SHAY GAP

 

Shay Gap
Shay Gap in the 1970s

GPS 20 29 44 S 120 09 59 E

 

 

 

 

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Now a disused mining camp south of Sandfire roadhouse. DO NOT RELY ON IT FOR SUPPLIES - old maps still show it as a petrol stop - IT IS NOT! Today almost nothing remains of what was once a modern, well equipped town.

The mine started operation in 1970 and the town was gazetted in 1972 and was built based on a design by Perth Architect, Lawrence Howroyd. The houses and other buildings were an unusual moulded style that many of the residents referred to as 'space age'.

Shay Gap was a company town operated by Goldsworthy Mining and people who lived there had to get permission for friends and relatives to visit.

Life was very hard, especially for the wives of workers and the workforce turnover was estimated at a man a day over the life of the mine.

At one time the population hovered around 1000 people. Like Goldsworthy 75km west, once the mining stopped the town closed down and everything was carted away. It has to make you wonder what the fate of other mining towns will be once the mines close for good.

The name originated with R. Shea a pearler and 'blackbirder *' at 80 Mile Beach who with his partner Samuel Miller was speared to death by local Aborigines in 1873.

The town closed in February 1994 after the Mine ceased operating in December 1993.

* Blackbirder - Someone who tricked or coerced others into working often in close to slave-like conditions.

 


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Shay Gap
Shay Gap after it was closed

 

 

 

 

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