Boat building yard, Woolloomooloo Bay, Sydney, 1874

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Where: New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

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When: 01 January 1880

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In the 1870s and 1880s Woolloomooloo Bay was known principally as a place where sailing boats could be hired, and where prawns and other bait could be bought from the boys lined along the water's edge. This picture taken around the same time, possibly by John Degotardi, shows the old boat sheds, and reclaimed land around the wharves. On the left we can see Daniel Sheehy's shipbuilding yard with the wooden screw steamer Llewellyn about to be launched into the bay.

Boat building yard, Woolloomooloo Bay, Sydney, 1874, vintage print, from album of views of Sydney, State Library of New South Wales, DL PX 149 search.sl.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1cvjue2/ADLIB110311866

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Owner: State Library of New South Wales collection
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 7959
sydney shipbuilding woolloomooloo old vintage albumen print harbour boat careening llewellyn llewelyn sheehy mort steamer

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    Orlando Sydney - Event Photography

    • 09/May/2020 23:06:44

    this would be roughly where the current wharf was built? Good to see the natural shore line meeting the water before it was all built over.

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    Lins Oz

    • 10/May/2020 02:03:59

    Mr Mori Flapan identifies the detail as being the boatyard of Mr. Daniel Sheehy at Woolloomooloo Bay - and the ship being launched is the wooden screw steamer LLEWELYN - the date 24 December 1874. From Flotilla-Australia: "290 gross tons, 197 net. Lbd: 151'2" x 24' x 12'. Wooden steamship, single screw as built by D Sheedy at Wooloomooloo Sydney for William Hughes, Sydney. Sold July 1875 to J S McFarlane, Sydney. Sold September 1875 to Auckland S N Co., Auckland New Zealand. At this juncture, she was fitted with passenger accomodation, 42 saloon and 35 in steerage. Re-measured she was 155 feet in length and tonnage increased to 478 gross & 358 net. Not too popular in New Zealand coastal service and sold April 1877 to J M Banks, F Bickle & J Paul, registered at Sydney. From June 1877 she 'replaced' the Kembla' on the Newcastle trade under obvious charter arrangement with the Newcastle S N Co., Sydney. Since, and under the agency of W Laidley & Co, she operated the Sydney - North Queensland routes in passenger-cargo capacity. Sold February 1881 to E Vickery where she serviced the south coast of New South Wales as a passenger carrying collier. August 1881 sold to G A Lloyd. Wrecked upon Bellambi Reef, New South Wales 23rd May 1882."

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    State Library of New South Wales collection

    • 10/May/2020 11:22:03

    Thanks everyone, that is great. I will get the info added to our catalogue records.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/May/2020 06:41:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Good work there - I got completely bogged down in Trove irrelevances with this one! John Degotardi (photographer) was in a similar position ten years earlier in 1864, via https://www.flickr.com/photos/state-records-nsw/. Fascinating to compare the two photos, but I am puzzled by The Bells Hotel (see note) - when did that happen, or did it have a previous different name? https://www.flickr.com/photos/state-records-nsw/4704298015/ Ping @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/pellethepoet/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/anmm_thecommons

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/May/2020 07:27:52

    It was Christmas Eve. Read All About It, as if it happened yesterday ... THE LLEWELYN STEAMSHIP.- The largest wooden screw steamer built in Sydney was successfully launched from Mr. Sheehy's building establishment in Woolloomooloo Bay, yesterday, at 9 a.m., and some hundreds of persons assembled on the occasion to witness the event. Mr. J. Sheehy has ever held a reputation for turning out first-class vessels, whether for beauty of lines or excellent workmanship; and his last piece of handiwork is no exception to the rule. She has a straight stern, beautifully fine entrance and run, and withal, great carrying capacity, and is in every respect alike a credit to her builder and the colony. The ship was gaily decorated with bunting; and, as the dog-shores were knocked away, was named "Llewelyn" by Miss Alice Mort, daughter of Mr. T. S. Mort, with the accustomed ceremonies. The launch was in every respect most satisfactory, not a hitch accruing. There were a large number of our leading merchants present, as also a full attendance of ladies, all being highly gratified at the result. As she now floats she is really a very handsome craft. The Llewelyn has been built to the order of Mr. W. Hughes, and is of the following dimensions:- length, 160 feet; beam, 24 feet; depth of hold, 13 feet. Her frame is entirely of well-seasoned hardwood, as also her planking from the garboard to the load-line, above this kauri has been used, and again hardwood in the upper portion of the topsides to take the deck beams. She is copper-fastened through-out, and diagonally shaped inside. She will be fitted with a pair of compound surface condensing engines, manufactured by Messrs. Mort and Co., Waterview Bay, of the very best material, the finish and workmanship being in keeping with the well-known reputation of the firm. The diameter of the cylinders are 45 and 24 inches respectively; length of stroke, 2 feet 6 inches. The surface condenser contains 839[?] brass tubes, their total length being nearly equal to one mile. The steam will be generated in two boilers of 8 feet diameter with four furnaces, and are constructed to carry a pressure of 25[?] lbs. to the square inch, driving a three-bladed screw. The engines will be placed as far aft as possible in order to give as much cargo space as possible, and the vessel's carrying capacity will be about 500 tons. At the termination of the launch several of the company drank Mr. Sheehy's health in bumpers of champagne, and success to the Llewelyn. From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13339268?searchTerm=ll... SMH 25/12/1874 (they published on Christmas Day!)

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/May/2020 10:30:23

    Details of the wrecking in 1882 - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/135939585

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    State Library of New South Wales collection

    • 11/May/2020 13:33:31

    Thanks for this - not sure I can add it to the catalogue record but will definitely put it all on file.

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    Lins Oz

    • 13/May/2020 02:02:45

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Mori Flapan shared a photo to a Facebook group (Sydney Harbour History) of the engine plate from the Llewelyn - which was found on Bellambi Beach. "Morts Dock & Engineering Co Limited Engine No 73.74 Sydney N.S.W. 1875" Mori advised that Daniel Sheehy built just one very large steamer at Woolloomooloo - the Llewelyn - and this may be the only surviving photo of that vessel.

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    State Library of New South Wales collection

    • 13/May/2020 03:19:34

    Thanks Lins Oz - that might explain why I couldn't find any other photos in the Library's collection but I'll let you know if I stumble across one.

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    Kununurra Historical Society

    • 16/May/2020 19:12:48

    Great to see the detailed information. Social media can be a wonderful thing sometimes! Well done https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia & https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]! I can imagine someone researching, looking for a photo of Llewelyn one day, as I have searched for many ships, and they won't be able to believe their luck!