Riley’s Thirroul wine saloon

By MICK ROBERTS © AFTER last drinks were called at Thirroul’s Ryans Hotel, in the days of the “Six O’clock Swill”, swards of men would trudge down the road to Riley’s wine saloon. The wine bar, on the corner of The Esplanade and Lawrence Hargrave Drive, hit its peak in popularity during the 1920s and…

The Bulli Rifle Range

By MICK ROBERTS© STRADDLING the banks of Slacky Creek, fronting ‘Sharkey Beach’ between Sandon and Waniora Points, the Bulli Rifle Range operated for over 70 years. Not long after the first mention of the range during December 1886, when the Bulli Rifle Club invited Wollongong marksmen to a shooting competition at its paddock, were concerns…

The Bulli Beach Park Estate

By MICK ROBERTS © WANIORA Point, the parkland fronting Bulli Beach was for the early part of last century known locally as Point Peter or Floyd’s Point. Peter Floyd, son of Bulli publican and butcher Jack Floyd, inherited 20 acres of land fronting Bulli beach, stretching westward to the South Coast railway, between Owen Street…

Naked swimming in the Gong

By MICK ROBERTS © MAYBE it’s our weather – the hot summers. The past time of skinny dipping, getting the clobber off, and bathing naked in the surf has persisted in the Illawarra since colonial times. During early settlement, British soldiers found the Australian weather and the white sandy beaches all too tempting, and often…