Celebration in March 1874

In March 1874 an agreement over miners' rights and wages was signed giving them the right to arbitration in disputes. It was expected that 'the adoption of this agreement would prevent the misery of strikes and lock-outs'. More than 7,000 people marched through the streets of Newcastle to the Tattersall's Hotel, then continued up the steep hill of Watt Street to the site of James Fletcher Hospital which was then known as the 'lunatic asylum'. The James Fletcher monument now stands in the park opposite this site. The miners and their families marched 'in lodge groups behind the township bands'. They listened to speakers from the Eight Hour Conference and delegates from the Trades and Labour Council who had travelled from Sydney. James Fletcher also spoke, he 'urged the Association and Union, not for the first time, to go forward together'. For a time the new system worked and it was considered the 'Golden Age' of Newcastle mining 'where Masters and men were happy and prosperous'.


Lowndes, J. G. "James Fletcher, The Miners' Advocate." Newcastle History Monographs No. 10. 1982:9. Print.

"Newcastle." The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954), 24 Mar. 1874:3. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13333855 >

Text © M. Sherwin, 2013.

Tattersalls Hotel, c. 1890
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