Broken Hill the S.E.S and me, a working and a (little) tourist trip to Broken Hill, the Silver City, far western N.S.W.
A rather lengthy plane journey transpired to arrive at our final destination Broken Hill, far western N.S.W. We left from Ballina, traveled to Sydney, changed planes, traveled to Dubbo and then to The Silver City, and then to our accommodation.
In fact we traveled the width of state. Our objective and duties were to train S.E.S. personnel in rescue techniques and bring our fellow members up to speed in S.E.S. protocols, equipment, safety requirements. Three hard days of tutoring and instruction were to follow, and all was to indicate a positive worthwhile mission.
The far west SES region is a huge area of N.S.W., many incidents and road crash rescues involve travelling vast distances from the various Unit HQ’s. And so we got to get some quality time in Broken Hill aka; Silver City. So what did we do? First of all we went to the MINERS MUSEUM on top of the “LINES OF LODE”, the great hillocks of stuff from the the famous Silver Mine, incidentally never call it the ‘SLAG HEAP’
Thats me with the boss. For a comprehensive guide to this wonderfully scenic City, it’s history and places to visit and wine and dine follow this link; http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/outback-nsw/broken-hill-area/attractions And so we managed, after work of course, to find some great places to visit, The Day Dream Silver Mine out near Silverton, The Sculpture Symposium, aka The Living Desert, the historic town of Silverton and the Art Galleries, and the Pub of course.
We drove a few miles west from Silverton until the huge expanses of living desert were panoramically spread out in front of us. Stretching for as far as the eye could see, this is a much desired area to witness the desert flowers in bloom after rain.
Perhaps the highlight of our tourist activities however, was the trip out from Silverton to the Day Dream Silver Mine. We paid a small fee to the site manager and were escorted around the above ground working site, shown the spartan living quarters of the early miners and the elementary tools that they used.
We then proceeded to the miners shed and fitted out with a miners light and battery pack. AND THEN DOWN THE MINE WE WENT, the mine shafts were blasted and hacked out and seemingly not designed for people of average height. You will notice in my photos of the mine our friends having to stoop as the make their way into the mine. An explanation was given by our guide that was to clarify this enigma.
It turns out that the original miners were in fact Cornish coal miners, average height was 5 feet 4 inches, built like proverbial out houses and they worked tirelessly to extract the mother load of silver.
AND EVERYTHING WENT BLACK. As we proceeded deeper and deeper into the mine we were to enter into a small cavern carved from the ore bearing rock. The guide then produced a small wax candle, lite the wick and instructed us to turn our miners lamp off and don’t talk. Incredibly the small candle light was sufficient to illuminate the cave, AND THEN, the miserable man blew out the candle.
We are 200 meters underground, the shock of being encompassed by absolute black was immediate and intimidating to the extreme. All we could hear was our own breathing and the beating of our hearts.
After what seemed an eternity we were allowed to turn our lights on, oh boy what a culture shock. Anything that happens after this experience will be a an anti-climax, we left the DAY DREAM SILVER MINE and that afternoon caught our plane to go back home in Sydney. Bit of a bumpy landing, the plane had a flat tire.
But there was another anti-climax, I can’t explain it, maybe you can.
While being escorted around the Day Dream mine site, (above ground), I lagged behind to take photos. There was no-one within 10 meters. So here I am snapping away at the rudimentary living quarters of the Miners built from rocks, bit like a rocky cairn really. The photo image you see is a problem for me to understand, the plants you see are the “Deadly Night Shade“, Atropa belladonna, lordy knows what or who introduced them to this isolated place.
You see the shadow cast by that of a human person, remember no one for some distance, there appears to be the shadow of something hanging from the waist, I did not have anything hanging off me.
Big question; How come you don’t see my shadow, wouldn’t my shadow start from out from my stance and lead to the right, how come the object seen clearly dangling from the shadow, will that person come forward…… Maybe it was the influence of the Belladonna on me and my camera.