JULY 2002

No. 290

"Understanding, enjoying & caring for our oceans"

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be held at the Conservation Centre, 120 Wakefield Street on Wednesday 17th July commencing at 7.30pm with our speaker.

He will be Anthony Brown the historian and author who will be discussing, amongst other topics, the Scientific Collections made by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin during their voyages around Australia.


The Glenelg Jetty (Part 2)

BMLSS Marine Wildlife News

Strangers from the deep: pipehorses in Australia

June Meeting Report

Urgent Appeal


Please put pen to paper or finger to keyboard as I have only only 2 articles at hand for the rest of the year’s Newsletters.

The JOURNAL is in an even worse state!!!! I have the promise of the final Dragonsearch SA Report but no member articles at all!! Can you assist?

Philip Hall


2003 Calendar

This should be available in July. We ask all members to sell at least 30 copies as we have lost our main sale of 300 copies to the Mayer Krieg organisation. The price will be the same as last year, $10 with a member price of $8 per copy. Retail outlets will need a Tax Invoice from me if you get any offers to sell calendars for us. See me for their price.

The Glenelg Jetty (Part 2)


In December 1875 work commenced on the construction of a jetty and baths for men and boys. It was a 300 feet (90m) long jetty and it was built 600 feet north of the main jetty. The baths were built on an area due west of Augusta Street leased from the Council. The lease comprised an area commencing 100 feet west of the sea wall, 300 feet wide and 950 feet out to sea. The Glenelg Bathing Company Limited ran the baths (also known as a ‘Natatorium’). The baths themselves were about 180 feet wide and 500 feet long. Mayor Wigley officially opened them on 11th March 1876. There were 110 dressing cubicles, each approximately 6 1/3 by 4½feet, built on the southern elevation (raised platform). There was a refreshment room on the eastern frontage along with provision for hiring out towels and costumes, and a dwelling house for the use of the lessee. The whole construction formed a "shark" enclosure. Piles and stakes 4" apart were used to exclude unwanted creatures such as sharks. There were hot saltwater baths and freshwater showers.


A separate section north of the men's section was opened to women and girls in 1881. It was only half the size of the male section and had just 50 dressing cubicles. A violent storm in 1882 soon damaged the western fence of the baths, leaving them unprotected.


Between 1877 and 1883 the jetty witnessed several grand affairs such as the arrival of His Excellency the Governor, Wm. Wellington Cairns, in 1877. There was the arrival of the Russian fleet and the warship HMS Nelson in 1882. Then there was the departure of Governor Jervois and the arrival of Governor Sir WCF Robinson in 1883.


There were three drinking fountains on the jetty, one at each end and another in the middle.

A wooden kiosk and a tearooms pavilion were built near to the end of the jetty in 1907.


After World War I, the Mayor, HW Varley, erected a new lighthouse at the end of the jetty in memory of his son William who was killed during the war.


There were several schemes for a jetty breakwater over the years, but, despite many starts on construction, a breakwater was never completed for the jetty. The huge ‘blocks’ out from the present jetty were intended to be part of a breakwater scheme at the end of the old Glenelg jetty. The ‘blocks’ are concrete caissons, watertight chambers used in laying foundations underwater. The contractors Stone & Siddeley started work on a 1400 feet long structure in 1914 but their work was destroyed by a storm in 1915. The Government renegotiated with Stone & Siddeley in 1916 for a 2470 feet long structure linked to the jetty. Considerable progress had been made with the work when another storm in 1917 damaged the foundations. Stone & Siddeley sued the Government for supplying faulty data and there have been no further attempts to build a jetty breakwater.


Storms over the next few years caused the bathing jetty to fall into disrepair. The company running the baths went into liquidation in 1920. A bathing house with cubicles, lockers, showers and facilities for both sexes was built on the northern end of Glenelg beach in 1921, by which time mixed bathing was permitted. The bathing jetty and baths were then demolished in 1928.


One year later an aquarium was built about halfway along the jetty in 1929. Mrs. Dorothy Gilbert of Glenelg East says that fish could be seen in the aquarium. Seals may also have been in the aquarium.

1936 PHOTO

The Advertiser has featured an old photograph of a busy Glenelg jetty several times. The 1936 photo shows the kiosk, tearooms pavilion and aquarium building. There was a ‘gateway’ near to the start of the jetty advertising "Penfolds Wines" overhead.

The next feature along the jetty was the aquarium building built in 1929. This was built about mid-way along but on the northern side at right angles to the main jetty. The aquarium building had a large clock, a windmill and a full-size model horse on its rooftop. A sign below the clock invited the public to "come in" for three pence and six pence. A sign near to the windmill and horse told of free pony rides. A sign on the side of the building suggested that seals could be seen in huge glass aquariums.

The kiosk and tea rooms pavilion were the next feature along the jetty, a double story building with signs advertising "Amscol Ice Cream" built close to the end of the jetty, but on its northern side and at right angles. Amscol Ice Cream was so named because the Adelaide Milk Supply Company Limited (AMSCOL) made it.


The old wooden kiosk was damaged by a storm in 1943. In 1948, at least, there was a police shed next to the old kiosk. This police shed became the centre of attention in 1948 when the jetty was so badly damaged during a storm that it later had to be rebuilt.


The storm was a freak severe hurricane which reached speeds of over 130km/hour (84mph), lashing the jetty and its buildings throughout the day.

The storm brewed late on Saturday night around midnight on 10th April and the police launch "Archie Badenoch" had to be despatched from the end of the jetty. Two men, however, were left stranded behind on the jetty, one of them a police constable.


A fisherman called Archibald Pudney had helped police to despatch the "Archie Badenoch" but he and a police constable were left behind on the jetty. They sheltered in a police shed next to the old kiosk which had been wrecked in another storm in 1943.


The winds intensified during the next few hours causing the jetty to start to disintegrate by 5am Sunday morning. The policeman managed to escape by running to shore as the jetty began to disintegrate. Archibald Pudney stayed behind on the skeleton of the kiosk platform which was rocking and rolling. The jetty soon collapsed and large sections were swept away.


The high winds and huge waves made it impossible to rescue Pudney by boat. At 5.30am on April 11th Maurice Perry of the Glenelg Lifesaving Club received a telephone call advising that the club's building had been wrecked. Lifesavers then tried to save some of their gear from the pounding seas at dawn. They learnt from police that two men were still out on the end of the jetty, although the policeman had, by this time, escaped. A swim team comprising of Ken Ladyman, John Harvey, Les Edmonds, John Rice and Max Paul was organised to take the two men off of the jetty.


The sea had still been "boiling" when the five lifesavers had volunteered to make the swim out to Pudney. They all dived into the sea at The Broadway and used the currents to take them to the end of the jetty. Pudney could not swim though and he was so terrified that he refused to be rescued by the five lifesavers. He opted to sit the storm out instead.


The biggest danger in the lifesavers’ return swim came whilst surfing back to shore. Each towering wave picked up planks broken from the jetty and propelled them like missiles.


The five men eventually came ashore on the beach near to the Patawalonga car park, close to where the Archie Badenoch was grounded on the North Esplanade. A huge crowd had gathered there to greet them. Each of them had to be treated for immersion (hypothermia?) by other club members.


Pudney was trapped on the jetty with only a fish head to eat. He had smoked the fish head, piece by piece, over a tin of burning newspaper.


The seas finally subsided on Monday 12th April. One of the five lifesavers, Max Paul, says that it was the police launch "Archie Badenoch" that rescued Pudney. There is some irony in that as it was the "Archie Badenoch" that (Archie) Pudney had helped to despatch from the jetty at the start of the storm. Pudney had spent more than 30 hours trapped on the jetty and he was exhausted and dehydrated when rescued.


All but 70 feet of the seaward end of the jetty and the aquarium (midsection) was wrecked and swept away by the rough seas. A photograph that has been featured in The Advertiser several times showed most of the jetty completely swamped by waves during the storm. The tearooms seem to have lost their walls, major fittings are missing and the model horse has disappeared. It seems that most of the jetty has been washed away.


The storm was accompanied by heavy rain. Adelaide recorded a fall of 286 points. The Glenelg Town Hall lost a large section of roofing, as did seafront houses. The nearby jetty at Brighton also had several large sections, including about 150 feet of its centre section, washed away. From the coast to the foothills dozens of buildings lost their roofs, chimneys were toppled, fences flattened, trees felled and powerlines torn down.

Several boats and ships were also damaged on the day. The 1420-ton naval survey frigate HMAS Barcoo dragged her anchors and ran aground on a sand bar at West Beach. Three freighters broke their moorings in the Port River and were badly damaged.


The Barcoo had been surveying the SA coast and had returned to Adelaide for a few days leave. It anchored off Glenelg and closed down main engines when the storm hit. Huge seas drove her onto West Beach with about 50 men on board. There could have been as many as 120 men on board but most of them were ashore on weekend leave. On the Sunday morning crewmembers and people on the shore secured four lines from the Barcoo to a small section of part of Glenelg jetty which had blown ashore at West Beach during the storm. Several crew members were able to leave the ship along these lines. The tides were not high enough to refloat the Barcoo so she spent at least nine days on the sand bar, although some say it was for a few weeks. A milkman came along the beach each day with his horse and cart. He would always hoist some milk up to the crew of the Barcoo. The RAN called in a salvage firm who managed to kedge the ship off the sand bar. As soon as she could float again, the Barcoo was able to sail away under her own power.


Jim Handby, the Mayor, later presented the Glenelg Lifesaving Club, particularly the five swimmers, with a trophy cup in recognition of their efforts on April 11th.


There were new plans for a replacement jetty within two weeks of the storm. The Glenelg Council approved a proposed design for a new breakwater, jetty and boat harbour. There were to be sea baths, a promenade along the breakwater, a two-storey building and an orchestra dais. The building was to contain a cafe, shops, dressing rooms and a concert and dance hall. It took a few years, however, for Glenelg to get its new jetty.


The bathing house on the beach was damaged beyond repair in a 1953 storm.


The new Glenelg jetty was built in 1968 and opened in May 1969, just over 21 years after the 1948 storm. Don Dunstan, the Premier of South Australia, signalled the driving of the first test pile in front of several hundred people on 8th March 1968. John Coumbe, the Minister of Marine, opened the new jetty on Sunday 19th May 1969.


Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh landed at the jetty on Sunday 20th March 1977.

Steve Reynolds


In the first part in the June Newsletter the article suggests that the Bangalore was a sailing ship, possibly the one shown south of the jetty. The Bangalore was, in fact, a steamship as indicated later in the same newsletter ("the mail steamer").



Reports of marine wildlife from all around the British Isles, with pollution incidents and conservation initiatives as they affect the flora and fauna of the NE Atlantic Ocean. Full details of these reports and their authors can be found on the BMLSS webpage.

1 April 2002

An unusual discovery over Easter was of three Snapping Prawns, Alpheus macrocheles, under boulders in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset. These are listed as very scarce in Hayward and Ryland, though I suspect "rarely seen" would be a better description. They were about 30 mm long, a lovely yellowy-orange colour and two were berried.

Discovery and report by Peter Tinsley

12 April 2002

A Sleepy Crab, Dromia personata, which was brought in by a Mevagissey (south Cornwall) inshore fisherman, was caught in shallow water. This was the first time this crab had been seen by the fisherman of 16 years experience. It is a rather distinctive crab the shape and size of a tennis ball and the light brown crab is covered in hairs which gives it a velvety appearance. As befits its common name it is not very active in the Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium. One of its distinguishing characters that enabled me (Andy Horton) to make the identification from a verbal description are the claws on each of the legs. This crab is rare throughout its range in British seas, found in the English Channel and as far north as Cardigan Bay on the west coast.

Mevagissey Aquarium is a Grade I Listed building and its tanks are renewed with fresh seawater twice daily, which makes it an ideal environment for keeping crabs and other large crustaceans which appreciate regular water changes of this frequency. Mevagissey Aquarium houses the Comber, Serranus cabrilla, caught in June 1996, and an attractive Boar Fish, Capros aper.

Report by Chris Gilbertson (Mevagissey Harbour Aquarium)

9 May 2002

With the swarms of jellyfish it is does not come as a surprise that a predatory Leatherback Turtle, Dermochelys coriacea, was seen by Ian and Joy Olford 50 metres from the shore off Polruan, Cornwall. The jellyfish Rhizostoma octopus was seen nearby and jellyfish are the principal diet of these turtles.

Reports from Stella Turk on the Cornish Mailing List

12 May 2002

A male Cuckoo Wrasse, Labrus bimaculatus, caught by a boat angler off Littlehampton is an unusual record from off the Sussex coast. The fish was kept alive and returned to the sea at Shoreham Harbour.

Report by Bob Squires (Southwick)

3 June 2002

Between Chanonry Point and Fort George, near Inverness, Scotland, two Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, attacked and killed a young Harbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena. The sustained attack lasted from around 14.30 until 15.00 hours. The tide was just beginning to rise when the two dolphins, over on the Ardersier side of the Chanonry narrows began to chase and catapult a juvenile porpoise out of the water. The body of the porpoise floated past Chanonry towards Inverness, where the dolphins eventually lost interest in it and began to forage for food in the tidal current.

Report by Charlie Philips via UK Cetnet

7 June 2002

A rarely discovered Sowerby's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon bidens, was washed up dead on Praa Sands, Mount’s Bay, Cornwall. Nick Tregenza and David Ball identified it as Sowerby’s Beaked Whale, an adult female, about 4 metres in length. The freshly dead mammal was hauled with some difficulty above the high tide to enable the Natural History Museum to take samples which will become part of the scientific collection. This only the fourth record of this whale from Cornwall. One of the previous records was of a live specimen that was rescued.

Report from Stella Turk on the Cornish Mailing List

Strangers from the deep: pipehorses in Australia

Among the many strange and fascinating fishes in the seahorse and pipefish family (Syngnathidae) there is a little-known, enigmatic group, the pipehorses. All are in the scientific genus Solegnathus and, as their common name suggests, look like a cross between a seahorse and a pipefish. Like a pipefish their head is in line with their body, but, like a seahorse, they can curl their tails up. Australia has more species in its waters than any other country with at least five species and possibly as many as seven. Reaching up to 50 cm long, they are the largest syngnathids known and many have beautiful and colourful markings.

The reason that we know so little about them is that they are generally found in deep water, generally over 40 m but with some reports of capture in 550 m. Only in some unusual locations (Fiordland in New Zealand or the Derwent and Huon estuaries in Tasmania) can they be seen in the shallower depths generally frequented by divers. As anyone who has seen one alive will tell you, they are beautiful, graceful creatures.

Pipehorses provide an excellent example of the problems of incidental bycatch. They are caught in non-selective fishing gears such as prawn trawls. In Australia they are frequently caught during operations in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery, dried and exported for use in Traditional Medicine, where they are a much sought-after item. Although they cannot be targeted, historically they have been retained and formed an additional fishery.

The knotty problem facing the community is how to manage this sort of fishery. Unlike the target species, not even the basics of the biology of the pipehorses are known – growth rates, age at sexual maturity, fecundity etc. Without this information we cannot work out what catch rates are sustainable. There are another 300 species caught in trawl gear for which the same could be said!

The ultimate answer of course is to reduce levels of bycatch. We need selective fishing gear that does not destroy the habitat and catch anything in its path. In the meantime, though, we have to focus on modifications to existing gear, protected ‘no-trawl’ areas and research on the biology of the animals. Let us hope for the sake of the pipehorses, that these efforts are successful…

Dr. Keith Martin-Smith,

Project Seahorse,

School of Zoology,

University of Tasmania.

(This article was first published in "The Dragon’s Lair", the National Dragonsearch Project Newsletter, June 2002, Volume 5 Number 2.)


June Meeting Report

& NEW FORMAT for meetings

Our guest speaker, Chris Halstead, asked to be first on the agenda. Following Chris’s excellent talk on Marine Protected Areas we had a shortened meeting. At the end of this I had the great pleasure of presenting Margaret Hall with the Perpetual Trophy for her outstanding contribution to the running of MLSSA. Then Chris Hall and David Muirhead completed an excellent evening by showing some more superb slides. Many were chosen to go into the Photo Index. So keep checking our website.

We will be trying this format for more meetings to try to allow David and Chris more opportunities to show their wonderful work.

It will be appreciated if you could arrive by 7.30pm or very soon after. I know some have a long way to travel, work and other commitments so will try to keep seats available at the back of the room.






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