Half-ship model, SS 'Wauchope', wood, made by James Scott, Balmain, New South Wales, Australia, 1938
The SS 'Wauchope' is an example of a wooden steam ship built for ownership and use by Sir Allen Arthur Taylor for use on the North Coast Rivers of New South Wales. Steam ships such as this one carried passengers and cargo (mostly timber) from the wharf at Pyrmont to ports including Port Macquarie, Camden Haven and Port Stephens, with occasional visits to the Macleay and Clarence Rivers.
Ships like the 'Wauchope' proved integral to the economic development of the North Coast region. They enabled a fast and reliable trade and passenger service and created employment opportunities, particularly via the larger operating companies such as Allen Taylor & Co Ltd and the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd.
The 'Wauchope' was one of only two vessels (along with the 'Allenwood') built for Allen Taylor's fleet during 1920. It is unique for its small size and lightweight (120 tonnes), in comparison to many of her larger counterparts, which were more commonly made of steel and averaged around 500 tonnes.
Models such as this one would have been made for shipbuilder's to assist in their full-scale construction, helping to provide the builder with an idea of the vessel's fittings, riggings and sail plans, as well as helping to show the ratio of length to beam, the fining of her entry, stern and so on. This model also acts as a legacy of the full-scale version which no longer survives. The SS 'Wauchope' was foundered off Port Stephens while under tow to Sydney by the 'Arakoon' on April 5, 1942.
Australian Dictionary of Biography - Online Edition, "Taylor, Sir Allen Arthur (1864-1940)", http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120194b.htm (Downloaded 7/5/2007)
Richards, M., "North Coast Run: Men and Ships of the New South Wales North Coast" (Killara, 1977) pp.97, 140 & 170
This half-ship model was made by James Scott in Balmain, New South Wales, Australia in 1938.
James Scott was a naval architect born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1859. From 1873, James spent 12 years working in John Elder's mould loft at the Fairfield shipyard in Govan. He migrated to Australia in 1885. Descendants of Scott claim that he was approached by Allen Arthur Taylor (timber merchant, ship-owner, politician and chairman of the Illawarra & South Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd and the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd) offering to subsidise his fare. This would explain James's subsequent involvement with the North Coast Company.
James married Jane Bell and had five children, two of whom died young. On arriving in Australia they resided at Rowntree Street, Balmain but later made Hunters Hill their long-term abode. Records show that for 12 years James worked at Cockatoo Island with William McDonald and for some time also, Sam Hayes, at the Fitzroy Dock.
James Scott became foreman shipwright of the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd where he is reputed to have designed 32 ships for them (he is attested to have designed 60 throughout his entire career). Some of these vessels included the 'Nerong', 'Wollongbar II', 'Kulgoa', 'Wauchope' and the 'Nambucca'. Some of James Scott's best known creations, however, are the two 'Lady' ferries (the 'Lady Manning' and 'Lady Hampden'), which were designed by Walter Reeks and epitomised the double-ended ferry style which was to become standardised in all ferry designs from 1892 on.
Identifiable characteristics of James Scott models include the use of Australian red cedar in the backing boards (or straight grain Oregon for North Coast models), black painted sections denoting the water line and flaring at the propeller shafts.
James Scott continued to design naval vessels, even at the age of 78 where he prepared plans for the 'Moruya'. He died in 1942.
The SS 'Wauchope' was built for ownership and use by Sir Allen Arthur Taylor.
Sir Allen Arthur Taylor was born on May 13, 1864 at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and was the fourth child of John Bate, a bricklayer, and Martha Jane (nee King). In 1882, Allen moved to Sydney where he attended night school while working for railway contractors and in 1886 (at the age of 22) married Adela Mary Elliott at Annandale. For reasons that remain unknown, Allen changed his surname to Taylor some time between 1890 and 1895.
Moving into the field of hardwood timber supply, he founded and directed the firm Allen Taylor & Co Ltd, shortly before he also became chairman of the Illawarra & South Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd and the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd in the 1890s. Through the shipping companies, Taylor promoted the economic development of the north and south coast districts; commissioning large passenger and cargo vessels and providing finance for building silos and improving dairy herds.
Apart from his involvement in the shipping industry, Taylor was the lord mayor of Sydney in 1905-06 and 1909-12. He was also the member of various boards including the Board of Health, commissioner for the Franco-British Exhibition, London, chairman and mayor for the Borough Council of Annandale and a member of the Liberal, National and United Australia parties. He was also an active member of the Citizens' Reform Association, lobbying for the improvement of Sydney's transport system, especially roads.
On December 29, 1926 Taylor re-married after his first wife died. Fourteen years later, on September 30, 1940, Sir Allen passed away at his home in Lang Road, Centennial Park.
The 'Wauchope' was a 120 tonne, wooden steamer named after the town on the Hastings River. It was built in Sydney for the Allen Taylor fleet in 1920, primarily as a passenger vessel, that sank off Port Stephens in heavy weather while being towed to Sydney by the 'Arakoon' on April 5, 1942.
This ship model was donated to the Museum by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd in 1954.