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Last puff for Corrimal Coke Works

Corrimal Coke Works has closed. PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary

Corrimal Coke Works has closed. PHOTO: Warren & Diana Ackary

THE Corrimal coke works has closed, ending the long tradition of the mineral’s production in the Wollongong area.

The Illawarra Coke Company, the world’s oldest continuous producer of coke, has now closed both its Corrimal and Coalcliff operations.

Operations ceased at the Coalcliff site in June 2013 with the loss of about 20 jobs. The closure of the Corrimal plant earlier this month has seen the loss of about the same number of jobs.

The closure has been blamed cheaper overseas producers.

Company managing director Rex Wright said workers at Corrimal are great grandsons of the people who worked there since the plant opened early last century. He said it was a sad day.

John Davies, who is a fourth generation coke worker at Corrimal, said the feeling at the plant was emotional.

The Corrimal coke works opened in 1912.

Coke workers at the Coalcliff plant in 1914.

Coke workers at the Coalcliff plant in 1914.

 

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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