Lady Denman

Lady Denman

Type :
Wooden screw steamer
Launched  :
Builder :
Joseph Dent Ltd
Huskisson, NSW
Gross weight :
96 tons
Dimensions :
110.40 x 25.00 x 9.00 (feet)
Passenger capacity :
Speed :
10 knots

Lady Denman is one of three surviving Lady class ferries and is unique in that she has been preserved in near-original condition.

At the time she was built, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was a certainty, she and her sisters were designed for a maximum of fifteen years of life. Instead, she would go on operating on the harbour until 1979. Because she was only to have a limited life-span, she was almost austere in her fittings. Even her roof was made of galvanised iron.

Lady Denman and some of her sisters survived the opening of the bridge. These smaller vessels were more economical than the giant K class ferries and better suited to the lesser number of passengers that were travelling. She and her sisters formed the backbone of the river and harbour services until the 1980's.

Lady Denman was retired in 1979 and made available for sale by tender. One plan (a perennial favourite for ex-ferries) was to turn her in to a floating restaurant. This fell through and work commenced on stripping the ferry for her scrap value. A group of people from Huskisson banded together and convinced the government to donate her as a museum piece to that community. Four years later she arrived in her home town and is now under cover and conserved.