One of the coal loading facilities which was constructed beside the Bremer River in the early history of Ipswich.
One of the coal loading facilities which was constructed beside the Bremer River in the early history of Ipswich.

Tragedy mars coal industry

A SERIOUS accident, due to an explosion of blasting powder, happened at Messrs Auld & Co’s Fernie Creek Colliery on the Bundamba loop-line on September 16, 1909.

Four men were seriously injured. They were Joseph March of Silkstone, Bartholomew Doyle & Thomas Appleton of Redbank Plains and Fred Evans of Blackstone.

These men were employed in work connected with an electric coal-cutter. After the cutter had undermined a seam of coal, blasting powder was used to break down the wall of coal. It was thought a spark may have ignited the powder in the powder box.

Both Mr Marsh and Mr Doyle later died.


Among the West Moreton Collieries which sent samples of coal and slack to the Franco-British Exhibition in 1909/10 was Bogside Colliery.

The proprietors Messrs. Auld & Co. received news in January 1910 that their exhibit had been awarded a gold medal and a diploma.


In August 1910, two new companies were registered to take over the Blackheath Colliery at Bundamba, the property of Mr. W.R. Black and also his Abermain Colliery situated at Tivoli.

Each of the properties consisted of 1000 acres of coal lands and the companies absorbing them were to be known as Blackheath Collieries Limited with a capital of 125,000 pounds and Abermain Collieries Limited with a capital of 100,000 pounds.

Directors of the companies were W.R. Black; S.C. Lecky and T.O. Cowlishaw.


Some miners in the Bundamba district formed a new coal co., in October 1910, to take over the coal property in the Rosewood district, formerly known as the Bedworth Colliery.

The new organisation to be known as the Excelsior Coal Company, had as its members:- Messrs George and John Duck jnr; John, Robert and Matthew Campbell, William Bailey, William Wallace and Arthur Rossiter.


Early in 1906 Messrs. Harris & Jeffrey began to develop a coal property at Walloon. They put down bores which proved so satisfactory, that a vertical shaft was sunk.

Fortunately the men discovered a coal seam 5ft thick, which was free of bands of stone.


In August 1907 Messrs. McQueen & Co. purchased from Henry C. Cribb, 376 acres of the coal land which was known as “the Swanbank’’ property.

The company intended working it in conjunction with its well-known Boxflat Colliery, of which, Mr James Hare was manager.


Mr Henry Adams reported in August 1906 there had been a good deal of prospecting in the Flagstone Creek district.