Coasters and Colliers

The last coastal coal carrier ( colliers ) to serve on the 60 nautical run between Sydney and Newcastle had faded away by the late 1980s as natural gas flowed into the pipes of Sydney.

Small colliers, initially (sail-propelled) started carrying coals to Sydney from Newcastle almost 200 years ago. More recently the ’60 milers’ as they were called, plodded back and forth along the roughly `60 miles.’ Since the 1860s and, during the period from the end of World War I until the early 1950s they were all coal fired. Here are many images showing these smokey little craft. It was a dangerous trade and, along both the north and south coasts of NSW the sea took many of the little coasters and many of their crewmen.

The sisters recorded the little coasters making port from north and south or heading out into the teeth of a gale or just alongside their berths with the crew ashore.

For costs and availability of obtaining any of these photos without watermark, as an electronic file, as a print from the original negative (where available) or as some other format, contact the Maritime Records and Research Centre’s Curator on mrrc@shf.org.au or 02 9298 3850, quoting the full file name and giving details of format wanted.

Copyright for the majority of these images from the collection is vested in the Sydney Heritage Fleet. For the remaining images every attempt has been made to ensure correct attribution. If any originator of an image notes an error the Sydney Heritage Fleet would welcome any notification and will remove that image or modify its attribution.

Click on any image to enlarge

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