When I was a boy @ Cunningham Pier, Geelong

When I was young Geelong had a thriving industrial pier with large cargo vessels coming and going on a regular basis.  The woolsheds that now house Deaken University were actually used as woolsheds.  Rather than the ships making the pier out of bounds it was a very popular fishing destination with fishermen lining the sides 7 days a week.

You always had to be mindful that the ships moved in and out from the pier so never be in a position where you could be crushed.  As a kid the exciting part of Cunningham Pier was the subterranean adventures we took.  Underneath the pier was a plank walkway which we gained access by climbing over the edge of the pier.  Here you could walk around just above the water and drop a line to catch an elusive Leatherjacket (fish – not a discarded clothing garment).

The other thing I did as I got older was spear fishing while snorkelling.  I had picked up a wetsuit from a disposals store and purchased a second-hand (not preloved) spear gun.   Never caught a fish – and I mean never.  All I seemed to do was upset the fishermen on the pier above – that was probably the fun part.

Today the pier is purely for entertainment with dining and entertainment venues at the end but it sits on the Cunningham Pier I remember and there are still people fishing off the sides today.  Who knows but maybe kids still play under the pier today.


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