More From Broken Hill
The Miners' Memorial
Overlooking the town of Broken Hill ...
... is a memorial dedicated to the hundreds of miners who died while working in the mines.
A surprising number fell down shafts or off the staging, some were crushed
in machinery while others were crushed by rocks, some suffocated, some
were electrocuted and one poor chap drilled into a hole already containing
The memorial stands high above the town where all can see it. From a distance
it appears to be constructed from rusty metal ...
... but when you get closer you discover that it is, in fact, ... made of rusty metal.
flag in the picture is flown over the Trades Hall when a mining injury
has occurred. The black flag signifies a death. Inside the memorial, one
wall is completely covered in glass plaques giving the names of the deceased
miners and ...
... a brief statement of how, when and where they died.
Scattered along the wall, between the
columns of plaques, are plastic flowers. It probably sounds a little tacky
but when you walk along the columns of plaques and see how many died and
what horrible deaths some must have suffered, you can't help but be moved.
(Photographing the glass plaques is rather like photographing a mirror,
hence the oblique angle and reflections.)
Even more bizarre - or perhaps appropriate - is the location of the Miners'
Memorial. It stands atop a vast pile of mine tailings.
Top centre: The Memorial. There is also a café
and a display of mining paraphernalia adjacent
to the memorial on top
of the pile which affords an excellent view over the city.
As we arrived at the café's car park, another car drew up with
a party which appeared to consist of three tourists and a relative who
was a local woman. She was, therefore, an authority on all matters Broken
Hill and thus felt obliged to talk in a very loud voice. Discussing some
mutual acquaintance, she informed the party (and everybody else within
100 metres), "He's a chef, you know. He can cook." After that
little gem we decided there must be something far away that needed our
On a wall outside the Broken Hill Railway Station are two very graphic
murals of steam engines bursting through a brick wall, bricks flying.
Both were excellently painted by local artist, Geoff Demain, who was commissioned
by the Rotary Club. The murals are dedicated to a Lew Roberts who gave
31 years service to the local railways and was a life member of the Rotary
The other mural is similar and equally effective. Incidentally, the Indian Pacific train, which travels the 3,500 km between Sydney and Perth, passes through this station. Perhaps it even stops here, I don't know.
Some Broken Hill Landmarks
Naturally, there are the headframes of underground mines scattered all around the area. One such structure was rendered obsolete when a mine converted to the open cut principle. The redundant headframe was brought into the centre of Broken Hill where it makes an ideal monument.
Much of the headframe's timber is rotten and the council is seeking approval for funding to renovate the structure.
One attractive building that we photographed was . . .
Broken Hill's Town Hall.
There was a soldier standing on
a pedestal and throwing a grenade.
I'm sure he should have had his helmet on, his mother would have had a fit if she'd seen him.
Then there was the most important building of all, the Black Lion Inn. Having taken a picture of the outside of the building, I looked round for the Tour Director, Short Wheel Base. She was nowhere to be seen but she has a habit of doing this, especially in the supermarket.
Down the street I noticed a little
head peering round a door post.
In this case I should have guessed; pubs have a pull on Pam like a black hole has on a wayward meteorite.
The Black Lion Inn dates back to 1900 and must have seen some changes in its time. The roof appeared to be shingle but there were many missing, especially along its ridge. Perhaps it rains so seldom in Broken Hill that a few holes in the roof are of no consequence. When we walked inside out of the glaring afternoon sunshine I could hardly see a thing for a minute, so gloomy was the bar. However, the inevitable television screens were glowing from on high, the cricket on one and Judge Judy on another. Both had the sound turned off so the barmaid could listen to her favourite music on yet another system.
The Black Lion, circa 1900.
There were a couple of other visits that the Tour Director had planned before we left Broken Hill, one being a doll and teddy bear museum. However, as it turned out, she didn't feel too well so we gave them a miss. Excuse me a moment while I mop up my crocodile tears.
Once again we hitched our wagon and trundled off along the highways and byways, heading south this time. Would we visit Broken Hill again? You bet we would, we've still got dolls and teddy bears to see, but for now we were on our way to Mildura in the state of Victoria where we'll camp on the banks of the once-great Murray River.
Footnote: This re-working of Page 62 was completed on 13th June 2013. It conforms to HTML5 and CSS level 3.