Clifton Gardens Mosman: An Eternal Green and Saltwater Space and of many captains
The Thompson Family Decades
The Inauguration of the Motor Boat Club of New South Wales
MOTOR BOATING. THE NEW CLUB. STRIKING HARBOUR DEMONSTRATION.
'Favoured with ideal conditions, the Motor Boat Club of New South Wales was brilliantly inaugurated on the waters of Port Jackson on Saturday afternoon. If the club is young its membership is already strong, for no body has ever started under happier auspices. Tho club has all tho elements for success-boundless enthusiasm, a peerless domain, and the certainty of great development. Saturday afternoon must always stand out in the annals of the sport of the harbour.
The fleet, comprising motor-driven boats of all shades and sizes, assembled in Farm Cove at about 2 o'clock. Large numbers of people lined the shores to admire the evolutions, and there was plenty to marvel at. Motor boats have not the grace of the gliding yacht, but they offer much to compensate for the lack of the beautiful. They are to the yacht as the funnelled steamer is to tho white winged sailing ship. They cleaved the waters of Farm Cove with a wonderful precision, skimming past the warships, driving recklessly across the bows of a sailing boat, curving and winding with a contemptuous disregard of wind and tide. Some were gay with colour, being competitors for the procession prize, and the majority were enlivened by the summer frocks of venturesome ladies.
It is a boast of the motorist that he is a timekeeper Independent of the assistance of the elements, he observes his appointments. But accidents will happen, and by a strange irony on Saturday the hon. secretary, Mr.G. Whatmore, to whose efforts the flotation of the club was largely due, had a mishap as he came down the harbour to assist In marshalling the little fleet. As he lightly remarked afterwards, his boat, the G-whiz, which has a reputation for speed and reliability, refused to "whiz," and he was delayed. Nevertheless, good work was done by the commodore- (Mr. P. C. Mitchell), the vice-commodore (Dr. George Read), tho rear- commodore . (Mr. Frank Albert), the committee men (Messrs. J. B. Holdsworth, H. E. Ross, C. B. Bradley, G. I. Stanton, and Fred. Alderson), and Mr. F. A. Wiesener (marshal),and a capital procession was formed. The commodore led off in the Cyreno, and streaming out from Farm Cove there were the rear-commodore in the Boomerang, the vice- commodore in the Asthore, Mr. Wiesener in the Little De Dion, with the larger boats on the outer lines, and a host of smaller ones in the centre. Bringing up the rear was the Sydney Ferry-steamer Kareela, thronged with hundreds of friends of the motor boat owners.
Enlarged section showing 'Kareela' from 'Clifton Gardens', Kerry and Co. image No: 28789, courtesy Powerhouse Museum Tyrell Collection on Flickr.
When well launched on the stream the effect was very striking, and illustrated vividly the proportions of the new harbour power. The procession passed along slowly, keeping good order, although here and there flashed a couple of racers, torpedo-shaped craft, that drove at a speed and turned and swirled with a precision that indicated some big racing days as motoring evolves. A couple of yachts and several sailing boats idled through the throng. Their occupants looked at the plain little motor vessels as might the swan at the plain duckling, but the motor-drivers, conscious of their utility and greater certainty, were in no degree discomfited, and they undoubtedly had the pull when the "sailers" fell out to tack.
The destination was Clifton Gardens, where the visitors landed and took tea, while the motors engaged in an interesting programme of racing and water sports. A feature of the afternoon was the parade of decorated launches. Mr, E. A. Laurence took first prize with the Mistral, Mr. C. E. Waters second with the Gulnare, and Mr. Fred. Alderson third with the Mimosa. During the afternoon the commodore, in the course of a brief speech in the pavilion, declared the club Inaugurated. Mr, Mitchell said that it was only in last June that Mr. Whatmore set out to got the motor boat owners together. The result exceeded all anticipations. (Cheers.) Such a demonstration as this was beyond anything then hoped for. At present the club embraced about 150 boat-owners. (Applause.) There was not the slightest doubt that the motor boat had come to stay. He had nothing to say against their "white-winged" brethren. There should be no antagonism between the two sections of the water sport. (Hear, hear.)The motor men desired more independence from the caprice of the breeze and the will of the tides. He prophesied a great future for motor boats and for their builders. (Hear, hear.) Then there was the question of defence. He hoped they would be encouraged by the defence authorities to form the club into a naval corps-(hear, hear)-and that all motorists would Join it.
Mr. Whatmore emphasised that the Motor Boat Club of New South Wales was already the largest in the world. In other cities the owners were split up, but here they were all under one flag. (Hear, hear.) The boats owned by the club represented £75,000, and with the exception of the purchase of boilers, all of that money went to local Industry. (Applause.) So far the boats were chiefly cruiser launches, but before the end of the season there would be on Port Jackson some launches capable of speeds equal to the fastest in the world. We had the finest strip of water, and should endeavour to cleave it with the finest boats. (Applause.)
The race for skiffs was won by Mr. L. O'Toole's Yvonne. MOTOR BOATING. (1905, November 6 - Monday). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14719589
Those Amazing Baths And The Purchase By Sydney Ferries LTD.
In 1906 what had been a long term recreation of many, swimming in broad daylight, or 'bathing' as it was then called, was legalised and people could frolic to their heart's content. In 1905 Sydney Ferries Limited began negotiations to purchase Clifton Gardens and took possession on January 2nd, 1906. As daylight bathing became permissable they sought t captilise on the boom in the popularity of getting in the water and gave Clifton Gardens the next of its structure in those circular baths:
Extras and References
1884 - 1886: By Warrior, A. Contributed by Graham Trevena [Page 4a] (from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of N.S.W presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886') - retrieved from The Dictionary of Sydney. Visit: Manly's Stone Kangaroo, Camera Obscura, First Maze And 'Chute' - Fun Days In Sea Hazes From 1857 On