Local business success story supports race club

One of Cobar’s longest running businesses, Wells Ventilation Australia, is a staunch supporter of the Cobar Miners Race Club. Pictured are the company’s staff members Jayde George, Allan Wells (now retired), Darran Wells, Darren Myer and Steven Lewis with local horse trainer Wayne Prisk (with Jawsome at centre) and Cobar Miners Race Club president Jarrod Marsden (at far right).

Wells Ventilation Australia (formerly Wells Construction) has been the major sponsor of the Cobar Miners Race Club’s Spring Races since they first commenced three years ago.

Proprietor Darran Wells, who’s worked in the family business for 29 years and took over from his father Allan 10 years ago, was pleased to be able to support the race club.

“I think the races and the race club itself has been a great thing for the community.

“With the mining industry’s ups and downs in the last five to seven years it’s kept a lot of community things together here in Cobar,” Darran said.

“It brings together people from all walks of life. It’s a big gathering here twice a year.

“It also brings a lot of visitors to town and everybody walks away saying how much of a good day they’ve had—at both race meetings.”

If the business’ track record is anything to go by, they could be around to sponsor the races for many years to come with Wells Ventilation celebrating 60 years in business.

“Dad started the ventilation side of the business in 1958 working from his garage down in Linsley Street, and in 1966 he bought the shed [at their current location in Railway Parade].

“We’ve been there 52 years, Wells Ventilation has been around for 60 years this year.”

He said CSA has been a great supporter of their business for all of their 60 years.

“Dad’s first job there was doing the ventilation shaft/the concrete collar on the first ventilation shaft when the site was built.”

The business provides secondary ventilation ducting to pipe air to the area where miners are working underground in hard rock mines and coal mines.

“We service Cobar, coal in the Hunter Valley, we have four clients overseas as well as clients in South East Queensland and in Victoria,” Darran said.

Both Darran and Allan said they had seen a lot of changes to the business over the past 60 years and that it had been important to change and adapt so the business would survive.

“Up until 16 years ago we used to manufacture everything here in Cobar but due to our competition going overseas and employing, we had to sort of follow suit,” Darran said.

“We don’t just buy off someone over there, we took our machinery from here and we bought an interest in a factory in south east Asia, so it’s still our machinery, it’s our design, it’s our innovation but obviously we couldn’t compete unless we did that.”

Darran credits their business success to being able to maintain a good customer base and having great staff.

“I think keeping the same staff is the key, and then looking after your key staff.”