Rock Crusher - Hayes Park

Rock Crusher

he Berrigan Shire Council was fortunate to receive a visit from Bill Hill who was concerned about the future of the rock crusher in Hayes Park with the current remodeling plans. Bill shared his story with Council as noted below…

Bill spent most of his childhood and early adulthood in Berrigan and told of the history of the crusher and its importance to the town of Berrigan. His father Harry Hill operated the quarry where the crusher was used for many years

The crusher was made in Melbourne and was purchased after World War 2 to crush rock at the Green Hills quarry south of Berrigan, now the site of the Berrigan landfill. The quarry generated gravel used on roads for 7 Councils around the southern Riverina. It employed up to 60 people at its peak, including between 10-20 Italian migrants living in Cobram. They were employed to manually recover the rock from the blasts and manually feed it into the crusher, hard, heavy work. The blasts themselves were heard routinely by Berrigan residents

Over time the rock at Green Hills was shown not to meet higher standards imposed by engineers building local roads, it was granite and decomposed too quickly. Harry and Bill travelled all over the local area to find another source of rock, from Corowa to Griffith to Balranald, with little success. As it turned out, there was a suitable outcrop at “Monaro Vale”, a farm about 10 km south of Berrigan. It was basalt rock and much more suitable for roadworks. This rock was quarried on site at Monaro Vale and carted to Green Hills in 6-ton lots to be crushed
Eventually, a piece of explosive was accidently included in a load of rock to be crushed. This could have been a detonator or a small piece of gelignite. The ensuing explosion damaged the crusher. It was temporarily repaired until a new crusher could be purchased and delivered, these repairs can be seen on the crusher

The old crusher was then placed at Hayes Park as part of the town’s history

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