Stories from Manly's past - local history from Manly Library.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The ferry Brighton had a chequered career. Launched on the Clyde in 1883, she took up service on the Sydney to Manly run. On 7th August 1900, she collided with the collier S S Brunner near the Sow and Pigs reef, on the ferry's last trip of the day to Manly. As a result of a navigation error later ascribed to the ferry's master, the Brunner struck the Brighton just forward of the paddle box, causing water to flood into the torn hull. The ferry's master immediately ran for nearby Chowder Bay and managed to ground her. The photo shows the result of the incident.
Luckily, no one was injured and after repairs the ferry was soon back in service. Our thanks to Lynne Westbury for donating this photo to our collection, and to Bill Allen for help in identification.
John MacRitchie 2011.
Monday, June 20, 2011
As research progresses, more is becoming known about some of the early Mayors and Aldermen of Manly - Mayor William Fletcher, for example.
William Horner Fletcher was born in 1851 in Auckland, New Zealand, where his father, Rev Joseph Horner Fletcher was the headmaster of Wesley College. They were descendants of a close associate of John Wesley, William Horner.
The family moved to Brisbane, where William went to Ipswich Grammar School, and then to Sydney, where his father was Principal of Newington College. Joseph Fletcher was a pioneering devotee of rugby, and arranged for the first inter-school game of rugby in Australia, between Newington College and the King's School. William too was a keen sportsman, and played as 'quarter back' for the Waratah rugby club in the 1870s. He became the first secretary of the Southern Rugby Football Union in 1874. He was also secretary of the Sydney Amateur Athletic Club for a time. As a young man he was capable of strenuous feats - on one occasion he canoed alone from Penrith to Broken Bay, taking six days for the trip.
William became an accountant, and was admitted as a partner in the firm of David Fell and Co. In 1887 he married Miss Louise Moore, whose father Lewis Moore owned the large house Tramore in Darley Road, Manly. They set up home in the same street at Erlsdon, very near to Tramore.
He was elected to Manly Council and became Mayor in 1899 and 1900. His main concern while in office was to apply himself to the Council's accounts, to ensure that Manly Council did not require any form of Government subsidy over the period. He was also a founder and treasurer of Manly Cottage Hospital, and a considerable fund-raiser for the hospital.
On leaving Manly in 1919 he was presented with an illuminated testimonial from Manly Methodist Church. In retirement he lived at Neutral Bay, and served on the council of Newington College, Stanmore. He appears to have been one of the most likeable of Manly's Mayors. He died in 1931, aged 79, and a prize in his name was instituted at Newington College.
Monday, June 13, 2011
This happy family group are posing inside a six-foot wide pipe at Clontarf in 1925. The pipes were used in the Middle Harbour syphon scheme, a massive engineering project for the period. Two parallel rows of concrete pipes, ten-inches thick, were laid under the waters of Middle Harbour from Clontarf to Mosman. Tremendous feats of diving endurance were undertaken by the workmen on the project, with spells underwater of up to seven hours, thought to be a world record at the time. In places the pipes were seventy feet below the surface. The job took close to two years to complete, and over the course of construction strange coralline growths sprang up and adhered to the inside of the pipes.
When the job was complete, an open day was held in December 1925, when, for sixpence, you could walk along inside the pipeline across from one side of Middle Harbour to the other - without getting your feet wet. That's a trivia quiz question waiting to be asked. Aptly, the money raised went to the benevolent fund of the workmen who had performed the feat of laying the pipes.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
This lovely image comes from Mr C W Byrnes of Tuggerah, who found it in a box of glass negatives dating from the 1910s. It appears to be located at Narrabeen, prior to a surf life-saving carnival. The carrier has half a dozen surf reels loaded on his cart - the names of the Manly and Dee Why Life Saving Clubs can be seen. They would have been pretty heavy, and it would have taken a good strong horse to haul them. The carter, we think, is Mr Peter Seymour, whose yard was in Golf Parade, Manly.