Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The more I learn about Brisbane Water’s ferries the more there is to learn. There’s been dozens of the buggers over the years. The half dozen we’ve got now is nothing compared to what there used to be. I’d draw you a map with all the old ferry runs inked in but it’d just be spaghetti.

Caroline Bay Gosford market day 1924

Thursday was market day in Gosford and they came from all round Brisbane Water. Gives you some idea how much use the ferries got back then.

This is 1924 and a wharf in Caroline Bay/East Gosford. That's Longnose (Point Frederick) lying low in the middle distance with Point Clare (left) and West Gosford behind it.

(With Thursday being pension day, Thursday still is market day for many of the Dear Old Things. Possibly why some of them think it's still 1924.)


Victorious. The largest of Jack Murphy's Brisbane water fleet at 60 feet in length.

She was designed to carry 125 passengers and launched in 1916 from Beattie's Brisbane Water shipyard. She was 13.5 feet in the beam (across), her draught was 4 feet (hull depth) and she was driven by a 3-cylinder 30 horsepower Frisco Standard engine.

300 people attended the launch, including over 100 kids from the orphanage at Kincumber South.

Murphy also owned the 'Waratah' boarding house (long gone) in Brick Wharf Road at Woy Woy and was a land developers' agent.

The Bill and Roy Riley and their brother-in-law Jack Owens were running ferries at the same time. Their fleet consisted of Mavis, Regent Bird and Bellbird. Later Murphy's ferry service joined up with the Rileys' as Amalgamated Ferries and the name of the Victorious was changed to Wagstaff. She did the ferry run on Brisbane Water until around 1966. By 1980 she was part of the Church Point Ferry Service down in Pittwater.

Kin-Gro & Grower

These two boats often get wrongly labelled and I've fallen into the trap myself. I've read conflicting reports on it from local historians and seen Dear Old Things nearly come to blows over it and now I've had email on the subject.

The ferry I showed you yesterday was the Grower not the Kin-Gro. The title of the post was right and the label on the drawing wrong.

Thank yer to Bets of Central Coast Ferries* for the link to all the beautiful photos of the Kin-Gro now Lithgow working on Sydney Harbour. She looks great in her green and white livery.

Bungalow on the market

36 Davis Street Booker Bay

One of my readers fancies a bungalow on the Peninsula.

This one's at 36 Davis Street Booker Bay. Original windows by the look of it, the decorative slats on the front, original chimney. The advert shows a biggish backyard with a garage and says "big rooms, high ceilings, picture rails". The agent is on 4343 1788.

They don't come on market too often so don't hang about, girl.

* Them what runs the Codock II and Saratoga.


michael said...

that house is just across the road from my aunt and uncles place

Blabberon said...

You wrote: "The Bill and Roy Riley and their brother-in-law Jack Owens were running ferries at the same time."

That wouldn't be Roy of Woy Woy.

Would it?

Heh. Heh.

Love your stuff. Keep it coming!

Suzanne44 said...

You're doing some incredible work here.

Just thought I'd let you know I'll be finishing my 400-odd-mile walk of the paved roads in Catron County, NM tomorrow...hurrah!

Spike said...

Michael, small peninsula or what!

Ron, hur hur.

Thank yer.

Suzanne, thank yer.

Go Suzanne! Belting up the home straight!

Have been neglecting your blog terribly. But in fairness I've been neglecting everyone's.

Erica said...

reading the name of the ferry "Codock" just gave me a flashback to my mispent youth when I trailed after the local football team 'Codocks', made up of guys who worked at Cockatoo Docks (near Balmain) just musing on whether the ferry had been built there

michael said...

I saw my aunt last sunday and she said the house went up for auction last saturday apprently the reserve price was $375,000 but they failed to get any bids for it

Spike said...

Erica, dunno where she was built but she worked at Cockatoo Island in the war. Linkage.

Michael, surprising. Maybe the would-be bidders can't see past the current look of it to its potential.

Or maybe the loo is haunted by a very tiresome ghost a la Harry Potter.