The Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company
Location 194. Excelsior No 2 Coal Mine.
Group Number 2

Group Members

The table below shows the people that make up the group.

No Last Name First Names Maiden Name Relationship Occupation Born Died School Year


The table below shows any historical notes about the party group.

Note Date Short Description Note Text
2343 1900 General notes.

In April of 1900 the Cromwell & Bannockburn Colliery Company was formed to buy all of the coal mines in Bannockburn. The directors were : the Hon T Fergus, D A Jolly, T K Harty, J C Thomson, J Horn, J Gibson and W R Parcell. The company took over the Excelsior No 2 mine ( Parcell and Gibson ) along with Prydes mines at Adams Gully (location #255), at Shepherds Creek (location #183) and Wilsons mine (on the Kawarau location #160).

2344 various Mine managers.

The mines general managers were as follows : John St Vincent Jaxon 1901 - 1902. Thomas Barclay 1902 - 1903. Alexander Sinclair Gillanders 1903 - 1908, William Richard Parcell 1908 - 1909.

2345 1900 From J P Parcells Notes.

John Parcell worked in the Excelsior No 2 Mine at this time and describes it in his notes. " There was room to put in another drive from the well hole at the bottom of the decline. I was on night shift and young Jimmy Horn (not related to James B Horne from the store - maybe son of James Horn dwelling #12 1886-1916) was taking out the coal and water. I had to start the new drive about 2 feet from the tram rails. The night I started, I had dug 10 or 12 bags of coal and had them stacked on the tramway to be hauled up. Horn was taking out water at the time in a tank on a truck. By this time I had my drive in by about a foot, the tank of water went way up the decline. I went on working, then I heard a load noise and knew that the tank of water was coming back down at a great speed. I could not get out in time, so I squeezed myself as tight as I could in the hole that I had made. The tank truck came down with a terrific roar and struck the bags of coal that I had stacked on the tramway but the tank of water carried on for about 10 feet, cutting through the tops of the bags of coal on its way. I had only a foot to spare. Horn thought that I had been killed, however I was not hurt, but my light had been blown out. I had another experience with young Jimmy Horn shortly after. He was hauling up a truck of coal one night when a bag fell off. He was to lower the truck back down to me and I would put the bag back on the truck and send it back up. I was on my way up the drive to meet the truck when I heard it coming down - Jimmy had forgotten to hook on the rope. I had very little chance to get clear, however I knew there was a man hole (a small dugout in the wall to provide safety for the miners from the trucks in the decline). I jumped around quickly to get into the hole but in doing so my light went out. Then all was quiet, the jigger on the back of the truck (a type of emergency brake) ran into the bag of coal on the tramway and stopped the truck. The Excelsior No 2 Mine and Wilsons Mine (location #160) were both managed by William Richard Parcell (2). Under his guidance they were joined together under ground and extended under the Bannockburn Creek. At this point the mine became known simply as the Excelsior. "

2346 1900 Mine workers.

in November of 1900, these miners were working in the Excelsior No 2 mine : Frank Jones, Jack McCabe, John Flynn, Alex Clark, John Patrick Parcell (left in Nov 1900), James Donnelly, James Hancock, Jack Crombie, James Henry Horn, William Richard Parcell (2) (mine manager).

2347 1903 Mine workers.

In 1903, or possibly later, the following miners were working in the mine : James Hancock, William Cooper, William Atcheson, John Short, Henry Charles Russell, William Richard Parcell (2) (mine manager), Thomas Soden, John Hodson (2). The pit pony was called Darkie.

2348 1906 General notes.

The mine supplied coal for sixteen steam powered gold dredges working on the Kawarau and Clutha rivers. The coal was sold for 12 shillings per ton at the mine - this includes the price of the sacks.

2349 1907 General notes.

By the beginning of this year the recession in dredging had set in and in October the company had to close down the Excelsior Mine for a time.

2350 1908 General notes.

James Park in his NZ Geological Survey Bulletin No 5 - the geology of the Cromwell subdivision, western Otago division, mentions the Excelsior - Parcell & Gibson Mine. " The lignite crops out a few chains east of the main incline, from which the mine is worked, and strikes about north and south. It dips west at an angle of about 10 degrees. Three seams are seen in going down the incline : namely two near the surface and one at the bottom. The upper seams are 18 inches and 5 feet thick respectively. They are separated by a bed of fireclay from 2 foot to 3 foot thick. The main seam is about 7 foot thick and contains some 5 foot and 6 inches thickness of workable coal. It is remarkably free from shakes and faults, and maintains a uniform thickness over a length of nearly 3/4 of a mile. The seam being worked is overlain by thin banded sandy clays which in places contain the numerous casts of a fresh water bivalve resembling those found in the Maniototo basin. A feature of this coal, and one not often seen in NZ, is a very distinctive vertical "cleat" or series of cleavage planes lying close together which traverse the seam at right angles to the plane of the strike. in other words they run parallel with the direction of the dip, forming what in England would be termed 'butt cleat' "

2351 1909 General notes.

On November 8 1909, the Cromwell Argus reported that the rails and pumps were removed from the Exclesior coal pit. The company had tried to sell their coal leases on the Cairnmuir seam without success. In November the 'Excelsior Mine' was closed down and the company abandoned their lease. The Excelsior had produced about 42,189 tonnes of coal during it's working life. The coal lease on the Cairnmuir seam was then taken up by the Cairnmuir Coal Company.


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Image Id Source Date Short Description