December 8 - 14, 2013: Issue 140
Careel Bay Steamer Wharf and Boatshed www.careelbaymarina.com.au/
Current owners are Gordon 'Bluey' and Anne-Marie Woolcott
One of the earliest jetties in Pittwater was at Careel Bay. The boatshed atop the jetty still in place today, although not the original wharf, is in the same spot. The boatshed, like many of our early boatsheds, became a hub of the community. Constructed in post WWII scarcity, this simple structure is little altered from its original
Early land grant maps show a jetty stemming from the fifty acres owned by Henry Gaskin. Thomas or Henry Gaskin was convicted on April 2nd, 1787 in Kingston, Surrey, given 7 years and transported on the William and Ann, a whaler and convict ship dispatched in 1791 from England to Australia. Under the command of Master Eber Bunker, she departed Plymouth on 27 March 1791, with 188 male convicts as part of the third fleet and arrived on 28 August 1791 in Port Jackson, New South Wales. Seven convicts died during the voyage. Captain Bunker then conducted the first recorded visit by a whaling ship to New Zealand, calling in at Doubtless Bay in 1791 while hunting sperm whales in the South Pacific. She returned to Sydney and thence to England.
Of those who were in Careel Bay then:
113. Thomas Warner, 50,
Fifty Acres, Parish of Narrabeen, commencing at the Northeast corner, and
bounded on the East by a side Hue of twenty-five chains; on the South by a West
line of twenty-five chains to Pitt Water; and on the West and North by the
waters of Pitt Water to the commencing corner.
Promised by Governor Macquarie on 31st March, 1821. Quit-rent Is. sterling per annum, commencing 1st January, 1827.
114. Henry Gaskin, 50, Fifty Acres, Parish of Narrabeen, commencing at the North-east corner of Warner's fifty acres, and bounded on the West by a South line of twenty-nine chains; on the South by an East line of twenty chains ; on the East by a North line of twenty four chains to Pitt Water ; and on the North by the waters of Pitt Water to the commencing corner. Promised by Governor Macquarie on 31st March, 1821. Quit-rent Is. sterling per annum, commencing 1st January, 1827.
115. John Joseph Therry,
1200, One thousand two hundred Acres, Parish of Narrabeen, commencing at the
South-east comer ofthe Government Reserve of two hundred andeighty acres, and
bounded on the North by that Reserve by a line West twenty-five chains to a
Stream ; on the North by that Stream and Careel Bay to the North-east Gorner of
Henry Gaskin's fifty acres; on the West by Gaskin's by a line South twenty-four
chains ; on the South by a line West twenty chains, and again by a line North
four chains to the South-east corner of. Warner's fifty acres; on the North by
Warner by a line West twenty-five chains to Pitt Water; on the West by the
waters of Pitt Water to the North-west coiner of John William's sixty acres ; on
the South by that farm by a line South fifty degrees East 38 chains ; on the
West by a line South forty decrees West sixteen chains ; on the North by a line
North fifty degrees West thirty-nine chains to the North corner of John Taylor's
thirty acres ; on the West by Taylor by a line South twenty three chains to Pitt
Water ; on the West by the waters of Pitt Water to the North-west corner of
James M'Donald's thirty acres ; on the South by that farm by a line East eleven
chains ; on the West by a line South twenty-three chains to Robert Melvyn's
sixty acres; on the South by part of Melvyn's farm, and by Porter's and
Anderson's farms by a line East fifty chains to Martin Burke's fifty acres; on
the East by that farm by a line North six chains to a Stream ; on the East by
that Stream, which is the Western boundary of John Farrell's sixty acres; on the
South by that farm by a line East twenty-eight chains to the Village Reserve of
one hundred acres ; on the East by part of the Village Reserve by a line North
seven chains to a Stream ; on the South by that Stream, which is the North
boundary of the Village Reserve to the Sea; and on the East by
the Sea to the commencing comer. Promised by Sir Thomas Brisbane, 200 acres,on 23d July, 1824 ; 500 acres on 1st September,1824; and 500 acres on the 19th December,1825. Quit-rent £9 8s. 4d. sterling per annum, commencing 1st January, 1829. Classified Advertising. (1832, November 1). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2209217
Happenings at ‘Kreele Bay’ at this time:
(Before Mr. Justice Dowiisa.)
Michael Toole was indicted for a burglary and robbery in the dwelling-house of Henry Gaskin, a settler, at Kreele Bay, in the district of Pittwater, on the 4th of February last.
From the evidence adduced in this case, it appeared, that on the night of the day laid in the in-formation, some time after the prosecutor, his wife, and a man named Woodford, who had lived in the house, had retired to rest, the outer door was forced open with considerable violence, and the prisoner rushed in, armed with a musket, calling out "now for your onions!" Gaskin and his wife, being an aged couple, were very much alarmed, particularly as the robber, presenting the musket at Gaskin as he lay in bed, swore that he would blow his brains out if ho stirred. He then compelled the man, Woodford, to rise and light a lamp, with which he commenced a search through the room, and obliged Woodford to open a chest, containing a variety of property, which he immediately commenced pillaging. While he was thus employed, he placed the musket on the ground, and Gaskin, upon a signal made to him, suddenly got out of bed and seized it1 unobserved. A dreadful struggle then ensued between Gaskin and the robber for the musket, in the course of which, Gaskin, still retaining his grasp, however, was thrown on the ground, and while in that position received a severe cut across the face with a knife which the robber drew upon him. Woodford came to the assistance of Gaskin, and struck the robber several severe blows on the head with a stick ; when finding, having lost possession of the musket, that the odds were against him, he made a precipitate retreat from the house. Gaskin endeavoured to fire after him, but found that the gun flint had been lost in the scuffle, and that the pan was full of his own blood which flowed from the cut received by him in the face. The witnesses underwent a most minute examination by the learned Judge, as to the prisoner’s identity, but they all swore positively to him ; the prosecutor and his wife stating that they recollected his person at once, as he had committed another felony in their house on the night of the 30th of the preceding November.
About a month after the commission of the offence for which the prisoner was tried he was apprehended by the district constable of Broken Bay, who, from information he received, traced him, with the assistance of two native blacks, to a house in that neighbourhood, where he was discovered concealed among some corn, and attempted to make his escape through the window, but was brought back, after he had proceeded a very short distance* from the house, by one of the blacks, who fired at, and wounded
Shot him in the elbow as he ran. The Jury found the prisoner Guilty, and the learned Judge immediately passed sentence of Death upon him, to be executed on such day as His Excellency the Governor should think proper to appoint. Supreme Court. (1830, May 20). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2195160
Gaskin married Margaret Evans in 1804 and is listed under subscribers for the then 'gazette' at Windsor in 1816:
Subscribers at Windsor.
Names of Rank or £ s d.
Henry Gaskin... 0 9 0 Classified Advertising. (1816, March 16). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2176586
Henry Gaskin was listed in the September 1822 Land and Stock Muster with a wife, Margaret Evans, and a daughter, Ann Gaskin, aged 8. In the 1828 census he was listed as Andrew Gascon, aged 62. His grant was shown as 60 acres, of which 20 acres were cleared and 10 cultivated. Gaskin’s wife, Margaret, aged 63, and a five-year-old boy, Thomas Godard, lived with him. He also had a tenant, Andrew Woodsworth, 42, who had cleared and cultivated 5 acres. Henry Gaskin sold his 50 acre grant at Careel Bay to George Coy on 29 November 1834 for five shillings. (1.)
TO LET, FOR a term of three or five years, a FARM of Fifty Acres, acknowledged to be the best Ground in the vicinity of Pitt Water. Lately occupied by Mr. Henry Gaskin; Five and Twenty Acres of which are under cultivation. On the Farm there is a Dwelling-house, Barn, and Out-houses, as well as every requisite for Agricultural and Domestic purposes, which are to betaken by the Purchaser at a valuation. There is also a Wharf on this Farm, from which the Boats to and from Sydney, arrive and take their departure. For further particulars, apply (if by letter, post paid) to the Proprietor, Mr. G. Coy, Shoemaker, Cambridge-street, near the Saracen's Head. Classified Advertising. (1840, January 21). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2551318
The first tenant appears to be Robert McIntosh but the property was re-advertsied in 1844.
Thomas Warner was sentenced to 7 years at Middlesex on 21 February 1787. He arrived in the Colony on the Third Fleet ship Albemarle, in October 1791. He was the master of two Hawkesbury trading vessels, the Union, during the years 1817 to 1819, and the Tiveot in 1821. In his memorial to Governor Macquarie in July 1820, requesting a grant of land, he stated that he had been free for 27 years and had resided at Broken Bay for seven years.
Warner had built a house and cleared and cultivated two acres of land. He was listed as “Settler, Broken Bay” in the 1822 General Muster. His grant of fifty acres was surveyed by Meehan, and also by George Boyle White in 1827. Seventy years old at the time of the 1828 census, he then had 25 acres, of which he had cleared 10 acres and had 5 under cultivation. He had sold 25 acres of the original 50 to James Stokes for £15. Warner transferred his 25 acres to Elizabeth Watson by deed of gift on 10 March 1830. [LTO Book C No. 396] She sold it to William Charles on 29 July 1835 for £12 [LTO Book K No. 239]; she then married William Charles. The 50 acres was conveyed to George Green of North Shore on 2 March 1854 (1.)
Full of years spent worthily, Mrs. Honora Collins relict of the late John Collins, died on the 20th instant the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. J. J. Roche, Bay View, Pittwater. For more than half a century she had lived at Pittwater, and no family was better known or more highly respected than the Collins family of Careel Bay. Mr. and Mrs. Collins were natives of the County Cork, whence they emigrated 60 years ago. Soon after their arrival in the colony they settled on Father Therry's grant at Pittwater, where Mr. Collins engaged in grazing and farming. The district has always been a great health resort. Many an invalid from Sydney recruited his health at the hospitable homestead of the Collins family. The cottage was flanked by two hills, named Mount St. Joseph and Mount St. Mary by Mr. Collins. It is told of him that he would allow none of his sick guests to leave until he saw that they were completely 'on their legs,' his test for which was a given time to ascend and descend these hills before breakfast. The remains of the deceased lady were brought on the 21st from Bay View to St. Mary's, North Sydney, where Masses were said for the repose of her soul. The funeral took place at Chatswood Cemetery, the family burial-place, the same day. The chief mourners were Mr. J. Collins, of the Harbours and Rivers Department ; Mr. P. Collins (sons) ; Mr. J. J. Roche, son in-law; Messrs. J. T. and E. P. Swanson, nephews. Among others present were Mrs. Black, of Barrenjoey Customs Station ; Mrs. Midden, Mrs. Roche, Mrs. Earl, Mrs. Robertson, Mrs. F. Collins, Mrs. P. Collins, Messrs. D. J. Glacken, M'Teague, J.Wall, J. Crowley, H. Coyle, J. Macintosh, and Boulton. The Rev. Father Dowling, of St. Patrick's College, Manly, attended Mrs. Collins during her last illness, and officiated at the grave. May her soul rest in peace. DEATH OF MRS. COLLINS. (1897, October 30). Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115471628
In Text: Careening Creek, Broken Bay January, 1885, by Harold John Graham (1858-1929), Image No: 2432858, courtesy National Library of Australia. Below shows 'Mount Patrick and Dam constructed by Colins.
One of the earliest mentions of the jetty at Careel Bay and the volume of excursionists, a popular pastime, bought to Careel Bay where the pastimes of the era were practiced, stems from one of the benevolent gestures of the largest landholder:
Yesterday, being Easter Monday, a pleasant steam excursion took place in connection with the St Benedict's Young Men's Society. The commodious steamer the Collaroy, under the command of Captain Mulhall, had been chartered for the occasion, and left the Australasian Steam Navigation Company's Wharf, Sussex-street North, with about 260 persons on board, at ten o' clock a.m. Part of the band of H. M. S. 12th Regiment were in attendance, their cheerful and untiring efforts contributing not a little towards making the day pass harmoniously and agreeably away. Working along through the ever changing scenery displayed on the shores of our harbour, the Collaroy at length rounded the Heads, and, taking a northerly course, rushed past that enormous barrier presented by the weather-worn cliffs which face the ocean between the Great North Head and the seaward aspect of Manly Beach. Following on the interesting coast line of Curl Curl, Dee why, Long Reef, and Narrabeen, &c, - varied succession of wooded eminences, long sandy reaches, towering precipices, and grassy park-like slopes, - the pleasure-seekers were at length abreast of the singular headland of Barrenjoey, forming the extreme south-eastern limit of the estuary which serves as a common outlet for the River Hawkesbury and the Pitt Water. Shortly after passing the Custom House station the course of the Collaroy then took a southerly direction, and so brought the holiday folks into the lake-like solitudes of Pitt Water, until wooded hills seemed to be rising on every side of the vessel.
The passengers were landed at a small, but commodious wharf, erected on the property of the Venerable J. J Therry, under whose especial patronage the excursion had been got up. Most of the visitors set off in quest of St. Michael's Cave, determined not to lose the opportunity of seeing so great a natural curiosity. The walk, it was found, lay through woods, a long flat, and a hilly scrub, until, facing to the east at the head of the inlet, the merry party, in a straggling Indian file, at length arrived in the vicinity of the cave, cautiously descending the rocks, and creeping carefully along a narrow path specially made for their convenience on the face of the cliffs, they were thus finally rewarded for their perseverance. Almost every body managed to scramble up into the cave, and not a few of the more adventurous explored its inmost recesses by candle-light. The effect of the gloomy inner arch looked down upon from the top of the second angle of the cave, was much admired; and so also was the wider arch at the entrance, as contemplated from the spot where the bright daylight again began to stream down upon the faces of the returning explorers. There was, for some time, a pleasant buzz of conversation and a discussion of food at the mouth of St Michael's Cave, and then the party set out on their way back to the steamer, where dinner had been prepared.
Some with sharpened appetites posted thither
at once, but many remained with the band near the house on the flat, and
amused themselves with dancing, playing cricket, and so on. There was
some dancing also at the steamer after dinner was over. The Kembla
steamer visited the wharf at an early hour, landed some passengers, and
afterwards returned for them. The Collaroy left the wharf for Sydney at
about five o'clock, and arrived safe at Sydney soon after eight. The
Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sydney, the Mayoress, and other members of the
family were on board. We also observed the Rev. Fathers Corish, Curtis, Hanson,
and Powell, besides the Venerable J. J. Therry. The trip appeared to
give general satisfaction, although a slight shower, soon after the arrival of
the Collaroy at Pitt Water, interfered with some of the
PITT WATER. (1862, April 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13227471
Maps from the period, especially that of the 1882 Sales brochure, show the jetty to extend from the front of land previously owned by Gaskin. A communal jetty for all visitors and those living there.
1879 – Shooting excursion to Careel Bay on P.S. Newcastle:
The SS Namoi will leave the wharf foot of Market-street at 2oclock tomorrow an will land excursionist at the new wharf at Careel Bay for about an hour.
This spot has only just been opened up by the company but has already become a favourite resort on account of the scenery and as the weather appears favourable the Namoi will no doubt have her full complement of passengers. OCEAN EXCURSION. (1894, February 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13940880
TRIP TO BROKEN BAY.
On Saturday afternoon the Hunter River Company sent the Namoi to Broken Bay on a short excursion trip.
The steamer was well patronised, and, the weather being pleasant, all on board enjoyed themselves.
A few were seasick, but the run ashore at Careel Bay brought them round and, between collecting ferns and fishing, the excursionists were both delighted and benefited by the trip.
The steamer started from Sydney at about 2 p.m., and returned soon after 7 p.m. A band of music enlivened the outing.
TRIP TO BROKEN BAY. (1894, February 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13941242
Federal Convention Picnic 1897.: "Namoi" at Hawkesbury River, Government Printing Office 1 – 09197, Courtesy State Library of NSW
A new wharf was built in 1893/94 to meet the demands of 'Excursionists', this time by those using the wharf;
The Newcastle and Hunter- River Steamship Company’s report for the half-year ended 31st December shows … for depreciation there was a credit balance of £3082, including£76 brought forward. … Heavy necessary expenditure for repairs had had to be met. For the accommodation of excursionists two new wharfs had been erected at Cowan Creole and Careel Bay on the Hawkesbury and tributaries. MONETARY AND COMMERCIAL. (1894, January 25). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13938624
Newcastle and Hunter River S. N. Company organised three ocean excursions yesterday, and they were well patronised. The s.s Namoi went to Careel Bay, Hawkesbury River, taking 650 passengers. The s.s. Maitland took 250 passengers to Newport, and the s.s. Sydney 320 to Port Hacking. A band was engaged for each steamer. OCEAN EXCURSIONS. (1894, March 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13945934
The Newcastle and Hunter River Steam Navigation Company dispatched the Newcastle on a trip to Cowan Bay and the Maitland to Careel Bay, Hawkesbury River, each with a fairly large number of passengers, all of whom spent a fairly enjoyable time. OCEAN TRIPS. (1895, April 16). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108098657
HAWKESBURY EXCURSION.- Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931) Saturday 23 May
1896 p 3 Article
... HAWKESBURY EXCURSION. The Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Company will dispatch the well-known steamers Namoi and Newcastle to Broken Bay and the , River. The Namoi will make a stay of three hours at Careel Bay...
It should come as no surprise with the volume of passengers being brought to this wharf that it needed some repairs:
Harbour and River Works -Repairs to wharf and approach at Careel, Pittwater, George Lawson, Balmain, schedule works. PUBLIC WORKS TENDERS. (1899, April 18). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14209738
George Lawson was a Macleay River resident and third son of Christopher Lawson. Both are listed as shipwrights at Frederickton, Murwillumbah. George Lawson, who married Emily Ann Cheers in 1871, went on to have 11 children. He was renowned as a wharf and bridge builder from at least 1895 and many of the major and minor wharves on our eastern coast were built by him, as a contractor, during the years from 1895-1904. Soon after winning the contract to build a public wharf at Newport where the pier had once been, he moved his family to Ewenton, the rambling historical residence in Balmain and is recorded as living there until 1905. One of his daughter's had her wedding reception here: SOCIAL. (1902, May 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14461102
The Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Company's excursions to the Hawkesbury River, Careel Bay, Pittwater, and Port Hacking receive a liberal patronage, and during the holidays increased arrangements will be made for the conveyance of intending excursionists. This afternoon the steamer Newcastle will be dispatched to the Hawkesbury from the wharf at the foot of Market-street. There will be a band to enliven matters on the journey, and refreshments may be had on board. The steamer will proceed to Cowan Bay, which is considered one of the most picturesque spots on the river. Here the company have made several improvements for the convenience of their patrons, who will have an opportunity of enjoying the natural beauties of this attractive site. Before entering the bay a view of Lion Island, Hawkesbury Bridge, Dangar Island, and Refuge Bay is obtainable. On Boxing Day there will be excursions to the Hawkesbury, Careel Bay, and Port Hacking, three of the most charming resorts to be had within a convenient distance from Sydney. Careel Bay is unquestionably the most picturesque part of Pittwater, and here the company have erected a substantial jetty, where excursionists will be landed for about three hours. AMUSEMENTS. (1899, December 23). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113695241
The Newcastle and Hunter River Steamship Company will run the ' Newcastle ' to Cowan Bay, Hawkesbury River, and the ' Namoi ' to Careel Bay, Pittwater, on Eight Hour Day. The return fare is set down at 3s and luncheon may be had on board for 1s 6d. Popular Trips. (1900, September 29). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 - 1950), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85816924
POPULAR EXCURSIONS TO THE HAWKESBURY RIVER, PITTWATER, AND PORT HACKING(Weather Permitting), from Wharf, foot of Market street, at 10 a.m. BOXING DAY, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26, S.S. NAMOI 1414 tons, to COWAN BAY, HAWKESBURY RIVER. S.S. SYDNEY, 534 tons, to CAREEL BAY, PITTWATER. PUBLIC HOLIDAY, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2,S.S. Newcastle, 1251 tons, to Cowan Bay(Hawkesbury River).S.S. Sydney, 634 tons, to Port Hacking. Excursionists will be landed for about THREE HOURS, arriving in Sydney on return about 6 p.m. Luncheon, 1s 1d, provided by the Company. Refreshments at Moderate Rates. BAND ENGAGED, for each Steamer. -3s. RETURN FARE 3s.CHILDREN, HALF-PRICE.THE NEWCASTLE AND H.R.S.S. CO., LTD.F. J. THOMAS, Manager. Offices: 147 Sussex-street, Sydney. Advertising. (1900, December 22). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114008745
Careel Bay Pittwater [cartographic material] : township of Brighton, 8 blocks of land with ocean frontage 1882. MAP Folder 135, LFSP 2160 by Pritchard, W., courtesy National Library of Australia.
EIGHT MAGNIFICENT BLOCKS OF LAND, CAREEL
BAY, PITTWATER, SURVEYOR'S DESCRIPTION. W PRITCHARD will sell by auction, THIS
DAY, Thursday, JULY 6th, at 11 o'clock, in his Rooms, 289, George-street. The
above magnificent blocks of land.
SURVEYOR'S DESCRIPTION. The land forms the pick of the late Rev. Therry's PITTWATER ESTATE, on CAREEL BAY. It is with regard to beauty of scenery, salubrity of climate, and fertility of soil, unsurpassed in this charming locality, and overlooks the tranquil waters of CAREEL BAY and PITTWATER HARBOUR, backed by the bold MOUNTAINS of the WORLD-FAMED HAWKESBURY on the WEST; and commands an immense and extensive view over the PACIFIC OCEAN on the EAST. Lots A and B. of block 1, rise in gentle terraces from the MAINROAD to BARRENJOEE, to a height of above 200 feet, and then slope down to the coast in a northerly direction. Lots C and D of Block 1 lie on gently rising ground, partly cleared, and are protected against southerly winds by a wall of high COAST CLIFFS. All these four lots contain an abundant supply of USEFUL TIMBER and practicable facilities for a PERMANENT SUPPLY OF FRESH WATER, particularly lots C and D. which are traversed by a watercourse running into CAREEL BAY.
ALL lots have large frontages to the GOVERNMENT MAIN ROAD leading to the POST and TELEGRAPH OFFICE and LIGHTHOUSE at BARRENJOEE. which connects the land for sale with MANLY, LANE COVE, and M'CARR'S CREEK SETTLEMENTS : and on the portion from the old HOMESTEAD to BARRENJOEE the GOVERNMENT have voted £500 for improvements, so that communication with the POST and TELEGRAPH OFFICE will be EASY and ENJOYABLE. LOTS A. B. and C of Suburban Lot 2, in the primary subdivision of the "PITTWATER ESTATE," are on level ground, bounded on the WEST by the waters of CAREEL BAY and on the EAST by the GOVERNMENT MAIN ROAD to BARRENJOEE. Lots A and B are pretty well timbered, and Lot C is nearly open ground, and enjoys on the South the frontage of another ONE CHAIN ROAD to the MOUTH of CAREEL CREEK.
THERE IS DAILY COMMUNICATION WITHIN A FEW MILES OF THE LAND FOR SALE, either by LAND or SEA, Coaches run duly from MANLY to NEWPORT, and thence a ride, drive, or sail for a few miles brings one to CAREEL BAY. The STEAMER FLORRIE, which runs in connection with the coaches from NEWPORT to GOSFORD, will also land passengers and luggage at BARRENJOEE; steamers run also direct from SYDNEY to the HAWKESBURY and BRISBANE WATER, and land passengers at the LIGHTHOUSE STATION. The whole distance from MANLY is about 14 miles. The GOVERNMENT have voted the necessary funds for a bridge over the NARRABEEN LAGOON, and it is also clearing a new one-chain road from the LANE COVE-ROAD to the PTTWATER-ROAD, and so avoids the NARRABEEN LAGOON. FOUR SCHOONERS are plying regularly between PITTWATER and SYDNEY, and so facilitate the transfer of heavy material. PLENTY of SPORT with GUN, ROD or BOAT.
(Signed) J. WANDELS, CE., 19-6-82. The land in this locality has been proved to be well suited for ORANGE GROWING ; but in a few months there will not be an acre of land in the locality available for purchase. LITHOGRAPHIC PLANS may be had at the Rooms of the Auctioneer. TERMS AT SALE. Advertising. (1882, July 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13514755
Apart from being a destination for day-trippers to a beautiful rural area, the main two industries associated with Careel Bay from its earliest times until now have been fishing, a safe sheltered harbour when nor'wester's aren't blowing and yachting:
Wreck of the Lena and Lilian. NARROW ESCAPE
OF THE CREW.
A wire from Barranjoey states that the schooner Lena and Lilian, with a cargo of sawn hardwood, from Port Stephens to Sydney, put in Broken Bay at 2 o'clock on Sunday morning in a sinking condition. The vessel left Port Stephens on Saturday morning at 6 o'clock, with the wind southerly and sea moderate. During the day the wind set m from north-east, and at 10.30 p.m., when off Terrigal, the ship sprang a leak so bad that the pumps could not keep her free. She then ran for Broken Bay, and just reached Careel Bay when the vessel sank. She now lies on the beach with her deck awash. The schooner is owned by Mr. Wm. J. Bowles, and was built at Brisbane Water in 1885, and is of the following dimensions : Length, 58ft ; beam, 17ft 8in ;depth, 5ft 6in ; tonnage, 38 net. Wreck of the Lena and Lilian. (1893, December 18). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112931747
The Lena and Lilian was a Rock Davis (Blackwell and Patonga) built schooner.
A deputation of net fishermen, not foreigners, but some of the steady men of Sydney Harbor, waited upon the Fisheries Commissioners last week to ask 'for the removal of the ban against certain kinds of netting on the Heads side of a line across from Grotto Point to Shark Reef in Sydney Harbor. They desire to secure a- portion of the shoals of school fish which 'come into the harbor every year, and materially, strengthened their case by urging the non-allowance of sunk and mesh nets.- The latter are the nets which sportsmen have been so set against. They are1 immensely destructive o£ small fish and breeding grounds, and can he used anywhere— along rocks, round piers, &c. The men want to be 'able to catch some of the mullet, garfish, kingfish, and jewfish which come into the harbor, and they ask for the beaches at Manly, Watson's Bay, Parsley Bay, and Vaucluse for that purpose for part of the year. '.. As. the law now stands, the Commissioners, who would doubtless like to comply with the requests of these men, who are as far above dago netters as one can imagine, are 'In a bit of a fog’, but when the new Bill drafted by Mr. J; Want, . M.L.C., comes : into force, and the mesh and sunk nets are vetoed, there is every likelihood of their request being granted. One of the deputation pointed out that he had seen 500 small red bream taken in a sunk net in Careel Bay. The deputation asked what benefit had accrued to Port Hacking by its prolonged closure, and no one could answer them, for the fact remains, that the Port has been singularly scarcely supplied. FISHING NOTES. (1899, November 29). Referee (Sydney, NSW : 1886 - 1939), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121793281
YACHTING. CHRISTMAS CRUISE.
A number of the yachting fleet got underway last evening for the usual cruise to Broken Bay It is the intention of the Idina, Aoteana, and probably others to remain until the New Year. The Jess left her moorings yesterday afternoon. Excepting perhaps Thelma, Archina, and Meteor the majority will bring up in the lower reaches of the Hawkesbury, Refuge Bay and numerous other sung corners on Cowan Creek, will be visited, the Basin, Careel Bay, and Newport will each claim a few of the yachts. Yachtsmen should find a fairly good supply off fresh water in the creeks, fish are reported to be fairly plentiful, and with fine weather the visitors ought to have a pleasant time. Most of the smaller craft will be in evidence inside the harbour, where a few days may he pleasantly spent, with a certainty of getting back to town on the expiration of the holidays, no matter where the wind is from. YACHTING. (1899, December 23). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article14226263
EB Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.). (1917). Panorama of Careel Bay and the jetty, Pittwater, New South Wales Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162413016
A simple investigation of the owners of these yachts brings the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the then owner of the Meteor, Dr. James Frederick Elliott of Elliott Brothers, Limited, was rear-commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in 1893-94 and 1900-02 and vice-commodore in 1902-04, and a director of the private company formed to buy the club's premises, Carabella, Milsons Point, in 1904. J F Elliott passed away in 1928 but two years prior to then purchased land at Careel Bay: Primary Application - James Frederick Elliott 29 acres 11 roods 35 1/4 perches in Bay View & River View Roads & on Careel Bay & Pittwater in Parish Narrabeen County Cumberland Shire Warringah Volume 3952 Folio 98 Date range: 13/04/1926 to 23/12/1926 (From State Records of NSW).
DR. J. F. ELLIOTT. DEATH IN SYDNEY. After an illness of a few months the death took place in Sydney on Sunday morning last of Dr. James Frederick Elliott, for many years chairman of directors and general manager of Elliott Brothers, Limited, Sydney and Brisbane. Dr. Elliott was a son of Dr. F. W. Elliott, one of the founders of the business, which has come to be one of the largest of its kind in the British Empire. After the death of the original Elliott Brothers the business was conducted by Mr. George C. Elliott, and the late Dr. J.F. Elliott, D.Sc, the former for many years being chairman of directors, during which time Dr. J. F. Elliott was managing director at the large chemical works and manufacturing laboratories at Balmain, Sydney. On the death of Mr. George C. Elliott, Dr. J. F. Elliott accepted the chairmanship of the company, and during the period of his control the business made very rapid strides. The doctor was one of the leading figures of the drug trade in the Commonwealth. His wide knowledge and versatility were generally recognised, and his business sagacity was availed of by many companies outside the drug trade, which he served in the capacity of director. His outside interests were many, and various. Of a naturally kind-hearted, sympathetic, and genial disposition, Dr. Elliott will long be remembered by a large body of loyal employees.
Until recent years Dr. Elliott made frequent and regular trips to Brisbane, but in consequence of the amalgamation of the Brisbane branch of Elliott Brothers, Limited, with Taylor and Colledge, Limited, which took place in 1924, his visits became less frequent. He still retained his connection, however, as a director of Taylors and Elliotts, Limit-ed, and also T. and E (Surgical),Limited. His widespread business interests left him with little leisure time, and this time he usually spent in boating, fishing, and other pleasures of an aquatic nature.
For many years his motor yacht, Ena, was prominent amongst the motor craft of Sydney Harbour. As chairman of Elliott Brothers, Limited, he will be succeeded by Mr. Victor G. Elliott, son of the late G. C. Elliott. Yesterday, from noon to 2 p. m., the Brisbane offices of Taylors and Elliotts were closed as a mark of respect to the memory of the late Dr. Elliott. The funeral took place yesterday. THE LATE DR. J. F. ELLIOTT. DR. J. F. ELLIOTT. (1928, September 11). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21355389
LATE DR. ELLIOTT. The
funeral of Dr. James Frederick Elliott took place privately at the South Head
Cemetery yesterday. One of the leading pharmaceutical chemists in Australia, he
found time, in a crowded life, to engage in many commercial and other
The second son of the late Dr. George Robinson Elliott, who founded the firm of Elliott Bros., Ltd., the late Dr. J. F. Elliott was born in Elliott-street, Balmain, in 1857, and was educated at the Sydney Grammar School. For his technical education he proceeded to London, thence to Germany. Returning to Sydney, he was appointed to the position of pharmaceutical chemist to Elliott Bros., Ltd., and he designed the laboratories at Rozelle. He also occupied the position of scientific director of the chemical works of the company, succeeding the late Mr. James R. Elliott as managing director of the chemical works and laboratories. In these positions he had great opportunities of showing his ability as a chemical engineer, and under his supervision great progress was made in the manufacture of sulphuric and other mineral acids, and also the manufacture of superphosphates and other chemical manures, He was a leading authority on all pharmaceutical matters and chemical engineering and was a life member of the Pharmaceutical Society of New South Wales.
During the last few years he made several visits to England, the Continent, and the Far East, and was one of the founders of the oil industry in Timor. He took a special interest in the refinement of bismuth metal.
Subsequent to the death of the late Mr.George Elliott in 1912 he became general manager and chairman of the board of directors of Elliott Bros., Ltd., and also became director of a number of other companies, including the Australian Alliance Assurance Co., Consumers' Ammonia Co., of Australia, Ltd., Taylors and Elliotts, Ltd. (Brisbane), in which were amalgamated the businesses of Elliott Bros., Ltd., and Taylor and Colledge, in Brisbane. He was a member of the New South Wales Club and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Yachting had a fascination for him and he introduced the 30ft class, and he sailed the Magic and the Meteor. Latterly, he owned the motor yacht, Lotus. LATE DR. ELLIOTT. (1928, September 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16493486
Balmain Sailing Club; Messrs. M. A. H.Fitzhardinge, J. C. Elliott, and Dr. Elliott. R. S. YACHT SQUADRON. THE CENTENNIAIL CELEBRATION. (1887, November 3). Evening News(Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108222596
J F Elliott appears in the above image in back row, second from left (courtesy RSYS archives). The RSYS members, alike the foundation members of Pittwater's RPAYC and RMYC - Broken Bay, were captains of industry or at the top of their field. Sailing races to Pittwater, Pitt Water as a holiday destination were a clear and obvious choice. Having a Pitt Water base was part of RSYS plans and moorings and the boatshed itself, once built, were theirs up until quite recently in terms of how long Careel Bay has attracted the yachting fraternity. A map showing where Bay View Road, Careel Bay once was, is shown in the top map:
Pictorial: Yachtsmen took their wives, their children, and in some cases their dogs on the one-week 1970 Squadron Cruise arranged by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Boats sailed from Kirribilli to the RSYS base in Careel Bay, Pittwater, and during the week raced on Pittwater and on Lake Macquarie. Family outings included barbecues, which were held in the evenings after the racing. SQUADRON CRUISE. (1970, May 27). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48211884
Around 1917/1918 Dr. Elliot built 'Marara' - a property and house still in existence on Careel Bay.
Tenders called for... Hawkesbury River — Residence, Careel Bay Undated — E. R. Orchard. 684 Pitt Street. Advertising. (1918, June 10). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109675648
This was purchased by Dr. Schlinck after he passed away. Dr. Elliott installed a caretaker. An unfortunate incident names this caretaker and some others who resided in Careel Bay in 1917:
'DOG WAS MURDERED' Caretaker Claims Damages APOLOGY ACCEPTED
SYDNEY. Tuesday. 'Buster' was an Australian terrier and was the pet of the family of Addison Parker, of Careel Bay, Newport. 'Buster' was .found dead between his home and the local wharf. Parker examined the tracks with a magnifying glass, measured foot-prints, and came to the conclusion that 'Buster' had been strangled. Today, before Judge Cohen and a Jury in the District Court, George Moule, caretaker for Dr. Elliott, of Careel Bay, sued Parker for £400 for alleged libel. According to Moule, Parker wrote a letter to Elliott, in which he said that about 2 a.m. on August 28, a commotion was heard at the back fence of Elliott's residence. 'Buster' had not been poisoned, but strangled, and the body carried a few yards up the track 'leading from the public wharf to Parker's place.' There the culprit cut the tie from the dog's neck.' said the letter.' A powerful magnifying glass discloses that the dog had been laid down and the tie cut at that spot, but the clumsy criminal left evidence and the article that he used for the purpose' The tracks of the man Indicated that he was a tall man. The only men that slept In Careel Bay that night were Hastie, Wilson, Moule, and myself. Neither Hastie nor Wilson would do such a thing as this, the act is traceable to a clumsy, unintelligent, heartless and common man. It was cold-blooded murder. I have been frequently annoyed by your caretaker. That our dog was murdered at your back fence at 2 a.m. is without a doubt.' Some men would have rushed to the police , straight away without employing Sherlock Holmes: I believe I have acted honorably in writing to you,' the letter added. The case for Moule was, that the letter meant that Moule had killed the dog and was a person of low character and of a vicious nature. Parker denied the libel alleged. After the case for Moule had been outlined, Parker offered an apology and offered to pay the costs of the suit. This was accepted, and the case lapsed. "DOG WAS MURDERED". (1926, April 27). The Newcastle Sun(NSW : 1918 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163391382
A description of Marara from 1929 sale Notice:
Under Instruction from THE EXECUTORS OF ESTATE OF THE LATE
Dr. JAMES FREDERICK ELLIOTT, "MARARA." CAREEL BAY. near PALM BEACH. OCCUPYING a sheltered position, commanding a wide range of enchanting views if the picturesque Inlets of Pittwater, its shores, and headlands. An ideal Waterside Bungalow of attractive design, built of specially selected mahogany weatherboards on massive stone foundation, WITH DOUBLE ROOF and shingles over iron, to ENSURE A LOW TEMPERATURE.
It contains: Living-room, 25 x 10, with inglenook. In addition large plate glass observation window, and is fitted with built-in bullet and cabinets, four bedrooms, each with lavatory basin fitted therein, supplied with running water, modern bathroom, with lavatory, kitchen with stove and sink, hot and cold water service, etc. Verandah in front. 33 x 12. Verandah at rear. All windows and doors fitted with copper wire flyscreens. Delco Electric Light Installed throughout, Telephone. The water supply Is a special feature, having a storeage capacity of '60.000 gallons, with special Reserve supply for household purposes, connected to bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen.
DETACHED LAUNDRY, fitted with up-to date appointments, storeroom.
ON THE WATERFRONT Is a BOATSHED. with man's quarters over, comprising living-room, large bedroom, kitchen (stone), separate water supply. SHARK-PROOF SWIMMING BATH. 130ft, x 40ft. Substantial Hardwood Wharf, Other improvements comprise: Motor Garage, Cow Shed. Fodder Bins, Poultry Run, Septic Tank. THE LAND COMPRISES AN AREA OF 28 ACRES 8 ROODS 6 PERCHES. TITLE TORRENS. HAVING FRONTAGES to CAREEL BAY. BAYVIEW ROAD AND RIVERVIEW-ROAD, about 4500 FEET t o EXISTING ROAD?.
PHOTOS. ON VIEW. RICHARDSON and WRENCH. LTD. in conjunction with JOHN W. ILFORD. 82 PITT STREET, will submit the above GENTLEMAN'S SEASIDE HOME (FURNISHED. AND BOATS, GEAR, FISHING NETS, ETC. ETC.) to PUBLIC AUCTION.IN THE ROOMS. on PITT-STREET. on FRIDAY 15th of MARCH. AT 11 A.M. INSPECTION BY CARD ONLY MAY BE MADE BETWEEN THE HOURS 0F 9AM AND 5PM (INCLUDING WEEKENDS). Advertising. (1929, March 2). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 24. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16535201
Found Drowned. A fisherman named Albert Turner, living at Stockpoint Careel Bay, was found drowned in Broken Bay near Hazeldon on May 8. He had been out in his sailing boat, which was found on the rocks with the sails set, and had visited his brother-in-law, Thomas Wilson, at Bayview during the day. Deceased leaves a wife and seven children. Found Drowned. (1892, May 14). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 46. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71237819
Charlie Hastie, a well-known fisherman of Pittwater, says that black bream, flathead, and flounder are now fairly plentiful about Careel Bay and the mouth of Pittwater, and advises anglers to give the place a trial. FISHING NOTES. (1906, February 3). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114224127
Charles Hastie married Isabella Harris in 1890, they had two sons and two daughters, one of whom was Jessie Hastie (born 1896). In 1914 Jessie Isobell married Frederick James Wilson (born 1889). Frederick was the son of Thomas and Frances (nee Oliver) Wilson. His grandfather was the Thomas Wilson who first came to Pitt Water in 1841 as the lessee of “Mona Vale” farm. The above mentioned Albert Turner was married to his aunt, Nancy (b.1852, married Albert H. Turner 1872).
Primary Application - Charles John Hastie 2 acres on Bay View Road & Careel Bay, Pittwater in Parish Narrabeen County Cumberland Shire Warringah Volume 3946 Folio 207 Date range: 01/05/1926 to 11/12/1926 (from State Records, NSW).
Ted Allan, whom we spoke to when researching, and who knew both Hasties and Wilsons, sheds some light on activities of then:
I grew up with Colin Wilson, and I fished with them. Colin, the Wilsons, lived in the corner here. I’d walk across the bay here when young and Colin and I would muck about with nets. After I finished my apprenticeship as a carpenter I went commercial fishing with them for four years. I fished with Charlie Wilson and old Jackie. The land in the corner that is Careel Bay Close now, that was the Wilson’s place.
There was another bloke by the name of “Hastie’ and old grandmother Hastie lived in the bottom house there which is in that old photograph – it had a mandarin tree. They were yum. Old Jackie Wilson, in between fishing, he had a very good garden on the hill there.
The man who had the Newport Hotel, as I remember it, bought the land from the Wilson family – I think his surname was Seibert. There were four boys and four girls in the Wilson family. Of the four Wilson family girls some are still alive – Jean lives down in Canberra, she’s the youngest, Mercia lived in Mona Vale, Joan used to live in Joseph street but is in a nursing home now, her surname is Hillier, and there is also Betty.
Late in 2014 we were contacted by a relative of the Wilson family, who shared this insight on the Wilson ladies and their sequence of birth:
The youngest is JEAN (my mother) and she resides in Queanbeyan near Canberra; the next oldest is Betty who has lived in Newport Beach for almost 30 years; Joan Hillier does in fact live in a Mona Vale nursing home. The eldest Mercia (known as Bid), who had also moved to the same nursing home, has unfortunately now passed away. - WENDY LOYD.
The nets you see in that old photograph – old Jackie had a net pole along here and they used to dry their nets on these. In the photograph you can see a big tub. In those days they used to boil the ironbark up to dye the nets as these were cotton, or they were when I first started. There was no nylon then. You would pick an ironbark tree that had a lot of sap coming out of it and chop the bark up finely to use as a dye. - PETER VERRILLS, photo courtesy Verrills family
The 1933 photograph to the right shows the jetty that was at Careel Bay during that time and also illustrates who else had land fronting the bay at this time (this property is still pretty much intact and the original structures, despite being 'added on to' can still be seen). It is taken from then named Marara April, 1933 Digital Order No a3299015, Caption; Album 74: Photographs of the Allen family, November 1932 - March 1934, Courtesy State Library of NSW:
Dr. H. H. Schlink has Issued Invitations for his annual dinner for members of the Ski Club at his house at Careel Bay on Sunday. About 30 are expected to be present. SOCIAL AND PERSONAL. (1936, April 30). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 21. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1734728
Peter Verrills also moved with his family to Careel Bay around the same time as Ted Allan:
It was ‘Fred’s Boats’ in those days, owned by a bloke called ‘Freddie Scharer’. I first came here in the late 1940’s, around 1950; I was just a kid who hung around the boatsheds. They used to hire out boats, sell fuel (Mobil) which was ‘look for the sign of the flying red horse’.
There used to be cows here then. Wilson’s the fishermen, they owned all the corner over there – they had a couple of cows and a horse or two. It was very country, so isolated, beautiful. No houses – they owned that all waterfront. A lot of timber was cut out of here which was loaded from the jetty. They did careening here too, these were only small boats of forty or fifty tons. The storms used to clean Careel Bay out, make it hard to get a good mooring on the eastern side of the bay. A lot of boats would drag their moorings in these storms. During this era they only had hand winches on the barges and this made it difficult to get a decent mooring laid. Those that are around now can put anything down, it’s totally different. Mind you there’s a lot more boats now.
This was the base for Palm Beach Ferries; all the maintenance happened here. This was done originally by Jimmy Goddard. He married one of the Hammond girls and had two sons, Billy (William) and Allan. Allan is down in Tasmania now and Bill is up in Bilgola Plateau. Jim was the resident shipwright here and did all the woodwork maintenance on the ferries because they were timber boats in those days. He also built a few boats here with Taylor, but that was much later on in life. - PETER VERRILLS photo
And Walter had up the bay – Goddards Boatshed behind where the General Store is now?
Yes – that was his uncle ‘Wally’.
What was the first and last ferry you had here?
The Ellen Ann in 1976 which was an ex-Stockton ferry, had been the Arthur G Walter ferry in Stockton. The last one I had here was the Crystal Spirit which was 2004.
So you have seen it change hands over those decades?
Not so much change hands but change managers. Owners wise it went from Fred Scharer to Bobby Godsall and then Col Southwell. After then it went to the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. They owned it for probably twenty odd years. They would have a week up here during the school holidays – in those days there were four terms and school holidays – they would come up for then. A big group would all come up from the harbour.
In 1961 the wharf at Careel Bay was officially declared a public one:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1919—PROCLAMATION
(L.S.) E. W. WOODWARD, Governor.
18th January, 1961.
I, Lieutenant-General Sir Eric Winslow Woodward, Governor of the State of New South Wales, with the advice of the Executive Council and in pursuance of the Local Government Act, 1919, do hereby declare to be a public wharf the wharf and land described in the Schedule hereto, and vest the control thereof in the Warringah Shire Council. (S. 60-1,630).
By His Excellency's Command,
P: D. HILLS. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!
Being the wharf and appurtenances thereto and the adjoining land, the property of the Crown necessary for the proper working thereof, situated on the southern foreshore of Careel Bay, Pittwater, north of the northern boundary of lot 1, deposited plan 14,882. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1919—PROCLAMATION (1961, January 27). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 219. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article220243157
A new wharf and the Building of the Boatshed
Henry 'Ned' Robinson provides the gaps from 1944 until when the boatshed was constructed and how this came about. Henry is the son of Bob Robinson, and grandson of Bob Robinson Snr., the gentleman ascribed with being the first settler on the beach of Patonga. Henry, nicknamed by his father ‘Ned’ because he liked carrying a gun around all the time and now 92, and sister Elaine, now 99, nicknamed by her father “Tippy’ because she loved singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ represent a lot of the fishing history of Patonga and Careel Bay.
Henry recalls going out with the Wilson fishermen on the ‘Eunice
Anne’ and always catching, in their season, big hauls of fish:
£300 HAUL OF FISH IN AFTERNOON. SYDNE Y, Sat. Fisherman F. J. Wilson of Careel Bay, netted one-third of a huge shoal of salmon off Dee Why Beach. Between noon and 5p.m. on one day, Wilson and two companions netted 200 boxes of salmon. The smallest fish weighed about 6 lb. The catch was worth about £300.The fishermen gave away hundreds of fish to sightseers. When Wilson and his men pulled their net onto Dee Why beach they found they had also netted a 7-ft. shark. £300 HAUL OF FISH IN AFTERNOON. (1952, May 24). News(Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130273667
Henry ‘Ned’ Robinson
– father of Peter Robinson (still fishing - based at Careel Bay) – son of Bob Robinson of Patonga who is son of Bob Robinson Snr. of Patonga – one of first gentlemen to live there. Henry is 92 years old (2013). Born February, 1922.
When did you first come to Careel Bay?
1944. I was 22 when I left Patonga. I got married and bought a house up here in North Avalon. That was 1944. You couldn’t get out to the jetty, it was only a stone wall, a causeway. There wasn’t a wharf there, there was nothing. So we couldn’t unload our fish there. We had to bring them in off the bigger boat with a smaller boat to get them ashore.
The jetty and road were washed away out to the stone wall. We were working with people that lived on what used to be known as ‘Hastie’s Flat’ , and that was Mrs Hastie, she was still alive then but a very old lady, and people by the name of Wilson – they’d lived in the same property up on the hill for ages. We were fishing with them.
Their son and my family, my father (Bob Robinson) and brother, they had a big truck at that time and so did we. To make an extension out to where we could build a wharf, on Careel Bay, on the right hand side as you’re heading down, where all the houses are now, there was nothing there apart from Swamp Oaks. We went in there, there was nothing then to say you couldn’t cut trees down, and cut the big logs down – one of the Wilson boys and myself. We hooked them behind the trucks, towed them out to the where the little bit of road finished and went from there and banked the wall up with these Swamp Oak logs. They were good for this because they lasted in the water. We built the wharf right out to where the end of the shed is. We dug the side of the hill out and filled it all up right out to where the shed is now.
It wasn’t long after that Fred Scharer came down. There were two daughters, Norma and Pamela was the elder sister. We used to call Norma’s mother, who was called ‘Adeline;’ we used to call her ‘Ma’, Ma Scharer. Old Fred had a little Bedford truck, an old one. He used to cart the filling out and fill up from where we’d left off and then built the shed on top of this.
Years ago, before my time, the steamships used to call in there; it used to be a cargo wharf. That all washed away – the winds come in from the north-west there took that away.
Fred built a bit of a wharf out the end of this. In 1953 we’d had a big trawler built, the Eunice Ann, and we’d unload our fish there. That was there for many years. When the north-westerlies used to come we’d put two anchors out on the trawler because she was a big boat, Peter’s got the boat now, and we’d pack our fish on the wharf and have to get them off quick because otherwise we’d have knocked it (the wharf) down.
Can you recall the day Fred was run over by the bulldozer?
We weren’t there that day – we used to work out on
the ocean beaches until we had the big trawler. That was when they came there
with a bulldozer to widen the road a bit. They were taking the filling away form
the bank. That tied him up for a long while. They were a hell of a nice people,
the Scharers. I remember Norma, when she was a young girl, she was a model. A
Back in those days Careel Bay was a hauling ground – we used to pull a net in there on the flat- we used to catch what they call ‘Trumpet Whiting’. We used to shoot the net right down there and pull it by hand. We didn’t do it often because we didn’t have to. When things were a bit tight or there was a big sea on, we’d come in there. At that time we were catching fish along the beach – from Palm Beach all the way along to Bondi. We’d catch hundreds of tons of salmon – the Wilsons and us would fish together. We worked together for years. We would catch lots at Palm Beach; mullet, bream, in the season – sometimes up to 500 or 600 boxes at one go. The salmon used to on for quite a long while. The Yanks were here then and fish were scarce, so we could sell them; we didn’t get a lot of money for them in those days, but the quantity counted.
Fish in boat is mullet – taken at South Palm Beach; left to right: Bob Robinson Snr., Clarrie Witchard (brother in law) Jack Robinson, Henry Robinson (brothers) and Bob Robinson (Henry and Jack’s dad – Peter’s grandfather). Clarrie married Eunice ‘Tippy’ Robinson, Henry’s sister - photo courtesy Robinson family
Old Fred came to us, he wanted to get a half a dozen moorings. We said ‘where do you want them?’. He said ‘where will you let me have them?’. In those days, if we’d have said ‘no’ the fisheries wouldn’t have let him put them in – eventually they would have of course. At any rate we said to put them over there and that was the start of it; these were out in the middle of the bay. As time went on he ended up with quite a few and this provided a living.
They were there for years and sold to a chap by the name of Godsall. Godsall partner went in partners with Mobsey when he moved back out to Palm Beach, they were there for quite a few years.
Why were you called ‘Ned’ – were you a bushranger of Patonga?
I got that from my dad. Dad used to give all of us kids a nickname, there’s eight of us in the family, and every one of us got a nickname from dad. He called me ‘Ned’ because he reckoned I was as game as Ned Kelly, I’d do anything as a kid. I was frightened of nothing.
Dad was a sail-maker when he stared – he began his apprenticeship when he was 14, he finished it at 17. He used to make all our own sails. We fished with dad in Sydney Harbour. He’d sail from Sydney Harbour down to the Hawkesbury and Patonga where we lived.
How old were you when you first started fishing?
I had a fishing licence when I was 12 years old. We lived in Patonga- I can still remember my dad coming back from town; we used to have to get our fishing licence by February then, otherwise you’d have to apply for a new one, and he said “Here’s your ticket.” As he handed it to me – I can still remember that. I was still goig to school then.
We used to catch a lot of fish hand line fishing when I was younger, even when we had the big trawler I still used to go and catch them that way. The Eunice Ann wasn’t finished when we brought her home so I did that. I did about 40 years at sea, trawling, trapping, a bit of everything – we also did a lot of net fishing, trapping fish in the river.
The building of the current boatshedThe Scharer family came out to Avalon when Frederick returned from active service during WWII – this was the second world war conflict he served in. The family settled at Avalon Camping grounds initially. Youngest daughter Norma recalls her father returned from WWII with shell shock and they would come out to Paradise Beach, where his mother had a block of land on weekends and camp.
“I remember quite clearly how dad and I would climb the hill overlooking Careel Bay and he said to me “I’m going to build a bloody boatshed down there and hire out boats.”
Norma: “In 1945-46 mum and dad put up a tent in Avalon Camping Grounds…dad used to go down to Careel Bay every day. He had three boats, built at Balmain, brought up by sea to Careel Bay."
Mr. Scharer helped Henry Robinson with the reconstruction of the causeway and the jetty at the end of it from 1945. Daughter Norma recalls her and her future husband Max Watt used to go help him get dirt and stones from side of road to make causeway and fill in area that shed would built on. The Scharer family were in a tent up on the hill behind the boatshed at this stage. Unfortunately there was an accident:
UNDER A BULLDOZER. As Frederick Scharer, 59, of George Street Careel Bay, was helping to make a road near his home yesterday a bulldozer backed into him and pinned him by the right leg to the road. His leg was – fractured and badly lacerated. Manly Ambulance took him to Manly Hospital. UNDER A BULLDOZER. (1949, August 24). Goulburn Evening Post (NSW : 1940 - 1957), p. 1 Edition: Daily and Evening. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article104531921
Mr. Fred Scharer, of Canterbury Street, Casino, drove to Sydney on Wednesday to be at the bedside of his injured son. His son Fred was seriously injured on Tuesday when run over by a bulldozer. Personal. (1949, August 26). Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article99063484
Norma related her father spent his recuperation in a Garage kindly loaned to them by a doctor who had premises there (Dr Schlink?) at the end of the bay.
He used to hire out Vinco Boats and also moor vessels:
CRUISER 21ft equipped with 4 Dunlop berths head room in main cabin Toilet and galley beautifully appointed all conveniences 4 cylinder Red Seal marino petrol engine separate Amplion 12 volt lighting set PRICE £750 . Telephone XB4211 Inspection arranged at Fred’s Boatshed CAREEL BAY, PITTWATER. Advertising. (1950, January 28). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18138878
Although most of those who recall Mr. Scharer state he looked like a very old man to them when they first met him, he was only 59 when he passed away at Concord Hospital. The legacy of serving his country through two horrific wars.
The Careel Bay
Boatshed - Construction and Completion
- all photos courtesy Norma Watt (nee Scharer)
Above: The Bedford Truck - Below: Mr. Scharer in his truck:
NSW servicemen portraits, 1918-19 - Frederick Richmond Scharer. Image a872318, courtesy State Library of NSW.
Norma and Max - 1945
Norma's Wedding was on December 7th, 1951 - the above photo of her parents, Frederick Richmond and Adeline M (nee Olsen) Scharer is from her wedding day.
WATT-SCHARER. -The Engagement is announced of Norma Elizabeth, younger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs F. Scharer, Careel Bay. Avalon Beach, to Maxwell James, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs C. Watt, of Waterloo. Family Notices. (1951, January 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 30. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article27569846
Careel Bay and the jetty, Pittwater, New South Wales EB Studios
(Sydney, N.S.W.) Image: nla.pic-vn6154594, courtesy National Library of
This is all the same picture - enlarged sections to show details.
Post the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron era
The RSYS sold to Austral Monsoon Pty. Ltd. who had plans to change the shed to a two storey structure, put new floating berths in- a whole gamut of expansions which can be viewed here in out Avalon Preservation Society Profile.
The current owners, Gordon 'Bluey' and Anne-Marie, had leased the marina from Austral Monsoon, prior to their purchase:
Gordon ‘Bluey’ Woolcott
When did you take on Careel Bay Boatshed?
We leased it off the last owners about six years ago. I was at Royal Motor Yacht Club and Heron Cove Marina prior to that. I’ve worked on the water all my life. My first contact with being on the water when storing a canoe down at Roseville Bridge Marina where my storage fee was sweeping the shipwrights shed out and doing some tenders. We bought Careel Bay Boatshed off the previous owners, Austral Monsoon, two and a half years ago now.
You’re here year round – what’s it like in winter, still wearing shorts?
We have a shorts policy; if you turn up to work, even in Winter, in long pants, you have to buy a box of beer.
What’s the best thing about working in boatsheds?
It’s the water; being next to the water and being outside, you can’t beat it. Yesterday summed it up really well; Friendly was coming down the channel to the Marina in the Water Taxi and on the bow wave was the juvenile dolphin that’s here at present. For about an hour, when it was dead calm, the dolphin swam around the water out the front of the marina, came up to the boats at the wharf and I stood there and said “There’s just nothing else you would do. It just doesn’t get any better.”
We get seals in here, I’ve seen a tortoise in here. It’s a good spot – there’s something very special about it. This is still one of the bases for commercial fishermen in Pittwater – there’s currently four vessels moored in the bay that are commercial fishermen’s.
Anne-Marie and Gordon 'Bluey' Woolcott- December, 2013
1. PROFILES OF THE PIONEERS IN MANLY, WARRINGAH AND PITTWATER by Shelagh Champion, OAM, B.A.(Lib.Sc.) and George Champion, OAM, Dip.Ed.Admin. 1996
Above: Current - Careel Bay Marina - Boatshed. Below: Peter Robinson at Careel Bay Boatshed. Decemebr, 2013. Pictures by A J G.
How did you end up coming to Careel Bay boatshed?
I was moored out here and fishing – prawn trawling and lobsters. I took a pleasure boat to the Barrier Reef from here in 1964 – got Mobile fuel from here – there was a Captain Hinchcliff here then in charge of the shed. The shed was like what it is in the old photo – it has changed a little bit now, the paint colours are the same.
We used to have a big Christmas party every
year here. When it was run by the RSYS they had managers here. The best thing
about Careel Bay boatshed is it’s still in it’s original state – it’s
historical. It’s a proper boatshed.
I worked from Careel Bay when I was lobster fishing for quite a number of years. I used to work commercially from where the sea plane base is at Sandy Point, Palm Beach. Ray and I had our boats down there but they were prone to bad weather there so I moved to Careel Bay.
When I first came to Careel Bay Fred Scharer had the boatshed, he was already an old man then, must have been in his late sixties or seventies. There wasn’t anything here, he just had a few little hire boats. There was a little stone causeway out to the boatshed, there was nothing here, no developments of any kind.
Darren Skinner, current shipwright, in Jimmy Goddards shed at back of the marina. Brian Friend swears this is 'clean and organised' compared to when Jimmy had it - apparently then the only path through the room led to the fridge where cold beers were stored.
This is also the site of the infamous, or famous 'Sand Crab Disco' - but that's another story.
Careel Bay Jetty and Boatshed threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2013. Many Thanks to Henry and Peter Robinson and the Robinson Family, Norma Watt, Ted Allan, Peter Verrills, John Arblaster, Ray Gascoigne, Brian Friend, Gordon 'Bluey' and Anne-Marie Woolcott, Darren Skinner and all the staff at Careel Bay Boatshed.