From our archives: Streets named after Camden Haven ships

FOUR streets on the Camden Head section of Dunbogan are named after ships that called at the Laurieton wharves in the heyday of the timber industry which came to an end when the last mill, (Longworth's), closed down in 1957. These are Allenwood Street, Bergalia Crescent, Idant Street and Unique Close.

The SS Allenwood, a twin screw steamship was built in 1920 by John Wright in Tuncurry. It had a light draught to allow it to negotiate shallow bars and a large hold to handle cargoes of girders and poles. It traded up and down the coast of NSW picking up timber for delivery to White Bay, Sydney. The SS Allenwood went aground on sand bank near Norah Head in 1951. Sold for £601, she was then dismantled. A model of the SS Allenwood is being prepared for display in the Laurieton Museum.

The SS Bergalia, a steel screw steamship was the last ship engaged in the transport of timber from Laurieton following the closing of Longworth's mill in 1957. She went aground both on arriving and leaving and this marked the end of sea transport covering nearly 90 years to the Camden Haven. The SS Bergalia was converted to a lighter in Noumea, and was still in use in 1985.

The SS Idant was said to be a shabby little tramp steamer, a wooden, single screw steamship, built in 1918. It was used to transport telephone poles. Wrecked in 1940 when it ran into the north breakwall at the entrance to the Camden River. It was towed off and eventually sank on the South Wall near the Klondyke. There was no loss of life. When the wreck was examined by a hard hat diver it was found to lie in five metres of water and the hull stoved in, so there was no hope of salvaging it. The remains are still there today.

There were two tugs called Unique. The Unique, a wooded vessel of 35 tons was owned by Captain de Fraine, a prominent business man in Laurieton at the beginning of last century. It went ashore at the bar and became a total wreck in December 1901. The Unique II, a wooden single screw steamship, was remembered as being painted black. Owned by Allen Taylor & Co and RM Anderson. After leaving the Camden Haven she was convert to a fishing trawler and founded off Shoalhaven with no loss of life in 1934.

From the files of the Camden Haven Historical Society.