Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Crews Garage

Frank Crew originally worked as an engineer at Minnamurra Quarry. When he left that position the Crew's and their five children Frank (Jim), Charles (Chilla), George, Kathleen and Grace moved to Shellharbour where, after a time Frank decided to start his own business.

In the 1920s he leased a garage (corner of Mary and Addison Streets) from Ted Thomas. Frank Crew operated the garage and mechanical business, while his wife drove Ford cars carrying passengers to and from town, the railway station and Lake Illawarra and she also delivered bread, mail etc.

In those early years petrol for the garage was bought in four gallon tins which were packed in a wooden case. A hand operated pump was eventually installed before two pumps were placed at the footpath.

The family lived at 'Roseneath' in Mary Street near the Methodist Church, and as well as running the garage, Frank also operated a bus run that took passengers to and from Shellharbour Station and Lake Illawarra. The buses also took workers to and from the blue metal quarries.

Later, Frank's sold his business to his brother Alf who then leased the garage.

The family lived for a time at Avondale before moving back to Shellharbour. Mrs Crew opened a refreshments shop in the town and they lived at the old Police station 'Woodbine'. Mrs Crew was one of the first female motor car drivers in the area.

Crews Garage, Shellharbour Village 1926
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

Alf and Flo Crew with their daughter Gladys At 'Roseneath' c.1930s
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

Buick car outside 'Roseneath' c.1930s
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Frank Crew and family in their Buick car c.1930s
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

Collette's Cafe, Shellharbour. This cafe was operated by Mrs Frank Crew as a refreshment room in 1936.
Shellharbour Images Shellhharbour City Libraries


  1. Nice historic pictures presenting the garage. Loved it.

  2. Thanks Garages NZ. The old garage is still there today - a reminder of the great work the Crew family did at the garage for many people in Shellharbour over many years. It is a great building.


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