Travelling Through Time by sea, road and rail in Newcastle and the Hunter


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©2018 Greg and Sylvia Ray

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic

or mechanical, and including photocopying, recording or by information storage and retrieval systems,

without the written permission of the copyright owner.

Travelling Through Time

Printed by NCP Printing, Steel River, Newcastle

Published by Greg and Sylvia Ray

Concept and design by Greg and Sylvia Ray

by sea, road and rail

in Newcastle and the Hunter

Research and text by Greg Ray

Photo restoration by Sylvia Ray

ISBN 978-0-9871883-9-7

This book is lovingly dedicated to our fathers,

Jakim Gorgievski

Geoffrey Ray

By Greg and Sylvia Ray

Title page: Nobbys Headland behind the departing sailing ship Lawhill, after a visit in 1944 (see page 61)


THIS, our tenth book – and the ninth in our series of volumes of collected photographs – is a miscellany

with an emphasis on transport. It’s about travelling, on sea and land, in Newcastle and the Hunter from the

days of sail to the 1970s.

Included between these covers are some favourite images fortuitously obtained, along with many more

from the original collection of material we acquired from the estate of the late Ken Magor in 2010.

Since our first book, Newcastle, The Missing Years, appeared, we have collected many more photographs

from many sources, always with the idea in mind of producing more books.

It’s often the case that a collection of hundreds of photos or negatives will contain one or two real gems,

and some of the images in this book are rarities of that kind, rescued from packages destined for the garbage,

or resurrected from musty old boxes of mementoes. Like the photo on page 27 of Newcastle Ocean Baths, a

standout among modest family snaps in a box of vintage negatives. And the pictures of Watt Street on pages

23 and 24-25, one of which was scanned from a magic lantern slide and the other saved from an ice cream

container full of negatives on the verge of being thrown in a rubbish bin.

Many people have helped us put together this collection. Barry Magor – Ken Magor’s son – has been

extremely helpful. Our dear friend Daphne Barney has been kind and generous in providing access to the

collection she amassed with her husband, the late Norm Barney.

Former photographers like Ron Bell, and our mentors Ron and Liz Morrison, have entrusted us with

important negatives and prints. Our friends from Maitland and District Historical Society, Keith Cockburn

and Peter Smith in particular, have surprised us more than once with wonderful material.

Book and memorabilia dealers Mark and Tony Burgess have supplied some rarities too, like the image

on page 26 of the effigy of the Kaiser in Newcastle East during World War I, a standout print from a small

collection otherwise undistinguished.

The rare image of Samuel Dark on page 27 was an exciting find, kindly loaned by Wilf and Judy Redden.

Other friends and helpers for this book include Anne Hudson – grand-daughter of the remarkable William

Fraser – and Roberta Johnson, Peggy Paton and Bill Pitt. Mr Pitt provided us with Harold Boultwood’s

negatives documenting the construction of Newcastle City Council’s “Roundhouse” administrative centre.

Also thanks to our friend John Tipper, who created

the Facebook group Rediscovered Newcastle

to assist us in discussing our books and also

discovering more about various photographs. This

has proved more successful than we had anticipated

and, as a consequence, we must also thank our

numerous friendly helpers in that group who have

solved many mysteries and corrected many errors

through their cleverness and patience. Leon Garde,

Robert Watson, Kevin Parsons, Margaret Bee, Ray

Cross, Steve Shotton, Ian Wright, John Clarke,

Ricky Walters and Steven Ward are just some of

those whose sleuthing and background knowledge

has saved me many hours of research.

Again, we thank Alan Neader at NCP Printing for

helping us have our books printed in Newcastle. It’s

our ambition to support local businesses and jobs as

much as we can, and NCP has helped us achieve this

goal by providing professional high-quality service

at a price that maintains the viability of our projects.

Newcastle was a last great refuge for sail

WHEN steamships were perfected, they inevitably put an end to the long era of sail as a means of trading

commodities across the globe. But sailing ships lingered for decades, and circumstances made Newcastle

one of the last of the great sailing ship ports. In the early years of the 20th century, the city often hosted as

many as 80 sailing ships at once, almost all of them taking coal to the west coast ports of the Americas.

Prevailing winds across the Pacific Ocean meant the sailing ships could catch the trades to Australia in

the tropical latitudes, then fly back east on the wings of the strong winds in the lower latitudes. This free

energy, coupled with the fact that the west coast American ports were hungry for coal to run their railroads

and mines, gave sailing ships one last profitable niche. Unfortunately, waiting times for cargoes at Newcastle

were very long, and that fact helped put more of a squeeze on the trade.

During those golden sunset years of sail, Nobbys was a landmark known to many thousands of deepwater

sailors to whom rounding that clumpy little headland was synonymous with reaching safety.

Many sailors wrote about their travels, and numerous books contain interesting references to Newcastle

during the years of the “west-coast coal trade”. One particularly good description is contained in the book

Gipsy of the Horn, by Rex Clements, who arrived in Newcastle in 1903 in the Arethusa:

The harbour was a wonderful sight by reason of the great number of deep-sea sailing-ships then in port.

There were no less than a hundred and sixteen of them when we arrived, not counting steamers or coasters,

and a grand show they made. Right away from Queen’s Wharf, just inside the Bluff, up past the Dyke they

lay in an unbroken line as far as Waratah, or “Siberia,” as it was called, from its remoteness to everywhere

else. In the Dyke, where we were lying, the ships lay three deep and there was a double row of them over on

the other side at Stockton. Masts and yards were packed as thick as bristles on a hedgehog. During the day

there was as much activity afloat as ashore, in consequence of the tremendous number of steam-launches,

ferry-steamers, chandlers’ boats and ships’ gigs dodging about among the shipping.

We only stayed at the Dyke a few days, then shifted down to Queen’s Wharf to discharge our cargo. Queen’s

Wharf was the best berth in port and only a couple of minutes’ walk from Hunter Street, Newcastle’s

principal thoroughfare.

We found Newcastle a very lively and pleasant little town, with so many ships in harbour the atmosphere of

the place was of the sea salty. There was one hotel, the Carrington, which was common property. It was the

best-known hostelry in town, chiefly in consequence of the popularity of a bar-maid there – Nell, by name –

who was often known to present half a sovereign to a hard-up customer.

Two girls clowning in front of the Glebe bus, c1920

Greg Ray

Newcastle Harbour as it was in the early 1900s: “during the day there was as much activity afloat as ashore”.

4 5

Lovely photo by Sam Hood of the French steel barque Ville de Havre near Nobbys. She was built in 1899

and made a number of eventful voyages to the Pacific before being torpedoed by a German U-boat off Ushant

in 1916. Behind the ship the pilot vessel can be seen, and the taut line from the bow suggests she is being

towed to sea. Zaara Street power station is visible in the right background. Since the power station was built

in 1914, this photo may have been one of the last taken of this lovely ship before its wartime destruction.

The American wooden schooner Minnie A. Caine, on American Independence Day, 1913. The ship was

launched in Seattle in 1900 and carried lumber across the Pacific from the United States to Australia, often

visiting Newcastle to load a return cargo of coal. By the 1920s these routes were no longer profitable for sailing

ships and the vessel was laid up. It lingered until 1939 when it went ashore and was wrecked in the USA.

14 15

This photo, titled “Ready for Sea”, shows two ships

moored side by side in Newcastle Harbour. The ship at

right is the Steinbek – previously known as Durbridge.

Scuttling the steamer Katoomba in 1905. At left is the dredge Jupiter, and at right is the steam lighter Powerful.

A series of wrecks on the Oyster Bank led to the gradual creation and extension of the Stockton Breakwater.

The photograph above shows the famous wreck of the Adolphe, which was driven onto the bank in 1904, seen

through the masts of the Regent Murray, which had suffered the same fate in 1899. In the photo below the

Adolphe is at left, and the wrecks at centre are Katoomba and Elamang. The Regent Murray’s masts are at right.

The wreck of the collier Meeinderry, which sank on May 23, 1922. Meeinderry collided with the steamer

Wallsend off Redhead, and struggled to Newcastle with all hands at the pumps, sinking just inside the harbour.

20 21

The iron schooner Kate Tatham lies capsized alongisde the German barque Hans in Newcastle on

November 4, 1907. The ship was hit by a sudden squall of wind which sank her, trapping one seaman in

a flooded hold from which he was lucky to be freed. The remains of the ship can still be seen at Stockton.

A delightful photo of a group of people with their horse-drawn vehicle at the corner of King and Perkins Street,

Newcastle. The building on the corner – Ireland’s Bond Store – still stands today, without its ornate verandah.

The Berbice, aground on Stockton Beach. The skipper of this British ship tried to run into harbour under sail

during heavy weather in June 1888 but found, like others before him, that this was no easy task. The ship was

a total loss. It remained an attraction for sightseers for some time but eventually broke up and rotted away.

A steam tram rushes along Scott Street, crossing Watt Street near Newcastle Railway Station. Compare the

details in this photograph (from a magic lantern slide) to those in the much clearer image printed overleaf.

22 23

A wonderful photo, by Frank Hurley, of the steamer wharf at Newcastle during the paddlesteamer years. The

ship is the Namoi, which operated between Newcastle and Sydney from 1884 to 1922. It was scuttled in 1933.

Another uncommon and interesting Novocastrian view, this time of the Ocean Baths, which opened in 1922.

This rare and interesting photo was taken by a visitor to Newcastle in 1918. It shows an effigy of Germany’s

Kaiser Wilhelm, which was to be burned that evening in a demonstration of wartime hostility. Also visible

in this East End scene is Newcastle’s Jubilee Coal Monument. The unnamed photographer wrote on the

back of the print – sent to a friend or relative – that “crowds turned out to see the lovely bonfire it made”.

A very rare photo showing Samuel Dark, founder of Dark’s Ice Works in Newcastle, and also a leading

supporter of soldiers and returned servicemen during and after The Great War. Samuel Dark fitted

out and furnished a Soldier’s Club at the Mission Hall in King Street entirely at his own expense, and

backed the establishment of what became the City of Newcastle Sub-branch of the RSL as the war wound

to a close. In this photo Mr Dark is standing beside his wife, Violet. Their daughter Dorothy is sitting in

the back seat and Mr Bert Hicks is at the wheel. A woman named Mrs Davies is in the front of the car

with her daughter, whose name is unknown. The car is a 1912 Belgian-made FN (Fabrique Nationale).

26 27

The photograph above, from the Ken Magor transport collection, shows a steam tram and carriage at Parnell

Place in March 1912. The driver is listed as G. Loche, conductors F. Corrigan and S. Gulliver. Also shown

are T. Morris, J. Smith and J. Rolfe. The destination on the tram is Lambton. The photograph below, at

Parnell Place in 1905, lists the driver as B. Hadaway. The destination is shown as Wallsend and Plattsburg.

In the photograph above, listed as Parnell Place in 1902, the driver is named as D. Crawford and the conductor

as a Mr Fullford. The destination is Merewether Beach. The photo below, also listed as Parnell Place in 1902,

shows a steam tram with Mayfield shown as its destination. The steam tram network was quite extensive,

stretching ultimately to Speers Point and West Wallsend. Steam began to be replaced by electricity in 1923.

28 29

Maitland had steam trams of its own from 1909 until December 1926. This wonderful photograph shows a

steam tram in High Street behind a herd of cattle on a dusty day. Trams ran between East and West Maitland.

This tram has derailed at the corner of Lawes and Victoria Streets, East Maitland. No date, but circa 1917.

Maitland’s tram service was uneconomical, having never been built as originally planned – to take in Kurri Kurri

and other centres. The final tram ran with its whistle shrieking all the way to East Maitland depot on Friday,

December 31, 1926. Many passengers took the ride for old time’s sake, and kept their tickets as souvenirs.

38 39

Top: J. Wiggens’s Kaiai, photographed

at the Central Garage, Broadmeadow.

Centre: Leighton’s Enterprise at

Newcastle Hospital.

Bottom: George Downey’s Salitros,

which ran between Newcastle and

Adamstown, via Broadmeadow.

Top: The Majestic.

Centre: Hall and Coslett’s Westralia,

with Merv and Ron Baker’s Marvel

close behind, photographed at Scotts

department store in Hunter Street.

Bottom: Stan Davidson’s Sunbeam,

another operator on the busy route

between Newcastle and Mayfield.

46 47

Shipping at Stockton. Above: The tin shed of the Missions to Seamen is visible at left and the two foremost

ships are the Gowanburn and the Navarino, which was sunk by the Luftwaffe on July 4, 1942, during a World

War II attempt to ship supplies to Russia. Below: Steamers and sailing ships mingled in a crowded scene.

The German steel four-masted steamer Alrich, above, was built in 1913 and is recorded as having visited

Newcastle in June 1914, not long before the outbreak of The Great War. The photograph below shows a

hard-working horse straining to haul a train of fully laden coal trucks on the Newcastle waterfront.

50 51

For many years Newcastle’s harbour was notoriously shallow and ships often ran aground. The Dundula, seen

above, was stranded on a mudbank in 1936. The photograph below shows an old dredge in the harbour in 1947.

The US-built, Dutch-owned cargo ship Fort Wilhelmus and a big pile of Army surplus tyres from

Finschhafen, New Guinea, at Kings Wharf in October 1945 (above). The photograph below shows

a line of ships berthed in Newcastle Harbour in April 1936, with the City of Vancouver at front.

52 53

A rainy day scene in Scott Street, February 14, 1947 (above) and in Hunter Street, June 6, 1946 (below).

Crowded Hunter Street on July 26, 1947 (above) and the same part of town on Christmas Eve, 1938 (below).

84 85

A rather crowded Newcastle-bound double-decker bus picking up passengers at Belmont on January 5, 1947

The Tighes Hill bus outside the Mayfield hotel, in Maitland Road, near the Hanbury Street intersection.

The aftermath of a rainy day collision between a bus and a Vauxhall car in Stewart Avenue on March 6, 1939.

Another car-bus collision, at the corner of Scott and Bolton Streets, Newcastle, on November 8, 1951.

86 87

A locomotive and brake van crossing a damaged bridge over a drain at Wallsend on January 18, 1951.

Locomotive 5164 hauling a long train of coal wagons near the Tighes Hill bridge on May 27, 1947.

Shunters watch locomotive 5338 haul a goods train out of Morandoo siding, near Port Waratah, in the 1940s.

A wonderful photograph of locomotive 5084 smokily entering a tunnel on the Belmont line on May 19, 1937.

102 103

Two views of a rail accident at Woodville Junction on May 11, 1936. Locomotive 3321 has derailed badly.

Scenes on April 16, 1946, following an accident near Paterson, during a period of widespread flooding. The

engine and six vans of the milk express from Taree derailed, killing fireman Walter Jenkins, of Adamstown,

injuring the train driver, William Knight, of Islington, and disrupting traffic on the northern line for 16 hours.

The photograph below shows a number of frustrated would-be travellers waiting at Paterson Railway Station.

104 105

The hive of business activity that was Hunter Street, looking west from Latec House, on December 21, 1970.

Another shot from Latec house on December 21, 1970, looking east along a street full of old familiar names.

120 121

Taxi rank outside the post office, near Mr Brown’s famous newspaper kiosk in Bolton Street on August 2,

1968, (above) and a line of taxis outside the Crown and Anchor Hotel in Perkins Street on March 20, 1968.

The Great Northern Hotel on the corner of Watt and Scott Streets in 1958

(above) and traffic queued at a crossing in Scott Street on December 29, 1970.

122 123

A wild storm caused widespread damage to property in Newcastle East on May 15, 1968. A Ford Cortina taxi has come to grief at Dairy Farmers Corner on September 24, 1970.

A collision between a car and a scooter in Tudor Street, Hamilton, on October 3, 1968.

138 139

Car accident at Lambton on June 1, 1968 (above). A collision between a double-decker bus

and a BSA motorcycle on January 28, 1971 (below) has the cycle coming off second-best.

An ambulance was called when this Austin mounted the kerb and hit a post in Hamilton on April 20, 1968.

140 141

Holden taxis with passengers at Newcastle Railway Station – the Railway Florist is the shop at left – on

June 17, 1968 (above) and customers at the counters of the station’s new booking office on April 15, 1971.

Heading in to the trains, March 23, 1970 (above) and waiting on the platform (same date),

158 159

Newcastle Railway Station’s refreshment kiosk staff watch in vain for customers during a rail strike

on February 12, 1969 (above) and National Servicemen crowd the platform on February 7, 1968.

Passengers riding the train between Newcastle and Belmont on March 23, 1971 (above) and the Belmont “tin

hare” train at Adamstown Station (below) on the same date. The government closed the service on April 8, 1971.

160 161

Pumping up a bicycle’s tyres (above) and a budding young mechanic checks out his tandem tricycle.

A group of children playing on the “monkey bars” and riding tricycles at Wickham School in May 1971.

176 177

Cottees cordial delivery by truck in the Maitland area in August 1961 (above) and a shiny new XK Ford

Falcon ambulance in High Street Maitland, with the Metropolitan Hotel in the background, in October 1961.

Filling a Ford’s (Holden) taxi at Maitland (above) and a cabbie showing off a

dashboard-mounted Pye “Reporter” radio telephone in Maitland, in August 1961.

178 179

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