Oral Histories

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Interviewer: Sue Rosen

Length: 8880 words

Date: May 1992

Russell Mitchell was born and bred on the Hawkesbury at Sackville and has memories going back to 1937. He has a very detailed knowledge of the Hawkesbury as an adult, he worked on the car ferries,

"I was on the water every day, on the river every day, and traversing from Wisemans Ferry to Sackville and Lower Portland and towing ferry vessels backwards and forwards for the change and repair of ferries… we spoke about floods earlier on - you never get two the same. … There's different flows in the system. Just a point on that, a very valid point is, [that] at Lower Portland on what they call the Point - they call it the Skeletons - there's a reef of rocks which run out under the water just below the ferry at Lower Portland, and there's a sand point there, and some floods will fill it right in, almost, not right across the river, but it runs out a long way, and then [the] next flood it disappears. It might disappear then for two or three more floods, and the next flood it's back again, so it depends on the different flows out of [the] Colo, and which has the confluence at Lower Portland. That does shift this silt from one area - well it's got to go down, naturally, 'cos the flow is down."

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