As an official location, “The Chimneys” is no more! While searching the Internet for any mention of it, I came across this entry in the Tasmanian Government Gazette of 15 April 2015, under “Rescission of Place Names”:
Reg No Name Municipality Location Decision No.
5755M The Chimneys Kingborough Unbounded Locality, Margate 3630
The Placenames Tasmania website (www.placenames.tas.gov.au, accessed 21/7/2015) confirms that the name has been rescinded, adding the following information:
“Depicted on chart 2A/158 Buckingham dated 1841… Noted at meeting 165 15/1/1971 that…local people did not know to what it refers.”
“Meeting 463 the Board agreed to Rescind this name as it has never been recognised as a locality or place name. It was originally depicted on an 1841 chart at the approximate intersection of Beach Road and Esplanade, Margate in relation to some features on the chart which were most likely chimney stacks.”
Local historian Julie Gardam thinks that there once were shepherds’ huts near this location, and it may have been their chimneys which gave it the name. Perhaps ships used them as a bearing to safely locate the jetty from out on North West Bay, as the water is mostly shallow and boulder-strewn:
“Arrr, ‘ead for the chimneys, but stay well offshore until they do line up with each other off the beam; then it be safe to come hard to port” (Sorry, can’t talk like a mariner without the Cornish Pirate accent….)
The name “Margate” probably wasn’t used until the 1850’s, so “The Chimneys” could have been the unofficial name for that part of North West Bay for a decade or two. Anyway, it has continued to appear on maps to the present day.
The picture below is of 56 Esplanade, the house until recently owned by Mrs Florence Groombridge. This house was built around the 1870’s, so its chimneys are not the original ones, but I wonder if they were a deliberate design feature to continue to act as a guide for seafarers heading for the jetty at the end of Beach Road? We’ll probably never know unless there’s an undiscovered Groombridge family diary or similar out there! Rumour has it that the new owners intend to use the house for visitor accommodation – wouldn’t it be a nice touch if they named it “The Chimneys”? (They didn’t – it’s called “The Anchorage”)