Donated by: Winifred Roberts
Location: Shellharbour City Museum Collection
This parachute silk is from Ben Turner Parachute Factory at Broadway Sydney NSW. Albion Park’s Esme Walsh worked for Ben at his factory making parachutes for World War 2.
Benjamin Horace Turner was a world record parachutist, a manufacturer of parachutes in Australia during World War 2, and the designer of the iconic Australian Scamp swimsuit. He was also a pilot and established Southern Cross Air, which operated in the South Coast.
In 1949, Ben moved to Clover Hill, Macquarie Pass, with his wife Jean and their English sheep dog Roger. In the 1970s, the historic Clover Hill homestead, originally owned by the Thomas family, burnt down, and the NWPS acquired his property as part of Macquarie Pass National Park.
Ben was allowed to remain at Clover Hill until his death. Here he built his famous English Tudor style home, known locally as Ben’s Folly, around huge rock formations on the property.