The story of the 1929 lockout of miners at Rothbury Colliery in the NSW Hunter Valley is a milestone in Australia’s industrial history.
As the Depression tightened its grip, miners refused to take a pay cut, so colliery owners closed Rothbury. The lockout lasted just over fifteen months and caused enormous deprivation among families in the region.
When the NSW government sent ‘free labourers’ and police to break the stalemate, a bloody conflict ensued. Dozens of miners were shot and wounded. 26 year old Norman Brown was killed in the gunfire.
Eighty years on, nobody knows who pulled the trigger. Indeed, new research shows the man who claimed to have done the deed was not even there.
This program contains the stories of men who witnessed events - rare oral testimony from the ABC archives which has never been broadcast before.