In the 1860s the deep-lead mining industry flourished in Central Victoria. The countryside was scattered with the poppet heads and the engine sheds of these mines. And an engine shed contains an engine, one of the possible themes for this week’s Sepia Saturday. Not having a suitable family photo for this theme I have had to look elsewhere to illustrate the connection with my famliy.
With the mine workers coming into the area communities grew up nearby with hotels and shops, school and church. police station and Court House. Such a town was Piggoreet, just near the Devil’s Kitchen, shown here as it was in 1860.
This maps shows the area I am talking about in relation to Melbourne , Geelong and Ballarat.
I am interested in the shaded area to the north-west, known as Springdallah. In that area you can see Piggoreet and this is the area in which Glaud Pender worked. I have written about Glaud (1827-1908), my great great great grandfather here and here and here He had been an engine worker near Fauldhouse in Scotland , midway between Glascow and Edinburgh and lying near the edge of a large coalfield, before he came to Australia Perhaps he was familiar with going down the mine but he was an above-ground worker – the engines for pumping water from the mine and for lowering and raising the cages for transporting the miners and the ore. So from coal mines in Scotland he progressed to being a goldmine manager in Australia.
We can partly track his progress through the birth of his children – Geelong, Egerton, Buninyong, Golden Lake and later at Piggoreet., moving slowly through the goldfields to the north-west of Melbourne. By the 1860s he was mine manager at the Golden Lake mine and the birth of three of his children are also registered at Golden Lake to the west of Piggoreet. But they were living close enough to Piggoreet for three of his children to be attending the Piggoreet Common School in the 1860s.
The miners had the interesting habit of a ceremonial naming of their mine engines before they set them to work for the first time. With the gold mines so close together there was a very cosy group of mine managers, mine workers and local dignitaries who would attend each other’s Mine Engine Namings.
At the Golden Lake mine in July 1864 the two engines were The Britannia and The lady of the Lake. Glaud’s daughter, Mrs Peter Telford, officially named The Lady of the Lake and Glaud’s brother-in-law George Telford responded to the Health of the Contractors toast, As part of the entertainments for the large crowd Glaud Pender sang The Rose of Allandale. What a versatile man !
Glaud was also mentioned in the newspaper reports when he attended the naming of the engines of the Golden Horn at Piggoreet in July 1865 The Warrior and the smaller Reliance, each had a bottle of champagne smashed on its flywheel by a pretty young girl. It was a fancy do with lots of toasts, food and liquor for the approximately 160 guests. One of the many toasts was to the neighbouring companies and Glaud responded to that toast. Also present was his son in law Peter Telford. At this time Glaud had three children at the Piggoreet Common School.
Then in August it was the turn of the Emperor and Empress who were duly christened by another two ladies in a ceremony at Pitfield Plains and Glaud proposed the toast to the Success of the Golden Empire Company.. A similarly large event but the weather was bad and there was a mix-up with some of the invitations so that they didn’t arrive in time for the function.
For those with an engineering turn of mind The Ballarat Star gives us details of the type of engines they were using at the Golden Lake Mine.
The machinery consists of a pumping and puddling engine, 20 1/4 in. cylinder, by T. M.Tennant and Co., of Leith, with a stroke of 4ft.; and a smaller one for winding purposes, of 14 1/2 inch cylinder, 3 feet stroke, by Lockhart, of Kirkaldy. These are new, well finished, and admirably adapted to the work. They are fed by one steam pipe from two boilers, each 26ft x 6ft 6in, securely built in with bluestone masonry. The pumping and winding gear is of first-class quality, both as regards design and workmanship, and contracted for by Messrs Martin and Co , of the Black Hill Foundry, Scarsdale. The pumps are 12 in. 1n diameter, and can work to a stroke of 6 ft 8 in. if necessary. Altogether the machinery is most complete, and capable of working on an extensive scale
Somehow I don’t think Glaud would have had a guitar to accompany him singing The Rose of Allandale but this next version is lovely