The ‘Mead Morrison No. 6 Skip’ is the only remaining carriage that was part of a complex coal-loading process, which operated for over 70 years from the early 1920s at Waverton peninsula in Sydney. Its purpose would have been to transport coal along an elevated platform to ships waiting by the water. Now almost 100 years old, it is constructed from both hardwood (probably Sydney Red Gum or Jarrah) and softwood (probably Oregon), has iron wheels and mechanisms, and steel plate linings.
In 2007, ICS was commissioned by North Sydney Council to undertake a condition assessment of the skip and provide recommendations for its future care and management. In 2014, we were finally able to oversee the conservation work required to bring this skip closer to its original state. The treatment involved careful cutting out rotted timber elements and metal elements that had corroded beyond repair, and replacing them with similar materials. It was carried out in line with the Burra Charter principles (as little as possible, as much as necessary). This meant keeping as many of the skip’s original elements as possible so that its unique history, age and previous restorations were still evident, whilst at the same time ensuring that it was now in a stable and presentable condition.
The skip stood on display for almost 40 years next door to the Coal Loader community garden at Balls Head Bay and became highly cherished by both the local community and general public. Now back on display in its restored state in a new location outside the coal loading tunnels, it once again acts as a reminder of the site’s unique history and industrial heritage.
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