Rothbury Riot Memorial

Overview

The memorial commemorates the miners who endured the mine owners lockout at Rothbury Mine in 1929. The Hunter Valley Rothbury mine near Cessnock was the site of an infamous lockout in 1929. Due to…

The memorial commemorates the miners who endured the mine owners lockout at Rothbury Mine in 1929.

The Hunter Valley Rothbury mine near Cessnock was the site of an infamous lockout in 1929. Due to difficult economic times, the mine owners operating in the Northern coalfields decided to reduce miners’ wages. However, the Miners Federation did not agree to the terms and the mine owners subsequently closed down the Northern New South Wales mines.

Eight months into the lockout the Rothbury mine was opened using scab or non-union labour which the union-miners opposed. A purported 10,000 protesters attempted to confront the scab miners but were hindered by police, called in to break them up. In the ensuing debacle, one miner, Norman Brown, was killed by police gunfire and many more were injured. The miners finally accepted the pay cut in May 1930 and returned to work. The lock-out and confrontation became known as the Battle for Rothbury.

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