Friday, 10 May 2013

Picture of the Month - May 2013

Kenney’s Gentlemen’s Bathing Ship, St Kilda, circa 1855

Kenney’s Gentlemen’s Bathing Ship, St Kilda

Kenney’s Gentlemen’s Bathing Ship, St Kilda, circa 1855, reproduced from John Butler Cooper The History of St. Kilda, Vol 1 (Melbourne, Printers Propriety Limited, 1931), facing page 156, RHSV Collection.


Kenney’s Gentlemen’s Bathing Ship was opened in 1854. An old wooden sailing ship – The Nancy – suitably cleared of fitments was scuttled close to the water-line off St. Kilda. It was the dominant feature of the St Kilda shore line in the late 1850s and during the following decade.

The bathing ship’s owner, William Kenney, described as ‘short, stout, freckled, bluff, choleric and good natured’ (Butler, The History of St. Kilda, 1931, p156), became ‘a household name’ in Victoria, if not beyond. Men returning from the bush would find themselves at his baths ‘washing off the dust of the hot plains’. Read more...

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