What to do on a stormy day?

The surviving diaries and letters written by the goldminers frequently describe the conditions and experiences of the goldfields. Here, Snell describes the aftermath of a fierce storm, and the ways in which his company passed their time, when prevented from working the mines.


Edward Snell, diary. 1849-1859


Accession number: MS 8970


From the State Library of Victoria's Manuscripts collection.


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Friday June 10th 1852
On getting up this morning found our tent blown all on one side and the outer covering (of blankets) half stripped off - Heard of some narrow escapes through trees falling one had fallen in the long Gully and completely crushed a cradle and tubs at which two men were working without hurting either of them. Our luck improves thank God we washed 14oz of gold out of about 2.5 loads of earth today, this is our best days work yet and I hope we shall still go on improving. I wrote out a notice offering our horse and cart for sale and referring people to a tent distinguished by a pannikin stuck on a pole, mean to fix this to a tree down the Gully tomorrow.

A thorough wet day. could do little besides sit in the tent and smoke in the above style - notwithstanding this drawback we washed 15 ozs. of gold out of our stuff today! Still the best days work yet.