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Ipswich’s last underground coal mine remembered

A memento from the last underground coal mine in Ipswich has been donated to the region’s leading historical organisation by New Hope Group, the region’s last remaining mining company.

The donated front gate sign originally stood at the entrance to New Hill Colliery, which closed in 1997 marking the end of nearly 150 years of underground coalmining in Ipswich.

Now proudly displayed by the Ipswich Historical Society at the Cooneana Heritage Centre, it is accompanied by a second donated sign from New Hope’s former Haenke coal mine. Society President Hugh Taylor said Ipswich’s mining heritage was a significant part of the Heritage Centre’s collection of memorabilia.

“The city of Ipswich was built on coal mining but there are a lot of people in our community who are unaware of our early beginnings,” Mr Taylor said.

“Younger people are especially surprised when they find out about the city’s coalmining past so it’s important for us to display these objects and help educate our community.”

“As a historical society, our role is to ensure our young people have somewhere to go to learn about our history and how we reached where we are today.”

Over the years New Hope Group has donated several items to the Society from its former Ipswich mine sites including mining equipment and heavy machinery.

“New Hope is the only Ipswich mining company to survive this long which really is an impressive achievement,” Mr Taylor said.

“New Hope has supported the Historical Society for many years and our relationship with them has been a valuable one.”

“As the culture and industry in Ipswich changes, it’s important for us to understand our city’s origins and how we’ve built our small mining town in the busy city we have today.”

The Ipswich Historical Society’s Cooneana Heritage Centre can be found at 1041 Redbank Plains Rd, New Chum, and is open on Thursdays, Saturdays and certain Sundays.

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