New Coal Works at Newcastle

The Sydney Gazette Saturday 17 December 1831 p.2


WE have the pleasure to inform our readers, that the new wharf of the Agricultural Company at Newcastle, was opened on Saturday, the 10th current, by the Sophia Jane's receiving, pro forma, the first two tons of coals from the new workings, and which, we understand, were of excellent quality.

Sir EDWARD PARRY was present, and was accompanied on board the steamer by Dr. BROOKS, J. P., the Rev. Mr. THRELKELD, and several other gentlemen of respectability; while a large concourse of people were assembled on shore, on this novel and interesting occasion.

As the Sophia Jane proceeded majestically towards the wharf, two waggons, each containing a ton of coals, were seen descending the inclined-plane from the pit's mouth, with flags flying, and amidst the cheers of the Company's servants ; two empty waggons being drawn up the plane at the same time, by the descending weight of the full ones. The latter then travelled along the level rail-road with great rapidily to the end of the wharf; and the bottom of the first waggon being dislodged by a single blow from a hammer, three hearty cheers from every person present announced the instantaneous discharge of the first ton of coals into the vessel. As the Sophia Jane pushed off from the wharf, the miners in their turn greeted her with three loud cheers, which were returned in a similar manner.


These are the coal mines that MacNamara refused to work in when he was assigned as a shepherd to the Australian Agricultural Company in the late 1830s. MacNamara wrote two petitions in verse, one from his flock of sheep, detailing his refusal to work one "day for the company underground".

For the Company Underground
A Petition from the A.A. Co. Flocks at Peel River

Both these poems are in the Trimingham manuscript