History: Looking Back

This category contains 17 posts

Looking Back: Grog shop owner with centurion voice

Originally posted on Looking Back:
Sid Marsh, who also operated a wine and spirit store at Woonona, commanded the voluntary drill corps at Bulli Park – Cartoon, Paul Dorin. ? Down Memory Lane With JACK DEVITT* Sid Marsh I CAN remember as a very small boy hearing Sid Marsh’s centurion voice barking commands as he…

How a pocket book saved the life of Private John Croft at Gallipoli

Originally posted on Looking Back:
A souvenir of the war was received this week by Mr. Frank Catt, of Bulli, from Private John Croft of Woonona. It consisted of the young fellow’s pocket-book, with a sharp-nose bullet embedded in it. A few weeks ago Private Croft was reported wounded, and from this practical message it…

Looking Back: Urwins and the Headlands Hotel

By MICK ROBERTS. IN the days when the two big breweries ruled the liquor industry, owning most of New South Wales’ hotels, and ‘tying’ clubs and pubs to exclusive beer sales, Bob and Lurline Urwin made quite a name for themselves as trouble-shooting temporary managers for one of Australia’s most successful – Tooheys Limited. Born … Continue reading

Looking Back: Timber mill closure end of an era

MORE than a century of sawmilling at Bulli has come to an end with the closure of Molloy’s Timber Yard. Austrian-born cabinetmaker Gunter Grafenauer operated Molloy Timber with his wife, Pamela, for 38 years before shutting the business for good in May 2013. The Molloy Street business will be redeveloped into a large industrial complex. … Continue reading

Looking Back: Coal miners established oldest club

By MICK ROBERTS. ALTHOUGH Helensburgh Workmen’s Club began trading on shaky grounds it has survived to become the Illawarra’s oldest operating registered club. Born from a dispute with the town’s two publicans, the Helensburgh and Lilyvale Workmen’s Club was established by a group of coal miners in 1896. Complying with a request from the village’s … Continue reading

Looking Back: The Bulli Railway Bus

By MICK ROBERTS. PUBLIC transport has moved forward in leaps and bounds since Lance Brown drove the Bulli railway bus in 1927. Lance was one of the Illawarra region’s early bus drivers and revealed his memories in a 2003 Looking Back story in the Northern Leader. Living at Tarrawanna, he was 93 at the time. … Continue reading

Looking Back: Coaching the sea cliffs

By MICK ROBERTS. THE eagerly awaited arrival of the railway to the Illawarra awoke the world to what is known today as Lawrence Hargrave Drive and its scenic splendour, altering what was a coastal bush track from a quiet local thoroughfare into a busy main road linking Sydney to Wollongong. Soon after the opening of … Continue reading

Looking Back: Riley’s Thirroul wine saloon

By MICK ROBERTS. AFTER last drinks were called at Thirroul’s Ryans Hotel, in the days of the “Six O’clock Swill”, swards of men would trudge down the road to Riley’s wine saloon. The wine bar, on the corner of The Esplanade and Lawrence Hargrave Drive, hit its peak in popularity during the 1920s and 30s … Continue reading

Looking Back: The Chamberlains and the Bulli jetty

By MICK ROBERTS. PETER Chamberlain has vivid memories of his dad telling him yarns about working on the Bulli Jetty. His father George and Grandfather Arthur Chamberlain earned a living as bridge and wharf contractors moving around the country in search of work early last century. George was born in Richmond Victoria in 1893, the … Continue reading

Looking Back: A Hotel Dynasty

By MICK ROBERTS. OFTEN overlooked in the pages of history, women played a central role in the day to day functioning of inns and hotels. The wives of the region’s pioneering publicans were often young and their duties were physically demanding. Husband and wife teams rarely could afford to employ staff and as their children … Continue reading

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