Letters to Editor

Letter to Editor: Father was editor of original Bulli Times

I HAVE been searching the web to see if I could find out anything about the original Bulli Times when I discovered your site. My late father Robert Dunlop (Bob) was the Publisher/Editor of that paper from sometime in 1939 until it was purchased by The Illawarra Mercury I think in 1946. For many years the mast head of the Illawarra Mercury included the words “and Bulli Times”. At that time (1946) the Mercury was owned by the Musgrave Family. Dad went to work at the Mercury firstly as a reporter then as a sub editor and finally as Chief Sub. He left the Mercury in 1954 as it was on the verge of bankruptcy and he had not been paid for some time. It took over a year for him to receive all his unpaid salary. Fairfax did not acquire the Mercury till sometime in the middle fifties. The Bulli Times was owned by someone who lived in Park Street not far from Bulli Railway Station, I can’t recall a name.I have a vague recollection of a two story house.

In 1939 the Bulli Times was located in an office on the Princes Highway opposite the Bulli Hotel and later moved to the corner of Ball Street and Princes Highway Woonona. This was a small triangular building. There was a large offset printing press, a smaller jobbing printer and a linotype machine.  I remember out the back in Ball Street a large building that once was a picture theatre and along the highway there was Parkinson’s cordial factory where my brother and I would be given lemonade.

In 1939 and 40 we lived in Sturde Avenue Bulli which is now called Willcath Street and in 1941 moved to Lookout Street Thirroul now called The Lookout and in 1952 moved to North Wollongong and then came to Newcastle in 1954 where dad worked as a sub on the Newcastle Herald.

The reason for my search is that whilst dad was at the Bulli Times he was presented with a cricket ball made from Bulli Soil. I believe this was 1945 and these balls were made at time Bulli soil was being exported to London to prepare the wicket at Lords for either the Victory test or the 1948 test. The reason for dad being presented was in recognition of the amount of free publicity he had been able to arrange for the shipment, not only in the Bulli Times but also in Sydney papers. Dad kept copies of these papers but unfortunately my mother burnt them after he passed away. I was lucky enough to rescue the ball which I still have. As I am getting on in years I decided to find a home for it and as none of my children are interested I have arranged to pass it on to a great nephew who is a first grade cricketer. I want to give him as much background information as possible so that when he needs to find a home for it he will have the history. I understand that the MCG have one of these balls. I offered it to Lords but they were not interested. Perhaps you or one of your readers may be able to provide some additional information.

I wish you every success with the new Bulli Times.

Kind regards,

Graham Dunlop,

Newcastle, NSW, Australia


About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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