Sydney Harbour Bridge

30th May 2006, 23:39
I know it was a very long time ago,but I wonder if any member would know the name of the first British Merchant Ship to pass under the bridge after it was opened? As far a I know "Mooltan" was the first passenger vessel. Could it possibly have been Ellerman Hall Line's City of Khios ?

31st May 2006, 00:55
At a guess, would it may have been one of the Port Line ships that had the contract to bring out all the steel to be unloaded at the fabrications sheds that were located on the North West side of the Bridge, where "Luna Park" now stands.
Every vessel heading to Sydney's wharves at the time (Except those at Wooloomooloo Bay and Circular Quay) had to pass under the bridge.
In a little facsimle book I have called "The Bridge Opened"1982/Pylon Press, there is an aerial pic taken on the big day(19/03/1932) of the 'Maloja', followed by the 'Orford' then the 'Nieuw Zeeland', and bringing up the rear, Adelaide SS Co's 'Manunda', proceeding under the the Bridge from west to east. To line up in this order, they all would have had to pass under the completed Bridge going up the Harbour maybe at different times leading up to the Official Opening Day.
To make matters more interesting(?), the Bridge had been effectively completed some time before, and the book has a pic of "50,000 school children walking across its roadway on 'Childrens Day' on the previous Wednesday, 16th March"
I think you may really have started something shipmate.
David D

31st May 2006, 11:20
Sounds a bit mean testing the bridge with children David! I thought the old way was to get a squad of soldiers to march in step over it on the basis that they were expendable if the thing gave way! (*))


31st May 2006, 15:43
The mention of Luna Park reminds me that it was there I first saw the ride which was a centrifgal drum where all the participants were suspended on the wall,myself I only stood at the top as a spectator, no idea what its proper name was.

31st May 2006, 16:20
Had one in the Uk called the wall of death.

31st May 2006, 16:23
I think I rode one in Birkenhead in 1956,after quite a few beers for courage.Very scary!


1st June 2006, 00:33
Good one Brian, and to compound the agony it was p.....g down rain that day.
I believe it was tested several weeks before by running steam locos across, gradually increasing their numbers.
For anyone interested, go to for some superb pics taken of the parade of ships by the official photographer.
David D.

Note added by Benjidog: If you have problems with this URL check out posting #9 in this thread

1st June 2006, 06:07
At Luna Park called the ROTA and is still operating.

1st June 2006, 13:16
For some reason the link posted by David doesn't seem to work - though it presumably did for him!

Here is an alternative: Go to this page - which is the search facility - then put "sydney harbour bridge opening" in the box and it will come up with a bunch of stuff. The site claims to hold over 600,00 pictures, drawings etc. - I will be poking around in there when I get time.

Thanks for pointing us to this site David. (Applause)



23rd October 2007, 01:46
Maloja not Mooltan led the line of ships under the bridge on opening day.My Aussie mate recently sent me a copy of an article in that days Sydney paper giving a list of all the ships&photos.Cannot find where I carefully put it but feel sure could get you a copy if required.In the South Tower they show a film of her passing under. Kiwi

1st November 2007, 09:06
Have found the photostat of newspaper page.Sydney Morning Herald dated March 19 1932.
11:45 A procession of craft headed by MALOJA piloted by the Captain Cook& followed by other vessels moves from the vicinity of Goat Island easterly under the bridge.Following the MALOJA will be the ORFORD,NIEUW ZEELAND,MANUDA,PORT AUCKLAND,VIMINALA,TALIESE,KITANO MARU,STASSFURT,TEMARAIRE,CHEMNITZ,GWYDIR & the HUNTER.