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HELM — Heritage of East Lake Macquarie

HELM promotes Lake Macquarie’s rich and unique history and heritage through heritage walks, newsletters, videos and talks about people, events and objects

Peeps into the Past

Welcome to Peeps into the Past, where you’ll discover people, places and events that have influenced East Lake Macquarie

Peeps into the Past2023-04-04T13:58:32+10:00

Granny’s Pool

Granny's Pool, a lagoon on Swansea Channel at Blacksmith’s, has been a favourite with swimmers for many generations. A gap in the breakwall on the natural tidal waterway created a clean, sandy and safe area for swimmers. It was originally known as “Chanty’s Pool”, after Bert Chant, who looked after the area when it was a camping ground in the 1920s and 30s. It became known as Granny’s Pool because of its popularity amongst many parents and grandmothers who would take their small children there to swim, and enjoy the calmer, shallower waters compared to Blacksmith’s Beach and the Channel. [...]

Rahra and the Jam Fleet

On a recent visit to Bridport, Tasmania I came across a sign about the Bridport Jetty.  On reading it, the name Rahra jumped out at me. Rahra (original name was White Heather) was a three masted schooner 93ft 5in in length (imperial measurement), built in 1912 at the Black Ned’s Bay, Swansea boatbuilding yard of James Lewis Boyd.  It was bought while still under construction by Master Mariner Henry Heather, who ran  the fastest fleet running between Hobart and Melbourne (known as the Jam Fleet) on behalf of Henry Jones (IXL Products). In 1914 Rahra had a change of ownership [...]

Keven Harman, All Round Athlete and Good Guy

All images courtesy of Keven Harman Australian and World Masters Surf Ski Champion, Keven Harman’s first surf ski was made by his great uncle, Tom Humphreys in 1946. Ski paddling started in the 1920’s with home-made timber craft to ride the waves and have fun. They made it possible for riders to catch waves further out and became popular around 1947. The average ski was 12’ long and 33” wide – not so much built for speed but to be a better platform for tricks such as standing upright; or on your head with a girl holding your [...]

Surf Life Saving at Caves Beach – Early Days

All photos courtesy of Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club During 1929 investigations started into the formation of a second surf life saving club between the location of the Swansea Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) at Blacksmiths Beach (now the Swansea-Belmont SLSC) and Pinny Beach, a little further south. A meeting in September 1929 at the Swansea Ambulance Hall, on a section of land now occupied by the Swansea RSL Club, decided a location next to the large natural cave at Caves Beach was ideal. The club was to be named Swansea-Caves Beach SLSC, now Caves Beach SLSC, with official [...]

Adventures by Caves Members

Transport Many outings were had in the 1927 T model ford painted in Caves colours of maroon and white stripes. This impressive vehicle, named “Kayvs Bitch” (photo on left above) made appearances at May Day celebrations and won three blue ribbons – Newcastle Show. With only rear brakes working, it often had to be thrown into reverse gear. They carried an anchor for a joke but had to actually use it when overtaking a tram and the lights turned red. Resorting to use this emergency brake, they threw out the rope and anchor, stopping, but not before the [...]

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