BHP plaque lost but could be on wall of Hunter pub

27/08/2018 Posted by admin

BHP plaque lost but could be on wall of Hunter pub GIVE IT BACK: Former BHP worker Aubrey Brooks is pleading for the steelworks plaque to be returned.
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‘SYMBOLIC’: The steel plaque commemorated the opening of the Newcastle BHP steelworks.

NEW HOME: The plaque is believed to have ended up on the wall of the historic Victoria Hotel in Hinton.

TweetFacebookA STEEL plaque celebrating the opening of the former BHP steelworks has ended up in the wrong hands and the state government is in talks with a Hunter pub to get it back.

State government property agency Property NSW on Wednesday admitted the 103-year-old plaque was “removed” from BHP’s former administration building.

Property NSW has contacted police.

Historians believe the missing plaque is the same plaque mounted to the wall of the Victoria Hotel in Hinton, but the publican is not so sure and has requested Property NSW certify its authenticity.

“Otherwise I will hand it back, of course I will hand it back,” publican Craig Thorley said.

“We paid good money for it to the right people.

“All we’re asking is for them [Property NSW] to validate it to be sure. Just because someone walks in off the street and says something is their’s, do you hand it over straight away?”

Mr Thorley said the pub paid $1000 for the plaque to a Hunter Valley antique dealer in February last year. He said he was not concerned about losing the money.

TheNewcastle Industrial Heritage Association does not dispute that Mr Thorley bought the plaque in good faith, but the group is angry negotiations for itssafe return have taken so long.

The group tracked down the plaque late last year.

‘SYMBOLIC’: The steel plaque commemorated the opening of the Newcastle BHP steelworks.

“This plaque is symbolical of our history – our industrial history – it’s important it be retained in the building it relates to,” third-generation BHP workerAubrey Brooks said.

“Having it anywhere else is just inappropriate.

“The plaque does not only represent the BHP but it’s a significant symbol of the 400 men who lost their lives there.

“By whatever means, it’s got to be returned.”

The NIHA will hold a rally on Thursday outside the rear entrance to the formeradministration building on Selwyn Street, Mayfield, at 11am.All were invited to attend.

“Having it anywhere else is just inappropriate.

NEW HOME: The plaque is believed to have ended up on the wall of the historic Victoria Hotel in Hinton.

“The plaque does not only represent the BHP but it’s a significant symbol of the 400 men who lost their lives there.

“By whatever means, it’s got to be returned.”

The NIHA will hold a rally on Thursday outside the rear entrance to the formeradministration building on Selwyn Street, Mayfield, at 11am.

All were invited to attend.

“All we’re saying is we want it back as soon as possible,” NIHA president Bob Cook said.

A Property NSW spokeswoman confirmed the agency was in talks with a hotel owner.

“We have contactedNSWPolice in regard to this matter, and are working with police and the hotel owner to seek and determine the authenticity of the plaque, and are investigating options for its return,” she said.

The spokeswoman said NIHA informed them the plaque was missing late last year and the agency was still investigating how it was removed.

Mr Brooks said he believed the plaque was stolen and whoever took it should “hang their heads in shame”.

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