Commemorating 100 Years Since the Bellbird Colliery Disaster

Published on 25 August 2023

Fairfax photo Bellbird Colliery NLA SLNSW.jpg

Cessnock City Library will host an exhibition and free community event to commemorate 100 years since the Bellbird Colliery Mining Disaster.

On 1 September, 1923 miners headed underground to commence their afternoon shift in the Bellbird Colliery mines. Shortly after, a fire occurred underground followed by a series of explosions, leading to the death of 21 miners and 6 pit horses. This event is still considered the greatest coal mining disaster in the Hunter Valley’s history.

The month-long exhibition, Tragedy at Bellbird: Commemorating 100 Years Since the Bellbird Colliery Disaster, explores the timeline leading up to the disaster, features objects and records from the Library’s Local Studies collection, and uncovers the forgotten stories of the victims.

Library Services Coordinator, Rose-marie Walters, is encouraging those interested in learning more about the history and impacts of the disaster to visit the exhibition.

"The ongoing impact of the disaster was immense. A century later and this is still the deadliest colliery accident in the Hunter Valley and has not been forgotten," Ms Walters said.

"I encourage individuals interested in learning more about the events leading up to the disaster, as well as the extraordinary scenes of heroism during, and the impacts after, to visit the exhibition."

The exhibition will be held at Cessnock City Library foyer from 1-30 September.

A free event to commemorate the centenary of the disaster will also be held at Cessnock City Library on 1 September from 6.00pm-7.00pm. Bookings for the event are essential. Secure your place by clicking here.

For more information, visit the What's On section of the library website or call Cessnock City Library on 4993 4399 or Kurri Kurri Library on 4937 1638.