Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Shellharbour Rock Pools

The driftway at Shellharbour Villlage has always been used in the summer months for recreation purposes, and in the 1880s people began to push for the construction of rock baths. The community did not like ‘the evils of the day’, described as ‘men and youths bathing in a state of nature on the open sea beach’. It was suggested they ‘compel every bather to use a proper bathing costume similar to those in many European countries’.

In 1894, the Shellharbour Progress Association chose a site for rock baths between the jetty and the former cemetery, at the Shellharbour foreshore.

Regulations allowed ladies to bathe for 2 hours in the morning, and from 3-5 pm. Men bathed before 7 am and after 5 pm. The sexes would alternate in the baths by the use of a system of flags.

Bathing became the order of the day and they were soon taxed to their capacity in the summer months. Rock baths attracted tourists and the beautification of the foreshore by the planting of trees drew attention.

On Arbor Day in 1895, the Shellharbour community united to plant the Norfolk Island pine trees that adorn the harbour today. The trees thrived and were cared for by the progress association.

Visitors became more frequent and a tourist handbook issued by the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company in 1905 said ‘of all the delightfully secluded spots on this patch of coast none has become more popular than among visitors than the pretty little township of Shellharbour, standing on a gentle rise overlooking the sea’.

Head down to Shellharbour Village over the Christmas break! It’s a beautiful spot.

Information – Bayley, W, 1959. Green Meadows, Shellharbour Municipal Council.
Gwen Allen at the rock pools, Shellharbour Village c.1920
Tongarra Museum collection

Kaleen Allen and friend at the rock pools, Shellharbour Village c.1920
Tongarra Museum collection

Kaleen Allen at the rock pools, Shellharbour Village c.1920
Tongarra Museum collection

Children at the Bass Point rock pools
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Oil at Mount Terry

During mid to late 1962, a drill site was located about 100 metres to the west of Jamberoo Road at the foot of Mount Terry. The operator was Farmout Drillers.  The stakeholders included Farmout Drillers, Consolidated Oil and Woodside.

The site was designated as "Stockyard Mountain No.1”, as it was attempting to intercept a formation which rises to create that landmark.  The rig was about 180 ft high with a dam on the southern side to hold water used for drilling.

At the time, Bob Grey had a part time news-camera job with WIN TV and stories from the site were a regular feature on the local news.  Bob found the site supervisor, a geologist, to be a relaxed and friendly chap who was happy to explain the working of the operation at any time.

The operation struck gas although obviously not in sufficient quantities.  One piece of their equipment was known as the electric log. Its purpose was to monitor the amount of gas coming to the surface in the returning drill mud. In normal operation, there was a more or less constant stream of small bubbles which registered as a slight wave on the recorder.

One morning Bob noticed that the previous night's recording showed the wave suddenly increasing until it appeared to go off the paper. When he mentioned this he was asked not to tell anyone about it.  About a week later the operation was  cancelled and the rig left.

He suspected the sudden cessation was necessary because the gas was not potentially commercial but still interesting enough for the operator not to want to share the information with others.

If the drilling had continued, they would have been obliged to send a core sample to the federal government who were partially funding oil exploration at that time. The information would then have been public knowledge.

Information gratefully provided by Bob Grey.

Drilling for oil at Mount Terry 1960s
Donated by Bob Grey

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Shellharbour aerials

We have some great aerial photographs in our collection. These ones are from 1948 – 1964 and show just how much Shellharbour City has changed in such a short time.

To view more aerials in our collection go to the Shellharbour Images link  below

Killalea (The Farm) and lagoon 1948
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries
Lake Entrance and Warilla Beach 1948
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries
Tongarra Road to Shellharbour Village 1956
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries
Barrack Point 1948
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries
Mount Warrigal 1958
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries