Recollections of Manly Yacht Club
Long-time Manly Yacht Club identity Keith Smith has written his recollections of the Club, and he recently presented two copies to Manly Library Local Studies collection. Keith’s involvement with the Club goes back almost to its inception in the late 1940s as the Manly 14Ft Sailing Club. The Club’s inaugural meeting was on September 28th, 1950, when Harry Pollard was elected Club Commodore.
Keith Smith, at the instigation of the late Doug Ebeling, has produced a detailed and informative account of the Club, from its early home at Little Manly, to premises in Stewart’s boatshed in Manly Cove, and the name change to Manly Yacht Club in season 1964/65. He discusses the Ralph Tobias-designed Manly Junior, and the Flying Eleven class, as well as the Manly Graduate. He paints a vivid picture of the excitement and comradeship to be found in the Club over the years, and gives short biographical sketches of some of the club’s best-known members. The book is full of interesting photos, including a beautiful one of a fleet of Stingrays on East Esplanade beach, which remind us again of what a great place Manly is to live.
Burnt Bridge Creek - How it Got its Name
Research by historians George and Shelagh Champion has uncovered a reference to a huge bush fire which took place over several days in January 1850, which devastated ‘most of the country in the vicinity of Middle Harbour and Pittwater’ (Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 30 January 1850, p2). ‘The fire appeared to originate at a place where some person had been clearing a piece of land in order to build a house.’ It sprang up within a few miles to seaward of Ellery’s ferry at Middle Harbour, and extended a considerable distance along the wooded lands between Middle Harbour, Pittwater and the sea.
The fire must have caused damage to the Jenkins Road, which led from North Harbour to Long Reef. There were 13 bridges along the extent of the Jenkins Road, built originally in 1826, including one located where present-day Condamine Street crosses Burnt Bridge Creek. It seems most likely that this was the bridge which was consumed in the fire, which then gave its name to the creek. The earliest reference to ‘Burnt Bridge Creek’ on a map that has been found is on Surveyor Drake’s ‘Survey of portions in the village of Balgowlah, North Harbor’, which dates from 22 July 1856.
The SMH adds cheerfully ‘the unfortunate traveller runs much risk of having to undergo the disagreeable process of roasting before he comes to the termination of his journey.’