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 October 2016

Around the grounds . October orchids.

The Large Tongue Orchid
It’s that time of year again…a carefull look around the area surrounding the museum revealed a couple of Australian Terrestrial Orchids.   This one was in flower with many other immature spikes emerging in a small cluster getting ready to flower.  It is also known as the The Cow Orchid or The Duckbill Orchid, or by the scientific name of Cryptostylis subulata.

An amazing looking orchid.

It is a fabulous time of year to visit the museum with your camera at the ready,  the bush surrounding the museum has many hidden wonders just waiting to be found.


19 October 2016

Curing Human Diseases. and Animals.

This is an advertisement from the first edition of the Shoalhaven Telegraph 1881.
There were remidies for all sorts of ailments advertised in the early editions of local newspapers.




Steamer timetable for the Shoalhaven 1881.


Old houses of Huskisson.

Night shot of an old house on the corner of Bowen Street and Duncan Street Huskisson.



Old houses of Huskisson.

The changing face of Huskisson.

1I posted this picture back in September 2012 of one of the old houses of Huskisson just after the thick bush that had been covering it from view for many years was cleared away
Unfortunatly it has now been demolished and is  just an empty dirt block.   Im glad I managed to get a picture of the old house before it dissappeared.

Original post here.

Duncan St Huskisson.




18 October 2016

HMAS Melbourne FFG 05 back in Jervis Bay..

The Adelaide Class guided missile frigate, HMAS Melbourne seems to be a regular visitor to our shores of late…this was shot early this morning as she was leaving the bay.  The ship spent the night near Honeymoon Bay and was lit up from bow to stern and top to bottom.
I took this image around 10pm last night.  Photographed through my 400 mm long lens, the ship was on the opposite side of the bay and slowly rocking,  hence the slight fuzziness.

Ship Specs
Full load displacement of 4,100 tons, a length overall of 138.1 metres (453 ft), a beam of 13.7 metres (45 ft), and a draught of 24.5 metres (80 ft).  Propulsion machinery consists of two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, which provide a combined 41,000 horsepower (31,000 kW) to the single propeller shaft. Top speed is 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph), with a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). Two 650-horsepower (480 kW) electric auxiliary propulsors are used for close manoeuvring, with a top speed of 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph). Standard ship's company is 184, including 15 officers, but excluding the flight crew for the embarked helicopters.



Bay rise.

Another beautiful warming sunrise over the bay this morning.



17 October 2016

Jervis Bay to Canberra railway..-

Another small snippet of information that featured in the Shoalhaven News and South Coast Advertiser in June 1913, about the long proposed but never realised railway link between Canberra and the coast.
At this stage people would have thought it would become a reality,  land developers and speculators were eagerly buying and selling land around Jervis Bay with sometimes outlandish presumptions in anticipation of the coming railway that would turn the sleepy coastal villages of Jervis Bay into thriving cities.

Rumors like the one below appeared in many newspapers and fueled the fire of great expectation.



16 October 2016

Tomerong School of Arts.

The official opening of the School of Arts was held 90 years ago on the 15th october 1926.


The occasion was celebrated with a great gathering of people from the surrounding districts.
The opening of a community School Of Arts was a big milestone in any community.  It took many years of planing and fund raising before the building was realised.  The building would soon become the centre for entertainment, dancing, singing, debating, community gatherings and local government, to which end it still serves the community today 90 years later.

Built of weatherboard and iron by Mr. Jas Muller for a local commitee,  the dimensions on opening measured 40ft by 30ft overall,  Inside there was a timber dance floor and a 12 foot stage for entertainment. The building cost approximatly 300 pounds and another 150 pounds expended to provide a pianola, water tank and other conveniences.

A proportion of the cost was met by fund raising over many years,  and the balance was granted by three local public spirited citizens – Messrs. J. Watt, H. Watt and McGuire.


The official opening took place on a Friday night in the presence of a packed gathering.  Every house in the neighbourhood was said to have been present at the ceremony.  Cr. W. Watt, President of the Clyde Shire presided, and amongst the visitors Messers. J. A. Perkins,  Federal member of Eden Monaro,  and Mr H.J. Bate,  one of the state members for Goulburn.


At the time of the opening Tomerong’s local band consisting of eleven players,  played their first public appearance and was a great success.   Solos,  Duets, and a quartette were rendered by members of the Watt family, a couple of ballads by Mr. McDonald,  of Wandandian,  a piano selection by Miss E. Mc Donald, a comic element was supplied by Charlie Chaplin, from the Naval College,  who was regarded as an artist above the ordinary,  was recalled several times.

A burlesque, “The Tomerong Farmers Club,” was staged by half a dozen local men,  each artist was met with hearty approval by the large audience.

After the official opening ceremony where Mr Bate declared the School of Arts open, refreshments were provided and served up by local ladies,  the hall was cleared and dancing indulged in for several hours,  the accommodation being taxed to the utmost.

The official opening was regarded as a great success,  socially and finacially.

” Heather Bell ”

Here is a letter penned by a young girl that wrote stories to the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express under the name of “Heather Bell”  she lived at Tomerong at the time of the opening and wrote  this letter to a newspaper collumist that went by the name of “Uncle Geoff”.


Dear uncle Jeff, – It is some time since I wrote to the Page, but we have had quite a busy time lately.  It turned out very hot for the children’s day during  ‘Back to Shoalhaven Week.” but we still enjoyed it.  One lot of maypole children could not do their dance owing to a number of them becoming ill through the heat,  but the other ten did.  The verious costumes looked so pretty.
Now our School of Arts has been opened there are entertainments every week.  At the opening I played a piano solo called  “A night in Venice.” 
I sat for my High School Exam in October,  but will not know the results until after Christmas.
I like my school very much,  but I certainly am pleased Christmas is close; we always have such a happy time,  and I’m longing to get to the beach.  We have had such hot weather lately.  I am learning “ Alice Where Art Thou” with variations on the piano now,  and have just finished  “Moonlight on the Hudson, ”    I do enjoy Carnival Bell’s stories.  Wishing yourself and all your cousins a Merry Christmas -  I am your fond neice,  ‘'’Heather Bell.”

Continue to other fun and fascinating stories by “Heather Bell”

Today the hall still provides a place for dancing, music and community activities and  meetings.  Every third  Saturday of the month, 8am-1pm the community markets are held in Tomerong and the hall is an historical feature of that event.

Continue reading about the history of Tomerong.



12 October 2016

Outside Jervis Bay.

Today I had the fortunate opportunity to be asked if Id like to shoot some pictures of the headlands and coast around Jervis Bay.
Here are just a few from today….If you get the opportunity to take one of the cruises don’t hesitate.

The wreck of the St Martin De Porres,  high and dry on the inside of Longnose Point.
Looking at Point Perpendicular from the northern approaches.
A few of the seals perched above the water on the rock ledge at Drum and Drumsticks.
One of many unique and beautiful landforms you can see outside the bay.

These are just a few of the wonderful sections of coast in and around Jervis Bay.  Some have an old story to tell of past shipwrecks and survival, others have a more current story to tell of destruction and untimate conservation.  
It’s a fascinating journey, which ever way you would like to come at it,  some of the stories have been covered in detail on this blog, as well as in displays within the wonderful Jervis Bay Maritime Museum.  All you have to do is take the time to explore.



11 October 2016

Cape St George Lighthouse..


Under this simple heading coastal shipping movements were reported in newspapers right around the country.  Lighthouse keeper and other ship master observations concerning ship movements along the coast appeared daily in newspapers. Information could travel faster than a ship and these entries were sometimes the only means waiting relatives, ship owners and merchants had of knowing where the vessels were.

Cape St George Lighthouse keepers played an important part in keeping the information flowing about passing vessels of all kinds. The keepers were expected to keep a constant watch and if need be communicate by flag signals to these vessels.  Hours of observation, and in the case of Cape St George standing exposed to the elements in all sorts of weather.  These obsevations were then passed onto Sydney via telegraph and then they would be reported in the local papers.

Examples of the sometimes simple entries that helped keep people informed of ship movements.

Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Mail
Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald
Maitland Mercury
Sydney Morning Herald


This following article from the Sydney Morning Herald in 1899 is very interesting, it shows how the information from the lighthouse keepers was regarded with the utmost importance and any break down in the chain of information was of grave concern..

The article below shows how the break down of communication  between the coasting vessel Torridon, and the Jervis Bay light keepers was taken seriously and in this case led to an investigation by the Marine Board.


Shipping being the fastest and most efficient method of moving people and cargo over long distances, meant information about new light houses or other maritime infrastructurer as advertised below in the Sydney paper Empire in 1860 was of great importance to the general public, maritime authorities, mariners and ship owners.

For us, the newspaper entry provides  fascinating information about the workings of such an important if not ill conceived and controversial piece of local maritime history,  which was the Cape St George Lighthouse.

imageRemains of the Lighthouse as seen in 1979.


Dredge M.V.Botany sinks off Jervis Bay.

Continue Reading - Previous post about the sinking of the Bucket Dredge W.D Atlas.  The dredge foundered off Jervis Bay with the loss of 13 men in 1966.


7 October 2016

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.

The fire on Beacroft Peninsula was caused by a backburn operation that quickly went out of control yesterday and provided holiday makers and locals alike with a spectacular light show last night.  The fire at one stage was heading straight for the historic Point Perpendicular Lighthouse.   Backburning by the Bushfire Brigades created a barrier and the threat was averted.

I was up very early this morning and looked for another vantage point to shoot the fire.  To say the vision was amazing is an understatement.


Pre dawn long exposure,  The headland was shrouded in smoke which was being blown out the sea.


The sun was still just below the horizon when I shot this picture. The fire was burning right to the edge of the cliff.


Wide view showing the wide spread fire front. The light was just spectacular.   The sun was just above the horizon but subdued by the smoke. Point Perpendicular stood out as a large dark mass compared to everthing around it.  Quite amazing to see.