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.

30 October 2013

Dunbar Relic

Here is another one of my finds from the Dunbar around 75-76.
A Silver or Pewter? spoon. It has suffered a fair bit of corrosion after so many years underwater.


29 October 2013

It’s on again!!

markets Featuring a wide variety of stalls selling local fresh produce, plants, clothes, toys and crafts.

This Saturday 2nd November
”Perfect for you Christmas Shopping”

What’s on in November.

Saturday 2nd November - Lady Denman Markets 9am
Saturday 16th November - Music in the Ferry 7 pm $20

frame Arts Exhibition.
Following on from the success of the 100 Years of Navy History exhibition which will be ending on the 8th of Dec.
The Museum will be hosting the annual
Jervis Bay and Basin Arts Summer Addition on the 14th of December.
So check back often for more information as we get closer.

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The latest Lady Denman newsletter is available
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Early morning walks around the gardens are rewarded with quite a display.
I took a few photos of the flowers that are blooming all around the garden.
The garden looks fantastic, the birds are very active and can be seen flitting about all over the place.
They are very hard to photograph, you can hear them calling and you get short glimpses as they dart between the trees and bushes,  I think I need a little more patience.

flower-4flower-6flower-1 flower-2   flower-7 flower-8 
The Denman grounds are a great place to relax and take in the scenery, you should try it some day.
BLUE-REN ducks
He finally stayed still long enough to get this quick shot. The ducks were no problem and watching this family cruise across the pond put a smile on my face.
I came around the corner and nearly fell over this big fellow feeding on the green.

27 October 2013

Warning Pelican above

pelicaneAll the regular visitors to Woollamia Boat Ramp know only to well it’s not wise to park under the light poles that have become convenient perches for these feathered scavengers.
Unfortunately for a couple of tourists that information would have been nice to know a little earlier.
It was a pretty messy awakening, need I say more.

I'm sure I saw a cheeky smile on it’s face afterwards…

26 October 2013

The Dunbar 1857



Dunbar Relic
In 1857 the Dunbar was driven into the steep cliff face just south of the entrance to Sydney Harbour leaving only one survivor.

in 1974 I joined the Canterbury Underwater Club established by
John Sumner in the 60’s
On one of my first club dives on the Dunbar I found this large 80mmx90mm belt buckle.
On subsequent dives I found other objects.
I have recently handed in the few relics I have from those days.
The Dunbar has been dived hundreds of times by divers and I'm sure there must be some amazing relics sitting in garages all over Sydney.

Read the tragic story of the Dunbar
button door-handlespike 

(1) A hand embossed button, (2) what took me a while to figure out was a part of a door handle the bit that sips over the door spindle, it’s missing the knob and (3) a brass spike.
I will post a few more later.

25 October 2013

On this day.

Friday October 25, 1616. 
    Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog becomes the first European to set foot on Australia's western coast, and leaves his inscription at Cape Inscription, Western Australia.

     Over 150 years before English explorer James Cook (then Lieutenant Cook) ever sighted eastern Australia, the Dutch landed in the far north and on the Western coast. In 1616, Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog sailed too far whilst trying out Henderik Brouwer's recently discovered route from the Cape of Good Hope to Batavia, via the Roaring Forties. Reaching the western coast of Australia, he landed on what is now known as Dirk Hartog Island, at Cape Inscription, on 25 October 1616. Here he left a pewter plate with an inscription recording his landing. The translation of the inscription reads: '1616. On 25th October there arrived here the ship Eendraght of Amsterdam. Supercargo Gilles Miebais of Liege; skipper Dirck Hatichs of Amsterdam. On 27th do. she set sail again for Bantam. Subcargo Jan Stins; upper steersman Pieter Doores of Bil. In the year 1616.'
In 1697, Dutch sailor Willem de Vlamingh reached "New Holland", as it was then called, and removed Hartog's pewter plate, replacing it with another plate. The original was returned to Holland where it still is kept in the Rijksmuseum. The original inscription was copied onto a new plate, and Vlamingh added new information which listed the sailors on his own voyage and read: 'Our fleet set sail from here to continue exploring the Southern Land, on the way to Batavia.'

24 October 2013




I have added a few more images to the Landscapes Page

Jervis Bay formed as a drowned river valley 15,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.[10] The bay took its present appearance around 4000BCE after the sea levels had risen 120m and as sand dune barriers created the southern peninsula.[11] Much of the rock in Jervis Bay is part of the Sydney Basin sandstone formation, aged 280-225 million years old, although lower areas are overlain with Tertiary-era sediments.[11]

Several features at Jervis Bay have been used as evidence that the Australian coast has experienced many giant tsunami prior to European colonisation

Australian Geographic Tsunami report. – makes interesting reading. Read on

Fleet Review

This great shot of the ships in the bay was sent to us from Ken Sheen based at Creswell.
It was taken by one of the Navy Photographers..no name supplied.


23 October 2013


I found this bottle on a dive on the western side of Bowen Island around 1986 sitting on the sand right next to our anchor, it was guarded by a rather large Angel Shark, that became quite upset when we disturbed it.

John POLLOCK was born 7/8/1842, at Jugiong, Murrumbidgee, the second son of Robert POLLOCK and Agnes BARBOUR.

On the 18/1/1883 “The Telegraph” at Nowra announced that POLLOCK BROS were in business as cordial manufacturers. I do not know how many brothers were involved but William and Alexander certainly; John, James & David are possibilities.  I think the whole family was involved in the original cordial factory at Nowra.

More Details

22 October 2013

Wreck of the Steamer Plutus 1882 – Currarong NSW

 Part of this areas Maritime History.

plutus-portholeThis was collected from the sand around the site of the wreck of the Plutus around 1976.
Newspaper Story of the Steamer Plutus
Details of the Plutus.

In those days I use to dive with a true legend in Australian Diving John Sumner.
John is regarded as one of the leading authorities on Australian Shipwrecks and has explored many, many wrecks around the Australian Coastline. He has an unrivaled passion for Wrecks, especially their bells.

We did many dives together over many years, sometimes in difficult conditions with limited visibility and rough sea conditions. John had this amazing ability to find objects where others couldn’t.

John Sumner also has a unique collection of shipwreck postcards.

Wreck Remains – Google Earth.

Australian Geographic historic-shipwrecks-around-australia

Endeavour, a Short Story

12 The Australian National Maritime Museum has a short story about being apart of the First Fleet Review and sailing into Jervis bay aboard the Endeavour.
Story Here.

One small part.

The Lady Denman hull has undergone extensive stabilisation since it was removed from the water.
Here you see one small part of the hull and the protective copper sheeting.

Restoration the 100 year old axe the restoration of the Lady Denman ferry based in Huskisson Jervis Bay

Video - Restoration the 100 year old axe


South Steyne Darling Harbour


The grand old S.S. South Steyne has been put to good use as a floating restaurant on the busy shores of Darling Harbour.

I have to admit before my time at the Lady Denman Museum, Ferry’s didn’t hold much fascination for me.

But since my exposure to the rich history of these hard working Harbour vessels, I'm seeing them in a completely new way..

Old footage of the S.S.South Steyne

21 October 2013

First Fleet Review

I was lucky enough to be near Sydney Harbour when the Fleet Review of tall ships and war ships were in the Harbour.
Here are a couple of photos taken around the foreshore near Darling Harbour.
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c296 c298

11 October 2013

Out of the Blue

A couple visited the Museum this week and it turned out to be Michael Conners (pictured with Bridget Sant) he used to work on the Lady Denman as a Shipwright at Garden Island , corking, painting and general duties that shipwrights do while the Vessel is in dry dock.
Michael also travelled to and from work on the Denman occasionally having a go at steering her between destinations.
Bridget interviews Michael which will appear on You-Tube shortly, thankyou Michael for a very informative morning.

3 October 2013

The Ships will be leaving.

Tomorrow morning around 7am the War ships will be starting to leave the bay and over the course of the day the whole fleet will have left heading for Sydney for the Fleet Review Celebrations.
You had better get up nice and early if you want to see them leaving..

It really is the best time of day, and if you get up real early you can watch the sunrise over the bay which can be an amazing experience..don’t forget to take your camera!!

There also running shuttle bus trips out to Point Perpendicuar Lighthouse tomorrow, I don’t think you will get a better vantage point than this.

ships ships2 ships3
This was just after sunrise today – Wed 2nd 2013

2 October 2013

Family, Food and Fun Day

ffd-14What a fabulous day, lots and lots of people, smiling faces, music and dancing, delicious food and a Museum full of visitors.

Full Story Here

This is such a funny picture, I'm sure this girl isn’t the only one to stick her tongue out when she’s concentrating.

1 October 2013

War Ships invade Jervis Bay

6 Navy War ships entered the bay bow to stern this afternoon. It looked like an invasion force heading for Huskisson, and was mighty impressive to see.
At the time of writing there were 15 ships at anchor over near HMAS Creswell,
Tomorrow is suppose to be a better day weather wise and with all the ships in the bay the cruise operators will be in full swing .

The Museum was a very busy place today, with non stop visitors making inquiries and going through the museum, The volunteers were run off their feet and loved every bit of it..

Tomorrows Family Fun Day should be a great success, John is on balloon blow up duty from early morning and the rest of the volunteers will be running around like hungry chickens getting things ready.

So come along and join the fun…see you there!!


Point Perpendicular Lighthouse

lighthouseI finally had a chance to take a couple of time lapse pictures of the Lighthouse beaming across the night sky.
This photo was a relatively short exposure.
If you get the chance you should make the effort to go and see this fantastic light show.

Photograph: Rob Slater