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. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
No. 234. May, 1954. Price 6d.
|Co-Editors||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208), Geoff Wagg, 19 Mary Street, Blacktown.|
|Business Manager||Alex Colley (XA1255).|
|Production||Alan Wilson (FY2047).|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
In This Issue:
|Mumbedah Creek||Ross Laird||3|
|At Our Monthly Dogfight||7|
|Tourists in Travail||Geoff Wagg||10|
|Federation Notes - April Meeting||Allen A. Strom||15|
|Easter Parade - Part I - Lolly Walk||J. Brown||16|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||3|
|Scenic Motor Tours||7|
|Leica Photo Service||9|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||15|
|Boots.. Boots.. Paddy's Advertisement||20|
It has happened again - a large party with insufficient knowledge of bushcraft lost in the trackless wilds of the Cox River, sitting down and waiting for someone to come and rescue them.
On Tuesday night following the Easter holidays Paddy got a ring from one of the Bexley Rovers to say a party of their people, due home the previous night, hadn't returned. Paddy reassured him - nobody could possibly go astray on such a simple walk, they must be only delayed. On Wednesday night Inspector Parker rang and Paddy gave the same reply - it's kindergarten country as far as bushwalking is concerned. Still, the Search and Rescue were alerted and searchers set out that night for the mountains. Next morning a scheme was worked out for sending parties into the search area, a written sheet of instructions was handed to each party, a check was taken on tents, maps and compasses, all watches were synchronised (a difficult but most important point), and the search was on. The results you have already gleaned from the press, to wit, that the party was found by Bert Carlon, all safe and sound, three miles up the Cox from the Kowmung, where, according to what they told Bert, they had sat solidly for the past three days waiting to be rescued.
The Search and Rescue members are agreed that better planning would have made a more efficient search. Something was apparently wrong in ground-air recognition by the spotter plane, with the result that searchers unnecessarily headed for the Jenolan Caves area. About 16 members of the Search and Rescue held a meting at Paddy's last Friday night to talk about what happened and make their recommendations, which will be reported to Federation. Federation will then take the necessary steps to put these recommendations to the Police Department and other Departments concerned. When the report is complete we expect to receive a copy for publication. In the meantime all those Bushwalkers with cars (and there are now many of these among the ex-active Club members), should give some thought to a suggestion of Paddy's that we have a Transport Pool of all cars available to transport searchers from Sydney to the search area.
We are pleased to report that Ron Holland has sent in a letter of thanks to the searchers, and the Police will send a placatory letter to employers of all who took part in the search and have asked them to draw up a reasonable list of expenses which will be submitted to the Premier's Department in the hope of reimbursing searchers for money lost.
The moral of all this story is “Prevention is better than Cure”, so let us have as many as possible attending instructional weekends in order that the criticism shall never be levelled at a Bushwalker that his enthusiasm exceeds his knowledge of bushcraft.
22nd-23rd May, Instructional Weekend at Euroka Clearing. Bring your own fireworks.
Coming... Coming... Coming...
To S.B.W. soon. a new and dramatic form of entertainment. Your chance to win notoriety overnight. Watch for further announcement in the June Magazine.
J. Brown, M. McGregor, A.K. Meadows.
Anyone wanting a pair of sandals size 6 (as new), or sneakers, Size 9, see Dot Butler. Dirt cheap.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
There is no waste of space or weight when your walking rations are vegetarian foods.
Dates, raisins, new season golden apricots, sultanas, prunes, turkish figs.
Full range of meat substitutes (marmite, nut meat, nutolene, peanut kernels).
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
- Ross Laird,
Party:- Beverly Price, Frank Barr, Brian Anderson, Geoff Wagg, David Brown, Jim Holloway, Ross Laird, Jim Hooper.
It all started coming back in the train from Melbourne when we decided that if the crew at home hadn't organised a trip for the long weekend we would get them all to do Mumbedah Creek with us. As fate would have it they hadn't any special trip in mind and were quite willing to “do” Mumbedah, especially as we promised spectacular water falls, cool dips in tranquil pools beneath waving gum and ti tree, a lounge on the Cox and Breakfast Creek before climbing up the historic Red Ledge on to Narrow Neck…. Little did we know!
Whether some people have powers to foretell the future I do not know, but, as the time approached to say goodbye to a city throbbing with people fast becoming madly enthusiastic over the Queen's visit, first Yvonne pulled out, swiftly followed by Judy, then by Allen, June and lastly Grace. Meantime Geoff, our leader, sent a reply-paid telegram to Mt. Victoria asking for transport for a now muchly reduced party of eight to Cunninghams Clearing. The reply came back in due time confirming our booking, so with some of us hitching and the rest travelling by train we journeyed to Mt. Victoria on the Friday night. Upon arrival we were told by our driver that he couldn't convey us to Cunninghams that night as he'd mistaken it for somewhere down in Megalong Valley. As his car was only small he had intended to make two trips of it, but upon realising the real location was well past Jenolan Caves he had contacted Siedlecky who had agreed to take us out the next morning.
After a dry night, if not a frightfully warm one, spent in the local tennis shed, we started our car trip about 7.30 a.m. in what had settled down to be a steady heavy drizzle. The weather gradually improved, and by the time the Caves House loomed up through the Grand Arch the rain had stopped, although it was very dull and depressing. A welcome break in the waiting shed at Jenolan allowed us to stretch cramped legs and hear the latest gossip from friends who had just returned from an all night session in the “Temple of Baal”. On again till the old broken-down bark hut on Budthingeroo Creek was spotted and we were there. Sid was duly paid, and the more serious, although cheaper, business of feeding eight very hungry walkers was attended to.
It was something to eleven when we finally set out from the clearing for the way through the Crumble-Bungle ranges to Mumbedah. These were negotiated easily, and with little difficulty, apart from the fact that it was raining cats and dogs again and gave no indication of ever stopping. Eventually the ridge between Whalan's Creek and Wombats was found and followed for about two miles. It is at the junction of these two creeks that Mumbedah starts on her race down through really spectacular gorges, and along rocky but pretty stretches of turning and twisting valley floors until it leaps down to join Harry's River in its rush for the mighty Cox.
After the first sensational wading of the creek (which incidently proved to be the only reasonable way to follow its course), we soon became as wet beneath our groundsheets as we were on top. About one and a half to two miles of the creek had been covered when by common agreement a halt was called for lunch, the time being 3.30 p.m. This break, which went far towards lifting wet and sodden spirits, also gave a cool breeze which had sprung up a chance to set about its dirty work, so after about twenty minutes packs were again lifted and we set off down the creek.
About twenty minutes later signs of a great drop became noticable in front of us. Around a corner and along a flat stretch for some thirty yards and there she was - a series of wonderful cascades falling away beneath us for about two hundred feet! To climb down the falls was out of the question so one of the sides had to be chosen to sidle around. The left-hand bank going down stream was picked and the job started. One and a quarter hours later and three quarters of a mile further down stream a halt was called and the situation seriously discussed. What appeared to be a never-ending ridge of prickly holly forever disappearing into the rain and mist decided us that an effort should be made to reach the stream bed; it was time to be thinking of camping and a night spent stuck on the side of that ridge was a situation to be avoided at all costs if possible. Down the ridge we charged, only to be stopped by a wall some fifty feet high between us and the river. Frank and Brian climbed down together, but it was voted too slow so out came the rope that Col Putt had lent us and a fixed rope was set up. It was nearly six o'clock when all the party was assembled on the lower level, and we decided to camp then and there. On looking round we found that, after clearing away the nettles and undergrowth and removing the six to nine inches of sodden leaves and bark from each individual campsite, a reasonable home for the night could be made beneath the bigger trees. While some pitched tents and collected bark and bracken for sleeping on, others attempted to light a fire. In a place where everything has rotted through and through this task proved to be difficult, if not irksome. But patience and perseverance won, and after much blowing and careful handling a fire was started. The whole of this operation had taken close on one and a half hours.
Rain - rain - rain. Gosh, wouldn't it ever stop? It certainly didn't look like it. The bare essentials were cooked for tea that night, and in our case a large billy of apples and rice was brewed for breakfast next morning to save having to go through the fire lighting procedure again.
After a really comfortable night Sunday dawned wet and dull. Time was spent downing our apples and rice (cold - ugh!) and vainly trying to discourage the leeches which luckily had apparently gone to sleep that night during the rain, no casualties being reported. We then packed and moved off at 7.30.
Straight down into the creek and on we went. Brian and Jim (S.B.W.) were both at this stage suffering badly from chafe, so after conferring with Bev, it was decided that they walk in their undergarments only, as long as they wore their groundsheets. It was just on an hour later when we were again stopped by huge falls. Upon further investigation these proved to be more than we could handle under prevailing conditions, so off we went once more sidling those cursed ridges. On and on we went, sometimes climbing up, other times down, but keeping at a fairly constant level till at last a halt was called and a conference declared open. The result of the discussion was that the party should get to the top of the ridge as quickly and easily as possible, and from there attempt to follow the crown of the ridges back to the Kanangra Road. Yes - we were pulling out. We were doing much less than one mile per hour, and the distance to go measured against the time available to do it in just didn't work out. So, as none of us for more reasons than one could afford to be overdue we had reached the only possible solution.
Up and up we went; up the ridge of loose, very loose, boulders, continually on the lookout for falling stones. There'd be a yell from up front and a huge boulder would career madly down the hill to disappear over the ridge, banging and smashing everything in its path till at last it either reached the creek or met something bigger and stronger than itself which ended its swift and sudden race.
Left, right and centre people were knocking themselves on rocks. Frank scored a super long deep cut down one leg, and I a deep cut on the right knee cap. It was Brian who came off worst though. In trying to stop a rock from gathering too much momentum he cut his left hand rather badly along the outer edge. This had to be attended to immediately as the amount of blood he was losing gave everyone visions of carrying him out, and we all know he's not worth that much effort or energy. Acriflavine and crepe bandages temporarily fixed that, and progress was resumed up the ridge.
The top was eventually reached as all summits must be reached at some time or another, and we turned and started along the crown towards the road. At one stage we nearly whizzed off in the wrong direction at a fork in the ridge, but this was rectified and we plodded on, gradually regaining lost spirits as it hadn't rained for about two hours. Lunch in a saddle and we were off again with a huge black cloud dogging our footsteps. Upon reaching a small summit along the ridge our friend the cloud opened up and treated us to a most spectacular hail storm. One would have been reminded of a mob of draught horses to see us all standing, backs turned to the storm, under a dead tree in the middle of a rocky clearing. There was nothing we could do but stand and wait, and what difference any way - we were as wet as it was possible to be. The storm passed and we started again, to discover a few yards further on an old timber track running in our direction. This led on to a newer track. At the junction we felt justified in cutting an arrow in a tree to mark the turn-off for future trips. A few miles on and we reached the road, about one and a half miles up road from where we had left it the morning before.
We camped that night in glorious weather on the verandah of a galvanised iron hut in Cunninghams Clearing. Clothes and gear were dried in the remaining sunlight whilst all our surplus food was cooked and we partook of a minor feast, Geoff and I excelling ourselves in drinking six pints of tea, a thing we've never done before.
Monday was fine and hot, and the prospect of eleven-odd miles road bash into Caves House wasn't particularly pleasing. Half a mile along the road Bev. stopped a ute and we were given a lift to the Oberon turnoff, leaving two miles down hill to our goal. Here we gave the tourists the treat of their lives by just acting our normal natural selves. I'm sure they thought of us as being either from the bowels of the earth or from another world. Grudgingly we were given seats back to Mt. Victoria on the Government bus, and from there to Central we passed the time eating Mrs. Brown's cakes and solving all the problems the Club might have ever had or be likely to come across.
Looking up our Dictionary of Standard Phrases (1955 edition) we find the following:
To do a Holland: A phrase coined in 1954, meaning to perpetrate a Bushwalking bungle so preposterous it is unbelievable.
How to toughen feet: Scrub then daily with a nail brush, substituting a scrubbing brush and sandsoap as the skin toughens. (We have it on good authority that this is also an excellent treatment for juvenile pimples on the face and elsewhere.)
Ken Meadows (following the Liquor Debate at the last General Meeting) wishes it to be known that he wasn't amongst those at our Re-union who “weaved” down to the river (See Ross's article, Page 16, last line).
Scenic Motor Tours.
If you are going places, contact Scenic Motor Tours, Railway Steps, Katoomba.
Daily tours by parlor coach to the world famous Jenolan Caves and all Blue Mountain sights.
Transport by coaches for parties of bushwalkers to Kanangra Walls, Ginkin or other suitable points by arrangement.
For all information, write to P.O. Box 60, Katoomba. Telephone 60, Katoomba.
At Our Monthly Dogfight.
A clash with the Bone and three short barks brought silence to the yapping pack, and the Brown retriever declared the meeting open.
The pleasant little silky by his side read the minutes of the Annual General Meeting, which were duly confirmed. She then gave a musical yap in the direction of a long-legged Graceful Airedale Who stood to attention as newly appointed Assistant Secretary.
On the announcement that Committee has appointed a Public Relations Officer, a large shaggy putty-coloured Labrador called Colin lurched to his feet and showed all his teeth (bar the one lost in a fight with a polar bear on some distant snowfield).
The news that it would be too costly, and unnecessary, to form ourselves into a corporate body was received with sighs of relief; old dogs don't like to change their habits, let alone their bodies.
Now the important matter of finding a new club room came up for comment. A room with dimensions and facilities of our present room (say 90 x 30 ft. and 2 posts) seems to be what's wanted, with the added proviso that it be clean (no fleas), and of reasonably good appearance. What about a restaurant as in the good old days of No.5 Hamilton Street, in which we might have our dinner at night and then carry on as a Club room after closing hours?
Roll up! Roll up! Roll up! Digby Rigby, the only tree-climbing canine in captivity rises on his hind legs and suggests we would get a better room if we were prepared to pay more than 25/- per night; how much higher sub. are we prepared to pay? (Silence, and then again silence.) Well then, perhaps a small subscription could be taken up at Social Meetings. Again silence, and Digby resumed his seat, the low growling in his throat sounding suspiciously like “Bushwalkers are a lousy lot”.
Moved by Dog Colley that every member, hunting alone or in packs, sniff round for a room as specified, and that no action be taken for a month. Carried.
Re the £440 from the Era Trust Fund being invested in the current Security Loan - it is now too late for this, and anyhow the Trustees are not altogether in favour. So it was moved by Scotch-terrier McGregor that said bones be maintained in the Commonwealth Bank, together with accumulated interest. In this way the Fund is readily available. Carried.
Now comes Correspondence: The organisers of the Remembrance Drive have been asked to plant a native tree for us. (Whole-hearted barks of approval. Hurrah! More trees!)
Letter from David Ingram re resignation of the Old Fox Roley Cotter and his itty bitsy pal Peggy Bransden, suggesting the meeting should register thanks for their past services to the Club, particularly the way they welcomed new members, and the interest they took in the Photographic Competition. Moved by Malcolm to this effect. Carried.
Now were read and received in quick succession the Treasurer's Report by British Bulldog Binns, the Federation Report, Conservation Report, Social Report - all without comment. A few restive hounds up the back felt they were being cheated and growled their disappointment, “Where's Dormo?”
And now “Any General Business?” barked the Brown retriever.
The meeting was asked to offer to the Public Relations Officer suggestions for increasing membership. Suggestions forthcoming were that we should be kind to prospectives - make them feel one of the pack both on walks and in the Clubroom. Any further developments in the policy of publicity were left to the genius of Father Time and Colin Putt.
At this stage the door swung open and in trotted a small weather-beaten terrier - Dormo! The restive element whimpered with delight and settled down in anticipation.
Frank Ashdown is now on his hind legs complaining about hooliganism at the Federation Reunion due to liquor, and evidence in the shape of empty spirits bottles found lying outside tents next morning. Recollecting his humiliation at the thought of little girl pups especially being subject to such coarseness he moved that if such dogs when “likkered up” insisted on behaving like gentlemen (well men), they should not be allowed off the chain, in fact expulsion from the Federation Pack was too good for them. Jack Wren agreed that the behaviour had been distinctly over the fence. Brian the Lion (Anderson), said he had nosed in on all the parties (of course) and found them O.K. The one that smelt he left of his own accord, and anyone else who didn't like it was free to do likewise. At this stage an excited little yaller dog yelped “The S.B.W. will have to participate in spinach juice!” (Howls of delight, especially from that vegetarian anomaly, Hallstrom.). In a quiet cultivated voice a noble red setter with “Moppett” engraved on his dog-collar said we should lead the way by example and not by complaint. Certainly no evidence should be left lying about - that is in keeping with our policy of “Burn, Bash and Bury”, though of course there is no need to bash the old bottle in public. Amid the roar of approval at this sally the cultured voice could be heard continuing, “That, of course, should be done quietly in the privacy of one's tent”. The President summed up “Lest the S.B.W. be branded as a miserable complaining lot of hounds let us not write to Federation. Frank may make his protest as an individual but not a Club member”.
Now followed a lively debate on the proposed alienation of Domain parkland for the erection of an Opera House. Dormo with hackles bristling spoke long and violently on the subject of walking and culture but was final1y restrained at the third attempt by the President who complained there were too many irrelevancies. When the whole affair was sorted out and Dormo's motion with amendments, and amendments of amendments carried to the fourth decimal place finally clarified, we found we were all agreed on the motion “that we write to the Parks and Playgrounds Movement endorsing their action in trying to prevent the construction of an Opera House in the Domain, and suggest that an alternative site not involving use of public lands be found”.
“Good”, barked bull terrier Brian remembering a plate of meat scraps awaiting him in his refrigerator, “that's finished. Now let's go home”.
'All agreed' did I say? Not so! The one called Moppett disagrees and rises to a point of order: “After all that discussion I think the matter is out of order. The Constitution states, etc. etc….”
Now McGregor leaps to his feet “Mr. Moppett's point of order is out of order. My interpretation of the Constitution is etc. etc….”
Amid scenes of devilish disorder the two past-Presidents fight it out, what time bull-terrier Brian yaps his solo plaint “Let's go home!” The two panting contestants eventually subside with tongues hanging out, the motion is carried, and the Bone declared the meeting closed at 5 to 10.
Tourists In Travail.
- Geoff Wagg.
A Final Glimpse of the Boys in Tasmania (Part III).
We have all read in stories of Himalayan expeditions of the pleasure of the return through the mountains with the luxuries of civilisation appearing one by one. This was our experience which began when the Hobart bus stopped for us Frenchman's turnoff and the driver peered timidly out and asked, “Are there any snakes in that grass?” Frank, who was standing knee deep in this grass, replied obligingly, “Yair mate”. In spite of this we arrived in Hobart and attached ourselves to the G.P.O., from which base we made our various foraging expeditions. Last and most enjoyable of these was our search for a cafe to supply our first fresh meal for weeks - just steak and eggs, but it tasted delicious. Thus fortified we crossed the river to take up residence in the Youth Hostel at Bellerive.
Next morning those two carefully nurtured horticultural triumphs, Frank's and David's beards, went down before the razor and the two of them appeared looking remarkably clean and shiny, while Ross and I, whose beards were made of sterner stuff, decided to cherish our fungus for a week or so longer. Later on we looked up Ron Parkes who was working then at the Hobart “Mercury”, and took him to lunch - he paid of course. While eating we talked furiously, all at once, Bushwalker style, until Ron had to go back to work, and we, to prove what absolute tourists we had become, went to the pictures.
On Saturday morning we collected Ron and made a photographic sortie on the summit of Mt. Wellington. The following day we visited Hastings Cove, then on Monday morning left by service coach for Port Arthur. This trip is really an experience because you stop at almost every shack and shanty delivering mail, bread, or miscellaneous merchandise. Thus you have ample time to survey the country and philosophise on the Tasmanian way of life. We covered the sixty odd miles in five hours, arriving about lunch time. After lunch and all through the golden afternoon our shutters were clicking happily in that photographer's paradise - mellow stone, scarlet flowers and brilliant blue water. For tea we tried that new taste thrill, salted Mellah! Of course we didn't mean it to be salted, but as our billy of Mellah was cooling in the bay the tide care in. Next day we walked out to Safety Cove and then to the Remarkable Cave. This latter was originally a blowhole but is now so enlarged that it would function only in exceptionally high seas. The ever-thoughtful Tourist Bureau has provided Steps right down into the spout of the hole, and the tunnel leads from this a hundred yards or so to a little sandy beach at the mouth. The waves wash here and echo through the cave, so what with the hard wet sand underfoot, the seaweed on the walls, and the generally salty tang, the whole thing has very much the dim atmosphere of Davey Jones' locker.
Back at Port Arthur that afternoon Frank and Snow fell in with a group of Y.H.A. girls, and consequently the four of us were invited to the hostel that evening for supper. Free eats! The hostel in Port Arthur is a rusty old relic set among the rains and was once the domicile of a long deceased political prisoner, Smith O'Brien. We arrived at dusk and were just settling down by the fire to be sociable when there was a terrific crash on the verandah and Ross and Lavinia, who were sitting by the window, leapt bodily across the room and landed in each other's laps. Ross said that a great stick had been flung across the verandah and hit a post. Frank poked his head out of the window and said, “What's going on?” Another crash greeted his challenge, thereupon he withdrew his head with more haste than dignity and shut the window. A brief council of war concluded that it must be the locals disporting themselves and it would be best to ignore them. This we did, and the evening progressed with no further manifestations until we left (after supper) about eleven. The rest of the tale we got next morning. It seems that the boys were fast asleep in the attic and the girls were undressing for bed when one of them saw a face at the window. She screamed and presently the two boys came bundling down from the attic more asleep than awake and bounded out the door in time to see a tall figure disappearing into the gloom. That was the finish; the boys had to leave their warm beds upstairs and move into the same room as the girls.
Next morning we returned to Hobart and spent the afternoon having our last look around this little city whose simplicity had won our hearts. As we were starting early in the morning for Queenstown we decided to sleep the night in the Queen's Domain, and Ron forsook his cosy bed at the Y.M.C.A. to join us under a pine tree in the park. Early in the morning we were awakened by a friendly little black pooch who, licking tongue and wagging tail, attempted to explore the interior of Snow's sleeping bag. As we were having breakfast he stayed, then went fast asleep on a ground sheet where he stayed until until we had to pack it up and go on our way. Regretfully he said Goodbye, and our last glimpse was of him not being quite a gentleman, chasing pigeons off his park.
When we boarded our bus for Queenstown we realised that we were on our way home at last. The miles slipped by. Hobart, the suburbs, then the green fields of hops at New Norfolk, the yellow hills and chocolate cultivation of Ouse, and soon the dusty road and dreary scrub with its H.E. construction camps. A few miles before Derwent Bridge we blew one of our back tyres and did a brake line, so we crowded in, in rather a sorry state. After lunch we caught another bus going our way, but alas, all our luggage remained on the cripple. About mid-afternoon we came in view of the dead hills of Queenstown and soon our cameras were clicking happily once more. We called in to see if our luggage had arrived, but it wasn't expected till 6.30, so we had our tea and went over the mine and came back, but still no luggage. Then began a long wait, rewarded about twelve o'clock, long after everyone who had the luxury of a hotel bed had given up. As it was so late we asked the driver if we could sleep in the bus and he said “Yes. Wait at the garage just round the corner, I'll be parking it there”. So round the corner we went and waited in the garage. A few minutes after we arrived a car drove up and two men got out and went into the garage office just across from us. They put on the light and we could see them peering out at us and obviously wondering what we were up to. Presently they put out the light, got into the car and drove away, but they came round the block a second time to see if we were still there. About ten minutes later a policeman arrived and stood on the opposite side of the road and watched us. In the meantime, however, we had decided to doss down in the bus where it was, so the P.C. had no sooner arrived than we upped packs and off up the street, the puzzled observer following at a discreet distance. He was even more puzzled when we piled into the bus with obvious intentions of staying. But before he had time to do anything the driver arrived, slammed the door, said “Oh, I see you're here”, and drove away leaving the unfortunate policeman standing on the footpath scratching his head.
In the morning, after an unusually prolonged hunt for breakfast, we caught our bus along the dusty road to Zeehan. The inside of the bus was hot as an oven, and the fine grey dust filtered through every gap to coat upholstery and passengers. Zeehan is one of those places dead enough to be a ghost town but it just refuses to lie down. The railway station there suffers from the same lackadaisical attitude and no one but we four seemed even slightly amazed when the porter announced that the train would be starting an hour late. Fortunately our sleepy locomotive finally struggled into action and, setting its listlessness aside, started to wear away the weary miles of dreary bush between us and Burnie. At last we were there, and we set out in the grey of the late afternoon in search of a spot to erect our domicile. We soon found it - the public camping ground - a deserted half acre near the beach, swept by a bleak sea wind and hiding its shame behind a row of bill boards. Here we slept, our dreams punctuated by the shrieks of hysterical engines that puffed along the foreshore. Next morning we cooked our own breakfast - a thing we hadn't done for ages - and then, folding our tents, silently slipped away without paying our camping fee. Soon it was time to catch the airway's bus around to Wynyard for the 'plane. This left at about 12 o'clock, and we had cunningly calculated it to be the lunch plane, this latter fact being much dwelt upon. Nor were we disappointed, for soon the hostie was around looking for likely candidates to dine. Although pretending to be tourists we were still bushwalkers at heart, and told the dear girl our views on free food. Then, before we realised it, we were slipping from cool Tasmania into the midday heat of a mainland summer day. A hot wind blew the dust off the tarmac to meet us, and we knew that we were back. And that was that. Melbourne. Then the miles of brown grass, only no longer fields but paddocks. Then with mounting excitement the suburbs, the City, and then Home Sweet Home.
It has been brought to our attention that Eddie Stretton's walk in late March was led astray. Firstly, there were six men and Eddie. Now, I ask you, what chance has a girl got of leading a walk under those conditions? Next, Siedlecky dropped them off on Friday night on the road to Carlon's instead of Black Jerry's. The classic came when Ed bowled up to one of the numerous tents pitched at Carlon's and asked “Where are we?” Oh well, we suppose all these things go towards making a walk.
Things certainly have come to a bad state when people like Eric Pegram get lost an the way to Euroka. Yes, it's true! Eric couldn't find his way to Federation Re-union last month, and if it hadn't been for the noise from the camp-fire he would probably have ended up in Euroka Creek.
We overheard Ross Laird going mad in the Club the other night because Geoff Wagg is making profits from his (Ross') misdemeanours. (Tasmanian Trip, April Mag.) The least he could have done would have been to offer to go fifty-fifty in the profits, grumbled Ross.
'Bon Voyage' to Jane and Margaret Putt who sailed on 29th April for a three month visit home in New Zealand. Colin joins them at the end of June for a month's visit and they are hoping to bring Pat Sullivan, Betty Swain and Peter Stitt home with them in July.
Whilst approximately 150 bods sat and patiently plucked grass seeds from their sox at Federation Reunion in trotted Federation President, Paul Barnes, with scarcely a single burr in his hosiery, to be followed half an hour later by Don Mathews in immaculate long sox. But would they tell us the secret? Oh no, not they!
Congratulations to Marj. and Paul Barnes on the birth of a daughter early in March, also to Betty and Phil Hall the same (making a total of three daughters to date), and also a daughter to Helen and Phil Horton, now in Melbourne.
To be caught outside the barrier when your train leaves its platform is annoying enough, but to be about to step into it and have it just leave you standing is really maddening, especially when you have about three hours to wait for the next train. This happened to Jess Martin when she was about to board the 5.10 p.m. Mittagong train on the official Easter trip.
Tricky Terrain Traps Trampers. At the Federation Reunion the President, Mr. Paul Barnes, led a small group on a tour of all possible campsites in the area before arriving at the true one. Luckily he arrived in time to open proceedings.
Later, last seen wandering vaguely, etc., our Secretary and Treasurer, also infected with this wanderlust, spent a happy half-hour wandering vainly from ridge to ridge trying to remember where they had left their tents.
I hear that Federation is authorising a detailed map of Euroka to be published, printed in luminous ink.
Rudolph Strikes Back.
Bushwalker shot in street! It was a pity, said the Coroner in his report, that the deceased…
Could it have come to this? That is for you to decide. I feel it is time that the true facts of these disgraceful goings on were revealed to the amazed gaze of apathetic Club members. The Monica Gang, they caused the trouble. This despicable gang comprises three young - er - ladies (mentioning no names of course, but one has a brother in New Zealand, one has a sister at Barham, and the third has a brother who is writing this article). To continue, however: it is beyond doubt that members of this unscrupulous group were involved in the big Ski Trousers Tie Up, and also the sudden slump in Tents.
How long could it continue? The Walks Secretary's life was a misery and other members were becoming involved. How long? Not long, you'll agree. And so it was that at the Federation Reunion Rudolph struck back! The spirits of the Monica Gang were dampened once and for all, in fact some were quite put out. The Walks Secretary and the Co-Editor also carried out an extremely clever outflanking movement by crawling three hundred yards through bracken and grass seeds. Unfortunately, by the time these stealthy attackers arrived the victims had gone so completely that it seemed doubtful if they had been there at all.
The outcome, of course, was that Rudolph was totally victorious and Monica vanquished for good - we hope!
Unfair To Cows.
We have heard of a few lousy doings in our day but have you heard one to equal this? In the early days of the Club Bushwalkers arriving at Era from the midnight train would kick up a cow and sleep on the spot of earth the poor cow had spent half the night warming up.
Important Transport Notice.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81 or 146. Look for cars 3210 or TV270 or book at Mark Salon Radio Shop - opposite Station.
Federation Notes - April Meeting.
by Allen A. Strom.
14TH Annual Camp was held at Euroka on April 4/5th. 167 attended but the absence of older folk was pronounced. The campfire was very successful. Owing to the heat of the day, most people left early on the Sunday thus defeating the purpose of bringing Clubs together. A complaint about the general tone of the reunion and the effectiveness of the Federation was received from a member of the S.B.W. After much discussion, it was decided to circularise a questionnaire amongst members of affiliated clubs in an effort to determine a more effective way to achieve the aims of the Annual Federation Reunion.
Pollution of Waterholes: Following reception of a letter on this subject from S.B.W., it was agreed that :-
- Federation should campaign against this practice, particularly in areas such as the Warrumbungle Mountains where the soaping of waterholes and troughs had interfered with stock.
- Federation should write to Mr. Gale, a farmer in the Warrumbungle Mountain Area, informing him of our action and asking his advice on any factors particularly applicable to his area.
Bushfire Fighting in the National Park: The recommendations of the S.B.W. were discussed. It was decided to refer the matter to the Clubs and to call for reports from them at the June meeting of Federation. These reports should contain a list of volunteers. A report was made that numerous fires were left burning in the Megalong Valley over the Easter weekend. It was observed that these were the work of the freelance walker and camper. It was decided to seek Press and Radio publicity in an effort to counteract the practice.
Fraser Park: A further effort has been made to step gravel filching by the Trustees of the Park.
Barren Grounds: The Fauna Protection Panel will ask that the Grounds be declared a Faunal Reserve.
Barrington Tops: A contact has been made with the Barrington Club which is inter alia, interested in reservations on the Barrington - Gloucester Plateau. This will be followed up and a concerted effort attempted for a National Park.
The Fauna Protection Panel is continuing the examination of :-
- Morton Primitive Reserve
- Nadgee Area
for possible dedication as Faunal Reserves.
Visits to National Park Areas are planned as follows :-
- Bong Bong (Budderoo): May 14/15/16th.
- Kariong: June 18/19/20th.
Details: A.W. Dingeldei - UA2983.
- Jim Brown.
Part 1 - Lolly Walk.
“No seats up front” said the ticket examiner curtly, then, with a softening of heart, “Hop in here. Keep the door closed and don't let anyone fool round with the switches. You'll be right”.
We shot the bolts on the door between the luggage compartment and the rest of the carriage, managed to sneak a few more walkers in with us, and the train lit out at 5.0 p.m. Holding a sausage in one band, and the “nominal roll of draft” in the other, I proceeded to check off the party. In the brake compartment we were Sheila Binns, Ross Laird, John Bookluck, Colin Putt, Eric Pegram, prospectives Peter Gill and Don Newis, and self, the leader of the push. Eight.
At this moment, while we passed through Redfern there was a hammering at the communication door, and we admitted Elsie Bruggy. With very proper Secretarial efficiency she reported those aboard - husband Roy: Edna Stretton, Frank Ashdown, visitor Alan Clarke: in the adjoining carriage Isabel Wilkie, Beryl Christiansen, prospective Jill Matthews, Ken Meadows, Kevin Ardill, Jack Perry and prospective Norm Potter. Total twenty.
Amongst those known or believed to be travelling on other trains were Win McKenzie and Edna Garrad, Tine Koetsier and Frank Burt, Allan Hardie, Eric Adcock and Frank Rigby. Twenty-seven. That left only a few to be accounted for… one of them, Ray Moore, joined us in the baggage van at Liverpool, and further down the line we heard that Bob Younger had been seen on the platform.
Now in a party of this size it is possible for many things to happen: no one can keep tabs on every stirring, least of all the leader with his multiple considerations of pathfinding, timekeeping and watching for the halt or the lame. So, for whatever goes unrecorded here, we express regrets in advance: put it down to a failing memory, the size of the party, or what you will.
Recollections of the forward trip are limited to the outpost voluntarily locked in the baggage compartment, with Colin Putt and Eric Pegram reminiscing about motor cycling mishaps and all of us contributing tales of the use and abuse of train emergency alarms. Most of us ventured through into the crowded corridors to yarn with others of the Party. Approaching Mittagong the Social Secretary must have done something meritorious, for he was noted to be adorned with a perfect Cupid's bow of lipstick on the left cheek and a not-so-well-formed smear on the nape of the neck. John Bookluck woke up in time to take sixty pounds of screw coupler out of his pack before alighting.
Arrangements worked like a charm at Mittagong. The bus was waiting, and trundled us down to the highway for a bite of tea and toast and such like. The “other train” personnel were present, together with David Ingram, Betty Holdsworth and Jo Newland, who were joining forces with us for the 'bus ride, and walking independently. Sad to relate, Jessie Martin had just missed the train, so David was to spend several hours reading Noel Coward short stories until the midnight horror rolled in. For the rest, we were thirty-one, including 29 of our party, and the bus left town at 9.15. I tried to divide 31 into £6, and finally pronounced the fare as 4/- each, with a profit of 4/-. Cries of protest were raised; I was alleged to be turning leadership into a racket, and even the promise to donate the surplus to Club funds didn't entirely kill the outcry. More of that four bob later.
Wanganderry was a better camp site than I remembered. We settled in quite snugly for the night, on soft grasses, with abundant firewood and plenty of slightly earthy water. During the night David and Jessie turned up per taxi, bringing with them our thirtieth member, visitor Wa1 McKenzie. The Thirty shoved off on a glorious morning at 8.10, up over the hill where the far blue distance reaches out to Gangerang and a sharp westerly wind vied with the tender morning sunlight. Wollondilly valley seemed dry and yellow from afar, but most inviting, and the objective, the peaks of Yerranderie, looked really quite near at hand.
It was an uneventful morning as the long column, keeping some surprisingly close order, went down Burnt Flat Creek (narrowly avoiding being misled by new timber-cutters' roads) to lunch by the river. The Wollondilly looks quite well, despite the dry, thinly-grassed banks. Two hours for lunch - just a lolly walk! Our afternoon stage was of l 1/2 hours and we camped near Basket Creek 3.45 p.m. - just a lolly walk! Meadows Movietone recorded the arrival at the camp site. “Don't look at the camera!” “Please don't look at the camera!”
That night, under a moon with a corona, we held camp-fire. Following the discovery that Frank Ashdown was an inveterate home-brewer, with forty bottles of highly explosive ginger pop under his back verandah, and several demijohns of a deadly distillation from parsnips, the singing developed into a succession of drinking ballads. Between “Little Brown Jug” and “Cigarettes and whisky” and “Whisky Johnny” we discussed the circled moon and what it may portend. And we turned in about ten.
Saturday was fine and windy from the west: 21 of the Party moved off at 8.15, and duly waited for the tail to come up. We waited almost half an hour, while the rear end bolted past on the opposite bank, screened from us by a line of small casuarina. Since our group included the weaker and out-of-condition folk, we elected to go on, to cross the river just above Riley's Flat. Here four or five dunked themselves energetically if unintentionally, while the film unit, perched on a glassy boulder, used up almost all its film. Another half hour passed while we dried our own tails and waited for arrival of the other tail, then we proceeded again.
At lunch-time the advance party overtook the rearguard, which is a kind of paradox. They were camped on the far bank, and Roy Bruggy was ordered across. We greeted him with “Where hast tha been since a saw thee?” and worked out what had happened. The morning's stage had taken not quite 3 hours, including our hour's wait (lollywalk!). Two hours for lunch again (lollywalk!) and away up the steep Millnigang trail at 1.0 p.m. We moved in very open order at independent pace and topped the saddle at 2.15, rested, and dropped into the calm green hollow of Millnigang Creek: only 2 1/2 miles up we camped again at 3.45. We were a little short of the intended stage for the day, but the westerly was still piping, and the shelter of the gentle valley was welcome.
There was no organised fire that evening, but several cooking fires were built up, and people wandered about, settling to talk here and there. Norm Potter, who appeared to spend the four days gorging himself, settled down with pipe tobacco slightly impregnated with kerosene, which had leaked from the minute hurricane lamp he carried. At one fire a grave discussion on acquisition of Club Rooms somehow became a shaggy-dog debate on raising funds with bath-tub gin and Blue Gum Forest timber rafted down the Grose with fare-paying tourists. To bed again about ten - except for the adjoining food party which cooked a fearsome damper. During the night a little rain fell, and all the sugar was washed off the lolly walk.
(To be continued…)
Of Special Interest To Skiers.
Should you have the misfortune to have a skiing accident befall you this Season, provide for loss of pay and medical expenses by taking out a Bushwalkrs and Skiiers Personal Accident Policy.
|Death by Accident||£200|
|Permanent Total Disablement||£200|
|Permanent Partial Disablement||£100|
|Weekly Benefit whilst Temporarily Disabled||£4|
Premium - £2/10/0 a year.
Medical Expenses may be increased to £100 for an additional £1/7/6d a year. This policy includes transport accidents to and from the snowfields.
Alternative policies covering Weekly Benefits and Medical Expenses-ONLY will be quoted on application. Policies are available to all members of Federated Walking Clubs.
For full particulars see Club Member -
Brian G. Harvey
12 Mahratta Avenue, Wahroonga. Phone JW1462.
Photographer's Hymn Of Hate.
Sentiments expressed by Geoff Wagg).
- Dot Butler.
I hate you Barr, you may be good
At picking trails and cooking food.
You may, for all I know, be sane
Enough to catch the last home train.
You may be bright, you may be dense,
You may prefer a Tessar lense.
I hate you though, for be it known
Your shirts are never Kodachrome!
A Number To Remember:
On Easter Friday the scattered remnant of the shattered Warrumbungle party caught the mid-day train to Mt. Victoria by the skin of their respective teeth, only to find the one taxi the township boasted had broken down. Dank despair was settling upon them when a brainwave telephone call to Hatswell at Blackheath produced him and his taxi within 10 minutes. Travelling around 40-50 m.p.h. Kanangra was reached in less than two hours, just on sundown.
Hatswell ('Phone: Blackheath 128) is a good bloke to know.
Barracole (2nd Verse).
With joy the boys hearts are aflutter,
Ken has coated Frank's tonsils with butter
Thus reducing his snore
From a thunderous roar
To a soft oleaginous mutter.
Second only in importance to food, boots loom largely in the thoughts of any Bushwalker. Some hardy soles (forgive the pun!) carry 50 lb. packs and prance gaily along in rubber-soled sneakers. The rest prefer to clump along in iron-clad walking boots. Serious walking is pretty hard on leather boots especially if it involves continual wading as so many trips do.
Any poor quality leather in sole or heel soon goes flabby and causes trouble, but even the best quality leather is at its worst and can least withstand wear and tear when wet.
When leather is wet one thing must be avoided at all costs and that is heat. There is a saying that any heat which will melt butter is too hot for wet leather. Don't sit near a fire with wet boots on and don't put wet boots near a fire to dry.
The horror of putting on clammy wet boots on a cold morning is largely overcome if one has dry sox: therefore concentrate on sox drying and leave the boots alone.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. M2678.