Mannum Dock Museum

PS Marion

PS Marion ready to take on passengers

I have visited the Mannum Dock Museum of River history on several occasions now, most recently on a day trip to the All Steamed Up Festival on November 19th 2016. This festival had a good mix of old steam engines, early model petrol and diesel engines on display in Arnold Park between the museum and the ferry ramps, and early model cars and power boats on display at the Mary Ann Reserve. The PS Marion and PS Oscar W were doing alternate trips between these two  sites. Myself and a friend who was with me for the day did a paddle steamer trip on the PS Marion from Arnold Park to the Mary Ann Reserve.


PS Captain Proud

PS Captain Proud at dock at Murray Bridge, South Australia

My previous trip to that included the short trip on the PS Captain Proud  based at Murray Bridge, and then spending a good part of the afternoon in Mannum. For anyone interested in the early river trade and paddle steamers on the Murray River I can highly recommend a visit to this museum at Mannum in South Australia. I have a keen interest in the old paddle steamers… my great, great step uncle was Captain William Richard Randell who launched the first paddle steamer on the River Murray in February 1853. His steamer, PS Mary Ann, was launched at Noa No, a few kilometres upstream from Mannum.


The original boiler from PS Mary Ann is on display in the museum and a replica of it is also in the Mary Ann Reserve on the river bank alongside the main town wharf.


Randell Dry Dock

Randell Dry Dock

The Dry Dock in the museum, was originally built at Milang and when bought by the Randell’s, was moved to it’s present location at Mannum. Much more information about the Randell Dry Dock is available in a separate webpage. A fund raising project has been set up to put a roof over the dock to help preserve the Red Gum timbers.


Randell's Beam Engine

Randell’s Beam Engine

Also in the museum is the Beam Engine used by Captain Randell to pump the water out of the Dry Dock once the vessel had been stabilised in it. This enabled work to be done on the vessel. During my most recent visit to the museum I was able to see this engine running.


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About David

David grew up on a farm in the South East of South Australia. After leaving school he worked on the farm for 14 years before managing another family property for 8 years. He then worked for the South Australian government inspecting Certified Seed Crops for 24 years. He is now a Carer for his wife and guardian for a grandson.

His late father had often had a camera not too far away, back when film cameras were all manual. David himself first used a box Brownie camera in his teens. In recent years David has used a compact digital camera and more recently a Digital SLR. A pick selection of his later photos can be found in website for purchase as post cards, greeting cards, canvas prints, framed photos, or as posters as large as A0, equivalent to 16 A4 pages laid out together! Use the link available in the "Outside Links" on the right.

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