Outside of work, Britannia residents spent much of their time engaged in sports and recreation. The Company made sure there were plenty recreational facilities and events in order to attract workers and their families to come to this isolated Mine. The extensive facilities at the Mine meant locals could make the most of their free time – residents enjoyed a roller rink, movie theatres, a bandstand and billiard halls. A heated swimming pool located both at Mount Sheer “Townsite” and at the “Beach” were popular spots in the summer. The pool was so popular that in 1944 residents volunteered their time to build a small wading pool for children adjacent to the pool at the “Beach” with materials purchased by the Company.
Wooden tennis courts and ball fields were among the most heavily used sports areas, although baseball was subject to the number of mine workers who were currently employed as they made up the majority of the teams. At times baseball could be expensive for the Townsite club as balls used to sail over the fence and into the creek. It was reported that one year the cost of baseballs amounted to $1000. The Community Club also organized many events and competitions including First Aid Competitions and Sports Days where residents would compete in friendly activities like high jump and running races.
In the winter, residents could spend time at the small ski slope under Sky Pilot Mountain or hike to the ski cabin. When the weather turned cold, a level area would be flooded for ice skating and hockey and the Townsite and the Beach would be full of snowmen, forts and snowballs. In the summer, the nearby lakes such as Mountain Lake, Browning Lake and Utopia Lake were a magnet to all. Residents made good use of Browning Lake, located in what was eventually created as Murrin Provincial Park, and the cabins there. It was frequented by Boy Scouts and Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) for overnight camping trips.
Britannia was a fun and active place to live and residents could always find an activity or sport to pass the time.
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© 2020 Britannia Mine Museum.
The Museum is a premier, non-profit organization dedicated to presenting mining's relevance today and towards a sustainable future. We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the sovereign Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation.