In addition to the many family homes at the Mine - at Britannia Beach and the Mount Sheer Townsite, there were also many bunkhouses. Some were at the two towns but more were at the camps spread across the mine property, high in the mountains. The bunkhouses were home to the single men and to the married men forced to leave their families behind as they travelled the country in search of work.
The men would pay for 'room and board', deducted from their pay - in 1950, room and board cost $2.30 a day. The meals were provided in the nearby cookhouse and the bunkhouses gave them a room, often shared, in which to sleep. For many years the men had to supply their own blankets. Free time would be spent in the clubhouse.
In camp life today, satellite phones, Skype and other technologies help workers keep in touch with family and friends. This is a far cry from life in the camps at Britannia, where it could be a bit of an isolated existence, given the lack of roads and communications technology. The Mine held many dances and parties at the ‘Beach’ and ‘the Townsite', but it has been said that the bunkhouse guys, especially the single ones, did not feel welcome. The family men would see them as a threat to their marriages! Instead, on their days off, the single men were quick to get away to the lures of the city, even though this took hours to get there. The ski cabin in the mountains above was another popular getaway.