Coalface Experience


The idea for a Collinsville Coal Mining Heritage Centre was conceived from a group of Retired Miners who were concerned that if details of Collinsville’s rich mining history were not told – these stories would be lost forever. The Collinsville United Mine Workers Club very generously offered the entire top floor of the club free of charge to house a Coal Mining Centre.

In 1997 Retired Miners Arch Tudehope and Jum Thomas began lobbying the Bowen Shire Council, Unions and the State Government for support. This included attending every Rural Cabinet Meeting to make submissions for support. Eventually the Bowen Shire Council committed $100,000, the Mineworkers Trust $100,000 and the State Government $130,000.
The official opening was planned to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Collinsville State Mine Disaster on 13th October 1954 when seven underground miners perished in a spontaneous outburst of carbon dioxide.

Stage II was commissioned a couple of years later and features the evolution of safety in mining. Other exhibits followed including a Mines Rescue and Simtars touch screen display. There is still room for more exhibits and one day we hope to be in a position to install a lift.

When you visit the Coalface Experience you will gain a great understanding of the life of the coal miner and the ways in which Australian coal miners have banded together to improve safety and working conditions underground. Through both the introductory film and the final Peppers Ghost theatrette experience, you will learn some of the history of coal mining in Collinsville, and see the roles that mateship, struggle and strife have played in shaping Collinsville and its people. The Coalface Experience is filled with artifacts from our coal mining history, but also brings together the latest in museum technologies to tell the unique story of Collinsville and the coal mining history.

Our visitors come from all over the world.

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