Silent Workers

For over a hundred years at the Stockrington Colliery, near Newcastle, miners worked with pit ponies to ferry supplies into the mines and bring coal wagons out on their return. Often spending days, even weeks, underground the pit ponies lived in purpose built mine tunnel stables between their shifts. Name plates, like those shown here, […]

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United They Stood

Broken Hill is known to the outside world as a stronghold of trade unionism, in addition to being the place where Australia’s first thirty-five hour week was granted. This reputation and milestone in the history of employment relations in Australia was the result of the historic strike action taken by miners in 1909 and 1919 […]

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Broken Hill’s Kind-hearted Grocer

Born in Northern Italy in 1883, Emanuel Pedergnana was just 18 when he migrated to Australia in 1901. Although almost illiterate, the plucky young man went on to lead a successful strike action, work on the mines and own two retail businesses after settling in Broken Hill. Emanuel first found work at St Herberts, a […]

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The Silver City’s Folk Artist

After retiring from mining Sam Byrne went on to become one of Australia’s most renowned folk artists. Born in 1883 in South Australia, Sam and his brothers were brought up in Broken Hill by his aunt, Emily Tapsell, following their parents’ death. A late bloomer, Sam worked for more than fifty years as a miner […]

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