Coal, railways and mines : the railways and collieries of the Greta and South Maitland coalfields, Volume 2

Dust jacket of Brian R. Andrews' latest book

We are delighted to report that the second volume of Brian Robert Andrews‘ latest work is now available and a copy will be housed in Cultural Collections very soon.

Mr Andrews and the Cultural Collections team have been colleagues for some time. He has made extensive use of our resources in the J & A Brown and South Maitland Railways archives during his research for this 5-volume work.  He has allowed our team to digitise thousands of his photos and provided expert advice on railway and mining history in Newcastle and the Hunter Region.

Table of Contents

  • Development of the coal lands in the vicinity of Cessnock
    • The Aberdare Collieries Syndicate
      • The Aberdare Collieries Railway Bill
  • The Newcastle Cessnock Coal Mining Company
  • Hebburn and Elrington Collieries
    • Hebblewhite’s Mine (Later Hebburn No. 1 Colliery)
    • Hebburn No. 2 Colliery
    • Hebburn No. 2 Colliery Branch Railway
    • Elrington Colliery
  • The Railway and Collieries of the Abermain Colliery Company, Limited
    Later Abermain Seaham Collieries Ltd
    Later J & A Brown & Abermain Seaham Collieries Ltd

    • Abermain Colliery (Later known as Abermain No. 1 Colliery and Abermain Tunnel)
    • Abermain No. 2 Colliery
    • Abermain No. 1 Shaft Colliery (Abermain No. 3 Colliery)
    • Formation of J & A Brown Abermain Seaham Collieries Limited
  • The Collieries and Railways of the Caledonian Coal Company, Limited
    Later Caledonian Collieries Limited

    • Development of Aberdare Colliery
    • Caledon Open Cut
    • Aberdare Tunnel Colliery (Later Aberdare North Colliery)
    • Aberdare West Tunnel (Later known as Aberdare West Colliery)
    • Aberdare Extended Colliery
    • Caldare Colliery
    • Caldare No. 2 Colliery
    • Abernethy Main Colliery (Later Aberdare South Colliery)
    • Aberdare South Colliery Branch Railway
    • Aberdare Central Colliery
    • Aberdare Extended No. 7 Colliery (Later known ad Aberdare No. 7 Colliery)
  • Wickham and Bullock Island Coal Company, Limited
    Later Cessnock Collieries Limited

    • Commencement of Neath Colliery
    • Neath Colliery Branch Railway
    • Neath Opencut Workings
    • Cessnock Colliery
    • Cessnock No. 2 Opencut Workings
    • Re-commencement of Kalingo Colliery
    • Formation of Cessnock Collieries Limited
    • Change of Names of Cessnock and Kalingo Collieries
  • The Great Northern Coal Company, Limited
  • Photo Gallery

For further information and purchase details, please contact Brian R. Andrews via email –

Lost Diggers of Weston – Update

Towns with Heart & The Coalfields Heritage Group present

Alexander Galloway’s Lost Diggers of Weston

A group of Australian soldiers outside a hotel, [Criterion Hotel-], [1914-1918]

A group of Australian soldiers outside a hotel, [Criterion Hotel-], [1914-1918]

Lost to the world for almost 100 years, these timeless images will be on public display for the first time.

Who were they? What is their story? Are they your Great Grandfather or Uncle?


  • Thursday April 25
  • Friday April 26
  • Saturday April 27
  • Sunday April 28


St. Paul the Apostle Anglican Church Hall
Lang Street, Kurri Kurri
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Entry by gold coin donation.

Lost Diggers of Weston

On Friday 1 March 2019, two members of the Cultural Collections team attended a very interesting presentation on Alexander Galloway’s Lost Diggers of Weston at the Kurri Kurri Library.

The presentation was given by representatives from Towns with Heart and the Edgeworth David Museum, including Lexie Matthews and Cheryle Shoesmith (Edgeworth David Museum) and Graham Smith, Bill Holland and Sharon Dyson-Smith (Towns with Heart).  The presenters covered the story of Alexander Galloway, coalfields photographer, as well as the stories of the Great War diggers whose photos he captured prior to their embarkation.

This presentation was the prelude to the Lost Diggers Exhibition to be held on the 2019 ANZAC weekend in the Saint Paul the Apostle Anglican Church Hall, Lang Street, Kurri Kurri. The exhibition will feature photos of all 60 Lost Diggers, together with the stories of those who have been identified. These photos were produced from scans of the original glass plate negatives.

Full details of the forthcoming exhibition will be posted as soon as they are available.


UON Memories



If you studied at the University of Newcastle (Australia), Newcastle Teachers’ College, or Newcastle CAE/HIHE,  you may enjoy a trip down memory lane by browsing through some of the diverse selection of serials published by student societies or by the institutions themselves.  These include:

All of these serials are held in the University Archives.

Some wonderful volunteers in the Cultural Collections team have digitised them and we have finally brought them together in Living Histories @ UON. You can browse through them at or search for a name at

If you have some recollections you would like to share with the world, we have some instructions.

East Maitland Church register digitised

Page from Register

One of the most popular registers in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle’s Archives is the East Maitland baptisms (1829-1859), marriages (1828-1897) and burials (1829-1854) register which was recently digitised by Damien Linnane, one of our wonderful volunteers.

Damien and two of our other amazing volunteers, Emily Hampton and Ethan Simpson, have started digitising  registers from the Diocese. This is a VERY large collection and it will take a long time to get through them as we only have one book scanner, but you can see any that have been done from the lists at

If the text of a date is dark blue and bold the register has been digitised and is available from Living Histories @ UON.

If you would care to assist us by transcribing a register, or even part of a register, please email


Engaging with our community

Our local communities are very important to the Cultural Collections team.

One recent example of help we have received from a member of the You know you’re from Maitland when… Facebook group is the supply of current photos of a headstone designed by Pender Architects back in 1879.

The architectural drawings are of the headstone for Henry Rourke, a prominent Maitland resident and businessman who died on 4 August 1879, and who was buried in the Anglican portion of the Campbells Hill Cemetery. We wanted to see if the headstone was still there, and, if so, if it was true to John Wiltshire Pender’s design.

M5026-1Plan of Monument for the late H Rourke Esq

After we posted the request for a current photo of this headstone to the Facebook group, one of its members, Peter Smith, messaged us with two photos of the headstone.  Our thanks to Peter for his help.

Headstone for Henry Rourke, Campbells Hill Cemetery, Telarah, NS

Have a look at the photos which are now on our Living Histories site with links to the architectural drawings.

If you have photos or information you’d like to share, we have some instructions for working on the Living Histories @ UON site at Alternatively, you can email us.


Everyone who loves locos, wagons, and all things related to railways will be delighted to know that two large collections on our Living Histories site have grown.

90 class locomotives being unloaded from M.V. Mirabella, 27 July 1994
(Brian R. Andrews)

Brian R. Andrews has kindly allowed us to scan and publish more of his wonderful photos which can be found in his Collection at

We have just published some more great photos from Peter Sansom’s Collection. See Peter’s Collection at


3801 with its train steaming out of Port Waratah the day it was recommissioned. November 1986.
(Peter Sansom)

Speaking of memories, if you have a story or information to give us, you can add it to any of the images or other media on the Living Histories site using these instructions.

Another way you could help us in our endeavours is by giving us the geographical location of photos.  You can add geotags via a Google map embedded in Living Histories. Again, we have some instructions.

We welcome your contributions!

March Exhibitions at Watt Space

Watt Space March A3 Poster

14 March – 1 April 2018

Thursday 15 MARCH from 6:30pm

Gallery 1 – KATRINA HOLDEN – Conversations with the Land

Conversations with the Land presents the artist’s snapshots and visceral responses to the often overlooked impressions of our beautiful local landscape.

Gallery 2 – ANGUS FOXLEY, ANNIKA LEE, JANE LO, KATE MAHONEY – Abstraction in the creative industries

Abstraction in the creative industries employs techniques used in creative photomedia – composition, colour, line, shape and texture convey emotional responses, engaging audiences with their ideas through abstract photographs.

Gallery 3 – ANNIE COREY – Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories is a collection of works investigating ideas of time, reality and perception. The individual works share common themes of transience with surreal, dream-like qualities.

Media Space – ANDREW STYAN – HUM

HUM the humble power point is the ultimate plug and play device. Behind it lies the most complex machine ever built.


Seeing the Shadow




Peter Tilley, Seeing the Shadow II 2017, painted cast iron on polished stainless steel, 43 x 78 x 15 cm.

Peter Tilley

Seeing the Shadow
21 MARCH – 14 APRIL 2018

The elusive, insubstantial nature of the shadow lends itself to metaphor, myth and legend, with its significance contemplated by human consciousness throughout history. Shadows appear as essences of the soul – the externalisation of the inner self – as guides or advisors. In Jungian psychology, shadows contain parts of ourselves that are suppressed, denied, or unfavourable.

For his PhD research, Peter Tilley examines the theory and philosophy of shadow,
developing and utilising an array of materials, found objects, symbols and methods that
enable the construction of shadows to visually or symbolically disclose fundamental traits and mnemonics of the ‘casting’ figure.

The resulting sculptures become complex representations that explore illusions of certainty, memory and imagination – the mysteries of the unknown – and the fundamental identity and attributes of the figure/self.


Peter Tilley is represented by May Space, Sydney