Discover Murray River
Discover Murray River
Thanks for using Discover Murray River

Murray River Stories
standard portrait

Memories of Mannum Ferry by Ron Bok

Submitted by Kirsty MacGregor
on February 25, 2010

Featured in this Story

Towns

Mannum logo

Categories

story photo
story photo
Images © Kirsty MacGregor

As told to Mannum Mag

In the early 1950s when I became a Ferry Operator here in Mannum, there was only one belt-driven ferry which held 6 cars. Hydraulic operated cables only came years later, and it (the ferry) was owned by the State Government Highways Department.

We did our own basic maintenance, but once a month a mechanic came down from Blanchetown to do a service. The Council was responsible for the maintenance and repair of cables and ramps, but in those days passengers had to pay one penny, which later went to twopence. Vehicles used to pay one shilling.

Easter time was our busiest time, even more than Christmas, and cars were sometimes banked up as far as the Pretoria Hotel, and down as far as the Pumping Station on Purnong Road. We had the occasional mishap when we didn’t finish collecting the fares in time, or crashed into the ramp on the other side.

The early ferries had one control room in the middle; then the authorities thought that it would be better if the Operator could see the river, so they put a control room on both ends.

People started complaining that if they didn’t have to pay to drive over the bridge in Murray Bridge, why should they pay for the ferry trip? So the cost of carrying a car went down to 6 pence, and not long after that, fare charges were stopped altogether.

In the big ’56 flood, the ferry was stopped for 9 months, and I did 7 launch trips a day carrying between 12 and 15 people and cargo further up the river and to Cowirra.

Two babies were born safely at the hospital after the Doctor called two times in those nine months, late at night for me to take the launch to get the mothers. One was Morrie Willhem’s wife who had a baby girl. Years later she introduced herself to me as one of the babies born after her mother came to Mannum hospital from upriver on my launch. One person fell off the roof of the launch once, because the swamp had bigger waves than the river.

Not long before I left in 1965, the ramps were built for the second (upstream) ferry.

Ron Bock




Murray Story Comments

No Feedback Yet


share your story here

Here are some other Murray Mallee stories you may find intertesting

Unique Murray River of Honour War Trail

by Shane Strudwick on March 03, 2016
Extract: IN an Australian, and possibly world first, a Murray River War Trail will pay tribute to the regions – and people – who have played a significant role in the nation’s war efforts during the past ... read more
No Comments

Murray River Expedition - Kiss Goodbye to MS - November 2015

by Dianne Yoong on September 23, 2015
Extract: Buddhist monk and poet Thich Nhat Hanh wrote ‘Alone we are vulnerable and afraid. If we try to go to the ocean as a single drop of water, we will evaporate before we arrive. But if we go as a river, ... read more
No Comments

Building the Cobdogla Levee during the 1956 Flood

by Ruth Roberts on February 22, 2015
Extract: My father Ian Gambling was born in 1935 and had just turned 21 when he heard the call for volunteers to help build levees to save towns along the Murray River during the winter of 1956. He was still co... read more
No Comments

Celebrating 100 years at Pine Plains

by Mildura Weekly on May 12, 2014
Extract: By Alan Erskine It’s a compilation of stories from our past…colourful tales of people, places and events of our pioneering days in the Mallee and Wimmera that has wide interest from both a fami... read more
No Comments

T P Bellchambers Reserve, Apamurra SA

by Kirsty MacGregor on March 05, 2013
Extract: Thomas Paine Bellchambers 1858 1929 “There is the evil that comes from the destruction of valuable links in nature’s chain, on which man’s very existence largely hangs.” T. P. Bellchamb... read more
No Comments

Sailing Match at Milang in 1858

by Terry Sim on January 23, 2012
Extract: With the Milang to Goolwa Fresh Water Classic boat race resuming this year (2012) I thought you might be interested in the attached items from the media in the early 1800’s regarding a race from Mil... read more
No Comments

It's full steam ahead after 103 years

by Michael Milnes on September 08, 2011
Extract: The Advertiser – September 08, 2011 OSCAR W and Alma Thomas are South Australian treasures that have lived long and fruitful lives – and both are still running under their own steam. Now th... read more
No Comments

Pass the Passion: Bill Du Rieu

by Peta Martin on September 07, 2011
Extract: By Peta Martin, ABC Riverland During World War I, in 1915, South Australian Parliament legislated to give blocks of land along the Murray River to returned soldiers. It was the first state in Australia... read more
No Comments

What the river means to you: Neil Eagle, citrus grower

by Laurissa Smith on September 02, 2011
Extract: ABC Rural – 1 September, 2011 Farmer Neil Eagle has lived through his fair share of droughts and floods. As so have the river red gum forests that meander through his home town of Barham on the b... read more
No Comments

LEAD TRACTORS IN THE 2011 WENTWORTH TRACTOR RALLY ANNOUNCED

by Cathryn Dawes on June 22, 2011
Extract: David Dawes, Chairman Wentworth District Capital Ltd. was on hand outside the Wentworth and District Community Bank Branch in Wentworth to draw the first 71 places in the Wentworth & District Commu... read more
No Comments

Go with The Flow

by Lin - on March 02, 2011
Extract: Go With The Flow Morgan Community Revival After a very successful meeting held at the Commercial Hotel last week, the business owners and members of the community have decided to mount ‘Go with t... read more
No Comments

Further restoration work at Kow Plains, Cowangie

by Jocelyn Lindner on November 23, 2010
Extract: A grant has been received through the “Regional Infrastructure Development Fund” to reinstate wallpaper & hessian ceilings in the bedroom & entrance of the Homestead, and to recons... read more
No Comments

Recollections of camping on the Murray in celebration of 30 years of Easter camps

by Murray Guardian on April 06, 2010
Extract: Back in the late 1970s a group of young men, who had all been scouts and rovers together, decided to organise a camping trip to the Murray River for the Easter break. That year, with wives and girlfrie... read more
No Comments

John Chandler Mannum Icon Remembers

by Kirsty MacGregor on February 25, 2010
Extract: Memories of Mannum from Mannum Mag John Chandler loves reading, and is surrounded by books, as well as his beautifully constructed model trains and sailing ships. Chandler’s Soft Drinks and Ice ... read more
No Comments

A bit of History - Growing up in the Mallee

by Marilyn Daly on February 11, 2010
Extract: Growing up in the Mallee My family came from Millewa on my mothers side, The Harveys, my father came from Broken Hill the Dalys. Most of the Harvey side are still living in Mildura and areas. First hom... read more
No Comments

Does the " Unknown Wreck" in Mannum Canoe Trail finally have a Name?

by Kirsty MacGregor on October 18, 2009
Extract: How exciting is this. A gentleman Don and his wife from Victor Harbor came in yesterday and were asking about boat wrecks and did I know any that were out there in the River? Out I get the Mannum Cano... read more
No Comments

Kevin White and houseboat trip Yarrawonga to SA Murray River

by Kevin White on October 14, 2009
Extract: Hi, I’m Kevyn, a semi retired looking for a companion to accompany me on a journey from Yarrawonga down the Murray river to SA (Berri) I have a very small house boat with the following amenities,... read more
No Comments

Milestones aplenty, and now another celebration

by Mildura Weekly on September 28, 2009
Extract: By VINNIE RODI HISTORIC milestones have been popping up everywhere this year it seems. Wentworth, for example, is celebrating its 150th birthday, and Merbein and Ouyen their centenary. For each of thes... read more
No Comments

Wombat Awareness- Bob Irwin visits to give support

by Kirsty MacGregor on September 27, 2009
Extract: Bob Irwin recently stayed at the Mannum Caravan Park along with Tony Greenwood from Peel Zoo WA and Bali Zoo. Bob is supporting efforts by the Wombat Awareness Organisation to raise at least $3 millio... read more
No Comments

Famous Visitors to the Murraylands

by Kirsty MacGregor on September 27, 2009
Extract: One Thursday a well known Channel 9 kids show celebrity ‘Nitro’ from The Shak, visited Mannum he was challenged by avid viewer to ‘canoe on a river’. The shows producers(in Qld)... read more
No Comments

Cry Me a River

by Steve Posselt on September 14, 2009
Extract: I haven’t seen much of the Murray. When I paddled down the Darling to Wentworth there were just 832km of the Murray to go until I hit the Southern Ocean. That only takes three weeks and it’... read more
1 comment

150 years of dairy farming hung out to dry

by Kathryn Rothe on September 10, 2009
Extract: September, 2009 : Owen and Kathryn Rothe, proud dairy farmers of Murray Bridge SA would like to inform the Australian public that they no longer can be dairy farming due to a number of reasons out of t... read more
No Comments

Pike River Reflections: Dreamtime to 2009

by Riverland Weekly on September 10, 2009
Extract: By Brad Perry A BOOK reflecting decades of history along the Pike River is set to be released after a financial boost from the Renmark Paringa Council. The Pike History Committee, in conjunction with t... read more
No Comments

Who is haunting the region?

by Riverland Weekly on September 10, 2009
Extract: By Brad Perry Many believers say the region has some of the most haunted spots in Australia HAVE you ever felt that spine tingling chill when you are home by yourself, or noticed a shadow dart past? W... read more
No Comments

David Shearer Limited and the Australian Farmer

by Shane Strudwick on September 02, 2009
Extract: The story of David Shearer Limited and Mannum dates back to the year 1877, when the brothers David and John Shearer started a blacksmith business in Mannum. The two Shearer brothers made stump-jump plo... read more
No Comments

No intentions to leave the lock

by Riverland Weekly on September 02, 2009
Extract: By Emily Freetham After 40 years in the trade, Jim Walker has no intentions of leaving his job of lock master, based at Lock 4, near Bookpurnong. Back when SA Water was known as the E&WS, the law w... read more
No Comments

Us Pendle's

by Stephen Pendle on August 31, 2009
Extract: “What is it that makes us, us?” A short story on the “Game Of Life” viewed through the video camera of a “Pendle” and, of course, an “Australian”. I have... read more
No Comments

Lifetime of fun houseboating on the Murray River

by Shane Strudwick on August 29, 2009
Extract: The Advertiser – www.adelaidenow.com.au Saturday, August 29, 2009 News of the Murray River Queen’s demise may tell a different story – but holidaymakers still rate the river as one of... read more
No Comments

Around the campfire

by Shane Strudwick on August 21, 2009
Extract: From: Trevor Wurfel Friends of Southern Mallee Parks, Pinnaroo Extract from: Mallee Tracks My fascination with ‘The Tiger Country’ or ‘The Desert,’ as it was referred to by th... read more
No Comments

Adelaide at Echuca

by Shane Strudwick on August 21, 2009
Extract: Extract from “Riverlander” April 1962 I was reading an old copy of the Riverlander and found a letter to the Editor. Amazing how things happen as then I was looking at some old Murray River... read more
No Comments

Paddle-steamer sent to Echuca for revamp

by Shane Strudwick on August 21, 2009
Extract: An historic paddle-steamer that was rescued from the bottom of the Murray River near Mildura in Victoria’s north-west has been sent to Echuca. Enthusiasts say they have given up a 10-year battle ... read more
No Comments

Great Romantic Getaway in Mannum

by Chris Teague on July 22, 2009
Extract: Early September 2008 myself and my partner decided to celebrate our anniversary by heading away to Mannum for the weekend. Taking off on a Friday night straight from work, cruising through the Adelaide... read more
No Comments

share your story here

 



Tell your friends you found this at murrayriver.com.au!

Copyright Discover Murray 2017. This site or any portion of this site must not be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose that is not expressly permitted by DISCOVER MURRAY.

The Murray River's largest online community and information guide

About Us
About Discover Murray
Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
Tourism Marketing
Website Design : Brand Action
Join Discover Murray
Advertise Your Business
Contact Us
Send an Email to Operators
Register a Free User Account
Submit an Event for Free
Check These Out
Accommodation
Houseboats
Kayak and Canoeing
Murray River Events & Festivals
Water Level Updates
Murray Darling Basin
About the Murray River
Houseboats for Sale
Murray River Towns
See All Murray Mallee Towns
Albury Wodonga (NSW/VIC)
Yarrawonga Mulwala (VIC/NSW)
Echuca Moama (VIC/NSW)
Swan Hill (VIC)
Mildura (VIC)
Renmark (SA)
Mannum (SA)
Murray Bridge (SA)
Search Discover Murray

Discover Murray River
© 1998 - 2017 Discover Murray River