Posted 9 months ago
A Xmas card with a view of the Neutral Bay Gas Works, Sydney, Australia.
Neutral Bay is a suburb on Sydney Harbour. It's just across the Harbour Bridge on the northern side. This card was sent to Miss Lankester in 1906 and is part of her collection that has interested me for the last couple of weeks. It shows a scene of Sydney Harbour that has changed completely in the last one hundred years.
On the front of the card to the right you can see the Gas Works. Gas was still an important lighting source in Sydney at that time. The City of Sydney was slow on the up-take with the new electric light technology. No wonder given the amount of money spent in creating this gas works and others too for the Lower North Shore just thirty years earlier.
But by 1926 this gas works was closed, torn down and replaced in 1942 with a Naval Base called Platypus that serviced submarines.
I wondered why the choice of card. Why a Christmas Greeting with a Gas Works? The answer is on the card. The sender was reminding Maude of the scene from her back porch. Pollie K. lived at “Dundonald” 479 Alfred St., North Sydney. The house no longer exists. Prime real estate like this has been replaced with high rise. Today there is an eight storey apartment block at that address.
Title: Neutral Bay, Sydney. Season’s Greetings.
Publisher: O.S. & P.C. Co. (1907-1910) Sydney, Australia. They published collotype view-cards of local scenes, many of which were hand colored. This card was manufactured in Serbia.
Size: 13.4cm x 8.3cm (5.3" x 3.2")
Description: colour card with view " Neutral Bay, Sydney, N.S.W." looking east – used for a Christmas message. Neutral Bay, Sydney is printed at the top left hand side over the image in small black text and overprinted in gold “Season’s Greetings” in Gothic lettering
The handwritten text is dated May 21, 1910 in Corowa. (76.8 km west from Ettamogah) and signed M. King.
“Love and best wishes for Xmas & New Year to you and yours. When are you coming to Sydney for a trip? Hope you are all well. Pollie K. “Dundonald” 479 Alfred St., North Sydney.
Recipient of letter: Miss Maude Lankester
The postcard is addressed to “Miss Lankester Emu Park Ettamogah, Albury." Card was used and posted in Sydney at 9.30 am on December 20, 1906. It has a one penny red New South Wales Postage stamp. It was redirected at Albury two days later on December 22, 1906.
Materials: Paper, Ink, Gold lettering.
"The former HMAS Platypus naval base is a waterfront industrial site in one of Sydney's quiet bays, a potent reminder of the harbour's maritime heritage. Today, it sits somewhat incongruously amid Neutral Bay's waterfront residential properties and foreshore parks.
The site's industrial life began in 1876 when a gas works was established to supply gas to North Shore residents. In the inner city coal gas was used to light the streets. The gas works built on the harbourside location by the North Shore Gas Company was the first gas works north of the harbour. Coal was delivered here by ship and transported around the site using a system of trolleys and overhead tramways. The coal was then burnt in ‘retorts' to manufacture gas. For the next 50 years the gas works operated on the site, growing at several stages to meet Sydney's increasing demand.
Over the 50 years of use as a gas works excavation and land reclamation modified the site's topography as the works expanded. As a result, the site contains significant contamination.
In 1942 the Commonwealth Government resumed part of the gas works site for the Royal Australian Navy's torpedo maintenance establishment which serviced the Australian, British and US navies in the south Pacific during World War II.
HMAS Platypus was commissioned in 1967 as the base for the Royal Australian Navy's recently established submarine fleet. For the next 30 years the navy's six Oberon class submarines operated from the site. While the submarines operated from the waterfront, the Navy's torpedo workshops occupied the south of the site, and the gasworks on the upper level stored and supplied gas locally.
In 1999 the government relocated its submarine base to HMAS Stirling in Western Australia and the torpedo workshops closed down.
The Harbour Trust took over management of the site in 2005.
The site is currently closed to the public."