Our early miners did it tough
IN A write up in 1910 we learn the Rhondda Colliery, three and a half miles south of the Redbank Railway Station, was owned by a limited company comprising Messrs WM Morris (business manager) D.W. Cochrane, Thos Mills, W.D. James (mine manager) and M.W. Haenke (secretary). The mine was situated on the property previously owned by Mr Michael Kerwin on whose Estate the loop line ran.
The mine had been originally worked by a company around 1885 but it wasn't until a party of practical miners led by Mr John Eadie, assumed charge about 1903 that the mine was registered under the name of J. Eadie & Co, with Mr William Morris being the oldest member of the firm.
In 1910 there were 70 hands employed and about 200 tonnes of coal were raised each day and between 25 & 30 trucks were sent away daily to Redbank.
Men were working at the No. 2 shaft which was down to 300ft. Messrs Shillito & Sons safety cages are used, there is an electric plant installed and electricity is used in the driving of two Goodmans coal-cutting machines, electric boring machines and ventilating fans below. It was expected the company would install in the lower working a centrical electric pump capable of lifting 4,000 gallons of water an hour to a height of 550ft. All the wheeling below is done by five horses and this was a great help to the miners, who had no manual work to do in that regard. Some of the mining machinery had previously been used at the saw-mill at the North Ipswich Railway Workshops and winding gear from Gympie, which had originally been used at the Ipswich Cotton Mills.
The company had leased 270 acres and this included an adjoining property (belonging to Mr W. Kerwin) towards which the underground workings were approaching. Apparently there was every convenience at Rhondda Colliery and in the persons of Messrs Morris & Cochrane the company employed experienced, practical men.
The following is a description of Ipswich as it was in September 1855.
Great changes are taking place in the appearance of the town.
Mr Forbes' new store in Bell Street is already occupied. His old premises are now in the hands of Mr. W. Horton of Drayton who is now the owner of more than half the substantial houses in Brisbane St - namely the Queens Arms Hotel, the North Star Hotel, Mr Forbes house and the Red Cow Hotel in Bell Street. The purchase price for the buildings amounted to 8000 pounds.
At the beginning of 1855 the slopes of Limestone Hill were wholly unoccupied and was Crown Land. Most of that property belonged to Mr E. Cullen of the Bank of New South Wales, and now (Sept 1855) many houses are erected there on the finest sites in the town.
SCHOOL OF ARTS
The Ipswich School Of Arts in October 1865 was written up as "The Formal Inauguration of his Institution in it's completed state and, if the building was in the Metropolis instead of gracing the main thoroughfare of the railway terminal town and head of navigation our Brisbane contemporaries would, no doubt, sing in honour of what they would then look upon as a National event. It is a circumstance of which the Colony may be proud.
The front of the School of Arts is exceedingly chaste and elegant. It stands among the architectural ornaments of the town and speaks well not only for us but for the Colony, that in this very infancy of our existence so noble a structure should rear it's head in Ipswich, as a sign not only of the material but also of the moral and intellectual advancement of the people.”