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.

27 August 2015

26 August 2015

1919 – Huskisson, population 200.


When these pictures appeared in the Western Mail Perth in 1919 along with a short story about the neglected but beautiful Jervis Bay,  there was only around 200 people living at Huskisson,   most people were employed in the timber, fishing,  and ship-building industry.

Gone were the days when large bullock teams loaded with wool, tallow and hides from the big Monaro and Riverina Stations lumbered to the bay along the wool road to be loaded onto ships waiting safely at anchor near Lambs Point, known then as South Huskisson,  they were loaded from a stone wharf built  near the present day suburb of Vincentia at a place  better known these days by local surfers as the  “ Viny boat ramp”.

The bustling township that once thrived, comprised hotels, blacksmith shops, and stores that grew around the wool industry had long since disappeared back into the landscape,  the wharf had fallen into disrepair and most of the people had moved away. – Continue reading about South Huskisson


Sydney Mail 1931


Huskisson was now the only town existing on the shores of the bay, timber was still being cut from the surrounding forests of Wandandian and Tomerong and transported to Huskisson to be loaded onto waiting steamers.  Despite having to go further back into the forests  and deep gorges to secure the slowly disappearing timber,  a new timber mill was built near Huskisson employing the latest technology available for the time.


Tourism was becoming more important, a look through local papers from the time reveals many stories about how good the fishing and shooting was.

”The bay was an ideal but little known tourist resort, offering splendid facilities for fishing, shooting,  boating and surfing”. 

  The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser – 1919.  

“Schnapper fishing is the order of the day.  Many large catches are reported by visitors.  Several men make big money by schnapper fishing.  Many are caught weighing from 14ib, to 20 lb.  These fish sell at 1, shilling 3 pence,  per pound”.

”Last Sunday Mr Timbery made one haul,  and landed about 80 box’s of beautiful bream.  Fishing is good if not better than dairy farming”


The Dents and other ship-builders were still building wooden ships,  steamers and sail,  on the banks of Currambene Creek.

Whaling was still being carried out from the bay,  an application was made to the Land Board for 80 acres on the north side of the bay fronting Montague Roadstead to build a new whaling station and factory to extract oil and treat the residue. This proposal was eventually rejected on environmental grounds.   Despite these activities the bay was still relatively unknown.
Whaling Jervis Bay, Continue reading
Progress was slow, local business people pushed for progress,  but they were constantly frustrated by the lack of interest shown by politicians from all parties to see the bay for what it could offer the colony.


Big hopes for the prosperity of the bay".
At this time the biggest change to come to the bay and one that many hopped would once again attract industry and prosperity to the bay was the Australian Naval College constructed on a small protected headland on the southern shores of the bay known as Captains Point,  400 men were employed in it’s construction, promises of naval dockyards and repair shops and the work being carried out on a clearing for the long promised railway line that would connect the bay with the Federal City gave local business people great hope for the future prosperity of Jervis Bay.


By 1919 most of the work had been completed on the college,  but right from the beginning there were protests coming from Sydney politicians in opposition to the facility because of the costs associated with training the cadets.

195-bullock-teams-timber-for-Creswell-1912-aBullock teams bringing timber for the construction of the Australian Naval College - 1912

The base came under further attacks when a Shoalhaven News report had a story about a meeting being held in Nowra to protest against the proposal by Sydney to convert the the Naval College into a quarantine Station.
Fortunately this proposal never saw the light of day.

But like so many other grand visions,  the promised railway was never constructed, no major industries came to the bay, and the bay essentially stayed the same as it had always been,  a tranquil beautiful place.



24 August 2015

On this day - 1904

Shoalhaven Telegraph. - 24th August 1904.

George Dent in critical condition after being bitten by snake.

Snakes are making an early appearance and evidently are vicious.
George Dent was bitten at Jervis Bay,  the victim was taken to Nowra Hospital for medical attendance,  and was in a critical condition for some time,  but after the strychnine treatment recovered,  and in a few days was out of danger.


From the Popular Science Monthly -1891


"The poison from the snake and the strychnine are thoroughly antagonistic,  and no hesitation need be felt pushing the use of the drug to quantities that would be fatal in the absence of snake-poison".


There was a lot of hesitation at the time in accepting what seemed like such a radical treatment, using one poison to combat another,  but after so many people recovered completely after being injected with controlled doses of strychnine,  it became the recommended treatment.

This treatment was first suggested by Dr. Mueller of Victoria 1989

Wirreecoo Garden’s August flowers

There is always something flowering in the Wirreecoo Wildflower Garden at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum,  at the moment the garden is looking spectacular, here are just a few of the flowers that have come out in the cold weather of August.

Hovea elliptica


Prostanthera rhombea (Mint bush)

4Scaevola aemula (Fairy Fan flower)

6 5

Philotheca myoporoides (used to be Eriostemon) Wax flower

7  Kennedia rubicunda (Dusky coral pea)


Szygium species (lilly pilly berries)


Acacia species (wattle)


Grevillea species


Scaevola aemula

A big thank you to one of our volunteers “Maureen Web” for providing the names of these flowers.
Maureen is part of a dedicated band of gardeners from the Australian Native Plant Society.
There hard work is responsible for the beautiful Wirreecco Gardens.


20 August 2015

Jervis Bay – Fishy Tales

Jervis Bay is well known as a favourite fishing location for local and travelling anglers.  the story below comes from an article in the Shoalhaven Telegraph March 1926 titled.


Mr. F. B. Smith,  the popular manager of Katoomba branch of Wood Coffill, Ltd., returned on Friday after having spent his annual holidays at Jervis Bay.  In a chat with the “Blue Mountains Echo” during the week,  he commented upon the good fishing he enjoyed.  “The local fishermen put us on to the best grounds,”  said Mr Smith,  “ and one day we landed four King Fish,  two of which weighed almost 29ib each,  while the other two turned the scale at 25lb and 26lb,  respectively.  This is no ‘fish’ story, either!   At Moona Creek we often caught Schnapper weighing ten or twelve ponds.   The cook at our boarding house fried some of them for us,  and they were the most enjoyable morsels I have ever tasted,  My one regret is that I only had three weeks’ holiday instead of three months”


There are many stories about the size and the  amount of snapper that were caught in and around the bay in the last century.


One of the images in the museum’s collection  - H. Christiansen with snapper caught in Jervis Bay.

Note: - It’s interesting how we spell the fish name “Snapper” now,  and in papers past it was spelt  “Schnapper”.

Meaning: German word for a low priced buy of a normally higher priced article.  It's derived from 'Schn├Ąppchen'.


19 August 2015

The Steam Ship Dorrigo

The Launch of the S.S Dorrigo 1901

Huskisson in 1901 was a peaceful little community on the shores of Jervis Bay,  perched adjacent to the cool, clear running waters of Currambene Creek.
The community largely survived because of the fishing, timber and shipbuilding industry, tourism was starting to become popular as the bay was slowly being discovered by well healed Sydney people.

On Wednesday 7th of August the peace was interrupted by a great celebration..
Boat-Frame-a An example of one of the many vessels under construction on the banks of Currambene Creek near the time.

After months of work the S.S. Dorrigo was ready to slip into the cool wet element she was made for.
For many months she had been the centre of activity,  workmen toiled long hours,  local hardwood was felled, milled and dressed, and transported to the ship-building yards.  workers assembled her many individual parts,  and she slowly took shape.  Many locals were employed and families supported by the ship building industry,  when a ship was launched  it was a time for celebration and excitement for the whole community.


Launch of the S.S Dorrigo, snapped by Dr. Stoney as she entered the water.

9 a.m was the fixed time for the launch from Mr Hardiman’s ship-building yards.
The whole of the residents of the bay,  together with some from Tomerong and adjoining localities and a coach-load from Nowra,  were present to witness the interesting ceremony.    

The launch took place about a quarter to 9 a.m, it being necessary to take advantage of the full tide.

When everything was in readiness the workmen removed the chocks holding the vessel in her cradle,  a few turns were given to the screw jack at her stem,  the ship was given away,  and she slid gracefully and rapidly from the stocks into the waters of Currambene Creek,  where she proudly floated,  a tribute to the workmanship of the Bay shipwrights and to the enterprise of her owner,  Mr G. W Nicoll,  of Sydney.

A Time honoured custom.
Just as the vessel began to move,  Mrs Nicoll,  wife of the owner, following the time honoured custom,  broke a bottle of Champaign across her bows,  and christened her the Dorrigo,  and wishing her a long and successful career.  The launching was greeted with the hearty cheering from the assembled company.

Built by H. Hardiman.
The S.S Dorrigo is 132ft, long,  24ft, beam and 11ft, depth of hold, and a capacity of 400 tons with machinery and engines.  It has a raised quarter-deck,  80 ft long by 20ft high and a forecastle 2ft high by 20 ft long. She will be provided with accommodation for 20 salon and six steerage passengers.  Well known local ship-building identity George Dent was foreman,  the workmanship reflects the highest credit upon those gentlemen. She is well and faithfully built,  of district hardwood,  decking of Oregon Pine.  While graceful in all her lines.  The Dorrigo’s hull is strongly put together,  and she should be capable of withstanding more than ordinary heavy weathers.  She is intended for the Byron Bay and Northern Rivers trade.

Towed to Sydney.
After some final fitting at Huskisson, she will be towed to Sydney and be fitted up with her steam engines,  machinery and all the prerequisites for modern passenger traffic,, including the installation of electric light.

Substantial investment.
Building a modern steamer out of timber was a substantial investment for the owners,  The Dorrigo had cost somewhere around 2000 ponds already,  once she was  totally fitted out for her trading purposes, the investment was estimated at to be around 9000 ponds.

Largest Vessel built at Huskisson.
The Dorrigo at the time of launch, was the largest vessel built at Huskisson, and the forth vessel built by Mr Hardiman, and it is hopped many more such craft would be turned out at Huskisson,

Dent Family.
It is worthy of note that the Dent Family,  who have been identified with Ship-building at the Bay for 40 years,  have turned out no less than 78 vessels there be of one kind and another.  In his yard,  close by where the Dorrigo was launched,  Mr James Dent now has a decent sized craft on the stocks.  She will be 80ft long and 20ft beam,  and will probably be used in the timber trade,  which is very brisk at Jervis Bay right now.
After the launch at the cost of Mr Nicoll,  his guests were entertained with refreshments.  At 1 o’clock luncheon was spread in an adjoining shed,  temporarily converted into a banqueting hall.   There about 50 persons sat down to an excellent repast. 
The guests wants were attended to by, Mrs Hardiman,  Mrs F. Dent, Miss Woods and Miss E. Elmoos,  who were assisted to by several other young ladies.

Mr Hardiman then called on the company to charge their glasses and drink to the health of Mr Nicholl,  the owner of the steamer. Mr George Dent proposed the health of Mr and Mrs Hardiman,  expressing the hope that the gentleman named would be entrusted with building many more ships on the Currambene.

Mr Hardiman,  in responding thanked everyone and especially his staff who worked beside him in their endeavour to produce such a fine craft.

He called on the company to give three cheers for the staff,  this was heartily responded to.


As  can be seen from the details above,  there was a lot of hope for the future prosperity of the local region in connection with ship-building and the timber trade.  Jervis Bay had been purposely neglected by previous governments in favour of the centralisation policy in order to aggrandize Sydney.  But locals believed the time must come when Jervis Bay would become an important commercial industrial port.

If you would like to find out more about some of the proposals that were put forward in regard to industry around the bay,  then come along and look at some of the information on display.  They clearly and graphically illustrate what might have been,  if even one of the proposals ever saw the light of day.

And what became of the S.S Dorrigo?.
1905 – Explosion on board.
On a trip from Coffs Harbour to Sydney and explosion occurred, described as and ‘everyday incident” by the captain to a reporter,  it appears from the article and the evasive manner in which the crew and the Captain tried to avoid questions about the incident,  they didn’t want news of the accident to get out,  but one of the passengers gave the reporter and account of what happened.

He described how around 6.30p.m just off Sydney Heads there was a loud explosion that made the ship shake.  Nearly all hands rushed out on deck to see what happened, and discovered there had been a burst up in the engine room. The captain immediately hoisted his head sail and the vessel kept off the land.
”We were very close to the rocks at one time and the vessel was rolling very much indeed”.

Onlookers on land reported seeing rockets and signals from the Dorrigo at the time the incident happened.

The Dorrigo entered the heads on Saturday morning at 9. 30 p.m. in tow of the Captain Cook.

When the Dorrigo docked bystanders noticed there were broken pieces of a cylinder head laying on the main deck and  many fragments down below there had been an explosion of some kind.
1906 – December 24th – 6 p.m Seal Rocks
The Dorrigo had a lucky escape from disaster when the shaft broke leaving the vessel at the mercy of the wind and the sea,  fortunately she was well off land,  and shortly after the steamer Noorebar responding to the Dorrigo’s distress rockets and lights took her in tow,  the operation was carried out at great risk in a heavy southerly blow. Hawsers were repeatedly broken during the tow until a wire hawser was secured,  Passengers and crew were glad to reach safety, especially at the prospect of spending Christmas night aboard the stricken craft.  The captain was praised at how he handled the stricken vessel.
1910  - Steamer Sold.
The North Coast Steam Navigation Company sold the Dorrigo to Burns, Philip and Co., Ltd’  to be used in Inter-Island work.
1912 February 12th – Fiji.

The S.S Dorrigo was a well known vessel in Australia  during her time with the North Coast Steam Ship Company.  In 1912 the Dorrigo was acquired by the Fijian Government for the inter-island trade. 
On February a cable from Auckland stated that the Dorrigo had been driven ashore on one of the Lan Groups,  Near Fiji.  Little information was know at the time the cable was sent other than the vessel was not in a dangerous position,  but had suffered severe damage.

imageFurther details emerged.
The vessel had been caught up in a fierce hurricane.  The hurricane devastated the islands and the Dorrigo was swept onto the rocks during the height of the storm.  When the ship struck the whole of the front of the bridge superstructure were swept away, and the main top mast snapped off. Captain Mahy was thrown from the bridge to the main deck,  and received injuries to his head,  ribs,  and neck,  as well as a badly lacerated hand.  The ships standard compass was lost,  and the steering compass smashed.

Renamed the Misima.
February 1st 1917 – East Cape Papua - Daily Commercial News and Shipping List.

The vessel went on the reef at Mia Island off East Cape, Papua at 7.30 a.m on February 1st.  Captain Ewen,  who was in command of the vessel,  tried all means to get the Misima afloat.  Anchors and kedges were put out,  but owning to the depth of water these would not hold,  and strong winds  drove her further on to the reef,  the vessels hull was badly pierced by the rocks.

The vessel struck at high water,  and as the tide went down she settled very firmly on the reef.  The Misima is in a bad way,  and will probably be a total wreck.   The passengers were transhipped to the Morinda,  while the crew were landed on the shore to await instructions.  At the time of the disaster the Misima was on her way from the North-east of Papua to Samarai.

She was only recently overhauled in Sydney and was insured by the Queensland Insurance Company and Captain Ewen was making his first trip in her.

map 2So far from where she was built.
February 7th – Brisbane Courier

By the 7th February 1917 it was confirmed by the Marine Department that the Misima was a total wreck on East Cape Papua.  Owned by Burns Phillip and Co., Ltd., and contracted to the Government for the Territory in the Papuan coastal service,  she was a regular visitor to Thursday Island.

Marine Enquiry findings.
After investigation the court found that no blame could be attached to anybody,  and that the master and crew took all proper precautions,  and made every effort to save the vessel.

12 August 2015

The Tomerong Poem

I found this poem in the “Shoalhaven Telegraph 1934”. -  Despite the authors obvious dissatisfaction with those making the decisions in 1934, the benefit of the author putting pen to paper is the information it contains about conditions prevailing at the time.

The Clyde Shire Council was formed in March 1906 and was the first form of local government in the area.  The shire covered a large area from Falls Creek to the Clyde River. (Excluding Ulladulla). The Council operated until 1948 before being amalgamated into the Shoalhaven Shire along with other shires and municipalities.

REF: http://home.exetel.com.au/tomerong/history2/index.htm



The town councillors of Tomerong.
They are some brainy men,
To have them in such a place as that
It is a mortal sin.
They should be in Parliament,
Where they would get good pay;
Bruce’d have some trusty men
To send to Ottoway.

You’d search the whole wide world
And you’d never meet such duds,
They’re only interested
In the cattle and the spuds.
For to hear them debatin’
It is a proper treat,
You’d think they were the only ones
To put Australia on her feet.

The road into the Basin
Is in a shocking state.
A warning to all travellers
Before it is to late:
If you get there with your car
And it truly starts to rain,
The only way you can get out
Is by an aeroplane.

The Engineer the other day
Down to the Basin went,
Got bogged up to the axels
And his mudguards badly bent.
The muddy scenes around he viewed
(Choice language sure did float about),
Then requisitioned a bullock team
To try and pull him out.

Now safe upon the Prince’s Highway,
”Oh, no,  no,  no!” said he;
” When next I to the Basin go
I’ll sail around by sea.
Geo.  Basin is a pretty place,
And a pleasant place to view,
But there’s no one interested there
But Mansfield and his crew

The Shire Clerk is not to mean,
He’s one of the De Groots,
He often gives a man a job,
And sometimes a pair of boots.
But sure,  if I only had my way,
Then sad would be their fate,
For in the best of my opinion
The lot is OUT-OF-DATE.

Noham C.M.J.M

913-St-Georges-BasinA very early photograph of St Georges Basin.

11 August 2015

Tomerong memories

Albury Banner and Wodonga Express. 1929
Small articles like the one below speak to us from a different time.
A Launching Place

Dear Uncle Jeff, – There was a motor boat launched today at Huskisson.  We saw a large vessel launched there at one time.  We will soon be having our Sunday School Picnic,  and it is a day we all look forward to.  Daddy is getting a Rexonola and records,   as our other gramophone in about worn out.  Our little bantam has some dear little chickens.  Last time mummy set her on three duck eggs,  but she soon tired of the ducklings,  for they did not seem to understand her language and would run into the water when she would try and warn them off it. – Your fond niece,  “Heather Bell.”

(The ducklings”  natural love of water must have been very puzzling to the foster mother,  Eileen.)


Rexonola – was Australia’s first talking machine, – 1912 – 1930.  Below is an advertisement for the 1929 model.


6 August 2015

Loss of the Spec - Gerringong

You would think the loss of a large sailing ship and some of it’s crew members would attract a great deal off attention in the city press of the day,  but in many cases the reporting of the tragedy would only be a few lines added to the shipping column of the Sydney papers…

As you would expect regional papers close to where the disaster happened, usually included much more detailed information about the incident.

The loss of the Schooner Spec and two of it’s crew was one of those cases.
Sydney newspapers only devoted a total of three lines of text to the loss,  hidden away in the back of the newspaper in amongst general news items,  the story could be easily missed,  fortunately the local newspapers covered the story in a more comprehensive manner, allowing us to put together these details of the wreck.

 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser 1865

It is with the greatest regret that we find ourselves called upon this week to publish the particulars of the loss of the schooner Spec off the coast in our immediate neighbourhood,  and the death of the skipper and one of the two seamen who were employed on board.

The Spec which had been freighted in Sydney with merchandise for some of the storekeepers in Kiama and Broughton Creek,  had discharged a large portion of her cargo at this port;  and after leaving had proceeded on her way towards Shoalhaven,  as far as Black Head,  Gerringong,  when she was struck by a sudden squall with such violence it threw her on here beam ends,  when she filled and within five minutes has sunk beneath the waves.

The Spec at the time of the accident was about a mile and a half from the land.  One of the seamen named Edward Ross,  was fortunately enabled to swim to land,  which he reached,  as might be expected in a very exhausted condition.  He was received with all possible kindness and humanity by Mr. Kirby, and related the last he saw of his comrades,  one of them was on the bow of the sinking vessel,  and the other swimming for the shore which he proved unable to reach.

The name of the skipper we understand,  was William James Dawson.  The seaman, a foreigner,  who was lost,  was commonly known by the name George.  On receipt of the intelligence of the accident,  Senior sergeant Johnson,  and the other members of the police stationed here,  left in all haste for Gerringong.

Since the above was written,  the police have returned,  having searched the beach carefully for a considerable distance,  without finding any trace of the bodies of the unfortunate men,  or of the wreck.  Captain Dawson we understand, was a married man whose wife and two or three children residing in Sydney,  and are by this sad event bereft of their support and left in a state of destitution.

For their relief it is intended to appeal to the sympathy of the public by means of subscription lists, which will be found at the banks and principal stores in town.  The other unfortunate was a Prussian by birth,  and was married but had no children.

Spec Schooner – 17 tons, 13.1 meters in length – 3.5m meters beam – 1.6 meter in depth,  Owned by G. Robertson Nicoll,  built 1865 – Registered at Sydney.

3 August 2015

HMAS Creswell.

Inside history

Following on from the previous post about the fascinating story of the missing bell that at one time sounded navy time across the parade ground called the “Quarterdeck” at HMAS Creswell, I had the unique opportunity of  being given a guided tour of HMAS Creswell’s history museum and to climb the ladders to the top of the bell tower.

HMAS Creswell  is a collection of heritage listed buildings, constructed in 1913, they are beautifully maintained and sit in an idyllic location on a small headland known as Captains Point overlooking Jervis Bay.  Creswell is a hive of activity and while we were there,  a batch of new trainee’s all dressed in blue and white uniforms were being put through drills.


IMG_0903 IMG_0902


These are just some of the buildings on the base.

The Museum.
The museum has an amazing collection of artefacts,  which include diaries, photo’s,  precious objects and priceless documents,  all connected to the rich history of the base and to Jervis Bay.
The photo’ take you on a journey back to the very beginning of the base,  particularly interesting to me were the many photo’s that depicted the workers that helped build the facility in 1913,  living in tents on site and carving out the rugged bush with limited machinery. A photo of the train that was used to transport rocks from the quarry during the construction of the break wall,  and another of a steamer used to deliver supplies during the construction, all add to the story.

An image of the first group of 13 year old navy cadets to be trained at the base and their accompanying service history makes compelling reading.

There were portraits, photo’s and stories of officers trained at the base who served during conflicts Australia has been involved in,  many made the ultimate sacrifice,  their stories are told on panels accompanied by uniforms, ceremonial swords and personal items,  many of which have been donated to the museum by relatives.


The railway line used to move equipment and a Steamer


Workers at the site during construction

Locomotive 530 in use from 1912 to 1930’s

The Clock Tower Building.
t1 tower-2 tower

The clock tower was constructed at the same time as the rest of the buildings, recently renovated and looking fantastic, inside the building you find a large open space that was used as a gymnasium,  beautiful hardwood polished floors,  high ceilings and exposed steel trusses overhead.

The Peter Webber Collection.

gymThe building houses a world class collection of hand made model ships, tracing the development from sailing ships right through to modern steel war ships.  The detail and craftsmanship used in making these models is truly mind boggling,  each ship is accompanied by a text panel outlining the history of the vessel.



Born in Bournmouth England in 1923 Peter joined the Royal Navy and served as a Petty Officer in the Fleet Air Arm. He came to Australia in 1952 settling in the Shoalhaven.
The ship models on display are the result of years of experience and research and endeavour.  He made every part by hand in it’s entirety.
The assembly of models on display represents Peter Webber’s entire collection.

IMG_0958 IMG_0960 IMG_0999
a few of the magnificent ships on display.
Inside the Bell Tower

Connected by a series of narrow steep ladders,  the first climb brings you out into a dark empty room, once your eyes adjust,  the first thing you notice is the walls are covered with names and dates,  the markings are from trainees at the base who over many years,   broke into the tower and signed their names on the walls, it was seen as a challenge and quite an achievement to get your name on the walls, some date back into the 40’s.


The second ladder brings you to another room with a small window and old timber doors,  opening the doors gives you a view across the base and the beautiful blue water and white beaches of Jervis Bay.  


This floor houses the fascinating and unique mechanism that drives the bell and clock and keeps it on time.  Originally driven by a weighted pendulum the mechanism has been updated and now runs on small electric motors.  There are two wires connecting this device to the  floor above.  


After another steep climb you finally reach the top of the tower,  this room is bathed soft light, the light comes via the two large translucent clock faces that flank both sides of the room,  the first thing you see is another fascinating piece of machinery with a swinging pendulum and moving gears,  simple in design but puzzling to watch, how they worked this device out is beyond me, the wires from the floor below connect the two devices and then go vertically to the bell sticking out through the roof above,  there you see two large steel hammers ready to be drawn back at the appropriate time and ring the bell.

IMG_0974 IMG_0976

You can see the two large steel hammers that have been in action since 1913, there ready to strike the bell,  all driven by the amazing mechanism on the floor below.


After the original bell went missing, when the base was turned into a holiday resort in the 30’s it was replaced with the bell shown here,  it’s smaller in size then the original bell.

Each floor features more names and dates and they make interesting reading,  there was some discussion about covering the signatures,  but they have become part of the towers history, describing many of the past students and their adventurous spirit.

Descending each level you finally come back into the light and our guided tour of the base and this fascinating building came to and end.

The history of the base is intertwined with the history of Jervis Bay,  the navy has played an amazing roll in the development of Jervis Bay,  their presence has been a positive and inspiring connection.

Since the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in America the base has been closed to the general population, so this remarkable museum can’t be seen by the general public at this time,  it’s a great shame,  and hopefully one day the authorities will be able to open the doors to the public again.

The original Bell.
IMG_0933 IMG_0935

The original bell is housed in the foyer of the museum.  You can read more about the bells history,  disappearance  and it’s rediscovery here – Continue reading. 

IMG_1005 I would like to thank Lieutenant Commander David Jones for giving me the opportunity to experience the museum and the amazing bell tower. His knowledge, and passion for the Navy’s history in connection with the base and Jervis Bay is manifest.
And a special thanks to Ken Sheen who initially organised and accompanied us throughout our tour.