IT was the late 1960s and Margaret Hogan's unassuming Muswellbrook home had become a revolving door of far-flung languages, exotic flavours and worldly music.
Her late husband Adrian was a rigger on the now iconic stacks at Liddell Power Station, pouring thousands of tonnes of concrete under Tileman Australia on what became a microcosm of culture 376ft in the sky.
"It was like a big family, all these different nationalities came together," Ms Hogan said.
"We used to do a lot of entertaining, we'd have a Spanish chap come over with his guitar and he brought a dish I'd never heard of before - paella.
"You know, 55 years ago that was just completely unheard of and it made us grow learning about other cultures.
"More or less, multiculturalism had come to Muswellbrook."
Back then the majority of foreign workers lived in camps; lunch breaks saw Spaniards kicking a soccer ball around with the English, Italians and the French.
"It was like a big family, all these different nationalities all came together," Ms Hogan said.
They didn't just work together but depended on each other; most of them didn't have cars and would lob a ride to work with the homegrown labour.
On the chimney stacks there were no harnesses or medical staff on standby, lunch was held in a shipping container and the work was tough, dirty and spanned long hours.
It was hard for the wives at home too, at the time Mrs Hogan worked on the telephone exchange - every time a call came through the switchboard from Liddell asking for an ambulance her heart would stop.
"Tileman's Australia was line 970 and once the red light came up on line 970 and they asked for an ambulance - I just burst into tears," she said.
"I lived in fear of something happening to him but it was always something that was at the back of not just my mind but a lot of the other wives had the same fear - the worry of it.
"Nobody wants their husband to go to work and not come home, you tried not to think about it but it was always at the back of your mind."
Mr Hogan was a very fit man, it took a lot to knock him around but no matter how tired he was he'd spring back the next day - it's just what was expected.
"It was very primitive," Mrs Hogan said.
"He had no fear, youth and no fear.
"I would accept invitations to family weddings and Adrian would go off to work in the morning, if he didn't turn up two hours before I knew I wasn't going because he was having trouble with the pour of concrete.
"He'd have to stay and wait for it to go off."
The higher the stacks got, the more money riggers would be paid. Once it got to 150ft they'd earn a bonus, if it was windy work was called off because it would sway.
When Mr Hogan hit $120 a week he thought he was the 'bees knees' - the pair renting a small flat for $18 a week in a world where the total cost of their weekly grocery shop was about $9.
Almost anyone who walked on site was handed a job and unionism was rife, Mrs Hogan said.
"You didn't work on site unless you belonged to a union, and the union bosses controlled the site," she said.
"One step out of line and they'd call a strike."
I've witnessed them being built from the ground up and it's a complete closure of an episode of my life.- Margaret Hogan
Mr Hogan passed away about seven years ago, every time the pair drove past those two towering stacks they'd sit back and remember when.
For Mrs Hogan, their felling brings a sense of melancholy with it.
"It's bringing up a lot of memories but it's a terribly sad time for me," she said.
"I've witnessed them being built from the ground up and it's a complete closure of an episode of my life.
"Every time I go to Muswellbrook or up the valley, I look over and smile.
"Liddell Power Station gave us the deposit on our home, there were a lot of happy memories but I will be saddened the day they come down."