- West Wallsend, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = suburb
name = West Wallsend
city = Newcastle
state = nsw
lga = City of Lake Macquarie
postcode = 2286
pop = 1606 (2006 census)
area = 2.1
est = 1860s
parish = Teralba
stategov = Cessnock
fedgov = Charlton
dist1 = 21
dir1 = W
dist2 = 33
dir2 = NNE
near-nw = Richmond Vale
near-n = Seahampton
near-ne = Seahampton
near-w = Heaton
near-e = Cameron Park
near-sw = Killingworth
near-s = Holmesville
near-se = Cameron Park
Coal & railways
West Wallsend's origins are in coal mining, the main concern being West Wallsend Colliery, from whose boundaries the old town grew. The West Wallsend Coal Company was formed in 1885 with a capital of £90,000 sterling. It secured convert|2972|acre|km2|2 of freehold land at and around where the township now stands. A shaft of convert|492|ft|m|1 in depth serviced the Borehole seam of almost convert|5|ft|m|1 in thickness.
The coal was shipped by the West Wallsend Coal Company's private railway ["The Railways and Collieries of the West Wallsend District" Andrews, B.R. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, April;May, 1975 pp77-93;109-123] (which later had several branch line extensions to Seahampton, Fairley, and Killingworth) via Cockle Creek junction onto the government's main north-south line. An Act of Parliament was passed on
August 27, 1886, for the construction of the line and an Amendment passed on July 13, 1887permitted its connection to the government system. The original line had cost over £16,000 pounds sterling, and at Cockle Creek there were seven sets of sidings to handle the output of the collieries which used the line. [ "Newcastle Morning Herald", 26th November 1889.]
At the time of the opening, on
July 3, 1888, it was estimated West Wallsend Colliery would produce up to 200,000 tons of coal a year. In 1895 Caledonian Collieries Limited purchased the company, its collieries, and the railway.
During the industry slump in 1923 it was announced that West Wallsend Colliery would close, raising questions in the
New South Wales Legislative Assembly. Regardless of massive reserves, the mine closed on September 14, 1923, 5,376,410 tons of coal having been extracted in its relatively short period of operations - 35 years.
A passenger service also once operated between Cockle Creek and West Wallsend, the latter having a fully manned station where tickets could be purchased to anywhere in the State which had a railway connection. The last passenger service to West Wallsend ran on
13 January 1930, and the line between Seahampton, West Wallsend, and the Fairley (Seaham No.2 Colliery) Junction closed on 26 November 1938. When Seaham No.2 closed in 1945 the only portion of the railway which continued in use, until 1962, was to Killingworth.
One mine still operates in the district but its coal is shipped by road.
In the early years of the 20th century, a steam tram service operated from West Wallsend via Young Wallsend to Wallsend where there was a large shipping district and where it also connected with the electric trams which ran into Newcastle.
A primary school was opened in 1889. West Wallsend High School opened in 1964.
West Wallsend is located in the federal
Division of Charlton, which elects one member to the Australian House of Representatives. The current member, as of the 2007 federal election, is Australian Labor Partymember Greg Combet, former secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. At state level, after a redistribution in 2006, West Wallsend moved from the Lake Macquarie electorate to the Cessnock electorate, whose member is Australian Labor Party member Kerry Hickey.
The booth at West Wallsend is considered very safe for the Labor Party.
West Wallsend FC
* [http://www.lakemac.infohunt.nsw.gov.au/library/lhist/suburb/lmp&p/westwallsend.htm History of West Wallsend]
* "Neath Mount Sugarloaf - Book 2", West Wallsend Public School Centenary Committee, 1988, ISBN 0-7316-3401-2
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