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Whereis > VIC > Winchelsea South

Map of Winchelsea South, VIC 3241

Winchelsea South is a rural locality in the Surf Coast Shire, Victoria, Australia. In the 2011 census, Winchelsea South and surrounding areas (including Bambra and a rural section of Birregurra) had a population of 278 people.

Winchelsea South has always been a sparsely populated rural area, with the locality most known for a coal mine which operated within its boundaries from 1921 until between 1928 and 1931, and again from 1943 to 1957. The mine, alternately known as the Winchelsea South, Bambra or Wensleydale coal mine, was owned respectively by Western District Coal Mines Pty. Ltd, Otway Coal Co. Ltd, Wensley Bray Coal Mine Pty. Ltd. and finally Roche Bros. Pty. Ltd. It sold coal to industrial establishments in Geelong, and supplied the cement works at Fyansford.

An aerial tramway was built from the mine to Wensleydale railway station in 1923-24 and operated until the mine's first closure; it was damaged in the 1939 Black Friday fires and did not reopen with the mine in 1943. The mine's final owners installed coal loading facilities at Winchelsea railway station instead, and sold the coal further afield within Victoria.

The mine closed in 1957, having produced about three million tons of coal. A newer mine at Anglesea which was said to be more easily worked was touted as a major reason for its closure. The mine was flooded thereafter, becoming a lake. The lake has been used for water sports, and forms one of the main features of the locality today.
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