Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Lights

Pity the neighbours

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's baaaaaack !

Just when you thought it was safe to enter the water.....
Last night I woke up about 11pm and needed a drink of water so I stumble out to the kitchen tap , in the dark I noticed the water pressure was down and turned on the light .......
Lucky I did because I was just about to drink this shit

Soup anyone ?

I seem to have missed the public service annoucement about the quality of our drinking water being crap again ( have I ? )
I thought they fixed it all up ages ago ........ hmm wtf

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wacky Weather

Getting all sorts of weather here sun , rain , wind , my heater and pedestal fan have co existed next to each other for 2 months now
Big rainstorm came over the other night and my 2 parrot friends came in under the awning for some shelter and a left over cup cake


They left the young one in the bottlebrush tree next door while they pigged out - life sucks for some !


Monday, December 8, 2008

Merchant ship losses WW2

Merchant ship losses WW2

A recent ceremony in Wyong last week in memory of a sunken merchant navy vessel off Norah Head during WW2 got me searching for more info , read all about this very secret part of the war here

Fidgetty Sara

Sara Groen

That weather girl on Channel 7 news keeps annoying me with her hand gestures while she reads the weather , it looks like some kind of part sign language part homie style gesturing thang , anyway you watch her and see for yourself
Mind you shes a bit of a spunk but just has damn annoying habit .......

Friday, November 28, 2008

Timing ...........?

My second article has appeared in the latest edition of the Peninsula News ( Nov 24th ) , this one tells the story of the Kariong Heiroglyphs and funnily enough the Express also ran a similar story a couple of days before , mine was more imformative and factual of course ( har har )
Thanks again to the PN team for publishing my stuff

every man and his dog has been here.....

A picture of the glyphs in question , as a bonus I also captured what appears to be the Woy Woy Tiger just out of shot to the right .............

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Falling rocks

Road widening Blackwall Road widening Blackwall

Work has just been completed on the road widening at corner of Memorial Drive and Maitland Bay Drive , the road has been moved away a bit from the crumbling hillside , there are some big rocks up there about to come tumbling down one day......
The section of the mountain here was not always like that , in fact you may have noticed a few areas where man has taken chunks out of the hill side along Memorial Drive.
Ever since the Peninsula was settled people have quarried sandstone and fill materials from the sides of the hill , the area being made up of old sand dunes needed a solid base before you could build on it , some of the older houses in the area sit on stumps made from solid chunks of sandstone quarried from Blackwall Mountains edges.
The old Woy Woy Shire Council used it as a quarry for years , most of the mountain lays in landfills at Woy Woy Oval at the waterfront when the lagoon was reclaimed .
The section in question today actually has been recorded as being the area where the sandstone was quarried for the construction of Ettalong Hall for Mrs Cox way back in the 1800's , a gang of workers camped at the base of the hill for the duration of its construction.
Another feature nearby is the Railway Workers Cave just up the hill a bit round the corner , during the construction of Woy Woy Tunnel , workers travelling to and from the main wharf at Blackwall and the tunnel site would stay overnight in the shelter of this large natural cave.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grab a copy of

the Peninsula News this week and you can read my first article for them about the old WW2 airfield on Trafalgar Avenue .
The paper is free and is placed at various strategic points around town , always a good read
and thanks to Clare and co for the small blurb about me and the site within the article
veh cool !

Woy Woy to Wyong

Living in Woy Woy all ones life is like being in a pair of your most comfortable shoes ( or flanno shirt for some : ) There is something about this place that makes it special , a long time ago when the first settlers arrived some sort of local pact was made never to employ convict labour on the Peninsula , it was only to be occupied by free men.
Various characters arrived and made their marks , there was a jovial mood among this mixed bunch of settlers as they all contributed eagerly to their new area's development.
The oddballs and the heroes gained respect and notoriety equally , there was a real sense of caring for your fellow man that perpetuates to this day .......
I am reminded of a time when I moved out of town north to the Wyong Shire , Lakehaven to be exact one of those new mega hectare suburbs that popped up overnight in the 80's
I had met a nice lass and had decided after a year to move into her home up there.
Leaving Woy Woy gave me an empty feeling and it felt like I had lost something when I did finally move.
While moving my stuff into the new house at Lakehaven , I had driven onto the empty block next door to drop my dog's kennel over the fence into the backyard.
While driving off the block I got the old Dodge ute bogged in the soft clay / muddy soil that pervades Wyong, bugger !
So I get the shovel out and set to task and spend quite some time digging , jacking , piling lumps of timber under the wheels and after several attempts I got the beast mobile and scarper onto the tar - much to the amusement of a few local kids and neighbours peering over their fences ....
Fast foward 4 years of domestic bliss followed by a sudden return to singledom on Valentines Day 2000 ( that is another story .... )
and I am returning to my old family home at Woy Woy , while moving my stuff back I kept looking at this tasty EH Holden sedan for sale at the end on my street.
On one of the last loads back I decide to pull over and check the car out ( maybe this could be the new single mans chick puller mobile I thinks to meself )
"Six thousand bucks for that ! it's got bog in it bah !" I imagine myself saying to the owner if he was there and walk back to the Dodge.
I then find myself bogged in the sandy soil out the front of this guys house, part of an old sand dune in my street.
I get out and walk down to my new house which was about 8 houses away and grab a shovel and walk back muttering to myself " de ja fucking vu or wot "
I get to the rear wheels and am about the throw the first shovel when a light table top truck pulls over and the driver leans out the window.
" Need a hand mate ? " he asks
" Sure do ! " I reply
In a few minutes we hook up a chain to the uterus and she is pulled clear , I thank the truck driver and I'm on my way.
I think back to the near exact event that happened 4 years ago , shake my head and say to myself " Welcome home "

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Calamity Street Terrigal and poo by the sea

There must be one or perhaps two unlucky buggers living in Campbell Crescent , Terrigal.
A couple of weeks back a large truck mounted crane toppled over and cut power to Terrigal for some hours , and today a cement mixer has capsized and while on it's side the cement inside it set causing a major dilemma , at every attempt to right the beast , the set concrete in the tumbler caused the truck to tip back over.
Evidently some poor bastard had to climb inside and jackhammer it all out , that would have been fun today in the 30 degrees temperature we had , bet the neighbours loved the sound of that jackhammer clanging away all day
Pity they couldn't re create that Mythbusters episode where they faced the same dilemma , except these guys just put some gelignite inside and bam! - problem solved
I wonder if both these vechiles were working on the same job , I'll ask my tradey contacts around Terrigal.

Latest News from NBN 3 - Ettalong Beach has been declared unsafe for swimming by the EPA for having a higher than normal feceal coliform content ( shit ) This has been caused by runoff from stormwater drains that deposit right in the middle of the beach ( handy)
I suggest that Gosford Council extend the foreshore upgrade and piss that old stormwater drain off for once and all ...........

Friday, October 31, 2008

Culinary differences

I've been toying with this idea for a cartoon all week after the poo in the chocolate desert incident at Coogee Bay Hotel Bistro recently .......
p.s ask a surfer what a Bondi cigar is ........

Click image to see the big copy

Culinary Differences

Enemies in the Freezer - feeling cold ?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Just a few bits n pieces

Hi to Ann Marie from Calvary Funerals your link has been added to the growing local business and links directory

Hi to Kev from the Watersedge Motel in Woy Woy , nice looking site there

To the lady who wrote into the Peninsula News recently about the local ferry service dropping surfers off in the "middle of the ocean" to surf the Box Head breaks , don't be alarmed.
These guys would only have to paddle for longer through some dodgy shark infested channels if the local ferry master wasn't so kind as to offer this service.
Points awarded to whoever thought of this idea , and lets encourage our youth to do more healthy activities , sitting safe behind a keyboard is not an option
I've done the paddle out there myself many times when I was a young fella and still here to tell the tale , in fact no one has ever lost their life out there surfing the break , which is often called the best left hander on the east coast when it is working , the waves are never ending and you can ride a wave for near 500 meters or more in big swells.
It can take near 30 minutes to paddle to the break from Ettalong Point , and the same to return , many a time once we made it to the beach we'd just colapse exhausted in the sand and wake up sunburnt a couple hours later
I'm sure the Captain ensures the surfers deploy safely into the water and their added bonus is that he will be coming back that way within an hour or so if trouble does arise.
Surf on I say

Ahh and I joined Facebook and have found half of my family and many other Spillards who are possibly related
I also joined two Woy Woy Facebook groups : I survived Woy Woy High School and Woy Woy South Primary School
and there a a few pages more of Woy Woy groups like:
Drivers on the Woy Woy Peninsula are dangerous and stupid! - I feel your pain yes.
I reserve the right to get "woy woy" tattooed on my chest - fair enough , group has 1 member
Woy Woy is eating away my soul! - for emo kids who don't like the sun , salt water or sand
I was a slave @ Kmart Woy Woy - teach you not to finish your School Certificate then eh lol
Woy Woy Leagues needs to get some1 who actually knows how to run a bistro - 3 members - disgruntled former employees ?
I WENT TO WOY WOY HIGH SCHOOL IN THE 80`S-90`S AND LIVED - sadly only 2 people survived to join this group
I am proud to say I went to the Asylum and drank test tube shooters!! - 63 members who got pissed at Woy Woy Leagues Club woot !

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Fruit Man

My parents moved to Woy Woy in 1964 , they purchased a block of land in Gallipoli Avenue at Blackwall and built a fibro house.
Dad was from the river country around Albury , Echuca , Wodonga and Mum was born and raised in Sans Souci , a suburb in the southern shire of Sydney.
Often we would pack the old Holden station wagon up and go visiting my Grandparents in Sans Souci , a fairly long journey in those days before all the new highways were built.
Before I could remember when I was around 3 years old on a return trip from the city , my father pulled over to help a stranded motorist near Mt White.
After giving the guy a lift home to get parts and return from his farm at Somersby they managed to get his car going and they parted ways as it got late in the evening.
Some weeks later the farmer turns up on our doorstep with a giant basket of produce from his farm , oranges , apples and other fruits , this was to continue for many years , every season we would be rewarded with a basket of fresh farm fruits.
I moved out of home when I was 20 , my father passed away when I was 22 , when I was 28 and I found myself sitting on the front step of the old house at Gallipoli again ( albiet temporarily )
A car pulls up and a young lad aged about 18 gets out , opens the back door , leans in and lifts out a washing basket full of fruit and walks up the driveway grinning.
I stand up and greet him and he hands the basket over , my memory flashes back and I say to him " Mate you guys have been doing this for years it's bloody awesome "
He says to me " My dad died years ago and he told me to keep dropping the fruit off here in repayment for being helped out all those years ago , I don't even know why or what really happened "
I told him I was too young to remember the events of that night and we laughed , shrugged shoulders and he left on his way.
I never seen the fruit man again after that day , but if you are reading this - Thanks mate

Monday, October 13, 2008

Woy Woy's Haunted locations

A Halloween special tour of some locations around town that could be haunted by lost souls from long ago .........
1. The Rip ( formerly known as Webb's Reef ) a treacherous part of the entrance to the Brisbane Waters - in 1871 the ketch " Tim Whiffler " capsized in rough weather , trapped under the vessel was Mrs. Watkins and her fifteen year old daughter.
Men from the Rock Davis shipyard sailed to the scene in a whale boat and rescued the passengers on top of the upturned vessel and then turned their attentions to the trapped women , they could hear them banging on the hull and decided to cut throught it with an axe. Tragically this action allowed air to escape from the hull and it sank immediately , Mrs. Watkins made it out of the vessel as it sank , her daughter didn't.
2. Phegans Bay Public Wharf- In 1834 a local boy Ron Inman aged14 , dived off the wharf and straight into the mouth of a large shark and was killed
3. Correa Bay - in the 1830 a body was found floating at the end of Woy Woy creek , it was buried at the " head of the creek " , locals later referred to the area as Deadmans Creek up until 1968 when it was decided to change the name to make the area more appealing to visitors and land buyers. Another local man was buried here as well after a tragic accident , Angelo Lazzarino died after his gun exploded while trying to get throgh a fence while hunting wallabies , his body was not found for some weeks and because of his rumored connections to the Black Hand Society ( Mafia ) many thought he had neen murdered.
4. Bogan Rd , Ettalong - a small cemetary existed here , marked today by two large Pine trees , the last person was buried there in 1910 , by 1920 the land had been bulldozed over and sold to an unsuspecting buyer.
Buried here were: Mr and Mrs Bogan - former residents whom the road was named after.
Nine victims of the infamous Maitland bay disaster in 1898 , the bodies were recovered by men from the Rock Davis shipyard and brought to Ettalong for burial
A man named Mr Bushell
Mr and Mrs Booker - Booker Bay was named after the original land holders. The graveyard was never officially " sanctified " records show.
5. Ettalong Point - 3 persons from the ketch " Southern Light " were buried " on the rise at the back of the beach " in 1864. Rock Davis had found the badly decomposed bodies washed up on the beach and parts of the vessel which he could easily identify as he himself had built the craft some years earlier
6. Mt Ettalong - in the early1950's a group was having a picnic at the lookout above Pearl Beach , one of the group decided to lay back on the rock after his meal , looked up and began to go into hysterics.An ex serviceman had chosen the tree above him to hang himself from some months before , all that remained was a bleached skeleton dangling there above him.

Steve Spillard COPYRIGHT 2015

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Peninsula News

Last week I got an email from Clare at the Peninsula News asking if I was interested in submitting some stories to them , sure why not I thought , anything that may help lead me away from my poisonous pastime of being a painter and decorator gotta be worth a shot.
First article has been sent for the next deadline , hopefully I'll be able to bash out a fair few more over the next while or so
So pick up a copy next time you see one at various points around the Peninsula

Hi to Jenny from who has been recntly added to the links page at, they make those lil plaster casts of kiddies feet and hands , pretty cool.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Ghost Plane

In the early 80's an aircraft engine washed up on the beach at Umina , It was reported in the local paper at the time and the motor was dumped at Woy Woy Tip.
I decided to do some research at ADF Serials and see if I could find a list of aircraft crashes in that area and stumbled across this most amazing story.........
It was Tuesday the 5th of August 1955 and Anthony Thrower had just landed his Auster J/4 Archer at Bankstown airport when his motor stalled at the end of the runway , he decided to hop out and manually start the engine by hand turning the blade ( a push start for a plane ) . the engine kicked into life and the plane moved off with a bump - trouble was Tony was not in the cockpit but running alongside trying to grab a wing strut !
Much to his horror the plane gathered speed and started down the runway and took off , it circled the field in tight banks and at one stage the control tower was evacuated as the plane swooped close by before heading off into the sky towards the coast........
At 9.30 am a call was sent out to the R.A.A.F to assist in bringing the aircraft back to earth as it was now headed towards Sydney , a Wirraway trainer was sent up to shoot the plane down once it had reached the ocean and it was found about 5 miles off the coast at 9000 feet , the pilots hands were so cold in the Wirraway that he was unable to operate its guns so it turned back
In what was now becoming something from a Monty Python movie a second aircraft was deployed - a Meteor jet fighter was sent to shoot it down but it's guns jammed.
At 10.15 a.m 2 Sea Furies on loan from the Royal Navy were sent out to bring down the rogue aircraft , guided by the radar installation at South Head they intercepted the plane at 10.000 feet about 7 miles east of Broken Bay and it was shot down into the sea.
The Civil Aviation Authority later described the incident as a billion to one happening !

Monday, September 29, 2008

Truck rollover on F3

oh no not again!

Truck rollover on F3

thanks Joanne !

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Woy Woy virtual tours

A project I started last xmas involving sitting down and reading through C. Swancotts books , the archives of Gosford Council and anything else I could lay my hands on , marking down points of interest on Google Earth , then transferring it all over to Google Maps for your viewing pleasure.
Some of the placemarks contain links to photos on the web , I haven't re edited most of the tours so some links may not work - just paste them into your browser.
I may update these files at some time in the future or if you are handy you can copy my tour and add to it then send me the new files
Anyway enjoy
Here is the first one as an embedded tour on this page showing the location of the old Woy Woy R.A.A.F wartime airstrip , taxiways and hangar locations ( estimated positions based on National Archive files )

View Larger Map

Other virtual tours ( click on em ) :
Old housing estates and land holdings
Old tracks and Trails
Old residences and boarding houses
Old shops and utilities
Old wharves and shipyards
Miscellaneous places of interest

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A post about a post....

close up Driftwood

I keep meaning to do a story on this post I found , it's attached to my carport and I've been walking past it for the last 8 months thinking " I must do a post on that post "
So anyway last Christmas I was painting a house on the main beach at Pearl Beach and I spotted something in the surf , the waves that day were unusually big combined with a king tide.
Later on I looked out and spotted the object again on the beach right in front of where I was working , from what I could see it seemed to have been turned on a lathe , I sent the 2 young blokes I was working with down to retreive it next smoke break.
What they brought back was a 14 foot long post made of hardwood that had been turned on a lathe , it weighed a ton as it was still sodden with sea water. To me and the carpenter working next door it looked like an old verandah support post - a fancy one that would have been near 100 years old , another chippie reckoned it could have come from an Indonesian fishing boat as some of these craft have elaborate timberwork.
As I have painted many an old house I reckon it's Aussie and very old and probably washed down Hawkesbury river at some stage , then washed up on either Lion Island or the rocks between Patonga and Pearl Beach and sat there for ages until the high tides and surf dislodged it for it's final journey to Pearl Beach and then on my ute racks to my joint.
I arrived at this conclusion as there was no seaweed or things growing on it , so it it hadn't been in the drink for long.
So if you have lost a post or want this post then contact me , until then I have a dandy garden ornament !

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fascinating Aboriginal art discovered

Aboriginal rock art

You may have seen the latest discovery of Aboriginal rock art in the news lately, researchers have uncovered thousands of drawings depicting all manner of European objects including ships , guns and aircraft , as well as older Maccasan trading vessels.
You can read up on the full story here , and view a slideshow of the drawings here.
The diagrams are being documented as there seems to be mining companies lurking into the area to continue the great tradition of destroying Aboriginal history
The Woy Woy area is also rich in Aboriginal rock art and paintings , sadly most of these are ageing and vandalised by the successive local councils and flannelette wearing bogans , large portions of the Bulgandry site were closed off to the public in the late 70's to preserve it and all reference to other carving and painting sites were slowly removed from new maps of the area.

Aboriginal cave paintings Woy Woy area

The destruction caused by sandstone quarries , road building and general development to Aboriginal sites on the coast is kept hush hush , as the sites aren't well known anymore then no one will know.........
Take the Bora ground at Patonga for example , firstly it had a road blasted through it in the 30's for the new road to Patonga , and now the NPWS and any other local government department use part of it as access to a fire trail , I cannot contain my disgust at seeing large tractor tyre marks scarring the rock surface of this site less than 20 metres from a carving.

Aboriginal carving - Patonga

Because of the road edges being washed off during rain the whole area is being silted up and large parts are now unnaturally vegetated , covering carvings and the unique tessellations.

Sacred meeting place Patonga

I think Gosford Council and the NPWS should wake up and fix this up immediately.

Friday, September 5, 2008

10 things in my junkbox

Rainy day , closet cleanup , old stuff in box , 10 things that tell you something about their owner:

Bug Killer

1. Old "Woolstar" pump action pesticide sprayer , you used to fill it up yourself and use it to spray bugs , highly dangerous because you had to handle the chemicals , kids loved em cause they made dandy water pistols , but who ever washed them out first , no wonder young Timmy developed a nice set of breasts when he was 13 !

Dingoblue mousepad

2. Dingoblue mousepad - they were the coolest ISP ever , they gave you free stuff , never overcharged , always had the best connection - and they went broke ! ...... go figure :

Cannon shell

3. A cannon shell from a French tank , picked up off the battlefield in France in World War 1 by my grandfather and handed down to me when I was 12

Coca Cola yo-yo

4. My original Coca-Cola yo-yo from 6th grade at Woy Woy South Primary School , I bought it at Bourke Road shop for 50 cents I think , a good mint one will cost you $20 - $50 bux now on Ebay

Iraq's Most Wanted Playing cards

5. Iraq's Most Wanted playing cards - the first thing I ever bought online , I got em just to test out my credit card during the last invasion of Iraq , they gave these to the troops to identify the top 50 most wanted Iraqi's - Saddam was the ace of spades

Iron Maiden drumstick

6. A drumstick from the band Iron Maiden - I caught 2 of Clive Burr's sticks during a concert at the Capitol Theatre in the 80's , last tour they arrived in their own 747 piloted by the lead singer Bruce Dickinson

Swancott signed book

7. Signed copies of Charles Swancott's books on Woy Woy , Gosford and the Hawkesbury River

Air Force badges

8. Airforce badges and patches given to me by my grandfather and uncle , the patches are from the Australian jet fighter squadrons " Top Hat and Cane " and " Black Panther " my uncle flew Super Sabre jets back in the 50's before he went to Quantas

Goanna cream

9. No home would be complete without a tin of Goanna salve , handy for dandruff , excema , lumbago - you name it !

Rubiks cube

10. An original Rubiks cube from the 70's - still unsolved all these years - it was one fad I didn't get into , as you can see I considered peeling all the stickers off and doing it that way , but even that was too time consuming !

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jeanne - Davistown


I've worked as a painter and decorator for all of my working life and get to work in some interesting places , occasionally I will take the camera to work to record a particular job.
This is a job we done a couple of years back and the photos have sat unexplained in my albums at Webshots.
We had a call from a lady in Sydney who needed help with her grandparents old house at Davistown , Gosford Council had ordered her to remove all the decaying lead based paint from the house as it was polluting nearby properties.
The house was built in 1914 by her grandfather using a kit imported by sea from Canada , only the brick foundations , out buildings and roof were locally sourced , it comprised of 2 bedrooms , a living/dining area and rear laundry/bathroom , we were unable to work out where the kitchen was though as there was no stove or fireplace inside.
Inside the walls were made from timber panelling and the former owner had gone to great trouble decorating the inside , hand painted friezes around the ceiling depicting all manner of water craft on Sydney Harbour , hand painted dado lines with cut out fishes also painted by hand adorned the lower walls.


We figured the guy worked as a painter for the Government somewhere , possibly the Ferries or Garden Island as the painting style was similar to how they painted up the old train interiors , I wish I had my camera the day we were allowed inside to see the house.
Outside as we slowly stripped through an estimated 20 - 30 coats of paint of all colours , we cursed the old bastard who must have re painted the house every year in a new colour , and imagined him having a laugh at us poor bastards suited up like spacemen undoing his handy work.


The timber panelling around the lower walls was all cedar and in perfect condition , the gables were adorned with 2 cut out Rosellas that were lovingly hand painted , like the fish inside and the house name Jeanne was painted similarly , maybe this was the lady of the house's name.
So after 2 months and much cursing and sweating we had removed every square inch of paint from the entire house , the owner had run out of money and didn't even have enough to pay us to at least put a primer coat on all that now bare lovely timber , it stills sits there bare and rotting to this day.


Going over another man's work like we did gave us an insight to who he was and his love of his house by the way it had been maintained , to see it wasting away like that is a shame and I'm sure the old painter who owned it would agree.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Annoying local ads

I was listening to 2GO today and a station jingle stated that " we are as coasty as the twin stacks at Munmora Power Station " ........great so it's you dickheads who have been belching out tonnes of pollution in the airwaves
A free Pepsi voucher to the marketing section at 2GO
Another ad that is getting annoying is the ones for Brentwood Village , harmless enough , but with it's blanket media campaign it's all getting tedious.......
You know the ads , the ones about old ducks and rambling gardeners
I often have a giggle when the ads come on for different products for the cattle industry on NBN " I must get a drum of that for Chewy " I often think to myself.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Roll on summer ...

I'm over this cold shit geezus !
here's something to tide us over...


Woy Woy Road Open

Yes it's open finally and acually quicker than most had thought , widely reported on the web on many local bogs that seem to be popping up , here's some I regularly visit and some new blogs as well ( pinched some off Spikes site lol )
This isn't Sydney - A long running popular blog owned by Spike , lot's of local pics of buildings , waterways and wildlife
Family Art Stories - A site owned by local artist Mike Rubbo looking at his family art history
Life Begins at 80 - A site owned by Mike's mate , Eric Shackle a local resident and blogger
and some new ones
Blinovs Blog
A photo a day
Ettalong Beach Reporter
The Gosford Times

Woy Woy