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Have a question? Contact Queenscliffe Maritime Museum
Part of a collection of maritime artefacts donated by Wilfred [Bill] Libby
These items were used on sailing ships.
Two metal spectacle rings or irons
spectacle rings, shackels, spectacle irons, sail fittings, sailing
In the evening of 20 November 1940, while en route from Queenscliff to Portsea in Port Phillip Bay where she intended to anchor for the evening, she collided with the 10,364 ton, outward bound passenger liner, MV Duntroon, which struck her amidships on the port side. Duntroon’s captain had believed that she was on a parallel course to Goorangai and overtaking her. By the time he realised Goorangai’s true course, with Duntroon travelling at more than 17 knots, it was too late to avoid the collision. Goorangai was cut in two and sank in less than a minute with the loss of her entire crew of 24. Just six bodies were recovered in subsequent salvage operations. She was the first ship lost by the RAN in World War II.
This event is still remembered by the community at an annual ceremony in Queenscliffe. The hat band holds Victorian Heritage Register number S294 / 151982
A hat band of Signalman Jack Herbert RAN mounted on a display board containing a copy of a signed photograph of the HMAS Goorangai ships company and an extract of his service record.
hmas goorangai, mv duntroon, wwii, royal australian navy, port phillip
This smock was hand sewn by Florence Kelly for her husband Reuben Kelly to be used as protective clothing when catching couta in Port Fairy 1948.
Fishing industry from Queenscliffe to Port Fairy up to the 1950s /60s.
A hand sewn fishermen's smock used by the maker's husband as protective clothing when fishing for couta.
couta fishing, protective clothing, fishing industry, port fairy, fishermen's smock
The donor's husband served in the navy and used this mattress on a hammock during war years.
A single mattress stuffed with wadding
Essanjay Mfg. Co. Sydney 1941
Started way back in the mid sixties, Malcolm Barlow first started to build BARLOW winches in a small garage in Sydney. Even though, or maybe because of the uncanny resemblance of those early winches to the American manufactured BARIENT winches, they have stood the test of time.
Australian made yachting winch equipment made in the 1960s
A wooden box containing 3 winches
yachting, barlow winches, winches
Spencer and Browning was established by William Spencer and Samuel Browning in 1778, before they entered into partnership with Ebenezer Rust in 1784. After the death of Ebenezer Rust's son, the successor business was known as Spencer, Browning & Co. The firm of Spencer, Browning & Rust made a variety of navigational instruments, including octants and sextants.
This telescope was manufactured by a London firm established in 1778. The telescope is believed to be from around 1863.
Two piece brass day or night telescope
Spencer, Browning and Co. London Day or Night
telescope, navigational instruments
As the White Ensign was reserved entirely for the use of the Royal Navy, the Admiral decided to approve of a new ensign for the Victorian Navy and this was flown for the first time from Nelson on 9th March 1870. The new ensign was very similar to the present day national flag and incorporated the Union flag with five white stars on a blue field.
Following upon a series of ‘Russian scares’ in the 1870s, Nelson presumably by permission of the Admiralty, was converted into a fighting ship for the Victorian Navy; she was cut down to a single- decker, the fore and mizzen masts were removed, and the armament modified by the landing of several of the old muzzle-loaders and the addition of a number of new breech-loading guns. This conversion was carried out in the new drydock in 1881.
A framed copy of an engraving entitled: 'Opening of the Graving Dock, Williamstown'.
Opening of the Graving Dock, Williamstown
hmvs nelson, alfred graving dock, williamstown
This sextant was used by Captain J Menzies, Harbour Master in Warrnambool who testified in the Victorian Royal Commission of 1925 on the development of Warrnambool Harbour.
A maritime instrument with links to Victorian Harbour Development history of the early twentieth century.
A brass sextant in wooden box
'J Menzies' hand written on box lid.
sextant, capt. j. menzies
Flashlights where a vital tool for night time map reading, signaling with coloured lenses and many other uses. The blackout during the war also meant for a extended popularity of flashlights. Many carried them onto the streets to see as the streetlights where very rare and to top that of mostly blacked out. Most flashlights where fitted with blinds or coloured lenses to hide the bright light they produced. These coloured lenses where also used to signal between individual soldiers.
Mostly used in the 1940s by the military and civilians alike.
A small metal light signal box or flashlight.
Petrix No. 678
signal box, flashlight, petrix 678
A telescope in its own timber box.
Turn this to change power
Two brass fire hose nozzles and a fire hydrant lever.
fire fighting, fire hose fittings
A hand held tool used for vigorously shaping timber with a blade horizontal to users grip
2 Gill Pin....gis? Mill Warranted FAI 27
tools, adze, boat building
McIlwraith McEacharn Line Pty.Ltd., reg. Melbourne. 1918: Commandeered as a troopship. 1919: Returned to owners. 1920: Resumed Australian coastal service. 1941: Commandeered as a troopship. 1942 Aug 4: Fired upon in the Great Australian Bight (WA) by a Japanese submarine. 1946: Returned to owners & sold to Compania Maritima del Este, reg. Panama. Refitted at Genoa and sailed under Greek Line flag. 1947: Chartered to French Line for Caribbean service. 1949: Refitted at Genoa & placed on Europe-Canada run. 1954: Neptunia Shipping Co. 1957: Laid up at Bremerhaven. 1958: Laid up at Piraeus. 1959 Sept.29: Arrived at Nagasaki, Japan having been sold to shipbreakers.
Served with SS Duntroon leaving Melbourne on 12 February 1942, to join convoy MS5 to Colombo escorted by aircraft carrier HMS Enterprise. She then embarked 640 Second AIF troops to be redeployed to the South West Pacific after serving in the middle east.
Brass name plate 'SS Katoomba'
wwi, wwii, passenger steamships, ss katoomba
Harpoon belonged to Cappy Felman, one of several fishermen from Barwon Heads post WWII
Metal Harpoon tip missing handle
Photograph of young Harry Greenberg in silver frame
photographs, harry greebberg
A battery operated emergency life buoy light
emergency light, safety at sea
Pains Wessex Mini Resqsat RB3 Personal 121.5 / 243 MHz EPIRB
Kinetic Technology Int Pty Ltd
epirb, safety at sea
Example of aquatic safety at sea equipment
Hand held aquatic emergency light
emergency light, safety at sea
Black portable writing desk with writing pad, ink wells and other compartments
portable writing desk, domestic item
Brought to Australia by English Captain William Parsons during the 1830s.
Donated by Robert Nissen in memory of Gaye Marie Nissen, daughter of Robert Nissen and Mary Wentworth, a descendant of William Charles Wentworth.
Mahogany lap writing desk with roll top, ink wells, writing slope, drawer and other compartments.
Metal plate on top panel inscribed with "M.A."
writing desks, william charles wentworth
Built in 1914 by Fleming and Ferguson in Paisley Scotland as Sir William Matthews for the Ceylon Government, she was a twin screwed steam bucket dredge. She was purchased from the Western Australian Government by the Melbourne Harbour Trust on 10 October 1941. After an extensive overhaul, the vessel was renamed the George Kermode and commenced operation in Victorian waters on 22 June 1942. The George Kermode was scuttled by the Department of Conservation, Forests and Land off Phillip Island on the 1 April 1976 as part of an artificial reef program.
This vessel was used to dredge the Port Phillip channels from 1942 and is of cultural significance to Queenscliffe.
Binnacle compass from the 'George Kermode'
Compass No. 3127N Sestrel Type 89098
bucket dredge, port phillip, melbourne harbour trust
Common home made example of a dip net used by fishermen
Round shaped dip net used to hold caught fish.
fishing, leisure activity
HMS Nelson was a 126-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Launched on 4 July 1814 at Woolwich Dockyard she was later converted into a screw ship in 1860, and was cut down to a two-decker and fitted with an engine of 2,102 indicated horsepower. In 1865, HMVS Nelson was given to the colony of Victoria as a training ship. She was outfitted and rigged for £42,000 and sailed for Australia in October 1867. Travelling via the Cape of Good Hope, she arrived in February 1868. She was the first ship to dock in the newly constructed Alfred Graving Dock in Williamstown, Victoria.
Possibly the first training ship of the Victorian Navy which had a base in Swan Island in Queenscliffe.
A black and white photograph of the sailing ship HMS later HMVS Nelson docked at the Alfred Graving Dock, Williamstown, 1872
"Nelson" in Alfred Graving Dock Williamstown, Victoria 1872
hms nelson, hmvs nelson, alfred graving dock, williamstown
Large gudgeons from an unknow wreck near Pope's Eye
Two cast iron gudgeon fittings suitable for a rudder from an unknown wreck salvaged close to Pope's Eye in Port Phillip
ship wrecks, salvage, gudgeons
These shark fishing hooks were collected by Geoff Beasley from Queenscliff
Four shark hooks mounted on a timber board with an embossed label
Shark Hooks collected by Geoff Beazley
fishing, shark fishing, hooks, fishing equipment
Acquired by the donor while sailing in Melbourne on the 'New Endeavour'
Standard belaying pin made from jarrah wood
belaying pin, sailing ships
The binnacle was originally from a lifeboat of the tug 'Melbourne' previously 'Howard Smith'. When the vessel sank at Gellibrand [Williamstown], the binnacle was under water for about one month. The lifeboat was later cut loose from the wreck by a salvage crew [as told by the donor].
A good example of a small binnacle and compass as used on a lifeboat from the 1950s.
Binnacle, brass with wick light mounted on timber
binnacle, compass, tug boat, 'melbourne', 'howard smith'
Although Queenscliff has a rich and varied fishing history, the shark shown would not have been part of a normal catch which explains the interest displayed by the onlookers in the photograph.
Good illustration of the fishing community in Queenscliff prior to the first world war.
Photograph and reproduction of a 14 foot shark caught in Queenscliff being viewed by fishermen and children on 4 October 1913
14ft shark caught at Q'cliff 4th October 1913, Thompson photo
Framed Illuminated Address under glass
illuminated address, captain p w bull, ss westralia
Shark fishing was important to the Queenscliff Point Lonsdale fishing industry since early 1900s. It is still a popular activity in the area today.
Fishing of all kind has been an important industry in the Queenscliff region. Although commercial fishing has greatly diminished, recreational fishing is still an important activity.
Laminated photograph of a shark on the crane on Fishermans Pier circa 1938
20 Beach Street Queenscliffe. Debbie O'Hare? [illegible]. Back of Glenuse Reef in Point Lonsdale. Whole salmon for bait 5am. In creek on crane. 2,100Lbs, 8'6" Girth
shark, shark fishing, queenscliff, fishing industry
Victorian Collections acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.