Looking Back with Mick Roberts

This tag is associated with 8 posts

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: A story of war, love and two mining towns

By MICK ROBERTS. AN HONOUR roll in Corrimal Uniting Church – not unlike memorials in community halls all around Australia – has revealed a tragic love story that spanned the globe. The tablet lists 21 local men from the church who served in the Great War, with one name, however, remaining a mystery to local … Continue reading

Looking Back: The Lost Village

By MICK ROBERTS. A FEW rusted corrugated water tanks scattered amongst the leftovers of English ornamental gardens, stone walls and twisted barbed wire are all that remain of the pretty little village of Sherbrooke on Bulli Mountain. The settlement, a couple of kilometres west of the summit of Bulli Pass, is no more – given … Continue reading

Looking Back: The man who sold Sandon Point

By MICK ROBERTS. JUST what Bulli pioneer real estate agent Henry Cotterell would think of today’s property prices in the controversial Sandon Point residential estate is hard to imagine. Cotterell, known as “Cottie” to friends, was one time editor of the Bulli Times newspaper, but more interestingly he was the agent who sold the original … Continue reading

Looking Back: The Balgownie Pub

By MICK ROBERTS. THREATENED with demolition in 1994 and described by the hopeful developer at the time as worthless of preservation, the ‘Fountain on the Mountain’ – the Balgownie Hotel – celebrated a centenary of trade on Monday December 20 2004. Balgownie Hotel was designed by architect Alex Elphinstone and built for Francis Caldwell early … Continue reading

Looking Back feature: Mother Ryan: The untold story of Thirroul’s Johanna Ryan

By MICK ROBERTS. FIFTY five years after the death of her husband, Irish hotelier Johanna Ryan was finally reunited with her spouse Michael, laid to rest beside him in the Catholic section of Australia’s largest cemetery. The year was 1956, and the grand old landlady, who ruled her pubs with an iron fist for over … Continue reading

Looking Back feature: Waterworth the pioneer whip

By MICK ROBERTS. THE eagerly awaited arrival of the iron horse to the Illawarra in 1886 awoke the world to what is known today as Lawrence Hargrave Drive and its scenic splendour, altering the coastal bush track from a quiet local thoroughfare into a busy main road linking Sydney to Wollongong. Soon after the opening … Continue reading

Looking Back feature: Illawarra’s first clubs

By MICK ROBERTS REGISTERED clubs, with their assortment of restaurants, bars and cafes, gymnasiums, and ‘mini-casinos’, have come along way from the timber cottages, offering dominoes and newspaper and magazine libraries, that began to appear throughout colonial New South Wales during the 1890s. Prior to this, membership of early colonial clubs was confined to the … Continue reading

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