Unanswered Questions

Researching various aspects of Lambton’s local history often raises more questions than I answer. Sometimes researching one topic raises questions in another unexpected area, that I don’t have time to pursue at that moment. This page lists those unanswered questions. I expect however that items will get added to this list faster than I can turn them into “Answered Questions”.


  • What is the origin of the name “Betty Bunn’s Crossing”?
  • Where was “Heppel’s crossing of the Waratah railway”? Is this a different name for “Bunn’s crossing”?
  • Which person is “Griffiths Rd” and/or “Griffiths Flat” named after?
  • What is the origin of the name “Dog and Rat”?
    • I know there are two theories on this – that it is because of the coursing competitions with dogs chasing rats, or that it is simply rhyming slang for “Griffiths Flat”. But the explanations I have seen all date from many years after the name was used. Are there any contemporaneous explanations? Does this 1872 article about the miners wagering on dogs killing rats have any connection?


  • Nellie’s Glen / Paddy Lewis dam
    • Where is the location of “Nellie’s Glen” in New Lambton, with the “Die Davies” winding engine?
    • Who was Nelly/Nellie?
    • Who was Paddy Lewis?
  • Summer Hill. Lambton Council meeting reports from 1910 talk of “the pitfalls on Summer Hill”. Where was Summer Hill?



  • What structure did the furnace bricks in the Jesmond bushland come from?
  • Where was the outlet for the ventilating shaft near Lambton Lodge?


  • Why does the area on this map marked “Resumed for Newcastle Hospital” have such an odd shape?
  • What was the rail/tramway tracks leading down to the intersection of Morehead/Howe Streets for? When was it built and when was it removed? I know it wasn’t there in 1908 and was gone by 1920.
    • Is it possibly a temporary rail line used to deliver gravel for the roads? From the council meeting on 17 May 1910 … “He had interviewed Mr. F. Croudace with a view of getting a supply of gravel conveyed on the company’s railway. Mr. Croudace had willingly allowed them to do so. He had also engaged a surveyor to strike a line near the tram crossing in Howe-street.”

1910 tracks

  • An article on 13 March 1875 refers to the Lambton Colliery having driven “a tunnel on the Commonage, for the purpose of working the hills adjoining the Dog and Rat” that has been abandoned. Where was this tunnel?
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3 thoughts on “Unanswered Questions

  1. Being keenly interested in Lambton history I have been following your excellent investigations in the “Now & Then” articles. I especially admired your very detailed work on Paddy’s Dam; as I too have been trying to find where my granddad learnt to swim in the 1910s, while dodging the ranger on horseback who’d pinch their clothes. He stated that the first engine house was called “Johnny Eastern’s”, after the winding engineer, and second engine going south west was “Paddy Lewis’s”. Peter Davis at the Pit Head would pull the cars to the pit, up the ramp and into the skip for the train to go to port. Paddy Lewis dam was 10 to 15 ft deep.

    • I don’t have any information on that house, but it wasn’t built for the first Lambton Mine Manager. Thomas Croudace was the first mine manager, and his house was the rather grand Lambton Lodge in New Lambton Heights, which is part of the hospital complex there today.

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