Tuncurry’s Working Waterfront – Government Wharf

Government Wharf – the site of the current bridge approach Tuncurry

As remembered by Vic Bramble: “Government Wharf was built to last a lifetime on very stout turpentine piles that were sheathed in heavy non-ferrous metal to the high water mark. The metal was more yellow in colour than the copper, used to sheath the boats and may have been muntz metal made in England as early as 1857 used in big ships.

Large oysters grew on this metal but were seldom opened with people preferring to gather the fat ones from the declared public oyster reserve between the wharf and John Wright’s mill where the retaining wall built of ballast sandstone bought from Port Jackson on a sailing ship was.

Similar ballast was used to contain sand dredged up to form an approach to the wharf across a low foreshore. There was a derrick and hand winch on the wharf to lift bags of oysters – two bags in a rope or “snotter” at a time or similar heavy objects such as a marine engine.

A small shed was built to protect ferry passengers and later the fish awaiting transport by motor lorry to the rail head in Taree. One of the first lorries was owned by Vince Fazio. It was a Garford with solid rubber tyres.”

Tuncurry’s Working Waterfront project, is a local heritage mosaic due to be installed in John Wright Park this coming June. The design is being developed to create a visual representation of the early industries that utilized the waterfront site and the vital role they played in forming the foundations of the town and community.


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