Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Bag No.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. Phone JN1462
309 SEPTEMBER 1960 Price 1/-
|Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514
|Sales & Subs.
|The 1960 Walking Trial - Malcolm McGregor
|At Our August Meeting - Alex Colley
|Phoenix Fruits - Clarice Morris
|S.B.W. to Rescue, Bookluck in Bury
|Shale Mining Near Katoomba - John Luxton
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service (Advertisement)
|Sanitarium Health Food Advertisement
|Day Walks - David Ingram
|Letter to the Editor - Alex Colley
|Leap Year - “Vegie”
Sumer is icumen in Marie sing Cucu. Cucu, Cucu! (Trad.)
And what does Summer (it should be Spring, of course) bring besides Cuckoos?
Why, Water walks, Wildflowers and Walking Trials.
By Water Walks we mean those delightful rambles where you climb up through waterfalls, or down under them, or fall in them, or jump into bottomless pools - and all that type of thing. This is one of the joys of walking to those who have acquired the taste.
If you walk without looking you can pass over beautiful patches of flowers and not see a thing. There are Wildflower walks on the Programme, but you'll find flowers in the most unexpected places, for example: a great spread of Flannel flowers on a barren ridge leading to Gingra Creek, and masses of Boronia on the rocky ledges in Glen Alan Canyon.
As for the Walking Trial, this need not be a trial at all. Pick the right type of walk and you can enjoy the pleasures of Water walks Wildflowers and Walking Trials.
If you don't feel like walking at all on the weekend September 16-17-18 come to Carlon's anyhow and join in the fun.
The 1960 Walking Trial
- Malcolm McGregor.
Weekend: 16-17-18 September. Starting point:for all trips: Main road crossing of Megalong Creek. Time: 0600 hours Saturday. Walking area: Varying distances in all directions. Finishing point: Carlon's farm gate (junction Galong Creek and Green Gully Creek). There must be at least three (3) walkers to each party. A number of trips of varying mileage have been selected and will be sealed in envelopes. On the outside, the following details will appear: Mileage: Type of trip: e g. easy, medium, very rough, etc. Maps covering the area:
At the September Committee Meeting and General Meeting envelopes will be available for selection. On the night of the General Meeting, a sheet with the handicaps for all the trips will be sealed.
Be sure to check in as on as you arrive for each minute mill count in one way or another in the adjustment of the results.
SEPTEMBER 14TH General Meeting. Closed to Prospective Members who, however, are welcome in the Clubroom before and after the meeting. Come in and collect your Walking Trial Sealed Orders.
SEPTEMBER 21ST Water Safety and Life Saving. Film and talk by the Royal Life Saving Society.
SEPTEMBER 28TH “Overland to India” - by Angela McMahon, Who was with Lyn Baber and John Bookluck in their Landrover trip to Europe last year. Don't miss this.
At Our August Meeting
The first duty of our re-elected President was to welcome new member Herman Kantors. Shortly after this there followed some interchange of Presidential pleasantries. Jack Gentle thanked us for reposing our confidence in him once again. An ex-President welcomed him back and revealed that there had been some difference of opinion in ex-Presidential circles as to whether Jack should once again be invested with the symbols of office. Another ex-President then moved a vote of thanks to ex-President Jim Brown for taking the Chair at the last meeting.
In correspondence was notice of a Conservation Dinner to be held between the hours of 6 and 6.30 p m. The alternative of hunger or indigestion will pose a problem for guests.
We were pleased to hear that the Seventh Day Adventists Walking Club, after sending observers to cur meetings, had modelled its constitution and by-laws largely on our procedures. Special stress had been placed on responsible leadership; safety, first aid and S. and R. procedure.
Our Social Secretary (Pam Baker) gave us a preview of events and said that in addition to those programmed, she had hopes of arranging a theatre party to “Porgy and Bess”. Speaking of the past programme, Pam said that members, having voted for a non-scenic slide competition wouldn't support it, and she moved that in future we have one competition a year to include all entries. Frank Ashdown supported the motion. The members, he said, had nearly all voted for a non-scenic slide night, but how many had put in entries? (“Three”, said Dave Ingram.) In the same way they had voted for three years in favour of a “miserable” black and white exhibition which they wouldn't support. Members should not vote “yes” for these things and leave other people to work for their pleasure. Pam's motion was passed unanimously.
Jack Gentle told us that the bulldozers were into the Blue Labyrinth. There were fire access roads everywhere - from Glenbrook to the Oaks to St. Helena and probably to the Wheel end Woodford Ridge. This area was part of the Blue Mountains Park.
Ray Kirby told us that Tom Moppett wanted our opinion of what huts might preserved in the Snowy Mountains area for the purpose of walking and ski-touring.
Brian Harvey drew attention to the fact that the meeting had not had a Federation report for some months. Geof Wagg told us that nothing arose in Federation metings “ of it self” The matters that did come up usually came up through correspondence or other /mans at our own meetings. After this the proposed Federation Annual was discussed, and Geof appointed contact man for contributions from Club members.
Colin Putt reports further exploration of the plateau between Danjera and Bunbundah Creeks (Yalwal area) 7 members attended his rock climbing weekend on Lockley's (camp at Blue Gum)
Taro wishes to correct the statement made at the farewell party to the Knightley's that “he started in '78”. “The vast public may get the impression I'm a real old bloke. Corrected year '79.”
Whenever wildflowers are mentioned I always think of the query about the chicken and the egg. Which came first et.? It is the same at the beginning of the wildflower season. It is one thing to go out, on wildflower walks and admire that massed beauty of chest-high eriostemon or the flaming heads of the Gymea Lily and another to want to see them blooming in your own gardens.
If you live on the Hawkesbury sandstone there's no reason why you can't have a patch of the bush a few yards from your bedroom window. In fact the fragrance of the natives in bloom might act as a spur to attend more walks. Though there is the Wild Flowers and Native Plant Protection Act which prohibits the taking of seeds and cuttings from Crown land, if you know which plants are protected, you still have a wide range from which to choose if you with to propagate your own wildflowers.
Without quoting the protected flowers, let's look at those which allow you to try your green fingers. Though red fingers might be more in order. Gathering the seeds of banksias, tea-trees, or wattles is easy enough. I find that if you mark down a special locality in the spring when they are in bloom and are familiar with the seeding pattern, you can go back a few months later and gather enough fruit pods to assure good germination results - if you follow a few simple rules.
This is where the PHOENIX comes in. You will remember that he was a legendary bird who rose triumphant from the funeral pyre of his past. In a somewhat similar way our natives do the same. One has only to spend a day bashing through scrub to realise how tough and sharp some of our wildflower leaves can be. All this is well plotted and planned. Not, so much to scratch your legs, as to prevent, loss of moisture in a climate that can be extremely variable. We have long hours of intense sunlight, drying westerlies, a rainfall which may come sluicing down, or may fail to materialise at all. In brief it is a climate of extremes.
Our plants have had thousands of years to adapt themselves to these conditions, Their leaves tell you that. The banksias with their stiff jagged leaves downed with hairs on the underside, or reduced to heath-like growths, the hakeas with their sharp needles or the wattles with their flat leathery false leaves have all learned how to hoodwink the weather.
Now a plant as tough and resilient as a eucalypt which cunningly arranges to have only the edge of its leaves exposed to the maximum light would not let its seeds be wasted indiscriminately. So it has developed a wood capsule or gumnut in which to keep them safe. The banksias have tough woody fruits, likewise the woody pear and the mountain devil. Sometimes these fruits do not open except in the presence of extreme heat. That is how the rumour has arisen that, our natives will germinate only after a bushfire. The fact that many do geminate in the rich soil of charred plants after rain has been responsible for this belief. But if you place the fruit of the banksias, the mountain. devils, the red bottlebrush, and the tea-trees in an atmosphere not nearly as hot or dry as that of a bushfire, the moisture in the woody fruit coats will dry out and the fruits will open to reveal the seeds. I place any seeds I want to open on a tin dish under the hotplate of the stove. They open in a day or two. The wattle seeds have to be soaked in hot water. But given bush soil, the seeds will give you a wildflower garden of your own at home.
S.B.W. To The Rescue or Bookluck In Bury
Kinsdale, Ireland by 'Overseas correspondent'.
S.B.W. to rescue and 12,000 miles from Sydney, to a member. whose best years were spent, with S.B.W., now unfortunately living at Bury near Manchester where she is literally buried. So hungry is she for S.B.W. friends that Binnsie even invited me. She hopes to inaugurate first meeting of S.B.W. London group at base of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.
Where in the world is there a more green and pleasant land (when it is not raining) than England. Amid her green and pleasant land there are surprises. Such was a surprise Sheila received after tea while strolling along an untarred lane (for there are a few). It was Cobber's fault. Cobber's, braking of his five-stone is not very effective. As Sheila stepped aside she did not expect to step into a concealed drain nor did she expect a helping hand. Knowing I was a true blue blooded bushwalker type climbed out without, help. In doing so tore apart the zipp holding up her skirt. Naturally she swore in a feminine manner and started to feel about he for a pin. Nothing came forth in the feel around and about to swear again; then, that worried look turned to a mile and she exclamed: “Never let it be said that S.B.W never came to my rescue. My modesty is saved, thanks to S.B.W.”.
I looked around to see the pink being carefully concealed with aid of S.B.W. badge. (Good editor, don't you think it's sacrilege to use the badge thus. I suggest a new ruling to the constitution be drawn up covering the places and use or abuse of the badge by the wearer.)
Who is Cobber? Cobber is Sheila's 5-store pup, slightly lighter than myself. Association of ideas soon taught, me to remember his name. Slobber rhymes with cobber. Slobber; Cobber has the habit of giving me a bath whether I need it or not. Fortunately for some members of the Club he is not coming home.
Sheila reads of Snow Brown's “Cactus Juice”. She wishes to know can it be purchased in England? If not, could Mr. Brown give detailed account of method of brewing cactus juice? Has it a patentee world wide on S.B.W. or otherwise? Include details of brewing vessels such as thickness and alloy type also a few chemical facts such as its octane number and P.H. value. Would it remind me of home? This I miss. The smell and snapping of burning wood from the warm friendly glow of an open camp fire holding back the chill of the brisk cold air behind and. The dew from the clear starry skies above. Can cactus juice intoxicate me with memories such? Then send me a hundred gallons at once.
THIS MONTH'S SCOOPS from “The Gent in the Tent”.
We do hope that our well-known school-teacher member (“It's a way of life, you know”) enjoyed her holiday on the Gold Coast with her “Itsy bitsy teeney weerey yellow polka-dot bikini”.
Frank Ashdown's hints on bush cooking to an eager teenage Fellowship Group at Hunter's Hill.
Shale Mining at Katoomba
Although only walkers nowadays disturb the peace which has fallen over the abandoned shale mines around Narrow Neck, few realise the extent of what was once a busy industry employing over 300 men. At first coal was mined at the foot of the Orphan Rock, and later on kerosene shale at the Ruined Castle and The Glen Shale Mine in the Megalong Valley.
In the area there are three horizontal seams of shale at the foot of the cliffs, below the Hawkesbury and Narrabeen sandstones. The top, or “Ruined Castle Seam”, extends to both sides of Narrow Neck and the Ruined Castle. Below this is “Mort's Seam” which is only on the Megalong side, thinning rapidly towards the east and a third seam exists about 14 feet below Mort's.
About the year 1870 Campbell Mitchell explored the country between The Weatherboard (now Wentworth Falls) and Blackheath coach stages. When in the Megalong Valley, assisted by Mr. P. Finn, a surveyor of Hartley Vale, he noted three shale seams. The Rev. W.G. Clarke, known as “the father of Australian Geology” noted two seams in 1871, but unfortunately most of his records were lost in the Garden Palace fire in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, in 1882. Professor T.W.E. David also noted two seams.
Subsequently Campbell Mitchell took up land embracing Portions 14 and 15 (640 acres) in the Parish of Megalong, County of Cook, with T.S. Mort in order to mine the outcrop in the Megalong Valley. The area became known as the “Glen Shale Mine”.
In September 1870 Campbell Mitchell exhibited a section of the coal measures at Megalong in the Intercolonial Exhibition held at Prince Alfred Park in Sydney.
Mitchell then proceeded to explore the Ruined Castle Area to find the shale seam on the eastern side of Narrow Neck, leaving Messrs. Mort and Finn on the Megalong side. However, land was not taken up at the time because of its inaccessibility to the Great Western Railway.
In 1878 Mr. John Britty North opened up the coal seam at the foot of the cliffs near the Orphan Rock in the Jamison Valley. The following year he exhibited a section of the coal at the first International Exhibition held in the Garden Palace Sydney, and obtained an award. In 1880 he located the kerosene shale seam at the Ruined Castle and two years later employed a miner named Garbett to prospect it and cut a track from Katoomba. North formed the Katoomba Coal Mine in 1882 and a tunnel was driven under the plateau escarpment near the Orphan Rock, about 800 feet lower than the Great Western Railway, and 625 feet below the cliff edge. The coal was conveyed to the cliff top by cable tramway where the Scenic Railway now runs and then by another cable tramway over easy grades to his private railway siding at Shell Corner, 3/4ths of a mile west of the present Katoomba Railway Station, despatching his first load of coal on 1st May, 1883.
In 1885 North formed the Katoomba Coal and Shale Company Limited to develop the shale seam at the Ruined Castle and ten tunnels were opened up. German engineers were engaged to erect an aerial tramway 1.5 miles long between the Ruined Castle and the top of the Scenic Railway, known as the Engine Bank, from where the shale would be taken by cable tramway to the Great Western Railway at North's siding. However the aerial tramway collapsed when the Ruined Castle anchorage failed, and shale mining abruptly stopped. Although some coal was mined after this the company fell into difficulties.
On 28th March, 1890 an unsuccessful attempt was made to float the Megalong Coal and Shale Mining Company Limited, to mine a large area of land in the vicinity of Clear Hill where a fair quality shale occurs. In 1891 the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Company, knowm as the “A.K.O.” which worked the Joadja mine near Mittagong, leased the Ruined Castle mines and combined operations with the Glen Shale Mine which it had purchased from Mess. Mort and Finn in the previous year.
The A.K.O. laid down a double track tramway from the foot of the present Scenic Railway at Orphan Rock to Narrow Neck which it passed through by tunnel, and then by incline into the Megalong Valley and on to the Glen Shale Mine. This new tramway linked up with North's existing tramway up the cliff at the Orphan Rock and on to North's siding at Shell Corner. From the entrance to the Narrow Neck tunnel, a single line horse tramway followed an easy grade around to the Ruined Castle Mines.
At the Glen Mine 16 tunnels were opened up and 34 in the Ruined Castle Area. Shale from the Ruined Castle is said to be among the richest in the World, giving 60-100 gallons oil per ton shale. Mr. Joe Edwards, mining manager to the A.E.O. at the Glen Mine, earned the nickname of “The Crusher”, through his crushing methods of dealing with the men.
Shale production ceased in 1895 after about 20,000 tons of export shale was mined. Total output of the Glen Mine is considered to be about 60,000 tons. Some coal was mined after this but mining in the area was now past its heyday.
Seconds and trimmings were left at the mines, a stack at the Glen Mine being estimated to contain 16,000 tons. This was purchased by the Australian Gas Light Company Limited about 1903 when a tramway was relaid for its removal. Other large stacks at various tunnel mouths have been destroyed by bushfires although a large heap still exists at the Glen Mine today. The falling price of shale, which was L3.4.0 in 1870 and subsequently dropped to 15/- per ton in 1901, largely contributed to the economic difficulties the companies of the time fell into.
The Glen Shale Mine saw a brief but unsuccessful revival in 1921.
Katoomba Colliery Limited was registered on 29th May 1925 with a lease of 160 acres and started operations in the old coal mine below the Orphan Rock. A local trade was built up but the venture ceased after the closing of the Katoomba Electric Power House. A coal mine was opened around 1946 in the Megalong south of the Glen Mine, coal being transported by truck to the railhead, at Blackheath, but closed after a short successful run.
John Britty North was the first to start mining in the Jamison aliey despite its inaccessibility from the Great Western Railway. In the early days North bought 640 acres of land from Captain Henry Renolds at 1 per acre, this land now forming a large part of the Katoomba of today. He built himself a substantial 2-storey house with a lookout tower on top at the site of the reservoirs at Shell Corner, 3/4ths of a mile west of Katoomba Railway Station. The House, known as Essendene, some year after North left became a girls' school under the control of Madame Brousseau, but was eventually destroyed by fire.
The North family was also interested in the Main Range Mine of Tyldesley and Cullen Bullen Collieries. Nellie 's Glen, below the Explorer's Tree, was named after J.B. North's wife, Mrs. Nellie North.
AERIAL TRAMWAY In 1885 German engineers constructed an aerial tramway from the Engine Bank (top of present Scenic Railway) to the Ruined Castle. Two cables were strung across the Jamison Valley, one for each direction and from these hung steel buckets 2'6“ vide, 3'3” long and 2'2“ deep. A U-shaped frame hooked on to a spindle at each end of the buckets so that they could be emptied by tipping sideways, and they run along the cable on two small wheels.
Apparently the set up didn't function very well and came to an abrupt end When the Ruined Castle anchorage pulled out, the whole lot falling to the valley floor where it still remains. It is estimated that less than 500 tons were despatched by this means.
TRAMWAYS. An extensive 2-foot gauge tramway system was laid down over the years to transport the shale to the railhead at Katoomba.
J.B. North, when he started mining coal at the foot of the cliffs near the Orphan Rock, laid down a tramway from the top of the present Scenic Railway to the foot of the cliffs. This had an average grade of 450, and is now used as the well known Scenic Railway. From the top of the cliff there was a double track tramway to North's private siding at Essendene. One gully in this section was bridged by a suspension bridge and at the grade near Essendene the tramway ran on timber trestling. Both these tramways were driven by a boiler at the cliff top and hence the area became known as the Engine Bank.
North's private siding at present Shell Corner was opened on 7th January 1882 and left the old high level Great Western Railway at the position of the sub-station built in 1957. From here it passed under a timber skew bridge carrying the Old Bathurst Road and then divided into three loops which went under the coal and shale schutes.
After North leased the Ruined Castle Mines to the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Company Limited, a double track tramway was laid from the foot of the cliffs at the Orphan Rock, tunnelling through the headland at Dog Face Rock (landslide) and then by tunnel under Narrow Neck into the Megalong Valley. It descended by incline into the Megalong Valley and then on to the Glen Mine west of Corral Swamp. This section was driven by a large upright boiler at the foot of the cliffs below the Engine Bank. There was a continuous moving cable running between the lines of the tramway on to which the trucks were fastened by a short length of chain. It is interesting to note that on this 5-mile long section, which traverses rough country, there was only one bend in the line situated in the Megalong east of the hotel site. Two 7' diameter cast iron wheels took the moving cables and trucks around the bend, one wheel for each direction.
A single line horse-tramway was built from the Ruined Castle Mines around the side of Narrow Neck to join up at the tunnel entrance with the double track tramway to the Megalong. The full trucks from the Ruined Castle were unhitched from the horses and connected to the moving cable to be taken up to Essendene. Canvas covers were placed over the trucks when going up the steep section to the Engine Bank to prevent spilling the shale on the 45 grade. Some of the trucks used were of steel construction, semi-circular in shape, measuring 4'6” long x 3' wide, 2'3“ deep and made by Robert Hudson Limited, of Sheffield, England.
ENGINE BANK SETTLEMENT. With the start of the mines a number of settlements sprang up. At the Engine Bank there were three streets of cottages owned by the “A.K.O.”, and the Centennial Hotel conducted by Mr. Harry Edwards. The Hotel retained its license for many years and was later known as the Falls House Boarding Establishment. There was also a store run by an Irishman named Murphy.
NELLIE'S GLEN SETTLEMENT. At the foot of Nellie 's Glen there was another mining township, 1000' below the plateau, with once again a hotel. The hotel site at the junction of Diamond Falls and Megalong Creeks is well known to walkers, but it is a long time since thirsts could be quenched there. The hotel had 13 rooms, a hall and verandah, the construction being of sawn timber with an iron roof.
The tenant in 1895 was Mr. Delaney, the property being owned by Mrs. Isabella J. Long. It was then valued at L600 plus E128 for the stables, shed, vegetable garden and two acres of cleared ground and fencing. A room was always available for Father McGough, who came down on Sundays from Katoomba to hold a service for his flock. Other buildings included a butcher's shop, bakery and public hall, while about 40 families resided nearby.
At the Ruined Castle in the Jamison Valley there were quarters for single men.
On the closing of the mines the settlements gradually faded away. Around 1904 John Duff, a resident of Megalong, moved the hotel at the foot of Nellies Glen by bullock cart to Lurline Street, Katoomba where it was re-erected.
Little has been handed down over the years concerning the past of this area. Many gaps still remain to be filled. I would be pleased to hear from anyone with further information or revisions to this article.
First back from the Snows was Helen Barrett, uninjured except for multiple lacerations to the fingers of both hands, caused by overzealous use of an inefficient tin opener The party (at Guthega) was blizzard-bound for the first few days.
SEPTEMBER 18TH Glenbrook - Red Hand Cave - The Oaks - Glenbrook. 12 miles. 8.20 a m. Mt. Victoria train from Central Steam Station to Glenbrook. Tickets: Glenbrook return at 13/9d. Map: Liverpool Military. Leader: David Ingram.
SEPTEMBER 25TH Cronulla - launch to Bundeena - Deer Pool - Waratah Valley - Bundeena. 8 miles. 8.50 am electric train Central - Cronulla. Tickets: Cronulla return at 5/3d. plus return ferry fare. An ideal trip for new members taking in the north-eastern corner of the Royal National Park. Deer Pool is a lovely lunch spot. Waratah Valley is well named and the blooms should be at their best. Maps: Port Hackig Tourist, Port Hacking Military. Leader : Clem Hallstrom. For any further details ring him at LB6495 (most evenings).
OCTOBER 9TH Pymble - bus to Warrimoo Road - Cowan Greek - Bobbin Head - Berowra. Shown as 10 map miles on the programme, but the actual distance would be nearer 12 miles. 9.10 a m. electric train Central to Pymble via Bridge. Tickets: Berowra via Bridge return at 5/10. Bus fare 1/-. Another good trip for beginners. Mostly track walking through some very attractive scenery of the Western part of Kuringai Chase. May be a few good stands of late wild flowers. Maps: Broken Bay Military, Hawkesbuy River Tourist. Leader: Pam Baker.
PHOTOGRAPHERS COONABARABRAN SHIRE COUNCIL PHOTOGRAPHIC COILDETITION. PRIZES: 1ST L25 …. 2ND L5 3RD L1 AND TROPHIES WILL BE AWARDED FOR COLOUR TRANSPARENCIES OR BLACK AND WHITE PRINTS TO TLLUSTRATE THE TOUTRIST ATTRACTIONS OF THE DISTRICT WITH EMPHASIS ON THE WARRUMBUNGLE RANGES. SEE THE CLUB NOTICE BOARD FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
NEWS FROM AUDREY KENWAY
Ron Knightley wrote and we had dinner at the Overseas Club one night. He was staying just round the corner from where I was that week. There must be 10 SBW's over here now. We are all rushing about in different, directions, but hope to arrange a “reunion”. Next week another girl and I are going to Scotland for three weeks by car. After that to Switzerland on a tour the only booking I made before leaving home. By then I should be broke and will have to settle down to work. It will be a change to be fixed in one spot.
I spent a week in Ireland just before starting work. It is very pretty but there seems to be a lot of poverty there. I only went to the South, but hope to get to the North sometime.
The trip to Scandinavia was very interesting, but a bit tiring. We did not realise the distance we would be driving in three weeks. We went to Denmark, up into Sweden and Norway, and back down again, through Germany and Holland to Ostende. The scenery in Norway was the most spectacular I have seen. We went up into the mountains amongst the snow, and then put the car on a ferry and came down two fjords. ..”
THREE WALKS FOR THE LONG WEEKEND.
OCTOBER 1 - 2 - 3 Pigeon House Mountain area. Combined outing with the N.P.A. A base camp will be made within easy walking of Pigeon House (there and back in one day) The leader also hopes to arrange a two-day round trip. Plenty of scope for exploratory walks. Complete panorama from the top of Pigeon House Mountain, including views of the Castle - Byangee area, Curroclthilly, etc. Contact leader re transport of if you have room for passengers. Leader: Len Fall.
Kosciusko Main Range (Snow and Ice climbing) Private transport will be arranged. Route for cars will depend on road conditions and we will go as close to the main range as possible. Ice axes and crampons necessary. Gear should be suitable for extreme weather conditions. For further details see: Leader: Colin Putt.
Blackheath - Morong Clearing - Davies Canyon - Kanangra River - Breakfast Creek- Carlons. For the rugged. The most Spectacular Gorge in the Blue Mountains. Falls of 200'. Scrambling, rockhopping and sidling. Pleasant medium walk out from the junction of Sally Camp Creek, down Kanangra River along Cox's and up Breakfast Creek. Leader: Jack Perry. Maps: Myles Dunphy's Map of the Gangerang, Jenolan Military, Blue Mountains Burragorang Tourist.
CONGRATULATIONS TO Shirley and Kevin Dean, on the arrival of a third daughter - Diana.
Letter to the Editor
Dear Mr Editor,
Allen Strom has read some unintended meanings into my article on Nadgee (“Just Beyond the Bulldozers”), so perhaps I had better elaborate, dull though this may be to your readers.
I didn't stress that Nadgee is a Faunal Reserve, because it has been stressed many times in the magazine, and those interested in such matters know it. Nor was it relevant to my theme, which was that the tide of exploitation (or “development” as we like to call it) spreading along the coast from Sydney and Melbourne had, as yet, barely lapped the South-east corner. If it were not for its remoteness and lack of good soil, Nadgee mould have been alienated, cleared, and perhaps subdivided, before now. And then there wouldn't have been Buckley's chance of having it made a Faunal Reserve.
As it is it will be developed as a park. The first job will be to clear the old timber road in from Merrika Creek. At a later stage the road will be tar sealed. And the time may come when a high speed road will be carved through it (as through National Park) so that tourists can enjoy its beauties without letting up on the accelerator. Tracks must be cut, shelter sheds erected and, possibly a bit later, kiosks, bathing sheds, hostels and other facilities provided. As Allen says, manpower and money will be needed (he doesn't mention the bulldozers, but they will be there). I don't think the lack of money will hold up these improvements for long. Nor could any “vigilance” on my part prevent it. Once these places are publicised the money is found (e g. Kanangra). That is why I advise walkers to go soon, before the roads, tracks and buildings are constructed.
It is of course open to anyone to visit the area, and I would be the last to suggest that any law abiding person be kept out. One cannot “get in for a cut” of something freely available to all. Nor did I suggest that anyone be “screened”. Of course I wouldn't like to be screened, but why should I be when all I seek is to walk through the place and look at it? Yours sincerely, (Sgd.) Alex Colley.
FOR THE UNINFORMED: From “Fauna Conservation and the Wildlife Refuge Idea” November 1959. (Publication of the Fauna Protection Panel.) “Nadgee Faunal Reserve, No.6 is in the south-eastern corner of the State, and has an area of about 28,000 acres, the largest of our Faunal Reserves to date. Its appreciable size makes it a very worthwhile factor in the fauna conservation progrmme of New South Wales and it could be of the highest value, not only in the matter of preservation and breeding of stocks but in the more important field of education. The Reserve is well protected, having the Merrika River as its northern boundary, the seaboard on the east, a State Forest on the west and a vast area of swamp area south of the Victorian border. The Forestry Commission is interested in the land north of the Merrika and there are Moves to place the Victorian land under a National Park, contiguous with the Mallacoota National Park. These are both very important moves.
A variety of habitats occur in this Reserve, which is well watered and protected from destruction by members of the public. There has been some illegal grazing and firing which could be effectively stopped by the establishment of a permanent Ranger at the only point of reasonable entrance. The main body of the Reserve is so well encircled by the Table Range that provided the co-operation of the Forestry Commission is secured on the western side, the entrance must be made from the north, where the Ranger would be stationed. The working plan approved for the Nadgee Faunal Reserve provides for this set-up with an access road of about twelve miles at the end. of which will be located a Visitor Reception Centre with camping and caravan sites and probably other accommodation at a later stage. The Ranger will be stationed at this point, a very attractive stay-over spot “Wally Newton's Beach”. The plan envisages trails for the rest of the area and various means of stimulating interest in the educative background of fauna conservation generally, and the Nadgee Faunal Reserve, in particular, at Wally Newton's Beach. The natural boundaries make the area ideal for a Faunal Reserve as the animals present, including the Grey Kangaroo (Macropus major), cannot destroy crops and pastures on agricultural properties and yet the animals will be readily observable by visitors to the Reserve. The richness of the heathlands, the open forests and the vet forests, the many streams and the natural lagoons…all unaltered…make exciting contemplation, since so very few similar areas would exist along our coastline today. Unspoiled by disturbances from Man, the Lyre Birds are readily seen, whilst there are also colonies of Bellbirds in the gullies, and the Ground (Swamp) Parrots on the heath. Fauna conservation in New South Wales will take a big step forward when the Nadgee Faunal Reserve is finally, effectively managed.”
WILDFLOWERS WITH THE N.P.A. SUNDAY. SEPTEMBER 11TH, 1960. LEADERS: Roy Ockenden and Gordon McKern. MEETING PLACE: East side of Heathcote Station at 9.45 a m. Coming by road, cross the railway line from the Princes Highway before reaching Heathcote. Train leaves Central at 8.50 a m., change at Sutherland. Lunch at Karloo Pool on Kangaroo River, 1 miles from and 500 feet below Heathcote. Those wishing to go further could spend a good day in this vicinity where flowers are unusual and beautiful and lyre-birds generally to be heard. Others will go on to the Turretts, 1 miles up opposite slope, famed for the masses of Native Rose, Eriostemon and massed variety of flowers.
(See also “Flowering Plants of the Uloola Track, Royal National Park'. “Australian Wild Life” Volume 3 No.3 March 1958 ” “ No. L. June, 1959.)
SEPTEMBER 20TH THEATRE PARTY: “PORGY AND BESS” at FORUM THEATRE. Back Stalls (or Lounge) - 11/3d. 20TH SEPTEMBER !
Leap Year has returned once again and it is an open season for all single men to the end of 1960. It is trying on the eligible husbands of the Club to be hunted throughout the year; to be continually and skilfully pursued by the wily huntresses that a capture be made, satisfying an ego to marry. The females, who have not comforted themselves in wedlock, either cannot be bothered to hunt or the eligibles have not approached an appreciable standard that a choice be made.
To be ridiculously perfect is to symbolise a wall flower. To be inactive is to achieve nothing. There is a known proverb “Be Good and You'll Be Lonely”.
During Leap Year unmarried females are entitled to propose with the knowledge on being refused a traditional present follows in the form of a pair of white gloves.
It would be more appropriate if the maiden ladies were given the option to make their own compensatable choice, rather than be forced to accept a pair of white gloves, so useless under camp fire conditions. There are many presents which could be given, recompensing the hours upon hours spent preparing a well prepared thought in asking to be married at that psychological moment to make the capture. There are sleeping bags, ground sheets, water buckets, fly net tents end a host of other gifts, which would be more in harmony at a camp site rather than a useless evening hand covering, which cannot be worn except as a part of dress for an occasional night's outing.
On being expected to make a present, each eligible husband should make sure the disappointed damsels are well rewarded for their effort in seeking a mate.
The effort in seeking a male companion is no mean feat, especially where there is obstinacy on the males to stay single.
It is left to you “girls” to be more forceful and to achieve what you want to achieve, and good luck, realising some of the eligibles have been eligible far too long.
IT'S A BIT EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS - BUT
Christmas is the season of greetings to our fellow men. In what better manner can the bushwalker convey his greetings than by a National Parks Association Christmas Card depicting a typical mountain scene, which this year is Bill Rodger's study of Mount Currockbilly, a 4,000' mighty mountain forming the western boundary of the proposed National Park embracing The Castle and Mount Pigeon House. Congratulations to Bill. Order your cards NOW on the enclosed form to be in good time for overseas posting. Don't delay, post today.