Lady Class Ferries

The Bill Allen Collection comprises a comprehensive collection of photographs of Sydney’s Ferries from the 1800’s to the present.

Lady Class Ferries

 These vessels generally operated on the Mosman Bay and Taronga Zoo service routes. The Lady Class vessels are the last in a line of what was affectionately know as “the Ladies”. Lady Herron is the 20th such vessel, the first being Lady Mary built in 1892. The names of our “Ladies” were usually associated with the wives of Governors of high officials in New South Wales.

This style of ferry was originally built from timber up until 1968, when steel became the preferred material, continuing the tradition of large double-ended passenger ferries. The last wooden “Lady” retired from service in 1984.

Only two Lady Class ferries are operating today – Lady Northcott and Lady Herron.

A sample of photos from the collection is shown below.


Anyone interested in investigating the images is invited to contact the SHF Maritime Records and Research Centre, either by phoning 02 9298 3888 or emailing

For costs and availability of obtaining any of these photos without watermark, as an electronic file, as a print from the original negative (where available) or as some other format, contact the Maritime Records and Research Centre’s Curator on 02 9298 3850  or, quoting the full file name and giving details of format wanted.

Copyright for the majority of these images from the collection is vested in the Sydney Heritage Fleet. For the remaining images every attempt has been made to ensure correct attribution. If any originator of an image notes an error the Sydney Heritage Fleet would welcome any notification and will remove that image or modify its attribution.

Click on any image to enlarge