G W NICOLL & B B NICOLL & Co., Sydney

George Wallace Nicoll and his younger brother Bruce Baird Nicoll were sons of a Scottish shipwright who came to Australia in about 1840. The elder Nicoll, Bruce had a shipyard in Sydney and the younger Nicoll started running ships from Sydney to the Northern Rivers area of far Northern New South Wales. As known, 1860-66 George was an Alderman of some Sydney suburb- likely Canterbury. Apparently the brothers were the first to introduce screw steamers to New South Wales (replacing sail or paddlewheelers). Part of their business was timber and they used their vessels to move the valuable product to Sydney. Their early vessels included Wallace and Bruce (1869 to 78) and Wallaby. Other ships included the steam power ships Australian, Lismore, Truganini and Richmond. At some stage the brothers went their own way with respective fleets, each of their own name as fleet owners. Bruce Nicoll faded from the scene in the late 1890's whilst George Wallace Nicoll continued adding to his fleet progressively until late 1904 he sold out to North Coast S N Co due to failing health. Here I have listed the brothers jointly, until I sort out all their fleet holdings as combined and individual

From the onset as business partners, 1878 with ss Richmond as their first steamship & listed in chronologically acquired order
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TRUGANINI (179873p) image courtesy State Library Queensland
RICHMOND (1) 240 gross tons. Lbd: 136'1" x 20'2" x 9'5". Iron steamship of 2 compounded engines producing 45 horsepower and rigged as a two masted schooner. Built by Gourlay Bros & Co., Dundee for G W & B B Nicoll. April 1881 sold to John See. Wrecked off Port MacQuarie New South Wales on the 21st january 1884
AUSTRALIAN 362 gross tons, 191 net. Lbd: 160'3" x 22'5" x 10'5". Iron steamship built by Gourlay Bros, Dundee for B B Nicoll, Sydney. December 1879 of B B & G W Nicoll. November 1880 owned by John See. December 1891 owned by North Coast S N Co Ltd. February 1902 owned by Holyman & Sons Ltd., registered Launceston. 1907 of the West Coast Shipping Co Ltd, South Australia. May 8th 1912 stranded on Wardang Island, Spencer Gulf South Australia. All efforts in refloating her failed and she was stripped and abandoned where she lay
TRUGANINI 203 gross tons, 130 net. Lbd: 120' X 20' X 9'. Iron passenger steamer built by Black & Noble, Montrose for the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co., Hobart. December 1879 G W & B B Nicoll, December 1880 G W Nicoll. 1881 April, James Burns and 1882 transferred to Queensland Steam Shipping Co Ltd., registered London. April 1887 Australasian United Steam Navigation Co., Sydney. Since, had also been chartered by Burns Philp & Co working New Guinea. Whilst on the mail run to New Caledonia, she was wrecked February 11th, 1891 Aneityum, New Hebrides
BONNIE DUNDEE 193 gross tons, 121 net. Launched by Miss Jane Nicoll, cousin of the owners, from the Gourlay Brothers shipyard in Dundee, Scotland for George and Bruce Nicoll. Lbd: 130'3" x 19' x 9'9". (39 x 6 metres). Inverted 40 hp twin cylinder compound steam engine. Sported two masts. Built as a coastal passenger-cargo vessel servicing mostly the North coast of New South Wales. 10th March 1879 was struck amidships by the Barrabool and sank off Caves Beach, just south of Swansea 15 kilometres south of Newcastle. Five souls were lost
FIJIAN 987 tons. Built 1886 for G W and B B Nicoll (registered under G W Nicolls & Co) by Palmers, Jarrow. Cargo only as a single screw steamship, triple expansion engine. Placed on the Sydney - Fiji trade. Was in direct competition with Australasian S N Co., until agreement was reached with trade parity. 1889 sold to the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand. They immediately placed her on same run again in direct competition with Australasian S N Co., however she was, in 1889, wrecked off Tanna Island, New Hebrides 13 May 1889

Bruce Baird NICOLL
as individual owner, steamships listed in Alphabetical order
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CASINO image courtesy State Library Queensland, EMMA PYERS image postcard personal collection
CASINO 425 tons, 274 net. Lbd: 160'4" x 24'1" x 10'2". Iron steamship, passenger-cargo built by Gourlay Bros & Co., Dundee, Scotland. for B B Nicoll. The ship left Dundee on 18th March 1882 and sailed to Sydney via the Cape of Good Hope. En route the ship stopped in Warrnambool to pick up coal. There, it was inspected by the Belfast and Koroit Navigation Company, who decided to purchase the Casino. The steamship sailed onto Sydney to deliver its cargo and then returned to Melbourne to begin the west coast run. Casino was three masted iron screw steamer. One deck, iron framework, a schooner rig and an inverted compound two cylinder 65 horsepower engine built by Gourlay Bros, Glasgow. In the early days, she was sometimes rigged as a topsail schooner as the ship’s big spread of canvas helped reduce fuel consumption. 10th July, 1932 off Apollo Bay Victoria in heavy weather, keeled over and sank after striking seabed several times earlier when attempting to enter port. From a crew of sixteen plus two passengers, only eight survived
EMMA PYERS 73 gross tons. Lbd: 78'8" x 16'6" x 5'6". Wooden steamship built on the Richmond River New South Wales for B B Nicoll. Early 1890's sold to North Coast S N Co. Used as a drogher on the Tweed River until abandoned 1930 as beyong repair
RICHMOND (11) 628 gross tons. Lbd: 178' x 27'7" x 10'5". Steel steamship of 2 compounded engines producing 105 horsepower and rigged as a two masted schooner. Built by Gourlay Bros & Co., Dundee for B B Nicoll. April 1887 sold to A B McDonald. April 1889 sold to Auckland, New Zealand interests. Fate unknown
TATHAM 37 gross tons. Built Sydney. Lbd: 60'6" x 15'5" x 4'7". Wooden steamer of 10 horsepower, single mast as built by H Hardman, Iron Cove Sydney for B B Nicoll. January 1904 sold to B M Corrigan. Demolished during 1915

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WYRALLAH image (b38415) courtesy State Library Victoria
TINONEE 279 gross tons. Lbd: 193'7" x 21'4" x 10'5". Iron twin screw steamship, 2 masted and schooner rigged. Of 30 horsepower and built at ASN Co's Pyrmont workshops Sydney. Sold November 1885 to B B Nicoll. October 1886 acquired by Mort's Dock & Engineering Co., Balmain. Sold August 1892 to J Broomfield. Word was she was broken up 1893 although 'official register closed 1953 stating 'fate unknown'
TWEED (1) 240 gross tons. Lbd: 128'2" x 22'7" x 8'9". Steel steamship producing 50 horsepower and rigged as a two masted schooner. Built at Newcastle on Tyne, England for B B Nicoll. Wrecked off Tweed Heads, New South Wales on the 19th April 1888
WOODBURN 398 gross tons, 291 net. Lbd: 155' x 25'3" x 10'7". (47 x 8 metres). Was a single screw coastal cargo and passenger vessel originally built by Forrest and Sons on the River Thames, London, England, for B B Nicoll & Co., Sydney in 1883 as the Woodburn. The Woodburn left England on 12 December 1883 and arrived in Sydney on 22 March 1884. The vessel carried 28 passengers as well as cargo and was powered by a twin cylinder steam engine and sail when needed. Ownership passed to the Clarence and Richmond River Steam Navigation Company in 1884 and in 1889 or 1890 the ownership again changed when Clarence, Richmond & Macleay River S N Co merged with John See and Company in forming the North Coast Steam Navigation Company. The name of the vessel was changed to Macleay. Became a popular passenger steamer. Later overhauled for carrying coal. Struck rocks off Boondelbah Island at entrance to Port Stephens and sank quickly, 11 October 1911. Fifteen crew lost; two survivors
WYRALLAH 302 gross tons, 205 net. Lbd: 140' x 22'3" x 13'2". Iron twin screw steamship built at Mort's Dock & Engineering Co., Balmain Sydney for Bruce B Nicoll, registered Sydney. Twin compounded engines producing 45 horsepower as coal fired. Passenger cargo status. October 1891 acquired by North Coast S N Co for use along their New South Wales Northern rivers trade. Sold April 1900 to G A Carpenter of Melbourne. September 1900 acquired by Gippsland Steamers Pty Ltd. In her career she was chartered out to Burns Philp & Co, Sydney for 5 months running the mail service between Albany and Esperance on the West coast, later a single voyage mail run from the mainland (Sydney) to Noumea, New Caledonia. Under Gippsland steamers she met her demise when sunk in a collision with the Dilkera during a squall off Point Nepean Victoria

George Wallace BAIRD
as individual owner, steamships listed in Alphabetical order
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BELLINGER image (AUTAS001125641175) courtesy State Library Tasmania
CAVANBA postcard image personal collection
BELLINGER 225 gross tons, 134 net. Lbd: 125' x 22'1" x 8'7". Iron steamship, compounded engine producing 45 horsepower, 2 masts schooner rigged and rated at 9.5 knots. Built by J McArthur & Co., Paisley, Glasgow for G W Nicoll, Sydney. Passenger - cargo vessel on the New South Wales Northern river service. Sold December 1884 to the Belfast & Koroit S N Co., Port Fairy Victoria for their Western ports to Melbourne service. 1887 returned to Nicoll's ownership, this time to B B Nicoll. 1890 sold to Captain E T Miles, Hobart. September 1894 sold to T A Reynolds of Hobart. 1896 taken over by Union Steamship Co New Zealand with the rest of T.A. Reynolds, Hobart fleet, 1897 sold to Northern Steamship Co., Auckland, and renamed Muritai. Wrecked upon the New Zealand coast on May 27th 1908. NOTE: Not the Bellinger of North Coast S N Co built 1901
BYRON 145 tons. Lbd: 96'2" x 20'4" x 8'1". Wooden steamship, 2 masts schooner rigged. Built by T Davis, Terrigal New South Wales for G W Nicoll. Compounded engine producing 22 horsepower Foundered off Newcastle New South Wales on the 24th May 1896
CAVANBA 573 gross tons, 231 net. Lbd: 172'1" x 26'1" x 12'1". Steel passenger steamship built by Bow McLachlan & C., Paisley, Glasgow for G W Nicoll, Sydney. 1904 acquired by North Coast S N Co., Sydney. Sold 1917 to Arthur Iffland van Ess, Hong Kong. 1924 sold to chinese interests and renamed Tung Yuan. 1932 Shaw Hsing Steamship Co Ltd, Newchwang and renamed Lai H'Sing. Foundered near Chusa Island August 1949
CHINDERA 186 tons. Lbd: 118' x 20'8" x 9'7". Wooden steamship of 35 horsepower, 2 masts schooner rigged, Built by H Hardeman, Jervis Bay New South Wales for G W Nicoll. 9th September 1896 became a total wreck off Tweed Heads, New South Wales

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DORRIGO image courtesy State Library New South Wales
DURANBAH image (LS-LSP-CD079-IMG0036-MR & ashore off Point Danger 1919) courtesy Gold Coast City Library
DOLPHIN 38 tons. Lbd: 61'7" x 14'6" x 4'5". Wooden steamship, single mast cutter rigged. Built by D Sullivan at Berry’s Bay, New South Wales for D Lynch. Capable of 8 knots. March 1886 owned by G W Nicoll. April 1905 owned by North Coast S N Co., Sydney. Demolished 1914
DORRIGO 302 tons. Lbd: 136'1" x 24'9" x 12'6". Wooden steamship built at Balmain by H Hardman as the Dorrigo for G W Nicoll, Sydney. Sold 1904 to North Coast Steam Navigation Co., Sydney. Acquired by Burns Philp & Co., Sydney 1913 and renamed Misima. Wrecked Meunera Island off New Guinea February 1st 1917
DURANBAH 284 gross tons. Lbd: 130' x 23'1" x 9'2". Steel steamship 37 horsepower 7 knots as built by Scotts of Kinghorn, England for G W Nicoll. Sold on arrival in Australia as delayed part of total takeover to North Coast Steam Navigation Co., Sydney. 1919 stranded for 3 days off Point Danger Tweed Heads. Refloated and since, that section of beach is known as Duranbah Beach. Acquired by Patrick Steamship Co. Ltd in 1922 Sold to W.R. Carpenter Co in 1925. Fitted with oil engines and placed upon their Pacific Islands route. Believed captured by the Japanese in WW2. Fate unknown. Another source states scrapped 1930s
EXCELSIOR 301 gross tons. Lb: 39.9 x 7.4 metres. Iron hulled single screw steamship, cargo only as built by Gourlay Bros, Dundee for G W Nicoll. Held compounded engine making 9 knots. Worked Sydney - Coffs Harbour - Byron Bay - Sydney. Had also worked Byron Bay to Woolgoola transporting cattle. Scrapped before June 1931 at Adelaide

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HELEN NICOLL image (gr000729) courtesy State Library Victoria
LUBRA (05330r) image courtesy State Library New South Wales, NOOREBAR image (mus07-2901) & seen at Coffs Harbour jetty c 1912 - courtesy Coffs Harbour Regional Museum
HELEN NICOLL 384 gross tons, 246 net. Lbd: 157' x 22' x 10'3". Iron steamship built by Gourlay Bros, Dundee for G W Nicoll, Brisbane. Worked on the North Coast of New South Wales in passenger-cargo capacity and remained on that run when sold to John See, Sydney in July 1882. Of North Coast S N Co upon formation in December 1891. August 1893 sold to Anton Schlink of Port Adelaide who placed her on the South Australian run, particularly that State's west coast ports. Extended to Esperance, Western Australia with the advent of gold discoveries and taking in Albany as another port of call. Sold 1896 to A L Harrold and sold yet again in 1897 to J Darling Jnr, who kept her on the South Australia - West Australia trade route. 1901 saw her change ownership again, this time to to James Jones of Sydney, later Jones Bros, Coal Co Ltd, seeing her as a collier only. Demolished with register closed 1932
JANET NICOLL 772 tons. Lbd: 184' x 29'2" x 13'8". Iron steamship 2 masts schooner rigged as built at Jarrow England for G W Nicoll. Compounded engine producing 90 horsepower. August 1890 sold to Henderson of Auckland, New Zealand. Sold later 1890 to Union Steamship Co of New Zealand. Sold 1903 to Penang owners or at least Penang registry. 10th May 1914 wrecked at Kopah Inlet Siam (Thailand) whilst bound for Moulmein
LISMORE 339 gross tons, 215 net. Lbd: 152'3" x 22'1" x 10'. Iron steamship 3 masts schooner rigged as built by Gourlay Bros & Co., Dundee Scotland. Of 45 horsepower and built for G W Nicoll's Sydney - Richmond River trade. Had passenger capacity. July 1880 of Nicoll Bros. Grounded, wrecked at Shaw's Bay, Ballina New South Wales. All lives saved. Remains were still visible up to 1969 until demolished for ascetic reasons
LUBRA 466 tons. Lbd: 173'6" x 27'5" x 11'5". Iron steamship of 2 masts schooner rigged producing 45 horsepower. Built for G W Nicoll. October 1880 sold to Hunter River New S N Co., Sydney. December 1891 of the Newcastle & Hunter River S N Co. February 1907 sold to Jones Bros., Sydney. 19th February 1920 wrecked at Catherine Hill Bay, New South Wales

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TWEED (11)
TWEED (11) anchored off Southport, Queensland, circa 1891 image (-LS-LSP-CD304-IMG0036-MR ) courtesy Gold Coast City Library, WOLLUMBIN image circa 1901-03 at Tweed Heads loading cargo (as boiler from the wrecked steamship ss Orara) - courtesy John Oxley Library-Queensland
NOOREBAR 670 gross tons, 309 net. Lbd 185'1" x 28'1" x 12'4". Steel steamship Built by Scotts of Kinghorn Ltd., Kinghorn for G. W Nicoll, and sold to the North Coast Steam Navigation Company prior to completion along with remaining fleet. Operated on the northern coast rivers and coast as a passenger cargo vessel, with capacity for 80 passengers. 1920 sold to Fiji Shipping Co., Suva. 1924 sold to Dutch East Indies ownership at Djambi Sumatra. 1932 reported to have been sold for scrapping purposes however was reported to be at Rabaul during the 1937 eruptions (earthquake/volcano?). Possibly escaped, and may since have been a victim to the Japanese during World War 2
TWEED (11) 285 gross tons. Lbd: 132' x 25'5" x 11'5". Wooden steamship rigged as a two masted schooner. Built by T Davis, Terrigal New South Wales for G W Nicoll. 2 compounded surface condensing Engines producing 50 horsepower. Wrecked at Byron Bay, New South Wales on the 22nd January 1893
WOLLUMBIN 231 gross tons. Lbd: 112'9" x 24'7" x 10'3". Wooden steamship of 45 horsepower and built at Jervis Bay, New South Wales for G W Nicoll. 10th November 1905 wrecked near the Bellinger River, New South Wales

Early vessels pre steam power
SARAH NICOLL 68 gross tons. Schooner. Wrecked in heavy weather off or near Bellinger River, New South Wales on the 19th February 1875


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