Old Frankston Bridge, Kananook Creek 1920 


(Photo courtesy Frankston Library Local History Collection)  



 


Carmen Tomlinson





There was an old hermit who used to be on the beach here, on the foreshore... He was quite pleasant to people. I know Mr McCulloch said that when his mother first came here, she used to walk down with home-made scones and cake, quite a lot of people used to, and the old fella he always had fresh fish and they used to give him home made stuff and he'd give them fresh fish.


I can remember seeing that, seeing the old hermit's place about 1919 and he had some sort of an old shelter there, I don't know, some people say it was part of a boat but I can't really remember what it was. It was so overgrown with creeper and stuff, and there was a huge stump, a trunk of a sheoak there, it had been struck by lightning you could see where it was all dark. That was just down past Seaford Road where the old hermit was.


While my mother was at Sanderson's, this man and his wife, they came out on the steamship from England and they stayed at Sanderson's, and he was either a judge or someone very high up legally, and they walked down along the foreshore to see the old hermit. It was his brother, and they tried everything to get him to go back to England, but he'd evidently been in charge of a vessel that had been wrecked and a lot of people were killed, and that's why he came down here and lived in isolation, all on his own.


When I saw him himself he had no boots on, was wearing black trousers and a black coat, and he had a sugar bag. Sugar used to come in hessian bags in those days... I can remember seeing him crossing the highway to go back along through the scrub on the foreshore... His back was ramrod straight you know, and he couldn't have been a young man then because he'd been down there, living under those conditions all those years just sleeping in this little bit of a humpy place. And he had a great snow white beard and bare feet and this sugar bag with his few things on the back.