Sunday, January 25, 2009

Latest Models

I've made 2 more models for my Woy Woy Historical Buildings collection at Sketchup this long weekend. I'm finding the whole thing quite enjoyable as I get to use my intimate knowledge of old buildings to help me in my projects.
You see I've been a painter since I was 16 and have spent countless hours working on older buildings , years of sanding and painting barge boards and finials have left their distinct shapes and colours permanently etched in the old grey memory bank.
If a detail in an old photo is a bit blurry then I can usually guess what goes where and picking the old colour schemes are a snap

Gilans Refreshment Rooms

My first project for this weekend was Gilan's Refreshment Rooms , located in the Boulevarde at Woy Woy , now long gone I used old photos to rebirth her , originally a big old house it seemed to have been renovated once and was replaced by a brick building at some stage , though keeping the original facade.
I gave it a nice green period paint job , it could have been a pink or beige colour as well.


Gilans sold pastries and drinks of all kinds , as well as having a Tobacconist , Barber and Fishing Tackle store at one end of the building , noting the stripey posts on the left in the old pics.
As I finished that one fairly quickly and had spent a few hours working out the positions of the buildings in the Boulevarde , I decided to knock up the first Post Office recorded in Woy Woy.

First Post Office

Handily it is located right next door to Gilan's and it was also a test to see if I can get the models to sit side by side nicely in the correct location.
Again working from old photos I managed to build it in a couple of hours , I also used bits that others have made it this one.

Original photo P.O

The good thing about sharing with Sketchup is that others have made things that you can use in your own model.
I needed an old style gas lamp for the awning on Gilans and found one on the site , for the post office I nicked a tree and planted it in the correct spot according to the photo.
I painted the P.O a brown colour but for some reason it looks as though it could have been painted dark blue or green , both of these colours would make the model hard to view in detail so I've used a lighter period colour
I must say that painting the finished product is truly pleasurable like icing a cake , if only painting in real life was as easy as point and click !

Google Earth placement

All my models are here , you can download them and place them in Google Earth , all models should load into the correct location apart from the Picture Theatre and the Masonic Hall , you can locate them yourself and save the position in your copy of GE if you are handy with editing and right clicking , I may post a tutorial on this once I fully understand the process !
Interesting to note that in the 24 hours these new models have been up , they have each been downloaded by up to 10 people already


Happy Oz day - don't get too pissed - good to see all the aussie flags in yards along O.B road today

Why not drop in and check out Grumpy Old Journo , another local , and Spike is always a good read

ah I just noticed demolition fencing being erected around the Masonic Hall , could this be the end ? I wonder if they will find any freaky shit in the long closed upper level like human leg bones ( this actually happened when they demolished another old Masonic Hall years back in Sydney , evidently it was used in ceremonies ! )

ooh and grab a copy of the Peninsula News with my article on Rock Davis that I wrote just before Xmas , will do some more soon once the shock of returning to work subsides !

Friday, January 16, 2009

Woy Woy Bay Walk

Today I took a hastily arranged hike with the members of the National Parks Association of NSW around Woy Woy and Phegans Bay , I spotted the details of the hike on Friday and rang up to get a place for Saturday.
Meeting at 9 a.m in Mr Della Bosca's front yard , we got ready and I introduced myself to all , I quickly noticed that I seem to be the youngest possibly and I was under- equipped , also everyone seemed to be looking rather fit ( fitter than me )
We set off straight up the hill at a cracking pace and I soon fell to the back of the mob as my asthama kicked in , luckily the hill climb was short and it levelled out as we headed around the top of the ridge overlooking Phegans Bay

Horsefield Bay

Then we short cutted through some back streets and headed along the ridge above Horsefield Bay to a place known by rock climbers as Gnomelands , not finding any gnomes but spectacular views of the bays and Peninsula instead we headed off back tracking to the top of the road leading to Woy Woy Bay

Gnomelands View

We then went down an old track (now called a fire trail) which leads to the bottom corner of the bay , I could tell that this was a very old track by the rock works and that there would have had to been something worthwhile at the end for all this effort.
At the end of the track I found some old retaining walls from a garden around an old home site.
Old parish maps for this area show a few land holdings along the waters edge , the largest being of 40 acres at the head of a creek formerly known as Scotts Creek , this land was owned by R . J Scott.

1800's wharf

Records say that R . J Scott was a health inspector for Woy Woy Shire Council in 1929 , I had been looking for Scotts Creek for some time after seeing an old photo


At the Scotts creek site we found the remains of an old wharf that I figure would have to date to the 1800's from it's construction , we also saw on old lemon tree nestled amongst lantana ( a sure sign of human habitation ) , evidently these lemons taste great still if you dare to wade into the scrub to get one

Lime burning kiln ruin

On the way out I examined a pile of cockle shells and what would appear to be clay lumps surrounding the pile , this would appear to be remains of a lime burning kiln , the clay being the kiln walls and the shells left over still inside , there also seemed to be fish traps made from sandstone blocks lying in the nearby mangroves.
Lime was produced for the building industry in the 1800's by gathering shells and burning them in large cone shaped kilns , shells were sourced from the many aboriginal middens and deposits around the waters edge , later on they were dug by hand out of the mud.

Old home site Woy Woy Bay

Further on we visited some more old home sites along the waters edge , someone had spent hours making sandstone retaining walls that led up the hillside , with the moss growing on them they looked very " Indiana Jones " apart from the odd concrete formed stairs , I date these sites at around the 1920's


We made our way around the waters edge across a small creek in a nice rainforest remnant and emerged into civilisation at the end of Taylor Street , a 7 k walk that took around 3 hours.
Thanks to the walkers of the NPA for having me along and I recommend that if you want to try bushwalking then go with this mob because they ran a professional operation.
Hopefully I will return to do future walks or possibly join up in the future , the next local walk will be to the Basalt Quarry Railway site so check the website in you are interested.

View all the photos

Monday, January 12, 2009

Post Office Model

Woy Woy Post Office

My latest Sketchup model is the first official Woy Woy Post Office opened in 1922 , located in the same position as the current one today , it was demolished in the 70's.
I used an old black & white photo to model from and was quite pleased that I got all the roof angles done nicely , you can download all my models for use in Google Earth and Sketchup ( both free ) rite here

Original photo 1922

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Belle and Billy's bees

I recently recieved an email from a reader who stumbled upon my blog for March 2008 titled " Shakespeare of Blackwall "

I am a grandson of the mentioned Belle (Margaret Isabel) Jaquet (nee Shakespeare) she only recently departed us, see this link.

She and husband Walter (dec. circa 1965) lived in the family farm at South Woy Woy (all the land bounded by the golf course, mountain, Veron Road and the railway line) almost until her death, with her half-brother William or Billy. Billy built and owned the block of flats next to the church you mentioned,continuing to inflict bees upon his tenants from that location. It was previously the site of the Shakespeare family home that Billy inherited upon the death of their father. Given the proximity of that and the Monkhouse residences, you would have to suspect that your conclusions are very likely accurate
The history of the Shakespeare family going back is quite interesting.
Many of the Shakespeare resting places of choice can be found in the Point Clare cemetery.
The local history going forward is just as interesting. Belle and Walter had two daughters, Dawn and June. Dawn (my mother) is still hail and
hearty and living in Sydney. June married Norman Dillon (son of George, nephew of Lou) whose name continues in Dillon’s Farm; still owned by Norman’s son Kevin. June is still alive and living in Umina. Many of the Shakespeare/Jaquet and Dillon resting places of choice can be found in the Point Clare cemetery.
Best regards,
David Marshall

Thanks Dave !

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New models for Google Earth

I've completed 2 more Sketchup models to be used in Google Earth and uploaded them to the site for public viewing , the Noonan building was recognised by Google and it now being reviewed by moderators , if it passes the criteria it will be added to the 3D database
While they aren't to scale one could say they are "artists impressions" , I just used old photos to model them from

The Masonic Hall was my second project and took 2 nights , I learnt how to do the curvy bit at the top , and was lucky in re-creating the fancy entrance with roman style columns , I couldn't be arsed adding all the side windows as they take ages to draw and are a bastard to align
I'll probably rebuild these early ones later down the track to be more accurate.

Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall

Reference Photo

Masonic Hall

The Noonan building was built in one night within a few hours , I'm getting used to the program and downloaded all the add-ons for it including a window maker ( yay ) I spent quite a bit of time on the top turret details and it paid off , also I painted it in what I think was a close period colour scheme
The shop front is also period , just a guess as I had no early pics of street level to work from

Noonan Buidling

Noonan Buidling

Reference Photo

Noonan by night

You can download these models from my Sketchup page here , feel free to edit them or use them however

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holidays 2008 - 2009

Time for an update in the last days of my summer break as I slip into my old ways and assume the working position.
Christmas was nice and low key, a visit to mum at Branxston near Cessnock where a nice policeman relieved my wallet of 120 dollars for forgetting to bring my license along.

I affirmed to myself that yes my new neighbours were indeed of the feral variety and feel compelled to record the outbursts of F this and F that and place it on Youtube - just like I did to my last foul mouthed neighbour some years back

( Warning: this video contains very very foul language that may upset gentler folk and non residents )

Meanwhile I taught myself to build 3D models for Google Earth using Google Sketchup which is the best 3D design program I've come across , no headaches, just straight into modelling.

For my first model I decided to build the old Woy Woy picture theatre , using this old photo

Woy Woy Theatre

and came up with this

Woy Woy Theatre 1970's

The idea is to model all the old buildings in the main drag and around town to eventually have a 3D walkthrough of old time Woy Woy , of course you will need Google Earth to view all this. I'm starting off with the more basic looking type buildings as I hone my skills , I intend to build a re-creation of the Alecia Tearooms before the Commonwealth bank cut it into bits and am currently working on the Masonic Hall ( which is looking pretty fucking dandy if I say so myself lol ) You should also be able to download these models from the Sketchup site once I upload them


Big thanks to the folk in Gallipoli Avenue who left this washing machine out on the kerbside , yes it does work fine. Thanks for replacing my washing machine that blew up just before Xmas , another bill I didn't need !