Thursday 19 May 2016

Mostly Man O'Peace

Above: Image by Charles Bayliss (1881)(sourced from Blue Mountains Local Studies Centre)
Below: Image by Julie Storry (May 2016)

We refer to this pier, and these steps as "Man O'War Steps". Although originally constructed during the governorship of Lachlan Macquarie (1810-1821), he only named the little enclosed beach as Port Lachlan, after his son. The current name stuck from about the 1860s. Even so, the name has lasted longer than the original jetty.

Above: Man O'War Steps, with HMS Royalist in foreground (from The Phillips Collectiuon housed at the Power House Museum)(c. 1900)
Below: Image by Julie Sytorry (May 2016)

As you can see, from just three historical images, both the shape and the accessories, morph over time. Pontoons have been added, and removed. Sheds have been constructed; sheds have been demolished. Gates have been installed; gates have been moved.

Above: HMAS Australia I at Man O'War Steps (Image by Harold Cazneaux) (c. 1919)(NLA)
Below: Image by Julie Storry (May 2016)

Taking my share of these images, I had my back to the Sydney Opera House. When it was constructed - during the 1960s and early 1970s- the Man O'War area was devastated, save for the steps. The safe-harbour for the watermen and their pointy-skiffs, never returned. Neither did the (naval) waiting sheds, regardless of whether the waiting was done by sailors wives, or by prostitutes.


Honest Abe Lincoln said...

So many interesting pictures. I especially like the 3-masted schooner.

William Kendall said...

Fascinating, the differences over time.

Julie said...

I love all three of the historical images. They speak directly to the inner me, somehow.

Joe said...

Hi Julie .. the Man O'War Steps seems to have had many lives.