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. 'Phone: JW 1462.
No. 265. December, 1956. Price 9d.
|Editor||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208).|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle.|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Dot Butler.|
In This Issue:
|An S.B.W. Snow hut at Kosciusko||Dot Butler||1|
|At Our November Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|“Far from the Madding Crowd”||Taro||4|
|Walks Report for October 1956||Malcolm McGregor||6|
|“Been There Before” or More Morons to Morong||Dot Butler||8|
|Federation Report, November||Allen A. Strom||14|
|Where are our wandering boys?||Letter from Ross||15|
|here are our wandering boys?||Letter from Garth||16|
|Conservation Report||Tom Moppett (Conservation Sec.)||18|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||3|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||5|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Leica Photo Service||9|
|“Pity Poor Paddy” (Paddy's Advt.)||20|
An "S.B.W." Snow Hut At Kosciusko.
- Dot Butler.
Many times over the years the matter of a hut of our own at Kosciusko has come up for discussion, and the subject has been received and debated and thrashed out with varying degrees of enthusiasm, but out latest effort to acquire this much-needed asset is probably going to prove successful. The reasons for this optimism are as under:-
1. We already have a hut selected. Last year the Snowy Mt. Authority advertised for sale and removal various huts which had completed their term of usefulness to the Snowy project. At a Gen. Meeting Dave Brown moved that we write for particulars, and a letter which we eventually received told us there were several huts available and an inspection would be desirable. Accordingly Dave and Neil Monteith contacted the appropriate officer at Cooma and were shown what huts were available. Neil, who is engaged in the building trade and has experience in the costing and demolition and removal of buildings, was very impressed with one hut they inspected, details of which are as under:-
This hut has been used as a recreation hut for S.M.A. workers. Main floor space 30' x 16', with 7' ceiling. Electrically wired.
Another area 6' x 16', and a smaller entrance porch.
5 windows on each side, all glazed and intact.
The construction is of vertical boarding, with sisalcraft insulation. The inside is horizontal boarding, covered with Masonite, and the area between the boards is insulated. All timber is Baltic pine.
The roof is corrugated iron in good condition. The floor is considerably worn.
The whole job needs painting.
It is a prefabricated job, and can consequently be taken to pieces easily and re-erected with a minimum of trouble.
2. Finance. The ultimate cost of the hut, including stone foundations, transport coats, fittings, would be probably round the £800 mark. Our first official meeting held to discuss the matter (on Wed, 28th Nov.) was attended by 30/40 people who promised donations of £10 each to a total of £280. If this amount can be raised from such a small proportion of Club members, it is not too optimistic to hope that amongst the several hundred other members who were not present a further large sum could be guaranteed, without anyone being asked to donate more than £10 (and perhaps less). A return on each person's outlay of £10 is yet to be discussed, but it has been suggested that they could take it out in a free use of the hut, whereas those who had not contributed, or who were not members of the Club, would be asked to pay a certain amount for use of the hut.
3. Labour. The enthusiasm shown for this part of the project is overwhelming. Neil estimates that it should not take more than twelve people a week-end to dismantle and shift the hut to its new site (yet to be selected.) There is every indication that there will be more than enough willing workers and plenty of transport vehicles available.
Peter Stitt has ascertained that the Park Trust will hire us a truck for £35 (and a reasonable amount per mile for running charges), and if the site chosen if off the road, we are assured by our building experts, chief among them John Scott and Neil, that the dismantled sections of hut will not be too heavy or unwieldy for back-packing to location by the willing toilers. Our President, Brian Harvey, also assures us that Insurance will prove no problem.
A Committee, consisting of Alex Colley, Neil Monteith, Peter Stitt, Stan Madden, Bob Duncan and John Scott, has been appointed to go further into the matter when details as to cost of foundations, transport of materials, hut fittings, selection of site, etc., etc., will be thrashed out, and report back to next General Meeting.
Everyone, old and new members alike, are particularly asked to come along to the next General Meeting (Wed. 12th Dec.) for the sheer pleasure of being present at the birth of this new offspring of the S.B.W., and also to give your support and encouragement to those who are devoting their time and energy to foster its growth.
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 Sydney No. LU3563 after hours, or MA3467.
- Kanangra Walls: 30/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Perry's Lookdown: 3/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Jenolan State Forest: 20/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Carlon's Farm: 10/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
Look for T.C.3210 or Packhard T.V.270.
At Our November Meeting.
- A.G. Colley.
The meeting opened at 8.25 with the President in the Chair and about 36 members present. A welcome was extended to two new members - Alan Round and Brian McLoughlin.
The principal business of the evening was conservation. Tom Moppett drew attention to the serious bush fire risk and asked for names of those willing to join patrols in National Park at weekends or to help fight fires during the evening or at weekends.
Tom's proposal that we should approve of the establishment of a State Forest at Erskine Creek was endorsed by the meeting on the grounds that our approval would help to create goodwill.
The proposal to establish a National Parks Assn. in Sydney was also endorsed. (See Page 18 for further details).
The remainder of the meeting was occupied by a discussion initiated by Frank Ashdown as to whether or not an obituary notice should appear in the magazine when a member died. His motion that they should appear was defeated, thus leaving the matter to the discretion of the Editor.
"Far From The Madding Crowd"
Sunday 11th at 5 a.m. was sheer perfection. Every mound from Jellore round to Kurrajong was standing clear - inviting. What a day for walking! The Programme showed an interesting and familiar run led by Brian Harvey (Lilyvale-Era-Waterfall). Now there's dependable scenery for you. I did not ring Brian for any details - better to show faith than doubt, especially with the President.
Left home 7.15. Not one familiar face at Central. Walked the full platform. Not a sign! No matter, they may all be in a sheep-huddle in a corridor car, so me for a boxie all to myself.
Arrived Lilyvale 9.25. Only four got off - strange on such a train and such a day. Not a sign of our mob; they may have jumped off on the blind side and be down at the creek by now. Was agreeably surprised at the growth on the first rise. Last time I passed timber-getters, complete with circular saws, had left it bald. Kept a sharp eye open for our mob, but no one was on the track. Dropped down to South Era and around to North. Not a soul there, and how beautiful it was - Eden indeed - no rubbish and a crystal flow in the creek. It was then exactly 11 o'clock on the great 11th day when long ago peace burst on a startled wasted threadbare world. But the peace of my Eden was there long before that it was there back in the astronomical centuries before even the advent of the nations in the great mixup. I've never seen North Era so beautiful. Maybe the perfection of the day helped - the growth! and still palms breaking the skyline, and the dune.
After lunch I spreadeagled and absorbed all the wild beauty - the shrubs deep green at the base, rising, to lighter green, capped by all the fresh-born leaflets scintillating, quivering, transparent against the sun and the deep blue of the sky; endless bird song, leaf rustle and distant bass of the surf. Paradise!
And so for an hour I surrendered, saturated in a flood of feeling and thinking. So many times in 30 years had I shared that dell with droves of club mates now scattered wide - some departed for aye.
At noon, full of rest, content, and some regret, I left this little Eden and bee-lined for the skyline of Thelma Ridge, with many a backward glance at the ever changing aspects. I have never seen so many shy modest flowerlets content to rise, but a few inches to flourish and grace the flowing carpet of Mother Earth. Nowhere else can be seen such a riot of beautiful color-drawing, from the tiny to the immense. The best spot is where, for about 20 yards, the scrub is cleared, forming wings for a truly magnificent picture. The foreground below is a vast basin of every green that ever was seen - headlands and mounts beyond counting flow down to the tossing blue. One wall-face below Wollongong announces that right here live Ray and Peter. That unbroken smoke column says Port Kembla. The warp and weft of industry all over Australia - not a man-made thing meets the eye but is related to that distant column of smoke or its kind. And still the headlands flow down to sea and misty distance. The ultimate should be Gabo. The Pacific was Prussian blue straight from the tube, with much spilling of flake white at the edges. Add to this the cool of winter, the soft breeze and unclouded silver of the sun, and the compound is perfection and mine own country.
Time for a swing to the end of the ridge to have a peep at a snug Garie-gazing cabin with waratah-red chimney and much paint and order. Then back along the smooth red gravel path and a feast of yard-high gorse waving and shimmering in the noonday sun. Never have I seen it at that hour.
And so up the friendly ridge with a few more backward glances at the shipless sea and the folkless track. I felt I was A.W.L. from the “Endeavour” - truly King of the Castle was I on that eastering slope.
To the top - and bang! A bunch of bodgies with a portable radio spewing its mess, making one regret the wandering habit of a certain Mr. Columbus, and rows of sleek shining beetles.
Time for a peep from the Lookout, but it was nothing after the Thelma ridge vista.
12.45 and Ho for a non-stop road-sock to Waterfall. Strings of shiny beetle “Marias” speeding on - all holding prisoners of buttons, levers and tensions, all carefully insulated from the soft air (a Detroit selling point) - all bound for some Alcatraz, as incorrigibles.
Not being a hitcher I had no tyre or mechanical troubles; I flowed on as easy as a bird. What a simple business is this walking - just project the bod a few degrees beyond T.D.C. and then save that bod by projecting the right then left leg, and in time you get anywhere.
And now Bola Creek, surely the deepest deep near Sydney. Not much fun from the causeway up - no side tracks. One down-speeding beetle swung wide but I hopped in time and noticed the number plate - it had an AVA numbers. What a lovely finish that would have been!
Waterfall 2.30, the scooter at 2.35. Sutherland 2.57 and at 3 o'clock the electric fast to town. Now there's service for you! Home 4.25. Fastest time in 30 years. A day of delight - a day not to be told of in the level terms of commerce or encrusted maturity.
(Editors Note: So that others will not be under the same misapprehension as Taro was on this trip, please remember it is essential to give notice of intention to join trips to the Leader. This now applies to day walks and not only to week-end walks as in the past. In this instance, Brian did not lead the walk as no one notified him of their intention of going.)
Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
Telephone: Blackheath 129 or 249. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
- Kanangra Walls - 30/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Perry's Lookdown - 3/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Jenolan State Forest - 20/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Carlon's Farm - 10/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
Walks Report For October, 1956.
- Malcolm McGregor.
October started with the holiday week-end, and although the Caving trip was cancelled, quite a few members were able to get out. The President led a party of four down the Nattai, five others with four children camped at the foot of Sheehy's Creek for the three days, and a party of eight went from Yerranderie to Katoomba. In view of the dearth of walkers on the tracks recently, the mention of several parties seen in the Blue Mts. area was most welcome. Finally Jack Gentle led three prospectives, Maureen Beckett, Alan Round, Keith Farrington and another seven members from Blackheath via the Cox and the Six-Foot Track to Katoomba. Special marks go to Maureen who walked very well. (She also went “swimming” clothes and all - still, some of the best people have done that, ask S.B.)
The next report is from Len Fall who was programmed to lead a Sunday trip from Cowan to Fisherman's Beach. The programme said Sept. 30th, which was changed to Oct. 7th because of incorrect dates published on the programme. Len, however, cancelled personal arrangements and appeared on the 7th to find no starters. Len was disappointed, and it is clear that people who say there are not enough Sunday walks will need to make an effort to attend those programmed, or once again there will be few Sunday leaders.
The second week-end seems to have been a complete blank; no reports, and nothing have I heard.
Alex Colley led the following Friday nighter with Kath Brown to help him look after three prospectives, Lynette Baber and John and Betty Quigley. Plenty of lawyer vine and thornbush, but sunny weather helped to make a good trip.
That rugged leader, Frank Rigby, had an excellent trip with his party of 5, including prospective Mary Walton, from Bulli through Rixon's Pass to Wollongong. Excellent camping was found about half a mile past Rixon's Pass, for those who care about these things.
The Sunday trip was again led by Jack Gentle, and 4 members and one prospective accompanied him. For those who like map and compass work the Blue Labyrinth is unsurpassed. Try it sometime.
The last week-end was somewhat of a surprise. Jean Harvey had no starters, and it was left to John White to carry the banner. His Katoomba - Red Ledge trip brought out nine including four prospectives. The nails in the tree at the top of Mitchell's Creek are O.K., John reports, so anyone can do this interesting trip without getting stuck.
Tom Moppett's Sunday trip took three members and 4 prospectives.
The month's total therefore was 43 members and 16 prospectives on programme walks. There may have been others but we haven't heard of them.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
Offers quality dried fruits, nuts and biscuits. Delicious fruit sweets. Wholesome, light ry-king crisp bread.
Amazing, low economy prices.
Come to our store at 13 Hunter Street, and see our wonderful range of health-giving foods - for walking trips and home use.
"Been There Before" - or More Morons Mislaid At Morong.
- Dot Butler.
[Cartoon of 2 lost walks carrying a canoe]
“And I say it's this way,”
Some anonymous wit posted the above on the Club notice board following the week-end of 16/17/18 November. I feel I cannot do better than adopt it as title to my story. Let me tell you all about it.
An exceptionally fine slide evening was held last month. During the first half of the programme Bushwalkers showed typical slides of our country from Kosciusko to Ayer's Rock and all in between, and during the second half Dr. Harlan Pratt, American Fulbright scholar, showed slides of his mountain and desert country. After the show we all adjourned to supper in that modern and picturesque pile, the Canberra, and all talked Bushwalking till Harlan and Annamarie, his wife, were so enthused they accepted our invitation to take them bushwalking. Unfortunately, a fortnight before the scheduled week-end the little Pratt daughter caught measles. “O Garsh!” said Anna, “To think we came all this larng way to get measles. We could have had them jarst as easily at home.” The little girl was hardly over them when her brother came out in spots, so poor Anna was housebound and we just took Harlan.
The destination was Kanangra Tops with its vast array of bushwalking country spread out in view. Digby, clever boy, went up in his own car with one passenger, and Colin made himself responsible for the rest.
The Puttmobile set out from Sydney at 6.30 on the Friday night with 15 aboard. At Penrith we collected the Dalai Lama, and at Blackheath we picked up a patient Henry Ford who had put in two hours on the seat outside the Hotel. Seventeen in the Puttmobile is about seven too many. Pete with his broken leg and Dot Barr travelled in comfort on the driver's seat despite the antarctic gales which poked icy fingers in through the chinks in their parkas and caps. The other fourteen of us inside brooded on dark thoughts of packed cattle trucks and Belsen gas chambers. Says Harlan, “Riding in this vehicle sure is a social experience”, and he suggested a few improvements such as a number of meat hooks on the ceiling where you could hook up the little kids out of the way, or hanging straps so that travelling victims could lie on their allotted square foot of seat space and rest their feet in the loops, or, a better idea, “Why not install a number of trays like you have in cake waggons, and all the travellers could be slid in in a recumbent position and sleep till they reach their destination.” (Putt, please note.)
As the Puttmobile lacks these refinements we made the best of what was offering. The four “liddle kids”, to wit the Butlerbuds, were plucked off the stove and out of the spare tyre and put to bed on the floor, and the Dalai Lama managed to bag a section of floor space too. Comes Stitt's voice from the front seat, “You cunning dog, Duncan, grabbing the best place!” I grabbed it myself on the way home, but don't share Pete's opinion of it - everyone uses your recumbent form as a footrest.
Some time after midnight we reached Whalan's clearing on Morong Creek. There was a high wind blowing. A couple of bods camped in the hut, but most of us bedded down in the lee of the Puttmobile enfolded in the Putt marquee, and didn't get up till after seven.
The wind was still with us and blew dust and ashes in our faces as we cooked breakfast on a made fireplace at the back of the hut. Then into our vehicle and off the five miles to Kanangra Walls. There was no temptation to linger on the top so we made off down the track, which was reasonably sheltered, and so to the dance floor. Here Yvonne was unlucky enough to fall through a floor board and was somewhat shaken. She went back to the shelter of the Puttmobile to sleep it off while the rest of us set off around the rock ledge to the base of the chimney, the intention being to climb “the most photographed rock at Kanangra”. But one by one our starters dropped out till there was only myself left chasing up the two little boys who were skittering along the ledge as though it was a suburban footpath, and Colin because he had the rope, and John because John is always in it when there's anything doing. I climbed up and the two little boys followed because they don't know any better yet, then came John and Putto in a state of freeze in the cold wind, so we soon headed back to the shelter of the track and had lunch. Then out along the tops in search of a certain rock “at just the right angle for balance climbing” which Colin had seen on a previous trip, but before we found it our last night's lack of sleep caught up with us and we gave up and returned on our tracks with the rope and the duralumin ladder unused. And so back to Whalan's clearing. At the creek crossing Digby's little tin-can, meaning his car, got stuck and the boys had to lift it bodily out of the black ooze and place it on the track.
For this night's camp we picked on a much better camp spot amongst the trees sheltered from the wind, with a huge fallen tree trunk as a back log and a big warm camp fire in front. We cooked up a huge stew in the communal stew pot and settled down for a pleasant evening's camp fire. We were startled by a small body which came hurtling through the air and landed at the base of the tree trunk. It was a little flying phalanger. He scuttled up the tree and we shone torches on him till he took off again and glided down to another tree. Later in the evening when most of us were asleep Pete saw him glide over our heads for a closer look at these strangers in his domain.
Sunday, and we decided the best way to escape the wind would be to follow down Morong Creek to the Kowmung and see Morong Falls. Colin had a small job to do on the car. The fan belt wasn't gripping. He doubted whether his temporary repairs of the previous day, in the shape of a coating of golden syrup on the belt, would be adequate to get us home, so he would manufacture a new fan belt and catch us up later. (Somehow I seem to have heard a similar tale before - but that was the last time we failed to find Morong Falls.)
Anyhow, we set out about 8 o'clock minus Colin, the party suffering from several misconceptions: (1) that I am any sort of a leader, and (2) that I was leader of the party as I had “been there before.” On this happy occasion in the past when the party had actually got to Morong Falls, nine months of floods had raised the level of Marong Creek to the proportions of a decent stream with big deep swimming pools. We had followed a timber track which, after turning and twisting and describing a wide half-circle turn, brought us out in the vicinity of Morong Creek, and we then kept on a ridge with Morong Creek all the time visible on our right hand till we reached the Falls four hours after setting out. All this sounds very straightforward. But what did we do on this occasion?
We looked at the map and compass, and as our direction was S.W. we decided that if we walked all the time into our shadows, making allowance to swing off a bit to our right as the sun veered round to the west we should arrive dead on the falls in about four hours' time. Could anything be simpler or better thought out than that? Ah, but the frailty of human nature, especially in the female! We soon found we had to cease chasing our shadows because this led us into black mud in the swamps, and all the degenerates with shoes on might have got mud on them. This was the first deviation from our chosen course and the mental fog began to set in. Then we came to a wide track. “Ah,” said I, speaking from my wide experience, “I've been here before. This is the track we followed last time. We keep on it till it peters out at Morong Creek.” Why should the party doubt me? They didn't.
We came to a little insignificant trickle of a marshy creek about 3“ deep. A certain amount of indecision. That should be Morong Creek but there's not enough water in it. (O fie, fie, my simple friend! Didn't it ever occur to you that creeks tend to dry up when the floods are over?) All right, we decide, it must be a tributary of Landrigan's Creek. We must have got too far over to our left after leaving camp. We'll just keep following the timber track till we come to Morong Creek.
One and three-quarter miles further on we come to a much bigger stream of water. Ah, that looks better. (For the sake of those who are interested enough to be following our course on the map, we are now at Box Creeks and the timber track isn't the timber track at all but Pffffers Trail. The right procedure now, assuming this to be Morong Creek, is to follow it down on its true left bank, but what do we find the unconscious leader doing? First she has a prolonged argument with the Dalai Lama as to whether the small denizens of the rock pools are trout, as he maintains, or tadpoles, as she insists. (They were this shape, anyhow). Then, with her mind occupied with happy thoughts of what a lovely day it is, and don't the white trunks of the gum trees look magnificent against the blue sky, and don't the quartzite chips crunch nicely under the bare toes, and isn't this a wonderful bunch of friends to be out with, gaily gossiping she skips over the creek and the others do likewise, and they all continue along the trail, even though it is now going off at right angles and leaving the creek behind.
It wasn't long before the more conscious members of the party said “Hey!” - particularly John because John was making a study of the map. The “Hey!” brought us to a fullstop. “Heavens, what are we doing here? How did we get here?” Derisive hoots from the multitude, “You brought us here” Surprise! “Indeed, and what makes me leader of this ineffectual mob?” More hoots. “You're the leader - you've been there before.” The only course open then was to disclaim all responsibility and pass the leadership over to John, and we retraced our steps nearly two miles back to Morong Creek, with more than an hour of time lost.
Well, now John gets out his compass - whose luminous needle points South instead of North, but you ignore that, it's a northern hemisphere compass anyway. If occasionally it points S.E. or N.N.W. that's because it's come off its pivot. - and with the map in a handy pocket off we go again for Morong Falls. About elevenish we come to a huge outcrop of granite, and the Kowmung Gorge, delineated by a blue mist, looked a helluva long way away, “Ah” said I, “This is as far as the party got on the last abortive attempt. We had lunch on these rocks before returning. If you search down a crack in the rocks you'll probably find our sardine tin. We didn't get back till 5 on that occasion. We're running too short of time again to make it to-day.” “No,” cried Digby in anguish (He was there on the last occasion). “No, I couldn't bear it! Not twice!”
We didn't look for our sardine tin, which wouldn't have proved anything anyway, and now doubts arise as to whether this is indeed Morong Creek we are following - it could be, and probably is, Landrigan's Creek! If that is the case we'll get to Morong Creek by dropping down into yonder steep gorge and climbing up and over the ridge on its right. If we're wrong it'll only land us up on Box Creek again and we can follow Pfeffer's Trail home. Anyway it's too early for lunch. Action!!
We shot down the steep ridge-side into the gorge, with Digby all the time trying to say something but no one would listen to him, (You see how dangerous it is to get a reputation as a white ant.) At the bottom we came to a lovely little shady creek which we crossed on a fallen log and so up through sword grass to a pleasant reclining spot. Here we explained to Harlan just what the move was.
“Do you mean to tell me,” said he incredulously, “that we left a purrfectly good creek and a purrfectly good track to come right round here, and now we're fighting our way back through impenetrable forest to exactly the same place as we left?” We told him that was about the strength of it. “Waaal,” he groaned, but with a saving grin, “I call that the height of faarly.”
Back over the creek Digby and John have conferred and don't think we are where we think we are anyway. “I thought I was out with the cream of the Sydney Bush Walkers,” said our visitor, “Brother,” we told him, “You couldn't be more wrong!” John and Digby come across and we have another conference, but the outcome of it is that we continue the way we are headed. The top of the ridge proves to be level and about a quarter of a mile wide with no views of anything worth while as a landmark, and if you had asked any one of the nine of us which was the direction of the camp I'm sure you would have got nine different answers.
Somewhere up top we had lunch, then on our way again, and it came as a great surprise when we struck the timber track - the timber track. This turned and twisted and did its wide half-circle sweep, which caused some consternation to the map readers - the timber track, of course, isn't on any map, and when it ran due east when they wanted to go due west, you can understand their concern. However, eventually it turned about and went in the right direction and brought us out on the Kanangra Road, about a mile beyond the camp. As we walked back along the road we held a post mortem. “Now if you people had just kept your big mouths shut,” said our visitor frankly, “I would never have known that we've been lost all day.” But fancy expecting the impossible!
We reached camp about 4 o'clock. Pete and Dot and Yvonne had had a very pleasant relax in the sun while the young Butlers spent the day crawling down and excavating an uninhabitated wombat burrow. Colin had completed his repair job and set out l 1/2 hours after us. By 5 he had not returned. We had packed up and were just beginning to give the matter serious thought when he came pounding back splashed with black mud and announced he hadn't got to the falls either. Then the Puttmobile was revved up and away we sped on the homeward run .
At Caves House about 6.30 we stopped to ask for petrol. We stepped deferentially through the front doors remembering a previous occasion when the doorman forbade the boys' entry because they were wearing hobnails. But we needn't have been so cautious; there was no one in sight. A tip-toe examination of the whole of the ground floor revealed the fact that there was, indeed, not a single soul in the place. Eventually two guests came down from the upstairs dining room and informed us that the man whose job it was to serve out the petrol was also the drinks waiter, and as he was now engaged in that latter occupation he couldn't attend to us till 8 o'clock. So we had to push on without petrol, and the level of the tank now precariously low.
The party had gone off to view the scenery. Under the Grand Arch Colin stopped and tooted the horn to recall our wanderers. Here comes the Duncan, leaping down the crags in his bare feet like a rock wallaby - last to jump aboard as the Puttmobile is moving off without him. So to Hampden where we got petrol, then on to Blackheath and dropped off Henry, then various others along the route till we got to West Ryde railway station. And here we bade farewell to the Puttmobile and dashed up with just five minutes to catch the last train.
“Don't tell Annamarie too sad a tale,” we told Harlan as he was about to alight at Normanhurst.
“On the contrary,” said he. “I'm telling her not to make any social engagements for the week-ends. From now on till we leave Australia it's going to be sightseeing and Bushwalking.
… which just shows that some people can sure take it!
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.
Federation Report, November.
- Allen A. Strom,
The Sydney Technical College Bushwalkers will hold their Tenth Annual Barbecue at Woods Creek on December 15/16th. Special transport is being arranged from Richmond railway station for the 10.14 a.m. train ex Central on 15th. But please notify Peter Cartwright, 108 Grafton St., Bondi Junction, immediately if you wish to go.
Bungonia Gorge: A recent letter from the Dept. of Mines informs us that the leases for mining limestone near the Gorge have been curtailed. Later, in an interview with the Minister for Lands and Mines, a written undertaking was given that when the leases expire in 1960 and 61 “very favourable consideration” will be given to the plan for a National Monument. In the meantime we will continue to press for the reservation to be made over those parts of the Gorge not controlled by the Dept. of Mines.
Colong-Church Creek: Three leases to mine limestone will be given over parts of the reserve for the preservation of caves in the Colong-Church Creek area. The Trust of the reserve has agreed to the mining operations under certain conditions. The Dept. of Lands has been asked to supply us with the details of these conditions. A protest on mining in the reserve has been sent to the Superintendent of Caves. It appears that it is proposed to take the limestone to Maldon by aerial ropeway and that the tie up of capital and organisations is very considerable.
Myall Lakes: The Fauna Protection Panel has recommended that 15,000 acres lying between Seal Rocks and Mungo Brush, the Myall Lakes and the sea, be declared a Faunal Reserve.
National Parks Act: Following upon representations made from a Conference of Conservation Bodies in 1955 relative to a National Parks Act, the Minister for Lands has had information and data collected from numerous sources. He has proposed that a group from the Conference should discuss the proposed Act with him early in 1957.
The Information Officer (Paul Driver) is still not receiving the support necessary to make his work successful. Walks Leaders are especially asked to supply information requested and to make it suitable for beginners.
Arrangements are being made for a Junior Walk on Burning Palms. It will be for boys and prospective leaders should contact Paddy Pallin.
The position of Publicity Officer has been filled by a duo - Messrs. Gordon Robinson and D. Longton of the Bush Club.
Does any member wish to volunteer for a Trail Blazing Committee?
Where Are Our Wandering Boys?
Letter from Rosso in England.
Mr. Ross Laird,
Flat 6, 57 Netherall Gardens,
I must start this letter with mad apologies for not having written to you people in all the time I've been away. There's not any real watertight excuse for me to use so I shan't make one - just your bad luck in having such a person for a friend.
So far I've had a fabulous time. Met up with a really good crowd on the ship and finished up by practically wrecking the Oronsay and driving everybody crazy with our noise.
Spent the first nine days in looking round London. Rather disappointed at first, but after two or three days learnt to disregard the filth of the buildings and the millions of pigeons and consequently the muck they leave behind, and now think it is a really fabulous place.
On the tenth day we left - 4 girls and three boys - on a cycling trip. Took the train to Oxford and from there went to Harwell when I met Ken Meadows at the Youth Hostel quite accidentally and from there to Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswold Hills, On to Bourton-on-the-Water, still in the Cotswolds, Dunnisbourne, Abbotts, Inglesham, Marlborough, and so to Bath. Spent the full week-end in Bath, which is really terrific, and then off to Cheddar Gorge. Spent a full day at Cheddar and visited the caves there - really weak after our ones. From there went an to Street hostel which is two miles past Glastonbury, the site where religion was first preached on English soil. From Street, which is an old Quaker rest house, we went on to Minehead over on the Somerset coast. Spent another day here as one of the girls had gone down with 'flu. At this stage the weather, which till now had been terrific, gave up, and as it wouldn't have been any fun pushing bikes in the Cornish coast area we gave up and came back to London a week earlier than expected after doing 320 miles and using a hell of a lot of Kodachrome.
Spent the next week in seeing more of London, as well as a trip to Windsor Castle - a really fascinating place. Then just as I was thinking of looking for a job I fell backwards out of the attic here as I was putting away a couple of suitcases, and finished up with concussion and a fractured right wrist which was eventually put in plaster yesterday after a few weeks of X-Rays and crepe bandages, and there it stays for at least five weeks according to the hospital. “Lucky ole' Laird” they call me!
I'm now one of the idle - unfortunately there's no “rich” about it. Saw the Queen opening Parliament on Tuesday last - or rather the procession - and the Lord Mayor's procession on Friday. Both really wonderful, especially the former which was really fabulous. Have been to a couple of shows, the best of which was the Saddlers Wells Ballet Co. at Covent Gardens Opera House, and Alex Guiness in “Hotel Paradiso” at the Wintergarden Theatre in Drury Lane. After seeing him on films for so long, it was fabulous to see him on the stage.
Haven't heard a single word from anybody in the S.B.W. since sailing. So please, study the address at the head of this letter and forget this out of sight out of mind business. I am writing an article for the Magazine but don't know how long it will take to complete it.
All the best to everybody,
Letter from Garth in New Zealand.
Mr. Garth Coulter,
C/- Otago Catchment Board,
Moray Place, Dunedin. N.Z.
Dear anyone who reads this,
No, I haven't forgotten that collection of individuals who belong to the S.B.W. though I am rather slow in writing.
You'll be wondering what I have been doing with myself since arrival. Well, to tell the truth, not much. I've been away a couple of times with the Otago Tramping Club, over Mt. Druit (6,000' odd). Labor Day week-end (8-Hour to you people) went off to the Temple Valley - joins the Hopkins-Huxley just above Lake Ohau a bit. Unfortunately the weather played havoc with things. First night off the bus we tried to sleep out but about 4.30 a.m. had to erect tent. Nice wet bags, and of course the new tent leaked - or rather oozed a fine drizzle down on us inside. I think a fly is required for Paddy's tents in our Nor' westers.
Next day (Sat.) reared - well, hardly; the rest of the mob were so heavily laden they couldn't put up more than about one mile an hour - up to the cirque at the head of the north branch where we found a rather firm bivouac rock which we dug out, terraced, and generally made comfortable. It was rather excellent - about 20 ft. long and about 10 ft. wide with head room starting at about 5 ft. and sloping down to a mere 2 ft. 6”. By raising one's head on the pillow as one lay in the sack the whole valley was spread out in a grand panorama in front, starting with cliffs, couloirs, etc., leading up into snow and mist on the right to a steep beech-covered slope rising from the typical boulder-hopping stream bed immediately in front, to a view down the valley, to the hills on the other side of Lake Ohau on the left. Very pleasant when curled up inside a bag with the rain drifting down and the thought of the other miserable bods in the party cowering in their rain-sodden tents in a clump of beech trees in the middle of the valley. They were always distinguishable by the great volumes of saturated smoke that came pouring out as some poor member “threw another log an the fire.” All this framed in a natural rock border created one of the most superb aspects I have ever had for a camp-site.
On the Sunday we had a go at Rabbiter's Peak - 7,000' odd I think - anyone interested can look it up in Moirs Guide Book. We plodded our way up steep tussocky slopes for about 300 ft. before starting the long trudge through wet snow to the leading ridge. On reaching it the weather turned to the worst - or really another surge of wind brought the sleet on more intensely and we decided to turn back. If some of you had been with us it would have been a different story I feel sure. The ridge was “interesting” with cornices on the southerly side and a good mixture of rock and snow scrambling. I'll have to have another go at that one some day.
As usual, the weather cleared up for us the day we left, giving perfect views of the Maitland Range brilliantly white in the sun with its fresh fall of snow.
Other than that there has been little else to talk about - trips home, trips to Christchurch, whitebaiting (have had several feeds to capacity - great stuff), and fishing trips to Lantuku.
Flat hunting, of course. I think I have located a suitable one at last. I should be into it by the time your party hits N.Z. so I expect at least a couple of nights of your company as you pass through - sleeping bags on the floor for you people, of course.
One request. Could you buy up some gipara (that doesn't look right) and bring it across. It's well night impossible to buy here, and a fantastic price.
Here's a special mention for Stitt. How are you, you great ape? Haven't got that plaster off yet, eh? Those two lines should be enough cause for you to write me another letter.
And how's Snow me boy? A fair effort on that Kanangra trip - wish I had been with you. There are lots of things I have missed since leaving Sydney, and though I hate to admit it, your ugly mug snoring its head off at nights is one.
I'm just about out of news - only thing left is work and I won't bore you with details. Should be getting a land rover next week so will have something to show you round Dunedin with. If you could use a motor bike and side-box in any of your travels here, just yell and the bestus little machine in New Zealand (which includes Sydney and Perth as outer suburbs) is at your disposal. Let me tell you it's in perfect order as it always was and is, only the advance-retard cable is busted, the tail light works occasionally, had a puncture last night not to mention a clanking in the front somewhere - these are mere details that could be fixed in five minutes.
I must go. Bye for now. Give my regards to all the mob.
Conservation Report 7/11/1956.
Tom Moppett - Conservation Sec.
Proposed Blue Mountains National Park:
The Dept. of Lands is pressing on with this proposal and expects to effect the reservation in the first half of 1957.
Erskine Creek in the Blue Labrynth to be a State Forest:
This area is part of the area set aside in about 1943 following representations by the N.P.F.A.C. for the future Blue Mountains National Park, in which it was stated timber-getting operations would not be permitted. In spite of this, timber-getting has been carried on in the Erskine Creek area for some considerable time. It is understood that the Forestry Commission has stated that this area is required for a state forest because of the good timber there, its nearness to Sydney, and the great need for timber supplies. Further, it is proposed to operate the area as a real State forest on a continuous yield basis - not just remove all useful timber then leave it. Walkers would be welcome providing they strictly observe fire regulations.
It is most disappointing that the promise not to allow timber-getting in the area has not been kept - nevertheless we must consider the needs of the community and the best use of the land under discussion. Also, State forests can be valuable to adjacent National Parks in the matter of fire protection. I believe that the only course is to accept the situation and do our best to further cooperation between the Forest and the Park, and that we should inform the Conservation Dept. of this. There is an impression that the Conservation bodies generally have tended to request reservation for recreation of every piece of bushland in sight without regard to the best use of the land and the varied requirements of the community. I feel that we should show that we do, in fact, look at conservation matters with a much wider viewpoint than than of bushwalking only.
Proposed National Parks Association:
The “Pallin Report” on publicity stated that the time was opportune for the formation of a N.P.A. and referred the matter to the Conservation Bureau.
In Newcastle the Northern Parks and Playgrounds Movement has decided to restrict its activities to municipal and local parks and allied matters, and sponsor the establishment of an N.P.A. This body held its inaugural meeting in Newcastle on 6th November last.
Briefly, the purposes of an N.P.A. are to take up with Governments and Governmental Depts. matters concerning national parks and areas suitable for national parks, and to inform members and the general public concerning national parks, and create public support for them. Some advantages of a single organisation concentrating on this work, as against numerous organisations nibbling here and there with little or no co-ordination, are:-
- Problems can be discussed and policies decided and work coordinated much more easily and quickly.
- Conflicting representations from various bodies are avoided.
- A spirit of unity and common purpose can be built up in a single organisation.
Any member of the public who supports our conservation ideals can join an N.P.A., but may not be able to or may not want to join, for example, a bushwalking club. This is most important, as widening of public support is necessary to further our conservation objects.
Mr. Strom and I visited Newcastle on 20th October to discuss the possibilities of forming a state wide N.P.A. It was decided that this was most desirable and we agreed to try to further the proposal in Sydney.
The main points decided were:-
- That the association should be one of individuals, rather than a federation of organisations. The advantages of a single-organisation have been stated above, and individual members are required for public support and to provide funds.
- The association should be organised on a regional or area basis, with each region electing representatives to a State Council, which would be the controlling body of the association.
- The N.P. & P.M. agreed to foreshadow the formation of a Region in Sydney and a State Council and to make the constitution provisional when the “Hunter-Manning Regional National Parks Assn.” was formed on the 6th November.
Mr. Strom and I have been acting as unofficial representatives of all the Conservation bodies. We propose to discuss the matter with the rest of the Federation Conservation Bureau and suggest that Federation be asked to bring it before the other Conservation bodies.
A Hydrophobic Extract:
Sent in by Frank Ashdown, (who manufactures parsnip wine under his house).
“How I hate the sound of water - a substance which has brought misery to countless humans. In it, every disgusting parasite finds a ready host - cholera, typhoid, dysentery, malaria.
Whatever water touches it corrupts. Leave it standing and it stinks. Put it in a cask and it breeds slime and mould.
I can never understand why Governments spend millions of pounds making reservoirs of the foul stuff, instead of planting out, at a quarter of the cost, a few thousand acres in vines…” (or parsnips, perhaps?)
Excerpt from Walter James' “Barrel and Book.”
Pity Poor Paddy.....
And his offsiders, and do yourself a good turn by shopping early for Xmas.
Avoid irritating waiting and unwilling milling around Paddy's counters.
Make up your list now and get it over.
Ring up and we'll get it ready for you.
Write and we'll send it.
A few ideas for the holidays:-
Paddy has plenty of packs, sleeping bags, tents, groundsheets and all the trimmings.
There are 6 different sizes of plastic bottles from half a pint to one gallon.
Small primus stoves (burn Shellite) Price 53/6. Good for that Tassie trip. Buy one and have breakfast in bed.
“Taft” waterproof coats - 74/3d.
Happy Christmas to all walkers from Paddy and his staff.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. Phone: BM2685.