Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Around Tasmania - Part 2 - Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield is a small township not far from where we are at Beauty Point Marina, this place hit the news on Anzac Day 2006 when an earthquake caused a mine collapse trapping three miners with one unfortunately losing his life. The rescue was a long process and it brought it into all the homes via news through that tough period. After seeing Beaconsfield one can understand the emotion this town would have gone through with the mine being right in the centre of the town.
(Survivors Todd and Brant, I have copied the print section in three parts below for easier reading)

The now closed mine is a museum showing many things from our past, not only mining gear it has old machinery and many other items on view, there are three tourist sites close by this mine, the Seahorse World and Platypus House, the latter two being at the old wharf at Beauty Point, the cheapest way to see all three exhibitions is to buy a triple pass for the three places which is an open pass for three months for one visit per site.
(Beaconsfield Mine and Museum)
(Old Miners Cottage)
(A scale model of the mine tunnels under the town)
 (Old steam traction engine)
 (Items from an old surgury)
(The old washing gear, I can remember seeing these items in use)

Beaconsfield has two IGA supermarkets one of which has a hardware store, there is also a gardening and building centre amongst other shops.
The weather has been a bit of a mixture we have had some very nice days and some cold and wet days so we are doing jobs on the boat as the weather permits.
The following is taken from one of the websites listed below.
The area around Beaconsfield was first explored by Europeans in 1804 when William Paterson led an expedition to Port Dalrymple and established a settlement at York Town. Settlement of Beaconsfield itself, then known as Brandy Creek did not occur until the 1850s. Limestone mining led to the discovery of gold in 1869. Gold mining began in 1877 and the area's population boomed. Brandy Creek Post Office opened on 1 December 1877 and was renamed Beaconsfield in 1879.
The town was named Beaconsfield in 1879 in honour of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time. In 1881, the Beaconsfield newspaper was called the Beaconsfield Tickler. In 1953, Beaconsfield was the first town in Australia to fluoridate the water supply.
Gold was first discovered in Beaconsfield in 1847
The town began its early life as ‘Brandy Creek’ because of the colour of the water in the creek where the gold was originally discovered.
In the financial year 2004/05, 240 685 tonnes of ore was produced from which 3890 kilograms of gold was extracted
On Tuesday 25 April 2006, a small earthquake caused a rock fall in the Beaconsfield gold mine. Fourteen miners escaped safely, one miner, Larry Knight, was killed, and the remaining two, Todd Russell and Brant Webb, were trapped in a shaft approximately one kilometre underground. The two trapped miners were found alive five days later on Sunday 30 April. Rescue operations continued for nearly two weeks until the two miners were freed on Tuesday 9 May.
The Beaconsfield gold mining operations finally ended with the closure of the mine in June 2012.

 (The old Bank of Tasmania that was robbed of cash and gold worth around $2,700 in 1884, it is now an Art Gallery and Souvenir store)
 (The Exchange Hotel still looking good and operational)
The Old Post Office now a Newsagent)
There are many other heritage buildings in the main street and around the town.


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