Early Loading

The first wharf was built in Newcastle in 1805. Before that time, convicts carried coal to the ships by wading out through shallow water with buckets full. This made coal loading uncomfortable and very slow. 

Coal was first moved by carrying loads in buckets, then once tracks were made, wheelbarrows could be used. By 1810, oxen were used to pull cartloads of coal to the wharfs. Which was then tipped into the ships by wheel barrow.

The convicts were not experienced at loading coal, and often damaged it. After 1817, a town gang of professionals was used to load the coal onto the ships.

After the convict era, the AA Company took over mining in Newcastle, supplying coal from its new wharf as early as November 1831. It built a wharf/staiths. At this facility wagons of coal brought by rail tipped coal into ships holds. 


Callen, Terry. Bar Dangerous: A maritime history of Newcastle. Newcastle, NSW: Newcastle Region Maritime Museum, 1986. Print  

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