Friday, July 17, 2015

Another mystery solved


A lonely workers memorial hidden behind the water tank on Blackwall Mountain , the scene of a tragic workplace accident that killed 2 local men ?
For years I have wondered about this , looked in Trove for newspaper articles , trawled through Birth Deaths an Marriages archives looking for the names of the deceased and asked many old time locals to avail 
With the help of the Facebook group Good Old Woy Woy the mystery has finally been solved  ....
The story goes that a crew of council workers excavating the rock with jackhammers for the new water tank created the memorial as a bit of a joke !
No those men are not dead but very much alive , another trick was to wire the jackhammer handle on and leave it running in a hole in the rock , then piss off to the pub while the sound of the jackhammer going would keep the bosses happy down at the council depot in Gallipoli Avenue

Good Old Woy Woy !

Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bulls Hill and Woy Woy Road

Woy Woy road under construction
The original first road into Woy Woy, connecting the town to Gosford and the mountain areas.
It was built in 1930, but before that it was a roughly made "goat track" that followed the course of the original trailblazers.
On the morning of March 10, 1923, car owner VJ McKenzie, Erina Shire President CJ Staples and Shire Engineer CJ Fenton the set out from Kariong into the bush.
There was no track and they cleared the way as they went, cutting down trees and using them to cross small creeks when needed.
Within three hours they had made it to the top of Woy Woy tunnel.
Another two hours were then spent searching for a suitable way down and before long they were driving along the main street of Woy Woy.
The occupants sounded the hooter on the old Buick as they arrived in celebration of opening the Mountain Rd.
Within months funding had been approved and a rough track was constructed.
Most of the townsfolk were happy as this opened the town up to more tourists and land buyers.
Most of them were happy, but not one man: John Bull.
John Bull arrived in Woy Woy in 1919 and purchased 30 acres at the head of Woy Woy creek, here he set up a dairy farm and a sign on his fence proudly declared "Bull's milk is best!"
He also fenced off the part of Woy Woy creek that crossed his boundary, a local boat owner cut through the wire as he rowed up the creek.
Bull threatened to impound the boat as it was trespassing.
"The local asked him where he got the rights to buy a waterway and left, only to come back and cut the fence again sometime later.
Bulls Farm
The new road into Woy Woy also crossed part of Bull's property and he resisted the plans.
Bull would argue to the local council engineer that they had no rights and would often rattle off many unheard of, and often made up, laws to support his case.
When this failed he set out with more direct means.
He simply let his prize male bull "Romeo" act as sentry at the entrance to his property.
The engineer Mr Webber could do little but wave his written "power of entry" letter as the large male bull charged the survey party sending them up the nearest trees.
The engineers soon learned to post a "lookout" while doing further work in Bull's paddocks.
Bull had told Webber that he would forcibly stop any vehicle crossing his property.
Webber did not take his threat seriously until the road was opened.
One day a man walked into Woy Woy and told Mr Webber that he had been stopped in his car by an armed man and forced to walk into town.
Mr Webber took the local police sergeant with him and went to Bull's property to find a barricade across the road.
And there was John Bull, standing guard with his Boer War rifle, medals and bandolier.
Bull berated the pair and declared his rights before suddenly surrendering his rifle (which was not loaded) and declaring that he had served his purpose and his resistance was recorded by law which would aid him in further appeals.
Mr Webber then removed the barricade.
Romeo later claimed more victims taking shortcuts across the paddocks.
Years later Bull ran for local council and paired up with another local named Vlies.
The locals quickly named them "Bull and Fleas", Bull was a large wiry man and Vlies was much shorter.
They held their first meeting in the Masonic Hall and a large crowd turned up for the occasion, most of them had come just for fun.
The chairman was a local by the name of Jerry Mahony.
Bull began his speech and frequently took swigs from a large jug of water, ignoring the provided glasses.
With each swig the crowd cheered and Fleas would raise his beer mug grinning.
This caused the locals to yell: "Give Jerry a drink! Give Jerry a drink!"
Bull held the floor for three hours until the crowd called out: "We've had enough. Give Fleas a chance."
Fleas' speech went for less than a minute.
"I don't know anything about council," he said.
"But you can call me ferret because if I get in I will ferret things out there."
Bull and Fleas were not elected and did not run for council again.
Bulls' farm was later the site of the FC Nicholls abattoir, which provided local employment for many until it closed in 2003.

Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Rock Davis Shipbuilder of Blackwall

Rock Davis shipyard Blackwall
While not the first ship builder at Blackwall, Rock Davis was certainly the most famous and colourful of the shipwrights that plied there trades around the edges of the Broadwater back in the 1800’s
Rock was born on a ship en route to Australia on the 2nd of June, 1833, he was one of 11 children.
His father, William Davis was the first school teacher in the area and taught at the small school at Kincumber, the school was made from pit sawn timber and had a shingle roof.Rock and his brothers were apprenticed to shipwright Jonathan Piper who had a shipyard at Cockle Creek.
After they had finished their trade, Rock and his brother Tom left Davistown to prospect for gold in the Ovens Valley, they were quite successful as they had arrived early when gold could be found 5 feet below the ground or lying on the surface.
They returned to the coast as the gold on their claims became scarce and the goldfields descended into lawlessness, over 3,000 miners had died in the first 15 months of digging in the valley they later learnt.
Rock had always wanted to build a shipyard at Blackwall and set about acquiring the land for this purpose, a parcel of 13 acres at Blackwall Point was granted to him in 1852, later he also purchased another land parcel from C.W Cox and commenced operations there in 1862.
Timber for the first ships were sourced locally on the Peninsula , which had a variety of suitable trees like blackbutt, ironbark, cedar, beech, white mahogany and honeysuckle.The logs were dragged by bullock team to the sawmill at the shipyard, some logs were floated out of the back blocks via a small creek that is now a drain next to the Peninsula Leisure Centre.
Work in the shipyard began at daylight and continued until dark, after dinner the men would sit in the meal shed and play cards while the young apprentices were put to spinning oakum ( caulking for use in shipbuilding )
At nine o ‘clock the cook would throw a large pot of water on the fireplace, the ensuing steam cloud would scatter all.
During wet weather work ceased in the yard and the men went hunting wild cattle on the Peninsula , cattle descended from the original herd owned by James Webb had roamed the flats for years slowly growing in population and made great sport and even better eating.
Rock later built a large roof over the slipway so the men could work in all weather ,the shed at 145 feet long was the largest building in the area at the time.It was built like a native hut from New Guinea , two giant poles were tied at the top and spread apart at the base , they were then hoisted upright by a block and tackle setup pulled by a bullock team.
A visiting well known Naval architect remarked that he had never seen anything like it in the world , locals called it “ The Big Shed “



The Big Shed
Over 180 vessels were laid down at the yard ranging from small ketches to steam powered passenger ferries for use on Sydney Harbour , before the construction of each boat , Rock would lay down full size plans on the ground and work out his timber cutting list .
The launching of the completed vessels at Blackwall drew much fanfare on each occasion, usually a feast followed by dancing and drinking til all hours , local children were given sweets.
The Blackwall area was a hive of activity with 2 shipyards, a sawmill, several houses and a store built, in 1875 a post office was petitioned for and built on the hill behind the shipyard.
The first postmistress was Eva Davis, Rock’s daughter, she held this position until 1881.
In 1893 a post office was built at Woy Woy to serve the growing township and the Blackwall post office was made an unofficial office, the location of this office moved a few times but it remained until late the 1970’s ( last location Trafalgar Avenue )
Not only did Rock Davis build ships but he also put in place many wharves, bridges and roads to serve his business, he arranged for the transport and delivery of over 19 million bricks for the construction of Woy Woy Tunnel.
On many occasions when disaster struck , a call was put out to the men at the Rock Davis shipyard and a boat was quickly dispatched to help those in need.
Rock Davis died in 1904 and was buried at the old church at Kincumber, a specially made raft was made to carry his coffin and was towed by a steam boat from the Blackwall shipyard across the Broadwater with hundreds of mourners in all sorts of water craft following in an unbroken line.
A fitting end for a man who had lived and breathed ships for all of his life.


Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Basalt Quarries Ltd Railway South Woy Woy

Bridge remains Brisbane Water National Park COPYRIGHT 2015
In 1927 work began on the construction of a basalt quarry and associated railway and processing facilities at the current tip site in the hills at South Woy Woy by Basalt Quarries Ltd. A gang of 30 men worked to make the small gauge railway that would lead from the top of the current tip area down around the hills to a crusher chute just above the current water treatment works at South Woy Woy.


Site layout 
This line was serviced by a small steam locomotive called " No. 2 " , the lower line to the rail head used a steam powered shunt to move the cars into position for loading.
Here the rock would be crushed and turned into " blue metal gravel " and the finished product would then be shipped on a second railway at the bottom of the incline to the rail head at the mouth of Woy Woy Tunnel. The whole operation was quite secretive and the council was upset the roads into the site were being destroyed by heavy equipment being shipped in.
Councillor Staples was most vocal about this and I suspect it was because he was still quite passionate about the road in this area as it was the first road into Woy Woy that he himself had blazed through the bush several years earlier



Steam locomotive No 2
The whole operation only ran for 2 years before the mine closed due to an underestimation of the basalt reserve and the effect of the depression in 1929 and was abandoned , a few years later gangs moved in and removed all the equipment , locomotives and they were sold off.
The gang removing No. 2 were scared the last trestle bridge would collapse when they finally brang the train to its head , so they connected ropes to the controls and led it like a dog across the bridge with no one on board , a sigh of relief was heard as it safely made it across the neglected rusty bridge.





There is still a lot of evidence of the mine today up in the bush at South Woy Woy , old rail tracks , the crusher chute , remains of trestle bridges and an abandoned skip carriage in the bush , the area is in Brisbane Water National Park accessed through Woy Woy Tip.

Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

The Truth about Bungaree and the Broken Bay Aboriginal Tribes Part 2



The story of Bungaree
Bungaree was born around the Brisbane Water area in 1775 and was a young lad when Phillip and his party landed in 1789 , he met Bass and Flinders when they visited Broken Bay on a survey expedition in 1799.
He was described as witty , intelligent and something of a diplomat and " smart enough to keep a foot in both black and white camps ' He was recruited by Mathew Flinders to join him on the first expedition to Tasmania acting as an interpreter and go between , upon his return he again acted as interpreter for an expedition to the Hunter River and Newcastle.
In 1801 he again sailed with Mathew Flinders around the entire coast of Australia mapping the coastline and returned to the coast in 1803 , in 1804 was was called upon to help quell an uprising in Newcastle and sailed there with Lieutenant Menzies , upon his return he learnt that his father had been killed by escaped convicts heading back to Sydney Cove , he was about 29 years old at this stage.


The Deception
Around 1815 Governor Macquarie gave Bungaree and his family tribe land at Middle Head in what is known as the Bungaree Farm Experiment and Bungaree was appointed " king ", he was given a gold breastplate which bore the engraving " Bungaree - King of the Broken Bay Tribe " which he proudly wore every day after.They were encouraged to learn farming and were given convicts to teach them,  but they had no need for it as they had always found food on the land and went fishing instead - the project was doomed from the start. Bungaree was hardly there to help the tribe assimilate with the white man as he was again called upon to join an expedition around Australia for the second time in 1817 and in 1818 he returned to his family.
He was a well respected figure around the colony and was given a row boat so he could greet each ship as it entered the harbour.
When Macquarie left the colony for England Bungaree was given his old naval uniform.
Bungaree was around 45 by now and had achieved what no Aborigine or indeed many white men had at that age , he had made Aboriginal and Maritime history by circumnavigating Australia twice , there are places along the coastline named after him like Bungary North ( Norah Head ) and Bungary beach near Brisbane.
Governor Macquarie had scored a major coup in getting Bungaree to leave his tribal land at Woy Woy and it was made Crown property by the end of 1821. There were 3 land grants granted in the area , one of these to James Webb possibly a relative of Robert Webb the seaman who first visited with Captain Phillip in 1789.
The end
Sometime around 1823 James Webb settled on his land at Orange Grove and began farming and shipbuilding , local Aborigines were employed on the farm. Webb took a local Aboriginal woman named Sophie as a partner and they had a child.
Tribes from the inland were taking over the vacuum left by the displaced local tribe and began to raid the crops , so man traps were set to guard the crops at Booker Bay.
All along the coast tribes were being uprooted from their land as white man spread rapidly and they began to succumb to the easy pickings of tasty new crops and alcohol , also they were beginning to die en-masse from smallpox , the common flu and guns.
The last desperate years were marred by mass killings , crime and the slow death of the Aborigine population by disease and alcohol , one of the last recorded corroborees took place at Tacoma near Wyong in 1842 with only about 60 people attending of which about 24 were coastal people and the rest from inland , no survivors were recorded after this day until lost relatives of the original Broken Bay tribes emerged.
Bungaree died in 1830 and was buried in an unmarked grave at Rose Bay with the first of his 5 wives , Matora and his breastplate.


Sources:
Admired by Macquarie , but ignored for a sailing cat - article by Tony Stephens - link
The Central Coast and Lake Macquarie Aboriginal People - an article by Wayne Peters 2002
The Brisbane Water Story Parts 1 & 2 - C. Swancott 1954
The Sydney Harbour Trust - website  http://www.harbourtrust.gov.au/index.html


Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

The Truth about Bungaree and the Broken Bay Aboriginal Tribes Part 1



The true accounts of the first inhabitants in the Woy Woy and Broken Bay area lay scattered across the country in libraries and government records , in fact our own local councils seem to ignore the real truth behind the disappearance of the local tribes back in the 1800's , for there is hardly any record of what happened all in one place. Our local area produced one of the greatest Aboriginal heroes ever - yet hardly anyone knows of him and his achievements and the Government deception that led him from his land near Koolewong to make way for the first white settlers in Woy Woy.
Popular belief the the Darkingjung Tribe are the coast's ancestoral owners are also mis-leading as they inhabited lands west of the coast bounded by Mangrove creek and Yengo National park , they have however assumed the role of caretakers in absence of any remaining Guringai tribe descendants at the time.
In 2002 descendants of the Guringai tribe issued a letter to the Darkingjung Land Council
 " Notification to Cease and desist Misrepresentation of Prehistory Occupation by Aboriginal Peoples In the Area Bounded by Port Jackson in the South , Lake Macquarie in the North and Mangrove Creek in the West - Guringai ( Wannungine/Wannerawa speaking people ) Land "
The Beginning
The coastal Aboriginal tribes were known as the Eora people and consisted of the Sydney tribes ( Kurring-gai / Carigal / Dhurang / Durrouk )the larger coastal Guringai ( Walkeloa clan ) tribes and the Lake Macquarie tribes ( Koompahtoo / Bah Tah Tah / Awakabal ) it is thought that they came to the coast as long as 20,000 years ago , long before the ice age.Scientists have proven that the Aboriginal people have been in Australia as long as 40,000 years and newer research is considering back dating that to 110,000 years.
The tribes were based on family groups and consisted of up to 30 people , there were at least 18 family tribes living along the coast and inland and at peak periods it is estimated about 540 individuals existed , the coastal families were located at: Kincumber , Patonga - Pearl Beach , Brisbane Water - Woy Woy - Gosford , Somersby Falls , Erina - Terrigal - Wamberal - Avoca , Ourimbah - Narrara , Jilliby , Tacoma , Tuggerah , Munmora - Norah Head , Cooranbong - Morriset , Mangrove Mountain - Kulnura and Wollombi.
The coastal tribes interacted closely with their Sydney and Newcastle brothers and meetings were held at special times in secret places hidden in the bushland along the coast , these places were known as Bora ground and were located near natural landforms like exposed sandstone areas with unusual weathering or tessellated patterns or circles of rock in the bushland , they were considered sacred and powerful sites , up to 300 people could gather in these places representing the various coastal tribes. One of these sites is located at Patonga and has a Council road through the middle of it , the same thing happened at the Bulgandry site at Kariong when roads were built in the 1920's.
The tribes around Woy Woy lived happily in the many sandstone caves and had a diet of local wildlife supplemented by the abundant seafood to be found in the waters , they made bark canoes to traverse the Brisbane Water and had a series of markers like road signs scattered through the bush and along the waters edge on trees and rocks that pointed to waterholes and tracks to places. They left many carvings in the sandstone outcrops around Woy Woy and traveled to Mullet Creek to gather ochres to be used in cave paintings and body decorations , a race that existed happily with no need or use for iron tools or the wheel , a race who had evolved over thousands of years and was still evolving at a sustainable pace until white man came along - it was about to come to an end very quickly...


Governor Phillip Arrives
In 1788 Governor Phillip realised that the land at Sydney Cove was not sufficient to support the colony for many years and as a matter of urgency led an expedition to Broken Bay to investigate possible farming land mentioned by Captain Cook.
On March 2 1788 in torrential rain he arrived at Pearl Beach an noticed it was occupied by many Aborigines , fearing them they slept offshore overnight before heading into Brisbane Water the next day , after navigating Half Tide Rocks and The Rip he entered the Broadwater and got as far Gosford before heading back to Sydney.
As he passed the head of Cockle Creek he saw an Aborigine who waved his spear and pointed to Kincumber and said " Kingcoimba ! " then pointed his spear toward Woy Woy and said " Wy Wy " which he knew meant black snake* and he agreed as it was a swampy low lying area , this first friendly meeting impressed him and was in his thoughts as he planned a second more extensive survey the following year.
The second survey explored Erina and Narrara creeks and well as Cockle Creek and Kincumber , Phillip and his party camped at Booker Bay overnight and were met by the local tribe who helped them with fires and gathering fish , at night they exchanged stories and the Aborigines sang the white visitors songs.
The local men were impressed with Phillip because he had one of his front teeth missing - the same as the Aborigines who removed a front tooth during tribal initiation  , wherever Phillip camped overnight inside the Broadwater he was met by friendly natives and this again delighted him , he left Broken Bay to go on and explore the Hawkesbury River and Pittwater.
Also one this trip was a young marine named Robert Webb who was an adapt ship builder and seaman , he noted the Aboriginal canoes and marveled at their lightness and construction , he also noted that the hillsides were covered with trees like mahogany , cedar , beech and many other species suitable for shipbuilding.
White man didn't return to settle the Coast for another 30 years , the local Aborigines were safe for now...


Go to Part 2


Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tuggerah RAAF Airfield WW2

Google earth image showing airfield location in 1942
In 1942 a single runway was constructed by the Australian Army at Lake road Tuggerah , this was part of a network of coastal landing strips that were used for emergency landings by military aircraft travelling along the seaboard.
In the case of an all out attack by the Japanese , these airstrips were also to be used as " dispersal " airfields , larger squadrons would split up and various aircraft would be assigned to different locations.
Plans were made to house 8 medium bombers at the Tuggerah site , the strip was to be used by the American Fleet Air Arm group called Fleur , based at Penrith NSW
Locals recall several incidents at the strip during the war involving military and private aircraft , I have posted an excerpt from my blog article on my site visit in 2008

Mr Lake was only to happy to regale me with his knowledge of the strip in the wartime years , it was built by over 100 men who had a main camp in Church Road.
The strip runs right past Mr Lake's backyard and he recalls many Catalina flying boats doing practice " bump and run " landings on the strip , this was to practice landing with the planes ground landing gear.



Close up aerial image showing the outline of the runway
He also told me of a British aircraft carrier borne fighter ( possibly a Supermarine Seafire ) crashing on the strip one afternoon , with it's tanks leaking fuel and the locals being under fuel rationing , a few locals gathered with jerry cans in anticipation of some free juice.
The British Marines arrived soon after to guard the wreck and let the planes tanks drain entirely into the ground before the dismayed locals , " after that we didn't like those poms " Mr Lake remarked.
Another time a local in a private aircraft had to make an emergency landing on the nearly completed strip at Tuggerah , Mr Lake was watching him approach the field and was worried he was also about the shot down by the troops guarding the area , luckily they didn't but the plane rolled on landing and Mr Lake had to go save the unfortunate chap from the tangled mess of his overturned craft.
After the war the runway was built over on the southern end , the northern end is virtually fully preserved as it lays on land owned by the Electricity Commission and a local landowner.
It ran from Wyong Road near the soccer fields in the south , north east past the electrical substation on Lake road.



Tuggerah site visit 2008



Article by Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Woy Woy RAAF Airfield WW2



Woy Woy Aerodrome
During the early years of the Second World War an aerodrome was constructed on the Woy Woy peninsula by the Australian Army for the RAAF.
Originally the airfield was designated as a dispersal airfield for the Schofields air base at Quakers Hill in Sydney, in the event of an enemy attack aircraft from this base could be deployed to the Woy Woy strip.
The Schofields air base was home to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm for the duration of the war, the aircrews and aircraft were from visiting British aircraft carriers that rotated in and out during the war years.
As the threat of invasion diminished at the end of 1942 the airfield was relegated to become an Emergency Landing Ground, part of a network of coastal airfields that ran along the coast.
The airfield at Woy Woy was originally designed to accommodate 8 medium sized bombers that were housed in "hideouts" at various locations around the main runway.
A typical bush hideout consisted of a U shaped soil wall and suspended camouflage nets above the bays.
For camouflage purposes the taxiways leading to the runway would utilise existing local streets, some new streets were constructed for this purpose, other roads had the telegraph poles removed to accommodate the wingspan of a large aircraft.
Fuel dumps , anti aircraft positions and slit trenches were also planned for the area, earlier maps show plans for a second intersecting runway crossing the main strip from east to west.
The main runway ran north to south from McMasters Avenue to roughly Oxford Street and alongside Trafalgar Avenue
The strip was built in early 1942 by the Australian Army engineers firstly by bulldozing the area then laying down a base of crushed local sandstone , the main landing strip was then topped with a red gravel.
Early documents hint that at least 4 of the proposed hideouts had been completed by the time it was inspected by the army camoufluer at the end of 1942, locals have also reported the existence of slit trenches dug in the area of McMasters Avenue at the time.

RAAF plan for Woy Woy airfield

Wartime use
During the war the strip was used by aircraft travelling up and down the eastern seaboard for stop overs refuelling and emergency repairs.
Locals recall large Americam bombers regularly landing at Woy Woy which would attract the local ladies much to the delight of the American aircrews , one such crew was so taken by the local hospitality that 3 of the men deserted the aircraft and stayed in town for several weeks at at house in Umina before being rouded up by the military Police, evidently they had sold their uniforms to the locals !
Locals also recall many aircraft stopping fo repairs and there are a series of photos held by the local Ettalong RSL showing an Australian Lockheed Venture meduim bomber configured for submarine hunting undergoing repairs at the strip in 1943.

Lockheed Ventura with experimental YAGI submarine hunting radar array undergoing repairs 1943

Interesting to note that there have been 2 large radial type aircraft engines dug up in the area over the years that may have been from these aircraft, it was army practice to bury such items after they had been removed and replaced with new parts.
The land used by the army for the airfield was eventually returned to the original owners or sold off by 1949
Post War use
After the war the runway was used by the locals for a variety of purposes, there were horse races and an annual motorbike race, many locals also used the strip to learn to drive on.

Runway looking south towards Sydney 1949
Aircraft also continued to use the strip, some local real estate agents would fly up prospective customers from Sydney and in the 50's Marshall Airways from Bankstown would also bring up aircraft on the weekends for tourist joy flights.

Marshall Airways aircraft at Woy Woy 1950's
As the area became more populated there were more houses and the landing of aircraft started to become hazardous, in 1950 a Tiger Moth biplane was trying to land in heavy crosswinds and was blown onto the roof of a house in Nelson St, the pilot and occupants of the house (who were not home) were unharmed , the pilot did injure himself when he fell of the roof of the house unfortunately.

Tiger Moth crash 1950 Nelson St Umina
Co-incidently at that precise moment a delegation from Gosford had arrived by boat at Woy Woy Shire Council chambers to petition the council to retain the runway for public use.
The runway was eventually incorporated into Trafalgar  Avenue and remaining land subdivided and sold off
The blocks were a curse and a bonus for buyers as they were well drained and level but near impossible to dig into for they were still topped with the red gravel and sandstone base.
The Mystery Fuselage
Locals recall the remains of a medium sized passnger plane that had been stripped down to the fuselage that lay in the bush blocks near Australia Ave until the early 60's, some have identified it as an aircraft similar to a DC 2, there is no knowledge of the fate of this plane.
The Drop Tank
Locals also remember as children in 60's the existance of a large military type aluminium drop tank (disposable fuel tank) that had been split into its 2 halves and used by kids to paddle about in the Everglades lagoons, this may have been a left over relic from the airfield.

Little remains of the airfield today as housing has now fully covered the strip, small park at Trafalgar Avenue between Alma Ave and Waterloo Avenue is basically the original runway surface, skirting the edge of the car park  are remnants of the red gravel that can still be seen today.


In 2016 with the assistance of the Umina Community Group and myself the small park on Trafalgar Avenue is to be re named Runway Park , new play amenities will be added and it is hoped a small plaque with historical details of the site will be added in the later stages on construction

S.Spillard






Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lone dolphin enchants locals

For the last 18 months a lone dolphin has made the Brisbane Water it's home , why this dolphin has decided to stay here is some mystery as dolphins usually live in pods or groups.
Evidently according ORCA the dolphin is a female and spends it's days swimming around the Brisbane Water and generally checking out the humans who live there as well.

A local diver has an unexpected admirer
The dolphin has a liking for people and has been photographed many times checking out wharf building crews and fishermen , one lady recalls fishing one day and not getting much while the dolphin looked on , after a while it disappeared and then came back and threw a fish at the lady in the boat !

Racing the local ferry " Saratoga "
The captain of the local ferry service reports that the dolphin is a regular attraction and will wait at Woy Woy wharf for the ferry to leave so it can play in the bow waves when it makes it's run.

Local fisho meets the dolphin visitor

Local kids jumping off Ettalong Wharf were thrilled when the dolphin dropped by and checked them out one day , it certainly does not abide by the 100m rule !

Thrilled local kids meet the dolphin
The Brisbane Water is a large inland waterway and was once home to dolphins long ago and it is a good sign that they are finally returning , we hope that our little lady will attract some male friends one day .

In the news:
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/central-coast/experts-want-to-identify-dolphin-which-has-been-following-sailing-boats-in-brisbane-water/story-fngr8h0p-1226816814214
On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneWaterLAC/posts/664508776962119