Batemans Bay Ned Kelly building plea

Eurobodalla amateur historian Jennifer Butt OAM is urging developers not to demolish the building previously occupied by Ned Kelly Bargains in Clyde Street, Batemans Bay.

Local Government Super, owners of Batemans Bay’s Village Centre and  Bridge Plaza, has lodged a development application with Eurobodalla Shire Council to extend its car park, which would service Woolworths' shoppers.

She has written to Woolworths appealing on the grounds of the building’s historical significance.

“Did you know that the building was built in 1869 by Francis Guy as a wooden structure, with a shingle roof, bricked with convict-made bricks that arrived as ballast in the sailing ship Clyde in 1877?” her letter states.

“The building was bricked sometime between this date and 1880, possibly by convict labour brought in from the sawmills at Nelligen.

“The building has changed very little over time and served the community until its closure four years ago.

“Members of the community urge you, if you have any influence in this decision making, to find alternative space for the car park and leave the building to serve the community.” 

Mrs Butt said Batemans Bay’s heritage was tied to the building and the Guy family had lived there for three generations.

“It was built as a store/warehouse for the settlers in the vicinity of Batemans Bay and as far as Braidwood when the ships dropped supplies.

“It was used in conjunction with Francis Guy’s general and produce store, to hold goods that were unloaded from the ships, and as a holding depot for the goods leaving the Bay by ship.

“The old house next door was the Guy family residence, with stables and coach house at the back of the warehouse, and at one time in 1913 it stabled the famous thoroughbred race horse “Carbine”, once the property of George Thomas Guy.”

Mrs Butt said the bricks appeared to be convict-made and the Guy family did have convicts working for them at their mills in Nelligen.

“There is a very good chance that the bricks were laid by convict labour, and if its fate, after 135 years, is to be pulled down and carted to the tip, it will be a sad end to one of two of the oldest buildings in Batemans Bay, if not the Eurobodalla Shire.”

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