MV Lady Denman
MV Lady Denman (formerly SS Lady Denman) is a heritage-listed ship, formerly operated as a ferry by Sydney Ferries Limited and its successors on Sydney Harbour from 1912 until 1979. It was named after Gertrude Denman, wife of the Governor-General. After being retired from service, it has been preserved at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum at Dent Street, Huskisson, City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 9 November 2001.
|MV Lady Denman|
|Location||Dent Street, Huskisson, City of Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia|
|Owner||Lady Denman Heritage Complex Huskisson Inc.|
|Official name: Lady Denman (M.V.); Sydney ferry; M.V. "Lady Denman"|
|Type||state heritage (movable / collection)|
|Designated||9 November 2001|
|Type||Vessel - harbour & river|
|Category||Transport - Water|
Location of MV Lady Denman in New South Wales
|Port of registry:||Sydney|
|Builder:||Joseph Dent, Huskisson|
|Out of service:||14 June 1979|
|Status:||Preserved static exhibit (Jervis Bay Maritime Museum)|
|Length:||33.5 metres (110 ft)|
|Beam:||7.6 metres (25 ft)|
Lady Denman was designed by Walter Reeks and built by Joseph Dent, Huskisson for Sydney Ferries Limited, being launched in 1912. The hull was built in Huskisson from local timber, launched then floated to Sydney where machinery was installed and upperworks completed.
It operated on the Lane Cove River from 1912 to 1936, on the Cockatoo Island run during World War II, and on runs in the Inner Harbour from the end of the war to 1979, including Taronga Park Zoo, Milsons Point, Cremorne and Hunters Hill. It was converted to diesel power in 1933 and remained in service until 14 June 1979 when replaced by Lady Street.
A group of people from Huskisson led by Member for South Coast John Hatton banded together and convinced the Public Transport Commission to donate Lady Denman as a museum piece for display in Huskisson. It was towed from Sydney Harbour by HMAS Snipe on 3 January 1980, but was damaged by rough seas and had to turn back.
A second attempt was made on 1 June 1981. However, after running into storm off Wollongong, the ferry began taking on water after a pump failure. The Royal Australian Navy were able to provide HMAS Tobruk to shelter the ferry and the tow was successfully completed to Jervis Bay. On 3 April 1983, Lady Denman was hauled ashore to its final resting place very close to where it had been built. On 3 December 1988 the Lady Denman Maritime Museum (since renamed Jervis Bay Maritime Museum) opened with an enclosed structure erected in 1998.
The MV Lady Denman is a double ended wooden ferry, 33.6m long, 7.6m wide (110.4 x 25.0 x 9.0 feet), displacing 96 gross tons. 2 decks, engine room in hull. The hull was built by Joseph Dent at Huskisson, NSW for the Balmain New Ferry Co. Ltd. Originally a steam ship, it was converted to have a1962 Crossley diesel engine driving a single "push-pull" screw. The main deck originally featured men's and woman's saloons. It was fitted with lavatories & wooden batten seats. There were wheel houses at either end of the ship. Spotted gum used extensively in its construction. The ferry is now out of the water, mounted in a display well at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson to which it was donated by the New South Wales Government in 1979.
The condition of the ferry was reported as good as at 2 June 1998 as a result of then-recent conservation work, arresting a long period of deterioration. It machinery had removed for separate display.
Apart from the removal of the engine (on site with ferry), ferry remains as it was when decommissioned. Apart from the change from steam to diesel, there were only relatively minor changes during its working life. This reflects the quality of its design and construction which gave it a working life far beyond its anticipated design life.
Modifications and dates
- Originally fitted with 2 cylinder 38 hp compound steam engine built by Chapman and Co. Ltd. and tall funnel.
- 1936 - Fitted with 228 bhp 6 cylinder diesel engine built by L. Gardner and Sons Ltd. and short funnel.
- 1962 - Fitted with 300 bhp 4 cylinder diesel engine built by Crossley Brothers.
- Sundry modifications to seating, upper deck exits etc., dates unknown - during working life of ferry
- 1990s - part of engine removed to facilitate relocation. Parts held at LDHC near ferry.
The ship is a rare surviving example of the characteristic type of ferryboat which served Sydney Harbour over more than a century, having a long (67 year) association with Sydney Harbour. It is strongly associated in the minds of Sydneysiders and past Sydney visitors with the image of Sydney as a harbour city. It is one of only two surviving traditional wooden Inner Harbour Ferries. It is also a rare surviving example of the design work of Walter Reeks, an innovative and pioneering Australian naval architect. Being the last remaining ferry built in Huskisson, it is strongly associated with Huskisson as a place of manufacture and a fine example of the timber shipbuilding industry, as well as being a significant relic of South Coast family timber ship building industry.
MV Lady Denman was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 9 November 2001 having satisfied the following criteria.
The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales.
A rare surviving example of the characteristic type of ferryboat which served Sydney Harbour over more than a century. A rare surviving example of the design work of Walter Reeks, an innovative and pioneering Australian naval architect.
The place is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in New South Wales.
The place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
One of the longest running Sydney Harbour Ferries, which carried tens of millions of passengers over 67 years, representing era of wooden ferries. Strongly associated in the minds of Sydneysiders and past Sydney visitors with the image of Sydney as a harbour city.
The place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.
Rare evidence of the pioneering design innovations in double ended propulsion undertaken by naval architect Walter Reeks. Preserves construction techniques described by traditional boat builder, Alf Settree in National Trust 1997 Award-winning documentary video, 'From Trees to Seas'
The place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.
It is the last remaining ferry built in Huskisson. It is one of three surviving traditional wooden larger Sydney Harbour Ferries. It is one of the last two original Lady Class Ferries. It is the only such vessel returned to its place of construction.
The place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural or natural places/environments in New South Wales.
- "Lady Denman Ferry". Jervis Bay Maritime Museum & Gallery. Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
- "Lady Denman (M.V.)". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01518. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- Lady Denman Ferries of Sydney
- "No way to treat a lady" Sydney Morning Herald 4 January 1980
- "Maritime Battle" Illawarra Mercury 20 March 2010
- Lady Denman complex celebrates 20 years South Coast Register 4 December 2008
- Lady Denman Ferry Jervis Bay Maritime Museum
- Prescott 1984
- Oliver 1998
- A.M. Prescott (1988). 'Reeks, Walter 1861-1925' in Serle, Geoffrey (ed) Australian Dictionary of Biography v2 (1891-1934).
- Price, Dan (1991). Response to Questions concerning Ferry conservation.
- Andrews, Graeme (1997). Untitled letter of support for Ferry Conservation project.
- Andrews, Graeme (1994). Ferries of Sydney.
- Jervis Bay Maritime Museum and Gallery (2007). "Lady Denman (M.V.)".
- Michael Staples, Conservation Shipwight National Maritime Museum (1991). Response to Questions concerning Ferry conservation.
- Oliver, Robyn (1998). NSW State Heritage Inventory Form.
- Robyn Oliver and John Hatton (2000). Lady Denman Conservation Management Plan.
- Saunders, Ross (1988). No Way To Treat a Lady.
- Reeks, Walter (1911). General arrangement drawing of a double ended ferry steamer.