Conquering Cascade – An epic saga of Denniston coal

$45.00 incl. GST

In stock (can be backordered)


Conquering Cascade brings to light a little-known chapter in the history of West Coast coal mining. Cascade Creek, a rugged and precipitous gorge, harboured a seam of some of the best coal in New Zealand, its ‘black gold’ well known but its extraction delayed by forbidding access and tempestuous climate. The story of the Cascade Westport Coal Company and its workforce, the Cascade Westport Co-operative Coal Party, is one of courage and audacity that included building a wooden flume to carry the coal a steep 250 metres drop towards the coast. At over 12 kilometres long this flume was not only the longest such structure ever built in New Zealand, it also confounded the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done. Conquering Cascade chronicles the troubles, triumphs and trials of the Cascade Creek men and women as they toiled to make a living, their association finally ending in a catastrophe of nature and the mundanity of a court room. Following a decade of research, interviews and gathering rare material, Phil Walsh has documented an epic saga in New Zealand’s industrial coal mining heritage. Includes maps and 18 pages of colour and b/w photographs