David Dansie, a few thoughts on Musgrave Street and his Mosman

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Mosman Library

A few recollections of growing up at 23 Musgrave Street in Mosman in the early to mid1960s’ That weatherboard house has long since gone and has been replaced by two dwellings.
My brother John and sister Roslyn Howell still live in Raglan Street.
I often fished for yellow tail off the then Musgrave Street Wharf. It was later renamed Mosman South.
In those days we had Mr. Franks’ grocery shop, Mr. Banardo’s Shoe Repair and a Newsagency at the wharf. There were also toilets there. Mr. Franks provided a delivery service in the area.
I enjoyed walking around the old beams behind the wharf and I often watched fishermen catching black fish off the wharf, using green weed and sand for bait. I also remember a weighing machine near the shops that you could activate by standing on it and rocking it back and forth. The card weights illegally so obtained were therefore really not so accurate.
I remember when the large sewer pipe was laid in the area behind the wharf and right along that side of Mosman Bay. A trench had to be cut through sandstone in many places to achieve the correct gravitational fall. Where I live now, in Bundeena unfortunately did not receive the same consideration and funding, with the result that many waterfront homes here have a holding tank and must have an electric pump to send the effluent up to the line in the street above. It then makes its way to a pumping station at nearby Bonnievale then under the Hacking towards Cronulla for treatment.
An interesting remnant of much earlier times is a metal ring in a large sandstone rock just to the right of Old Cremorne Wharf. This ring was used long ago to tie up boats; perhaps as far back as the whaling days.
My father paid for a permissive occupancy to build a fabulous boatshed at the bottom of McLeod Street and therein we had a 16ft clinker putt putt launch on a trolley with a 3HP bump start Blaxland Chapman engine, a VJ named Wyvern, a marine ply canoe (that I still have) and two small ply dinghy boats. They were great times.
On one occasion however following heavy rain, my father and brother John feverishly had to clear away the land sliding behind and pushing the boatshed off its stone foundations. Fortunately, they managed to save the boatshed and stopped it from falling in to Mosman Bay.
Out the front of our boatshed a man named Cyril Watts, lived on his moored double ended sailing boat.
From our house in Musgrave Street, I often watched people rushing down to the ferry. In those days most of the men wore hats.
How times have changed things.
Our father, Charles Dansie meticulously kept the Council gardens and surrounding areas very neat. In recognition of dad’s efforts and with thanks to my brother John’s request, there is now a Charles Dansie Walk, linking Raglan Street to Musgrave Street below. Our house was on the right side, half-way down this pathway.
Another fond memory of those days was the annual bonfire and fireworks night held in the park in Raglan Street. I do however think it was a good idea to ban this activity as the willy nilly lighting of the dangerous fireworks, particularly the skyrockets, did end up with some bad burns or worse.
On one such occasion, I remember getting a spark into my open bag of mixed fireworks and bang, a mighty explosion and all were gone.
I stupidly put a bunger into a small tree and remember having to run for a bucket of water to extinguish the ensuing flames.
There was also a pathway, with stone steps down to the waterfront in Sirius Cove, from about halfway down Curraghbeena Road. Sadly, this track that once had a prolific passionfruit vine, is now overgrown.
The joys of youth growing up in Mosman in a pre-covid time.

Mosman Library · 3 August 2021

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Lovely memories. We lived at No 48, up at the top of the hill until 1958 and could, by dint of craning our necks while standing on the back veranda, see the ferry just after it left Mosman and rounded the corner, leaving us enough time to walk down to the Musgrave St Wharf.
I fell down on Musgrave St running for the ferry and broke my arm one time.
Is the Charles Dansie Walk just across the street from McLeod Street? I don’t know who maintained the gardens on Musgrave Street in the 1950’s but they were always meticulous.

— Rosemary · 4 August 2021, 04:19 · #

The Charles Dansie Walk isn’t opposite McLeod Street, it’s half way down Musgrave Street just after the short side street and is next to what I assume is still number 23. Dad used to maintain the grass and the garden at that junction. A plaque stipulating the name of the walk is at the top on the stone wall at number 20 Raglan Street.

— David · 4 August 2021, 14:22 · #