Ship half model, half block model of coastal steamship, TSS "Tomki", mounted on a backboard, R & H Green, England, 1882 (OF).
The twin screw steamer "Tomki " built 1882, saw long and extended service for the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. serving trade mainly between the Richmond River and down the North Coast to Sydney.
She was the first ship to beat an 1890 shipping strike in Sydney which effectively tied up all coastal shipping in Sydney. At its peak in the period 1900--1925, The North Coast Steam Navigation Co had a virtual monopoly of shipping trade along the NSW North Coast from theTweed River down to the Manning River. The company ceased operations in 1954, having owned nearly one hundred vessels and one of the largest intrastate flets in Australasia.
Model made by shipbuilders R. G. & H. Green, Blackwall, London.
The TSS steel twin screw steamer "Tomki" , 690 tonnes, was built in 1882 by R.G. & H. Green, shipbuilders, Blackwall London for the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. She was originally to be named "NYMBYN" ,but the name was changed to "TOMKI " when she was launched. The "Tomki" was mainly employed on the Richmond River service down to Sydney. In 1890, there was a serious maritime strike in Sydney which tied up all coastal shipping in Sydney. The "Tomki" was the first ship to beat the boycott which was being very effectively worked against all the shipping companies, and managed to slip away back to Richmond after being strike-bound in Sydney. After a long career in coastal shipping serving the North Coast mainly out of the Richmond River , the "Tomki: was finally wrecked in September 1907 on Ballina Beach.
The history of the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. started as the Grafton Steam Navigation Co. in 1857 servicing the run between Sydney and Grafton. The company was renamed the Clarence & Richmond Steam Navigation Co. when the Richmond River was opened up for navigation. The Manning and Macleay Rivers were next to open up. As the company grew, it was renamed the Clarence Richmond & Macleay Rivers Steam Navigation Co., and was then the dominant company in NSW coastal trading. In 1891, the company took over the firm of John See & Co., and was renmamed the North Coast Steam Navigation Company Ltd. In 1904, the company took over the shipping interests of Messrs. Alan Taylor & Co., extending their network to include the Port Macquarie and Bellinger areas. Each new vessel added to the fleet was purpose built to suit the trade and navigational difficulties of the particular river destination. In the early 1890's the construction of the Richmond--Tweed railway led to the beginning and opening up of Byron Bay trade, with refrigerated foodstuffs, especially butter. The peak of the North Coast trade was 1900-1925, and the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. had a virtual monopoly of this trade, covering the Tweed River, Byron Bay, Richmond River, Clarence River, Coffs Harbour, Bellinger, Macleay River and Manning River. Trade declined from 1925 onwards as coastal shipping could not compete with road and rail transport, together with the deteriorating state of the river bars. The company ceased operations in 1954, having owned nearly one hundred vessels and one of the largest intrastate fleets in Australasia.