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Join us for one of the biggest collection of local history for Manly and the Northern Beaches. An ever growing collection of private family photos, albums, files, memorabilia and stories from historians, researchers and the private collects of local and former residents who have at one time or another called Manly & the Northern Beaches home. Learn the history of Manly’s beginnings and how it grew to become one, if not, THE most endearing and enduring holiday destination in Australia, for Australians all over, and tourists from all over the world.

How one Englishman’s vision for a Utopian destination where people could soak in the surrounding natural beauty and health benefits of the fresh sea air of this undeveloped peninsula that was seven miles from Sydney by ferry, and a thousand miles from the cares of the booming, smoggy Industrial Age hub that was Sydney in the 1850s. Discover the last legacy left by the historic Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company (PJMSSCo), who started the first Manly Ferry service from Circular Quay to Manly in 1855, on a steamboat taking approxiately one hour. Over the years the later ferries like South Steyne and that generation took around 45 minutes, and the current Freshwater Class ferries take 30 minutes.

The government are planning to bring in a small, foreign built and owned ‘Emerald’ class ferry that carries a third of the passengers of the Freshwater Class ferries that can comfortably carry 1100 passengers, and cuts of only 10 minutes but there are grave concerns for the public safety of these smaller flat bottomed ferries of handling the large open Head swells that roll in from the open heads between North and South Head. The decision makers are not local nor do they fully understanding the constant moods of the Heads…locals understand it all too well, and many locals and notable marine engineers and ferry experts are calling on the government to tread cautiously and reconsider this foolish deal they’re making with a french transport company who manage the Sydney Harbour ferry transport now. Many fear it’s a disaster just waiting to happen.

We want to cut it off at the pass before it gets that bad and so we call on each and every one of you, to let your voice be heard and say NO to this government plan to phase out the Freshwater Class ferries over the next two years. No No No! and sign every petition that comes before you, as its the only way our voices will be heard on these deaf and ignorant and arrogant ears…We must make them hear us! No means No! You are paid to serve us not decide what’s best for us!

Link to order ‘Save our Freshwater Class Ferries 2021 Calendars – Cover Pic of calendar photo by Haig Gilchrist

Learn how they coined the phrase, ‘Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care’ that has been seen by many generations of Manly Ferry punters as you arrive at Manly Wharf.  The PJSSCo. held a newspaper competition, in the 1930s to caption a slogan for their ferry campaign and the winner was a local Manly girl who coined the phrase ‘Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care’. Say Hi to her granddaughter in our facebook group! �

The slogan was later added to the classic Fred Elliott painting of the SS Barrenjoey as she glided past the Heads in April 1927 and we’ve embraced that as our image as it captures everything Lost Manly is about.

See our ever-growing collection of what was the 1930s and 1940s phenomenon of Street Photography, capturing generations of locals and tourists as they strolled from the ferry wharf to the beach, along The Corso (named after il Corso in Italy), passing St Matthews Church which is a favoured backdrop for many of the street photographs.

Other favoured locations for these 1930s and 40s phenomenon was at Manly Wharf, as punters arrived by Ferry and headed towards the Harbour Pool, Promenade, and Pavilion. We possibly have the largest photo collection of street photography taken in Manly in the 30s and 40s, from the private family albums of our facebook members that is now 21,000 members strong.

Dig up the dirt on the history of the planting of our famous Manly Beach Norfolk Pines back c1885 that are perhaps the most photographed Pine trees in the world.

And of course, the Camera Obscura and Gothic Dalley’s Castle complete with Gargoyles, that towered majestically over Manly for almost half a century. How else do you think Gilbert, Tower and Camera Streets got their names?

And then there’s the people. We have the greatest collection of candid and personal photographs of generation after generation of local friends and families who made Manly and the Northern Beaches their home; some still resident.

So come check us out and why not share your own pics and memories while your here. To experience the essence of Manly is to be seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care.

Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride �

Join our engaging facebook group where it all began:


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