1935 - 1950

1935 - 1950

battery_parkThe NSW Government formally handed over the care, control and maintenance of Battery Park to Wollongong City Council and it became a public reserve.

1947 Audio








1946 Audio

4th of April - the Illawarra Historical Society found out that Wollongong City Council planned to turn Smith's Hill Fort into a car park. A meeting was arranged at 9.50pm. The Illawarra Historical Society sent a telegram (a message sent by telegraph) to the local government member and Prime Minister. The telegram stated: 'Illawarra Historical Society and residents of Wollongong deprecate (disagree with) action Wollongong City Council demolishing old Fort Cliff Road Wollongong for purposes of car park stop As this land presumably (probably) Commonwealth property we ask you to intervene immediately to preserve (protect) this historic site'.

31st May - The Prime Minister replied informing the Illawarra Historical Society that the land was transferred to State Government in 1936.

19th June - Wollongong City Council informed the Illawarra Historical Society that they had decided not to build the car park until the Society's alternative suggestion was discussed at the next scheduled Parks and Gardens Committee meeting on the 3rd July.

23rd July - Gordon Worland, the president of the Illawarra Historical Society informed the board and the Department of Lands that the land was not owned by Wollongong City Council. The council had entered the land illegally. The Society called for an investigation and that building would be stopped until a solution could be found.

30th August - The Department of Lands advised the Illawarra Historical Society and Wollongong City Council that Smith's Hill Fort was Crown Land (owned by the Commonwealth) and that the Council had no control.

16th October - The Department of Lands informed the Illawarra Historical Society that Smith's Hill Fort was now owned by Wollongong Council for public recreation (leisure) (the site became known as Battery Park).

As Smith's Hill Fort was not properly looked after during and after the Depression and due to vandalism (damage), Wollongong City Council decided to close the entrance. The Council also covered over the walls and structure with 3000 cubic yards (approximately 2295 cubic metres) of rocks, boiler ash, concrete and soil. Only the cannon barrels and mountings (supports) could be seen. The Council requested this from A.I. & S. (now called Bluescope Steel).

1937 Audio

August - The Nordenfelt gun was dismantled (pulled apart) and moved to Sydney by the military. It was probably sold as scrap metal.



Nordenfelt gun Nordenfelt gun Nordenfelt gun

The land of Smith's Hill Fort was transferred from Commonwealth ownership to the State of NSW.