Click clunk clunk splash, click clunk clunk splash, imagine 140 years ago walking around town, to school, to work and you hear this noise? Well this noise was the beat of the wheels of the Paddle Steamer ‘Manning’ as it made its way up the Manning River.1
The steel-hulled Manning was built by the Atlas Company in 1878 in Sydney and was steamed to the Manning River by Captain Ricketts. Its first trip brought a cargo of bricks for the Wingham Public School and arrived at Wingham Wharf 7 March 1878.2
The paddle steamer had a hard life. Along with collecting goods from farms and loading them onto ocean-bearing ships to be taken to the cities, the steamer used to take people on regular excursions from Wingham and Taree out to Harrington and Old Bar, including Sir Henry Parkes in 1886.3 It was even used in a rescue at Harrington Breakwater when the S.S. Coraki became stranded in 1900.4
The steamer stopped operating around 1937 and has sat as a wreck ever since on the foreshore at the end of Macquarie Street, close to the Taree CBD.5 Its rusting hull is now covered by vegetation, but if you pay attention you may still hear the click clunk clunk splash.
Authors: Lily McNeil Year 5 and Lilly McLeay, Year 6, Taree West Public School.
1 Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 16 April 1929.
2 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 18 March 1899.
3 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 29 January 1898; Northern Champion, 10 April 1929, 4.
4 Manning River Times and Advocate for the Northern Coast Districts of NSW, 13 June 1900.
5 Manning River Times, 28 March 2014; Heritage Office, NSW Government,Shipwreck Atlas of New South Wales, Sydney: The Office, 1996.