S for Surf Life Saving

Thanks to Amanda Mackinnon for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

Thanks to the Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club archives for the use of the image.

The day the roof blew off

Carlton Park Surf Life Saving Club draws its local community close. The clubhouse and its adjoining storage and rescue facilities are nestled in the dunes at glorious Carlton Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the Sorell municipality. The 2.7km stretch of white sand faces the entrance of Frederick Henry Bay, being bound by the Carlton River mouth to the east and Spectacle Head to the west. It’s an idyllic location to say the least, and one that’s been home to the iconic red and yellow flags for over 60 years. 

Carlton Park was officially established in 1975 following the merger of Hobart Carlton (affiliated in 1957) and Park Beach (affiliated in 1959) Surf Life Saving Clubs. Both Hobart Carlton and Park Beach made significant and colourful contributions to surf lifesaving in Tasmania and original members of both clubs can still be found at Carlton Park today. The fact that an interstate carnival attracted more than 20,000 competitors to the beach in the 1960s provides an indication of just how popular the sport has proven over the years. 

Carlton Park’s facilities are currently undergoing an exciting redevelopment to cater for the growing population of the Southern Beaches region. However, it’s not the first time club members have banded together to reinvigorate this valued community resource. 

In March 1989, a freak gust of wind in the form of a spiral travelled across the bay towards the Carlton Park clubhouse. It wreaked havoc. The roof was torn off and much of the block work was torn down by the effect of the roof twisting about the rear wall. The result was the complete destruction of the entire first floor. 

Residents at the time recall a still afternoon and an almost eerie silence up until the time when the gust approached. The wind continued inland for some distance, reportedly breaking limbs from trees but causing only minor damage to a few other buildings in the area. 

Even more heartbreaking for members was the fact that the facility has only just been renovated and the interior repainted – courtesy of countless hours of volunteer work. In the weeks that followed, members spent hours clearing away debris and salvaging materials. 

Fingers crossed history doesn’t repeat itself once the new clubhouse is completed in 2022!

O for Orielton Lagoon

The lagoon at Pittwater – Orielton is a Ramsar site which looks at over 2000 wetlands around the world. It was designated as a wetland 40 years ago this year.


Map created using theLIST – LISTmap – layer Reserves and Administrative Boundaries – then adding Reserves – Ramsar wetlands.

The wetlands have four main river/rivulet/creeks entering into the estuary area – Coal River, Orielton Rivulet, Sorell Rivulet and Iron Creek. It is an intertidal area especially for bird life including many endangered species.

When I was a teacher at Sorell, Moya Sharpe ran a project called the “Bird Sanctuary” which was down at the mouth of the Sorell Rivulet near where the sewage works are now located. Students would visit the sanctuary, check out which birds were in the area, make sure there was no rubbish to harm the birds and keep the local grasses and plants area ready for bird, insect and animal visits.

She also made sure there were interesting notice boards for visitors to read when they visited the sanctuary and the pull off areas on the causeway and around the lagoon to look at the birds on Susie Islet.

There is a Wildcare Friends of Pitt Water Orielton Lagoon group but not sure how active they are.

On a drive I took today, I could see pelicans, black swans and pied oyster catchers on the southern side of the causeway.

Readers: Have you visited the Bird Sanctuary and or the Ramsar site? What birds, animals or insects have you seen there?


B for Bluebell Inn

Thanks to David Gard for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

Blue links will take you to the digitized images from Libraries Tasmania website.

THE BLUEBELL INN :- record of events and Gard association


  • Original Inn was built from timber by William Currie
  • William Curry forced to mortgage it to a David Hoy for 250 Pounds
  • William Patterson took over the lease from David Hoy

1836-1839 William Curry again took over the lease


  • William Curry advertises it again for lease
  • William Curry charged with murder but gets off with manslaughter

1842-1844 Leased to a Jonathon Watson


  • William Curry again assumed control
  • William Curry transfers the mortgage from David Hoy to Thomas Featherstone and Rev. John Robertson

1844-1852 Thomas Featherstone leased it

1853 William Gard purchases it from Featherstone and Robertson

1856 William Gard leases it to John Smith for 12 months

1857-1863 William Gard operates it again.


  • Fire destroys the inn William Gard loses everything
  • William Gard raises a mortgage of 2000 pounds from a William Lindsay
  • William Gard rebuilds the Inn from brick and stone
  • William unable to overcome his financial difficulties so property is passed back to Lindsay


  • William Lindsay dies and his trustees put the property up for sale
  • Edward Gard (William Gard’s son) purchases the property for 300 pounds
  • Edward Gard like his predecessors also fell on hard times and was forced to raise a mortgage from a Elizabeth Eady for the sum of 180 pounds

1867 William Gard died


  • Edward Gard defaulted on the mortgage and it was transferred to William James
  • William James died leaving the estate to his 1 year and 9 month old infant son, Arthur Edwin James

1872 Supreme court orders that the property pass to John Henry James, who was the administrator for the infant


  • Edward Gard again raises the money from John Henry Peacock Oldmeadow to redeem Bluebell
  • Edward Gard again forced to mortgage it to Richard James Lucas

1907 Richard Lucas sells it to John Frances Dore

1913 Edward Gard died

1936 The Inn was sold to Mrs. Sadie O’Brien (nee Long) and with her sister Mrs. Eileen Myra Ingram, the Inn was transformed into a maternity hospital. Mrs. Ingram was the the wife of the local doctor

1940’s Hospital is closed, ground floor is leased to Mr. & Mrs. Claude Hean and the other part by the Cornelius family

1945-1985 The property is purchased by Mr. Ephrain Alan Newitt from Mrs. O’Brien. The Newitts used it as their family residence

1985 The property was sold to Alla & Michael Ward and becomes listed by the National Trust

1992-1997 The Bluebell Inn became an Inn again – operated by Heather & Peter Boulot

1997-1998 Operated by Jill & Les Schulze

1998- Operated as an Inn by Marlene & Barry Gooding.- unknown when it closed

2012 I (David) visited Sorell and noticed that it was again a private residence and was told that it was owned by someone on the mainland and rented out. I was also told that it was again for sale at $700K.