Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45pm at Ella Community Centre, 58A Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to the Post Office).
|Editor||Ainslie Morris, 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Telephone 428 3178.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2116. Telephone 671 1207.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Frances Longfoot, Morag Ryder.|
|Why Haberfield?||Barbara Bruce||2|
|Where is Haberfield? - Map||Ainslie Morris||3|
|English History Recycled||Wal Liddle||4|
|Waterfall - Kangaroo Creek - Sutherland||Errol Sheedy||9|
|Social Notes for February||Narelle Lovell||9|
|A Piece of History - Gold-Seeking on the Kowmung||10|
|Letter from Bureau of Flora and Fauna||15|
|Just a Minute - Maitland Bay - 1.12.33||15|
|N.S.W. Wildlife Information & Rescue Service (WIRES)||16|
|The December General Meeting||Barry Wallace||17|
|S.B.W. 60th Anniversary Commemorative Port||18|
|Report of the December 1966 Committee Meeting||18|
|Report of the January 1987 Committee Meeting||18|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||8|
|Canoe & Camping, Gladesville||14|
About March 1986 Committee was advised that the Cahill Community Centre would be sold within a year and a new centre would be constructed in Ernest Street in due course. So we had to move AGAIN! It would only he about four years since we made a hurried exit from our previous north side residence in Atchison Street St Leonards and felt ourselves fairly lucky to have obtained something like the Cahill Community Centre. The City had not yielded anything suitable - it must he at least 12 years since we also made a forced exit from the Nurses' Association rooms in Reiby Place because offices were being built around us.
This time We had plenty of warning but we got nowhere fast. Efforts were made by both myself and other Committee members; I even thought we had a foot firmly in the door at the McMahons Point Community Centre until it shut determinedly at the tenth hour. (You see, although a 'southerner', I did try!) Now there was not such time left before Christmas and the advice had been that we would need to be out by the end of January. Something had to be decided, even if only for the interim. Malcolm Boadle had told me of a hall at Haberfield whidh sounded good, and Haberfield seemed fairly 'central'.
On the way to the December Committee Meeting (a decision had to be arrived at that night, in everybody's best interests, I felt) Malcolm and I called to inspect the Ella Community Centre in Dalhousie Street, Haberfield. At the same time Helen Goldstraw had been making numerous phone inquiries of city locations. My inspection of the Ella Community Centre convinced me that here was a hall which satisfied our every requirement (except for the lack of a wooden dance floor! - the floors are carpeted) and in rent the opposite to what I had been anticipating: it was substantially cheaper than what we are currently paying!
The rooms themselves are as we would need: main hall, committee meeting room, new members at entrance. What About kitchen facilities? Beyond any expectations, a well equipped kitchen with proper cups and sauces. An apology was offered because the painter had skipped before finishing his painting of the walls. What about room for our cupboard? Yes, room could easily he made in the hallway. Could we have it every Wednesday night from 7.30 to 10.30? No problems!
Parking is easy: there is a council carpark opposite and plenty of parking in nearby streets. It is close to major bus routes, although Summer Hill station is about 3 km's walk. There are several restaurants in the nearby shopping centre in Ramsay Road.
When considered along with several other alternatives, the Ella Community Centre easily won your Committee's vote, so it was then a matter of making haste to inform all members by way of the December magazine, which was being collated the following night.
I am sure our new rooms will prove successful for some considerable time, and I lock forward to seeing you there. I will also take this opportunity to wish each of you a healthy and happy 1987!
Barbara Bruce President
English History Recycled
by Wal Liddle.
The summer mist hung low in the depressions whilst the chequered green, brown and yellow fields sparkled in the early morning sunlight.
A baby brown rabbit crouched, quivering, in the long grass at the side of the road, ready to hop back through the hedge, at the first sign of danger.
The trees marking the boundaries were dark red copper beeches, the yellow flowered laburnum, the white hawthorn and the sycamore. A huge pink and white chestnut grew near one of the farmhouses.
Setting my gears, I swooped down the road, over an arched bridge that spanned the river into the sleepy 16th century town of Arundel. The bow-fronted shops climbed a hill, which was dominated by the castle, a magnificent stone building complete with grassed moat, outer bailey and portcullis. It was from the inner bailey tower that the occupants had poured oil over Cromwell's forces storming the gate below.
The great banqueting hall formed one of the wings of the buildings surrounding the inner courtyard. The cathedral-like hall was adorned with larger than life portraits of knights in armour and damsels in long dresses whilst the two huge fireplaces were large enough to burn tree-sized logs. The dungeons contained suits of armour, swords, pikes, battle axes and flint-lock muskets.
Leaving the castle, I returned to the cobble-stone town square and outside the pastrycook's shop met Jack and Arlene Oakes from California, who were also bike touring. We left the town en route to Portsmouth via the back country lanes. These were very narrow, usually of one car width with a hedge on each side.
At Bosham, the houses were roofed with straw thatch in patterned designs. The church graveyard contained a headstone inscribed with a carving of a two-masted sailing ship, with the following inscription:-
In memory of Thomas Son of Richard and Ann Barrow, Mafter of the sloop Two Brothers, who by the breaking of the horse (rope), fell into the sea and was drowned October 13th, 1759, aged 23.
We arrived at Portsmouth late that afternoon in pouring rain, and were very glad to find a “bed and breakfast” near the waterfront.
The Naval Base, in days gone by, had been noted for its shipbuilding industry, established there because of the large oak forest that surrounded the town. The base now contained the hulk of the Mary Rose which had recently been raised from the bed of the sea after lying there for 400 years. She was the flagship of Henry VIII's fleet, named after his sister, and was reputed to be a fast ship of revolutionary design, one of the first purpose built warships.
On July 18th, 1545, the little walled town of 50 acres was the setting for one of the great sea battles that changed the course of history. The French fleet of 235 ships had anchored off the eastern corner of the Isle of Wight, whilst the English fleet of only 60 vessels was manoeuvering in the Solent. Ageing Henry had been made aware of the invasion plan and had arrived at Portsmouth three days before.
A contemporary painting shows fat Henry, dressed in cloth of gold, velvet and ermine, riding through his encampment of archers, pikemen and gunners. At the start of battle the British fleet was becalmed and came under heavy attack from the French oared galleys, but a breeze sprang up, enabling the British to retaliate. It was at this moment that the Mary Rose heeled to the wind and sank, when the sea poured in through the open gun ports, resulting in the loss of 660 souls.
The museum near the hulk contained all the material possessions of everyday life in the 1500's - wooden and pewter mugs, leather jerkins, shoes, a spice mill, a wooden knife, bone combs, a backgammon set, a drum and the remains of a fiddle. The surgeon's chest was found intact, complete with syringes and ointments, a thumbprint being still visible in one of the jars. A number of wooden cases from the armoury were on display containing hundreds of yew bows and arrows.
I left my two American companions and rode north to Stratford On Avon. This picturesque village is noted for its half-timbered houses dating back to Shakespear's time. My destination was Mary Arden's farm situated 4 miles out of town. The farmhouse is built of massive oak beams and posts, filled in with “wattle and daub” and roofed with straw.
In days gone by the building consisted of one storey, twentyfive feet high with two open fireplaces and a hole in the roof acting as a chimney. The dirt floor was overlaid with rush mats and when these became worn they were again overlaid with more rush mats which harboured fleas, rats and mice. The hens and geese were allowed inside contributing to the mess on the floor! The yard outside became a huge slopheap, there being no toilets. All human and animal waste was allowed to accumulate for one whole year before being cleared away! Everybody bathed annually, and after bathing the girls would anoint their bodies with goose fat and then would don one cotton smock and up to eight woollen garments, according to the weather. Men wore similar clothes and people, rich and poor alike, went to bed soaked in sweat or manure. The clothes were only changed at bath time, so they literally fell apart. Fleas and lice lived in the clothes and bit and inflicted the people with all sorts of sickness and disease.
Certain everyday terms derive from those times, such as “under his thumb”, when women were considered to be inferior to men and were beaten by their husbands at least twice a week, with a stick that “could be no bigger than a man's thumb”. This custom was enshrined in law. Many wives were beaten because of rancid food. As there was no refrigeration and meat was a luxury, the women disguised the bad taste by the liberal use of salt and spices.
“Chairman” and “chairman of the board” came from the practice of the husband sitting at the head of the table, in a chair with arms, when everybody paid deference to him. The woman's chair had no arms. “Board” referred to the table, which consisted of a slab of oak set on trestles and from which derives the meaning “food and lodging”. “Turning the tables” came from the practice of refusing food and lodging to your enemies by folding up the trestles and placing the table against the wall.
The word “dole” derives from the practice of “doling out” bread to the poor, by rich people such as Mary Arden.
The windows in the house were very small, made up of multipaned pieces, because glass casting was in its infancy and the materials were very costly. Candles and rush lights were mainly used for illumination, with a cow's horn being used to shield the flame in a metal lantern, for outside use.
As I cycled round the bend I wondered what story the next town would tell.
Parks in name only
We list resolutions on park management passed at the recent Annual General Conference of the National Party, with the Colong Foundation's interpretation, in italics, below:
Reduction of park sizes to enable full and effective management.
Don't increase 'Management funding, reduce the parks- instead.
Adequate development of facilities and access to optimise the opportunities by the general public.
More roads and resorts in parks.
Adequate control of native animals in parks.
Shoot the native animals or poison them. Don't worry about the feral animals. Some of them can be sold.
Full resource inventories of all national parks.
Make sure that nothing saleable is left in the parks.
Harmonious multiple land use including the extraction of mineral deposits.
Grazing, mining and logging.
No further hardwood or softwood forests, privately or State-owned converted to national parks.
Exclude northern Washpool, Coolangubra, Tantawangalo and anywhere else where there are 'millable stems“ from the park system.
Adequate hazard reduction burning.
Use the parks as firebreaks.
Both large and small mills to be given access to commercial logs in state forests.
Don't look to the future cut the trees down now.
The only gleam of conservation in the policy resolutions was the decision not to harvest rainforests. However, the Party excludes any rainforest including hardwood species from its definition of rainforest, thereby exposing much, if not most of the recently created rainforest national parks to logging.
In view of this policy, which would reduce most of our parklands to the status of ordinary Crown Lands, the conservation vote, which may well be 5% or more of the total, will be an albatross around the neck of the Liberal Party at the next election.
Tasmania's forests need help! It's now or never. Peaceful action is essential! Let the Wilderness Society train you. Come to Tasmania this summer.
The Wilderness Society will be taking direct action this summer, to draw attention to each Forest Industry incursion into Tasmania's National Estate Forests.
Phone Peter Markham 2677929 or Hobart (002)349366
Waterfall - Kangaroo Creek - Sutherland. Day test walk - 14th September 1986
by Errol Sheedy.
Waterfall, Kangaroo Creek, Kangaroo Ridge, Cridland Brook, Kangaroo Creek, Bottle Forest Track, Goarra Ridge, Sutherland - 20 km. Leader: Errol Sheedy.
The walk went as per the program with 29 starters including six prospective members, on a cool showery day which provided good walking conditions.
Half-way to the top of Kangaroo Ridge, in trackless scrub, we saw a rather large black snake (with yellowish belly) curled, with its head half-raised in what appeared to be a defensive posture. As most black snakes one sees usually dart off, we wondered what was causing this one to hold its ground as we all clumped past. Someone opined that perhaps its nest was nearby. At any rate it seemed quite content to remain immobile, apart from its flickering tongue.
We continued on over the top of Kangaroo Ridge, and later, half-way down Cridland Brook Judy McMillan noticed that Leigh Sheridan was no longer with the party. As I had not noticed him go on ahead, and did not think he could have dropped back past whipper-in Derek Wilson's eagle eyes, I began to consider the need to go back to do some side-searching for him. However, several people vowed that he was eminently capable of looking after himself, and so it turned out. After lunch we caught up with Leigh on Kangaroo Creek, below Karloo Pool. He had been a little tardy returning from a stroll during morning tea, and the leader, who is usually quite punctilious re the counting of heads, had neglected to do so before the party left for the scrubby wastes of Kangaroo Ridge.
Finding the rest of us gone, Leigh wisely decided that the best course of action was to continue down Kangaroo Creek, which eventually led to our reunion.
In future if you see me buzzing around during the day pointing a finger at you, please do not suspect me of imprudently numbering people, but rather regard it as a means of preventing anxiety, especially on walks where there are large numbers!
Just downstream from the junction of Cridland Brook and Kangaroo Creek it began to rain, and, a convenient cave having been espied, lunch was declared.
At Karloo Pool, Geoff Dowsett left the party for Heathcote as he had to work that night, while the rest of us proceeded downstream to Bottle Forest Trail, and thence to Forest Brook for afternoon tea.
The wildflowers, including waratahs, wattles, dampieras and sun orchids provided their usual Spring effulgence, and much amateur botanising was done, especially where conversation was more convenient, as on the Goarra firetrail. Here Judy Mehaffey was awarded the L.A.O.C.A.B. (Leader's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Botany) for her astute observation that the pretty pink five-petalled wax flowers one sees in Autumn are Crowea, and those in Spring are Eriostemons. It sounded a much better method than peering at “bearded appendages” (p.200, L. Costermans: Native Trees and Shrubs of S.E. Auatralia).
After a brief stop to view Engadine Falls, we followed the fire-trails to Sutherland, where we arrived just after 5 pm.
Social notes for February
by Narelle Lovell.
After a Committee Meeting on 4th, a General Meeting on 11th, and a magazine wrapping night on 18th, on the 25th February there will be a performance by your own members as they play in the band they call the Scrub-Bashers. As this is a members' band, give them lots of support by being there to enjoy their music on 25th Feb in the new Club rooms.
Sometime in March it is hoped to have a small exhibition of paintings by two artists from the Julian Ashton School - one of them your Social Secretary's sister.
We need reports on the suitability of the restaurants within walking distance of our new Club rooms. So will all the galloping gourmets sample as wide a variety as possible and pass the gustatory good news on to myself or Patrick James. Happy New Year.
A Piece of history. Gold-seeking on the Kowmung.
(This article is an edited version of a column by W.A.C. that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, 14th May and 21st May 1910. It was sent to the Editor by CLIO.)
It was the year 1902 that I began to test the legendary accounts that reached me through the stockmen employed by the late Mr. E. Moore, of Summer Hill Station, Upper Burragorang.
It was Billy Wilton who told me that Joe Wallace told him that he had seen Jimmy Russell with a lump of quartz with gold in it as big as peas that he found on the Kowmung, and Joe was a man you could swear by. Others saw the “other fellow” with a matchbox full of gold; and didn't that hermit “Lanky Lannigan” who died at Limeburners Creek, have a mustard tin half-full of little nuggets; and in the last words he uttered he was trying to tell where he got it. Now all this testimony went to prove that gold had been found on the Kowmung; but when I saw Christy Creighton starting off on his third expedition, and listened to his sanguine assurance “There's gold there all right. I got it in Christy's Creek, and I'm going to find where it comes from”, I resolved to follow him on the first opportunity. Poor Creighton was drowned whilst crossing the treacherous Wollondilly on his way out, but I never lost sight of the matter, and in the month of February I set out with a chosen mate armed with a letter of introduction to Maxwell, who was Mr. Chas. Dunn's head stockkeeper on the Coxs River run. Maxwell was generously instructed by his kind master to guide me wherever I wished to go.
We breakfasted on new milk, eggs, and sweet milk-bread at sunrise; then Maxwell readjusted the pack and removed the acids that I had brought for making wet tests of minerals, from possible contact in case of accident with the tucker, which consisted of a large piece of boiled corned beef, several tins of preserved meat, about 25th of flour, salt, and tea and sugar. The pick, shovel, digger's dish, pestle and mortar, we distributed between us, and leaving the Cox on our right began to ascend the main range, following the flying survey of Mr. - - - -(illegible) very closely.
I was somewhat disappointed to learn from Maxwell that it was impossible to get into the bed of the Kowmung anywhere near its junction with the Cox and follow it up on horseback. He assured me that it was walled all the way, and for the greater distance almost impassable on foot. We travelled over stony undulating country. The stones for the most part being water worn, probably belonging to the upper marine stratum, until we arrived at The Mare's Waterholes. Here you get a glimpse of the quartz reefs, good looking horneblendic quartz, too; but I only tried a few surface pieces in the mortar, and panned it off without results. Maxwell told us of another reported find of gold in quartz made by one of the stockmen when they were drafting at the yards close by, but he did not appear to place any reliance on the story. If you care to ride about two miles northerly from here you can look down into that awful rent in the earth's crust and see the waters of “Big Kowmung” as it is called here, still digging it deeper, as they roll on unceasingly to the greedy absorbing sea.
From the Mare's Waterholes we ascended the range to find the aneroid reading 4300 feet. The view from here eastward is one of terrific grandeur. Ochre red sandstone walls, deep and dark wooded ravines seem interwoven by a confused struggle to find some outlet in the primeval past. Northward the view is blocked by the towering columns that cap the Kowmunq's walls, but southward the eroded amphitheatre that has its centre at romantic Church Creek, is a scene unsurpassable in Australia.
After we had descended a spur for about one mile, Maxwell dismounted, and tightened the girths, crupper, and all the fastenings on the pack horse, and quietly advised us to do likewise. “We can get down here into Christy's Creek, and save about 12 miles of rough, uninteresting country. It's rough, but I've been down it a few times, and it's the only point I know of that can be descended on this side of the mountains or river. We'll tie everything on the pack now, and when we get a start I'll go ahead, and let him go, then you fellows can tail up”. ”'Spose he won't keep the track?“ I asked. “Don't worry. He'll have to. There's only one and that's straight ahead.”
The handle was knocked out of the pick, and a neat bundle made of the tools. The dish was the worst. The ring in it would not stand the strain. It was not good enough to trust it, and to put a hole through the rim of it was not to be thought of. That would spoil a digger's dish. If it got loose we could say goodbye. It might roll for miles, or get damaged beyond repair. A spare bag to put it in we had not. Then I thought of how I had carried a swarm of bees in my shirt, and I suggested that we make a bag out of a new one I had in my valise. “Just the thing,” said Maxwell, “let's have it”. So we tied the neck, and laced the front, and stowed the precious dish in it, and slung it securely behind the saddle.
Now, although I had been horse-hunting in the Barran Jack Ranges and in the limestone hills on the Murrumbidgee, the descent on the wild cattle trail down 'the Bulmung' beat them all. Our horses, though bred in the valley, snorted and shivered at some of the terraces - I stayed in the saddle, and followed Maxwell a good distance through sheer pride, but our neddies were no match for his goat-footed brumby.
Eventually we dismounted whilst Maxwell dug his heels into the brumby, and skidded down the narrow, rocky way. He pulled up below the terrace, and anxiously watched us coaxing our animals over the declivity. Once they started forward they had to keep going, and a new trouble arose in keeping out of their way. For the greater part of the distance they only lifted their forefeet gingerly, and slipped on their hind ones. At length we reached a small, flat terrace, about 800 feet above the river. Here we let the horses rip, and threw ourselves prone on the ground to rest our joints.
When we reached the river Maxwell had hobbled them out and boiled the billy. “There,” said he, handing me a brimming pint, “That's drinkable. Sweeten it to yer likin'. Kowmung teas's the best in the world.” We cut deep into the “corned tiger” and big damper that Mrs. Maxwell baked specially for us, and then we refilled our pipes, and swapped yarns until we fell asleep 'neath the blinking stars with our heads pillowed on our saddles.
Next morning we rode up the river to its junction with Church Creek, so called because of the peculiar church-shaped mass of permo-carboniferous sandstone that caps the summit of a high peak on its eastern side. This is one of the most remarkable landmarks I have ever witnessed, and can be seen many miles off. It stands alone, a singular remnant of the geological past.
I must say here that I never saw so many snakes as I saw on our way up the river. For some time I was dismounting frequently to try to kill some that wriggled before or across our path. I noticed that I was the only one of the party so murderously inclined. At length an enormous black snake appeared to consider whether he would fight or run, and being a bit tired of stone throwing I called on Maxwell to despatch him, He only halted slowly, grinned, and watched me give battle. “Why didn't you have a go at him?” I asked. “What's the use?” he answered. “You can't kill more than one in every thousand of 'em.”
“Always select the clearest spot you can find to sleep on when out on a trip in country like this, and get a bit away from the water. The snakes travel about at night in summer, and this is close on the mating season; you'll hear 'em calling to each other tonight, I'll bet.” I thought this was a 'tall one' but long before we went to sleep the snakes were cooing to each other. They make a peculiar noise. Half a hiss and half a tenor kind of throat rattle. It is quite audible about five or six chains off. I admit feeling very uncomfortable in such company, but at length like Maxwell didn't bother about them.
The neighbourhood of Church Creek has an auriferous look. A large area of the older overlying rocks has been worn away by attrition, and the physical features of the neighbourhood prompts the belief that a pleiosticene lead is in the vicinity. However we decide to try the river bars first. We found a fine bar of altered slate, and after about four hours' work got enough gold to make a ring. We obtained the best result by splitting off the slates and washing them in the dish. It was very flakey, just like bran. In the false joints of the slates where coarse gold ought to be found, we got nothing. Therefore it appeared evident that this fine gold came down the river in the flood waters, and was caught by the ripple formed by the bar.
Coarse gold I could not find, and Maxwell who is a splendid panner-off, declared that the prospects we obtained were the best he had ever seen got on the Kowmung. Leaving the river drifts I searched for gold above high-water mark, and also for traces where the river might have run in the past. About three-quarters of a mile from the junction of Church Creek there were strong indications of an old river course that turned southward and joined Church Creek in the form of a horseshoe. To my surprise, I found an old shaft that had been put down on it, about a quarter of a mile from the present river. I carefully examined the mullock heap but found nothing with lens or mortar. It had fallen in, therefore I cannot say if it was bottomed.
Next day's work began at the mouth of Church Creek, which we ascended. There was a fair stream of water in the creek for some distance but suddenly we found ourselves walking on a dry bed. I therefore turned back to find what had become of it. On my left hand was a hill about two hundred feet high, and from an aperture in the base of it, about three feet in diameter, the water flowed. Divesting myself of my pedal coverings, I waded across and got as far into the aperture as I dared, and coo-eed. Echoes reverberate far away into and from the subterranean recesses.
The hill is a limestone one, and no doubt honeycombed by caves. It has since been ascertained that you can walk right through the old subterranean river for a distance of two miles, and that the water flowing through it is an off-take from the Kowmung. The limestone is identical with the Jenolan, and is probably a continuation of the same system, culminating, as far as our present knowledge extends, at the well-known Wombeyan Caves. Nearby an the summit of the hill I noticed an old aperture filled with surface debris. This may lead to the caverns below, a common feature in cave systems.
Next day we rode up the river to Lannigan's Flat. There is a big bar across the river here, and the flood waters have churned up an enormous mass of drift on the eastern side of it. To our great surprise, we found two miners sinking a shaft on the western side of a big reef across the river. They were down about thirty feet in a bouldered drift, but the water was now coming fast, and being without equipment they had to abandon it. They appeared to be on an old channel, deeper than the present river bed. They had walked from Penrith, and fossicked most of the way. We exchanged notes; they were very reticent; old diggers usually are; but from what I gathered they did not get payable values in the present river bed, and like myself, were looking for a pleiosticene one. We exchanged a tin of meat for a wallaby ham, dry-salted, sun-dried and smoked. Hitherto I scorned wallaby, barring the tail. Now I consider the man who 'turns up his nose' at wallaby has chronic indigestion. It's lean, but juicy and sweet.
I like the diorite country north of the Kowmung, between Christy's and Lannigan's Creeks. Going westward I like it better. I would have liked to go west as far as Limeburner's Creek, but Maxwell assured us that we had almost reached our western limit on horseback. From here this tremendous chasm closes in its perpendicular walls right on its source, at the feet of snow-flecked Mounts Shivering and Werong.
So far the only renown this region has is derived from its cedar. It is the Australian Lebanon. I saw some magnificent cedar trees growing in the gullies, trees that are now worth from 30 pounds to 50 pounds each. A number that formerly grew near the river have been felled. These were got to the river by great labour and bush craft. They were then lashed together in small lots, and left to wait the flood that would carry them out to the Nepean. The owners would wait at narrow bends, or at known obstacles during flood time, and push the impeded logs out into the stream with poles. Maxwell told us of an attempt made to navigate a raft out to the Nepean by a party of cedar-getters. They had a perilous time, and on several occasions nearly lost their lives before they reached the Cox. The Kowmung is a very rapid, turbulent river when in flood. Being narrow, crooked, and walled, it does not lend itself to such navigation, and no one ever attempted to float down on a raft again. Many logs are lost on the way. They get snagged in inaccessible places, and years afterwards have been carried out by greater floods.
In passing I think good use might be made of the greater part of the river country that I traversed as a summer run for sheep of the Southdown or Shropshire breed. The northern side especially looks sweetly grassed. Ticks would be a nuisance because the myrtle in some of the gullies are infested by the sommon tick.
We returned home via Coolong, which is a much easier though longer way. Nowadays a trip to the Kowmung can be done easily in 10 days - that is, from Sydney and return. Yerranderie is about five miles off as the crow flies, but there is an easy bush track via Burn's Gap to Church Creek. This might make the route about 12 miles. With a mining town like Yerranderie within walking distance, prospecting is made comparatively easy. My nearest depot was nearly 50 miles off, mostly roadless and rough country intervening.
When the immense reserves of second-class ore worth vast sums of money, now lying near the tips at Yerranderie through want of a railway, are put through furnaces, flux will be ready at Church Creek; and the coal now lying dormant in the bowels of Tonalli Peak will be waiting at the skips.
Evolving from this industrial era we now see unfolding the scenic beauties of the Kowmung as seen from the main ridge right on to the Cox will become a national asset. There is room for hordes of seekers of pure mountain air and romantic glens. What a heritage we have here, ye cubs of Britain! See that the sentinel statemen fall not asleep.
Fred Muir wrote in response; I was all over the same country in 1885 on the same quest, with a party of eight. We were out seven months, but though we tried all the creeks and gullies for perhaps 30 miles or more, we found nothing payable. The whole district is full of all kinds of native fauna and flora, and is perhaps the most interesting part of New South Wales. If W.A.C. killed ten snakes and ten of each kind of goanna and lizard every day, he would then probably only have killed one in a million.
1. This is the only time I've come across the probable source of the name Christy's Creek.
2. The party probably followed the cedar trail up onto Scott's Main Range then along the bridle track, to descend Bulga Range to opposite Christy's Creek.
3. I wonder how the 'hordes of seekers' of fresh air would feel about encountering belching black smoke and the carriage of linestone to the smelters.
The December General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
All but 20 or so of the members were either out there somewhere partying-on, shopping or whatever, when the President gonged the gong at around 2015 and called the meeting to order. There were apologies from Narelle Lovell and Greta Davis and new member David Sutton failed to answer the call to be welcomed.
The Minutes were read and received with the only matter arising being notice that two electric staplers are being purchased. Correspondence brought letters from the Wilderness Society regarding the threats to National Estate wilderness areas in Tasmania, from Geoff Grace advising of a proposed meeting between the Kangaroo Valley Centre Association and the local bushfire fighters, from F.B.W. regarding S. & R. call-out lists, and from Dot Butler.
The Treasurer's Report, among other things, brought news that we began the month with $2853, acquired $501, and spent $1115 to finish with a balance of $2239.
Of the Walks Reports, the first weekend 14,15,16 November had Ian Debert leading a party of 14 across a swollen Shoalhaven River to Bulls Flat for a swimming and indulging weekend. It seems the river also indulged over the weekend and they had some problems re-crossing on the way home. It is generally considered that David McIntosh's Surefire Canyon trip misfired and did not go, whilst Bob Hodgson's Wollangambe trip saw a party of 13 spend 11 hours walking on Saturday and 9 hours walking on Sunday (What went wrong on Sunday! I hear you cry.).
George Walton's day and a half Mt. Solitary walk did not go, but Len Berlin's Bundeena to Audley walk did, led by Errol Sheedy and with a party of 20. Bill Holland had 16 on his day walk, which was different to that programmed. They went to the Old Northern Road but didn't mess with Mill Creek and all that wet wilderness.
The following weekend the deluge continued. Carol Bruce's Colo walk and David Rostron's Cox River family walk were cancelled but Frank Woodgate reported 6 starters and a good time on his Brooklyn to Wondabyne wildflowers and oysters walk. Helmut Land and Peter Sharpe reported 30 starters on their Benowie Track walk and Narelle Lovell had 23 people on her Lawsons Long Alley day walk, which went to plan.
Over the weekend of 28,29,30 November Peter Miller had 7 people enjoying a good time on his Long Nose Point birthday walk, Ray Hookway reported a party of 13 finishing his Yerranderie walk early in fine weather, and there was no report of Peter Christian's Arethusa Canyon walk (?). Len Berlin's Glenbrook day walk went, but there was no report, and Malcolm Boadle had 13 people on his Bob Turners Track walk which went to program.
The weekend of 5,6,7 December Bob Younger's Wollangambe walk did not go, nor did David McIntosh's caving trip. David West's Six-Foot Track walk also did not go. Of the day walks, Peter Miller's map and compass instructional attracted 8 starters who did not get lost, Joe Marton's Grand Canyon trip did not go, and Bill Hall's Glenbrook walk had 20 plus starters. All of which concluded the Walks Report.
The Federation Report indicated that F.B.W.'s Bush Leadership Course is being assessed by T.A.F.E. with a view to the possibility of incorporating the course into their syllabus. The Tracks and Access Section advise that the present owner of land at the Cox River/Galong Creek junction prefers that walkers not camp in that area. There is no problem with transit through the property however. F.B.W.s occasional newsletter is in preparation…. watch this magazine.
The next F.B.W. St. John's Ambulance certificate course will be held over the weekend 20th February/1st March.
The F.B.W. Conservation Report indicated details of the Tasmanian rainforest campaign, and advised that the National Party have indicated that they will support the proposed Wilderness Act.
General Business was next. The 60th Anniversary Committee reported details of proposed celebrations. The Club's new Constitution is being printed and should be mailed to members prior to the Annual General Meeting. A motion was passed that the Club write to Peter Treseder congratulating him on his recent achievement. Then it was just a matter of a final reminder that the Club is moving to new premises, the announcements, and the meeting closed at around 2102.
S.B.W. 60th Anniversary Commemorative Port
Order your bottles of Port from our President Barbara Bruce - $7 -
All profits will go to the Club funds for our 60th Anniversary Celebrations
Report of the December 1986 Committee Meeting.
The “Coolana” signs will be restored and repainted, then re-erected on their previous sites. Ian Debert is in charge of this project.
Federation will be meeting in future at: 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks.
The issue of signs on tracks is to be discussed again but present policy opposes them.
The Commemorative Port label designed by Morag Ryder was selected by Committee.
There were several meeting halls discussed and the best location, facilities and price ($25 per week - at Crows-Nest it is $43 p.w.), found by Malcolm Boadle is at Haberfield, where the Club will meet in future. (See map, Page 3 - Ed.)
Report of the January 1987 Committee Meeting.
This meeting was held at the Ella Community Centre, Haberfield.
Meryl Watman's resignation was received on the grounds of “both my age and slower pace”, with “many thanks for 40 years of good times”. Chris and Geoff Davidson are going to Holland in February for two/three years, and have (temporarily) resigned from the Club.
The Budget for the 60th Anniversary sub-committee was approved.
It was decided to get quotes for a membership card. The membership list is being corrected by Joy Hynes, and preparation of address labels for computerisation will need to be re-done.
The production costs of the magazine (not including postage) are approximately $2 per annual membership subscription. The covers, however, cost an extra $2.60 per annum per subscription. It has been decided to print the covers on paper from about April (when the covers in stock will be used) in order to cut costs.
The Constitution will be taken by Barrie Murdoch to the Department of Finance for their approval. Subject to this approval, application will be made to the Corporate Affairs Commission for incorporation.
Motions affecting the Constitution to be included in the Agenda of the Annual General Meeting in March must be sent to the Secretary, S.B.W., Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001, no later than 4th February next.
Please add the name of Sutton, David, 9/2-8 Park Avenue, Burwood 2134 Phone 744 1628 to your List of Members.