendent in 1955, and kept an extensive diary rich in history of the mine. Other employees at the time were Norman Anderson, Mechanical Engineer; Edrick Roberts Electrical Engineer; John Fisher, Surface Foreman in 1925 and J. Thompson who was appointed deputy in 1929. Bert Wilkinson filled the position of Under-Manager. Six houses were built over a period of twenty-one years on the land and housed management and their families. The first shaft was sunk in January 1925, with the Victoria Seam (650 ft [16.51 m] deep, 10 ft 3in [3.124 2m] thick: 5ft 9in [1.752 6m] workable) bottomed on June 10, 1927. On October 21 of the same year, the Borehole Seam was bottomed (870 ft [265.176m] deep, 6 ft 38.25in [2.546 35m] thick: 5ft 8in [1.727 2m] workable). Midnight of November 14 the first coal was mined and the first truckload of Borehole Seam coal was railed to the Steel Works on November 17.

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