Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
No.223. June, 1953. Price 6d.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps St, Drummoyne|
|Sales & Subs.||Jess Martin|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey (JW1462)|
|Editorial - The Patient Rallies||1|
|Report on Progress at Bluegum||2|
|At the May General Meeting||3|
|The Evergreen Walkers||“Old Turps”||5|
|The Road To The Geehi||Jean Schoen||9|
|Further Working Bee Jottings||12|
|Gossip from Coal Mine Creek||13|
|Proposed Warringah National Park||14|
|The Quarantine Station at North Head||14|
|The Stream - The Cause||Len Scotland||15|
|Federation Notes - May Meeting||Allen A. Strom||17|
|Leica Photo Service||3|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Scenic Motor Tours||9|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||11|
|Keeping Warm In Winter - Paddy's Advertisement||18|
Editorial - The Patient Rallies.
In the years that followed hard upon the last world war there was a kind of “boom” in bushwalking, and probably more people were taking their packs to the bush than ever before. It was, however, a variety of inflation and characterised by a certain bubble-like quality. The bubble didn't exactly burst, but tended to fade away until, in the lean years of 1950-51-52, we saw the passing of several Sydney walking clubs, and the reduction of others to “stagnant ponds” (the phrase is not ours). In fact, from what we can find out, the process is still going on in some other walking and allied clubs.
At the nadir of the depression our own walking activity was at a very low level, and there were week-ends when every programme walk failed - either through lack of starters or lack of real enthusiasm on the part of the leader. In fact, it was doubtful if as many as 50% of our official walks took place, and there were certainly no ambitious private trips competing for the small number of members who were going to the bush. During 1950 a working bee at Era was attended by seven members: in April, 1951, the Cromach Club organised a working bee in Blue Gum Forest, and wide publicity was given through Federation. The attendance was 12 - half of them from the organising club. Those were meagre days.
Now, there is a breath of spring in the air again. In this club there is a genuine interest in walking, and many official walks are reasonably well patronised. The walks programme and the trips of private parties demonstrate a pioneering spirit. The whole attitude to walking has changed into one of enthusiasm.
That alone could be cause for satisfaction. But the working bee in Blue Gum Forest at the end of April proved something else, something far more significant. The very fact that over thirty Club members were prepared to give up a week end of exquisite weather to a cause or ideal shows that we are tapping a spirit similar to that of the early walkers. The work was by no means light, some members burdened themselves with packs they would not normally dream of carrying, worked until darkness suspended the job, and were at it before sunrise next morning.
When a Club can work as a team with enthusiasm of that kind, there is nothing much to fear. The patient is well past the stage of sitting up and taking a little nourishment.
Report On Progress At Blue Gum.
At the weekend of 16/17th May we inspected the results of the Working Bee. The silt-pack is still there, though slightly battered by the flooding of the previous fortnight. A considerable amount of sand and debris has been piled against the bank end, and there is no flow at this point. Further out, towards the river oak, some of the upright piles have been shifted, and there is a trickle of water here. The old main channel, above the weir, has become a backwater, and about 75% of the flow follows the diversion channel, now much widened and scoured out.
The only pronounced weakness at present is just below the silt pack, where some of the flow of the river leaves the diversion channel and runs around behind the river oak to join the old bed. This is not prone to damage the bank under existing conditions, but further floods could convert it to the main channel, so outflanking the silt pack. Parties travelling through Blue Gum can assist by piling further stones across this deviation and coaxing more water to keep to the midstream channel.
Much of the trees which were gelignited has been carried away. Some further debris has been brought down, and may represent a hazard at some future date, depending on the behaviour of floods to come.
At The May General Meeting.
We were about 50 in number for the meeting of May 8th, and, with no victim for next year's initiations, plunged into affairs, following the minutes with the election of Yvonne Renwick as Membership Secretary, and Beryl Christiansen as Committee Member in succession to Elsie Bruggy (previously promoted). Incoming correspondence included an offer from the CSIRO Skiing Club of accommodation at their new hut near Perisher Gap at £3.15.0 per week - see prospective member Dick Hoffman or 'phone him at MW2484 - extension 261.
No further points of debate until, after Federation Report, Allen Strom formally moved Committee's recommended motion concerning erection of a Youth Hostel at Middle Rill, Garie. This was to the effect that no objection would be raised to such a building, but that the whole policy of building huts in National Parks was a different matter, and each case should be treated on its merits. Alex Colley added an amendment, outlining as reasons for this attitude the points that Garie was already virtually “developed” and had a road access. Discussion followed, the point being made by Allen Strom that reserves were frequently made for “public recreation” and it would be plainly absurd to try to keep the public out of them, which would merely diminish our case for such reserves. Portions should be kept primitive, of course. Several members felt that we should not signify acceptance of any buildings in parklands, but finally the motion was carried (as amended).
Tom Moppett reported on the working bee at Blue Gum, with a reference to the “several satisfying gelignite explosions”. A motion that we express our appreciation to YMCA Ramblers and Bexley Scouts for assistance given at Blue Gum was carried.
In General Business Neil Schafer commented on the regrettable tendency at Members' Slide Nights for too many slides to be presented so that the show became unduly protracted. He moved that we restrict the number of slides to be shown by one member on any particular night to about 25 or 30. Other thoughts followed, Frank Rigby pointing out that a member may have a series to show, and suggesting a limit on the total number to be displayed. Kevin Ardill was not for any restriction which would perhaps discourage people from exhibiting, but thought an intermission to allow people to stretch their limbs would be wise. Ken Meadows conjured up an amendment that the exhibitors consult with the Social Secretary (or his deputy) who would arrange a programme and fix time and other necessary limits. This was the way we decided finally.
Efforts for the night were almost spent, and with an announcement extraordinary from the Social Secretary that the Christmas Party this year would be at the R.S.L. Hall in Elizabeth Street an December 4th, tickets probably 15/- per head, we had settled all natters on and off the agenda, and the rest of the evening was ours from about 9 p.m.
Federation Ball of 1953.
Dancing 8.30 p.m. to 1.30 a.m. at the Federation Ball of 1953.
To be held at the Paddington Town Hall, Monday, September 14th.
Bring your friends - Make it a party. Tickets: 17/6 each. Bookings now open with the Social Secretary.
June 27-28-29: Hill Top - Nattai River - Central Burragorang.
Leader Frank Barr is being sent to the country for a time at that date, and Frank Rigby (Telephone LA4371 (Business), JA5359 (Home)) will lead instead.
The Evergreen Walkers.
By “Old Turps”.
Notwithstanding the criticism which has from time to time been levelled at their heads, I don't think the framers of our much-maligned Constitution ever envisaged the development of Object 5 to the extent to which it has materialised. It reads:- “To promote social activity amongst members”. Apart from the full Official Social Programme, during the last couple of years there has been more non-official activity than ever I can recall. Never have there been so many convivial congregations at one anothers' homes, droppings-in-for-afternoon-teas, wedding receptions, back-yard campfires and exchange of Christmas cards - all events completely outside the official orbit.
It is not without good reason that all this has come about. With five-and-twenty years behind us, many firm and lasting friendships have sprung up. It stands to reason a number of the “old hands” are not so active walkers as they used to be - not because they are “old” in years or physically incapable - but because they have other commitments which restrict their potentialities to follow their more youthful bents in the walking field. They have been retrained from weekend walks, which provided that campfire camaraderies, and the Friday night Clubroom gatherings.
The depression years, culminating in the War, prevented many from marrying as young as they would have wished, and they since have taken that (doubtful) step. Others - the younger generation - have been more fortunate in being in the midst of a boom period, and they have joined the ranks of the married couples (at the specially reduced annual subs. too). As was very evident at the last Annual Reunion, the net result of both pre- and post- war categories has assured the Club of an ever-growing band of rising young potential walkers to follow in their fond parents' footprints. But the point is that for the present the said fond parents don't get “out” very often, except perhaps in cars or to some easily accessible spot to which young children can walk or be carried, whilst Friday night visits to the Club are limited to one parent.
On the other hand, great difficulty in home-building forced many to tackle the job themselves - at the weekends - or do a great deal of the work performed by the contractors in pre-war days. This, too, has taken a heavy toll of their weekend time amongst the rock-choppers, tree-pullers, stump-grubbers, drain-diggers and wheelbarrow-pushers within our numbers. All in all, many of the members whose names grace the Active Member List are far from “active” but they still retain that strong bond of friendship gained in earlier years and which finds expression and gratification in these non-official gatherings which they find so convenient to attend. Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings have provided much more convenient opportunities of “promoting social activity” so that members with youngsters, or others similarly tied down with the toils, can foregather in the suburban home with reasonable transport and all the other facilities which make the occasion very enjoyable. Private “slide nights” have been exceedingly popular now that coloured films are the vogue - in the luxury of the lounge rooms followed by a delectable supper. Perhaps a sherry or two, but tut-tut, enough of that. Well, perhaps not enough, and then over-spaced.
I do not wish to infer that all these good people have “gone soft” or thrown in the sponge as far as walking is concerned - far from it… but their hearts are still in the bushlands and these fraternisations fulfil a want denied them by the turn of events. To make these functions more enjoyable, invitations have been extended to those contemporaries who are still active in the field, so that each event is a minor reunion in itself. And no doubt, we shall see many of these “displaced persons” an the track once again as things sort themselves out.
Falling into the “home-building” category, it has been my pleasure to entertain SBW friends at backyard campfires, burning up the old stumps cast aside in the days of stump-grubbing and tree-pulling. Having obtained the necessary permit from the Ku-Ring-Gai Council to light a fire during the Bushfire Danger Period, such campfire was held on 21st February, with a goodly assembly of “old” familiar faces drawn from the noble lands of Beecroft, up the line through the woody slopes of Normanhurst, down the North Shore line with its coffee-drinkers, past the Gordon Highlanders and the jaguar forests of Roseville. We even raised couple from Castlecrag.
Suitable seeds had been sown earlier in unofficial discussions at “lower levels” on the merits of some permanent social organisation to meet the situation which was developing, and when the campfire conversation was skillfully brought round to the subject, it took on like wildfire. Why not a club for “retired bushwalker”, someone put forward. Yes, every school has its Old Boys Union - why not a similar ancillary amongst SBW members. It was pointed out that “old boys” or “worn out” members were not involved but that many hale and hearty stalwarts should be provided. We would form a club with a real bush tang. Just behind, and in the red glow of the fire, stood a straight young turpentine, or Syncarpia. Ah, that was it - “The Syncarpia Club”. Mention of the syncarpia conjured up Pleasant memories of Syncapia Camp - that delightful stand of turpentines below Grand Canyon, and from then it was “on”, someone having moved that “We do here and now form the Syncarpia Club”. It is Perhaps worthy of mention that the turpentine is an evergreen and white-ant resistant - both good attributes for dormant bushwalkers - it augured well!!
Pencils and paper were produced; we would have no long-winded Constitution, and there and then drew up and finally decided what would be a workable proposition, inter alia:
(a) Name: The Syncarpia Club.
(b) Objects: To amalgamate and to promote and maintain social contact between those accredited bushwalkers whose active participation in bushwalking is curtailed for reasons considered valid and substantial by the founders of the Club and/or their successors.
© Membership: Except foundation members, shall be by the unanimous invitation of members present at a duly constituted meeting and shall be limited to bush walkers whose bushwalking activities are restricted by reasons considered valid and substantial as per (a) and/or those association is considered a mutual advantage to the wellbeing of the Club.
(d) Office Bearers: President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, two male and two female committeemen.
(e) Meetings: To be held at not more than two-monthly intervals, with Annual General Meeting in May of each year, commencing May 1954.
(f) Subscription: Commencing with 5/- per annum on familial basis, subject to annual review.
It will be appreciated from the foregoing rigid regimentation was not sought. Meetings would be made to coincide as far as possible with social functions, but no doubt there will be more social events than meetings. As provided in the Constitution, admission is by invitation only. A certain amount of tact will have to be used in this regard as we know some folk whose eyebrows would be permanently raised at the “very idea” of associating with the stagnant throng. (A lot has been said about the SBW being stagnant anyhow.) However if there are any “bodies” we have overlooked and think they would be eligible, and would like to be considered, they are welcome to pass the word on through the grapevine. A glance at the suburbs from whence the founders at the inaugural meeting hailed will give vital clues as to identity. We firmly believe the formation of this Club has filled a definite want on the North Shore and it is likely others will be formed in other areas, e.g. the St. George District, where one or two we know of are hibernating.
The deliberations in drawing up the Constitution had gone on without regard to time and before we realised it it was after midnight. Those with cars slipped away, dropping those less fortunate along the route. It was a lucky coincidence that the Sunday walk next day commenced from Wahroonga Station, about a mile away. Some who intended attending the walk had brought their sleeping bags to the fire. It was a beautiful night and, tired out by this time, they curled up alongside the glowing embers, under the stars. They were all sound asleep next morning when I went out at 6 a.m. to awaken them by pulling their legs, just as I have pulled yours for the past three pages.
Anyway, what I want to know is what will we do with the folk who haven't the time or opportunities to even join the Syncarpia Club?
Don Read by the “Strathnaver” to England on May 7th - learn the ship took it tough across the Bight - hope Don is a good sailor.
Doris Allden, after some years in Melbourne, to England for the Coronation.
Gwen and Sam Myers, those son Michael Allan was born during the opening days of May… and to Wal Roots, who thereby becomes a grandad again.
Rita and Bill Kinley, who were -married late in April. And that's why we haven't seen much of Bill lately!
Neil Schafer protests against the inclusion of spiders as “insects” in John Bookluck's article of last issue. Technically correct, of course!
A bearded bushwalker named Schafer
Squashed a spider as flat as a wafer
Then he said “I don't care
To have spiders in there -
Insects in my breeks are much safer.
Something went awry an the day walk of May 10th, when five-sevenths of the party went out on the wrong train and the leader, with David Ingram, had already departed Waterfall Station when the tail arrived. A hot pursuit toward Mt. Westmacott followed, and presently the sweating rearguard sighted two figures at the trig. A frightful ululation ensued, and David observed loftily “Scouts”. Then, peering over the rim he was hailed “Stay there Ingram!”. Much abashed they remained for the joyful reunion.
The Road To The Geehi.
(From Jean Schoen: now working with the Snowy Mts. Authority at Cooma.)
The Authority announced last Thursday (April 24rd) that it would hold a three-day trip to the Geehi - Saturday and Sunday and Monday off on full pay, cost approximately £3.10.0. Only ten people were able to attend this trip, two Holdens being made available, two of the ten volunteering to act as drivers. I no sooner read the circular than I had filled in my application, and was fortunate enough to be one of the ten.
I've left Cooma early on Saturday morning, lunching at the hotel at Talbingo. Then on to Tumut for petrol and a visit to the Authority's representative there. Batlow, Tumbarumba, Tooma, Tintaldra and finally Corryong in Victoria, which was our destination for Saturday night. As you can imagine, our speed was amazing. We practically took off from Cooma and touched down only three times before arrival. Had a comfortable night in the pub at Corryong, but only a cold tea, so, when the publican gave us the run of his lounge, including log fire, we finished the day by frying sausages and toasting bread with a guard posted outside the lounge room door. Fortunately, there were very few other guests, and they were pretty far gone, it being Anzac Day. No doubt the host wondered next morning where all the crumbs came from!
Mr. Gilfillan, who is in charge of works in the Geehi region, came into Corryong to meet us the next morning and we followed him in via Bringenbrong and Khancoban (which consists of two houses, one being the P.O.) to Indi Camp, where the surveyors are under canvas. Their tents are neatly set out in two rows, each tent with a nameplate and one labelled “Visitors”, the office being a tin shack with a tremendous fireplace. It is located in lovely bushland and the stands of timber are some of the best I have ever seen.
At Indi Camp we changed into Land Rovers as it is not possible to do this trip in cars, and went down the so-called Geehi Wall to Geehi Camp. This road is the steepest the Authority has ever built, and that is saying something! Geehi Camp is beautifully situated in a hollow with the Geehi River close by and a magnificent view of the Western Faces. Regional Headquarters is a hut approximately 9 ft. by 15-ft. and staff and wages quarters are of proportionate dimensions. All very rough, but could be quite fun to live there for two to three months. The cookhouse is quite roomy and built of stones, and has a beaut. archway erected in front of it on which is mounted the skull of a cow. Quite imposing!
After being treated to cups of tea by the cook, we climbed back into our Land Rovers and followed a road up the Geehi River to within three or four miles of Windy Creek, which is as far as the access track is through at the moment, and watched road building operations there. We saw the bulldozer push the rubble over the edge and it was quite eerie to hear the avalanche down into the valley. The men that build these roads are truly amazing. The slope is very steep indeed and the Road Location Man had been through there blazing the trees and selecting the route. However, he must have strapped himself to the trees, for I cannot see how he could have had a foothold. All the way out to Windy Creek we had the main range on our right, and the most magnificent panoramas unfolded themselves at every bend of the road. Naturally the camera enthusiasts had a field day.
From there we retraced our steps part of the way and went down a half-formed track to Bogong Creek (the approximate site of a future power station). We were the first white women down this road and it was quite hair raising. At one hairpin bend we nearly failed to make it. Our front wheels stopped three inches away from the edge which was soft and over an 800-ft. drop. We prudently got out, except the driver, who must be given the credit of getting the car around all right. Boiled the billy at Bogong Creek and munched sausages and back again to the top, where we arrived without mishap.
As we were to see everything there was to see, Mr. Gilfillan now took us on to the road which has been built to Tom Grogin, and we even went past this well-known spot, Victoria being again close enough to touch, only several yards of river separating it from N.S.W. On the way back we inspected the Tom Grogin Indi River gauging station, and then back to Indi Camp, where we arrived about 7 p.m. I might add that Geehi cattle lived up to their reputation by chasing one of the Land Rovers, luckily not for very long. For those interested I might add that a suspension bridge (3 tons) across the Swamp Plains River has been built and is now open to vehicle traffic. The road is quite reasonable, and there should be no difficulty in getting in provided reasonable care is taken, though as it is an access track only, there are gutters every few yards which have to be negotiated very slowly.
We were given the run of the fireplace at Indi Camp and again made sausages and Sao biscuits vanish in double quick time. Said goodbye to Mr. Gilfillan and the surveyors and went on to Tumbarumba for the night, arriving there well after 11 p.m. As we had had a comparatively light lunch and not very much for tea, I'm afraid most of us spent the time between going to bed and falling asleep thinking of the gnawing emptiness in our stomachs. Paid the penalty next day when at breakfast time most of us suffered from dizziness but soon recovered after the meal.
From Tunbarumba we returned to Cooma via Batlow, which is a very pretty and fertile area with apple trees everywhere. We stopped again for petrol at Tumut and this time lunched at Yarrangobilly, which is a good place to by-pass when an a budget. Lunch came to 9/- each! - while Talbingo Hotel charges only 5/6d.
Returned to Cooma in time for tea at the mess on Monday night, the whole weekend having cost us £3.9.3 each, which includes hotel accommodation and meals. We were all agreed that it was well worth it and that we would do it again - any time.
Whisper and we shall hear… who was the member who turned up for a recent day walk carrying an umbrella and no pack?
Further Working Bee Jottings.
To the keeper of Club Records… the following people were observed, standing up, with eyes open and showing signs of animation at 6.03 a.m. on Saturday, April 25th, at Perry's Lockdown: Swain, Miss B., Wilson, Mr. A., Anderson, Mr. B.
(Hey, how did this get through? - we declined to disclose the names last issue. - Editor.)
Our magnanimous President (“Slave Driver” “S. Legree”) McGregor was heard offering triple time to anyone who would work a night shift at the Blue Gum Working Bee. Just imagine - three times the amount they were getting for day work!!!
War Cry of the Workers: “To the Hills!”
Committee has decided to re-examine Frank Ashdown on map-reading. He went walkabout in the wee hours of Sunday (at Blue Gum) and finished up trying to get into the Browns' tent.
Cooks Section - Working Bee Stew.
Put the ingredients from five packs into large billy, add water, place on fire and forget. When tasted and found to be burnt, disguise with curry powder and cinnamon. Serve with confidence.
Once again it has been proved that a leopard can't change its spots. A certain well-known Club identity was seen on numerous occasions heaving on the chain of the block and tackle. This chain-pulling urge was so strong that the same bloke entered the Grose chest deep at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday just to give the dam log (Note - No “N”) a few extra nudges towards its final resting place.
(Editorial comment - was it to get in training, or is it a new and insidious malaise? The gent reported above attained a measure of notoriety last August by hauling on a very small chain in a railway carriage. In December he was seen fondling a dog chain whilst visiting another walker's residence - there was no dog on the chain. Should we write Reg Winsor and caution him to watch all coupling chains used on NSWGR? Or is it only a frustration - must make a minute to check on his toilet next time over his way….)
Please to remember.
The great photographic exhibition of 1953 - June 26th.
Bring your prints in good and early. Impartial and incorruptible judging assured.
Gossip from Coal Mine Creek and "Mr." King George (see Walks Programme).
Neil Schafer appealed for any interesting specimens of fungi found growing on dead wood. Plucking at The Beard, he emphasised “dead wood”. No one was so unkind as to refer to logs.
The trip started inauspiciously by becoming lost in Blue Gum Forest. Ten minutes pest the foot of Perry's track the leader became suspicious and went down to the River, which was flowing the wrong way. Brilliant deduction by indifferent torch light led to the conclusion that the party was charging up Govett's Leap Creek.
Anyone desiring to be in on a bargain should consult Mr. F. Barr, who has lately acquired a 50-lbs. bag of Terry's meal. Recommended for walkers and chooks (fowls fed on it produce more and larger eggs - what it does to walkers isn't yet diagnosed). Frank's next project is to buy a ton lot in the interests of economy.
Return of the Pain in the Train. Ascent of “Mr. King George” had left its mark on the spindly shanks of Ray Bruggy. Whenever Elsie leaned on the limbs to communicate with others in the compartment, came the Bruggy screech “The Pain! Oh, the Pain!”
Comment on the knobbiness of the Bruggy Rucksack evoked the cryptic “Everything bulges except Bruggy”.
Frank Barr complained at Bell at the lack of worthwhile arguments with the tent-fellows. The onlooker reminded him of the battle over who should cook breakfast, who should rise first and start the fire, who should carry the tent… At this stage “You dirty mugs!” quoth Barr “And you let me carry it all day!” (Note: If Messrs. D. Brown, F. Barr and G. Wagg want post-graduate instruction in the refinements of arguing, we recommend the old firm of Leyden, Cosgrove and Scotland).
The prospective wasn't very happy. He'd brought a rope to haul packs up Coal Mine Creek, and it wasn't needed. Then he fell for the lift-up seat in the box carriage going home. The final indignity was when someone tripped the catch of the door behind his back. Ah, the rope! the rope! The trip finished with lavvy door moored to the rack.
Three years ago at the end of May Fireworks Ridge at Euroka Clearing was named. This year the Instructional Weekend of May 23/24 formally dubbed Rocket Ridge and Cracker Camp. No burns requiring first aid were recorded. No one took off at the tail of a rocket. It was a quiet weekend (well, almost).
Perhaps the elusive George contributed to that quiet. He sneaked into the Ardill car somewhere between Sydney and Glenbrook and hid the half-dozen detonators Kevin had acquired for the occasion. Otherwise George was on his best behaviour, and no erratic compasses or misled parties were noted.
Proposed Warringah National Park.
Some 7 or 8 years ago the Federation placed before the Parks and Playgrounds Movement a scheme for a national park of about 4,000 acres, embracing the whole of the territory lying betWeen Elanora Golf Links and the newly opened Wakehurst Parkway, in the vicinity of Middle and Deep Creeks, Narrabeen.
It was anticipated that, consequent upon the opening of this fine roadway between Seaforth and Narrabeen, this land would be subdivided, sold and built upon.
Nearly all the land is in its natural state, rugged, hilly, road-less, and of little value excepting for its natural purpose, namely, public recreation. Along the banks of the creeks there are several lovely camping and picnicking flats.
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement asked the Government and the Warringah Shire Council to purchase the privately owned portions, and consolidate them and the existing reserves into a national park, but neither the Government nor the Council was willing to find the funds required.
About 2 or 3 years ago the Wild Life Preservation Society brought forward a still more ambitious proposal for an 8,000-acre park, which included the area above described. On this occasion high hopes for success were entertained, but the scheme was eventually turned down by the authorities.
Now the park plan has been revived owing to the offering for auction sale on 5th March last of 1280 acres (Portions 73, 76 and 77, Parish of Narrabeen) in the Estate of the late T.H. Kelly. These Portions are zoned as Rural Area in the County Plan, and therefore cannot be subdivided into blocks of less than 5 acres. The price required is only £6 per acre, but no buyer for the land has been found yet.
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement has asked the Government, the Cumberland County Council and the Warringah Shire Council to act quickly and secure this fine recreation area to form the nucleus of the proposed national park.
The Quarantine Station At North Head.
A great many residents of Manly have been trying for half a century to get the Quarantine Station moved from their vicinity.
From the public point of view the station (658 acres in area) is admirably located, and it has been developed and equipped to cope with any emergency in the event of a threat of the introduction of an epidemic from overseas.
Settlement of Manly Municipality has now extended to its boundaries, from both sides of The Corso, and some people (especially business men and politicians) see a potential housing settlement in the square mile occupied by the quarantine station.
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement, however, feeling that far too much of the harbour foreshores has already been alienated, visualise another fine foreshore park. The Movement's view is that the whole of the northern gateway to the harbour, being public property now, should remain so for all time.
There seems to be some doubt as to whether the Federal or State Government owns the land, though the buildings belong to the State.
Doubtless there will be the usual fight to retain in public ownership this magnificent square mile at the entrance to the harbour. The Movement has submitted its views to the Government and the Manly Council.
The Stream - The Cause.
By Len Scotland.
(Dedicated to those who walked - or tried to - during 1950. - Editor.)
Well, really, I suppose Jupiter Pluvius should get the blame. Inigo Jones was after all only his mouthpiece. No one took much notice when, back in 1949, he told us there would be no drought for 25 years. How true he was proved.
The papers were hard hit - their famous, or should I say 'infamous' headline “Lost Hiker” was no longer of use. There were no hikers; splashers, wallowers, drifters, floaters, yes, but no hikers. There could be no dramatised search. Where could one look? Mud, slush and water held no trace or if it did it was soon washed away by the incessant rain. Either one came back or one didn't, and that was that.
The ban against fires was lifted in 1950 - later replaced by one banning the extinguishing of fires. This was regarded as a bit of a joke as it took the utmost ingenuity to get one going. The time honoured scout method was useless without the addition of some inflammable petrol, kerosene or the Stead Secret Sodium which burns in water.
The frame pack went out of fashion, being replaced by two water-proof duffel bags lashed together and separately tied at the top to be watertight, thus being ready at all times to be used as a float.
Rubber flippers and water goggles were popular and many carried bamboo poles which had been drilled to allow air to pass down to the wayfarer crossing deep parts. Dormie Long sported a collapsible aluminium tube for the purpose - it did have the advantage of fitting in the pack.
The old fears no longer held sway - sandflies, mosquitoes, spiders and snakes took a back seat to leeches, which had developed to the size of a man's arm. If one got a proper hold you were done as you can well imagine. Luckily a repellant had been found. A paint consisting of equal parts of thin shellac and salt on exposed parts stopped them. Clem Hallstrom used to buy it in wholesale lots until he went broke. The older members were glad they didn't have to go out as they had seen the place before conditions got so trying, but this was one time they were determined not to miss the LAST Re-union, yes, the very last - things had got too bad.
It was to be held at Waterfall, which used to be spelled Waterfall. It was just the effect of environment on names - the climate had changed many of the names we knew quite a bit.
Some caught the “Splash-on-all” Park train to “Thunderland” and changed to the “Floater” a train past “Heathmoat” to Waterfall. Others caught a through train from the “Teeminal”. Some of the stations passed through were Wetfern, Wetskinville, Soddenham, Bogarah, Allawash, Hurstswill, Fenshurst and Boatley and so on to Waterfll a few stations before Water-lily Vale.
It was an amazing sight - 300 members, 300 fires, meta tablets, resin, pitch, petrol, kero, meth, persuaders, everything had been used to get the fires going.
Then it happened! Some said it was the concentrated heat turning the rain into steam and sending it up again. Some said it was the up draught forcing the clouds away, but whatever it was it stopped the rain and the whole forest was catching alight. The canvas bucket brigade was totally inadequate. We were soon beaten back - water buckets burning. The heat was too much for me. I fainted, and when I came to - the sun was shining right on me in the tent.
Note: There are still plenty of our 45-page Special Silver Anniversary Issue of the Magazine available. 6d. per copy - if posted 9d.
Don't miss the Walks Programme - September to December.
Batten on the Walks Secretary with details of your walk before the end of June - it goes to press in July.
1 1/2 and day-walks in great demand (by Walks Secretary).
Federation Notes - May Meeting.
By Allen A. Strom.
Paul Barnes has been invited to attend the next meeting of the Bushfire Committee to enter into some discussion of policy.
One Day Hikes:
The Railway Department has decided to arrange transport for One Day Hikes, during Sundays in the winter. The Federation has been asked to assist by arranging the hikes and to provide Leaders. It was decided to leave the matter in the hands of the Executive with the recommendation that all advice might be offered but that leadership of the hikes should be left for individuals to volunteer, through the Federation.
Search and Rescue Weekend, May 1/2nd:
was washed out. Another will be arranged later in the year. Date to be announced.
Paddington Town Hall, Monday, September 14th. Tickets, 17/6d. A Guessing Competition with a prize of Two Ball Tickets is being arranged to assist the Ball Fund - see Paul Barnes for details.
Mapping of the Dogs is to proceed first. The area has been divided into sections from Tin Pot to Little Cedar Creek. Various groups will check in the field over the next two months. People who can provide transport into the Megalong Valley are invited to volunteer.
Buildings in National Parks:
Discussion and report from Clubs could be summarised: “No objection to the erection of Hostel at Garie; buildings in National Parks generally, should be dealt with as they arise and on their merits”. No declared policy was approved.
"The Bushwalker" - Edition No.12:
The appointments of Ron Waudrop as Editor and John Evans as Business Manager were approved. Messrs. Ian Morrison, Ken Stewart and Bill Tomsett were elected to join with the Editor and Business Manager to form a Publications Committee. They will meet and report back to the Federation.
Gravel From National Park:
Reported that the Federation had protested again at the taking of gavel from the National Park.
National Park Trust Will Build Fireplaces:
throughout the Park and the Superintendant has been instructed to immediately proceed.
Coast and Mountain Walkers' Annual Photographic Exhibition will be held in Room C, Y.M.C.A., on June 11th.
Enquiries will be made as to the possibilities of printing Christmas Cards with a view to profit-making.
Keeping Warm In Winter.
“Paddymade” sleeping bags are made for average conditions and will be found comfortably warm on the large majority of nights. There are times however when the camper must exercise some skill to obtain the maximum benefit from his bag.
First, the tent should be pitched in a sheltered position. A constant breeze can reduce the apparent temperature very considerably. The shelter of rocks or small bushes can help a great deal. See that the tent is well pegged down and if there are gaps owing to uneven ground fill them in with leaves and grass. A bed of dry leaves, grass or bracken under the groundsheet will add to comfort and warmth. The sleeping bag should be well shaken and if possible warmed before the fire before turning in. The purpose of the warming is not so much to increase the temperature of the bag as to ensure that it is perfectly dry. Down can absorb a lot of moisture without showing it and if the bag is constantly slept in without airing, the result is that the down becomes damp and fails to fluff up to its fullest extent.
On very cold nights if you are sharing a tent it is a good plan for both to sleep on one groundsheet and use the other as extra covering over the feet.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St, Sydney. M2678.