Bulli Pass water troughs

By MICK ROBERTS © OUT the front of the the Black Diamond Heritage Centre at Bulli Railway Station, there’s an odd looking water trough. A little too high for the average canine to sip from, the trough is a relic from Bulli’s past, when horses dominated the roadways. The water troughs were the pre-motor car service station…

Bulli’s missing war memorial

By MICK ROBERTS © BULLI’S first war memorial sat between four majestic Canary Island palm trees, high on a hill-top overlooking the ocean, largely due to the determined efforts of the local council’s “tough, but fair” health inspector, John Joseph “Gutty” Hiles. While often referred to as Bulli Shire Council’s health or sanitary inspector, he was…

The Premier’s Lookout

By MICK ROBERTS © THE entrepreneurial Cyril Astley Maer was a determined character. If he had achieved his dream, reached his goal, more than 20 imposing Federation style Bungalow homes would have peered over the escarpment edge at Bulli Tops, beside the Panorama Hotel. His residential subdivision plan though was never realised. Captain Maer, as…

The Bulli Dunny Man

By MICK ROBERTS © BULLI’S first dunny-man, William Capon, came to an untimely death at the hands of his own sanitary cart. A pioneer in the Illawarra’s Labour movement, it’s ironic his widow had to fight his employer, Bulli Shire Council for compensation after his death in 1914. Bulli’s sanitary requirements prior to the formation of…

Woonona street named after premier Jack Lang

By MICK ROBERTS © THE McKinnon family settled in the Illawarra during the 1850s, first at Berkeley and later drifting north to Bulli and Woonona. Neil McKinnon owned a large tract of farming land around what is today Hillcrest Avenue, Woonona. His family home, “Corry” sat in Luxor Street. The farming property was subdivided for a…

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…

The man who sold Sandon Point

By MICK ROBERTS © JUST what Bulli pioneer real estate agent Henry Cotterell would have thought of land prices at Sandon Point today is difficult to imagin. Cotterell, known as “Cottie” to friends, was one time editor of the Bulli Times newspaper, but more interestingly he was the agent who sold the original Sandon Point…