Fit For Purpose

Dirty work boot laying on its side with worn down soles

Leather worn through at the toes, broken laces, and soles coming apart. These boots were worn to the bitter end and seemed to serve their wearer well. But were they fit for purpose? Worn by a miner at the Stockton Borehole Colliery, at Teralba, Lake Macquarie, where coal was mined from 1901, boots like these […]

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Safety in Numbers

Imagine spending hours underground every day, working in a dark, damp, confined space, and breathing powdered coal dust that also coats your hair, skin and clothing. Add to that a constant, risk of physical injury, cave-ins, and the threat of explosions caused by any burning substance coming into contact with the methane gas seeping out […]

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Waiting to Happen

In the Aberdare Extended colliery pit where 34-year-old Thomas Brunskill was mining, it was dark, dusty, muddy, and noisy. About 1.30pm, without warning, several large chunks of the prized dense black coal detached from the roof of the confined space and struck Thomas, badly injuring his neck and shoulder. The year was 1927 and he […]

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