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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Fri 08 Nov 2019

A Trip down Memory Lane

Digger Man Blog Facebook group member David Pinchin recently posted a series of photos from his visit to the Clermont Historical Centre in Queensland, I thought it would be a good idea to feature them on the stand-alone blog.

A Trip down Memory Lane

Digger Man Blog Facebook group member David Pinchin recently posted a series of photos from his visit to the Clermont Historical Centre in Queensland, I thought it would be a good idea to feature them on the stand-alone blog.

Clermont is an area built around three towns where for many years, it has depended on the rich minerals in the ground, namely, gold, coal and copper. The Clermont Historical Centre is a museum dedicated to the areas rich and diverse history. For the plant and machinery enthusiast there are a number of items to see. Dominating the exhibition space is the giant dragline bucket which was formerly owned by mining outfit Rio Tinto, this bucket had a capacity of 50 cubic metres, 33 times more than the Ruston steam shovel parked next to it.

Located not far from the Historical Centre, the Blair Athol Coal Mine was historically one of the first mines in Australia to adopt the open cast method for mining coal. It is believed that this Ruston No6 steam shovel was one of the original pieces of equipment deployed at the mine. With a bucket capacity of just 1.5 cubic metres, this and other machines like it were deployed to shift the overburden and to extract the precious coal seems below and load it onto trucks. This machine took a team of three people run it, the operator, the so called “trigger boy” who was responsible for opening the bucket to discharge the material, and the fireman! It must have been torturous work in the heat and no doubt long hours back then!

Another cable operated face shovel is also on display, this later model which I have not been able to identify was probably diesel powered, if anyone knows what make it actually is I would love to hear from you.

Also on display but in need of some TLC is this motor grader, which I suspect could be an Allis-Chalmers AD3 model which dates back as far as the early to late 1940’s and continued to be produced until the early 1950’s.

Finally enjoying some shade from the blistering Queensland sun on the left of the shot, what appears to be a Euclid R-15 dumptruck. As the model number suggests these trucks could carry a 15-ton capacity load. Very small by todays standards but these trucks were well liked by end users and had a long production run from the mid 1930’s until the early 1960’s.

The Clermont Historical Centre looks like a great place to visit and I'm sure there is a lot more to see there than we have represented here in this post, one to put on the tick list for if I ever get down under one of these days before I pop my clogs! 

The Digger Man Blog would like to thank David Pinchin for sharing his shots with us.

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