HOME OF THE LADY DENMAN - Local history isn't always about the big story - the everyday story of life in the early development of the region can be a fascinating, entertaining and educational journey.

16 March 2018

Ships in the bay

The bay has been very active with ships over the last few weeks. This morning HMAS Adelaide (L01) Canberra-class landing helicopter dock was crusing back and forth across the bay in the early light.



14 March 2018

Green Cape Lighthouse

The Green Cape Lighthouse is a lighthouse located at the tip of Green Cape, a headland forming the northern boundary of Disaster Bay, in southern New South Wales, Australia. It is the southernmost lighthouse in New South Wales and Australia's first lighthouse built in concrete. At 29 metres (95 ft) it is also the second tallest lighthouse in New South Wales.




13 March 2018

John Hill

john hillIn what has been a shock to his many friends John Hill passed away this week from complications during surgery.
I met John Hill in 2013 when I started volunteering at the Lady Denman  Heritage Complex (as it was known then), and as he still liked to refer to it.  We immediately hit it off with a common interest in videoing, editing and photography.  He worked tirelessly for the "Denman" 5 days a week,  always opened the complex early, and was instrumental in installing, updating and repairing the museums computer systems.  He hand built the museums sophisticated interactive maps which are still on display today, and installed the video monitor displays.  He was the go-to man when it came to keeping the museums lighting, electronic, and computer systems running,  saving the museum many thousands of dollars in maintenance fees.   His contribution to the day to day running and installation of the changing displays at the "Denman" were instrumental in the museum receiving the many awards it has won over the years.  He would be seen at every market day recording the day's events on video.  He had a lifelong interest in flying, and when flying drones came onto the market he quickly bought himself one. We would spend many sunny calm mornings on the museum wharf flying his drones around and over the Denman.   Recently we had be making plans to film some of the historic sites around Jervis Bay and putting together a video.   He was a good friend and will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues... RIP John.


5 March 2018

The Oakland Gale – Jervis Bay


May 1903.

The Loch Torridon was a well known 4 masted iron barque trading between London and Sydney renowned for her speed and admired for her grace and elegance. 
Before her latest voyage, she had been for a long time held in Sydney Harbour unable to secure a freight.  The competition from steamships cut badly into the supply of cargos for companies employing tall ships. After so long being port bound, Captain Mearns and his crew must have been happy when the Torridon finally secured a shipment and headed to sea. 

The Torridon left Port Jackson and proceeded to Port Pirie where she shipped a cargo of ore destined for Antwerp.


Thursday, May 14 - Leaving Port Pirie,  via New Zealand before making her way around the Horn,   splendid progress was made until the vessel was 10 days out, when a heavy southerly gale was encountered.

Monday, May 25 - Labouring in the big seas she was struck by a tremendous wave which swept over the vessel.  Some 20 ft of bulwarks snapped off like twigs forward of the main rigging, while another 30ft aft was damaged. Fortunately, no water found it's way into the hold despite tons of water sweeping across her decks, one of the sailors was knocked over and badly injured.

Thursday, May 28 - Badly damaged and in the grip of the gale the Torridon had no choice but to make her way to Sydney.

Friday, May 29 - The steamer Clam passed the Torridon off Jervis Bay.

Saturday, May 30 - Concerns were raised for the Torridon in Sydney newspapers after the captain of the Clam which had now arrived at Sydney, reported passing the clipper off Jervis Bay in a dismasted condition. 

Sunday, May 31 - The Torridon suffered the heavy weather until Sydney, entering the harbour at
1 am, anchoring below Garden Island to await survey.

The Four-Masted Barque 'Loch Torridon'

The gale hit the southeastern seaboard hard putting many ships in danger of floundering.
The British Barque Shakespeare was towed into Port Jackson in a crippled condition.
The barque Caithness-shire lost two lifeboats and a lot of deck gear.
The Huddart, Parker steamer Zealandia arrived in Sydney in a battered state.
The ship Abby Palmer was in reported to be in tow from Newcastle to Sydney but because of the heavy weather was unable to enter.


The vessel which suffered the most and after which the gale was named was the Steamer Oakland which foundered on May 27 taking 11 of the 18 crew including the Captain to a watery grave. The story of the Oakland is one of bravery and endurance against overwhelming odds.
Continue reading about the Oakland - http://waratahrevisited.blogspot.com.au/2018/02/steamer-oakland.html

Torridon Specifications
- 2000 Tons. Built at Glasgow 1881 She was 287.4ft in length, a beam of 42.6ft and 24ft in depth.

The  Loch Torridon survived until 1915 when she foundered near the entrance to the Channel in the last days of January, and it is possible that she was torpedoed by a German submarine.

In 1904 John Arthur Barry, the Australian writer, wrote of her:—“She is exceptionally lofty as to her masts, exceptionally square as to her yards.  She carries nothing above a royal, but her royal yards are as long as the topgallant yards of most vessels. Her lower yards are enormous.
The vessel is uncommonly well-manned with 20 hands in the foc’s’le, with the usual complement of petty officers, together with three mates and four apprentices aft.  Looking forward from the break of the poop, one is struck by the immense amount of clear room on her decks, giving a visitor a sense of spaciousness and freedom in a marked contrast to the often lumbered up decks of the average sailor.”
Ref - https://www.gutenberg.org/files/52897/52897-h/52897-h.htm

Ref- https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1373/15/32


1 March 2018

Ships in Jervis Bay

28 Feb 2018
Most of the Australian ships which have been conducting naval exercises off the south coast came into the bay and were anchored near HMAS Creswell. The closest being in only 16 meters of water, which is quite amazing for such large vessels. I took a few photos as the sun was setting,  casting a pink and yellow hue across the pale blue sky.

2 10 IMG_0785



1 March 2018
The following morning the ships had swung around to face into the slight southerly breeze. again the light was amazing. One of the Collins Class submarines cruised by the ships and headed out of the bay celebrated by the sounding of one of the ships horns.


Click on images to enlarge.


28 February 2018

Submarine in Jervis Bay

28 Feb 2018
The bay had an unique visitor today, one the Australian Navy's Collins Class submarines could be seen cruising across the bay.
One of six Australian-built diesel-electric submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy.



Continue readfing the interesting history of submarines and Jervis Bay


Old houses of Tomerong.

The historic village of Tomerong has many links to the past. This old house built on the western side of the highway has certainly seen better times.



Continue reading about Tomerong.


27 February 2018

First telephone call between Jervis Bay and Tasmania

April 1936.
In an age where we take the simple act of making a telephone call for granted,  it's hard to imagine a time without this every day convenience.

The first telephone call was made between Jervis bay and Tasmania since the new cables had been laid was made by an Officer of the H.M.A.S Yarra. He was quite surprised at the clearness of the telephone saying, "It seemed as though he was ringing locally"


Ships in Jervis bay.

27 February 2018.

Today all but a few of the ships have left the bay to continue with their exercises.  The New Zealand Anzac class frigate HMNZS Te Mana (F111), The name Te Mana is Māori, approximately translating as 'status' or 'authority', could be seen between the heads of the bay.

The very large HMAS Success (OR 304) a Durance-class multi-product replenishment oiler serving in the Royal Australian Navy was sailing near Honeymoon bay.


The much smaller coastal minesweeper HMAS Huon (11) was sailing near HMAS Creswell.


MV Sycamore was sailing back and fourth across the bay at the same time. They made for interesting viewing in the late afternoon sun.




Click on images to enlarge.


25 February 2018

Ships in Jervis bay

25 Feb 2018

The Australian Navy has been conducting naval exercises off the south-east coast all week. Various ships have been in and about the bay over this time.  Today under a very grey, rainy misty sky, most of the fleet were inside the bay and stationed near HMAS Creswell.
It was very hard to get clear pictures because of the conditions.  I counted 10 ships and one submarine. I only took pictures of the nearest clearest ships, the others were too distant in the conditions at hand.
The bay was a hive of activity with barges and small navy boats travelling between the ships.

They made quite a sight despite the rain and mist.


Continue reading about some of the past activities of the Navy in and around Jervis Bay.