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Author Wittenoom - Australia blue asbestos mining
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Wittenoom - Australia blue asbestos mining
Posted: 21/04/2017 11:25:27
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Mentioned this in passing to some of the Thursday Night gang last night; I'd never heard of this mine, nor the ghost town left behind; but picked up on it from a posting on Facebook a few weeks ago.

The Wiki article is both fascinating and chilling in equal measures:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wittenoom,_Western_Australia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Blue_Asbestos

And if you'll excuse the source, some interesting photos from the Daily Mail; including the asbestos shovelling competition.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3091148/Chilling-image-shows-miners-playing-asbestos-shovelling-competition.html

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AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Wittenoom - Australia blue asbestos mining
Posted: 21/04/2017 12:50:24
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I'd heard of this through the late Alastair Hulett's song "Blue Murder". I can't find the recorded version with Swarb on fiddle on Youtube but here's a live version recorded shortly before his untimely death Sad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNBbTGGn5CM


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John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Wittenoom - Australia blue asbestos mining
Posted: 21/04/2017 20:38:36
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One can only commiserate with the poor miners who were kept in ignorance, of what they were actually doing. i.e. shortening their lives by a considerable amount.
I remember as a young lad in the 50's that blue asbestos was banned in the U.K. and yet the Aussies were still mining it in the 60's?
The argument in the 60's was the use of white asbestos O.K.
It was used extensively as a strengthening agent in cement type sheetings, and also in making brake linings.
Indeed my late father in law(who died at the age of 90!), built his first garage from this material.
However it went the same way as it's much more deadly Blue cousin, and all dealings with any of its various forms now have to made by a dedicated contractor.
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