Sunday, August 22, 2021



Based on photographs and brief comments in Aussie Live Journal at:


Watsons Bay Pier, photo undated.

Watson's Bay, Doyle’s Restaurant on the wharf.

Some more info and pics . . .

Watsons Bay is a harbourside suburb located 11 km north-east of the Sydney central business district.

Watsons Bay sits on the end of the South Head peninsula and takes its name from the sheltered bay and anchorage on its western side, in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). It provides views across the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Gap is an ocean cliff on the eastern side with views to Manly at North Head and the Pacific Ocean. Vaucluse is the only adjacent suburb, to the south.

The Watsons Bay Ferry Wharf, one of the oldest continually operating wharves in Sydney Harbour,

Watsons Bay, 1885

Watsons Bay, c 1900

Watsons Bay showing the ferry wharf and the vessel 'Lady Hopetoun'

Watsons bay wharf today . . .


Teamsters stop for "smoko". By the late 19th century roads were improving and horse teams were supplanting bullocks as the main mode of heavy haulage. Horses could travel much faster than a bullock team's top speed of only three miles an hour (about 5km/h).

The massive WestConnex spaghetti junction being built at St Peters.

I am proud to say that son Elliot is an engineer helping build the Westconnex . . .

A digression about bullockies . . .

I have previously posted about the town of Gundagai and its popular tourist attraction of a dog sitting on the tucker box. For those unaware, such as overseas readers, tucker is a colloquial term for food, hence the tucker box is the food container.

I have also written that the dog sitting on the tucker box is a bowdlerisation of the original, as illustrated by a poem that tells the true story. I am reposting the poem, origin unknown, because it also illustrates the hard lives of the bullockies from long ago . .

I'm used to punchin' bullock teams across the hills and plains.
I've teamed outback for forty years through bleedin' hail and rain.
I've lived a lot of troubles down, without a bloomin' lie,
But I can't forget what happened just five miles from Gundagai.

'Twas getting dark, the team got bogged, the axle snapped in two.
I lost me matches and me pipe, so what was I to do?
The rain it was a-coming on, and hungry too was I,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.

Some blokes I know have stacks of luck, no matter where they fall,
But there was I, Lord love a duck, no bloody luck at all.
I couldn't heat a pot of tea or keep me trousers dry,
And me dog shat in me tucker-box five miles from Gundagai.

Now, I can forgive the bleedin' team, I can forgive the rain.
I can forgive the damp and cold and go through it again.
I can forgive the rotten luck, but hang me till I die,
I can't forgive that bloody dog, five miles from Gundagai.

Some bullock team pics . . .

Bullock team, timber gathering, Central Coast NSW. Date unknown

Bullock team hauling wool on a dray, Walcha, New South Wales

A colour postcard printed of a team of 16 bullocks carting a large load of wool ca. 1909.

Date unknown

Two men stand next to a large timber log being pulled by a bullock team at Eumundi, around 1895.


Sydney Corn Exchange, corner of Sussex and Market streets. Photo taken c 1900

Sydney and Market Streets today, showing the Corn Exchange.

Some more info and pics . . .

The Corn Exchange is a heritage-listed former market building built from 1887. It has been commercial office space since the 1990s and was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register in 2002.

It is the earliest remaining market building in Sydney. It was designed by the City Architect, George McRae, who later designed the Queen Victoria Building, for use as a temporary fruit market. At the time of construction, the Corn Exchange stood at the eastern end of Pyrmont Bridge and adjacent to Market Wharf, giving it easy access for produce by road and by water. The building incorporated a German system of brick and cast-iron structural framing in an attempt to make the building fire-resistant.

The Corn Exchange building operated as a fruit market for only four years before being converted into offices with posted street-level awnings, in accord with the original design intent of the architect, named the "Corporation Buildings". In 1900, the Corn Exchange opened in the Corporation Buildings during a private attempt to establish the City's grain market in the building. As transport links away from the inner harbour improved, interest in the Corn Exchange dwindled and from 1917 a succession of commercial tenants inhabited the upper levels of the building. By 1934, the posts had been removed and the awnings were suspended. By the late 1960s the awnings had been removed altogether. The unoccupied basement was a haven for the homeless throughout much of this time.

The Corporation Building in 1901, with Pyrmont Bridge at left.

July 1963

Today . . .



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