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Untitled [Linda Walsh crowned Queen of the Harbour]

Date: c 1937
Overall: 230 x 187 mm, 0.35 kg
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Margaret Wyldman
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00009054
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    Studio portrait of Linda Walsh, crowned and holding the orb and specter belonging to the Queen of the Harbour. With her, from right to left, are Jean Barrett and Linda's daughters Bonnie, Margaret and Mary.
    SignificanceThis photograph is a record of a once important race in amateur sailing in NSW during the twentieth century.
    HistoryThe Queen of the Harbour race is an annual event that began in the 1930s. It is when a regular 3-man crew is joined by a female crew member for a race on Sydney Harbour.

    The Walsh family had been associated with the Pyrmont area for most of the twentieth century and was interested in water activities and involved with the local community. Pyrmont once had a rich community life heavily involved in water sports; the first public swimming pool built in NSW was the Pyrmont Baths in 1875 on the tip of the peninsular. Pyrmont dominated NSW swimming and water polo until the First World War. Diving was also popular and hundreds came to watch the carnivals.

    The Pyrmont Flying Squadron, the social centre of Pyrmont, was a wooden two story structure at the end of Harris Street. Upstairs was used for club functions and dances on Saturday nights as well as the annual Queen of the Harbour Ball to celebrate the end of the sailing season.

    12ft canvas dinghies were used to race from the late 1870s but during the depression years when timber was expensive they were even more popular. Pyrmont Flying Squadron regularly held competitions and their big race of the year was the Rob Roy Cup. A woman sailed on board and if the skiff won then she became Queen of the Harbour, with the captain receiving the Rob Roy Cup.

    Linda Walsh and her husband Mick regularly raced in skiffs that Mick built, including the BONNIE and the AUSSIE. It was upon BONNIE with Mick that Linda became Queen of the Harbour for two consecutive years.
    Additional Titles


    Web title: Untitled [Linda Walsh crowned Queen of the Harbour]

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