City loses headframe - but gains sculpture
Wednesday, 1st April, 2015
The debate over whether to save the South Mine headframe has been settled by one of nature’s humblest creatures - the common termite.
The tiny pests are believed to have been feasting on the structure for the best part of a century, resulting in a partial collapse about 5.15pm yesterday.
The remainder of the headframe was then brought down shortly afterwards by safety crews, with the debris piled atop the old shaft.
“By the look of it, those timbers have been rotting away since the early 1900s,” said Harry Hebbard, who notified BDT last night of the headframe’s failure.
“I don’t think even Trevor Hicks could have stopped those termites from chewing on them,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of angry locals took to social media last night to vent their outrage over the loss of the iconic poppet head.
“It’s a bloody disgrace, I could have replaced the timbers myself if it wasn’t for all this OH&S crap they’ve come up with these days,” posted Paul.
“Another part of the South falls into disrepair and everyone just watches on, it’s typical. I bet if it was out the North it would have been fixed up straight away,” said Brendan.
The headframe’s historical value could still be preserved however, with a spokesman last night saying the structure’s remnants will be incorporated into a sculpture to be placed in an area of prominence such as the town square.