Shire of Coolgardie receives historical mining art piece

Published on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 at 2:20:06 PM

Durkin Area 7 – Twin Headframes framed artwork

The Shire of Coolgardie was recently gifted an art piece with significant ties to Kambalda and it’s rich  mining history from Don Scott, founder of Scott Engineering.

The gift, a sketch, is titled Durkin Area 7 – Twin Headframes (circa 1971) and was sketched by the first official artist of the Australian Navy, and Curator and Director of the WA Art Gallery, Frank Norton.

Mr. Scott, who has a strong history of engineering supply throughout Australia, bought the art piece at an auction in Perth.

The twin headframes themselves are unique to Kambalda as one was a service shaft and the other for personnel. The link between Mr. Scott and the headframes continues beyond him purchasing the art piece as he was tasked with the job of dismantling one and taking it to Roxy Downs.

Mr. Scott said the use of the headframes to transport trucks underground in Kambalda at the time was revolutionary and it was used to put the first heavy diesel truck underground. The truck was dismantled and transferred down the shaft piece by piece and reassembled underground. The first trucks were around 10 tonne and as each was a success, it progressed to heavier vehicles being sent underground such as 12 tonne and 15 tonne.

Other service shafts measured around 3m x 3m but this headframe only measured 1.8m x 1.8m which made the feat of transporting heavy duty vehicles underground even more incredible.

Kambalda was an important location for mining in that era and an important location for Scott Engineering. As soon as Mr. Scott spied the art piece with it’s iconic headframes he knew instantly that it was of Kambalda.

Mr. Scott now in his later years felt the need to gift it back to the town of Kambalda and in his words, “it is where it is supposed to be”.

Due to the value of the art piece it will be housed at the Kambalda Administration Office.

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