Rothbury Riots Monument
Rothbury Riots Monument: (32° 40′ 49″S, 151° 20′ 44″E) is 2 km north of North Rothbury on the western side of Wine Country Drive (was Old North Road), 17 km north of Cessnock about 31 km due north of the Great North Walk at Congewai.
The Great North Walk Companion extract- pages 210-211
We take a detour down Stanford Street (opposite the Paxton Hotel) to see the site of Douglas’ mine, the Stanford 2 Colliery, and then walk on towards Millfield, about a further 3 km. It’s not the most direct route, but keeps us away from traffic.
“Aunt Alice told me about her Dad, a bit anyway,” offers my companion as we turn away from the old mine site. “But when did Isabelle marry him?”
“Well, Douglas continued to work here in Paxton and, as we know, their family grew — there was your great grandmother, Janet, Albert named after Doug’s father and baby Lynette. At home all was well — barring, of course, Little Bertie’s disappearance but at work there was great unrest in the 1930s. Douglas as a manager had to deal with both sides: the workers who wanted better conditions, rightly so, and the owners who were facing the economic recession and the consequences of the Great Depression. Paxton was caught up in larger movements. For example, in 1929, a man called Norman Brown was shot by police at Rothbury when thousands of miners protesting against non-union workers were unruly during a lock-out.”
“So they wanted unions?”
“They wanted reasonable conditions… some of the mines didn’t even provide safety lamps or rescue teams. Anyway, the poor economic conditions combined with worker unrest, so that mines began closing. In 1937, Douglas is thrown out of work just like most of the men he used to manage. Then life really turned tough for the Ryans.”