Some WA memories

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
I've been following along @JohnM 's various WAnderings of late and have been WAOndering where he's been? Certainly places that are full of weeds, some in flower so too late for the glysophate. But Western Australia? Nothing looked very familiar to me - I lived in the Murchison region (think inland from Geraldton) for three years, fresh out of Uni, coming up to, well, some decades ago shall we say. Has St Marko produced an actual Eden?

Lockdown here in Tas has made for idle hands meeting the scanner and producing some memories of my own WAnderings. Unfortunately very selective, as many of the memories are on 35mm slides; but here are a few ones from old prints, with dicey colours to boot.

It all started with this young and innocent kid, still at Uni (with approriate hair and choice of tie). He's in the big smoke of Adelaide, and has just been to the Exploration Division head office of Western Mining Cororation, then one of Australia's largest companies, where he was offered a job as a mine geologist. "You can go to the mines at Kalgoorlie, Norseman, Kambalda or Mount Magnet. Take your pick" said the corporation's Executive Director in charge of ExDiv. I'd never heard of Mt Magnet, so that sounded exciting, so that was that.

Magnet14102021_0013.jpg

About 6 months later, after finishing Uni, off I went. Car on the train to Perth, then drive the 600km to Mt Magnet.

Through the wheat belt. Geez, its a bit dry ...

Magnet14102021_0045.jpg

My car. Note the "No Dams" sticker on the back ... the height of the Franklin Dam controversy. This was a "ha ha" photo - "floodway" - geddit?

Magnet14102021_0044.jpg

Not the same day, but um, OK, it might flood from time to time.

Magnet14102021_0042.jpg

Back on my drive up to my home for the next three years. See any of those colourful things JohnM will have you believe are all over the place? ;):eek:. Note, only one sealed lane. When the road trains came barrelling through, you pulled r-i-g-h-t over!

Magnet14102021_0041.jpg
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
I forgot:

PERth!

Magnet17102021.jpg

Anyway ... so I arrive in Mt Magnet ... on approach:

Magnet14102021_0005.jpg

From the local 'Mount'

63080010.JPG

and am taken to my street:

Magnet14102021_0058.jpg

My place (shared staff house):

Magnet14102021_0059.jpg

Yes, it needed a bit of work. Actually, put some woody weeds in and keep it watered and things grow. I went back about 7 years later and this was the same old place:

Magnet17102021_0005.jpg

This is my street, same view as a couple of pics above, from Google street view. Paved roads! Loooxury!!

Kennedy Ct today.JPG

Inside when i arrived, I found they had decorated the place. Emu stubby pull-ring curtains:

Emu.jpg

The neighbours:

Magnet14102021_0055.jpg
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Can you imagine trying to explain that to someone today?

In the words of Monty Python: "Tell it to kids today, and they just wouldn't believe it!".

In the same vein, I'll just leave these here (and remember, its me behind the camera, not in front of it!! :oops:).

Magnet17102021_0004.jpg


Magnet17102021_0003.jpg


Magnet17102021_0002.jpg


Magnet17102021_0001.jpg
 
Last edited:

JohnM

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
10,170
Solutions
1
Points
2,040
Qantas
Platinum
Can you imagine trying to explain that to someone today?

On that theme - and about the time young Rooy was in Mt Magnet:


 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
On that theme - and about the time young Rooy was in Mt Magnet:



Let me guess. You only look at that magazine for the articles? ;)
 
Vinomofo is the best wine deals site on the planet. Good wines, real people and epic deals, without all the bowties and bs.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

kookaburra75

Established Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
1,328
Solutions
1
Points
710
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold

TheRealTMA

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
7,029
Solutions
1
Points
1,325
Qantas
Platinum
On that theme - and about the time young Rooy was in Mt Magnet:


Not much to do in Mt Magnet then?
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
Not much to do in Mt Magnet then?

Perish the thought! Witness the above ... and more to come. ;)

Some more views of the house.

The front, after we planted a few things - that sapling on the right is in the '7 years later' pic above.

Magnet18102021_0015.jpg


Back yard. We got a few chooks and even ducks eventually. Yum.

Magnet18102021.jpg

So, what about Mt Magnet. 'The Mount' - local topography; made of banded iron formation so yes, magnetic.

Magnet18102021_0009.jpg

The main drag.

Magnet14102021_0054.jpg

Magnet18102021_0003.jpg

Magnet18102021_0007.jpg

I took these ones on my return visit, some years later. Huge changes!!

Magnet17102021_0007.jpg


Magnet17102021_0006.jpg
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
My workplace. Morning Star underground gold mine. Accessed via a shaft to 6 level (600 feet), then we climbed the ladders through the mine down to the 11 level.

63070002.JPG

63080025.JPG

Magnet14102021_0030.jpg

Or, sometimes we went in the 'air rise', the emergency egress, standing on the 'kibble' as they lowered you down a few hundred meters. That was an interesting experience, the first time. :eek:. Hard hat, light and battery. No emergency oxgen kit, as we didn't run any diesel gear underground.

Magnet14102021_0029.jpg


Internal ladders. Its hot and humid. Climbing down was OK - it was when you had to climb up a hundred metres or so that spoiled a morning.

Magnet14102021_0032.jpg

Taken a few years later when I revisited, when they had sunk an open pit consuming the old underground mine. I could see the workings I used to walk along!

Magnet17102021_0008.jpg

It was a small mine, mainly using 'air legs' - pneumatically driven jackhammer devices that bored 6 foot holes horizontally into a wall; after the wall was covered with a pattern of holes, they were filled with ANFO (ammonium nitrate, fuel oil - fertiliser soaked in diesel), wired up with detonators, and twice a shift, exploded (with everyone in safe quarters by the shaft). This pic is without the air on and him not drilling. The air would be filled with oily mist and the sound is like standing behind a jet engine. The drill weighs a ton and pivots on its leg, which pneaumatically extends, keeping pressure on the drill and bit, advancing the hole. Incredibly hard work, but pretty well paid. The average miner, I discovered usually owned about 2-3 houses by the time they were 30; the good ones more.

63070004.JPG

Magnet14102021_0034.jpg

A pneumatic 'scraper'. When the rock was broken, this thing pulled a scraper (out of view) across the floor, pulling the dirt down mill holes in the floor, where it dropped 50-100m to the collection level, far below. Bit tricky walking around those holes sometimes ...

Magnet14102021_0036.jpg

You didn't really want to be standing underneath something like this

Magnet17102021_0009.jpg
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
What's a gold mine withput gold? Mostly its very small and not visible, but occusionally you got a bit of a bonanza, like this specimen stone.

Magnet14102021_0033.jpg

Magnet14102021_0035.jpg

Magnet18102021_0008.jpg

Where specimen stone was uncovered, it was the geologist's job to go in and collect it :) , so the miners wouldn't nick it. They were silly if they did (and most wouldn't) - the amount of gold you can see in the above is pretty small and if an underground worker is found 'stealing gold', they get fired, word gets around and they'd never work in the goldfields again.

If we did think someone was taking gold (chip marks in the walls!!), we'd get the 'Gold Ds' (Gold squad detectives) in from Kalgoorlie - just to show up and be seen, as a warning. I recall one time we got them in - word gets around, fast - and one of our miners suddenly 'took sick' from underground and bolted home. He was one of our dodgy ones and knew he'd be under suspicion, but he was more worried about the little crop he had growing in his back yard - he rushed there and pulled it all out, expecting a 'visit'. The Ds just went to the pub, had a beer, got seen and went home. Poor old 'Vesso' was heartbroken!
 

BAM1748

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2008
Messages
6,087
Points
980
Last edited:

Ade

Established Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
1,179
Points
465
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
I have always had a fascination for old photos. And looking at the pics that @RooFlyer is posting, I can see how AU was in the 70's & 80's and the effort that put into making cities look like they are today ... #Awesome!

Keep'em coming :)

Imagine the mine worker owing 2-3 houses by the time they are in their 30s ... simply amazing. Our generation is not able to buy a 1 bed unit in CBR these days without dipping to the Bank of Mum & Dad :(
 

JohnM

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Messages
10,170
Solutions
1
Points
2,040
Qantas
Platinum
Perish the thought! Witness the above ... and more to come. ;)

Some more views of the house.

The front, after we planted a few things - that sapling on the right is in the '7 years later' pic above.

View attachment 262418


Back yard. We got a few chooks and even ducks eventually. Yum.

View attachment 262417

So, what about Mt Magnet. 'The Mount' - local topography; made of banded iron formation so yes, magnetic.

View attachment 262424

The main drag.

View attachment 262419

View attachment 262422

View attachment 262423

I took these ones on my return visit, some years later. Huge changes!!

View attachment 262421


View attachment 262420

You haven't revealed the years you were in Mt Magnet, but I have previously said in other posts that in the late 1970s gold mining was in the doldrums and operations at Mt Magnet were shut down and on C & M.

That made Mt Magnet virtually a ghost town for a few years. I know, young fella, that your pics are not from the 1970s.

Your time was clearly part of the 'roaring back' stage after those doldrums. It hasn't stopped since.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
186
Points
230
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Platinum
Great pics - so many of them remind me of Batchelor, Mary Kathleen, Goldsworthy, Finucane Isl and even Zeehan - all places our mining engineer dad worked while my mother bravely managed..
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
It just looks rather a very tame B&S Ball to me

We called it a 'Dimboola night' - a wedding with 'role reversal', a fundraiser for the RFDS.


There was a comment up-thread:

Not much to do in Mt Magnet then?

You have to make your own entertainment.

There was swimming at the local waterhole (100km away):

Magnet14102021_0019.jpg

Magnet14102021_0018.jpg

Magnet14102021_0020.jpg

Weekend trips to Geraldton, 300 km west:

Magnet18102021_0005.jpg

Magnet18102021_0006.jpg

and cricket!

Magnet14102021_0027.jpg

Magnet14102021_0025.jpg

Usually with a goat or pig on a spit:

Magnet14102021_0021.jpg

Magnet14102021_0026.jpg

Magnet14102021_0022.jpg

the derelict sheds were part of a few old houses, long abandoned that wre going to be consumed by a growing open-cut mine. Two years later we got ourselves a nice grassed oval in town, and a new squash court.
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
19,413
Solutions
2
Points
3,125
Qantas
Platinum
We used to visit towns in the district. The 'Sunday Session' at Sandstone, was popular, albeit 150 km away :eek:.

SS.jpg

Longer trips were to Agnew:

Magnet18102021_0010.jpg

'Kal'. We used to go there 3-4 times a year for company meetings. This is how Google tells you to go, but we went cross-country, diagonally south-east on the station roads. @JohnM would love it.

1634808895833.png

Magnet14102021_0046.jpg


At Kal there were lots of these, in those days:

Magnet18102021_0012.jpg

63080026.JPG

Magnet14102021_0048.jpg

... but I never figured out what these were ...

Magnet14102021_0049.jpg
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..

Currently Active Users

Top