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The Sydney Bushawlker.

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St. Sydney.

No.207 February, 1952 Price 6d.

EditorKen Meadows, 103 Cooper Street, Maroubra
Production and Business ManagerBrian Harvey (JW1462)
Sales and Subs.Shirley Evans
Typed byJean Harvey


Editorial - A Lesson For Us 1
Editorial - Theory V. Practice 2
At the January General MeetingJim Brown 3
Bushwalking The Easy Way, or The Prospectives DelightA. Wilson 5
Ideas and Suggestions for the Reunion 8
With Eyes That Do Not SeeAllen. A. Strom 9
The North of EnglandE. Rowen10
We Came of AgeBrian G. Harvey11
To Make Damper Jim Brown12
“One Ear to the Ground” 13
Federation NotesBrian G. Harvey15
Paddy's Ad. Prices at Paddy Pallin's 16


A Lesson For Us.

A recent newspaper report described the death by drowning of two New Zealand trampers. Two girls, becoming separated from the body of their party, were apparently drowned trying to cross a flooded stream. Three lessons can be drawn for us. One, that the committee should continue to ensure that new members can swim or will learn and two, that it is better to be overdue and without food for several days rather than take unnecessary risks.

The third point is that the leader of the party should endeavour to keep the group together and the party keep with the leader. If the party has tended to string out, a stream crossing, change of direction or such like is the signal to let everybody catch up. A “whipper in”, somebody capable of assuming leadership but following along as a “tail” to look after the weaker or more inexperienced members, is good practice on long or difficult walks.

Safety can't be taught entirely by rules. Commonsense and thoughtfulness are just as necessary in the bush as in other aspects of living. Next time you are tempted to do something foolish, think of the others.

Theory V. Practice.

Students of Dickens will remember the educational methods adopted in Dotheboys Hall by the immortal Mr. Wackford Squeers - “Spell Window —- WINDER —- Now go and clean it boy”. What might be an extension of this method of utilising practical experiment to reinforce (or confound) abstract philosophy is being used by the Club this year. Not only is the Club a believer in the promotion of social activity amongst members but is actually going to make every endeavour to achieve this worthy objective.

Perhaps the members have been influenced by the celebrations for the Royal Visit and the thought of the illuminations in the city and parks, because they, too, have decided to be illuminated - sorry, celebrate. The occasion is the Club's attaining its quarter century.

If this sort of thing keeps up the Social Secretary will be heading the social programme with a shuffle peg. Every mark will mean another thousand shuffle hours on the dance floor and members will be boasting of the hours they shuffled last weekend. Leaders of Instructional walks will lecture on the “Samba” to eager prospectives.

The younger, perhaps more active, members are capable of emulating the American addicts who dance non-stop for hundreds of hours. But what of the ex-members who were responsible for the Club's beginning? They have now advanced another twenty-five years towards the day when, instead of running up Cloudmaker and back to the Cox before breakfast, they will not get back till lunch.

No celebration would be complete without our pioneers. Like the Club's 21st, the quarter century can provide an opportunity for the renewal of old friendships and the making of new.

River Canoe Club of N.S.W. - Mapping Section.

The following map has now been completed by this section, and is available for inspection and perusal for those interested :-

Map No.52 Macquarie River (Bathurst to Dubbo Section - 193 Miles).

E. Caines (Ted.) Phillips.

At The January General Meeting.

By Jim Brown.

Even the absence of a number of the habitues of General Meetings on annual holidays didn't influence the roll-up, for we tallied about 70 at the opening of the January General Meeting. It was a searingly hot night, and if the meeting had been jaded and apathetic, it would have been excusable; instead they (or it) were (or was) most spirited.

We greeted the last new member of the year in Isabel Wilkie, rattled through minutes and correspondence, Treasurer's and Federation reports in great style. There the tempo (or proceedings) slackened, and the meeting became argumentative. There it was - an innocent little request for views on formation of a Federation “Bush Fire and Flood Rescue Section” to be incorporated under Search and Rescue. All told, we hammered at it for nearly 45 minutes.

Dormie moved that we support the formation of such a Section, (this after a motion-less prefacory discussion). It was argued that it was in line with our principles - also that we could never afford the equipment: that the equipment would be provided for us - but we were not likely to get sufficient volunteers to quench a candle: some said bushfires didn't conveniently burn at week-ends when we might be available, and some replied that if we aided the other fire fighters two days a week well, it was better than nothing. It was suggested we give financial support to existing local bush fire brigades. Federation President and delegate Paul Barnes, arriving during the debate, suggested that we could support the well-intentioned proposal “in principle” for the present, and at least allow it to receive detailed consideration. The words “in principle” were never officially added to the motion, but we carried it none the less.

Coming to the selection of a site for the annual re-union, we found grave doubts on all hands concerning the “burned out” nature of favoured spots. Thus we passed over Euroka Clearing and Long Angle Gully, and finished with four nominations - Morella Karong, Era, Lake Eckersley and Woods Creek. The first three named were down at the water jump - didn't secure the 10 primary votes to go to the poll and the dark horse Woods Creek was chosen. Before the meeting was over a resident of Windsor had been lined up to check an the state of affairs at the reunion site.

With 50-odd by-laws to be ratified or cast to the lions at the Annual General Meeting, and the need for the President to reach the Annual Re-Union by Saturday night, a motion was submitted that the by-laws would be mailed to each member with the Annual Report. Any member who wasn't happy about a particular by-law would be required to write the Secretary not later than March, 12th, moving amendment or cancellation: any by-law not so impugned would be carried without debate at the meeting. Brief discussion carried the motion.

We elected Ken Meadows unopposed as Editor, and the President mentioned that this October would bring up the Club's 25th anniversary. Were we to celebrate? Yes, said the meeting joyously, let us celebrate at a special party one Friday night in October. Let it further be known as the “quarter of a century party” (not the “Silver Jubilee” or “Bankruptcy Party” as suggested by various folk). No, hang the expense, we would have a Christmas Party as well. Just let the Social Secretary arrange for a hall on a suitable October evening - preferable a Friday for sleeping it off purposes.

Came the most significant matter of the evening, and for a time it seemed that the meeting had spent its animation on the trivialities. Betty Hall's letter suggesting a campaign to secure Federal aid in bush fire fighting, soil and water conservation and reafforestation was again read to the meeting, and submitted to debate. Betty Hall spoke in support, and Dormie queried whether the Federal Government had constitutional power to intervene or assist in essentially State concerns. A host of other speakers then gradually revived to contribute to the discussion, and it was pointed out that C.S.I.R.O. was a Commonwealth agency, and could surely carry out research on these important matters.

On the aspect of bush fires, Phil Hall pointed out that aerial control of forest fires had been successful elsewhere, but no Governmental action had been taken even to investigate the matter here. The present attitude in this country was to fight a fire at a break on the outskirts of built-up areas - and that was all that could be expected with existing manpower and equipment. This left the fire to burn out precious timber and destroy bushland aid it was just this kind of fire that aerial fire fighting was suited for. As the Federal Government planned a large surplus to combat inflation, surely allocation of funds on bush fire prevention and conservation was a sound anti-inflation investment.

Eric Rowen commented on the indiscreet burning off by property owners. In Europe long grasses were mown and stored as winter fodder, but here it was burned off - often at periods of fire danger. Were there laws governing this, and if so, were they being policed? Other speakers agreed there were laws, but honoured more in the breach. The motion was carried, as was its satellite motion to send copies of Betty's letter to our members for representation to local M's.P similar to the fight against sales tax an walking equipment. To effect all this, a sub-committee was then established, Betty Hall appointed convenor, with Allen Strom and Alex Colley (both elected subject to assent) and Jess Martin. Usual power to co-opt.

The President was on the point of declaring the meeting closed when Bill Cosgrove asked about the Era compensation. If the 30 days limit on our offer to the Lands Department had expired, what were we going to do? He began to move that notices be sent out making February's meeting the special occasion, but the shortness of notice was remarked: the overloaded character of the Annual General was well-known, so eventually it was resolved to hold the extraordinary meeting prior to the normal April meeting, to wit, 7.30 p.m. April 18th.

With all which, we didn't do so badly to close at 10.20.

Bushwalking The Easy Way or The Prospectives Delight.

By A. Wilson (Just call me Alan).

Hardened and experienced walkers will, I know, sneer at this trip but, fellow prospectives, ignore them.

How would you like to go on a three day 120 mile trip accompanied by a 52 pound pack? You wouldn't?!?1?!!! Not even if the trip covered the area from Bobbin Head to the Hawkesbury and along the Hawkesbury to the Colo and up the Colo to the Telegraph line and all the way back again? You still wouldn't??!!! Not even if I tell you that the trip is one long spinebash? What!!! You don't believe me??!! Evidently the time has come to reveal the secret of my success.

This historic trip was accomplished by those renowned walkers Jim Hooper, Ken Meadows, Frank Young, Keith Renwick and…. I also went on this trip. It was accomplished in a 25ft Halvorsen cruiser and needless to say all the walking done was between the bunks, the stove, and the steering wheel. Yes, now you have it. Of course we didn't walk 120 miles in three days. Not the terrible quartet (you will note I exclude myself).

Getting down to the trip itself we left Bobbin Head boatshed, where the cruiser was hired for the weekend, at 1953 hours one Friday night. Captain Hooper was at the wheel and with a few concise, snappy orders given in true nautical phraseology soon had his A.B's thoroughly confused. Nevertheless the indomitable Commander soon had the craft and “OPERATION VIKING” under water (sorry Jim!) under way. For the first two miles or so our way was lighted by bushfires which had been burning all that day in the Kuring-gai Chase area. Once we left them behind, however, the only thing visible was the skyline along the ridges on either side of the water. However, this did not seem to stop the inimitable Captain Hooper from attempting to push on at breakneck speed. Of course, such places as Jerusalem Bay (which was clearly marked by three illuminated brass balls) were easily recognised, even in the pitch dark. But I still maintain that seven knots on a night like the inside of Bunnerong is suicidal.

Fortunately, however, I was saved from becoming another “Diogenes” by the fact that, just as I was about to make a rather heated comment on our speed, Keith Renwick took the wheel for his “trick” (I think that is the correct term - is it not Jim?). Knowing that Keith is an even more cautious type than myself, and knowing that he would stop dead if we so much as passed a single pebble which he couldn't account for, I joined the other three on the bunks (get that fellow prospectives, bunks, things for spinebashing on). UNFORTUNATELY, the confidence I had placed in Keith's judgment over the years I had known him was rudely shattered soon after we had safely passed beneath the Hawkesbury Rail Bridge. The boat gave a tremendous shudder and on investigation it appeared that Keith had tried to take the road bridge with him. On investigation we were told he had been expecting Peat's Ferry not a bridge that by rights shouldn't be there. This I admit customers set us all back on our feet until Ken suddenly pointed out the cause of the trouble. We were only a very short distance from Mud Island Mental Home. (I had wondered why I had suddenly felt an urge to get out and run alongside the launch. Now I knew.)

Ken, the only member of the crew who was without nostalgic memories of this happy spot (he was a Gladesville boy himself), steered us safely past and Keith again took over. While everyone else did some solid spinebashing (prospectives!) Keith guided us up the river past Bar Point, Pumpkin Point, Big Jim's Point, and on to Mangrove Creek. Here a very important conference was held. The original plan had been to anchor here for the night but everyone had so far got in so much spinebashing that no one quite felt like sleep (or so I was told for I was quietly snoring on the starboard bunk). However, they finally continued with first of all Ken at the wheel and then Frank and Jim together substituting for yours truly, still snoring soundly, away on the starboard bunk. (Ah! the blissfulness of it, fellow prospectives, you've got to try it to believe it.)

This exhausting effort on my part landed us at Wiseman's Ferry at 0130 hours at which time I was rudely awakened in order to be informed that we were anchored and it was time to retire (be sure you pick more considerate companions when you go).

At 0830 hours I was awoken again but this time I had no objections whatsoever. There straight in front of me lay the most beautiful scene imaginable. By ordinary standards it was not out of the ordinary. But I had just enjoyed the longest sleep I'd had for weeks. There were no worries on my mind. Technical College had closed, the Finals were over, there were two clear days ahead before returning to the salt mines and there before my eyes lay this scene. There was the river stretching into the distance with bright green reeds against the dark green of the ridges and to cap it all a clear blue sky with one or two scattered clouds and just enough breeze to stop it from being too hot. I lay there daydreaming till the others woke up then I put my thoughts into action. Grabbing the camera in one hand and green filter and lens hood in the other I headed for the dinghy closely followed by Keith. By the time our shutter clicking orgy was finished breakfast in some mysterious fashion had made its appearance on the table. At 1104 hours we finally got under way and several minutes later arrived at Upper Wiseman's Ferry. Here Jim and Ken went ashore to find out if we could get petrol the following day (Sunday) if we needed it. Of course the fact that the local hostelry was on the opposite side of the road to the service station may have nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that they didn't arrive back till 1204 hours but I ask you. One hour to walk two hundred yards and back and ask one simple question (Ha!Ha!).

Having hoisted them aboard we moved off and throbbed steadily upstream at a steady seven knots. Quite a lot of driftwood was met with but all was avoided till I discovered that by standing on the seat behind the steering wheel and using your foot you could steer and look at the scenery (with your head through the hatch) at the same time. Unfortunately I paid TOO much attention to the scenery (ESPECIALLY THE CURVES) and managed to run into the biggest lot yet encounter while travelling at full speed (but I still haven't managed to work out how Frank (sorry!) got there).

About two hours after leaving Wiseman's we reached the Colo and proceeding up it till out of sight of the main river we moored in a quiet spot for lunch. Here everyone suddenly came to life and cameras appeared from all corners and much evidence of the perfect suitability of this method of travel for spinebashing was collected.

An hour later we set off again heading upstream at a steady pace until the setback of a very low road bridge was encountered. But this did not stop the terrible quintet for long. Retiring downstream we quickly dismantled the mast with the aid of a screwdriver and returned to the fray. This time we made it with exactly an inch and a half to spare and the dire prophecy of an omniscient local to the effect that we wouldn't get one hundred yards before we got stuck ringing in our ears. Captain Hooper merely gave a scornful laugh at this but posted yours truly and Frank Young in the bows with a lead which Jim had thoughtfully brought along with instructions to give a yell if the soundings fell below a fathom. This wasn't long in happening but with the scornful words of the local still in our ears, the local still in sight, and a firm belief that the launch didn't draw more than eighteen inches of water we gave each a meaning look and agreed that we'd get the launch up to the telegraph line crossing the Colo above this bridge or bust. The soundings fell to four feet, then three feet, then two feet and back to three, then back to two and still we kept going. Soon we came to a clear sandy bottom which we could clearly see two or three feet below the keel of the launch without any need for the lead but still we kept the rest in ignorance. Then we saw the telegraph line and let forth a triumphant cheer.

“Okay, stop her” we shouted “and have a look over the side”!

Gently Frank and I laid them out side by side on the floor and then went ashore to record this historic event with our cameras. Unfortunately I ruined my effort (the last on the roll) by moving the camera but Frank's shot will record this event for posterity.

When we returned the others were just recovering and by the time we got under way again it was 1710 hours. Then our glorious effort ended in an anti-climax. After getting down below the bridge again and restoring our mast to its normal position we GOT STUCK and not once but THREE TIMES.

We finally arrived at Wiseman's at 2022 hours and after mooring started to settle down for the night. Fortunately I stepped out for a look at the stars and at the same time Jim, who was fiddling around with a prismatic compass, took a second bearing on the ferry within five minutes of the first.

“That's funny”, Jim said to no one in particular “it's different. The boat must have moved.”

I took a look at the shore at this, I didn't have to look far, it was right under my nose. Considering we had anchored about two hundred yards out in the stream the effect on my nervous system can be imagined.

“Start the engine, Frank”, I screamed in my best falsetto. Frank looked startled and Jim stuck his head out to see what was going an and then added his voice to mine. Fortunately we were in time, but only just. After the excitement had worn off and both anchors had been well and truly stuck in the mud everyone retired to bed.

Next morning after breakfast a short run was made up the Macdonald River then back to Wiseman's Ferry for some petrol. The good ship LHG left Wiseman's on the return journey at 1220 hours on Sunday and made good progress until Bar Point was reached. Here we ran into a head wind and when the Hawkesbury Bridge was reached all cameras were out but not very many shots were taken as the afternoon was dull and the choppiness of the water made high shutter speeds necessary. Once we left the Hawkesbury and came out into the open area of Broken Bay our speed was reduced to a crawl and we burnt petrol at such a rate we had to put into Jerusalem Bay to get some more. Unfortunately the boatshed was closed and we had to borrow some from another Halvorsen with the aid of rubber tubing (from a snakebite outfit) of approximately 1/8“ diameter, and a two-pint billycan. The headwinds had already made us late and this last operation held us back nearly another hour with the consequence that we arrived back at Bobbin Head Boatshed nearly two hours later than we had told them to expect us.

Nevertheless we had had a great weekend and I can truthfully say the most enjoyable I've spent for years. Naturally Halvorsen's aren't exactly hired for nothing but the total cost for each member of our party of five (the boat will comfortably hold six) including food and all fuel, etc. was £3.10.0. Considering all the mod. cons. aboard (such as icechest, gas stove, Dunlopillo mattresses on all four bunks and more for free if wanted, radio, WC., etc.) and the privacy, and the choice of going or stopping as you feel, this is a fleabite.

(Note. By special arrangement with the management several snaps of the extensive spinebashing are on view on the notice board for the benefit of other prospectives.)

Ideas And Suggestions For The Reunion.

Last year's Reunion Committee, consisting of Gil Webb, Kevin Ardill, Ern French and Edna Stretton, has been reformed to organise the coming Reunion. When this Committee meets in the near future various items will come up for discussion so if anyone has any suggestions for the following subjects please contact a Committee member and pass on your ideas.

  1. Opening procedure for the campfire - this must be simple and impressive.
  2. Initiation ceremony for new members - this must be short and sweet but we do not want a repetition of last year's effort where we almost killed some of the unfortunate victims.
  3. Activities etc. for Sunday - such things as damper competitions and the like.

One other point, campfire items in the form of songs, sketches and entertainment from members or groups of members are required so why not get your heads together now, and work out some really good sketches? Gil Webb will be enquiring for such items for inclusion in the campfire programme. Remember it's your Reunion, so let's get together and make it the best ever.

With Eyes That Do Not See.

By Allen A. Strom.

Maybe you've met him too! The bloke who's GOT to have it rough and tough, who laughs at the simple beauty of a rural setting and whose parochial limits of mind lead him to believe that there's no land but the Blue Mountains. You organise yourself flat to get the party through new country, you feel flushed with success; he growls about the waste of time and money… the bloke that looks with eyes that do not see!

Perhaps I've got things wrong; but for what it's worth, I'd like to contend that there's more in our ramblings than “getting on to good walking country”. Often we are ready to give opinions on technical problems of land usage and to bandy geographical terms because we've “been about”. If that is so, then let's see that the trips we organise aim at giving a clear concept of the build of our native land and how Man is using (or mis-using) it.

It is not enough to look however, since one must see with knowing eyes – an uncommon attribute of your common and garden variety of tourist who, having heard the jargon “education by travel”, continues to perambulate with self-satisfaction but very little benefit.

It is very difficult to give children from the West a clear conception of a mountain or to adequately impress upon them the difficulties that the broken, stoney ridges gave the early explorers. Conversely, I have met many grown-ups who thought the world was a land of mountains and coastal plains. The city dweller is particularly prone to these errors of judgment and there would appear to be much of this kind of ignorance wrapped up in the urban versus rural hatreds.

On the score of this hypothesis, any land is worth visiting, at least once if not more frequently…. and this can apply even to the most wretched; for as citizens we are often called upon to approve or disapprove of government policy (or public opinion) with regard to such lands. Even beauty has no particular habitat as Paterson reminds us…

“River or maintain or shining star,
There's never a sight can beat …
Away to the skyline stretching far,
The endless mile of the wheat.”

Have you ever tried to visualise a district before you visited it? Perhaps we read what we can and build upon the concepts that past experiences have given. Not infrequently we miss the 'bus' entirely. So often the source of information is doubtful … written at second or third hand or worse. Has your idea of tableland, or slopes, or Riverina, or Gippsland always measured up in actuality? Does a trip leave an impression of the land's geography upon you?

An efficient map reader whilst looking at flat sheets, transforms the details into relief; mental recall of the map will come thereafter, in relief, assisted therein by actual observations in the field. Our geographical knowledge of our native land needs to bear that stamp … the land in relief, plants and animals, Man's pursuits and social living knit together like a mighty jig-saw all built up by first hand observation from eyes that look AND SEE. This is patriotism of the first order!

The North Of England.

By E. Rowen.

It's not far. off Springtime in England and this period could be ideally spent in the Lake District.

The days are frosty and there is still a bit of snow on the mountains. The ideal starting off place is Windermere, situated on Lake Windermere, site of many speedboat records. On arrival at Windermere we have usually made for the Y.H.A. Hostel just outside the town and spent the night there.

The next day can be spent walking across to Grasmere via Ambleside. Ambleside is situated at the north end of Lake Windermere and is a very pretty place. Incidentally, it is possible to take trips on Lake Windermere, steamers making round trips. From Ambleside we continue on to Grasmere for the night.

Grasmere is another pretty spot and was where the famous Wordsworth had his home. His grave can be seen in the churchyard.

From Grasmere we set out over Helvellyn to Patterdale on Lake Ullswater. The climb up to Helvellyn is quite enjoyable and the top of this mountain, when reached, is as flat as a pancake. In fact, there is a tablet stating that a small aircraft had once landed there.

From the top we go down to Patterdale via Striding Edge, a sawtooth ridge stretching down into the valley. Although quite accessible, this ridge has a few exciting spots on it.

After spending the night at Patterdale we walk over the hills to Keswick. A pleasant walk, but without any outstanding features.

Keswick is probably the largest of the Lakeland villages. To the north Saddleback Mountain rises up, while Lake Derwentwater lies to the south.

From Keswick we go by bus to Seetoller from where we start to climb by the road up to the Homster Pass. Almost at the top of the Pass is a state quarry and one can spend an hour or so watching the large slabs of slate being split up into house slates. The splitting is done by hand and the slates are used throughout the British Isles instead of tiles.

From Homster we climb up on to Green Gable, down a saddle and up on to Great Gable (the climber's paradise). From the top of Great Gable the view is magnificent looking down Wastwater. On the left hand side of Wastwater are Wasdale Screes and during storms the lightning sometimes strikes the screes which move down into the Lake causing a tidal wave. Some years ago a car travelling along the road on the opposite side of the lake was wrecked by one of the waves and the occupants killed.

Just under Great Gable is Black Sail Pass and there is a Youth Hostel in this Pass which is most useful, particularly to climbers who wish to spend a few days on Great Gable.

After the night at Black Sail Hut we set out over the Pass down to the foot of Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. Climbing to the top a similar view to that from Great Gable is obtained, but we must regretfully move on via Langdale Pikes to Grasmere.

The times involved in this average a day between Youth Hostels. However a check can readily be made at any of the Y.H.A. centres in England who have booklets on the various districts you wish to visit and make suggestions as to trips.

We Came Of Age.

By Brian G. Harvey.

Now that we have enthusiastically embarked upon preparations for the celebration of our Silver Anniversary in October, with Ball and all, the question of whether we should publish a Special Silver Anniversary Magazine in October to mark the occasion is sure to arise before long. The occasion surely warrants a special issue where Club history can be recorded and be kept as a souvenir of the happy celebrations we hope will take place.

In October 1948 when we turned twentyone (we all remember the “Dungowan”) we dashed off a 34-page Extra Special Number (with specially printed cover), comprising an ordinary monthly issue with its usual features, followed by the Twentyfirst Anniversary Supplement covering the first Minutes, press cuttings of the embryo movement to form the Club, Constitution, Blue Gum Reservation, and the like. All very interesting to read and look back on. (By the way, we still have a few copies left, obtainable from the Business Manager for 6d. per copy, for those who were not fortunate enough to be members in 1948!!)

So that the magazine should have been available at the usual cost of 6d. per copy, the Club agreed to subsidise the Magazine to the extent of its loss due to the large amount of paper, etc. used, without any increase in price, and which amounted, I think, to about £3.17.0. With present day costs, a similar reimbursement would be about £8, perhaps £9.

I have no doubt that, put to a General Meeting, repetition of the special issue would be greatly favoured. However the Editor cannot be expected to write it up himself, so before you vote an such a proposition it would be as well to find out if the matter is assured of definite support in the form of articles suitable to the occasion. If a few would like to club together we can produce photographs of which the magazine will share half cost, which would be about £3 to any group sufficiently interested to put in a few bob each for the benefit of he many.

Have you any ideas for the February General Meeting?

To Make Damper.

By Jim Brown (AnotheR Cook).

For those walkers who propose to make dampers on an extended trip, this recipe is provided:


  • 2 lbs. plain flour
  • Baking Powder (or self-raising flour)
  • Small quantity of fat
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 2 loaves stale bread


  • 2 plates - one large, one small
  • 1 billy - 2 1/2 pint-size
  • 1 billy - 4 pint-size
  • One walker with long finger nails
  • One walker with keen nose (May be the same person)


  • Roll up shirt sleeves.
  • Place about 1 lb. of flour on the smaller plate, and add baking powder (fruit salts or wood ash may be used in an emergency, but the use of self raising flour should obviate emergencies). Keep about 1 lb. of flour in reserve (the reason will become apparent later).
  • Add water and knead with the hands, and knead with the hands, and knead with the hands. Add more water and knead with the hands, and etc. etc. After a time the dough will begin to flow off the plate. This means that the mixture is too wet. Hence your reserve flour. Sprinkle liberally on the dough, and knead with the hands, etc.
  • Presently you will notice that the atmosphere is misty with flour dust. This means that the mixture is too dry. By this time the dough has crept up your fingers to the wrist, so you call for more water. Your assistant explains that the water bucket is empty, so you send him post haste for more. Desist while he is absent, or you will dissipate too much precious flour.
  • On return, add water generously, and knead with the hands, etc. This will make the dough sloppy so that it will creep up to your elbows (hence rolling up the sleeves). The ball of dough will have diminished to the size of a golf ball. Summon the walker with long finger nails to scrape you down - this can be done by a combination of scratching down to palm level, and “milking” your fingers individually - provided the digits can be isolated.
  • Transfer the whole mess to the 2 1/2-pint billy, and add the residue of the flour. Knead with the hands. You will soon find that the dough is unmanageable in the billy, so move it to the larger plate, and continue to knead with the hands. The mixture will soon be too dry, so you must add water sparingly (allow for sweating from forearms) and knead with the hands. The mixture should gradually become damper (go on, laugh, damn you). Have your long-nailed friends scrape you down periodically, and continue to knead with the hands.
  • After an interminable time you will have a dough of the right consistency. If you haven't, you'd better give it a go anyhow. Have a final rub-down, and assemble the mixture into one fairly comprehensive rounded lump. Since you have used all your flour, grease the bottom of the 4-pint billy slightly (hence the fat). Pick up the blob of damper and place it centrally in the billy. Invert the lid. Wash the surplus mess off your hands and forearms, scrape away the coals from the bottom of the fire, place the billy there and heap embers around and on top of it.
  • Bring your keen-nosed walker close to the fire, and move away from the fire or right out of the hut (if in one) yourself. To relax your nerves you may smoke, drink strong tea or coffee, but should not administer alcohol in any form. Keep well away, for the watcher must not be confused with any exotic or unfamiliar smell. All efforts must be bent on sniffing for the first smell of baking. Cooking time will range from ten minutes to an hour and a half.
  • If, after an hour, no savour of baking is detected, remove the billy from fire and lift lid, pouring in some charcoal in the process. If black, sack the watch-keeper and treat with nasal inhalants and cough mixture: if white, replace in fire (the billy, not the watch-keeper) and repeat the process, until the load has risen well and is nicely browned.
  • About this time you will discover that you haven't added the salt.

Anyway, it was an interesting experiment and you can eat the two loaves of stale bread (hence the bread - it'll be stale by this time anyway).

"One Ear To The Ground."

During the January General Meeting quite a lot of reference was made to the regulations governing burning off at certain times of the year. One member wants to know if this applies to bushwalkers as well as bushfires!


Glad to see Eric Pegram has returned to the fold. Perhaps a warning should be issued that those long legs of Eric's are capable of covering country at a surprising rate and hobbles might well be carried by any leader who is fortunate to enjoy the company of the boy wanderer.


Bob and”Billy“ Bright are spending several months holiday in Australia from New Guinea. Conditions up there seem to suit them both physically and financially to judge from the car they have been driving around in.


Trust S.B.W's to enjoy Christmas away from home! One party (no names, but one of the ladies is prominent socially on the Committee) had their grog sent into the Reserve ready for the celebrations. It's not uncommon to get a white Christmas in Tassy but they made sure they had a wet one.


Shirley King left these shores in the “Strathaird” for England's green pastures. She intends to follow Frank Leyden's example and see as much of Europe whilst earning Sterling. Her present address in England is - C/- Mrs. Wilderspin, “Te-Kianga”, Ivy Road, Vange, Essex, England.


Congratulations to - Mary and Roy Braithwaite, on the birth of a daughter: Shirley Evans and Kevin Dean, who have announced their engagement.


Innocents abroad. Frank Leyden sends his very kind regards to his S.B.W. friends. He and Leon Blumer have been climbing among the highest peaks in the Austrian Tyrol.


Skiing Enthusiasts. Len Scotland is endeavouring to form a skiing party with the view of booking Bett's Camp, if possible during the latter half of the month of July. The hut has accommodation for 16. Would interested members see Len in the Clubroom or write him at 28 Figtree Avenue, Randwick, without delay.


We Don't Like To Harp but there's a number of you good folk who have not yet “come good” with your Magazine Annual Subscription for 1952. As mentioned last month, the subscription expired with the January issue. Out of our goodness of heart we are posting magazines to those who subscribed last year, knowing full well credit is right. But don't try us out too far, please! In case you've forgotten, the rate for copies posted to your address is 7/6d. per annum. Held in the Clubroom - 5/-. Don't delay.


Most trees must be feminine, They do a strip tease in the autumn months, display bare limbs in winter, dress up enchantingly every spring, and live off the sap all summer.

Federation Notes.

Brian G. Harvey.

Kosciusko Area.

Federation has received from the organisers of Kunama Hutte Project an invitation to become Foundation Subscribers to the proposed scheme to erect a hut on the slopes of Mount Northcote, near Kunama Creek. The hut has normal accommodation for eight, with four emergency beds. Any bushwalker or skier may subscribe, the subscription being £25. Further details may be obtained from Mr. M.W. Anton, 36a Mona Street, Darling Point, 'phone FM4122. Interested parties should not delay.

Federation Reunion.

Will be held over weekend 29/30th March. Clubs are requested to suggest a suitable site which has not been burnt out by recent bushfires.

Proposed Bushfire Fighting and Flood Rescue Section.

The notice of motion was again discussed at some length and suggestion was made that there should be two distinct divisions and that the work of the Groups would be simply co-operation with established authorities. Federation is approaching (a) Bushfire Advisory Committee and (b) the Police Department, to ascertain whether walkers could practically assist.

Norton's Basin.

Solicitors representing the owners of the North and North-East banks advise camping on these banks is prohibited during dry weather. Permission may be granted by the lawyers at other times. Federation Secretary will supply address if required.

Kurnell Peninsula.

It is reported that Caltex is seeking to establish an Oil Refinery alongside the Captain Cook Landing Reserve and partly on the area recently won by conservation bodies. Strong protests are going forward.

Bushfire Spotting In National Park.

No definite arrangements have been finalised with Park Management. Way may be laid for proper organisation next summer.

Narrow Neck Lands.

It is reported surveyors will soon be active in investigation of the requested reserves in Narrow Neck - Ruined Castle Areas.

Definition of a Primitive Area.

A definition has been suggested by the Australian Museum and forwarded to the Wild Life Preservation Society for consideration. Federation Conservation Bureau will also review.

Amendment of Constitution.

Notice of Motion has been submitted so that a quorum may be constituted by nine qualified delegates representing five affiliated clubs.

Cruising Canoe Club.

Has been admitted as an affiliated member.

Prices At Paddy Pallin's.

Prices Present Posers for Paddy. In common with most people Paddy is constantly faced with the problem of costs. Rising costs must be passed an eventually but Paddy delays the process as long as possible, and makes every endeavour to stem the rising costs. Like Canute, however, he cannot cause the tide to stop flowing. Fortunately, the small staff which has been kept during the reconstruction period are a good team and the man-hours production is high. Another fortunate circumstance is that owing to the fire and the consequent low-rate of usage of japara, Paddy still has stocks of cloth which were bought at considerably less than present day prices. The benefit of this is passed on of course.

Walkers can rest assured that they can always get from Paddy Pallin the best quality gear at prices which compare more than favourably with any such gear in Australia.

Note for Skiers. Paddy has skis, stocks and other accessories bought at last year's price and on which last year's Sales Tax was paid. Prudent skiers are advised to make a deposit now to secure goods for the coming Season at last year's prices.

Paddy Pallin, Camp Gear For Walkers.

'Phone: M2678. 201 Castlereagh Street, (Between Park and Bathurst Streets) Sydney.

195202.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/31 15:12 by tyreless

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