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. 237. August, 1954. Price 6d.
|Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208), Geoff Wagg, 19 Mary Street, Blacktown.
|Alex Colley (XA1255).
|Alan Wilson (FY2047).
|Sales and Subs
In This Issue:
|Gerrigong to Kiama with Barrcarole
|At Our Monthly General Meeting
|S.B.W. Film Review
|Quarterly Report of Parks and Playgrounds Movement
|The Grande Film Nite
|“Gent in the Tent”
|Federation Notes - July Meeting
|Allen A. Strom
|A Sad Case of Post Alcoholic Delusions
|Ettrema George, or….
|Scenic Motor Tours
|Leica Photo Service
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop
|A New Paddymade Gadget (Paddy's Advert.)
- Kath McKay.
Our magazine, was once, alas,
A horrid shouting pink.
We blushed (less vividly) that it
Should sully printer's ink.
Today the postman brings our mail
And we no longer frown
The cover, like our President
Is now a sober Brown.
Gerringong To Kiama With Barrcarole.
- Don Newis
Nine people left on the “Barrcarole” walk from Gerringong to Kiama - Grace Aird, Anne Kelly, Sheila Binns, Ron Basman, Geof Wagg and our two New Zealand compatriots, Ian Wood and Garth Coulter.
Arriving at Gerringong after an uneventful trip, we decided to lunch by the main road while waiting for the ninth member of the party to arrive - the Graceful Airdale had slept in her kennel too long and was catching the train following ours.
David, Sheila, Anne and Ron decided to walk into the town for something for dinner, leaving us munching Vita-weets. Having partaken of our lunch, the Airdale's train arrived and she alighted from a dog box, informing us she was very hungry. Just as the Airdale finished gnawing her raw steak, the others returned from the direction of the town and what had happened was nobody's business as David was now the proud wearer of Sheila's best hat (a queer cylindrical affair knitted in multi-colours). After they had informed us of the wonderful dinner they had eaten - one glass of milk - we all reluctantly rose from our dinner spot and started down the road with Mr. Barr's comments of “Hey you, hurry up! We want to get to Curry's Mountain tonight”.
While Frank had taken his map out six times and returned it each time, Sheila had turned down the road towards Curry's Mountain so Frank gave up map reading and resolved to annoy everybody by taking numerous photographs. As we passed from one picturesque spot to another all without cameras were harassed by the exclamations of “Keep still.” “Look into the water”. “Look at the tree”, etc. etc. By this time we had discovered that we had an extra member to the party as a dog was following us and wouldn't go away. Upon reaching a gate with a formidable sign of NO TRESPASSERS attached to it, Frank decided to enquire at the nearby farmhouse as to whether we could pass through or not. Fortunately there was nobody home and detective Barr decided that no one had been home for quite a while as a small house in the backyard had rose bushes growing through the middle of it.
Having decided to pass through the property regardless of all the buckshot and threats on the notice, we approached Curry's Mountain on a 45ยบ slope. We crossed a barb wire fence and then the following exclamations are quoted from Frank - “Cor, lantana, ouch nettles” with many unprintable adjectives in between. After about an hour of pushing through the lantana, encouraged by our leader's frequent remarks of “it's clear, I've found another track”, (Frank found numerous tracks, only one being of any consequence). We eventually arrived at the top of Curry's Mountain where we found a clearing with water and everything a walker wants for the perfect campsite, but would Frank let us stay there? No. We set off back into the lantana to try and reach the saddle between Saddleback and Curry's Mountain. Profusely growing are the wild raspberries, so thick that the eleventh member had to be carried over some of the rougher spots. The Airdale gave a sudden yelp of pain, discovering she had been stung by a nettle tree. David suggested putting soap on it but when asked for it, could not produce any, as he said he never used it while walking. (Pity help the others in Tassie.) Soap is said to be effective against the sting if applied as soon as stung.
Eventually we reached the saddle we had aimed to reach and the view was magnificent. We found a reasonable camp spot and everybody started to unpack when up pipes bright Geofrey, saying that there is a much better spot just over the hill. Disgruntled, everybody moved to the superior spot. Having this time settled for good we had tea and the dog, not Grace, had the scraps.
About 9.30 that night Geof, Grace, Frank and myself decided to go and watch the moon rise on the water. Having reached the summit of one ridge we thought the view from the next would be better, so while Frank returned to camp, the remaining three set off on a moonlight escapade of glissading down the sides of hills and running up and down the slopes. We gradually began to draw closer to the street lights of Omega when suddenly to the left the darkness was shattered by the barking of a dog. We thought surely no one could sleep through all the din going on so immediately we disappeared down the opposite side of a ridge. Arriving at the main road where the lights were, Geof stood on his head, then finding a sign post pointing to “Rose Valley” he proceeded to climb it, perhaps thinking it was a Rock Climbing Instructional. We decided that it was time to return as we had visions of Frank worrying and sending out search parties to look for us.
On the return trip everything didn't go quite to schedule. About three-quarters of the way back we approached what we thought was a small belt of trees. Passing through the trees, behold what should we come across but lantana bushes. We decided to continue through it as we were sure that it only extended a short distance. After about ten minutes of groping around in the bushes up pipes Grace “I've got my compass in my pocket”. Having taken a reading, off we stumbled. Ten minutes later we were still in the scrub when we decided to go further up the hill around the top of the lantana. Four minutes and we were out of the lantana and could see that we had only traversed about 100 yards altogether.
Arriving at camp about 1.30 David and Frank were up waiting for us. Having made our apologies for being so long we all crawled into bed - Oh boy! Does Frank talk in his sleep!
Waking the next morning about 9.30 we all decided to rise later while the energetic pair - Geof and Frank - made a fire. The rest lay strewn in many poses everywhere. We ate brunch, during which time Ron Basman walked half way to Foxgrounds looking for water. Garth had obtained a bucketful in about 10 minutes. After some controversy as to where we would like to finish the walk, Frank stood up and in a very authoritative voice said, “Moving off in 20 minutes for Kiama”.
We skirted around the top side of Saddleback. In one spot Grace had to stand for about 20 minutes while they all took photographs of the view in front of her. Then we arrived at a small creek. Again Grace had to stand in the water with the dog at her feet, both trying to look intelligent, but every time the cameras were raised the dog would twist and turn and do everything except keep still. Then it would all start all over again. (Pity Grace didn't have as much charm with dogs as Diana had with hounds.) Next photographic point was a stone wall which we were all supposed to be climbing over, which we never did. The resulting photos should be interesting because right next to us is a gate. Passing on down through picturesque pastures we eventually arrived at Kiama, where the unfed or starved dined in fine tourist style with fish and chips. Alas, as we sat in the train we left on Kiama Station one small and dejected looking pup watching us pass out of his life.
At Our Monthly General Meeting.
A most unusual meeting. Firstly there was the unusual size of the gathering and then their unusual punctuality. Malcolm, our Vice (or unusual) President took the Chair, as Jim was occupying himself by being an expectant father.
Came the minutes, the correspondence and the reports all read and approved in unusual if not unseemly haste.
Then, “General Business”, said Malcolm and the silence following was not only unusual by astounding. Dormie was the first to recover and rallied sufficiently to suggest that we warn the officials responsible for the de-restricting of .303 rifles that this may prove a fresh hazard to our already struggling fauna. Tom Moppett told us that such had already been done.
Alex Colley made an attempt to rouse us by suggesting that Federation contact Mr. Renshaw, the organiser of the Warrambungles Park Trust, suggesting that a member of Federation be included in the Trustees. This had also been done.
Finally Bill Cosgrove got one home when he moved that our Parks and Playgrounds delegate give us a report on her organisation's actions at regular intervals.
Once more Malcolm called for General Business — no, NO! It was impossible but it happened. The meeting closed at 8.30.
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.
Editor's Note. What a mess we made of Arne Jonsson last month! We not only mangled the noble Nordic surname, producing Jonsoon with its distinctly Asiatic flavour, but we also called this toughest of tough he-men Anne! Apologies Annie. We'll do better next time Arnie. Well anyhow, apologies.
Cheers to our President Jim and Kath on the arrival of a daughter.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
S.B.W. Film Review.
(Reprint from The Star Bungled Stammer).
Now it isn't often a world premier is held in Ingersoll Hall so there was quite a little excitement when it was announced that Metro Goldwyn McGregor were presenting their new “Murder at the Meeting” in that ancient pile.
It was foolishly attempted to hold a monthly meeting before the much anticipated showing, but this triviality was soon dealt with by a determined group.
Although Barr stole the Bone, Tom Moppett stole the show when he and Brian Harvey were cast as detectives. Unfortunately however they weren't cast far enough and got back in time to play their parts.
The story, a delicate, touching tale, tells how at a typical monthly meeting a typical speaker is dealt with in typical Bushwalker fashion.
Grace Jolley as typical speaker gave a moving interpretation but not quick enough to escape Basher Barr, (now disappeared from our midst, we believe to Long Bay).
Full marks are given to the Producer for the novel idea of thickening the plot with Terry's Meal.
The censor's grading of this film is N.B.G. (not suitable for exhibition) and we have awarded it four points. Or as the budaPESTS would say, “four pints”.
We hear of Grace Jolley, complete with parcels, astride the pillion seat of a motor cycle chasing a Railway tram through Randwick at a late hour.
Ask Jo Newland how she enjoys deputising for the leader of a walk run by another Club when a member of the party leaves wind jacket and slacks at the luncheon spot near Karloo Pool and discovers the loss at Audley.
Footnote: Garments recovered safely.
Perils of the open (rail)road.
As John Bookluck and Ray Moore got into their train at Newtown they were grabbed by the arm by a couple of predatory wenches. “Haven't you made a mistake?” said our heroes, but no, they hadn't made a mistake, they assured John. However the boys managed to convince them that they had, and backed out with honour intact.
Our Social Secretary chose the night of the Fancy Dress Dance to masquerade as an influenza patient, unfortunately in his own bed at home.
Ron Basman was become engaged to that very lovely lass Ann Kelly.
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.
Quarterly Report Of The Parks And Playground Movement.
The Movement has continued its efforts to have the whole, or the greater part of this 100-acre ground, retained for public recreation.
Strong protests have been made by the Moment against attempts to take part of the Domain for a National Opera House (with all sorts of amenities, including a huge parking area). The Minister for Agriculture and the Cumberland County Council have been urged to endorse the Movement's policy as expressed in the slogan “Hands Off the Domain”, thus informing all seekers of free sites that this magnificent city recreation area has not been preserved for 150 years merely to provide building sites for someone's pet scheme.
The Movement has also protested against the Lord Mayor's attempt to obtain a site in the Domain for a car-parking station.
The Movement joined Ryde Council in protests to the Lands Department against an attempt to obtain the use of a 2-acre park area fronting Parramatta River for a slipway for ship breaking.
Support was given to local Protests against a proposal by Wellington Shire Council to grant a lease of an area on Cameron Park for an additional bowling green.
Letter received from the Minister for Lands in response to the Movement's representations, advising that the Department has offered to Warringah Shire Council a Permissive Occupancy of 45 acres for the purpose of obtaining sand. The Department has requested the Shire Council to see that the works are carried out in such a manner as to cause the least possible disturbance of the bird life in the vicinity of the Lagoon.
Dumping of rubbish along scenic roads and in reserves.
A number of Councils have been asked by the Movement to conduct regular periodical “clean-up” campaigns to remove unsightly rubbish from alongside main roads and in large reserves, also to erect signs indicating where rubbish may be tipped in Municipal Tips.
A request has also been made to the Local Government Association to place this matter on the agenda for discussion at the next Local Government Conference.
Mining on ocean beaches and seaside reserves.
Protests have been lodged by the Movement against the grant of licenses and permits to mine on ocean beaches, on the ground that erosion caused by excavating and other mining operations is likely to cause serious deterioration of beaches for public recreation purposes.
Kurnell Peninsula re-zoning.
Consequent upon changes brought about by the establishment of the Caltex Oil Refinery at Kurnell, the Cumberland County Council has been asked by the Government to re-zone the whole area, and the Movement is taking an active part in efforts to save for public use the major part of the unoccupied land on the peninsula.
Hawkesbury River scenic preservation.
The Movement is taking an active part in the efforts of a Committee of conservationists which has been set up with the object of preserving the scenic beauty of the Hawkesbury River district.
Mark Morton Primitive Area.
Representations have been made by the Movement to the Minister for Lands for the preservation of this reserve as a primitive area. Special emphasis has been placed on the need to prevent the granting of timber cutting rights by the Forestry Commission.
Warrumbungles National Park.
At the request of the Caloola Club, the Movement asked the Minister for Lands to appoint to this Trust representatives of various interests as follow: One member from each Lands, Conservation, Water Commission and University Geology Departments, two members from recreational and parks organisations and three local members.
Wild flower protection.
The Movement is represented on a Committee formed by the N.S.W. Ranger Patrol, which is trying to induce the Local Government Department to extend the ban on the sale of native flora so as to include in the completely protected list the following: Boronia (Ledifolia and pinnata), waratah, flannel Flower and Wax Flower. Sale of the following species is prohibited at present: Native Rose, Pink Boronia, Giant Lily, Rock Lily and Pink Rock Lily.
Hordern Estate, West Chatswood.
Movement is trying to prevent sale of this 15-acre area.
It is a common misconception...
That the Householder's Comprehensive Policy covers Jewellery against loss by misfortune - or the dropping-out of diamonds from their settings - or the theft of Furs or Overcoats from parked cars. Neither is your brief-case covered if “lifted” from the carriage luggage rack.
These contingencies are provided in an All Risks Policy which is operative twenty-four hours of the day - Australia-wide - and New Zealand too (if you're lucky enough to be there ! ! Cameras, too, can be similarly insured.
This type of policy is inexpensive - why run the risk of financial loss ?
For full particulars, see Club Member Brian G. Harvey, Insurance Broker. Box 3688 G.P.O., Sydney. BU5039 BU5660 JW1462.
Every so often, out of the blue, comes a walk which seems to “take”. It could have been a result of the Photographic Exhibition the previous Wednesday when a large gathering of “senior” members attended the Club Room and were talked into or inspired into taking up pack and going on the track again, but Edna Garrad had 27 starters for her Heathcote - Goondera Brook - Uloola Falls - Audley walk on Sunday, 4th July. Also noticed on Heathcote Station amongst the 100 or so other passengers alighting from the train were Jo Newland and her friend “Mickey” Dawson, taking a party of Snow Revellers on a day jaunt. There were 19 members and prospectives and 8 visitors, which kept Edna and her assistants busy in an effort to keep track of the various groups as they wandered along the creek valleys. Ross Laird was doing his first day walk (previous outings had all been weekend or longer trips), Yvonne Renwick was celebrating her 21st Birthday, and Eric Rowan, feeling like doing 18 miles instead of 8, was taking time off from his home building. We passed a party of Boy Scouts en route - a small contemptuous voice said “Pitt Street”. Altogether everyone had a great get together and an almost continuous natter, thus ensuring the complete success of the venture.
The Grande Film Nite.
- “Gent in the Tent”.
On July 14th the eagerly awaited world premiere of the film “Murder in the Clubroom” took place. This well knit murder thriller had been made in the Clubroom about four weeks previously with an entirely unrehearsed, but all star, cast.
The opening shot was surely unique. An oval shaped black object filled the screen and, as the lid opened, revealed the Club's lion, producer Metro-Goldwyn-McGregor and his “cee-gar” most suitably framed, looking astonishingly like the famous lion in M.G.M. films.
Shots of the cast in suitable attitudes served to introduce the players, then the story began with a shot of the padlocked Clubroom door and a mysterious hand fumbling to open an already unlocked padlock. Throughout the film, the producer made very effective use of the door swinging to and fro to heighten the dramatic effect as players entered or fled as the case may be.
Elsie Bruggy, Hon. Secretary, was the first to arrive and, duty bound, went straight to her correspondence, and was soon joined by early arrivals, Ross Laird, Yvonne Renwick and others. Jess Martin showed just how she operated on her clientele in selling out the entire issue of the Magazine each month, and Frank Ashdown, as one of her prospective purchasers, was really superb for the way in which he extracted the coins carefully from his purse - a capital performance as a careful bushwalker.
Then at 8 o'clock, the President, looking very official, struck the gong with the traditional bone, and the meeting got under way. Edna Stretton, as the new member, contributed a charming vignette of the doubts and fears of just such an ingenue on her first night as a Club member. The meeting proceeded to the familiar plan as Kevin Ardill, Dot Butler, and Bill Henley chewed the rag. Then Grace Jolley arose to have her say, and in so typically feminine fashion, talked for over 40 minutes, with the result that all the members and officials gradually dropped off to sleep. Miriam Steenbohm's performance in this scene merits special commendation.
The arrival of the Four Musketeers (Schafer, Digby-Rigby, Bookluck and Hoffman) created a diversion, but they too succumbed with astonishing rapidity, possibly helped by the draught ale as purveyed by the “Hotel Australia”, and were soon fast asleep.
Now a mysterious muffled figure, with hat pulled down shading the face, is seen stealing through the sleeping meeting. Snatching the traditional bone from the President's table, the mystery man swiftly creeps around the back of the room to the spot where Grace is still innocently spouting about her favourite subject. Closing up behind her, he brings the heavy bone down on to her skull with a resounding “c1unk”, and poor Grace sags to the floor seriously injured. The eery stillness of the room, now that the continuous vocal effort of the past three quarters of an hour has finished, apparently disturbs several of the members, noticably Jo Newland and Jean Harvey, who, looking down, see the prone figure and soon raise a pandemonium in the room.
The meeting is now well awake, except the Four Musketeers, who slumber on, oblivious to what is taking place. The President, rapidly summing up the situation, despatches a runner for a medico and the Police.
Once more the dramatic door swings open admitting Dr. Ingram, and Detective Sergeants Moppett and Harvey, complete with hats in the best American crime detection tradition. The doctor conducts a very cursory examination - at the patient's prior request - but his services are too late. Holding up the traditional bone, which has been dropped by the assailant, he sadly shakes his head, whereat the “Dee's” remove their hats with great reverence.
Now, in what is the performance of the night, the sleuths really go to work, interviewing, note taking, examining, until finally they discover a few grains of Terry's meal near the President's table. (No - he didn't do it because he doesn't eat Terry's, as far as I know). About this time one of the Four Musketeers wakes up, sees the body, yells, waking his comrades, who, one by one, flee to their frequent haven, the Gentlemen's Cloakroom.
Sifting the evidence, and with masterly deduction, the Detectives are finally forced to the conclusion that the Club's famous Terry's Meal eater must know something about the crime, so that Nemesis' agents descended upon Frank Barr and the final gripping shot (after the mystery codeword “Presents” had appeared on the screen) showed Frank being led away to Razorhurst Police Station, where we presume, he was plied with cups of tea, made quite comfortable for the night, and fed on Terry's Meal before appearing before the Court in the morning.
Special mention should be made of the efforts of Metro-Goldwyn-McGregor and his technical staff, Messrs. Meadows, Hooper, Abernethy and Wilson. Nice work, and, if it's not too expensive, we'd like to make another film, sometime.
And finally, by popular vote, Tom Moppett's performance won the Oscar for him against strong competition. The much-sought trophy, a suitably decorated “ham” bone, was presented by the Producer amidst thunderous acclaim.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
Easy to carry, easy to pack, easy to eat. Vegetarian foods.
Nut food, including nutolene and nutmeat (meat substitutes), peanut kernels, cashews and other appetising varieties.
First grade dried apricots, apples, nectarines, prunes and ready-to-eat Waltham raisins, dates, dried fruit confectionary.
Wide range of breakfast foods, including wholemeal porridge, easily prepared granola and Terry's Meal.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
- Alex Colley.
In the magazine of July 1942, at the time when the Commissioner for Railways was posing the question “Is your journey really necessary?” “Lyrebird” wrote an article describing how a party of bushwalkers, unable to get out of town by train, made the best of things by climbing a pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was a thrilling ascent as they roped their way up the granite blocks, and the audience, composed mainly of policemen, was considerable. I cannot claim to have been one of the party, but I can claim, with little fear of being challenged, to have done something equally unnecessary if less spectacular. I think, though I cannot be sure, that I have walked across the bridge more than anyone else.
There is more to this habit than love of exercise. From its commencement I have been a devotee of the bridge. I can remember it being built - those distant days when the two sides of the arch crept up towards the centre, and the relief of the citizens when the great cables that supported the sides were relaxed until the two arms met to form a self-supporting arch.
Not long after this I walked from Liverpool to Bimlow across the Blue Labyrinth. There would be nothing to the walk now. But in those days there was no Warragamba Dam. There were no timber tracks, and no map that I knew of except the S.E. Tourist District. My equipment consisted of a military pack and groundsheet, 7lbs. of unpolished rice, 2lbs of rolled oats, 1lb of dates and a pea rifle. As I ascended the range behind Warragamba I looked to the East, and lo! there was the bridge. For some days thereafter my method of locating my position was to lay the compass down, site the rifle over it on the bridge, and draw a corresponding line on the map. This gave me a pencil line across the white space on the 10 mile to the inch map and somehow assured me that eventually I would arrive at the King's Tableland track with rice to spare.
Not long after that, in 1932, I came to live near the northern end of the bridge, and have been there almost continuously since. The bridge became my winter training ground on which I warmed up (literally) for a day's work in a cold city office. It is the only mile-long stretch in or near the city where one can walk for a mile without impediment from pedestrians or traffic. By the use of subways one need cross only two streets between Milson's Point and Hunter Street.
On mornings when the footway is damp the bridge walkers leave footprints. By the number I don't think that more than a dozen or so go to work on foot, which means that there are seldom more than one or two pedestrians in sight. But right next the footway trams rattle past every few seconds. Beyond them four lanes of cars and buses move slowly in a continuous stream; while on the other side roar the trains. In all these conveyances sit or stand the well-wrapped city workers, mostly with heads buried in papers, or concentrating grimly or protecting mudguards and bumper bars. The din from the traffic and the reverberation of the bridge is terrific, but I have long since ceased to notice it. Only occasionally do I watch the traffic, though for considerable stretches the cars move little if any faster than I do. My thoughts are, in fact, usually anywhere but on the bridge. They are determined mainly by wind direction and humidity. If there is no wind, and humidity is low, the smoke pouring from factories, power-houses, trains, ships etc., forms a grey-blue low level blanket which extends a few hundred feet above the city. On some recent mornings, otherwise bright and sunny, only the near city buildings could be seen through the haze; visibility to the South was little over a mile; while Bradley's Head could barely be distinguished. On these mornings my thoughts often stray to the sparkling sunlight which must exist beyond the murk into which I am about to plunge for the day. If there is no wind and humidity is high, the moisture condenses on the smoke particles to form a grey fog. On these mornings sometimes neither the water 180 feet below nor the top of the arch above can be seen. On windless mornings I frequently give my mind to some irksome problem that I know must be resolved some time, and often find that I have arrived at work with no clear idea of what the weather was like, though all the passenger travellers seem to know exactly. A light wind from the South intensifies the haze. But if the wind is anywhere in the Western quarter then the bridge serves me as an elevated platform from which I can see clear over the city to the walking country beyond. To the South, beyond the University, rise the highlands beyond Waterfall. Towards the West is the ridge I followed to the King's Tableland (though it cannot be seen as a ridge), and beyond it, on the skyline, must lie Kanangra (the coastal plain can be seen from Kanangra). Then I can distinguish Guouogang, Queahgong and Jenolan, the “Dogs” and the tip of Clear Hill. Directly west is King's Tableland and, further north, Mounts Hay, King George and Tomah, the Grose gap, and Kurrajong Heights. Coming back in the evenings these high points are silhouetted against the sunset and my thoughts always stray to that fascinating wasteland of sandstone ridges, canyons and volcanic necks that starts on the Kurrajong skyline and extends for nearly 100 miles to the NNW.
Not only the places themselves but their surroundings, and even the weather on that far horizon, come vividly to me as I look beyond the desert of bricks and mortar. I can always tell by the clouds and the direction and feel of the wind when it is snowing on the mountains. Not long ago, after an exceptionally heavy fall, it occurred to me that I might see the snow. I looked towards Wentworth Falls and could see a faint white line just below the horizon. This observation earned me 5/- from the “Telegraph” whose reporters checked the phenomenon from the top of city buildings. Whether I was the first to see snow lying on the mountains, or anywhere else, from Sydney I don't know, but at least its the only time I've heard of it.
Most of the bridge walkers take their own time getting across, but occasionally racers have appeared. These always pass me if they want to, but sometimes if its cool enough for brisk walking I like to pad along about five yards behind them. If they break into a run I feel the day has not been wasted.
Like tourist attractions the world over the bridge means more to visitors than it does to the locals buried in their papers and submerged in traffic. Honeymooners from the country and other States, visitors from overseas, members of ships' crews and other sightseers arrive before 9 a.m. They are probably much more numerous later in the day. The appearance of “wet paint” notices in four languages leads me to believe that some of the tourists, unable to read English, were wont to get stuck in the fresh paint on the railings.
An article on the bridge wouldn't be complete without reference to the footpath philosophers. We bridge walkers are exceptionally well primed on eternity, the need to repent, the imminence of the world's end, and the iniquity of dogs.
However much others may take the bridge for granted my regard for it will endure. It is the greatest single structure ever completed in this country and looks like remaining so for many years to come. It is beautiful. It is unique amongst public works in that it will, before many years, be paid off. During the Queen's tour there were many fine decorations, but to my mind none to touch that great flood-lit flag, waving free high above the city in the clean wind that blew straight from the Pacific and on to the Blue Mountains. I like to think the Queen thought so too.
As the party slipped and slid down the steep sides of Murdering Gully the pants of a certain femme showed advanced signs of disintegration. Ken Angel was watching with anticipation one particular weakness on the rear when a dislodged boulder from above knocked him unconscious. Having come to, he was urged without too much sympathy to continue, but found the going difficult. Half an hour of slipping and sliding and the party reached the stream bed. “Ah, the bottom at last!” breathed Ken fervently. The femme in front with the fluttersome pants gave a start and was then seen quietly pinning up the rent with a safety pin.
One of our very young members who hopes to go to Kosciusko next August wonders if she crossed a sheep with a kangaroo would she get a woolly jumper.
Federation Notes - July Meeting.
- Allen A. Strom.
The Annual Meeting of Federation was held first, during which the Annual Report was read, received and adopted. It will be duplicated and circulated amongst Clubs and interested organisations and Departments.
The Election of Officers resulted as follows :-
|Paul H. Barnes
|Allen A. Strom, Lyle Flemming
|(Miss) Tine Koetsier
The Affiliation Fee for 1954/5 has been fixed at 10/- per 25 members.
From the July Monthly Meeting:
The Federation is anxious to hear from any bushwalker who is prepared to organise a Social Function during the year. Such a Function is Federation's only method of raising funds. There will be no 1954 Bushwalkers' Ball.
An attempt will be made to revive the Mapping Section. Some detail has been collected for a Map of the Yalway-Ettrema country.
The organisation of a Fire Fighting unit as recommended by The Sydney Bushwalkers has been stood over for a further month to allow delegates to give a better picture of the proposed plan to their Clubs.
The Department of Local Government has indicated that the following wildflowers may not be sold as cut flowers during the 1954-5 flower season: Native Rose; Pink Boronia; both species of Giant Lily; both species of Rock Lily.
Bouddi Natural Park: Two Clubs attended the work party held over the weekend, July 3/4/5. The track from Putty Beach to Maitland Bay (the Gerrin Trail) was cleared and reconditioned but not to the complete satisfaction desired. The Department of Lands has made a grant of £300 for track work, entrance notices, boundary definition and general work. Regular Patrols are still urgently needed.
Warrah Sanctuary: Some time ago, the Gosford Shire Council closed the road from Pearl Beach to Patonga via Warrah Heights. Now the Council has rescinded the original intention and the road is to be reconditioned for its scenic value. Numerous efforts to dissuade the Council have failed. The control of Council is in the hands of Estate Agents.
During the month passed, a visit was made to Narara for a short discussion with Mr. L. Moss-Robinson, President, the Gosford Flora and Fauna Society. Patrols for Bouddi Natural Park and co-ordination on the Kariong Proposal were discussed.
Faunal Reserves: The Faunal Panel has been successful in its application for two areas as Faunal Reserves: Cabbage Tree Island (off Port Stephens) and an area of 600 odd acres on the Bulga-Comboyne Range. The latter area in particular is an achievement since it was granted in opposition to an application by The Forestry Commission.
A Sad Case Of Post Alcoholic Delusions.
- Dot Butler.
The evening of 21st July.
“I must go into the S.B.W. tonight Mum. This is the Big Night”.
“Now, Ross,” said a firm voice, “you just drink this”.
“Smells pretty potent Mum. What's in it.”
“Never you mind, just drink it down. That's the way.”
“Hey, Mum, I can see St. Peter. He's standing up on the stage in front of the piano waving his arms about. His halo looks a bit rickety though. Hullo Kevin, what are you doing? Deputising for me?
Here comes Judy and Yvonne and Grace to see me. Nice of them to look me up. Soft, sweet, pretty little faces. No! What vicious harpies! Help! Help! They're three girls of St. Trinians brandishing carving knives and hockey sticks. Don't let them get me Mum! Help! But they're not after me. They're after Tine. They say she's a filing system and they're going to tear her off around the dotted line. Stop them! Don't let them do it Brother Matthews”. Brother Matthews is conversing with a seedy looking character. The costume is all right as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough. “So you forgot your pants, did you”, the Rev. Brother is saying, “Crookluck Bookluck!”
“I see quite a sprinkling of Scouts out there oh the floor. You know, I could have sworn that long skinny hairy-legged one was Jim Brown, but our President wouldn't be seen carrying a hatchet and a fauna trap on his belt.
And I've seen that face before, but never framed. He says he's Metro Goldwyn McGregor, but he's not. He's Don Newis. But he's got the wrong end of him stuck, O how absurd!”
“Hullo,Geof, but why all the bandages? Have you been in a car accident?”
“O no, not at all; just a S.B.W. returning from having enjoyed himself on a Rock-climbing Instructional. Meet my friend Colin with the XOS spanner; he's a bus mechanic. He says 9 out of 10 walk so why don't YOU!”
“Excuse me, here comes Lord Randal chatting with one of the nobles from the House of Bourbon”. “From J.C. Williamsons”, Lord Randal is saying, “Mine too. Cost me 17/6d. There's enthusiasm!”
“That's Elsie in that half-and-half creation, Night and Day. N-i-i-i-ight and Da-a-ay, You are the One I adore - what a helluva noise that orchestra's making! And there's Neville Chamberlain dancing with a 1920 vintage lady. Reminds me of the day I was born; besides my birth announcement the newspapers were quoting Neville J'aime Berlin: There will be no war; Germany is our friend”.
Here comes flitting past a lanky looking page-boy dancing with a packet of Rinso - the Large Economy size - -and he's calling it Jean. What next, Stitt.
Someone is saying, “See that double lounger over there; it (or they) produced a little Tom Thumb called Julie who had her first birthday last month and the boys brought lots of bottles of beer for the little squib. What a waste of good beer!”
That Tyrolean, I've seen him somewhere before. Why, it's Doctor Ingram. “Doc, I feel kinda funny in the head. First I think I can see Ken Meadows, and then it isn't Ken its a monkey and he's dancing with Red Riding Hood. And Dave Brown just danced past with Dot calling him Dave to his face and Snow behind his back and he just smiled with both his faces and winked and said he wasn't backward-in-coming forward. You'll get your assistant to give me a little something to put me an my feet again? Thanks Doc. Is this your assistant, this sordid looking individual with the test-tubes dangling below his hairy disguise. The blood-soaked label on his back says he's Poison Ivy, but the voice is the voice of Rigby. “Here”, he says, “You just drink this and no nonsense. Just drink it down!” “No, no! I'd rather not. Excuse me, I must catch up with that Scottish lassie and the Czech maid - they look lovely. O wait for me - Ah, they're gone, blotted out by a huge white figure in voluminous floating robes. Why it's Binzie”. “No, it's not”, says a sepulchural voice, “I'm a departed spirit, and you'll soon be as dead as I am. Heh! Heh! Heh! … “Help! Help! Take her away! I don't want to die” ……….
“Don't be alarmed Mrs. Laird”, said the Doctor as they leaned over the figure writhing and screaming in bed. “That drug we gave him does sometimes have the effect of causing delusions. Just keep him warm in bed and try to get his mind off Bushwalking for a week or two.”
Ettrema Gorge, or
“Obviously this isn't the right ridge; now it's your guess”.
- Geof Wagg.
When I arrived at Hurstville, Snow was eating (his favourite occupation), George hadn't arrived with the Graymobile, so I visited the hamburger shop and joined Snow. “Munch, munch!” Then came George, the packs were efficiently stowed and we were away. Round the corner, down the hill, stop for the lights, up the hill – wait a minute, George has forgotten his socks. Oh well, turn round, down the hill, stop for the lights, up the hill, round the corner: “Won't be a sec.,” says George.
Ten Minutes later; “There we are”. Now! Round the corner, down the hill, stop for the lights, up the hill, yes, we've made it; we're off at last.
Along the coast the wind blowing hard and cold from the south bent the trees and buffeted the car. The steel blue road unwound before our head lights and curled up behind us like a spring. We paused at Nowra for nourishment then hastened on to alight at Tianjara Creek before midnight. Walking to the edge of the gorge we beheld a scene of moonlit calm in sharp contrast to the bitter wind making a turmoil in the black trees round us. George drove a little way into the scrub and then we slept.
In the morning first came breakfast and Snow discovered that he'd forgotten his spoon, so with typical confidence set out to carve one from a nearby log with George's axe. In five minutes he returned, vanquished, and borrowed mine. At the genteel hour of nine we boarded the vehicle once more and splashed through Tianjara Creek, and lit out for Ettrema. As we climbed higher before Sassafras we stopped to identify the distant blue peaks. On we went past Sassafras seeking the side road that would take us in towards Ettrema on the west side. Very cleverly however we missed this and arrived, almost before we realised it, at the Endrick River. Well, seeing that we were there we thought we'd have a look at the falls about a mile down stream. As it was obviously photographic country out came the cameras, a Leica, a Practika and an Exacter; you can imagine the bickering. Nor were we disappointed for the scenery was spectacular. Coming back along the stream George had great fun by dropping his lens cap into a pool beneath a waterfall presumably by accident and then diving for it obviously on purpose. The water was liquid ice.
Back at the road we lunched then returned the way we had come, this time finding the turn off. This side road may be all right for blitz waggons, but for Austin A40's, no! Nearly two miles along the road we parked the machine and reluctantly shouldered our packs. I say reluctantly and it is true, which proves how this touristing can capture you if you're not careful. Another day and I suppose we wouldn't even have bothered getting out of the car to look at things. The road led us on mile after featureless mile. Sometimes through banksias in flowering harmony of tan and green, sometimes through drab scrub and sometimes over expanses of flat pink granite so lightly soiled that only moss and the smallest plants could find a hold. We saw the sunset through a fretwork of trees and started to think of making camp. But no water. In the dusk we searched dry stream beds for a pool, but had no success. Back along the road were some deep wheel ruts full of fairly thin mud. We strained it and boiled it, but it still tasted our rice and our tea, and in the harsher light of day the next morning we also noted that it not only tasted but coloured our porridge.
That night there'd been a frost and so we set off through a flat landscape of scrub dripping with water. Our intended route to the gorge, namely following down the cliff line of a side stream, didn't seem practical on inspection so we detoured to a large clearing and started again. George took a bearing and we followed it across the clearing and through a mile or so of bush. Then the ground seemed to fall away beyond the line of trees on our right. “That might be something” said George. Well it was something; it was a lot more trees on a slightly lower level than ours reaching away to infinity. George took another bearing and off we went heading for some higher ground. Between us and the higher ground was a creek called Surprise Creek, because we didn't see it until we almost fell in it. Happily it had some water in it so we immediately forgave it for getting in our way and set off refreshed, in search of our illusive gorge. Eventually we struck the cliff line of a larger side creek and followed this along, climbing slightly until from a tree on a rocky eminence Snow sighted some interesting if not hopeful looking pinnacles of rock. Taking yet another bearing we followed George and his compass through brush and scrub, down low cliffs up low cliffs, until we came to a dry rock stream bed with some delightful rock pools of water. This undoubtedly was lunch. When we'd eaten, we mounted Snow's red, white and blue ground sheet in a tree to guide us and leaving our personal impediments strewn about went off with the rope to find Ettrema Gorge. Over a rise we went, across a stream, up some rock outcrops, higher and higher until there – dropping at our feet and running away to the northern skyline, a symphony of rock and tree, of sound and size and colour; at once near and clear at our feet and far in the haze of distance - Ettrema! We rolled the word along the cliffs, we danced from rock to rock and brandished our cameras. We were excited. As we explored we found the pinnacles we had first viewed connected to the main cliff by the merest wafer of ridge, so up we climbed and named it the Razor. Below us a hopeful looking ridge ran down towards the gorge, so taking stock of our limited hours before sunset, we decided to try for the bottom. Down, down, we went, running, jumping, scrambling. The ridge grew steeper and we feared that it would fall into a cliff about half way down. No rest but down, down, sidle a cliff, steep small scree, very loose “Hell, think of climbing back up this”. Well, our time was up. The half hour allowed for the descent was gone. We were in the shadow of the cliff and it seemed the gloom of dusk was already on us. There was a nasty bit of climbing to do right at the top and if we couldn't make it in the dark we'd be cut off from our camp. But couldn't we glimpse the bottom there through the trees; “Let's try it!” And in five minutes we were there. Because of the dry season the creek was a string of pools but if the river was up the steep sides would make it tricky for walking. We hardly paused even for photograph before we were scrambling back up the slope. The possibility of missing our tea, or the thought of spending a night unprotected from the bitter wind must have spurred us on, because we climbed in three quarters of an hour the slope it had taken us half an hour to descend. A hundred feet from the top we emerged into late afternoon sunlight and strolled back into camp for a leisurely tea.
At the crack of dawn we were up again to photograph the sunrise across the gorge. Then breakfast, and back to the clearing. This time we called the country's bluff. We just took our reading and went direct. At one stage we emerged from a deep creek and Snow said “We'll go this way”. “Over there isn't it” I said. The compass says this way”, said George, indicating a third direction. We didn't believe him of course but he was quite right. Leaving the clearing we hurried the eight miles to the car and sank gratefully into a position of rest at about one. After that it was “Home George, and don't spare the horsepower”, but how we hated to leave Ettrema.
Paddy now has on sale a completely new design of frying pan - plate outfit. It is an old idea of Paddy's but brought up to date and streamlined after a conference between Paddy, and John, and the manufacturer. The plate is a deep, rounded aluminium plate 8” in diameter and the frying pan is similar but with a lip. They have no clips or loops and consequently fit snugly together for space saving but may be placed together to form a hollow container for soft foods, or act as an oven for a damper. The handle will pick up the bits separately or together and can be used as a lifter for hot billies. Price l0/6d. the lot.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. M2678.