May 13, 1907 – January 13, 1951
The steamer Erringhi is a great example of all the produce and materials that came from Pittwater via boats to Sydney harbour from earliest settlement times. Timber, shingles (an early form of roof tiling) and onions as well as shells, which were scooped up, crushed and converted to lime, filled the vessels trading between Pittwater, the Hawkesbury and Brisbane waters:
Onions, 7 bags, from Pitt Water. Shingles, 71.000, from the Hawkesbury ; 80,000, from Brisbane Water ; 2000, from Pitt Water ; 90,000, from Port Stephens :in all, 243,000. Shells,200 bushels, from Brisbane Water ; 675, bushels, from Pitt Water ; 776 bushels. LOSS OF THE BARQUE SUBRAON AND TWO SCHOONERS. (1848, November 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28648191
These vessels were so numerous they acquired a name… ‘the Mosquito Fleet”;
THE "MOSQUITO FLEET." OLD HAWKESBURY TRADERS. The days when a fleet of as many as 72 vessels, instead of less than half a dozen as at present, plied between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River were recalled by Mr James Booth when lecturing to the members of the Manly and Warringah Shire Historical Society. From about the year 1840 and up to 1875,said Mr Booth, a number of small sailing vessels, of from about 15 to 40 tons burden, known along the coast as the "Mosquito Fleet," plied between the Hawkesbury River and Sydney from the estuary of Pittwater they carried mostly shells, which were burned for lime at the old Lime-street wharf, Sydney, and from the Hawkesbury River their cargo consisted principally of farm produce, corn, pumpkins, potatoes, and hay. From Brisbane Water the principal cargoes were sawn timber. These craft could sail with a fair wind only, as their boating qualities were very poor, and a wait of three or four days was quite common until they got a fair start, when a great number of them would sail away together. Many times they reached North Head, only to be chased back all the way to Pittwater by a "southerly buster," and although they only had a sea journey of 20 miles it often required all their skippers’ skill to save the little vessels. Some of these craft were run single-handed, some with a crew of two or three, four being regarded as a fairly large crew.
Newport Wharf 1900. C/- Isobel Bennett and Pittwater Historical Images at Mona Vale Library.
As there were no roads in those days the transportation of produce and travellers depended on these vessels. Some were built along the banks of the Hawkesbury by the Peat family, who were first-class shipwrights(Peats Ferry still bears their name), a few were built in Pittwater, but the greater num-ber were built at Blackwall, Brisbane Water,by the Davis Brothers, Davis Town being named after the family. About 1875 the farmers on the Hawkesbury formed themselves into a company, and had a steamer, which they named the Hawkesbury, built at Drakes yard, Balmain. She proved a great boon to the farmers carryingan "outside" passengers' ticket, running the mails, and making two trips a week for about30 years. In 1882 a steamer called the Florrie was subsidised by the Government to run the North Coast mails from Gosford to Newport, Pittwater. From Newport, passengers and mails were taken on to Manly by Boltons line of coaches, these being the first coaches that ran to what was then but a fishing village.
As there was no bridge across the Narrabeen Lagoon the coaches were driven through the water, with the passengers' feet up on the seat and the horses almost swimming. Sometimes a boat was used, a coach being kept on each side of the lagoon. As the roads were only bush tracks it took four or five horses to pull these coaches and as on occasion sporting passengers would tip one driver half a sovereign to beat the other, some of the trips were exciting. The fare was 4/ single and 6/ return. About 1888 a boat called the General Gordon plied across the Hawkesbury River, carrying the mails and passengers to the two ends of the Newcastle railway until the Hawkesbury Bridge was completed, a change of direction that closed the careers of both the steamer Florrie and Bolton's line of coaches. THE "MOSQUITO FLEET.". (1930, April 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16704624
As Pittwater was cleared of her virgin bush orchards sprang up bringing in some of the best citrus, pears and other produce tasted. This was also the case along the lush banks of rich earth beside the Hawkesbury river. Both Pittwater and the Hawkesbury were renowned for their fishing culture too and getting that day’s catch to market, as we saw last week with the Charlotte Fenwick, was a priority of the catchers and those who would transport them. These were loaded at Church Point, Bay View wharf as it was known then, and at Newport Wharf.
By the turn of the century it was getting quite crowded on the route between Sydney and Pittwater. Much of the transport was by water as the roads were still poor or did not reach all the way to where one may want to go. If you could sail to Pittwater in half a day, enjoy a picnic if an excursionist and return home in time for supper, or place your goods on a ferry that would get them to market on time, why would you attempt the bumpier longer path of a bush track? Better was being on a beautiful vessel whose whistle announcing she was near would bring everyone in what was then rural Pittwater to the wharves for news or simply to watch her come in.
Launch of SS Erringhi on May 11th, 1907 at Andrew Smith's yard, Clarence Town on Williams River. Courtesy Eric Mitchell Collection.
One of the vessels that fulfilled this need in Pittwater was the SS Erringhi. It is thought she is named after the indigenous name for Clarence Town, where she was built and launched May 11th, 1907:
Clarence Town is a both a primarily rural locality and a township in the Dungog Shire local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is 193 kilometres (120 mi) north of Sydney, 54 km (34 mi) north-north-west of Newcastle, and 28 km (17 mi) from the Pacific Highway at Raymond Terrace. The locality is bisected by the Williams River. The township sits just to the west of the river about 32 km (20 mi) upstream from where it flows into the Hunter River at Raymond Terrace. The area was originally inhabited by the Wanaruah Aboriginal people who called it Erringhi. There is a hotel in the main street of Clarence Town built in 1913 called The Erringhi Hotel. The township is most famous for building and launching the William IV paddle steamer in 1831, although the town was still called Erringhi at this time. It was later renamed in 1832 after the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV in 1830. from Wikipedia
NEW RIVER STEAMER. CLARENCE TOWN, Saturday. A fine-looking boat, to replace the one burnt on August 3 last, intended for the river trade between Clarence Town and Newcastle, built by day work, under the supervision of Mr Andrew Smith, the engineer of the Williams River Navigation Company, was successfully launched this morning from the Clarence Town sawmills, the christening ceremony being performed by Mrs S.W. Dark, wife of the chairman of directors, who named the vessel Erringhi in the presence of about a thousand specatators. The new craft is 110 feet overall, beam 21 feet, depth of hold eight feet. She will be towed to Newcastle to receive her engines, which have been built by Messrs. Morison and Bearby. NEW RIVER STEAMER. (1907, May 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14848535 Picture courtesyof State Library of NSW of the Erringhi ready for launching, 1907.
The Erringhi was known as “the favorite old 'Guy,' as the Erringhi is called along the river”. The Erringhi worked here for a few years before heading further south, sometimes on some unusual missions:
TROUT IN WILLIAMS' RIVER. CLARENCE TOWN, Friday. In January last the progress committee applied to the Department of Fisheries for a supply of trout, and there arrived yesterday by the steamer Erringhi, In good condition, a consignment of about two hundred rainbow trout. The fish were taken, without delay, by Mr. S. W. Dark, president of the progress committee, to a suitable place, six miles above Clarence Town, and liberated into the Williams River. TROUT IN WILLIAMS' RIVER. (1909, November 1). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15086322
WILLIAMS RIVER (BY O.H) Here and there, far from the din of within may be found, nestling beside quiet waters quaint little townships, around which still lingers the atmosphere of the "old colonial days." Such a place is Clarencetown. Quite unknown to the vast majority of Sydney siders the little village lives its daily round unvexed by the stress of a strenuous civilisation. No disturbing railway engine breaks with its raucous whistle the quiet content of the summer days. Telephones do not annoy, while the good news grows by keeping. Even the great North Coast railway has respected Its seclusion, and passing through Wallarobba Mountain, taps the Williams River higher up at Dungog. From Raymond Terrace, where the Williams joins the Hunter, right up to its source in the far hill recesses, the Williams is a thing of beauty and a joy for ever. Here I first knew what Ogilvie meant when he longed for the bushland, "where the vine trees kiss the river, and the ranges greet the stars."
From the eucalypts that fringe the shores comes the gladsome carolling of magpies, peewits, and kookaburras. As the day wears on the morning's activities, so exacting in the cow country, give place to the noontide rest on the farms; but the river is
ruffled by craft of every description. Cream launches glide up and down stream, lifting the great cans from odd-looking landings on the banks. Here and there a row boat, with hunter or angler aboard, skims across the shimmering waters into some reed-studded tributary. An ungainly sternwheeler puffs noisily up stream to the township. Ocean-going steamers pass not infrequently for every foot of the Williams is navigable from "The Falls" to the Hunter. Every day the old favourite and the new Erringhi pass up and down to Newcastle, loaded with, passengers and pigs, cream and lucerne hay. WILLIAMS RIVER. (1910, February 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15134994
Although the Erringhi was bought in 1911 she did not commence her duties until early the following year;
New Steamer for the Hawkesbury. The Hawkesbury R. S. N. Co., Ltd., have purchased another fine steamer, the Erringhi,' from the Williams River. S.N. Coy. for their trade on the rivers. The ' Erringhi ' is registered 95 tons, it is 22ft wide and 9ft deep and draws 7ft6in when loaded. The engine is a 14-28 with a 12in stroke, and her registered speed is 13 knots — equal to 15 land miles. She is well equipped throughout, and was built four years ago on the Hunter River. Since then she has been running in the Williams River trade to Newcastle, the opening of the railway to Dungog being the reason for the owners selling her. As she is built on the same lines as the Company had designed for a new boat, she should suit the trade requirements splendidly and seldom or never miss an early market. The Hawkesbury River trade is unique in as much as its principal cargo consist of choice fruits, which must be placed on the early morning markets otherwise it would deteriorate in value. It is, therefore, necessary for the trading boats to run the bit of ocean (19miles) in almost any weather, often when much larger vessels are sheltering in Broken Bay. The ' Erringhi is to take up the regular trips, and being the largest and fastest boat ever run in the trade she should give a good account of herself. Captain A. Jurd is in command of the 'Erringhi ' with engineer A. Brown in charge of the engine room. Captain Ivory is skipper on the ' Stormbird,' which is to do the off-trips, and Captain H. Mitchell has command of the old s.s. ' Hawkesbury,' which is running the regular passenger trips. These boats give the river a complete service, and if the same generous support is accorded them in the future as in the past the Company, with its energetic manager, Mr. J. H. Dickson, expect to be able to keep a three-boat service without any increase in freights. As the addition of the 'Erringhi' to the Hawkesbury Co's. fleet brings the value of their boats up to nearly £ 10000, the Company have shown pluck and enterprise in launching out and keeping pace with the present prosperous time in this fast growing State. New Steamer for the Hawkesbury. (1911, December 23).Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85943573 Picture of Erringhi as she was in 1911.
The Hawkesbury S. N. Co.'s new steamer the Erringhi, came up last week, and appears to be a fast and commodious vessel. The Company are to be complimented for putting such a splendid fast boat on the river, and it is to be hoped that the orchardists respond heartily by their support. SACKVILLE. (1911, December 30). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85948318
This version of the Hawkesbury Steamship company had 'New' as part of its name due to a previous company formed in 1854 of a similar nname. See HERE
Church Point and Bayview wharf: Mr. Johnson’s mother’s sister was married to Mr. John Oliver who, in an affidavit, described how residents flocked to the wharves when the steamers arrived and unloaded their supplies. The steamer carrying the tin used in the roof of houses A,B,C, would have been unloaded at the Bayview wharf, alongside the present William’s Marine. Mr. Johnson (in Pittwater 1907) remembers the steamer’s whistle alerted everyone to the approach of the steamers. Mr. John Oliver worked for Mr. Geddes and mentions the ships “Hawkesbury”, “Narara” and “Erringhi”. (Mr Geddes owned property on “Brick Yard Hill” ½ mile from Wharf, east towards Bayview). From ‘Comments by the Early Settlers' – St Johns Anglican document. April 13.2005.
Right Photo shows SS Erringhi and Paddlesteamer the General Gordon at a ferry wharf on the Hawkesbury.
The Erringhi quickly became a community loved vessel, part of its everyday life;
FOR THE HAWKESBURY RIVER TRADE. The steamer Erringhi, which was formerly trading on the Williams River, and has been purchased by the Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., for their cargo service to the Hawkesbury River, was given a trial trip yesterday. The engines have been overhauled and over the measured mile yesterday the vessel attained a speed of close on 12 knots per hour. FOR THE HAWKESBURY RIVER TRADE. (1912, January 6).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15300353
About 400 people — from Windsor and all along the Hawkesbury River — took advantage of the complimentary excursion given by the Directors of the Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Company, on Monday last. The Company's new steamer Erringhi ran the excursion, and took the big party to Newport, where they were landed for an hour. A full account of the trip is held over. No title. (1912, April 6). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85846205
THE ERRINGHI The complimentary river excursion given by the Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Company, Ltd., to its customers along the river, and which took place on Monday, 1st April, was one of the pleasantest outings that has taken place on the noble river for a long time. The popular company ran its new steamer, the Erringhi, starting at Bennett's wharf about 6.30 a.m., and calling wherever there was one or more to pick up as far as Colo. From there the Erringhi had an uninterrupted run almost to Wiseman's Ferry, the Company having thoughtfully put on another steamer, the favorite old Hawkesbury, to pick up passengers between Colo and the Ferry, This saved some time, and the Erringhi got to the Ferry at 10 a.m., where about 20 more excursionists were taken aboard. The destination was Newport, and before arriving there the steamer had a living freight of close on 400 people — men, women and children. The Erringhi is a splendid boat, and easily the best that has ever traded on the Hawkesbury. She has as peed of 12 knots an hour, and her build, her machinery, and all appointments are of the best. She could have carried another 100 passengers without any great discomfort to those on board. Among those who took the trip were three of the Company's Directors — Messrs. H. A. Wilson (chairman), J. J. Herps, and John Bennett, while the manager, Mr T. H.Dickson, was also of the company and was all the time solicitous for the comfort of the big party. Newport was reached about 2 p.m., and the picnickers landed for an hour. Most of them strolled over to the ocean beach and had a whiff of the briney. It is on those lower reaches of the Hawkesbury that the grandeur of the magnificent river is seen. From Brooklyn down it is a majestic stream, and the passengers were in raptures over the sights to be seen, especially from the broad waters around Barrenjoey Heads. Mr Archie Jurd is the skipper of the Erringhi. His good nature is proverbial on the Hawkesbury, and a better skipper has never taken a boat on the river. The way he handled the Erringhi on the home trip, putting into imaginary wharves in the murky darkness, and with a strong tide running with him, astounded those who seldom travel on the river, and proved him to be a very capable helmsman. It was midnight before the Erringhi got back to Sackville, the many stops on the way taking up a lot of time. Sometimes after one passenger had been put off, the boat would have to go sheer across the river to drop another on the other side. But the trip was so delightful that nobody minded how long it lasted. During the run games, dancing, etc., were indulged in on the deck, and the young folk had a particularly enjoyable time. It was with reluctance they left the boat when their homes was reached, and all carried away very pleasant recollections of the Erringhi's trip on April 1. THE ERRINGHI. (1912, April 13). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85847214
Erringhi, s, and Kallawatta, s, for Pittwater; PROJECTED DEPARTURES.—June 25. (1912, June 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15345427
Her reliability in getting goods to market became legendary;
BROKEN BAY RECORD. The steamer 'Erringhi, one of the Hawkesbury River Company's vessels, has put up a record for the Broken Bay-Sydney trade during the storm. The vessel did not miss a trip. In the teeth of the storm, and against gale and flood, reached the top end of the Hawkesbury River and returned to Sydney last night, when vessels of a larger type were still seeking shelter under Barrenjoey. BROKEN BAY RECORD. (1913, May 16). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113371691
The Erringhi was not without her accidents:
RIVER NEWS. Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Company's steamer Erringhi met with an accident at Leet's Vale a few days ago, breaking her tail-shaft. She has been anchored in the river, and will be towed to Sydney for docking. RIVER NEWS. (1913, May 24). Windsor and Richmond Gazette(NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85846903
Erringhi, s, for the Hawkesbury River and all branches, Newport and Pittwater; Kallawatta, for the Hawkesbury River, Newport, all Pittwater and Mangrove. PROJECTED DEPARTURES.—Aug. 5. (1913, August 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15440795
COLLISION AT THEHEADS. PILOT STEAMER SPLINTERED WOODWORK. A collision occurred between the pilot steamer Captain Cook add the steamer Erringhi off Sydney Heads at an early hour this morning and as a result the upper deck of the latter vessel suffered considerably. The Erringhi arrived off port on one of her usual trip from the Hawkesbury River shortly after midnight and the accident occurred just as she was entering the harbor. The pilot steamer Captain Cook was also entering at the same time, and the two vessels came Into collision. The Erringhi was struck right amidships by the bows of the pilot, the Impact being marked by a terrific crash. It was feared at first on board the Erringhi that the vessel was damaged below the waterline, but this surmise was soon found to be wrong. A seat and a good deal of woodwork just abaft of the bridge ware wrecked, and one of the supports snapped, off, but little serious damage was done. The cook's galley had a narrow escape, however, and as it was the crockery suffered. The Erringhi dropped anchor off Grotte Point Immediately after the accident, and proceeded up harbor at daybreak. COLLISION AT THE HEADS. (1915, January 29). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114232760
Above Picture: Four masted barque Medway and the pilot steamer Captain Cook outside the Heads, Sydney Harbour, ca. 1915, nla.pic-vn4654431, courtesy National Library of Australia. Photo by Edward William Searle.
I may- add that arrangements have been made to utilise the steamer 'Erringhi' for a twice a week exchange of mails between Leet's Vale and Sydney as per the attached copy of time-table, and this service will also permit of the exchange of parcels in excess, of 3lbs. …. THE RIVER MAILS. (1915, March 26). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85862060
WISEMAN'S FERRY PUNT ACCIDENT. The clerk stated that. he had received the following letter from Mr. A. W.Bucknell: As the result of negligence on the part of the man in charge of the punt at Wiseman's Ferry, my car was precipitated into the river, 'and lay in from 12 to 15feet of water from 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, March 9, until 11 a.m. the following day, when it was recovered by the captain and crew of the Erringhi, assisted by Mr. .G.R. Woolford, who. was driving the car at the time of the mishap. The car was anew one, of which delivery had only just been taken. The car is now in Sydney, having arrived per' the,, steamer Erringhi, and I gather that the captain charged £5for lifting the car and £3 freight to Sydney, which has been paid. I. understand that your risk is . insured with an insurance company, and their accident manager called on the motor company and examined the car, and subsequently their expert did likewise, but doubtless you will hear from them. In order to avoid further possible damage from the immersion in salt water, the work of re-conditioning the car has been taken in hand; and in due course I will send you a claim for the actual amount of expenses incurred. COLO SHIRE COUNCIL. (1920, April 16). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85878466
The s.s. Erringhi is now being run by the 'Charlotte Fenwick' syndicate, with Captain Archie Jurd in command. The 'remains' of the 'Charlotte Fenwick' were towed to Brooklyn last week. Week to Week. (1920, June 11). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85878505
The very next day another accident occurred;
STEAMER ERRINGHI STRIKES BARRANJOEY ROCKS. On one of her usual trips from the Hawkesbury River to Sydney the coasting steamer Erringhi struck Warner's Rock, near Barranjoey during the early hours of yesterday morning. Later in the day another river steamer, the Kallawatta, succeeded in dragging the Erringhi off, and towing her to the Jetty at Palm Beach. Captain Jurd, the master of the Erringhi, stated that hazy conditions prevailed when the Erringhi commenced her voyage This probably accounted for the vessel losing her course and striking the rock. The Barrenjoey lighthouse-keeper discovered the plight of the Erringhi, but in answer to a question Captain Jurd reported that the crew were in no immediate danger. The sea was calm Between 9 and 10 o'clock the Kallawatta arrived. Some of the Erringhi's cargo was jettisoned, and shortly before 8 o'clock she was towed off into deep water, and afterwards to Palm Beach. An examination revealed the fact that the damage was not extensive. The timbers of the vessel had been strained by contact with the rocks sufficient to cause a leakage. At low tide this morning an attempt will be made to effect temporary repairs, and it is hoped that the vessel will resume her voyage at 7 o'clock or shortly afterwards.
The Erringhi is a wooden vessel of 96 tons, built In 1907 at Clarence Town. Her principal dimensions are - Length, 101ft,' breadth, 21ft, and depth 7.5ft. She is owned by a syndicate, who suffered the loss of the coaster Charlotte Fenwick by fire a few weeks ago and replaced that steamer by the Erringhi. The vessel is insured with the United Insurance Company for £3589. STEAMER ERRINGHI. (1920, June 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15893744
This image depicts the Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Company's ferry SS ERRINGHI at Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River. ERRINGHI was purchased by the company in 1912, by the syndicate Captain Jurd was part of in June 1920 and traded on the Hawkesbury River up to the late 1930s. The vessel was scuttled off Sydney Heads in 1951. Image no 20579 courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum and by Samuel Hood.
DAMAGE TO ERRINGHI. An examination at Mort's Dock of the steamer Erringhi showed that about 14 feet of her keel was badly damaged, and it was decided to put in 36 feet of timber. Work on the Erringhi will probably take a fortnight to complete. DAMAGE TO ERRINGHI. (1920, June 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15894285
THE 'ERRINGHI' ON THE ROCKS. Bad luck seems to be pursuing the company which recently purchased the steamer Erringhi from the Hawkesbury River Navigation Company. Quite recently the Charlotte Fenwick was burnt to the water’s edge at Sackville, and now the Erringhi is in trouble. :The Erringhi had loaded a full cargo of maize, fruit, etc., at the various river wharves .and was passing out to sea with her engines running full speed when she ran on to Warner's Rock at Barrenjoey at 1a.m; on Friday. The lighthouse keeper(Mir. J. L. Warren) missed the vessel after she had passed through the heads, and going into the tower saw that she was high and dry . on the rocks, her propeller being several feet out of water. He immediately communicated with Captain Archie Jurd, the master of the vessel, and ascertained that she was held fast. There was no danger of her breaking up, and the lives of the crew were not imperilled. The steamer Erina later passed out of the Hawkesbury River on her way to Sydney, and stood by the Erringhi, but as her assistance was not required she went on her voyage. At 9.30a.m. the company's other steamer, Kallawatta, arrived on the scene, and preparations were made to refloat the Erringhi during high tide. Portion of the fruit cargo was jettisoned. Maize and other cargo was transhipped to the Kallawatta and the launch Enchantress. This considerably lightened the stranded vessel, and a towline was taken by the Kallawatta. Shortly after 2 p.m. the Erringhi showed signs of shifting with the tide, and half an hour later the Kallawatta pulled her off the rocks. The bottom of the Erringhi was damaged, and she was found to be leaking slightly. The Kallawatta towed the damaged vessel up the river to Palm Beach, where temporary repairs were effected and the voyage to Sydney resumed. The Erringhi is now owned by a syndicate of which Mr. A. J. Ellerker is chairman. She is 101 feet long with a 33 h.p. engine. Captain Jurd has been engaged in the river trade for upwards of 20 years. THE "ERRINGHI" ON THE ROCKS. (1920, June 18). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85877282
The steamer 'Erringhi' which' met with such an unfortunate accident on the way to Sydney some weeks back, has not yet resumed her regular trips on the river. Her absence has been a source of inconvenience to river1 folk, as the company was unable to charter a suitable steamer to run regularly in- her place, and the 'Kallawatta,' of course, hasn't the carrying capacity for the .whole of the cargo going off the river in a busy time, such as it has been lately. However, the 'Kallawatta' company, and the 'Erringhi' company (the latter with the old 'Seagull,' under charter sometimes), have done their best under the circumstances, and orchardists are disposed to accept the position philosophically and’ make the best of things. Several photos relating to the Royal visit down the Hawkesbury, appeared in a recent issue of the 'Sydney Mail.' One showed a crowd waiting on the Wiseman's Ferry wharf for a glimpse of the Prince as the 'Premier' steamed by. Another depicts an incident at Lower Portland, depicting Councillor Lowe in a rowing boat with some friends, passing a cluster of oranges up to the Royal visitor. It is said that quite a lot of fruit found its way aboard the 'Premier' in the course of the trip, and products from our orange groves must have secured a good advertisement on the occasion. The Prince did not land anywhere en route till he reached Brooklyn, but at the different centres where there was a crowd waiting- to greet him, the 'Premier'—that is the steamer, not the Premier, Jack Storey, although he was aboard — slowed down, and many folk managed to get a closer and better view of the distinguished visitor, than would have been the case in a big crush in the city. RIVER NEWS. (1920, July 23). Windsor and Richmond Gazette(NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85877143
With the advent of better roads and railways to transport goods these fine ferries ceased to be used to get the produce or fish to market in time for early morning trading. The Erringhi who ran twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Pittwater in 1912 had her services by the Erringhi reduced as the Kallawatta’s runs were increased;
HAWKESBURY RIVER (all parts) -TUESDAY and FRIDAY (PITTWATER FRIDAY ONLY) - Cargo daily S S ERRINGHI Albion Wharf Day street Telephone MA581B Advertising. (1929, November 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16599856
HAWKESBURY S.S. CO., LTD.. Tel., City 1838. S.S. KALLAWATTA, for BAYVIEW, NEWPORT, CHURCH POINT, PALM BEACH, MACKEREL BEACH. EVERY MONDAY and THURSDAY, at 6 p.m. S.S. ERRINGHI, HAWKESBURY RIVER, PATONOA, MANGROVE, M'DONALD and COLO RIVERS, EVERY TUESDAY and FRIDAY, at 5 p.m. Advertising. (1921, February 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15957554
The Steamship Kallawatta, like the Erringhi was sent to Pitwtater as an excusionist vessel when a day trip by ferry to ‘the marine township’ on official holidays was the thing to do. A little about her;
Launching of the ss. Kallawatta. Folk who had travelled miles to see Messrs. Laughton 'Brothers' handsome new screw steamer launched at Laughton dale on Thursday, June 7, were doomed to disappointment. Although everything was in readiness to launch her, it had not been observed that she had jambed between the ways or timbers on which she was to be launched, and this mishap prevented her from sliding off. The workers, however, made a practical use of the old aphorism ' try, try, again,' and eventually their labors were rewarded by seeing her launched. After working all Thursday and Friday the steamer was launched at 10.30 p.m. on Friday amidst the heartiest of cheering. She was christened by Miss Mainwaring, of Sydney. The Kallawatta is a fine steamer, 80ft long, with a beam of 20ft by 4ft, and a depth of 7ft by 9ft. She is licensed to carry 250 passengers. Her color is of a dark green, greatly improved by a white railing which runs around her deck, and a spray of flowers cleverly wrought in wood on her bow. The Kallawatta 's owners deserve great praise for the excellent way in which they have turned her out, and it is to be hoped that people will appreciate their pluck by amply patronising them. Shortly she will be towed up the river to be loaded with sleepers, and will thence proceed to Sydney, where she will be furnished with carefully selected and modern machinery. It must be mentioned that on Thursday the wives of the three Laughton Brothers provided an excellent lunch, which all apparently enjoyed by the edge of the famous river Hawkesbury. After Mr John Laughton, senr. (one of the owners) had heartily thanked the people for their attendance and help, there was a dispersion for their respective homes as the strains of the National - Anthem floated on the still evening air. Launching of the s.s. Kallawatta. (1906, June 23). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85665508
In 1926 at both the Pittwater and Hawkesbury Regattas the Erringhi was flagship:
The officials will then lay out the course and make all preparations for the arrival of the flagship of the regatta, the s.s. Erringhi. A 8 o'clock a meeting of members of the local com mittee will take place on board the Miramar.THE MOTOR BOATS. (1926, December 24). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article103439184
ERRINGHI AS FLAGSHIP By courtesy of the Hawkesbury s.s. Company, 'the steamer Erringhi has been placed at the disposal of the committee as flagship, and this company has also generously agreed to take' speed boats up at a nominal cost to participate in .the regatta. These boats should be aboard the Erringhi on December 21 at the latest. HAWKESBURY REGATTA. (1926, December 10). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85949685
EFFORTS AT CO-OPERATION. RICHMOND, FRIDAY. After their interesting inspection of the Kurrajong highlands the delegates to the fruit-growers' conference had a pleasing contrast in a river trip down the Hawkesbury to Wiseman's Ferry. Nearly 100 delegates and visitors were motored to Sackville, where, after boarding the steamer Erringhi, a two hours' panorama of alternating alluvial flat and sandstone hillside was presented. Someof the earliest soft fruit orchards in the State lie along this historic river. Members of the Hawkesbury River and Wilberforce branches of the association, who were responsible for the arrangements, pointed out property which, after the 1867 flood, had made maize-growing impossible owing to the silt, was planted out with peaches and apricots, and thus laid the foundation of an important industry. In the evening a full-dress discussion was held on co-operation, and the formation of a new company. It was explained that although a prospectus had been issued and 1089 shares had been subscribed, the executive had decided to defer matters until the conference met. Pool buying by the association had resulted in a turnover of £17,500, and this had been very profitable, but involved a possible liability on the part of the executive.
Mr. Peacock (Bathurst) said that the transfer of the pool buying to the company, in addition to case-buying up to 1,000,000 cases annually, should be encouraged, inasmuch as while it was not always advisable for an individual grower to order sufficient cases for his crop because of a possible failure, the association could average the risks of loss, and could order cases in the slack season of the year. This would mean a substantial reduction in cost, as emergency lines were largely responsible for high prices.
Mr. W. Nulty (Leeton) mentioned that citrus growers at the Leeton end of the irrigation area had pooled their crop this year, and had profited to the extent of 2/ per bushel; and they hoped to deal with part of their peach crop in a somewhat similar way. The growers at Griffith had sent a representative to New Zealand to supervise the marketing of citrus fruits. ON THE LAND. (1921, August 27). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15955535
Although the owners of the Erringhi clearly went out of their way to cultivate being 'the fruit growers vessel of choice' this did not mean free trips to Newport and other community minded investments of themselves and their vessel brought about the desired result;
Last fruit season many of our growers had heavy losses owing to the insufficiency of shipping facilities. This season no such losses should occur, for instead of a fruit glut, the river is liable to have a shipping glut. Already a large new steamer is running (with reduced freights) in opposition to the Hawkesbury Company's 'Erringhi' and 'Kallawatta', whilst two large motor launches are carrying produce from the Ferry and intermediate wharves to Hawkesbury River station. With all this rivalry the grower is in for a boom time, surely. WISEMAN'S FERRY. (1921, November 18). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85878343
This did not stop the owners of the Erringhi from providing their annual day trip to Newport though:
A RUN TO NEWPORT. TWO DAYS' TRIP. It has been the custom of Hawkesbury steamship companies for many years past to place one of their steamers at the disposal of all growers along the Hawkesbury River for a free trip to Newport. Many others who are not growers are also permitted to avail themselves of this splendid outing, and all are cordially welcomed by the directors of the company. For some years the Hawkesbury River Steam Navigation Company, who ran the steamers Hawkesbury, Erringhi, Stormbird, Woy Woy and Brooklyn, ran this trip, but the old company is no more. It has been succeeded by the Hawkesbury Steamship Company, Ltd., who purchased the Erringhi, and later bought the Kallawatta, and this company is now running these two fine cargo boats on the river. The directors of this Company placed the Erringhi at the disposal of all growers and their-friends for a trip to Newport on Friday last, returning on Saturday evening. The steamer started from Churchill's wharf, Sackville, and. was joined there by a party from Windsor. Mr. A; M. Jurd, the manager of the Company, with Captain Auland, one of the directors, with friends,came to Windsor by train on Thursday night, and they joined the steamer at Sackville. With Captain Herb. Mitchell at the wheel, the Erringhi got away at 7 o'clock on Friday morning. The morning was delightfully fresh, and the early run to the Mouth of Colo was thoroughly enjoyed. Picking up one here and one thereon the way down, the favorite old 'Guy,' as the Erringhi is called along the river, arrived at the mouth shortly after 8 a.m. Here we waited for a party of Colo people, who were driven down by Mr. Wal. Jone sin his motor lorry. Mr. Wal. Jones is also a director of the Hawkesbury Steamship Company, Ltd., and he expressed keen disappointment that so few people came from„ Colo. 'Only, for the cricket competition,' he said, 'all Colo would have been here.' This cause also prevented many people from Sackville, Lower Portland and other places along the. river from making the trip— they were engaged in the cricket matches to be played on the Saturday, and instead of there being a couple of hundred people on board. when Newport was reached, the number was just about 100. So there was plenty of room to move about on board, and as it was a happy, jovial agreeable party on board, all had a jolly time. . The Erringhi made, good time right along the trip, putting in here and there to pick up people. A halt of half an hour, was made at Brooklyn, and many of the tourists went ashore. Then on past the heads at the entrance of Broken Bay,, and Barrenjoey lighthouse, into Pittwater, and on to Newport, which was reached a little after 2 p.m. The passengers went ashore and had a good afternoon. Some strolled to the beach a mile. distant, when a few indulged in the exhilarating exercise of surfing; others visited the sites around the picturesque hamlet of Newport. At night a party of the young people took passage by motor bus to Mona Vale, some three miles distant, where they had a dance. The 'old fogies' stayed behind to ‘mind the boat.' Early on Saturday morning, while the Erringhi was laying at the Newport jetty the Hawkesbury Steamship Company's other boat the Kallawatta; put into the jetty and pushed the 'Guy' out. The Kallawatta was heavily laden with bricks and other building material, furniture, merchandise, etc., and was on her way from Sydney up the river. She discharged a lot of cargo at Newport, and then obligingly pushed the 'Guy' back to the jetty, and, amidst much banter between the respective crews, ploughed her way through Pittwater and up the Hawkesbury. The Erringhi left Newport shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday, and after another glorious trip reached Churchill's wharf shortly after 7 p.m. The Hawkesbury River and Colo River people who took the trip, accepted the magnificent scenery of the 'Australian Rhine' as a matter of course. It is said that 'familiarity breeds contempt'. They are so -familiar with everything along the river that the glorious scenery made little impression on them. But those who saw the scenery for the first time, or had only seen it once or twice, went into raptures over it, and this phased 'the natives' immensely. There is no more noble stream in the world than the Hawkesbury River, and Anthony Trollope, who had seen all the world's finest scenery, was so impressed that he called the Hawkesbury the 'Australian Rhine.' That, surely, was the highest praise that could be bestowed. At present the country all along the river is at its best, and the clean and healthy appearance of the many fine orchards tells of the thrift and industry of the owners. All who made the trip were loud in their praise of the geniality and hospitality of the directors and the crew of the Erringhi. Mr, A. M. Jurd, the manager of the company, was solicitous for the comfort and enjoyment of all. He is better known, to the river people as Captain Arline Jurd. He was for 25 years afloat on his beloved Hawkesbury River, starting as a deckhand, graduating- as a fireman, right up to the responsible position of skipper. He was for several years captain of river boats, and is now manager of the company. Captain Auland, another of the directors, also took a Land in seeing- that the passengers had a good time, and he and his companion, Mr. Baker, made much fun on board. Mr.Wal. Jones, also a director of the company, was a host in himself. He entertained many of those on board at meals from his generous hamper, and also saw that no one went thirsty. Wal. is a fine sport, and all his kindness was greatly appreciated. Just before he left the boat at Mouth of Colo a few of the tourists assembled on the lower deck and drank his health. Councillor Robert Lowe said a few words, and thanked Mr. Jones for his generous hospitality and good fellowship throughout the jolly trip. Mr. L. Stuart supplemented Cr. Lowe's remarks, and asked Mr. Jones to accept for himself and convey to his co-directors the thanks and appreciation of all the passengers for the splendid two days' outing and , all the kindness shown to them. Mr. Jones briefly responded, and said the directors were delighted to know that their guests had had a good time. Captain Herb Mitchell and his crew also saw to the comfort of the passengers. Captain Mitchell saw that those who slept on board at Newport on Friday night were made as comfortable as possible, and nothing was too much trouble for him in seeing that all had a good time. The mate of the ship, Mr. Vic. Fleming, is a very popular young man all along the river, and his careful help to all who embarked or disembarked was much appreciated, as was his kindness and attention to all on; the boat. The engineer, Mr. Eph. Kelly, the two firemen, Messrs. Winton Turnbull and Joe Connolly, and also the deck hand, Mr. Les. Angwin, vied with the skipper and his mate in making everybody happy, and were voted good fellows. The caterer, Mr. Tom Rose, and his cook 'Andy' (a very handy man when it came to preparing a meal) were also obliging in every way. 'Andy' provided a breakfast of chops and steak, and a dinner of roast beef, with boiled and baked potatoes and custard that anyone would enjoy. The meat was tender and juicy and splendidly cooked. Mr. Rose has been caterer 'on the Hawkesbury River boats for something like 30 years, and he can point out all the interesting and historic spots along the grand old river. A RUN TO NEWPORT. (1923, November 16). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85873907
The Erringhi boarding passengers, circa 1925.
The "Kallawatta" Trade is somewhat slack now that the busy fruit and melon season is over, consequently the Hawkesbury R.S. Coy. has taken the "Kallawatta" off for the time being. Doubtless she will return to the river later when the orange crop ripens. Meanwhile, the "Erringhi" is doing all the work. NEWS FROM DOWN THE RIVER. (1924, March 20).Hawkesbury Herald (Windsor, NSW : 1902 - 1945), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66364657
NEWS FROM DOWN THE RIVER "The Erringhi." For some time past the "Kallawatta" has been trading on the river in place of the "Erringhi." The latter vessel was put in dock recently and is, we understand, having her machinery overhauled. NEWS FROM DOWN THE RIVER. (1924, April 10).Hawkesbury Herald (Windsor, NSW : 1902 - 1945), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66364843
Like all vessels at sea, looking out for and after each other was part of the Erringhi's creed:
A STIFF FIGHT. Life Savers Saved. SYDNEY, Tuesday, Six members of the North Steyne life saving club, set out from their shed at six o'clock last night with the intention of taking a boat to Manly Harbour beach. Shortly afterwards a strong gale sprang up, and they were hard put to it. Luckily, the steamer Erringhi hove in sight, and the master of that vessel,: noticing the small craft, placed a line on board and towed her to Sydney.' The men were practically exhausted. A STIFF FIGHT. (1924, November 18). Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article99285414
HAWKESBURY NAVIGATION CO'S.PICNIC. The Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Co., held 'its .annual picnic to Newport on Friday and Saturday, / March 20th -and 21stand it proved to be one of the most pleasant and interesting of all the picnics held. The weather conditions .were everything to be desired and when the full , complement of passengers were aboard they, numbered over 150. The Company's steamer Erringhi was fitted up in every way for the comfort and convenience of the passengers and left. Page's Wharf at Sackville at 6.30a.m. for the 72 miles- journey to Newport on Friday morning. Captain H. Mitchell, with a crew of seven was in charge, and left no stone- unturned for the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers, and 'their geniality and good-will earned for them the praise and admiration of everyone aboard. Captains A. Jurd and Auland, with a company of friends from Sydney and Windsor joined the boat at Sackville wharf. Hot water and liquid refreshments were provided by the Directors, the passengers provisioning themselves; the trip being given free to the growers of the Hawkesbury. Captain Mitchell's genial daughter and son, together with Mr. Arthur Bickford and Harold Conklin, supplied splendid music, which, with the magnificent scenery, made the return journey one never to be 'forgotten. The majesty of the Hawkesbury, entwined with its subtle charm, ministered to the most' aesthetic or artistic tastes, and a soothing salve to the weary. Why we in Australia do not boom the marvels and grandeur in our own country within easy access of all tourists is a conundrum. The Erringhi reached Newport at 2.30 after a most enjoyable trip. The passengers enjoyed a social arranged for their benefit at Mona Vale at night, and a picked team, from the passengers played a tennis match against the Mona Vale Club and won by 15 games. The return journey began at 12.30 on Saturday, and Captain Mitchell delighted the passengers by cruising round the warships at Danger Island. The passenger list gradually decreased as the steamer wended its way home, numbers leaving for the Macdonald River, Webb's Creek and Cola The -genial captain was a happy man in the thought that the company he had piloted down and back had so fully enjoyed themselves, and Councillor R. Lowe, Mr. J. R.Lowry, and Rev. J. Scharkie voiced the ?appreciation and thanks of all the picnickers to the directors, captain and crew for the pleasant and most enjoyable trip gratuitously given by them to the growers of the Hawkesbury, and the company left the vessel delighted with their wonderful outing. The return journey was completed at 9 p.m.' HAWKESBURY NAVIGATION CO'S. PICNIC. (1925, March 27).Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85899642
The second Punt entry into the history of the Erringhi:
RIVER COLLISION DURING the weekend the steamer Erringhi collided with the Sackville ferry punt, putting it temporarily out of service. Many motorists, who arrived at the punt, had to make a long detour through Windsor to reach Wiseman's Ferry. RIVER COLLISION. (1927, October 7). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85953529
STEAMER PHOENIX. Temporary repairs having been effected, the wooden ferry steamer Phoenix, which was beached at Brooklyn on Monday owing to leakage, has been refloated. She will be brought to Sydney this morning under convoy of the Hawkesbury S.S. Co.'s steamer Erringhi. STEAMER PHOENIX. (1927, October 21). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16413262
SS Phoenix at Brooklyn.
As had already marked her career, the Erringhi continued with most unsual works that entwined with our societal shifts as well as other 'mishaps':
KURING-GAI CHASE. ROAD TO BE BUILT BY PRISON LABOUR. A start will shortly be made on the construction, with prison labour, of a roadway through the Kuring-Gai Chase. A proclamation was issued in yesterday's Government Gazette, declaring as a place of detention for the purpose of employing prisoners in the work of road-making an area of approximately 540 acres, from Waratah Bay, Cowan to the eastern side of Cowan Creek. The area will be known as the Cowan Creek Prison Camp. Last night the hulk of the destroyer Parramatta left for the Hawkesbury in tow of the steamer Erringhi. On arrival at the camp she will be anchored offshore and huts to accommodate the prisoners will be erected on the upper deck. It is not intended to house any of the prisoners below deck. The hulk of the Swan, which, with the Parramatta, was recently stripped at Cockatoo Island Dockyard, and handed over to the Department of Justice, will also be taken to the camp, for use in the same way. It will be some tune before the department is ready to commence work. The matter has been under discussion for several months. When the proposal was first made by the Kuring-Gai Chase Trust, it was pointed out that unless the roadway was constructed in that way, it would probably never be built at all. By proclaiming a prison detention area, the Government, it is pointed out, has not interfered with the right of the general public to access to that portion of the chase through which the roadway will be built. Subject to certain restrictions with regard to prison buildings, tourists will still be able to visit the resort. KURING-GAI CHASE. (1930, August 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28044150
KURING-GAI CHASE. Prisoners at Work. ON DESTROYER HULKS. JERVIS BAY SCHEME. Prisoners are now at work on the destroyer hulks at Cowan Creek, erecting accommodation for the prisoners who will be engaged in road construction work in the Kuringi-gai Chase area. Roads are to be constructed from three railway stations to the water foreshores, viz, Cowan Station to Jerusalem Bay. Berowra Station to Waratah, and Kuringai Station to Woodnuts. It is estimated that eventually 200 prisoners will be engaged in the work. The State prisons are at present congested, and the authorities are at their wits end to accommodate them. At Long Bay Penitentiary about 70 prisoners are compelled to sleep in the hospital quarters. There are also 300men there who have no occupation at all in the prison. The Minister hopes to solve this difficulty by the establishment of prison camps similar to the one at Kuringai Chase. A new camp has been established in the Oberon district, where 50 prisoners will be engaged in afforestation work. The Minister for Justice (Mr Lee) will leave Sydney for Jervis Bay at the week-end to inspect the Jervis Bay Naval College, which has been offered for lease or sale by the Commonwealth to the State. There is a possibility that the State may find use for the buildings for a public institution, such as a hospital or prison camp. However, there may be considerable local objection to the latter suggestion. KURING-GAI CHASE. (1930, August 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16679398
INTO DANGER ZONE. S.S. ERRINGHI IN TROUBLESHIP SPOILED GUN PRACTICE Declaring that he had been blinded by the searchlights, which he took to be a. display of some sort, George Doyne, master of the little steamer Erringhi, which trades between Sydney and settlements along, the Hawkesbury River, pleaded guilty in the Central Summons Court, Sydney, to a breach, of the Defence Act in coming within a prohibited area during artillery practice at the Heads. It was explained that a special night practice had been arranged, with considerable expense, but, despite notices in the Press and over the air, and the hoisting of three red lights at South Head — the signal reading, 'You must not enter port' — the Erringhi came down the coast until, just before a burst of firing was due, a launch on sentinel duty spotted her in the danger zone and sent up a Verey light, suspending the operations.A fine of £3 with £3/11/- costs, was imposed. INTO DANGER ZONE. (1932, June 24). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86051953
The steamer Erringhi has been taken off the river for the time being and the Gosford is trading in her place. RIVER NEWS. (1932, August 26). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86052161
PERILOUS TRIP IN LAUNCH SYDNEY, Saturday.— On a voyage from Brisbane to Sydney in a launch, Sydney Dalton had a perilous time. Off Palm Beach the rudder carried away, and the launch drifted helplessly for three hours. He hoisted a signal of distress, and the steamer Erringhi took the launch in tow. Near Barrenjoey Lighthouse, however, a big wave rolled the launch over, half filling it with water. Dalton jumped into the sea and grabbed the towrope He was dragged for some distance half submerged, but was eventually assisted to the deck of the steamer. PERILOUS TRIP IN LAUNCH. (1932, December 24). The Mail(Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59832750
HAWKESBURY AND GOSTORD STEAMSHIP CO FOR GOSFORD WYONG, WOY WOY TERRIGALTHE ENTRANCE and all parts of BRISBANE WATERS & GOSFORD receiving and sailing THIS DAY FOR HAWKESBURY RIVER all parts including PITTWATER-SS ERRINGHI receiving and sailing THIS DAY NEXT SAILINGS FOR GOSFORD WYONG WOYWOY TERRIGAL THE ENTRANCE and all parts of BRISBANE WATER-WEDNESDAY HAWKESBURY RIVER all parts Including PITTWATER THURSDAY Cargo received at ALBION WHARF DAY STREET (foot of Market street) MA5838 Advertising. (1936, April 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17328864
Round II with one of the three succeeding pilot vessels named 'Captain Cook':
ADRIFT AT SEA. COASTAL STEAMER ERRINGHI. Saved by Fine Seamanship. Only magnificent seamanship prevented the wreck of the coastal steamer Erringhi, when the propeller shaft broke as the small vessel was fighting her way through terrific seas towards Sydney Heads, yesterday morning. The Erringhi, with a crew of seven on board, drifted helplessly for more than half an hour. The vessel was close to land, and could have lived for only about a quarter of an hour longer, when the pilot steamer Captain Cook reached her.
The crew of the Erringhi said afterwards that they undoubtedly owed their lives to the skill and perseverance of the master of the Captain Cook (Captain Hill). The Erringhi, which trades between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River, is a vessel of 96 tons gross register, owned by the Hawkesbury S.S. Co., Ltd. Normally the vessel would have left the Hawkesbury on Saturday night for Sydney, but the seas were so rough that the master (Captain Doyne) decided to wait until yesterday morning. The vessel left the Hawkesbury soon after dawn, and a chapter of accidents began. The engineer, Mr. Charles Dunn, of Moss-street, West Ryde, had a finger badly crushed when adjusting some machinery in the tossing vessel. The crew were congratulating themselves on a good voyage in difficult weather, when the tail shaft snapped cleanly several miles from Sydney Heads. The small vessel wallowed helplessly in the heavy seas, and, driven by the strong north-easterly wind, drifted rapidly towards the shore. There was no wireless on board, but the master hoisted a signal of distress-the Union Jack upside down-and the signal was seen by the officer on duty at the South Head signal station (Mr. Charles Davidson), who sent a message to the Captain Cook by semaphore.
DREADFUL DILEMMA. The master of the Captain Cook was faced with a terrible decision. He was on his way south to a point off the cliffs, where a swimmer was fighting for his life in the surf. He decided that it was doubtful whether he could reach the swimmer in time, in any case, and that he must go to the assistance of the men on the Erringhi. Accordingly the Captain Cook steamed north at full speed. When the Captain Cook reached the Erringhi the small vessel was half a mile from the bombora at Deewhy, and drifting rapidly towards it. In such seas it was impossible to get a tow-line aboard by ordinary means, but the Captain Cook is fitted with a rocket apparatus, and, after some difficult manoeuvring, a line was thrown across the Erringhi at the first attempt, and was made fast at once.
During the tow both vessels were subjected to a considerable strain, and it was more than an hour before they reached the Heads. Just between the Heads the line broke, and the Erringhi again commenced to drift. Another line was thrown aboard, and in making it fast Joseph Lockrey, of Stone-street, Earlwood, a fireman on board the Erringhi, received injuries to his face. The Erringhi was taken into Watson's Bay without further incident, and was then picked up by a tug. Captain Doyne said afterwards that the promptness of the Captain Cook in answering his call undoubtedly prevented his vessel from drifting ashore. Captain Hill said that the north-easterly sea running outside the Heads was one of the worst he had ever seen. The waves smashing against the cliff face were shooting up 100 feet and more. ADRIFT AT SEA. (1936, May 25). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27993310
Coastal Steamer Sinks. SYDNEY, Sunday. The coastal steamer, Erringhi, of 100tons, sank in 30 feet of water at her berth, Darling Harbour, today. There was nobody on board at the time. No theory can be advanced for the sinking of the vessel, which trades between the Hawkesbury River and Sydney. Coastal Steamer Sinks. (1937, February 15). Northern Star(Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94621058
Picture:ARMY AND NAVY TEST GUNS—STEAMER SINKS AT HER MOORINGS IN HARBOUR—SHARK TRAGEDY VICTIM. (1937, February 15). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17298261
THE ERRINGHI. No Plans for Refloating. Officials of the Hawkesbury and Gosford Steamship Co. said yesterday that no plans had been discussed for the refloating of the small wooden steamer Erringhi, which sank at her moorings on Sunday. THE ERRINGHI. (1937, February 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17301805
ERRINGHI SANK AT WHARFSIDE AT 11.30 a.m.on Sunday, 14th instant, the Hawkesbury steamer Erringhi floated serenely at her berth in Darling Harbor. At 11.50 she was resting on the bottom of the harbor. A surprised Maritime Services Board patrolman found her, with only her mast, funnel, and part of the upper works showing above the water. The 96 ton vessel had sunk in less than 20 minutes. Canted, at an angle, she now lies in 20 feet of water, with even the wheelhouse flooded. There was nobody on board, as she was temporarily laid up . One theory is that the Erringhi, which had been moored at the wharf for several weeks, was caught underneath a projecting beam of the wharf at low tide. As the tide rose on Sunday morning, it is thought, she was tilted more and more until the water come over her side, flooding her. The hull was in perfect condition, the owners say. She was docked a few months ago. The Erringhi, a wooden steamer, built at Clarence Town in 1907, is owned by the Hawkesbury River Steamship Co., .Ltd. She carries cargo between Sydney and Hawkesbury River ports. ERRINGHI. (1937, February 26). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86045664
Sydney Harbour is one the busiest ports in the world and you cannot leave a vessel just laying about:
Picture to Right: The Erringhi, which sank at her moorings in Darling Harbour on Sunday, was successfully refloated yesterday. MAN, WITH WIFE AND FAMILY, WHEELS CART FROM MELBOURNE — NAVAL MANOEUVRES END — RAISING THE ERRINGHI. (1937, February 18). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17311007
HAWKESBURY and GOSTORD S S CO Albion Wharf Market street -S S GOSFORD sailing This Day for Gosford Woy Woy Wyong and all parts Brisbane Water Also S S ERRINGHI for Pittwater and all parts Hawkesbury river next sailing Tuesday 30th .Cargo till 5pm Advertising. (1937, March 24). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17354393
HAWKESBURY and GOSFORD S.S. CO., Albion Wharf, Market Street.-S.S. GOSFORD. Sailing This Day. for Gosford, Woy Woy. Wyong, and all parts Brisbane Water. Also S.S.ERRINGHI for Pittwater and all parts Hawkesbury River. Cargo till 5 p.m. MA5U38. Advertising. (1937, December 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17441081
The first general store was at Palm Beach, on the Pittwater side near the jetty, as early as 1914, and was known as Booth's store. Later it became Ellis' store, and then after the last war two returned Diggers, Mr. Fred Howlett and his partner, Gow, took it over. Their general supplies came by ship from Sydney by the Erringhi and the Kallawatta, and meat and bread came by launch from Newport. Palm Beach setting for smartest sea and sun togs. (1946, January 12). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 22. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47245736
The above 1937 advertisement is the last record we can find of the Erringhi on her Pittwater-Hawkesbury route. By 1940 she was on Syndey Harbour working as a lighter on which there is more after a little about those who brought her to our estuary;
Former River Captain Dead. AN interesting career of an esteemed former river identity, Captain Archie Jurd, is reviewed in the following comment on his death by a correspondent who was an old friend. After a long and distressing illness, the death occurred on April 2 of Archibald Macdonald Jurd, one of the most esteemed of the 'boys of the old brigade,' whose ranks, sad to say, have been greatly depleted in recent years. Scion of an old pioneering family of the St. Albans district, 'Archie' Jurd, as he was popularly called, was associated with transport problems on the Hawkesbury River for close on 40 years. As a young man, he joined the service of the old Hawkesbury Steam Navigation Coy., and advanced rapidly from one responsible position to another. At an early age he was appointed captain of the steamer 'Hawkesbury' and held the post till that fine old vessel was replaced by the ''Erringhi,' when Captain Jurd transferred to the new steamer. He also captained a number of smaller craft in his time, and at one period traded with his vessel, 'Charlotte. Fenwick,' between the river and Sydney. But, alas, the hand of time has wrought its changes, and to-day most of the river produce reaches the Sydney markets overland, per motor transport. In the - 'thirties Captain Jurd left the steamers and assumed managership of the newly formed Gosford- Hawkesbury Steamship Coy., a position he held till ill health obliged him to relinquish the job. He made his home at Epping, where a warm welcome awaited any old friends who cared to drop in for a chat and swap reminiscences of the old steamer days on the Hawkesbury. As a young man, deceased was married to Miss Grace Leet, of Leet's Vale, who survives him, together with a son, Ron, and two daughters, Mrs. Ryan and Mrs. Hunt. People of the river districts extend their sincere sympathy to Mrs. Jurd and family in their bereavement. J.C. Former River Captain Dead. (1953, April 15). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85674581
Appreciation. Within the last few weeks the Grim Reaper has claimed two well-known and highly respected residents of the Ryde district, Mr. Herbert Mitchell and Mr. Walter Tuckerman. Both were well known along the old Hawkesbury River. Mr. Mitchell was for many years the 'skipper' of the S.S. Erringhi when all river produce was taken by water to the metropolis. Those good old days have, unfortunately, gone, but the name of Herbert Mitchell will always be remembered by a host of river residents as a good friend and a most obliging and courteous gentleman, and one, who was never too busy to lend a helping hand or speak a kindly word when needed,, always with that cheerful spirit so characteristic of the man he was. No doubt 'old hands' from Lower Portland to Lower Hawkesbury will of times recall many happy memories of those friendly annual picnic excursions to Mona Vale and Newport . that were organized and carried through so successfully by him who we now mourn. At those times he never spared himself in attention to the needs and comfort of passengers under his charge. Herb Mitchell has passed to the quiet Harbour of the Port beyond our ken. The stormy seas of life are' left behind, and we all know for sure our old friend has anchored in that Haven of Rest and with him 'all is well.' Just a short month following the above sad even$ another grand old identity of the Hawkesbury has passed in the wake of his brother in-law, and Walter Tuckerman has entered that Land of 'Peace from which no traveller returns, but whose memory will always be cherished and his kindly nature will never be forgotten by the many friends he has left behind. 'Wal,' as he was affectionately known, was a true native of the old river, and lived for years in the Wiseman's Ferry district. In bygone years he was an enthusiastic sportsman, a keen cricketer and a lover of good horses. He was a splendid neighbour, and no committee for the advancement of the district in which he lived was ever complete without his name appearing on the list. He was noted for his dry wit, and had a boundless fund of humorous stories connected with the past days of the Hawkesbury, many of these being actual experiences. When in the mood, which was very often, he could entertain an audience for hours. He was never known to speak ill of any person, and perhaps this accounted for his wide popularity. He was a good judge of human character and helped many a man to solve the little difficulties that often arose among neighbours. He lived only in the moral and bright side, loving only the sunshine and eschewing the gloomy clouds of life. Both these old friends were Christian gentlemen in the truest sense of the term. They each believed in and practised a wise philosophy that we are born into this world to make it better and happier and in proportion as we do this we make ourselves both. The memory of such men must help the dear ones left behind as they pass through the shadows of irreparable loss. May we all be as fully prepared when we reach 'the Gate at the Journey's end,' is the earnest prayer, of one who was privileged to be a friend of each. — R.T. Appreciation. (1948, June 23). Windsor and Richmond Gazette(NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85661098
The Erringhi duties as a lighter (barge) on Sydney Harbour past her last recorded route on the Pittwater/Hawkesbury come from the Letters page of December 2006 Afloat magazine:
My uncle, Eric Seaman, a World War I veteran, was skipper of the 1940s SS Erringhi in its work as a lighter around Sydney Harbour, and he often took me with him. A regular run was up the Parramatta River. The first obstacle was the old Gladesville Bridge. To save interrupting tram and motor traffic the ship had a hinged funnel with balanced counterweights. The half funnel was lowered, as was the fore derrick into a cradle alongside the wheelhouse. Once past the bridge the funnel and derrick were restored. The first stop up the river was at Cooper & Nephews at Concord. Here drums of chemicals were loaded. Next stop was Meggits at Gladesville where bags of sheep nuts (linseed meal) were taken on. The final call was to Lysaghts at Chiswick where a punt (barge) of wire coils was attached for towing. Then back to Erskine Street.
Another frequent run was to Manly Gasworks to drop off empty punts and bring the coke ones back. A similar visit was made to North Shore Gas Co. A great excitement was a trip to Kirribilli dolphins where the Queen Elizabeth was moored. A welding plant had to be delivered to it. As it was a troop carrier all the glorious fittings were gone.
Life on the harbour had its moments. One Saturday morning Erringhi was moored at the end of Huddart Parker’s wharf when a 12,000 ton cargo ship commenced turning without tugs. There was an officer on the bow with a phone hook-up to the bridge. Slowly the bow of the ship swung towards us and actually crunched Erringhi against the jetty. Fortunately no serious damage was done and we didn’t have to swim for it. An unusual activity was the making of an Aussie movie (forgotten the name but I saw it at the Astra Theatre, Drummoyne). To make it look the part, special timber superstructures were attached. Towards the end the aft derrick and winch were removed and the aft hold was converted to a crew change room. (Progress?). Another unusual trip was an annual one to Coogee beach. This was to lift the shark proof net for repairs etc. Now Erringhi rests on the bottom of the sea 12 miles east of Sydney Heads. Father Barnabas Brown, Franciscan Friars Star of the Sea, Waverley.
The Australian National Maritime Museum records she was scuttled off Sydney Heads in her long work years over. The Federal Government’s Document ‘Sea Dumping in Australia – Histoirical and Contemporary Aspects’ records:
ERRINGHI W lighter ex ss, 96 g, 55 n, ON113153, 101.0x 21.0x 7.5, B.1907 Clarence Town, NSW stm eng 32 nhp. Last owner Mackenzie & Petersen Ltd, reg. Sydney. Scuttled Jan 13, 1951 off Sydney Heads.
Retrieved from: http://www.hydro.gov.au/n2m/dumping/cwa/seadumping.pdf
Erringhi threads collected by A J Guesdon, 2013.