February 16 - 22, 2020: Issue 438


Narrabeen Fire Brigade Celebrates 100th anniversary + A few Extra insights into local fires and brigade formations

Fire and Rescue NSW  photo, February 12, 2020.

On February 3rd 1920 Narrabeen Fire Brigade's first station was officially opened. The Brigade was appointed from February 1st but it wasn't until 3rd that the station officially became operational. The original station was a temporary portable premises on Devitt Street, a timber garage which cost £100 to build and was officially opened on January 27, 1920. The brigade would occupy this site until their new station opened in 1931.

On Wednesday this week, February 12th 2020, James Griffin MP, Member for Manly represented the Government and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, The Hon. David Elliot MP, to pay respects and commemorate the occasion. Mayor Michael Regan also attended the festivities, which included unveiling a plaque to mark the Brigades service.

Mr. Griffin thanked Fire and Rescue NSW Station 068 Narrabeen for their recent service in the firestorms that went through the South Coast of New South Wales.

Most recently the Brigade was part of the whole of services response to the storms in our area over last weekend. 

A message from the Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell 

Fire and Rescue NSW, February 10, 2020:

A huge thank you to all our staff for a massive effort during this weekends wild weather. On Sunday we responded to more than 5000 incidents, making it our busiest day on record ever. To put this into perspective this is double some of our busiest bushfire days this season.

We took more than 16,000 triple zero calls over the weekend, attended more than 200 fires, more than 100 rescues, almost 400 storm related incidents and over 60 HAZMAT incidents.

This was an incredible effort by all our staff on the ground, in our communications centres and all other support staff.

Some photos from Wednesday: 

Fire and Rescue NSW Station 068 Narrabeen, welcomed Firefighters past and present all joined together to celebrate the stations long standing service to the community. The Museum of Fire's Heritage team were also in Narrabeen this week to celebrate the centenary of Narrabeen Fire Brigade. To commemorate the occasion the museum's heritage team have produced this colour book, which has that original shed on its cover:

Historical insights into the formation of the Narrabeen Fire Brigade and other fires and Brigades in our area, show the frequency of fires in a rural-holiday landscape predominated by structures built from timber. This first 'crew' was a volunteer Fire Brigade, staffed by six men including the Captain. [1] The Brigade was initially a part of the Narrabeen Fire District, but on November 1st 1923 it was incorporated into the Sydney Fire District. That first Station was situated in a “Sexton Simplex building" on the corner of Ocean and Devitt Street, Narrabeen.

Volunteer Brigade's First Job

A volunteer fire brigade was formally Inaugurated last week at Narrabeen, and early this morning the members had their first job, at the garage of Mrs. Mary Hyde in Pittwater road.
About half-past 3 Mrs. Hyde was awakened by the smell of smoke and looking out saw flames coming from the garage. She ran out and rang the fire bell, and in a few minutes the new firemen were on the scene.
A motor car and three motor 'buses were in the garage. these were severely damaged before they were run into  the road, and the flames extinguished. The garage and residence were slightly damaged.
The residence  and cars were insured in the Atlas Insurance company for £900 each and the garage for £170. FIRE AT NARRABEEN (1920, February 16). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115873678

Mary Hyde had earlier been convicted of selling 'sly grog' in Narrabeen:

"Insulting" Thirsty Men
After a hearing occupying, two days, Mr. Love, S.M. yesterday afternoon imposed a find of £100 on. Mary Hyde, of-Narrabeen, for selling liquor without a license, this being her second offence.
Inspector Carson asked one of the witnesses, if he belonged to the "thirsty circle" at Narrabeen, and after deep thought the witness replied that he did not think so. Going on with his evidence the witness said that after the local hotel closed he and the informer went to Mrs. Hyde's, where the informer said he could get half a dozen of beer. Inspector Carson: Well, what happened? Witness: Mrs. Hyde insulted us. She said she had plenty of 'teetotal stuff. Then she told us to clear out, and I was frightened and left. SLY-GROG AT NARRABEEN (1916, December 6). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 4 (FINAL RACING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223373712

Prior to the establishment of a Fire brigade at Narrabeen the hotel commenced by Robert Norris, and then overseen by Charlotte Boutin from 1901, of the Rock Lily at Mona Vale, burnt to the ground:

Shortly before 5 o'clock yesterday morning the Narrabeen Hotel, at Narrabeen, which is a few miles from Manly, was discovered to be on fire, and before the flames could be checked the building, which contained 20 rooms, was entirely destroyed. Madame Boutin, the licensee, and the barman, named BATTISTELLA, each heard a crackling noise, as if the ceiling was falling. They rushed from their rooms to the back of the premises, and cried out, "Fire!" Battistella awoke the cook and other inmates, and they had just time to escape in their night attire. Fortunately there were no boarders in hotel at the time. A valuable dog was, however, burnt, and Mme. Boutin's birds were rescued from the front verandah under difficulties. 

The fire, which had broken out in the front portion of the hotel, burnt with great rapidity, and within an hour there was nothing left but smouldering ruins. As soon as the fire was discovered Mr. Donald M'Lonn, at the local post-office, telephoned to the Manly fire brigade, but as Narrabeen is outside the municipality of Manly the Manly brigade replied that the scene was outside their jurisdiction. Consequently no brigade was present, and the neighbours were left to do the best they could. The hotel-a large cottage-was the property of Mme. Boutin, and was insured in the Australian Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 800 pounds. FIRE AT NARRABEEN. (1907, April 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14836988

Narrabeen Hotel, licensee Robert Norris, [before 1900] from Album Box 14: Royal Australian Historical Society : photonegatives, ca. 1900-1925, Item: c16401_0051_c courtesy State Library of NSW

Narrabeen Lakes Estate, 1906 / Arthur Rickard & Co. Ltd Auctioneers.  1906. MAP Folder 114, LFSP 1695 (Copy 1). Part 2. (sales brochure) Image No.: 22704748, courtesy National Library of Australia.

Charlotte rebuilt:

The Metropolitan Licensing Bench sat yesterday (.Messrs. Smlthers, Macfarlane, and Donaldson), and adjudicated In the following business as under:...
Charlotte Soutin, of Narrabeen, applied for leave to carry on the bar business In a building put up temporary. The hotel had been recently burned down and the proposed bar for temporary service was 12 x 14ft. It was explained that this was quite large enough for all requirements until the building could be rebuilt.Mir. Donaldson, S.M., did not consider it to be sufficient, and put some queries to the applicant as to the rental of a house in the vicinity. She explained that she lived In a cottage at the rear, but considered It preferable to sell In temporary premises. The application was adjourned for a fort-night. METROPOLITAN LICENSING COURT (1907, May 3). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229521824

1907 plans by Charles Jakin- signed off 10.5.1907.  Courtesy State Library of NSW.

In 1911 Charlotte transferred the licence to a man named Bacon, one of those whom added his name to her second last In Memorium to Battistella almost twenty years later. Charlotte was advertising a Green African Parrot next to the Narrabeen Hotel in 1920 but soon after George’s death she began buying other Hotel licenses closer to town; The Imperial in Alfred Street North Sydney and the Flagstaff in Princes Street, The Rocks in 1923 and 1924. One of these changed license hands less then six months later.

The Narrabeen hotel fire wasn't the only property Charlotte lost at Narrabeen:

Fire at Narrabeen
A six-roomed weatherboard cottage in Lagoon-street, Narrabeen. was destroyed by fire last night. The origin of the outbreak is unknown. The cottage was owned by Madam Bouten, and occupied by Mrs. Elliott. Fire at Narrabeen (1924, June 15). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128140930

Charlotte wasn't the only one to lose property prior to a local fire brigade being formed - Bottles Buses also lost property:

NARRABEEN FIRE. Motor Garage Burnt.
A fire at Narrabeen in the early morning resulted in a motorgarage, with its contents—two motor buses and three cars—being totally, destroyed. The damage is.estimated at £3500. NARRABEEN FIRE. (1917, April 28). The Armidale Chronicle (NSW : 1894 - 1929), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article191884313

By late 1918 the then Warringah Shire Council moved to bring the area some respite from not having a trained response - although, as seen above, it took another 14 months for one to be established:

Narrabeen Wants Fire Station
Narrabeen people desire to come under the fie Brigades Act and the first step to accomplishing their desire has been taken in the Warringah Shire Council by Councillor E. N. Atkin, who moved that application be made to the Fire Brigades Board to have the Narrabeen district brought under the operations of the fire Brigades Act. Councillor Thew seconded the motion, which was carried. Narrabeen Wants Fire Station. (1918, November 7). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114263797

Pittwater similarly suffered due to fires in structures prior to local Rural Fire Brigades and community Fire Brigades being formed with some significant landscape 'marker' structures disappearing. At Mona Vale on January 8th 1912 the building known as Brock's Mansion was burned;

BIG BLAZE AT MONA VALE. beautiful landmark destroyed.
Damage estimated at £12,000. 
No fire- fighting appliances available.

"La Corniche," a mansion at Mona Vale, which occupied a commanding position on the road between Manly and Newport, was destroyed by fire early this morning. Flames were discovered at 10 minutes to 1. At half-past 2 only portions of the walls, and they rickety, were standing.

The building was palatial In Its dimensions and appointments, and contained in all 38 rooms, 28 of which were bedrooms. It was originally designed for The Oaks Polo Club, and was built by Mr. G. S. Brock at a cost which has been set down at £32,000Before the building was completed, however, it was acquired by Mr. Arthur Rickard, who brought It up to date and then let It to M. and Mme. Rainaud, at one time chef to Sir Harry Rawson. Instead of being used as a polo club it became a fashionable boarding-house, and on account of its situation and its surroundings, including surfing and golf, it became exceedingly popular. There were 30 boarders in the place at the time of the fire. 

The fire started in the large dining hall, and was discovered before it had a very strong hold of the room, but not in time to be beaten out. There was a hue and cry raised throughout the building, and boarders were running to and fro to ascertain the extent of, their danger and the possibilities of saving their effects. The flames spread with great rapidity, but happily not In the direction of the staircase, and many of the people were, therefore, able to dash about and get their property outside. 

Those on the second and third floors, however, did not take the risk which running up and down the stairs involved, and threw most of their belongings out of the windows. In ten minutes the flames -had begun to light up the hills on either side, and to throw long reflections out to sea. The boarders were all out of the building by this time, and the menfolk were assisting the staff (numbering 20) to remove the furniture. They continued in this until the flames drove them back, and were successful in getting out a piano and other big stuff. But what was saved was a mere fraction of what was lost. 

All that the people could do was to stand by and watch. There was water— the sea could be heard roaring in to shore all the time — but there was no means of pumping it into the building. No fire-fighting appliances which would avail anything were kept on the premises, there is no depot in the vicinity, and though a boarder motored to Manly post haste and reported the blaze the firemen did not go out, because they could have done nothing if they had. 

There were very few incidents in connection with the fire. Everybody was got out expeditiously, and though there were several cases where ladles fainted they were never in danger. Even the pets of the house were saved, though one had a narrow escape. It was a little white pussy, and it mewed and mewed pitifully on the window sill of a room from which smoke was already issuing. One of the girls attached to the staff saw its plight and darted into the building and out again with her charge in a few seconds. 

Mr. Scott Fell, who has a house in the grounds of La Corniche, provided accommodation for the boarders for the rest of the night. As bad as the consequences were they might have been worse. If the blaze, for instance, had started nearer to tho stairway than it did, it is quite possible that the escape of the boarders would have been cut off, and the only exit would have been through the windows, a course . of action which would practically have endangered limbs if not life. Then, again, the wind was blowing out to sea. Had it blown from the sea, it is not unlikely that two cottages and the Casino, nearer the roadway, would have gone, while the motor garage, where four motor-cars were kept, would almost certainly have been gutted. 

The most remarkable circumstance in connection with the fire was associated with the telephone. When the blaze was found to be so serious Mr. A. Davis tore the 'phone from the wall and carried it outside. Later in the morning an electrician fitted it up on to the fence— the only piece of the fence which escaped tho flames— and a trial showed that though the wires had been through the heat of the flames, the 'phone was still in order, and the Manly exchange could be distinctly heard. The boarders relished the good fortune, because it enabled them to send reassuring messages to their friends. 

Mr. Rickard stated this morning that the building and furniture was insured in the New Zealand Insurance Co. for £6000, and that he was therefore a fairly heavy loser, seeing that his estimate of the value of the building was £10,000. The furniture  was valued at £2000. Mrs. Mueller (wife of Dr. Mueller, of Macquarie-street), Messrs. Harvey, A-. Davis Earle Hermann, Toohey, L. A. and R. V. Minnett, Lotrois, and others of the boarders, were also sufferers by the fire.  Mr. Rainaud lost silver, linen, &c., to the value of £250, which was uninsured. 

The origin of the fire cannot he determined, but It is believed that It was caused by a lighted match or cigar butt carelessly thrown on to the carpet in the dining-room. Mrs. Rainaud heard a noise in the dining-room, which she attributed to burglars, and on getting out of bed found the place ablaze.

Mona Vale Hydro, the scene of a disastrous fire which occurred in the early hours of this morning. BROCK'S MANSION BURNED. (1912, January 8). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222004219

Ruins of "Brock's Mansions," at Mona Vale, destroyed by fire on Monday morning. The fate of the handsome pile of buildings is a grim finale to the financial tragedy that overtook the plucky builder, Mr. G. S . Brock, in its erection. No title (1912, January 10 - Wednesday). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 1 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222002216


A disastrous fire, which happily did not result, as might easily have been the case, in loss of life, took place at an early hour yesterday morning. It occurred in a large boarding establishment at Mona Vale, Newport, known formerly as "Brock's Mansion," and latterly as "La Corniche," which was completely destroyed. The property is that of Mr. Arthur Rickard.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown, but at about 5 minutes to 1 a.m. some of the occupants of the house were aroused to a sense of danger by a strong smell of smoke. On Investigation the fire was located In the dining-room, and it was at once seen that any efforts to check the flames would be hopeless, and the Inmates were simply got out of the house as quickly as possible. Fortunately there were no signs of panic, and In a few minutes everybody was safely outside-watching the flames eating up the large building with a blaze that Illuminated the landscape for a considerable distance.

Owing to the inaccessibility of the locality no fire-engines, or, indeed, means of any water for fighting the fire, were available, and soon the whole building was reduced to ruins. The place, which Is said to have cost Its builder £30,000, was Insured for £6000 In the New Zealand Insurance Company; but the loss to the present owner Is estimated at about £10,000. Something like £250 worth of books, silver, and linen was not insured at all, and was totally destroyed. The building, which was a large one, contained 37 rooms. There were about 30 boarders in the house when the outbreak occurred.

A rather pathetic history attaches to the now smouldering building. Some years ago Mr. Brock, of Enmore, a gentleman with an enterprising idea, was so struck by the beauty and natural advantages of Mona Vale district that he originated a plan to establish and conduct an elaborate tourist home and sanatorium there, similar to Medlow Bath. Mr.Brock approached the Government of the day and laid his scheme before the Minister having charge of the railway and tramway construction branch, with a view to securing tramway communication to the spot. The scheme appeared so genuine and sound that Mr. Brock was given the assurance that, if the work was commenced, the tramway would be considered. He then set to work and laid out the grounds, and brought along his building material, establishing brickworks and a saw mill.

The tramway proposal from Manly was also favourably considered, and surveyors were sent to Manly. £30,000 was spent on the building by Mr. Brock. It assumed gigantic proportions, and when nearing completion formed one of the principal landmarks along the coast. The grounds were laid out to perfection, and included a racecourse, golf-links, and polo grounds. A fine surf-bathing beach also formed part of the establishment.

The tram meanwhile was constructed only as far as North Manly, a distance of one mile. The Minister for Works, Mr. E. W. O'Sullivan, who had worked hard for the extension, left office. The non-completion of the tramway was disastrous to Mr. Brock, as the financial success of the enterprise depended largely on tramway facilities being given to the sanatorium. The premises soon changed hands, Mr. Brock being a heavy loser.

Recently the greater part of the property was put up for auction sale by Mr. Arthur Rickard and sold at a good figure. The name of the building was changed to "La Corniche," and was utilised as a boarding establishment by the proprietor, who has now sustained a great loss by the fire.

MANSION DESTROYED. (1912, January 9). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved, from  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15301090

At Bayview:

Waking up late last night and finding their two-storey residence 'in flames, Thomas Edward Newey, postmaster of Bayview, and his wife were compelled to jump through a window of their bedroom, on the second floor, to a tank below.
The cause of the outbreak is unknown. The building was the property of Mrs. K. M. Roche, Mosman, and was of six rooms, and insured for £600. Mr. Newey conducted a general store and the Bayview post-office on the premises.The store was locked up about 8.30 last night, and Mr. Newey and his wife went to bed shortly afterwards. At 11 p.m. they were awakened by the crackling of burning wood. Finding that the fire had reached their bedroom door they took the only chance of escape— through the window. Fortunately the drop was only a few feet. Neighbors turned out, but were unable to do anything to subdue the flames. The district is outside the Manly and Narrabeen lire area, and residents had to stand and see the building burn to the ground. JUMP FOR LIFE (1923, April 10). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 8 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223450981 

Sydney, Tuesday.
Thomas Edward Newey and his wife, occupiers of the post office, which includes a dwelling and refreshment store at Bayview, near Pittwater, had a thrilling experience last night when the building was burnt to, the ground. They escaped in their night clothes by descending the downpipe and dropping on to a water tank.
Mr. and Mrs. Newey were awakened shortly after 11 p.m. by the crackling of the flames. Newey found that it would be impossible to descend the stairs which were a mass of flames, the weatherboard construction of the building providing excellent fuel for the flames. The only way of leaving was through the window at the side of which a downpipe led from the guttering round the roof to the tank below. Newey and his wife climbed through the window and after a difficult descent, managed; to land safely on the tank from which it was comparatively easy to jump to the ground.
The building was consumed in a very short time. There is no fire brigade in the district, and it was impossible to do anything to save the place. MAN & WIFE IN BURNING BUILDING (1923, April 10). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45602879

SYDNEY, Tuesday. FIRE AT BAYVIEW Residence Gutted 
The two-storied residence of Mr Thomas Newey, Postmaster, of Bayview was totally destroyed by fire late last night. Mr. Newey and his Wife were awakened just in time and in order to save their lives were compelled to jump through a window of their bedroom o the second floor to, a tank below. The district is outside the Manly and Narrabeen fire area, and residents had to stand and see the building burned to the ground. THE LATEST (1923, April 10). Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW : 1881 - 1940), p. 2 (EVENING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article102879305 

Tom and Annie Newey (on the balcony) of the Bayview Tea Rooms - 1920 - Visit: The Bayview Tea Gardens  When Run By Thomas Edward And Annie Newey (Nee Costello)

Readers may wonder why it took so long for a local Fire Brigade to be available for residents – the fire at Brock’s Mansion, later La Corniche when the Rainauds moved there, and the Roche original farmhouse/Post Office fire at Bayview must have underlined something more immediate was required – especially in view of this small article:

Interstate Fire Brigades Conference - Banquet at Bayview.

The Conference. which assembled in Sydney on May 14 was brought to a conclusion on May 19. The delegates who attended the Conference were:- Fire Brigades Board, Sydney: Messrs. Charles Bown (chairman), G. Howard Pope, H. F. Francis, E. Lindsay-Thompson, Z. Collis Barry (secretary), Alfred Webb (Superintendent of Fire Brigades), Captain E. J. Love (vice-chairman). Fire Brigades Board, Melbourne: Messrs. J. G. Aikman, M.L.C. (President), C. E. Jarrett, S. Mauger, M.P., W. Davidson, W. F. Allan. T. Sanders, D. J. Stien (chief officer), F .J. Gomm (secretary), Lieutenant-Colonel J. Ballenger, Sir H. de C. Kellett. Country Fire Brigades Board, Victoria: Captain J. Lynch (president), Mr. T. S. Marshall (chief officer). Fire Brigades Board, South Australia: Messrs. P. Heath (chairman), W. D. Ponder, M.P., W. A. Coombs, A. A. Hooker (Superintendent of Fire Brigades). Fire Brigades Board, West Australia: Messrs. Harry Brown, M.L, A. (chairman), J. M. Lapsley (superintendent). Fire Brigades Board, Brisbane, and Fire Brigades Board, South Brisbane: Mr. J. E. Hinton (superintendent). Fire Brigades Board, Hobart, Tasmania: Mr. E. P. Maher (superintendent). Fire Brigades Board, Launceston, Tasmania, Messrs. R. Bennell (superintendent), Keith Ritchie (secretary). Fire Brigades Board, Broken Hill, N.S.W. Mr. J. M. Lambourne (superintendent). Interstate Fire Brigades Conference-Banquet at Bayview. (1906, May 23).Australian Town and Country Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 36. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71530695 

A conference of representatives of the Fire Brigades of the Commonwealth States was commenced in the Headquarters Fire Station, Sydney, on Monday. Prior to the conference the delegates were officially welcomed at the Town-hall by Ald. Allen Taylor, Lord Mayor, who said that prior to 1891 the protection of Sydney against fire was undertaken by the insurance companies, but that year an Act of Parliament had been passed, which transferred the work to the control of a Fire Brigades Board. The population of Sydney and suburbs in 1889 was about 300,000, and at the end of 1905 it was estimated at 529,000. The area under the board's control was 211 square miles, and although the board was doing all in its power to provide fire appliances, there were still many places still requiring protection. At present there were 16 stations, occupied by 188 members of the permanent staff, 22 stations occupied by 190 partially-paid volunteers, 15 steam fire engines, one petrol motor pumping engine, five combined hose carriages .and chemical engines, 24 manual fire engines, 8 hose carriages, 14 hose reels. 18 ladders from 45ft. to 80ft. long, and 101 horses. The value of the repairing work done in the brigade workshops during 1905 was estimated at £2951; the estimated value of land, buildings and plant, under the core of the board, on December 31, 1905, was Xl 50,000 : the assessed annual rateable value of the property in February, 1905, was £5,492,281 : the insured property within the area on December 31, 1905, was £78,108.74 9  and the estimated expenditure of the board for 1900 was £41,100.
Mr. Charles Bown, chairman of the Fire Brigades' Board, said he would like to see the Sydney fire fighters' strength increased. He did not think that the city had had its real big fire yet, and it would do well to be prepared for the day when it came. There should be a stronger force than there I was at present.
Mr. J. C. Aikman. M. L.C, chairman of the Melbourne Fire Brigades' Board, made a point of urging that the Federal Government should abolish telephone charges to brigades. FIRE BRIGADES' CONFERENCE. (1906, May 19). Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889 - 1915), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61453540 

At yesterday's concluding sitting of the Inter-State Congress of Fire Brigades (Mr. Bown presiding), the following resolutions were carried : — Proposed by Mr. Manger, M.H.R. (for Captain Love) and seconded by Mr Heath : 'That a committee, consisting of the chief officers of the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane Brigades with Messrs. Ackman, Lynch, Mauger and Francis, be appointed to collect evidence and data, and prepare a scheme of firemen's assurance and pensions, and to submit same to the next Conference, four to form a quorum.' Proposed by Mr. E. Lindsay-Thompson and seconded by Mr. H. Brown, M.L.A. (W.A.) : 'That in view of the protection afforded by fire brigades to the lives of the people and to the property of the Federal Government, from which a contribution towards maintaining fire brigades is paid, in the opinion of this conference the Commonwealth might reasonably, in lieu of such contribution, and as some small return for the service rendered, maintain without charge all fire brigade telephone lines, telephones, and fire alarms, and that the foregoing resolution be forwarded to the Postmaster General. And in order to demonstrate the value of such fire brigade service an approximate estimate of the value of property held by the Federal Government in each of the States be prepared by the respective boards, and be presented to the Federal Government by Mr. S. Mauger, M.P., with the request that the foregoing resolution be given effect to, or a sum equivalent to the cost of the telephone service be placed upon the Estimates for a pro rata distribution to the Fire Brigades' Boards of the various States.' After papers had been read by Captain Lynch (Country Fire Brigades Board, Vic.), and Mr. A. Webb (Superintendent of Fire Brigades, Sydney), various courtesy resolutions were passed and the president thanked the delegates for their attendance. FIRE BRIGADES' CONFERENCE. (1906, May 20). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article126564139 

At Church Point:

DISASTROUS FIRE. At Church Point. BUILDINGS AND BOATS DESTROYED. A fire which broke out last night at Church Point caused extensive damage, the general store and post-office, tea-rooms, and garage, as well as a launch and several rowing boats, being destroyed. The residents of the well-known pleasure resort were unable to combat the flames, as no water supply was available.

The fire, it is stated, broke out first in Mr. H. Jensen's general store, a large wooden structure. The flames quickly devoured that building and spread to the adjoining tea-rooms. They razed this building to the ground, and enveloped a large motor garage, containing two or three cars. A motor launch, which was lying on slips at the rear of the garage, and several skiffs, which wore tied up beneath It, also caught fire. The garage and Its contents were destroyed.

Mr. Jensen, the manager of the store, tea-rooms, and garage, was spending the evening with his family at a picture theatre in Collaroy. He was not aware of the fire until he returned home at a late hour to find the buildings In a state of ruin. Mr. Jenson Is also In charge of the post-office at Church Point.

The buildings were owned by Mr. H. J. Fitzpatrick, of Lennox-street, Mosman, and were leased by him to Mr. Jensen. The boats were the property of Mr. Jensen. One of the motor cars was owned by the local mailman. The fire was discovered in peculiar circumstances. A resident of Newport, on the opposite side of the bay, noticed a brilliant glare In the direction of Church Point, and he communicated with the Mona Vale Telephone Exchange, and Inquired if any fire had been reported from that vicinity. The telephone operator got Into communication with a resident at Church Point, and this man discovered the fire. It is believed that the damage will amount to several thousands of pounds. DISASTROUS FIRE. (1928, November 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16511092

His efforts to rebuild were delayed by a Timber Workers strike. Both The Post Office Master General and Warringah Council made several inquires during 1929 as to when this would occur, and although he had contractors to rebuild, at a cost of £2000, and furnished a drawing, Charles Frederick Wymark, filled the gap as Post Master. 

IT is notified in Government Gazette of 28th December, 1928, that application has been made by Herbert James Fitzpatrick for an extension of term of his Special Leases 1924/23 and 1925/7, Land District Metropolitan, for Store, Garage, Boatshed, and Refreshment Room at Church Point, Pittwater. Objections must be lodged at the Land Board Office, Lands Department, Sydney, up to 28th January, 1929. H.H.MATHEWS, Metropolitan District Surveyor, 24th December 1928. Advertising. (1929, January 2). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16520681 

Records indicate that Mr. Fitzpatrick moved his family to a rural setting at this time, for work, and also for health reasons. Although he continued to have large holdings in Pittwater, particularly in the nooks he  loved so much, Church Point, Elvina Bay and Scotland Island, it is Charles Wymark, only son of the wonderful Frederick Wymark, who seems to have moved into Church Point in a big way.

Geoffrey Myers. Church Point [Boatshed, Pittwater, NSW] 1945Watercolour, titled, dated “10.11.45” and signed lower left to right, 26.7 x 36.7cm. Slight tears to right edge.  Item #CL183-125 Price (AUD): $880.00   from: https://www.joseflebovicgallery.com/pages/books/CL183-125/geoffrey-myers/church-point-boatshed-pittwater-nsw 

Another in the Bayview-Church Point area soon afterwards, and during Summer, points out the facts the Narrabeen Brigade members faced:


Mr H Alec Brown Pitt street has written to the Editor complaining of what he describes as the callousness of the Narrabeen Fire Brigade in not attending a fire which occurred at Church Point Pittwater on Friday. The fire destroyed the residence of Dr Du Maurier of Macquarie street and when the brigade was called it was stated an officer first demanded a guarantee because the fire was beyond the specified area. Dr Du Maurier gave the necessary guarantee over the telephone. Fully 20 minutes afterwards Mr Brown writes the brigade rang again to ask whether the man who had given the guarantee had the right to do so. The doctor again came to the telephone and told them that they might as well stop at home as the house had gone.

The chief officer of the New South Wales Fire Biigadcs (Mr T P H Nance) said yesterday that the question of a guarantee always arose when a fire occurred outside a reticulated fire area but where there was a chance of saving property a brigade did not hesitate to respond to a call from beyond that area. In the present case there would have been no opportunity to save the house which was a weatherboard building. It was situated seven miles from the Narrabeen station five miles beyond the area boundary and the fastest of the motors equipped with a heavy pump could not have reached the spot before the fire was beyond control.

All experts agreed that weather board houses, irrespective of their size, were destroyed by fire in 20 minutes. The time occupied in traversing the seven miles by the Narrabeen motor would nave been 21 minutes so by the time the brigade arrived there would have been nothing for the fire-men to do. A further point was that there was no water supply at the site of the fire. This was the first thing that the brigade officer determined when the call was received. On account of the low tide it would have been impracticable to pump seawater to the fire. No water whatever was available so the brigade could have done nothing. PITTWATER FIRE. (1932, February 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28034625

The Summer of 1931/1932 had already brought fires with just a few weeks prior to the above loss:

Towns Saved From Bushfires
Sydney yesterday was almost encircled by bush and grass fires which swept over many hundreds of acres of land. Fire Headquarters received 53 calls, and firemen from practically every suburban station fought the flames, which in some cases went dangerously close to property. Fire-fighters from Headquarters turned out on 13 occasions to calls which proved to be false alarms. The heat was responsible for setting automatic fire-alarms in operation. The first call to a bush fire in the metropolitan area was received at 11 a.m., and from then on switch operators at Headquarters were kept busy. At one stage twelve brigades were out at the one time, and it was not until about 8 p.m. that firemen got any rest. Houses Saved Perhaps the most dangerous blaze of the dav broke out on scrub land oil Lambeth Street, Bankstown Over 30 acres were swept, and the flames advanced to within 30 yards of a row of cottages. Fire breaks saved the homes. Just when they had beaten out the fire, the Bankstown brigade was called to a three-hours' fight off River Road, East Hills, where 70 acres- were burned. Other big fires occurred at Narra-been (which was covered by a pall of smoke for most of the day), Eastwood. Hunter's Hill. Lane Cove, Cronulla, Manly, and Drummoyne. 
Towns Saved From Bushfires (1932, January 23). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246548803

Even after the Narrabeen Fire Brigade was formed there were problems fighting local Narrabeen to Collaroy fires and houses were lost - including the building that housed the original Narrabeen RSL - a few examples:

Between 9 and 10 o'clock last night a house in Lagoon-street. Narrabeen, containing rooms and a kitchen owned by Mr Lancaster of Augusta-road, Manly was completely destroyed by fire. The house, which con- tained furniture, was unoccupied. The cause of the fire is unknown. A shed belonging to Mr. Speers, who resides next door, was damaged. FIRE AT NARRABEEN. (1921, July 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15951582

Sir,— A fire occurred recently at Collaroy which is included In Narrabeen fire area. I heard orders to Narrabeen brigade to run hoses from half-way to the fire, and other brigades to run hoses from the -hydrant to meet the Narrabeen line. Within two minutes Narrabeen was standing at the base of the fire awaiting water. For at least 10 minutes no water came. 
I found that delay was caused through the pumping brigades trying' to get a supply a quarter-mile up-hill from the main. Narrabeen was the first of the brigades to be formed, and up to the present time possesses Its own out-of-date fire fighting appliances. Narrabeen. ' — DISGUSTED. NARRABEEN FIRE BRIGADE (1927, August 11). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121689563

Ocean House, a two-story boarding-house in Ocean-street, Narrabeen, was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning. The flames bail such a strong hold on the building upon the arrival of the Narrabeen, Dee Why, Manly, and Harbord fire brigades that the firemen were unable to prevent its destruction.
The building was the property of Mr. FranK Rochester, of Civic-parade, Dee Why, who estimates his loss at about £2600. The cause of the outbreak is unknown.
There was no one In the boarding-houso when the fire broke out. Mr. Robert Davidson, the caretaker, who was residing temporarily in a small cottage at the rear of the boarding-house, awoke shortly after, to find the main building was ablaze. FIRE AT NARRABEEN. (1929, March 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 22. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16541715

Fire Destroys  R.S.L. Club
Fire early this morning gutted the clubhouse of the North Narrabeen branch of  the Returned Servicemen's League.
The clubhouse was a two storey weatherboard building in Ocean Street, North Narrabeen.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight and flames quickly spread throughout the building.
Firemen fought for nearly an hour to control the blaze and prevent it spreading to clubrooms of the North Narrabeen Surf Club which is nearby.
'Hundreds of people, many in night attire, watched the blaze.  Fire engines from Manly, Narrabeen, and Deewhy fought the fire. Fire Destroys R.S.L. Club (1954, April 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18423039

In 1931 the process of constructing a dedicated Narrabeen Fire station commenced. In 1929 a site for the erection of a permanent fire station was purchased in Ocean Street Narrabeen and a tender advertised;

Tenders are invited for the erection of Fire Stations at Narrabeen and Rockdale. Tenders returnable by noon on Monday 23rd February, 1931, and addressed to The President, Board of Fire Commissioners of N.S.W.. 213 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Tenders to be endorsed "Tender - Narrabeen or Rockdale". Plans, specifications, and all particulars may be obtained on application to the undersigned. 213 Castlereagh Street, H. M. WEBB. SYDNEY. Secretary. First-Class Material and Workmanship. BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS OF N.S.W. (1931, February 4). Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222904735

Allman Bros., of Penshurst,. are to erect a fire station in Ocean Street, Narrabeen (Syd.) for about £3000. OPPORTUNITY REPORT (1931, April 22). Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222905440

The new Fire Stations' residential section was completed by September 25, 1931,  with the Fire Station became operational three days later. Sub-Station Officer Aubrey Gundry, occupied the residential section - he had previously been attached to the Sydney Headquarters Brigade and by 1938 was with the Manly Fire Brigade.

The Fire station building stands near where the Narrabeen RSL Cenotaph Reserve was established soon after WWI and opposite Narrabeen Public school
Photos by A J Guesdon

Narrabeen Public School Vigoro Team 1931 - from and courtesy State Archives and Records of NSW Photo - Item 15051_1_24_a047_000179

references + a few extras

  1. Report of the Board of Fire Commissioners of NSW, 1920, A. R. 1921, Vol. 4, p. 969
  2. TROVE - National Library of Australia
  3. The Museum of Fire (NSW) at: www.museumoffire.net
  4. Charlotte Boutin
  5. Leon Houreaux 
  6. The Firecracker That Closed Narrabeen Hotel by Ken Lloyd (Sava Lloyd)
  7. The Oaks - La Corniche, Mona Vale
  8. Pittwater Restaurants You Could Stay At: The Rock Lily Hotel – Mona Vale
  9. The First Scotland Island Cup, Trophy And Race And The Gentleman Who Loved Elvina Bay
  10. Pittwater Roads II: Where The Streets Have Your Name - Scotland Island


IT is hereby notified that the Board of Fire Commissioners of New South Wales, with the consent of the Minister, hereby applies the provisions of the Fire Brigades Act, 1909-27, to the part of the Shire of Warringah within the boundaries set out in the appended description, in lieu of the parts of the Shire to which the Act previously applied, vide Government Gazettes, 5th October, 1923, 21st October, 1927, and 15th October, 1937.

Given under our Common Seal this fourth day of November, 1940.

The Common Seal of the Board of Fire Commissioners of New South Wales was hereunto affixed at a duly constituted meeting of the Board, held on the fourth day of November, 1940, in the presence of Thomas Januarius Smith and Thomas Davies Mutch and H. M. Webb, Secretary.

* Members of the Board.
Sydney Fire District.

Description of part of Warringah Shire from Harbour to Mona Vale and Church Point.

Parishes of Manly Cove and Narrabeen, county of Cumberland and Shire of Warringah: Commencing on the shores of the South Pacific Ocean at Bungan Head at the south-east corner of lot 12 of Application No. 16,832,- and bounded thence by the southeastern boundary of that lot and the south-eastern boundary of lot 11, a line and the southern boundary of lot 9 of d.p. No. 4,579 and its prolongation south-westerly to the centre of Myola-street; thence by that centre line south-easterly to a point opposite the south-east corner of Mona Vale Estate shown on d.p. No. 9,877; thence by a line and the southern boundary of that estate and its continuation generally south-westerly to the centre of Pittwater-road; thence by the centre line of that road generally south-easterly to a point opposite the south-east corner of lot 34 shown on Roll Plan No. 599 at the town of Newport; thence by a line, the southern boundary of that lot and the southern boundaries of lots 33 to 17 inclusive generally westerly to the eastern shores of Pittwater; and bounded thence by those shores generally northwesterly to the right bank of McCarr's Creek, Church Point; thence by that right bank upwards to the southwestern boundary of portion 26; thence by that boundary and the southern boundary of portion 27 southeasterly to the western boundary of portion 28; thence by part of the north-western, the south-western and part of the south-eastern boundaries of that portion southwesterly, south-easterly and north-easterly to the southwest corner of portion 29; thence by the south-western boundary of that portion and its continuation to the centre line of Bay View road; thence by that centre line south-easterly to the south-eastern boundary of portion 19; thence by that boundary south-westerly to Cahill Creek; thence by that creek generally southwesterly to the centre of Lane Cove road; thence by the centre line of that road westerly to meet the centre line of Alan-street; thence by that centre line southerly to the northern boundary of portion 54; thence by part of that northern boundary westerly and its western boundary and its continuation southerly to the centre of Forest-road; thence by the centre line of that road easterly to the western boundary of portion 12; thence by part of the western, boundary of that portion southerly to the centre of Orchard-street; thence by that centre line easterly and the centre line of Garden-street southerly to the north-eastern boundary of Reserve No. 29,375 for Water Supply, notified 20th May, 1899; thence by a north-eastern, a northern and a- south-western boundary north-westerly, westerly and south-easterly to the centre of Merridong-road; thence by the centre line of that road southerly, the centre line of Cooleena-road easterly, the centre line of Kundibali-road southerly, the centre line of Milliwa-road easterly and the centre line of Mirrool-street and its continuation southerly to the shores of Narrabeen Lagoon; thence by a line crossing that lagoon southeasterly to the centre of Plateau-road in the parish of Manly Cove; thence by the centre line of that road southerly to the centre line of Wetherill-street; thence by the centre line of that street easterly, the centre line of Edgecliffe-street generally south-easterly, the centre line of Aubreen-street and its continuation southerly to the centre of Plateau-road aforesaid ; thence by the centre line of that road easterly and southerly to the centre of Anzac-parade; thence by the centre of that parade westerly, the centre line of Heather Parkes road south-easterly, the centre line of Orlando-road westerly, the centre line of Inman-road northerly, the centre line of Middleton-road westerly, and the centre line of Thew-parade southerly to the northern boundary of portion 1,311, parish of Manly Cove aforesaid; thence by pant of that boundary westerly and its western boundary southerly to the centre of South Creek road; thence b}r the centre of that road westerly to the centre of Alfred-road; thence by the centre line of that road southerly, south-easterly, south-westerly, again southeasterly and again south-westerly to the centre of Greenwood-avenue; thence by the centre line of that avenue westerly and the centre line of Waratah-parade southerly to the centre of May-road; thence by the centre line of that road westerly and the centre line of Consul-road southerly to the centre of Frenchs Forest road; thence by the centre line of that road and its prolongation north-westerly to a point north of the north-east corner of portion 103; thence by a line and the eastern boundary of that portion and portion 802 southerly to the south-east corner of portion 802; thence by part of the southern boundary of that portion westerly and the eastern boundary of portion 1,207 and its prolongation southerly to the centre of Old Pittwater road; thence by the centre line of that road westerly and generally southeasterly to meet the northerly prolongation of the centre line of Orara-road; thence by a line and the centre line of that road southerly and south-easterly to the centre of Kentwell-road; thence by the centre line of that road south-westerly to a point north of the north-east corner of portion 1,687; thence by a line the eastern boundary of that portion again a line crossing Curl Curl Creek, the eastern boundary of a road, the eastern boundaries of portions 1,553, 1,549 and 1,194 to the south-east corner of last mentioned portion; thence by the southern boundary of said portion 1,194 and its prolongation to the centre of Water Reserve road; thence by the centre line of that road southerly to a northern boundary of portion 1,198; thence by that boundary and its continuation and the northern boundary of Kalaui-street and its prolongation westerly to the centre of Bangaroo-street; thence by the centre line of that street generally southeasterly, and the centre line of Brook-road generally south-easterly to Burnt Bridge Creek being the boundary between the Shire of Warringah and the municipality of Manly; and thence by that boundary generally north-easterly partly along said Burnt Bridge Creek and the southern shores of Manly Lagoon to the shores of the South Pacific Ocean aforesaid; and thence by those shores generally northerly to the point of commencement. FIRE BRIGADES ACT, 1909-27. (1940, November 8). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 4455. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225110723

NSW Fire Brigades Timeline

In 1909 the Fire Brigades Act established a statewide approach to firefighting by creating the Board of Fire Commissioners NSW to oversee its implementation. This body became known as the New South Wales Fire Brigade (NSWFB).

On 1 January 2011, the NSW Fire Brigades changed its name to Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW).  The new name more accurately reflects the wider scope of services offered to the community and proudly symbolises and supports the organisation’s vision for the future

This is an overview of organised fire protection in NSW over the last 200 years:

1820s – At this time the only form of Fire Brigade in the NSW colony was a military Brigade, consisting of soldiers trained to use firefighting appliances.

1836 – The Australian Insurance Company establishes a Fire Brigade. A number of other insurance companies follow suit. These Brigades were largely local worker volunteers who used equipment supplied by the Insurance companies (buckets, ladders and axes).

1841 – A number of businessmen come together to form the Mutual Fire Insurance Association. The following year they established their own Brigade by bringing two engines and two firefighters (Thomas Bown and Edward Harris) from England.

1851 – A number of insurance companies come together to form the Sydney Fire Establishment, also known as the Insurance Companies Fire Brigade. Bown was the Superintendent.

1854 – Andrew Torning forms the No. 1 Volunteer Company (also known as the Victoria Theatre Brigade). He then helps to create a number of other Volunteer Companies.

1855 – The NSW country town of Goulburn establishes a Fire Brigade. This is the first Brigade to be established outside Sydney. Brigades are established in Newcastle and Maitland the following year.

1874 – A disastrous fire rips through the town of Windsor, burning across 30 acres and destroying 53 buildings (of which 36 were homes). Many other country towns fearing such an incident were prompted to create their own Brigades.

1880 – After disagreements between the Volunteer Brigades and the Insurance Brigades two bodies are established: Metropolitan Association Fire Brigades and the United Volunteer Fire Brigade Association.

1884 – The Fire Brigades Act comes into effect, creating the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB). This meant that all Brigades in Sydney had to register with the Board and meet certain requirements to remain active.

1888 – What is now known as City of Sydney Fire Station is opened in Castlereagh St Sydney.

1910 – The Fire Brigades Act is extended across the state and the Board of Fire Commissioners comes into being, replacing the MFB. The organisation now becomes known as the New South Wales Fire Brigade (NSWFB).

1945 – Many city stations are closed as a cost-cutting measure due to advancements in technology that reduced response times for stations to cover a wider area.

1984 – The NSWFB celebrates 100 years since the Fire Brigades Act was introduced and the establishment of a centralised firefighting body. – A new property at Chullora brings together all the transport, related sections of NSWFB.

1990 – The role of Director General replaces the Board and President.

1994 – The first Commissioner is appointed, combining the roles of Director General and Chief Officer.

2011 – The NSWFB becomes known as Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to reflect the growth and diversity of the Brigades role across the state.

2017 – The FRNSW Head Office moves from Elizabeth St, Sydney to Amarina Ave, Greenacre.

This historical account was researched and prepared by the heritage team at the Museum of Fire.

Museum of Fire

The Museum of Fire is a not-for-profit charitable organisation based in Penrith, NSW. It is the foremost Australian museum on understanding the experience of fire. Its collection, which celebrates the history of FRNSW and fire services in Australia, is of national importance. Many items are listed on the State Heritage Register.

The Museum of Fire is in a Heritage Partnership with FRNSW. It works to preserve its history and heritage through numerous conservation, heritage and research projects.

Visitors and group bookings are welcome at the Museum of Fire.

Swap cards, badges, posters, figurines and other collectible items can also be obtained from the Museum of Fire.

For further information: Museum of Fire website

Avalon Fire Brigade

Standing in their fire-fighting gear in front of the 1936 Dennis Ace are the first seven members of the Avalon Fire Brigade (begun in 1940). From left to right are Captain Ted Hock, Tom Chegwyn, Harry Wright, Lambert-Smith, Ron Edwards, Fred Wilson and Wal Ward. The garage which housed the fire engine stood on the site now occupied by the red-brick Casa Carlos building at 50 Old Barrenjoey Road. In the background is the heritage-listed two-storey ‘Avalon Centre’ on the corner of Avalon Parade and Old Barrenjoey Road. Photo and information courtesy Geoff Searl OAM, President Avalon Beach Historical  Society.

Later on the Avalon Voluntary Fire Brigade bell was in Johnson Brothers Hardware store with a then very young Robert Johnson occasionally 'accidentally' setting off the bells and calling out the members! From the founders 2015 interview

Robert Johnson: Dad and Bob were both foundation members of the Lions Club, they were both Voluntary members of the Fire Brigade in Avalon, they were both heavily involved with St Vincent De Paul when they were younger as well so there is a lot there was that idea of giving back to the community through those sorts of things from very early on.

So it was part of your upbringing?

Bob and John: Yes.

Robert: In fact, with the Fire Brigade, in its early days and because it was mostly a Volunteer Station, we actually had the bells in our store. They came back through the shop and then into the firemen's houses, so if someone had to call the fire brigade it would often be switched through to the shop first. The station did have a resident fire captain, Fred Andres, but he worked in town during the day.

Did you play with the fire bells as a little boy?

Robert: We did; there was the odd occasion where we actually accidentally set off false alarms for fires.
Anne: We still have one of the helmets; the old brass helmets. Johns' is still here.

John's helmet

Aubrey Leonard Thomas Gundry

Aubrey Leonard Thomas Gundry (1884 - June 26, 1969)  was born in Finchley, Middlesex, England on about 1884 to John Adolphus Gundry and Emma Fraser Cole.

MCKINLEY -October 11 at Kempton Tasmania Mr D McKinley dearly beloved father of Mrs Aubrey Gundry Fire Station Narrabeen. Family Notices (1931, October 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16816000

One city fire he attended:

Barrels of Turpentine Explode £40,000 DAMAGE --Waterfront Saved by Brilliant Work
A fire broke out this morning in the water-front section of the city, near Erskine-street, where, in the many bonds and big storage houses, hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of goods are stored.
An explosion followed, and two firemen, were burnt about the face and hands. The damage is estimated at £40,000.

FIREMEN fought the flames for hours, and kept their, within four walls. The scene of the outbreak was a store belonging to the Harbor Trust Commissioners, and used for the storage of inflammable goods. The building, of three floors, is a few yards from Sussex-street, and close to Huddart, Parker and' Co.'s wharf. It was stored with barrels of oil of all kinds, thousands of cases of wax matches, hundreds of bales of kapok, and barrels of resin, and other articles. See-lane, which runs along one side of .the building, Is a cul-de-sac, in' which there are back . entrances to a few business premises fronting Sussex-street. At the end of the lane, immediately at the back of tho stores is a building occupied by R. Forbes and Co., wine and spirit merchants, and the storage rooms for Puraffine Companies Inc. Tho alarm was first given by a watchman employed by the Harbor Trust. He was walking around the corner from Sussex-street : about 4 i. in. when he noticed flames shooting out of the roof of tho bond. He ran up Lee-lane and called Freil Ives, who is a watchman at Parbury's oil stores. The alarm was given, and in a short time . Chief-Officer Jackson, with about 40 men and engines, wore on the spot. It was apparent thut tlje fire bad started on the top floor, for tho flames had gained a strong hold there, and were making their way to the floors below.

Firemen Injured by Explosion
The most serious phase of the outbreak, from the point of view of risk to life, was the explosion which occurred shortly after the firemen commenced work. It was caused by a large quantity of turpentine which was affected by the heat. The report was terrific, and bits of timber and other debris flow into the air. Flames shot out of the windows on the Lee-lane side of the building, and two firemen — Peter Webster (Darlinghurst) and Aubrey Gundry (Headquarters) — who were working together, were caught in the burst of flame from one of the windows and badly burnt about the face, and arms.

Scene at this morning's fire — the firemen subduing the flames.

Their clothing was scorched. Thrown back by the force of the explosion, they, however, gained their feet, but their predicament quickly attracted the attention of Chief Officer Jackson, who assisted them out of their dangerous position and had them sent to the Sydney Hospital, where they were attended to by Dr. Flattery, and then moved to their respective stations. The fire continued to burn fiercely. The men attacking the flames took many risks, and worked in fine style. Business people remarked on the excellent service and their keeping the flames within the four walls In which the fire started.

Millions of Matches Burst into Flame
' It was a wonderful spectacle when thousands of boxes of matches burst into flame simultaneously 'with a terrifying roar. Included In the blaze were 2009 cases of wax vestas, containing 12 gross in a case, 7000 cases of turpentine, and a quantity of Kauri gum and oils. Gallons of water poured from the ruins, carrying tho exploded- matches and their boxes. A swift 'river was soon running In tho lane and formed a large water-hole outside Howard, Smith's wharf. Delighted children waded, In and salvaged countless treasures. Tho firemen were standing up to the tops of their gum boots in the water that poured from all the floors and windows. Everything in the building was destroyed. Only the bare walls are standing, and, though tho police did not anticipate a fall of the walls, they took no risks, and kept the large crowd well on the safe side of Sussex-street. 
At 9.30 this morning great clouds of smoke were still Issuing from the front of the building.
BIG CITY FIRE (1922, December 14). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 7 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224158721

GUNDRY — August 10 1943. John A. late of Finchley, Middlesex. England, beloved father of Aubrey Gundry (Fire Station, Manly) aged 63 years. Privately cremated at Northern Suburbs on 12th inst. Family Notices (1943, August 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved  from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17860133

Aubrey Leonard Thomas Gundry, late of Willoughby, N.S.W., retired fire officer, died 26th March, 1969; probate of the will dated 12th October, 1965, was filed on 26th June, 1969.

Narrabeen Hotel Licence Transfer Trail And Extras

NORRIS.—June 21, at Narrabeen, the wife of R. Norris, of a daughter. Family Notices (1887, July 2). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 48. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165222147

An application on behalf of Thomas Henry Purves for a publican's license at Narrabeen Lake, Narrabeen, was granted. LICENSING COURT. (1888, October 19). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 6 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228416840

In the Water Police Court this morning the following transfers of publicans' licenses were granted : — Narrabeen Hotel, J. H. Purvis to J. W. Lloyd; LICENSING COURT. (1889, March 8). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227306302

The Glebe Bicycle Club's Tour.
The postponed run to Narrabeen Lakes, and Barrenjoey was successfully carried out last Saturday, when eleven members captained by Mr. G. H. Williams, left the Railway Station (Redfern), at 2.15 p.m., catching steamer to Manly. Machines were then mounted, and after a very pleasant hour's ride Narrabeen Hotel was 
reached. The party here was somewhat lessened by the compulsory, though reluctant, return of several of the members, leaving six to enjoy themselves. After tea a walk of three miles was made to Rocklily Hotel, returning early enough to carry out an impromptu smoke concert, in which several members showed good talent, by songs, recitations, &c. 
After breakfast, on Sunday, a start was made for Barrenjoey. After, proceeding three miles two came to grief, one injuring, his knee the other breaking off his handle bar. These were compelled to stay, at the Rocklily Hotel. and one other, out of compassion for them and knowledge of bad roads ahead, resolved to stay with them, leaving Messrs. G. H. Williams, F. Poppenhagen and Geo. Endicott to continue the journey,some 15 miles, which, after calling at Mona Vale, Green Dale, and Newport, were reached without mishap by 11.45 a.m. . As nothing of interest, save the splendid scenery, necessitated a lengthy halt, a return was soon faced. At 2 p.m. the tourists reached Narrabeen Hotel, and again did the disappearing trick with the good things prepared by Mrs. Norris. The final departure was made at 3.15 p.m., a steady pace being maintained to Manly, and as the captain decided to reach Sydney overland, a smart pace was kept up to the spit at Middle Harbour, where after forty minutes delay, the punt conveyed them ovor, and as darkness was fast approaching, and the roads good, a regular road race ensued, along the Military Boad to Milson's Point, all arriving at Ciroular Quary at 6 p.m. The Glebe Bicycle Club's Tour. (1889, May 18). Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser (NSW : 1884 - 1907), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132302002

The three progress associations ; of Narrabeen, Newport, and Pittwater united their forces on Saturday evening, and held a very enthusiastic public meeting at Norris's Narrabeen Hotel. A party of gentlemen left Manly in one of the Pier Hotel drags, and after an hour's drive arrived at their destination at 8 o'clock: Alderman T. J. West (Mayor of Paddington) presided, and there was a splendid attendance. Among those present were Messrs. Dugald Thomson, M.L.A., H. S. Badgery, Alderman Fred. C. Passau (Mayor of Manly), Aldermen C.C. Tucker and N. W. Montagu (Manly), Rev. A. G. Stoddart, Rev. P. M. KJynn, H. T. Robey, George Harrison,. C. R. Austin', J. Wheeler, T. Gibbons, F: Ellis, D. M'Lean, D. C. M'Lachlan, T. H. Macpherson (secretary to the Narrabeen Progress Association), J. Waterhouse, H. Graham, W. Bclton; W. Reynolds, C. Harlock, and S. Greigg. The Port Jackson Co-operative S.S. Company notified by letter -that their sympathies were entirely with the movement. The chairman said that all were agreed that if proper travelling facilities were afforded hundreds of city folks would come to Narrabeen -and district, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air. They would only be too glad to. get '\a way from the smoky city. The time had arrived when a man should be able to jump into a tram at the Manly Wharf and be taken to Narrabeen in decent time, and with some degree 'of' comfort. Statistics showing that the average number of people carried by the Port Jackson Company amounted to 100,000 monthly had been obtained. The line could be constructed along the road almost the whole way from Manly. People owning land that would be necessary for the construction of tire tram would willingly give the ground. - (Cheers.) Large numbers of people would take up residences in the district if the tram were constructed. In order to give an idea of the passenger traffic, the persons passing the hotel for a week were counted, and they totalled 956, and that in the depth of winter. If they united their forces,' there -was no doubt the matter would be carried -to a successful issue. Mr. J. Waterhouse said the aim of the residents was a purely federal one—they wished to be united by a tram. The line of the route was as level as a table top, and he wondered the people had suffered so long. It meant the best part of a day getting to the beauties of the district. He moved — 'That this meeting, consisting of the Progress Associations of Narrabeen, Pittwater, and Newport, direct the attention of the Government by deputation to the necessity of constructing a tram from Manly to the district.' ? Mr. Powell seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. Mr. H. S. Badgery said he was pleased to be present, and help in endeavoring to procure the construction of the tram. Mr. Dugald Thomson said he was always to be found among those who were striving for benefits or improvements for the suburbs on the north shore of the harbor, i Alderman Montagu and Mr. Symonds also supported the motion. Alderman Fred. C. Passau moved— 'That a deputation (consisting of the whole of the meeting) wait on the Minister for Works with reference to the construction of a tram to Narrabeen.' Mr. S. Greigg seconded, and Alderman Tucker, Mr. H. T. Robey, and Mr. J. Bolton supported the motion, which was carried. PROPOSED TRAM TO NARRABEEN. (1898, June 27). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109646515

There is a stopping place at the Narrabeen Hotel, kept by Mr. Norris-a most charmingly situated hotel facing the road, the picture of which will give you a good idea of the number of travellers who frequent this place. Close to the hotel are the celebrated Narrabeen Lakes, where there is splendid fishing, shooting, and boating, to be had within a half-a-mile of the hotel. Mr. Norris makes a specialty of providing boats, camping outfits, lunches, etc., for parties coming from town to spend a day or two in this lovely district.: Narrabeen Hotel Picture: [No heading]. (1893, November 25). Illustrated Sydney News (NSW : 1853 - 1872), p. 15. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page4846491


A drowning accident, by which two young married men lost their lives, occurred at Narrabeen, at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. The drowned men were Henry Thom, aged 25, of Booth-street, Balmain (a grandson of Sir Henry Parkes), and John Montagu Folkhard, aged 29, who resided with his wife and family at Gladesville. The families of the deceased have been residing at Narrabeen for about a fortnight, and on Saturday Folkhard and Thom went down to join them. The latter had only been married about two months. Yesterday morning, in company with Folkhard's father and a younger brother, they went down to the ocean beach to bathe in the surf close to the old Ocean View Hotel. Mr. Folkhard, sen., went home again shortly before 30, and the boy left the water because he was affected by cramp. He looked back in the direction of the other two men, and saw a heavy breaker go right over them. They disappeared beneath the roller, and were seen no more. The lad gave the alarm, and help was soon obtained, but it was of no avail, nothing at all could be seen of the two men. Owing to the south-east wind which had blown all night, a heavy sea was rolling in on the beach, and the strong undertow had evidently swept the bathers out with irresistible force. The police at Manly were communicated with, and all day they, with a number of friends of the drowned men, lined the beach in tho hope that the water would wash the bodies up. At night-fail, however, their search had not been rewarded with success. Folkhard was employed by Elliott Brothers, and had one child. Thom was in the Public Works Department. TWO MEN DROWNED AT NARRABEEN. (1895, January 21). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 5. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236006881

Renewals of publicans' licenses were granted to Robert Norris, Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, ...WATER POLICE LICENSING COURT. (1899, January 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14195068

Mrs. Norris [Morris ?] and family group outside Narrabeen Hotel Circa 1890, by Perier, A. J. (Albert James), 1870-1964, Image No: Home and Away – 34425, Courtesy State Library of NSW Licensee, Robert Morris (Sands 1890); Robert Norris (Sands 1900) - [see also ON 260/423 with "Robert Norris' Narrabeen Hotel" shown over the front door] - 

NORRIS—WELLS.—April 16, at St. Barnabas' Church, by the Rev. Joseph Barnier, Robert, third son of Mr. W. J. Norris, of Forest Lodge, to Emily Jane, eldest daughter of Mr. G. Wells, of Forest Lodge. Family Notices (1878, April 25). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107935552

There seems to be a boom just now in hotel robberies. On Tuesday night a box, containing some £20 In money, and other valuables, was stolen from the Federal City Hotel, at the corner of Bathurst and Sussex streets; and the Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, was burglariously entered between 11.30 last night, and 1.30 this morning. Entrance was effected by means of a side window, which had been left unfastened, and a sum of £34, comprised of cheques and gold and silver, was stolen from a safe, together with a canvas bag, containing a bank deposit-book. The safe, it appears, had been left unlocked and the movements of the thief were such as' to lead to the assumption that he was not altogether unfamiliar with his surroundings. Mr. Robert Morris is the licensee of the hotel. The police have the matter in hand.
BURGLARY AT NARRABEEN. (1899, February 25). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1923), p. 10. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236794069

NORRIS.—September 18, at her residence, Narrabeen Emily Jane, dearly beloved wife of Robert Norris, and daughter of George Wells, auctioneer, of Sussex-street, Sydney. Family Notices (1899, September 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14248725

NORRIS. -In sad but loving memory of our dear mother, Emily Jane Norris, who departed this life on the 18th September, 1899, aged 43 years. Lost to sight, but to memory dear. Inserted by her loving family.
NORRIS.-In sad but loving memory of our dear daughter, Emily Jane Norris, who died at Narrabeen, September 18,1899. inserted by her loving parents, G. and S. Wells, Boulevard, Strathfield, Leaves may wither, but memory never. Family Notices (1902, September 18). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14510128 - This IN Memorium Notices continue until 1908 - soon after:

NORRIS - December 9, 1910 at Sydney, Robert Norris late of Narrabeen aged 60 years. Family Notices (1910, December 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15184934

Mrs. Florence Gertrude Moore.
The death occurred in Carlyle Private. Hospital, Wingham, en Friday afternoon, 10th October, 1947, of one of Wingham and district's best known and mast highly respected residents, rude Moore. Mrs. Moore was ill for three weeks, having been stricken down suddenly by a stroke. She was conveyed to Carlyle Private Hospital promptly after this sad happening, and there received the best and kindliest of attention. However, it was all to no avail. The lateMrs. Moore was a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. R. Norris, of Narrabeen. She was first married to Mr. K. E. Mclntyre, and they settled at Strathfield. The result of that' union was two sons — Mr. K. M. Mclntyre and Mr. John Edwin Mclntyre, both of whom were with their mother before she passed away. Later on she married Mr. James Manning Moore. They lived first at Chatswood, and later at Bobin. It was at the latter place that Mr. Jim Moore died. Prior to coming to Bobin, Mr. and Mrs. Moore lived for about 12 months in New Zealand. Mrs. Moore leaves one sister and one brother. The sister is Miss Stella Norris, of Leyim. (New Zealand). The brother is Mr. R. Norris, of Drummoyne. The late Mrs Moore was a kindly hearted lady, and she had many sincere friends throughout town and district. She was one who was ever charitable 'and generous whenever it came to h^pin7 a deserving case or cause, no matter from what organisation the 'appeal came, and for her kindness of heart she will ever be remembered. Death at the finish came as a happy release. She was 57 years of age. The funeral took place on Sunday afternoon last, after a service in St. Matthew's Church of England, Wingham, conducted by Rev, W. Griffith Cochrane, who made feeling reference to the passing of deceased.Obituary. (1947, October 14).The Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW : 1898 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168525687

The weekly meeting of the Water Licensing Court was held yesterday, when the following transfers of publicans' licences were granted:
Robert Norris to Ralph A. Stennett, Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen; WATER LICENSING COURT. (1900, March 1). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117032457

In the District Court on Thursday, Clement Layton Ramsay, of Ferry-road, Glebe Point, sought to recover from Ralph Stennett, licensee of the Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, the sum of £19 15s, alleged to be the balance due' for work: done and commission as agreed between him and the defendant in connection with the purchase of the lease, licence, goodwill, and furniture of the Narrabeen Hotel. The plaintiff stated that on February 5 last the defendant agreed to give him £25 if he secured a three, years' lease of the hotel for him, together with the goodwill, licence, and furniture. 
He worked in the defendant's interest, and secured the lease from the Perpetual Trustee Company for £225, the defendant shortly afterwards going into possession. The 'defendant paid him £5 5s in two' sums on February 5 and 12 last respectively, and, when asked for the balance, which he admitted owing, said he was not in a position to pay the amount just then. The defendant, for whom Mr. N. Montagu appeared, pleaded that he had paid the plaintiff sufficient for what he had done in connection with the purchase of the hotel. The defendant, it was explained, was not in attendance,- evidently not being aware that the case was down for hearing yesterday. His Honor said he found in favor of the plaintiff for the amount claimed, together with costs, and that if the defendant's solicitor paid the amount into court, he could apply for a new trial on the following day. Subsequently, it was agreed that the defendant should pay the amount of the verdict by monthly instalments of £3 each, the first to be paid on Monday next. CLAIM FOR HOTEL COMMISSION. (1900, September 7). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112586877

A young German named Frederick Trantwein, visited the Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, about a week ago, and made arrangements with the proprietor, Mr. Ralph Stennett, to take up his residence there at the rate of 25s per week. He explained that his week would-be up where he had been staying'on the following day, when he would go for his trunk. The trunk never came, and, when asked why he had not gone for it, Trantwein said that he had done so, but it had been sent away from the place without his authority. Mr. Stennet thought it rather hard on the young fellow to lose his property in that manner, so he brought him to Sydney, and took him to the German Consul to lodge a complaint.
From the information received from the Consulate concerning his boarder, Mr. Stennett was not at all satisfied, and subsequently he accompanied him to No, 4 Police Station, where he was searched. To the landlord's astonishment, a bronze- medallion, a pince-nez, a pencil case, part of a gold ring, set with pearls, and a purse, of a total value of £2, his property, were found on the German. 
The medallion, Mr. Stennett said, had been presented to him by Lord Beauchamp for life saving, and he would not have lost it for £1000. Trantwein pleaded guilty at the Water Court yesterday to stealing the above articles, except the pince-nez, which he stated he had been using, and had forgotten to place where he had taken it from. He was sent to gaol for two months. A DISHONEST LODGER. (1901, July 20). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114034038

The weekly sitting of the Water Licensing Court was held yesterday before Mr. Payton, S M., Mr. Smithers, S.M., and Mr. Penny, L.M. The following transfers of publicans' licenses were granted: ... Ralph A. Stennett to Charlotte Boutin, Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen.
WATER LICENSING COURT. (1901, October 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14413483

The police have been Informed of the theft of from £18 to £20, which took place at the Narrabeen Hotel on Friday. The money was put in a place where It was supposed to be safe, and was not missed for some time. HOTEL ROBBERY. (1902, December 22). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228950652

NARRABEEN HOTEL, Tel. 152 Manly-Madame C. Boutin. Close to beach, rod fishing, shooting-, etc. Advertising. (1904, September 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14624820 

At the Water Summons Court today, before Mr. Donaldson, S.M., James Hetdrick, of Oakville-road, Willoughby, and George Taylor, of Narrabeen, were proceeded against on a charge of furious driving on the Narrabeen road on Sunday, January 15. Both defendants pleaded guilty.From a statement made by Sub-inspector Mitchell, it appeared the defendants engaged in a trotting match on the Narrabeen-road, near the Narrabeen Hotel. The match took place about 11 o'clock in the morning, and it drew an immense crowd to the place, including a large number of people in buggies, sulkies, etc. Previous to the match coming off, Senior-constable Taylor, of Manly, warned the defendants, who were both in sulkies, that they would be committing an offence if they held itThey however carried it out, the distance being, in the senior-constable's opinion, about a mile. All along the route they were followed by people in vehicles, and the highway was made very dangerous for travellers of every kind. The defendants were each fined £5, with costs of court. FURIOUS DRIVING AT NARRABEEN. (1905, January 25). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112748474

Charlotte Boutin, a Belgium born French speaking lady who worked at the Rock Lily from 1881, alongside Leon Houreax is associated with the hotel in one way or another until around 1920

On April 24th 1907 the Narrabeen Hotel, an edifice of some 20-22 bedrooms at the time, burnt to the ground at 5am in the morning.

A rather sensational and disastrous fire which resulted In the destruction of over two thousand pounds worth of property, occurred at Narrabeen, near Manly, early this morning. The Narrabeen Hotel. which is distant about seven miles from Manly, and on the road to Pittwater, of which Madam C. Boutin is the licensee, was the scene of the conflagration. The building was a weatherboard one, and consisted of 22 rooms. It was built on a square, all the rooms being on the one floor. All the rooms were destroyed, including several small structures which stood away from the house, and all that now remains to remind travellers of what was once an exceedingly popular house Is a small building at the rear of the hotel, which .managed to escape the flames, and a heap of charred and smouldering wood. 
It was shortly after 4 o'clock that Madam Boutin who had secured the building late last night, was awakened, and felt a smothering sensation. She immediately jumped out of bed after donning some clothes warned the other people who were asleep in the house. The building was filled with smoke, and after some little difficulty they got out of the building. The alarm was Immediately given to the neighbours, but fortunately there was little need for alarm, as the wind was blowing from the west. A few minutes later the hotel was in flames, which, fanned by the stiff breeze, devoured the woodwork in a very short space of time. 
The Manly branch of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade was notified by telephone of the conflagration, but on one of the firemen asking whether assistance was needed— the hotel Is situated outside the brigade area— he was answered In the negative. In the meantime Madam Boutin and the other people were sheltered in a neighbouring house. The occupants of the house and a number of others watched the building burn, as any efforts they might have put forth would have been useless. The flames had a hold of the building, and as they were assisted by the wind the light structure made excellent food for them. As the fire spread from room to room the furnishings were devoured, and all the crowd could do was to watch helplessly and see the building gradually destroyed. In about an hour after the first intimation of the fire was received the hotel had been razed to the ground, and it was then found, that a rather valuable little dog belonging to Madam Boutin had perished in the flames
The licensee of the hotel, who is suffering from shock, and the effects of the smoke, is being cared for by one of the neighbours. The damage Is estimated at between £2000 and £3000. It Is not yet known whether the building or Its contents were covered by Insurance. DISASTROUS FIRE (1907, April 24). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 4 (FIRST EDITION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229525734

Shortly before 5 o'clock yesterday morning the Narrabeen Hotel, at Narrabeen, which is a few miles from Manly, was discovered to be on fire, and before the flames could be checked the building, which contained 20 rooms, was entirely destroyed. Madame Boutin, the licensee, and the barman, named BATTISTELLA, each heard a crackling noise, as if the ceiling was falling. They rushed from their rooms to the back of the premises, and cried out, "Fire!" Battistella awoke the cook and other inmates, and they had just time to escape in their night attire. 
Fortunately there were no boarders in hotel at the time. A valuable dog was, however, burntand Mme. Boutin's birds were rescued from the front verandah under difficulties. The fire, which had broken out in the front portion of the hotel, burnt with great rapidity, and within an hour there was nothing left but smouldering ruins. 
As soon as the fire was discovered Mr. Donald M'Lenn, at the local post-office, telephoned to the Manly fire brigade, but as Narrabeen is outside the municipality of Manly the Manly brigade replied that the scene was outside their jurisdiction. Consequently no brigade was present, and the neighbours were left to do the best they could. The hotel-a large cottage-was the property of Mme. Boutin, and was insured in the Australian Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 800 pounds. FIRE AT NARRABEEN. (1907, April 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14836988

As can be seen above, Charlotte rebuilt. In 1911 Charlotte transferred the licence to a man named Bacon, one of those whom added his name to her second last In Memorium to Battistella almost twenty years later. The hotel seems to have been rebuilt in sections if images from those times are accurate:

Image No.: a106069h from Scenes of Narrabeen Album ca. 1900-1927, Sydney & Ashfield : Broadhurst Post Card Publishers, courtesy State Library of NSW - the second Narrabeen Hotel may be seen with the dome a little north of the butcher's shop.

Postcard from the National Museum of Australia Collection

Charlotte was advertising a Green African Parrot next to the Narrabeen Hotel in 1920 but soon after George’s death she began buying other Hotel licenses closer to town; The Imperial in Alfred Street North Sydney and the Flagstaff in Princes Street, The Rocks in 1923 and 1924. One of these changed license hands less then six months later.

Her romantic side surfaces as the last visible note in her marriage to John C Elliott in 1924 when she must have been mature. After that she disappears apart from the annual notices for George until her death on July 26th. 1932; 

BATTISTELLA -In loving memory of our dear friend Benevenuto Battistella (George of Narrabeen), who departed this life January 25, 1920.Inserted by his friends, C. Boutin, W. Porter, and C. Bacon. Family Notices. (1930, January 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16621341

ELLIOTT-July 26 Charlotte beloved wife of John C Elliott at Randwick Private burial. Family Notices. (1932, July 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16912266

The licensing Bench sitting at the Central Police Court yesterday granted the following applications for transfers of hotel licences; Narrabeen
Hotel, Narrabeen Charlotte Boutin to Charles Bacon. HOTELS TRANSFERRED. (1911, March 3). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15215280

Advertising. (1912, September 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15363379

Mr. Bacon subsequently transferred the license to:


The following transfers of publicans licenses were granted at Thursday's sitting of the Metropolitan Licensing Court :—From Charles Bacon to Maurice Garwood, Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen ; LICENSING COURT. (1913, October 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15460592

INFLAMMATORY REMARKS. (1915, July 22). The Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW : 1894 - 1939), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121722180

"Insulting" Thirsty Men
After a hearing occupying, two days, Mr. Love, S.M. yesterday afternoon imposed a find of £100 on. Mary Hyde, of-Narrabeen, for selling liquor without a license, this being her second offence.
Inspector Carson asked one of the witnesses, if he belonged to the "thirsty circle" at Narrabeen, and after deep thought the witness replied that he did not think so. Going on with his evidence the witness said that after the local hotel closed he and the informer went to Mrs. Hyde's, where the informer said he could get half a dozen of beer. Inspector Carson: Well, what happened? Witness: Mrs. Hyde insulted us. She said she had plenty of 'teetotal stuff. Then she told us to clear out, and I was frightened and left. SLY-GROG AT NARRABEEN (1916, December 6). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 4 (FINAL RACING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223373712

Narrabeen's New Church
A most interesting ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Sydney when, he recently blessed the new Church of St. Joseph at Narrabeen, in charge of the Rev. Father E. Brauer. In welcoming his Grace, Father Brauer said that 42 years previously Archbishop Vaughan visited the little church, which was then situated on the shores of Creal Bay, about eighteen miles from Manly, on land which had been .selected by the late Father Therry. For some years Mass had been celebrated at Mrs. Gorman's cottage, Narrabeen, but the congregation had grown too large, and it was decided to transfer the building from Creal Bay to Narrabeen. The cost of taking down the church and its reerection, together with the new roof and sacristay, was £160, which work had been carried out under the supervision of Mr;' Jack Hennessy. Th« land cost £400, making a total, with, sundry expenses, of £601. 

St Joseph's at Careel Bay before moving to Narrabeen in 1917. - courtesy of and from an original photo held at Maria Regina, Avalon and Lakes Parish, St. Joseph's Narrabeen.

Original Careel Bay Church, moved to Narrabeen - courtesy of and from an original photo held at Maria Regina, Avalon.

HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP. His Grace the Archbishop stated that he was a very willing servant of the people of Narrabeen. The great increase in the population of the district called for the erection of the church, and in helping to-day the people were carrying on the work of God, as did the priests of the old days, like Dean Hallinan and their worthy successors, the priests of St. Patrick's! College, who shared in being the apostles of the district. The Mass is .the great sacrifice of our faith, and we must have a place worthy of the great act. Life would be a desert without the spiritual nourishment we obtained from the Holy Mass. Narrabeen's New Church. (1918, January 10). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 32. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116772010

Royal Narrabeen Hotel Circa 1915 to 1920
The Manly police are looking for a safe which was stolen from the bedroom of Maurice Garwood, licensee of the Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, between 9.30 last night and 6 this morning. There were about £1 In cash and some papers In It. When Miss Clara Longstaff, the housemaid, made the rounds of the house at 9.30 p.m. the safe in the licensee's room was all right. The thieves apparently entered the room by way of a window, and were so quiet in their work that they failed to disturb people sleeping not far off. The safe was lifted ' through the window and carted off. The sandhills at the back of the hotel were being searched by the police this morning in the hope of coming across the safe.
… ROBBING SAFES (1920, December 2).The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 8 (FINAL RACING). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222658590 

A Narrabeen Hotel Safe DOORS BLOWN TO PIECES £300 Removed Before Robbery
Tho safe which was stolen from the Royal Hotel, Narrabeen, on Wednesday night or early yesterday morning, was found late yesterday afternoon about 160 yards from the hotel, in the scrub on the other side of the road.

It had been blown open. The cracksmen did a clumsy Job. Their Judgment of explosives was very much at Fault, for the charge of gelignite was probably sufficient to blow up a safe ten times the size of the one damaged. The door was blown to pieces and the sides and back broken. The thieves took 6s in copper, postal notes, and papers, and left behind a half-sovereign, a sovereign case, and several spurious half-crowns. On Wednesday night £300 was taken from the safe and placed somewhere else for security. The police are Inclined to think that the cracksmen had some idea that there was a big sum of money in the safe, and it was certainly fortunate the money was removed. FOUND IN SCRUB (1920, December 3). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 8 (CRICKET EDITION). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222661915

August 17th, 1921 - Advertising

At yesterday's sitting of the Metropolitan Licensing Court the following applications for the transfer of publicans' licenses were granted:- Royal Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, from Maurice Garwood to Patrick Bernard McCauley: LICENSING COURT. (1922, April 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15999880

Boniface of Narrabeen
Mr. Patrick Bernard McCauley, proprietor of Narrabeen Hotel, is known from end to end of the shire, and is a popular figure in several spheres, though he has been in the district only three years.
Born at Clyde River N.S.W., half a century, ago, he takes a keen interest in all sports, and before moving to Narrabeen was known from Newcastle to Goulburn, an area of 200 miles. Recently he showed his horses at Gosford Show and won two first prizes. He is a member of the executive of Warringah Shire Association, and works hard to make the annual show a success. Mr. McCauIey was for 15-years a member of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, hold the Bronze Medal, and was present at many of the biggest fires in Sydney. During the time he has resided at Narrabeen Mr. McCauIey has made his presence felt, by building shops and dwellings, and laying out an area for fruit growing. He is also the owner of a mixed farm, and guests of his at the hotel are always assured of everything fresh.


MR. P. B. McCAULEY. of Narrabeen, is a prominent figure in Warringah Shire.

SURF AND GOLF (1925, February 1).Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 7 (Social and Magazine Section). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128164070 



No title (1926, January 3). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 10 (Social and Magazine Section). Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128132989

Narrabeen Life Savers' Dinner
The annual dinner of the North Narrabeen Life Saving Club will be held at the Royal Narrabeen Hotel on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. Members should apply to . Mr. S. Hughes (hon. secretary) for admission tickets. Narrabeen Life Savors' Dinner (1926, June 11). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 11 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224202557

With the commencement of work on the new hotel at Woy Woy, near the railway station, being erected by Tooheys Ltd., local activity has brightened. The building, which is to have 22 bedrooms, will cost approximately £20,000, and is to be completed by Christmas. Everything in connection with the building is to be of the very latest and best obtainable. Garages will be provided, and all the hundred and one things that go to make up modern hotel convenience will be furnished. Local labor, as far as possible, is to be employed; and, with the season just finished, this opportunity may be handy to several residents. 
The contractor, Mr. B.  J. Nicholas, of Manly, is at present just completing a fine hotel building at Narrabeen, for Mr. P. B. McCauley, some few years ago licensee of the Union Hotel at Gosford. Mr. F. W. Thompson is foreman, and Mr. E. R. Justelius, Sydney, is architect. NEW HOTEL. (1927, June 9). The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (NSW : 1906 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article161287513

Royal Narrabeen Hotel - August 1930 - Front and Rear Views - courtesy Australian National  University

The hearing of the petition of Mr. S. O. Twight for a hotel license for premises at Collaroy was continued at the Water Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. Adrian (chairman), Le Brun Brown, and Arnott, members of the Licensing Bench.

Evidence of Henry Tamm, licensee of a hotel at Narrabeen, was to the effect that the requirements of the district were adequately met by his premises, which were never taxed to capacity. He said that during the last year the locality seemed to have gone back. The case is part heard

Mr Watt, K C, and Mr J Bathgate are appearing for the petitioner, Mr H O Ed-wards (instructed by Mr J M Love, Crown Law Department), for Inspector Winter and the police, Mr W Clegg for several objectors; and Mr R Windeyer and Mr. B Clancy for other objectors. COLLAROY HOTEL APPLICATION. (1930, March 18). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16634272

Royal Narrabeen Hotel Narrabeen from Ethel May Tamm (executrix of the will of H R Tamm deceased) to Ethel May Tamm LICENCES TRANSFERRED. (1934, June 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17086632

Royal Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, from Ethel May Tamm to Clara Ellen McGrath. LICENCES TRANSFERRED. (1937, November 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17411814

Clara is Mary's sister, and this commences her '11 years'.

1945 Bus To Narrabeen

Bus queue. Carrington Street at Wynyard Park, 1945 / Max Dupain Source: Mitchell Library, SLNSW (PXD 965/36)

Soon after the 1949 debacle:

Whale High and Dry
A 30ft whale, which had been attacked by sharks, was washed up dead near South Narrabeen Beach last night. The whale is near the Narrabeen Hotel. 
(Picture shows the whale and some hardy children.) 

"We heard just before closing time that there was a whale on the beach, but thought it was just a bar-rumor," a hotel employee said today. Then this morning we got wind of it, looked out, and there it was, dry and very high. Residents said they saw flocks of birds hovering over a, dark mass in the water on Monday, and thought sharks must have been attacking a school of fish. The whale had been bitten all along the side by the sharks. 
Whale dry-- and high (1950, October 6). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229625805

What's Wrong With Our Hotels?
"Tied-House" System Under Fire
"PURCHASE of the licence of Petty's Hotel, Sydney, by a brewery focuses attention on the spread of the "tied-house" system in New South Wales. Critics are asking whether this -system is often responsible for the decline of hotel standards-crowded, beer-slopped bars, poor accommodation, poor service-and concentration on liquor sales.
'THE critics admit that, on paper, some of the projected hotels look "civilised," but they point to the ever increasing consumption of beer in Australia.
  • In 1938-39, Australians drank just over 84 million gallons of beer-12.13 gallons a head.
  • In 1948-49, they drank nearly 140 million gallons-17.87 gallons a head.
Critics declare that, while the brewery monopolies own the greater proportion of our hotels, the accent will remain on bartrade, because there is more pro-fit in selling draught beer than there is in selling bottled beer or providing accommodation.
Some authorities say that the breweries own more than 75 per cent, of the 2,028 publicans' licences in N.S.W.
The licence of Petty's Hotel was nought by Wintersloe Investments Ltd. (an associate of British Brew-eries) from the Red Cross at an undisclosed figure.
. . .
THE latest report by the N.S.W. Licensing Bench and the Licences Reduction Board shows that there are 618 hotels in the Sydney Metropolitan Licensing District-most of them in the city and industrial areas.
In No. 1 police division (from King Street to Hay Street, from College Street to Pyrmont) there are 77 hotels.
No. 3 division (East Sydney, Surry Hills, King's Cross and Woolloomooloo) has 69, and No. 7 division (Redfern, Waterloo, Mascot, and Alexandria) has 66.
By contrast, the now-closely settled eastern suburbs of No. 15 division (Randwick, Coogee, Kensington, Daceyville, and Maroubra) have only 13 hotels.
On the other side of the Harbour, No. 6 division, North Sydney, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Crow's Nest and Northbridge) has 19 hotels, and No. 14 division,which runs from Manly to Narrabeen, has 9.
A Licensing Court official told me last week:
"There are too many hotels in some areas and not enough in others, but when it comes to re-moving a licence the people where there are plenty don't want to lose one, and the people where there is none don't want one."
' Many critics believe that if hotels, instead of concentrating on a "stand up" rush bar trade, provided for unhurried drinking, better accommodation, and bottled beer, they would be more welcome additions to any district.
. . .
IN their last report, the New *? South Wales licensing magistrates stated that hotels were frequently taxed to their utmost accommodation and many tried to give good service.
"Some licensees, however, still endeavour to avoid their responsibilities in regard to the supply of meals and accommodation," they added.
"With an expected influx of overseas and interstate visitors in the coming years, added to the increasing local tourist traffic, we look with some anxiety on the capacity of hotels to meet demands for accommodation."
Mr. J. B. Scobie, former chair-man of the Licensing Court, believes there should be a redistribution of hotel licences, and that licence fees should be reduced for. hotels that provide more accommodation.
[Publicans' licence fees are assessed at the rate of 5 per cent, of liquor purchases; last year the fees ranged from £1 to £7,000.]
Over a "cup of tea last week, Mr. Scobie told me he thought there should not necessarily be more., hotels, but there should be bigger and better hotels, more sensibly distributed.
Mr. Scobie believes the State Government should appoint a non-party committee to revise the liquor laws.
He thinks hotels should be open for a period in the evening, but says:
"The people voted against it here, so that's that."
MR.. R. WINDEYER, K.C., a fighter- for liquor reform, told me:
"The one great evil in administration of the-Liquor Act is that the whole of Parliament is too ready to accept the breweries' methods.
'The hotels have no consideration for comfort or decency, either in drinking or providing accommodation. In this country the liquor trade '.as become a moneymaking racket by cultivating a taste for beer.
"I'm not a wowser, but I object to the swill-tubs of the pubs."
' Reforms urged by Mr. Windeyer are:
. More community hotels.
. Opening of hotels for an evening period.
. Removal of licences from congested areas to outer suburbs.
. Construction of hotels with adequate accommodation.
Mr. Windeyer pointed out that the breweries made no secret of the fact that they owned most hotels, yet the Liquor Act stated:
"any person at any one time holds a beneficial interest, whether in the name of himself or anyone else, in more Than one licence for the sale of liquor . . . he shall be liable for every day during to which he holds such interest to a 'penalty not exceeding £5."
Mr. Windeyer added: "Brewery ownership of hotels was challenged on this section some years ago, but Mr. Justice James ruled that it did not apply to hotels owned and financed, by the breweries."
I asked Mr. Windeyer what he thought would be the answer to the hotel question.
He said the move for community hotels was encouraging because their object would not be to make profits from draught beer.
"But you'll have to get more honest politicians before you. can get liquor reform," he added. What's Wrong With Our Hotels? "Tied-House" System Under Fire (1950, September 10). The Sunday Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1949 - 1953), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18481585 

Mr. W. R. Dovey, K.C. (assisting the Commissioner), to Hooker: Not only did you enlist the co-operation of the brewery, but you enlisted the co-operation of the Whelan family,-Yes.
[Last week Mr. Dovey said the Whelans were "by far the largest private group owning N.S.W. hotels."]
In respect of one new licence you found you were in competition with the Whelan family?- We would have been.
And so you decided to join forces rather than compete?
Hooker said they had similarly "joined forces" in respect of two other licences.
The Commissioner said that if somebody could get an order for the conditional removal of a licence it might hold up a perfectly legitimate and proper application from somebody else.
"I'm not assuming at all that this large number of removal orders indicates that there is anything in the way of trafficking," he said.
"I see no reason to assume that these are not genuine investments of companies in hotels, but 1 don't propose to take anything for granted." . BOTTLES VANISHED
Barry McDonald, solicitor for the Whelan family, said that when they took over the lease of the Coogee Bay Hotel from the Trautwein family near Christmas last year, a thousand dozen bottles of beer which had been on the premises when they first inspected the hotel had disappeared before the deal was completed.
"Mr. E. E. Harten, the manager at the time, told us the owners took it," McDonald said.
He said the Whelan family had a general policy in regard to their hotels to the extent that they agreed on the degree to which they left their managers alone; had shown preference for freehold properties; and were reluctant to grant leases.
The family planned to: Rebuild the Club House, Railway, and Royal Hotels. Gunnedah, and the Royal Yass, at a cost of about £280.000.
To Erect new hotels at Bankstown, Maroubra Junction, Concord, and Forster at a cost of more than £300,000.
Joseph Andrew Whelan, who with his three unmarried sisters owns the main interest in 35 N S W hotels, said yesterday that he visited most of the family's hotels to see how they were being run.
He said that with Claude Ryan he was lessee of the Coogee Bay Hotel. He had a half share in the Oceanic Hotel, Coogee, a third share in the Occidental Hotel, York Street, and the Narrabeen Hotel, Narrabeen, and owned the Robin Hood Hotel, Black town, and the Bankstown Hotel, Bankstown
Whenever the firmly had found themselves m competition with Mr Hooker's interests they had come to terms
The hearing was adjourned until 10 o clock this morning. NEW HOTELS PLANNED (1951, November 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18241774 

Folly Of Easy Money For Homes for the "NEW RICH"
Every week, hundreds of Australian homeowners, dazzled by the bloated prices being offered for vacant-possession houses, are selling their properties to reap what appear to be fantastic profits.
Every seller naively plans to buy a cheaper home and pocket the difference. Too late the "new" rich are discovering that there are no "cheaper homes" arid that it is a thousand times easier to get. out of a house than into one.
RE S U L T is a rapidly mounting army of families living in tents, garages and humpies, even though they have more money in the bank than they ever dreamed of, and another vigorous nudge to the inflationary spiral. Properties are being offered for sale in Australia at the rate of about 3000 a week. This seems crazy in view of the desperate housing shortage. The explanation lies mainly in the get-rich-quick hunger of short-sighted homeowners. 
In the Warringah Shire, Sydney, alone, over 1000 families are living in garages, shacks and tents. Some, of course, moved from single rooms and living conditions so intolerable that a lean-to on the beach would be a heaven by comparison. But a great number of them are ex-home owners caught in the inflated money trap. Some are living in tents beside Narrabeen Lake where they rent plots of ground from the council on a three-monthly basis. Others submitted house plans to the council, had them approved and found they could do no more than build a garage because of material shortage, lack of builders and cost of construction. 
A former Dee Why resident, now a tent dweller, bitterly told Smith's his story: "I built my home, a pleasant fibro cottage just before the war for just on £800. Two years ago an agent called and offered me £2100 for it. I led him on and his final price was £2300. "My wife and I considered this a magnificent chance to get some money behind us. A clear profit of £1500 seemed good business. "We weren't so silly as to imagine that we could get another house for £800. But we thought we would be able to get something for about £1500 and still have £800 clear which would enable us to get a car and still have something over. "We sold out and moved in with relations. After three months the arrangement broke down, and after, a row my wife, three children and myself moved into an hotel — just as an emergency measure. We were forced to stay at the hotel for just on six months. "During all this time I was trying desperately to buy another house, but couldn't find anything comparable with our old place for £2500.
"I bought a bit of land but couldn't find a builder who would give a reasonable quote even though I approached over 70 contractors. "I now have only £1200 left. For almost a year my family has been living in a tent plus a garage on our land. I now have a builder interested. But I will have to borrow over £1000 and will finish with a home far smaller and inferior to the one I sold at Dee Why." At Curl Curl, close to Manly, a new area was opened up four years ago and some very attractive fibro cottages built. Residents made a happy community until, more than a year ago, a home owner, offered a high price by a migrant, sold out and built a small shack nearby until such time as he could build another home. Two other householders then sold out. One went into a garage, the other into a tent. All three sellers are still homeless. In all strata of society people are being tempted to sell by door-to-door canvassers. A young Sydney barrister who built a 15-square home at Pymble, on Sydney's elegant North Shore line, for £3250 in 1947 received a cash offer of almost £7000 six weeks ago. Before agreeing to accept he insisted on making a survey of homes . .offering to see if he could buy a ..
give him a reasonable profit on the deal. He looked at homes in exclusive suburbs only. At Roseville he saw a home 3 squares smaller than his own, 16 years old, few mod. cons., and 15 minutes from any transport for £5500. The Valuer-General's valuation was £ 1500. At Balmoral, a smallish two-bedroom home in need of repair, £5000. V.G. £1800. At Athol, within earshot of the yak's cage at the Zoo, small two-bedroom home, no garage…
After inspecting eight properties, the barrister decided that by the time he had bought new curtains, blinds, and carpets, paid transfer and legal expenses, not only would he move into a far inferior home to his own, but his profit would be negligible. But few people, either of high or low station, take the care the barrister did. They grab the money first and start worrying after. There are, naturally, odd cases where the proposition is too good to be missed. Within the last month, a 40-year-old home in Milner Street, Mosman, was put up for auction sale. It had originally been bought for £850. Some repairs had been done to it before the sale. Top and successful bid was £7653. Since this sale, estate agents have been canvassing the homeowners in the street inviting them to put their houses up for auction.. ' As an added inducement, they are offering to find flats for them if they surrender their homes. A few months ago, two young boys were sailing a boat on Sydney … a pleasant home at Rose Bay, which had cost his parents about £4000 a few years ago. His young friend said: "My father has never been inside your house, but he likes the look of it very much." Jokingly the lad replied: "Oh,-my dad would sell it to him for £15,000." That concluded the conversation between the boys. But that evening the homeowner received an urgent phone call from the father of his son's pal. He was told: "I hear you're selling your house and your price is £15,000. I'll take it." The deal was clinched next day. Inflated money or not, a profit of £11,000 on £4000 was too good to pass by. Instances such as these are unique. In the majority of cases, no matter what the price paid, the man who gains a home is the winner and the seller is the dupe. Too many homeowners  allow themselves' to be dazzled by the quantity of money offered and blind themselves to the fact that the quality has been stripped from it by inflation. The Rural Bank has worked out a rough yardstick with which to compare past house values with present. A brick home built in 1939 for £1000 now costs, a minimum of £2500 to build. , A fibro house, £756 in 1939, £2000 in 1950. But that is only part of the picture. Even with the modern money in your pocket you still have to find someone to build for you and the longer you wait, with inflation ever growing, the less valuable your money becomes. In other fields besides housing the greed of owners is driving, them to sell their goods foolishly.
Tradesmen who have long battled to get hold of a new truck to replace a worn out model are being immediately besieged by buyers who wave masses of paper money before their eyes and offer apparently large profits. In face of the deceptively easy profit, all memories of the struggle and trouble involved in obtaining the article seem to vanish. A taxi-truck operator who needed a certain type- of America utility to replace a completely exhausted model finally got one for £1050. Within two days he was offered £1450 for it and snapped up the cash. Now he is paying for his shortsightedness. His old bus has collapsed." He can't get a new model of the type he needs under a year. And with the war scare developing the second-hand price had jumped to over £1500. People who have sold their homes in the past few years have been foolish. Those who sell from now on will be plain crazy. The great housing shortage will continue for many years yet, being bolstered in its effect by the masses of migrants pouring into the country. And inflation is going to continue mounting under, the stimulus of vast non-productive defence preparations and big public works such as the Snowy River Scheme.
Folly Of Easy Money For Homes (1950, October 7). Smith's Weekly (Sydney, NSW : 1919 - 1950), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article235986602 

Plenty Of Beer
SYDNEY, Thurs— Thousands of bottles of local beer remained unsold in a Narrabeen Hotel to-day. The beer, in unlimited supply, offered customers the choice of four or five brands. But stacks of unsold bottles remained on the hotel's bar when it closed at 6 p.m. A fortnight ago, people were refused bottled beer because they did not have tickets. Plenty Of Beer (1952, August 22). Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194759331

The Royal Narrabeen Hotel name remained to 1963 when it became the Royal Antler Hotel - the place where my generation saw the Oils (Midnight Oil), INXS, the Flowers (later Icehouse) Moving Pictures, Dynamic Hepnotics, Celibate Rifles, among many others, lift the roof for a few hours.