Spring 2009 Black Track Tour

Black Track TourTom Paterson, well-known historian, newspaper columnist and raconteur, will lead the first of two 2009 "Black Track" walking tours on Saturday, May 23, 2009. No date has yet been set for his September walk. Tickets will once again be $30.00 for one person, $25.00 each for two or more in a party. "Black Track" refers to those South Wellington area railway lines informally used by miners and residents as a "public thoroughfare" or walking track. Coal dust so thickly coated the lines that they became known locally as the "Black Track."

These historic walking tours have become much anticipated events with tickets selling out a few days after their tour date has been announced. Even if tickets have sold out, those interested may ask that their name be put on a waiting list for September or kept in mind for possible May cancellations. Please e-mail cchristo@shaw.ca or phone 250-714-0377 to reserve, to be put on waiting lists, or for any further information.

Proceeds of ticket sales will again go to support the Friends of the Morden Mine Society in their endeavor to bring about the preservation of Morden Colliery. Its splendid but rapidly deteriorating 1913 headframe and tipple, innovative at the time in their use of reinforced concrete, are the only such remaining above-ground structures on Vancouver Island. Tom, as usual, will be donating his time and his fund of historical mining stories.

The tour will assemble at 10 am at Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park in front of the headframe. Each participant is asked to bring water or juice, a packed lunch/snacks sufficient to sustain them for the length of the tour, typically ranging between five and six hours. Hats, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and clothing to protect from possible brambles or wayward branches are also recommended. Transportation will be pooled to drive participants to various mine sites, but participants are asked to provide their own to and from the park. Participants are reminded that to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all tour members, they should refrain from wandering off by themselves or engage in conversations that impede the ability of others to hear the commentary. For a detailed description of the May 2008 "Black Track" tour see "Events/Meetings" at www.mordenmine.com

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