Re: Mt Victoria chert incline
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Our local Lithgow newspaper, the Lithgow Mercury, runs from time-to-time historical reprints of articles of interest from times gone by. In today's edition (02 Jan 14), there is an article regarding the purchase and removal of a boiler from a "Chert quarry" at Mt Victoria. From it's description as being in a remote and inaccessible gorge, it appears to refer to the Browntown quarry rather than the Mitchell's Pass quarry.
The Mercury have not placed the article on their electronic edition, so I will reproduce it here:
"HOW A GORGE DISGORGED"
From the Lithgow Mercury files of August 30,1929 telling "the tale of a boiler and a Lithgow official's ingenuity".
Telling the tale of a steam boiler which found it's way into a hospital laundry.
Lithgow Hospital Committee noticed a "Mercury" advertisement for the sale of a boiler recently, and instructed the Secretary to make inquiries.
Mr Carroll, a hard-headed businessman himself can scent a bargain with the next one, and he closed for 30 pounds with the firm, a quarrying company which had gone into liquidation.
Distant fields look green, and when he went to Mt Victoria, he discovered his prize was in a gorge, miles off the beaten track.There it was, and it seemed to defy Man's ingenuity to remove it.
One man examined the stubborn thing, and announced that, provided he got the help of two men and a team of horses,25 pound would not be out of the way for drawing it to Lithgow. "Nothing doing!" remarked the Lithgow man, who went on another tack.
A tramway runs down the mountainside to the Chert quarry, and he conceived the idea of pulling it up by steam.
That hurdle might be successfully jumped; but what of the risk?
Still there are always insurance companies ready to share the risks for a consideration, and Mr Carroll insured the thing for 50 pound.
It cost 1 pound.
One of the conditions of the sale was that that the big engine at the top of the incline was to remain in commission for two weeks before it was sold.
Now for the ascent!
Mr WH Crane, of Lithgow, and two men mounted the awkward thing on the tramway vehicles, and they accompanied it to the top.
It was along and tedious pull, but the engine and plant stood the test, and the task was accomplished successfully.
The journey was not without it's thrills.
The line, according to the Hospital man, is a wonderful piece of engineering, and there are four viaducts, some 70 feet from the ground.
The scenery is glorious, and so steep is the line that it is almost impossible for a man to walk not far from the perpendicular.
Once "Up top", the rest was easy, and the boiler was brought to Lithgow for 9 pound.
Now it is installed in the institution and should be in working order next week. A first class "Job" at a cost less than 60 pound which proves there are several ways of doing things if you like to go about them.
Incidentally, the Haulage engine, which cost 1000 pound when new, has been purchased by the Lithgow Valley Co for installation in Hermitage Colliery.
An incident of a few months ago is recalled by the presence of several messages on the boiler.
When a young woman was missing from Hartley recently she wandered to the spot. There is an entry "Lost, going up tramline".
This was apparently a fruitless effort, for she wrote later "Tramline too steep, gone back to hut".
It was at the hut that old "Bill" McKenzie found her some time later."
Further research of the Mercury could prove interesting to find the original advert disposing of the quarry plant (incl engine and boiler). While the quarry seems to have been out of operation, it is apparent that the tramline was still intact and operational in Aug 1929.
The old Lithgow Hospital was demolished in the mid 1990's, but I would think that the steam boiler would have been removed from the laundry well before that time.
And the Salisbury winding engine? Hermitage Quarry closed in the early 70's I understand, and some equipment was still on site well into the 80's, but the site had been rehabilitated before 1990. It still has not been redeveloped and is bare of any relics.
---In LRRSA@..., <sjiau2000@...> wrote:
Hi Keith and all,
There was also shale mining at the base of Mount Victoria Pass, South of the Great Western Highway.
I visited the area in the early 1990's. The only remains are blown in adits.
On the subject of Mount Victoria there was a coal mine, called the Mount York Colliery, to the west of Lockyers Track. (West of Mt Victora and accessed from the Mount York Road). They seem to have gone to a lot of trouble with an incline railway to the mining shelf.
On the mining shelf there is only one adit. It goes in for about 30 metres and is in very good condition.
It was started in 1922. The mines department would not grant a permit for the owner, a Mr Charles Edward Leesman, to act as Manager due to lack of experience. The mine closed in 1922.
The chert quarry on Mount Victoria Pass is west of the "convict" bridge and above the road (south). Remains include concrete foundations. Prior to the last upgrade of the pass the loading chute was visible from the highway.
All in all it is a very interesting area.
--- In LRRSA@..., "keithpainter48" <kpainter@...> wrote: