Tug Waratah—A century of steam



Since writing the book “Tug Waratah—A century of steam”, some readers have come back to me advising of corrections. These letters are greatly appreciated and I hope to correct the book should there be a second edition. Some of these corrections are of an editorial nature, but a few pertain to historical facts. In the interests of historical accuracy, the addenda and errata pertaining to historical facts are displayed on this web-page.


To those that sent me their comments, many thanks.





Author’s response

Page 24

Buster J. Browne

I do wish to point out that the photograph on page 24 credited to Graeme Andrews is in fact mine. The circumstances of the situation are well fixed in my memory - hearing that WARATAH was soon to lay-up, I had travelled by train from Sydney to Newcastle with a friend and had spent the night in a sleeping bag on the Dyke so as to capture her when she carried the dredge crews down the river on the early morning shift-change.

Oops! Sorry about that one Buster. In trying to find make sure that the source of this photo was properly accredited I made the mistake.

Page 24

Warwick Turner

The cost of purchase was not £600 – it was either $300 or £300, I can’t remember when decimal currency came in. The price was identical to the price we paid for the “Lady Hopetoun”.

Thanks Warwick. A look at some of the Museum’s old brochures indicates that the Lady Hopetoun was bought for £300. Decimal currency was adopted in 1966, so it looks likely that the price was $600 rather than £600. To be confirmed.

Additional info

Warwick Turner

At the time of the Waratah’s acquisition there was a choice to be made and we were also interested in the Melbourne tug “Keera”. In the end it was clear that the “Waratah” was more important both in design and her relationship with Sydney and N.S.W. Her then unique lines gave her the edge and she was cheaper than “Keera”. However we believed at the time that “Keera” was the smallest steam ship to ever make the voyage from the U.K. to Australia under steam unaided.


Additional info

Warwick Turner

The crew that last ran Waratah for the Public Works Department told me on numerous occasions that she was known amoungst the crews as “Leaping Lena” because of her motion when at sea.


Editorial comments

Geoff Winter

Spelling & typos.

Thanks Geoff. Hopefully these will be addressed in the second edition.


If you have any comments on the content of the Waratah book, or additional information about the steam tug Waratah, please email me, Mori Flapan