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.

28 February 2014

Exciting exhibitions later in the year.

194-Harriet-Parker---rs The Lady Denman will be hosting around 6 separate and unique exhibitions in 2014,
The Antique Display Fair in October, It will have a huge collection of antiques on display from some of Australia’s best traders and you will be able to bring your own antiques to the exhibition and have them appraised.
Followed by the Floral Art exhibition in December, where you will see some amazing floral art on display.
These type of exhibitions take time to organise and the exhibition team are getting a fantastic response from exhibitors already, so both shows are shaping up to be highlights of the exhibition season at the Museum.

More information as we get closer.

This haunting image is of Harriet Parker daughter of the assistant Cape St George Light House Keeper.
In July 1887,  she was accidentally shot dead in by Kate Gibson, the Chief Keeper's daughter. The jury of the ensuing Coronial inquiry stated that Harriet had died "from a gunshot wound accidentally received, and that Kate Gibson was not to blame as they were skylarking ..." Harriet Parker's grave can be found in the nearby Greenpatch Camping Area.

23 February 2014

Husky Triathlon 2014

The first leg of the Australian Triathlon Series came to town.

Huskisson plays host to hundreds of competitors and visitors every year for this series.
Unfortunately for the museum the course goes straight past our entrance so access for the public is impossible, causing the closure of the Museum for this weekend.

denman-stand-triathlon-2014This year a couple of our volunteers manned a small blue and white stripped tent set up with the organisers blessing right in front of the pub. The ladies have been handing out promotional and tourism information and by all accounts have been very busy.
Here are some pictures of the action from Sunday.




 tri-course-3 tri-course-4 tri-course-5

22 February 2014

Lady Denman Closures

Sat 22nd Feb
Because of the Australian Triathlon being run this weekend, the Museum will be closed all day Saturday and a Half day Sunday
Apologies for any inconvenience.

But you can still go along and say high to a few of our intrepid volunteers that will be manning a small display stand near the pub in Huskisson.
I hope they took their umbrellas.

On this Day Feb 21st 1932

northern firth image 2 The steamer the Northern Firth wrecked on Brush Island Ulladulla.
1,954 tons gross,
Builders James Patrick and Co. LTD. 1922.

Another small coastal steamers life came to an abrupt end when it ran aground on the eastern side of Brush Island south of Ulladulla on the afternoon of the 21st February 1932.

She was bought from England  to work the Melbourne to Sydney cargo trade.

Captain  Macdonald was asleep at the time with second mate with 14 years experience William Charles Goulding in charge.

ss-northern-firth A hole was torn in her side and the engine room quickly filled with water. Strong North East winds drove her hard aground.

The captain ordered the crew to abandon her with all the crew getting to shore safely.

A guard had to be placed at the wreck site to stop the pilfering of the cargo of Shoes, clothing and liquor.

1 March 1932 a fair bit of cargo had been salvaged. This included drums of glycerine and white spirit, barrels of syrup used in the manufacture of confectionery, barrels of beer and cases of "spirituous liquor".

Breaking up.
By March the 9th 1932 the hull was split and water was entering the holds, all salvage was abandoned as the vessel was rapidly breaking up.

northern firth A Court of Marine Inquiry was held in Sydney on 14, 15 and 16 March 1932 before John William Malcolm Laidlaw, Chief Stipendary Magistrate of New South Wales. He was assisted by Captains M.M. (?) Osborne and C.B. Mercer. The Director of Navigation, Captain J. Davis, preferred a charge of failure of duty against William Charles Golding, Second Mate. On Wednesday 16 March 1932 the Marine Court found that the charge was not sustained as the ship had hit a submerged object that was not recorded on the Admiralty Chart.

northern firth image
Wreck Information
Dive opportunities.
Picture courtesy of Ulladulla divers.

I dived this wreck in 1979, very little remained even back then…It’s in a very exposed location and subject to considerable pounding by any sea, it was mostly small pieces of rusted steel and ballast..
We missed seeing the boiler which is described as a large open cylinder without ends that you can swim through.

21 February 2014

Hole in the wall.

Then and now.Even in the early 1900’s the  hole in the wall attracted tourists eager to have their photo taken.
Today is no different, the area still attracts eager photographers and sightseers.
Unfortunately the hole has become a gap. The area is spectacular and well worth the small effort to get there.
The two colour images are from today, 21st Feb 2014..
188-Hole-in-the-Wall-rs  hole-in-the-wall-2014-rs

18 February 2014

Recycle, Reuse, Recreate

Upcoming exhibition, we need your input!
Are you the creative type, do you have and interest in keeping our environment clean, do you recycle, well this might be just the thing you might like to get involved with.


17 February 2014

Then and Now


Huskisson has undergone many changes over the years but some things have remained in place and stayed essentially the same, A lot of cosmetic changes but the essence of the place is still there as you can see from these two pictures, one taken in 1957 the other in late 2013.
Of course I had to take the second image very early in the morning to avoid the scene being full of cars, as opposed to the first image which appears to be in the middle of the day and the place looks nice and quiet.

The older image was taken by John Edwards in 1957, when I first moved to Huskisson from Callala 36 years ago, John was the local signwriter, I approached him for a job but he said just start up yourself, and do your best…great fellow and a very talented artist.

Do you have any images from the past that you would like to share on this blog, please contact me here
yourcontributions@gmail.com for more details.

16 February 2014

Fire works display

huskisson-hobie-fireworks2014 Hobie World Championships.
After 2 weeks of intense competition the championships wrapped up last night with their presentations and a fireworks display on the shore line near Huskisson.

Here are a few shots of the display.

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14 February 2014


osprayHelp restore a piece of Jervis Bay's Yachting History. The Maritime history of Jervis bay is made up of many parts, this is the story of just one of those parts, you may be interested in contributing to a great cause.
Read more.

Hobie World Championships

board-exhibit-5 Last day of competition.
Today is the final chance for you to get yourself down to Huskisson and see the colorful sails of the Hobie Cats gliding across the bay.
It’s sure to be an exciting day for the competitors with the open finals to be decided.
The event will wrap up with a huge fireworks display at Huskisson on Saturday night 9.pm. check the web site below for final details, schedule is subject to change.

Hobie Web site for full reports, pictures and videos.



Setting off for the final day’s racing to decide the winners.

Museum Display.
board-exhibit-4In conjunction with the titles the Museum has a fabulous display of early surfing and sailing images and books.
Here are just a few of these classic images.






13 February 2014

Venus Rising

Pre dawn rise.
If you get up before dawn and head down to the shore of the bay when it’s clear and look out towards the east, you will see this amazingly bright star which happens to be the planet Venus,,,you can see it clearly in this picture, it shone brighter than the lighthouse, and lit up the pearly silver bay.

11 February 2014

Wreck of the Mokau

Mokauwreck---rsFurther to our recent story and video of the remains of the Mokau wrecked at the entrance to Sussex Inlet, these two fantastic images have come to light showing the wreck when it was still exposed above the sand.

See the previous post and video.


HMAS Melbourne and Voyager collide.

February the 10th 1964
this fateful night, a tragic moment in local maritime history occurred.
This painting on display at the museum, depicts the tragic moment of impact when the two Australian Navy Ships collided 19 miles to sea off Jervis Bay.


  Donated by D.Haward – B.Ballantyne (EX CPO’s R.A.N)

HMAS-Voyager-rs -HMAS-Melbourne---rs

        HMAS Voyager  
(Daring Class Destroyer)

HMAS Melbourne

On the evening of 10 February 1964, the two ships were performing manoeuvres off Jervis Bay. Melbourne's aircraft were performing flying exercises, and Voyager was tasked as plane guard: sitting behind and to port (left), in position to recover the crew of any crashing aircraft. After a series of turns intended to reverse the courses of the two ships, Voyager ended up ahead and to starboard (right) of the carrier. The destroyer was ordered to resume plane guard position, which would involve turning to starboard, away from the carrier, then looping around behind. Instead, Voyager began turning starboard, then came around to port. The bridge crew on Melbourne assumed that Voyager was zig-zagging to let the carrier pass and then assume position, while senior personnel on Voyager were not paying attention to the manoeuvre. At 20:55, both ships realised that Voyager was not turning away, but despite both captains attempting to evade, the speed and heading of both ships made collision inevitable.

781-HMAS-Melbourne-rs Melbourne struck Voyager at 20:56, with the carrier's bow hitting just behind the bridge and cutting the destroyer into two pieces. Of the 314 aboard Voyager, 82 were killed, most of whom died immediately or were trapped in the heavy bow section, which sank after 10 minutes. The rest of the ship sank after midnight. Melbourne, although damaged, suffered no fatalities, and was able to sail to Sydney the next morning, with most of the Voyager survivors aboard - the rest had been taken to the naval base HMAS Creswell.

Biography of the Royal Commission into the incident.
exhibit Part of the exhibit with an audio visual presentation of the “Voyager Incident”
voyager-chair A poignant reminder.
Part of the exhibit is this chair recovered from the Melbourne
plucked from the sea on the 13th Feb 1964, three days after the collision.
If you look under the chair it still has an inscription from the Melbourne clearly visable

10 February 2014

Voyager disaster.

melbourne-voyager-collision 10th Feb 1964
Marks the anniversary of one of the biggest peace time naval tragedies involving the Australian Navy occurring 19 miles to sea off Jervis Bay.
On this fateful night the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and the destroyer HMAS Voyager collided during Naval training exercises.
The Voyager was cut in half and 82 lives were lost.

6 February 2014

War Lord Launch

1434 Warlord launch

Another Amazing Image.
This picture captures the occasion of the launch of the “War Lord”.
You can see the bottle being held and just about to be smashed against the hull to christen her.
It must have been a grand occasion in Huskisson, going by the elegant dresses the ladies are wearing.
I just love the old pram in the foreground, they just don’t make them this elaborate any more…

Details supplied by the Lady Denman Maritime Museum Curator, Graham Hinton.
This schooner was built at Repton and launched into the Bellinger River (1916) before being towed to Sydney to be fitted with three masts, sails etc. It was built by Joseph Dent but I’m not sure whether he had moved on from Husky by that time or perhaps he went north to assist his sons, Sid and George. Shipwrights were quite mobile in those days and it wasn’t unusual for them to move to another location to assist another builder or maybe (and I’m only guessing) because the person who commissioned the project wanted to keep a closer watch on progress. War Lord was comssioned by Mr Lance Hunter, described in one newspaper report as a shopkeeper of Repton. In 1920 he sold the ship in New Zealand.

Do you have any images or information that might be of interest to the Museum?…please feel free to contact us either via the contribute email address to the right, or by calling into the Museum, We would be excited to see what you may have to help complete the story of Huskisson and the surrounds.

3 February 2014

Tuna Boats.

642-Tuna-boats-at-Huskisson-Wharf-rsCommercial Fishing in Jervis Bay.
This picture shows the tuna boat fleet using Huskisson as a temporary base while the tuna season was on…the boats would follow the tuna along the coast and call into the nearest port to unload the fresh tuna onto trucks to be shipped to market.

Commercial Scallop dredging.

In the 80’s the price for scallops skyrocketed and Jervis Bay was known to have scallops.
Trawlers from Wollongong, Ulladulla, Greenwell Point combined with local trawlers and some from further afield converged on the bay to try and cash in on the scallop price rise. There was even smaller non commercial boats dragging smaller dredges across the bay trying to cash in, at one stage there was around 25 trawlers and boats working the bay.
Dredging had a devastating impact on the bays marine ecology for many years.
jervis-bay-protection-committee How do I know, because I was one of the recreational divers that joined the newly established Jervis Bay Protection Committee. A conservation movement, initially made up of local divers who could see first hand the devastating damage the multiple dredges were doing to the bay, the committees soul aim at that time was to stop the dredging, and make the public aware of the impact the dredging was having on the bay.
It took quite a few years of dedicated work, audio visual displays, photographic exhibitions, lectures and protests,to get the public to see the future ramifications of continuing the dredging uncontrolled, would bring to this unique environment.
Eventually, the public was made aware of the damage and an outcry from far and wide could not be silenced.
The sensible decision to stop all dredging in 1991 was finally made, partly because of the damage but also because this small fishery had suffered so much overfishing stocks were un-commercial.
Unfortunately most of the damage had already been done, and even to this day some of the scallop beds haven’t recovered fully.

The fight goes on.
The Jervis Bay Protection Committee’s focus shifted to other issues concerning the bay

  • To establish a marine park in Jervis Bay
  • To oppose the development of large scale heavy industry

The museum has a fantastic display on developments that could have impacted the bay in a negative way, but have been stopped by the public and other fortuitous events, leaving the bay in the state it is today, to be enjoyed by everyone.
It’s worth taking the time to read and view the images and to see just how lucky the bay has been…

4am and all was at peace.


I love early mornings in Jervis Bay.
The stars light up the sky.
The sun was ever so slightly starting to light up the eastern sky and the bay looked like mother of pearl.

1 February 2014

Hobie World Championships Feb 1st 2014

Hobie-world-champs-sa-feb-1--2014The Championships kicked off with a huge fireworks display at Huskisson on Friday night and that primed everyone for a good day of sailing for Saturday.
Competitors and observers gathered early to watch the little boats get rigged up.
It looked great with all the coloured sails flailing in the wind.
Well!…. it would have, if there was any wind, It was a case of you should have been here yesterday, because today, in the morning at least it was blowing about 3 knots, so the race was postponed.
But as the day warmed up the NE kicked in and the racing commenced.
Here are a few shots from today.
The wind forecast for tomorrow is around 20 knots from the NE, so it will be on for young and old.


 hobie-champs-2014-(1-of-1) hobie-champs-2014--1-(1-of-1) hobie-champs-2014--2-(1-of-1)

Meanwhile back at the Museum.
Geoff Cater from Surf Research was conducting his lecture on Hobie Alter and his influence on water sports and surfing.
He had a nice collection of surf boards and water craft on display.
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