A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|No. 41||May, 1938.|
|Business Manager:||J.W. Mullins,|
|Publication Staff:||Misses Clare Kinsella, Dot English,
Kathleen MoKay, Flo Allsworth;
Messrs. John R. Wood, Brian G. Harvey, Stan. Lumsden.
|News from Here, There and Everywhere||“ 2|
|Gentle Arts of Hitch-Hiking||by Frazer Ratcliffe||” 3|
|At Our Very Own Meeting||“ 5|
|Tramping on Tourist Tracks||by Edna Garrad.||” 7|
|The Phar Lap of the Bushwalkers||By Judex.||“ 9|
|Some Club Gossip||by Sunlight.||” 10|
|List of Officers for 1938/1939.||“ 11|
Good-day, folks! With the editorial chair now hidden under a larger bulk, it seems as though the departure of our indomitable Marie on the big adventure draws very close. Actually, one member of her party (having fewer responsibilities and less cash) has already been some weeks on his way to Perth - the first leg of the journey to Western China, and the unclimbed mountains that are Marie's goal, but she does not leave us until the beginning of July. In the menatime 1), she is very busy setting her house in order, and handing over one after another of her many responsibilities to various of her friends. Marie is a light-weight camper, but a heavy-weight worker, so, as her shoulders are gradually lightened of their burdens, she will probably begin to feel the exhilaration of the trip even before she sets out from Sydney.
We certainly wish Marie, and al1 her party, the very best of luck, and a “dashfinesplendid” trip. We look forward to hearing of their adventures, and can assure them we who are left behind will all do our share in maintaining the best traditions of walking, so they can be sure of having a spiritual home as well as one of bricks and mortar awaiting their return.
The Search and Rescue Section of the Federation may even be ready to assist in that return…. “As if it would be needed!” Can't you hear Marie say it? Still, “Be Prepared” is the Boy Scouts' motto, and the S.& R. Section is inviting all walkers to keep the week-end 13th. and 14th. August next for a big practice search party. We should all have lots of fun, as well as adding considerably to our bushcraft, that week-end; at least, that was our experience on a similar stunt of the S.B.W. some years ago. Scotty Malcolm and the Rover Ramblers also learned a lot when they tested out the signals system for the S.& R. Section a few months ago, as did the search party that went into action at National Park on February 1st. Next August's practice should provide some good material for articles for this magazine, so we welcome the stunt from a literary as well as a walking point of view.
The Business Manager has sternly forbidden us to exceed 11 pages in any issue, so we can only give you the gist of an interesting letter received from Ted. Phillips, the River Canoe Club's representative in the recent Search Party. He brought back three valuable pieces of knowledge; hikers, once lost, can remain lost although within a stone's throw of the track; search parties need to have definite calls and to leave the usual “coo-ees” to the lost party, otherwise the searchers may waste time and effort in finding each other; thirdly, where the lost party includes any women, it is essential to have at least one woman amongst the searchers because of the help she can give in calming, and re-outfitting, those who have been lost. When they are found, they have still to be got back to civilization.
Have you heard of the Blue Mountains Wilderness Park Association? No? Well, it is an offshoot of one of the clubs that have undertaken the care of sections of the Appalachian Trail, and it is to be found in Pennsylvania, U.S.A! All conservationists are strongly recommended to read the “Proceedings of the Eighth Appalachian Trail Conference held in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinberg, Tennessee June 26-28, 1937.” This is one of several publications from that part of the world which have just been added to the Club's Library, and it contains much of value and of interest to those of us who want to preserve wilderness areas in N.S.W.
Other publications received include the March issues of “Into the Blue”, “The Warrigal”, “The Tararua Tramper” “Outdoors”, and the new publication, “Bushland”.
By Frazer Ratzliffe.
(Continued from our Last)
Hitch-Hiking is a much simpler art. If in a town, one simply asks the truck drivers, or any likely cars, for a lift (please). If in the country, one signals them to stop. But away from the towns they don't always stop, for, as many have said to me - - -
“If we stop, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose, we don't know what your intentions will be.”
It was for that reason, I think, I met so many men on the road on foot who couldn't get a lift, and none whom I met who had been fortunate had had as many as myself, despite the fact that I had the encumbrance of a bicycle. As far as I could understand, the more fact of my having a bicycle proved my bona fides, indicated that I was travelling and was not a highwayman.
To give you some idea of the joys of hitch-hiking with a bicycle the following is a summary of one such voyage, 840 miles in 8 days (including about 500 miles of rides).
We left Alpha one Sunday eve, arriving at Jericho (36 miles) a few hours later. There we awaited the arrival of my pack, which was being carried for me by Jericho cricketers who were playing at Alpha. They duly arrived in a merry condition at 11:30 p.m. Not all their happiness was caused by their win. I left Jericho Monday morn; three miles out I received a lift for 20 miles (near Jericho is the Sea of Galilee, one half salt, one half fresh water).
Tuesday night at 9:30 we left Blackall. Some forty miles along the road the driver dropped me at a large waterhole on the Barcoo River (he branched off a few miles on). Early Wednesday I was about to leave when a car came along. It stopped for me and carried my pack on to Tambo, 30 miles! Shortly after 2 p.m. I left Tambo. Within a few minutes a utility truck came racing along. It stopped, and we received a lift of 130 miles to Charleville, arriving at 6:30 p.m. Between there and Yuelba we had several small lifts, ranging from 4 to 15 miles, as well as many more lifts for just my pack.
After leaving Yuelba our next was a 5 mile lift just at dusk. Said my friend:
“If you like to wait till 8 a.m. in the morning I'll give you a lift as far as Miles” (90 miles away).
I waited. Miles we reached at noon. Said he again;
“If you like, keep an eye open for me tomorrow morning and I'll give you a lift into Toowoomba.”
That eye I kept very widely open, with the result that he picked me up at Warra and took me into Toomoomba, 80 miles away. At Toowoomba it was raining. I knew not where to go (this was my first visit), so he made a suggestion of the grain sheds, to which he drove me. The shelter was perfect, clean, and only a few minutes from the town. Next afternoon we left by lorry for Brisbane 88 miles away.
Shortly after leaving Brisbane I decided to jump the rattler once more. At Emmett I was told that we were in the easiest town for jumping for miles along the line, so at Emmett I decided to jump. I made enquiries and learnt that there might be a train during the night, and that there would be one at 6:35 in the morning, so that night I slept near the station on the goods siding. All was ready, I only had to roll up my sleeping-bag.
At 12:30 a.m. I woke with a start to hear trucks moving. I looked and saw a long line, with smoking engine complete, at the platform. A few seconds later I was rushing over the yard, pack upon my back, sleeping-bag under one arm, and bicycle propelled by the other. Stopping at an empty truck, I looked around. There were two guards checking trucks a few yards away on another line. I seemed to catch them just as they turned their backs upon me. Voices of others reached me from the platform. Up we scrambled, and lay flat on the bottom - no coal this time. Steps moved up and down the platform. Off we moved! But it was a false alarm. Back we came. We were shunting. It seemed that we shunted everywhere, dropping trucks there, taking trucks on here. At last I heard someone climbing aboard our truck, he uncoupled the locks, and raised his smiling face over the edge. He was most friendly and polite.
Thought I “This is good.”
“Going far?” he queried.
“Well”, says I, thinking I had better wear a happy, bold manner, “as far along the line as I can go, that is if you will let me.”
“That Is O.K. with us”, was his reply, “but suit yourself if you really want to stay here, this is not a train, we are only re-arranging the yard trucks!” And down he jumped. My feelings can be well imagined. Slowly and painfully we trudged across the yard. I could almost sense the grins of the shadowy figures to be seen around. And so once more to bed.
At 6:15 a m. I was just finishing breakfast when in steamed a goods train. Hurriedly I finished, and quickly rushed to an empty truck, arriving there the same moment as a guard who checked its number. “Good morning!”
Quickly he moved on ten feet to the next truck and turned his back on me. I saw his smile.
“That a pal!”, I thought, “just like a real friend, always willing to help.”
By now I was an expert in boarding trucks, and hoisting thereon the gear. This time it was but a moment's work. The train gave a warning whistle and away we moved. But a few yards later we stopped, and moved back. We were shunting again! This went on for quite ten minutes, but I was quite unconcerned for this was a train, I had seen it arrive, and also knew-there was one due to leave any moment. Another ten minutes sped by. Finally amother grinning face appeared upon-the scene..
“Enjoying it all?” it asked.
“So far, yes,” I said, “but when is this train going on?”
“Never,” it said “it goes no further. The one you should have jumped left the other platform about seven minutes ago.”
This time, as we limped back broken-heartedly over the yards, I could definately see those nasty grins.
(Of course, for obvious reasons, the names of railway stations are entirely imaginary. If anyone would like to jump, I can tell them of an excellent trip of 200 miles over perfectly “safe” ground.) Note: The New Editor is consumed with curiosity. How did Frazer manage to conceal his sticky past from the Committee, until he was safely into the Club, and safely on his way to Western China?
The April General Meeting was short, and quite a social affair. It opened with the welcoming of visitors from the Melbourne Walking Club, Melbourne Women's Walking Club, and N.Z. Alpine Club, and it closed with the distribution of certificates to the successful competitors at the recent Swimming Carnival.
There were no new members, but the resignations were announced of our old friends, Cora Dunphy and Gladys Parons. Those present took the opportunity of saying good-bye and good luck to Jeane Travis. No, she is not resigning, but Gordon was coming down from Griffith on Good Friday, so next time Jeane visits Sydney she will be Jeane Maunell 2)
The President announced the various appointments that had been made by the new Committee, and, most important of all a letter from the Lands Department was read, announcing that the Lease of “Morella-Karong” 3) has been granted to the Club.
The Epidiascope Evening on March 18th. was such a great success that our new Social Secretary has promised us another within the next few months, so, all you members who failed to get an innings last time, look out any photos you wish to show, and see you get in early next time.
Away! let us go far away.4)
Away! Away! Away! Let us go far away.
Where we'll live and we'll play,
With no thought for the day
That comes after.
Away! Away! Away! Let us be gay!
We will play while we may;
And none say us nay,
Or question the why and the wherefore.
Away! Come away! Where the tall saplings sway,
And the wind whips the spray
From the waves in its play -
Rejoicing like us!
Come away! Come away!
A report was received Showing 10 shacks low down and three on the ridge, and stating that Mr. Daley, one of the owners, seemed to be keenly interested in the protection of the park. The Federation resolved to write urging the abolition of all permissive occupancies, but suggesting the appointment of Mr. Daley as an officer of the Park, since some one on the spot is essential for police purposes.
No. 1 issue showed a deficit of less than £4 5), and it was expected that this would be liquidated when a party went down to sell 6) copies of the Ann??? ?? ????- 7) vale in the morning and afternoon of Sunday, April 3rd. It was decided to proceed with issue No. 2 at once. Miss Betty Bell was appointed literary editor-in-chief, and Mr. O. Wyndham managing editor. Articles ard photos should be handed to Miss Brenda White, who represents the S.B.W. on the Publication Committee.
The accounts from last year's Ball are not yet complete. It was decided to proceed with the organization of this year's Ball. You will hear more of this later.
The matter of the adoption of rules to govern the Conservation Bureau was held over until next meeting. Mr. Roots, who happened to be in Sydney, addressed the Council on the work of the National Parks Association in Queensland, and urged that, if the Bureau was to have any power, it would have to be under the auspices of the Parks & Playgrounds Movement, which might aspire to the prestige of the National Parks Association of Queensland, a body wielding immense power and authority there.
The Minister now states that he can provide only a footpath along the new road, and not a track across country as we want, and as we thought had been promised. The Federation resolved to write offering to approach the landowners to get the permits required for a footpath to cross their lands.
|Note the date!|
and the place!
| Wednesday, 29th. June,
at the Feminists Club, 77 King Street, Sydney.
Now dig out your frilly frocks, and your dancing pumps!
Talking of Tigers, Dave Stead reports that there are going to be extra walking races this year to satisfy all the lads, and the girls, who have been infected by the racing bug. We hope they will walk it out of their systems. If many of them go on training jaunts the lay three of the lads did at Easter, Bob Savage will have to find a new meaning for “S.B.W.”
Bushwalkers as a whole seem rather to despise the tourist tracks on the Blue Mountains, and after a recent trip entirely on these tracks I am rather at a loss to understand their attitude. Can it simply be a “superiority” complex?
We wished to show our visitor, Eileen Bass of the Tararua Club, something of the Blue Mountain scenery, our trees, birds , etc., and decided to go through the Grand Canyon, round to the Junction, out to Blue Gum and back to Govetts Leap - a fairly ambitious walk for what we expected to be a hot February Sunday.
At 4 a.m. - ½ 8) an hour before the scheduled time which had rather shocked two members of our party - Marie's voice inquired from out of the inky darkness as to whether we thought it too dark to get up. It was too dark to see a foot away, but deciding that if you were going to be early half an hour was nothing, I lent an encouraging voice, and up we got. Breakfast was prepared by the light of a blazing fire and the weak assistance of a pale new moon that slowly raised itself over the nearest hill. By the time we had eaten and packed our gear it was quite high and we set off back to the Evans Look Out road to leave our packs for the taxi man, to collect and take into Blackheath. We offer no apology for what may be considered weakness by some of the “tough” members of the club, but consider our action in this regard inspired by a genius. It was a pure delight to spend the day with just a tiny pack containing lunch.
It was refreshingly cool and we started off in high spirits. There is, by the way, about half a mile below Walls Cave - where we slept - an excellent camp site. Level expanse, creek and tiny waterfall. Also, for those who do not wish to take a tent, some rocks that shelter a perfectly dry patch or two.
The Canyon was even lovelier than I had remembered it, and with a vivid blue sky, flecked with fleecy white clouds that contrasted magnificently with the browns and reds of the cliff faces, the whole morning was intoxicating. We had with us two scientifically minded young women who were a great help in supplying names of the various shrubs, ferns, etc. on the route. Two of the party were photographers, and with pictures to be taken and botanical specimens to be examined, we pursued a leisurely pace.
We had our first swim in the pool below Arethusa Falls. Having no men in the party, swimming was a very convenient matter. Several members of the party had uncensored sun-bathss. also.
We wandered on to the Junction and out to Blue Gum. Having been informed by two New Zealanders that they were more impressed with the Grand Canyon than with Blue Gum, we were pleased to find that both our New Zealand and English friends were just as thrilled with the Forest as we always are. We spent several hours here and as usual were very reluctant to leave. The weather remained perfect and the climb up Govetts seemed not nearly the effort it generally is. Here we met the first tourists we had seen all day.
We collected our packs at Blackheath and caught the 6 o'clock train, all most enthusiastic over a glorious day - just tramping on tourist tracks. .
(Continued from last month)
Having eaten, they sat themselves at ease around the fire and smoked and talked of many things. And those that were able sang songs.
And when the others had retired to their tents, Jack the son of John sat gazing into the embers of the fire.
And he saw a man heavily laden, climbing a rugged mountain side, and the man turned himself about and Jack the son of John saw that it was himself that he thus saw in his dreams. Therefore did his soul quicken and he arose filled with joy as he heard the voice say unto him, “Dream not enviously of the deeds that other men have done, but taste for thyself the joy of arduous achievement of difficult deeds.”
And he went to his tent and slept.
Thus ends the story of the frieze to be seen in Paddy's Place.
Good Camp Gear for Walkers,
327 George Street,
An Interview with Gordon Smith
“How old were you when you took up walking?” I asked by way of commencing the interview.
“About 12 months, I expect”, was the laconic reply, and Gordon started to edge away, but the corner was rather congested 10) and he did not succedd; so after the usual preliminary modesty (to which interviewers become accustomed) he gave in and sat down again.
Gordon was not born and bred to 11) the bush; indeed had it not been for the S.B.W. he might never have found the charm of bushwalking. His early walking activities were entirely in the racing direction. Someone from the N.S.W. Walking Club picked him out from a number of his school mates as something out of the ordinary and suggested he should join the Club. He did so in 1921, and in 1922 he proved the discernment of his nominator by winning the 20 miles championship. Since the he has won about 20 championships, both Club and State. At present he holds the State 32 to 50 miles track-walking, and the Australian record for 24 hours. He also held for some while the Australian 50 miles championship, but a Victorian subsequently made better time on the same test.
During the last 12 years he has averaged 4,500 miles a year, or about 88 miles a week - it makes one gasp - 88 miles in a long week-end perhaps, but 88 miles every week!!
Large mileages are Gordon's strongest point. He told me that in walks under 15 miles he is by no means a record-holder - a matter which may be a surprise to many who have been out with him and thought he flew over the ground, rough and smooth alike.
His now great love of bushwalking through the rough as well as along tracks is all the more interesting because racing walks are always along roads or at best good tracks. Long distance races, in which Gordon holds the record, are always along roads because it is only possible by this means to get the mileage calculated. The shorter walks are sometimes along tracks, but none of them are remotely like bushwalking.
“Therefore how did you come to join the S.B.W.?” Gordon thought a good while but could not exactly remember. He was a foundation member of the Club and even before it was formed he recalls one purely pleasure walk of 500 miles which took him from Sydney through Nowra, Mossvale, Thirlmere, Burragorang, Jenolan, Bell, Richmond and Parramatta in 16 days; so apparently the germ of bushwalking cam into existence unawares.
“And which do you prefer now, racing or bushwalking?”
“Both are pleasurable. Racing is hard work and has a certain fascination, but it can't go on forever. Each year I decide I shall knock it off, and then someone comes along and I go in for it for one year more. At best I can hardly do it for another 10 years. But bushwalking will go on forever, I hope. It is the combination of walking and scenery that gives charm to bushwalking, not so much the wild flowers, which do not appeal to me much, but the wider landscape. Then of course there is good companionship, swimming - and eating!”
Scenery being one of the main attractions of bushwalking it may seem strange that Gordon has taken only two important walks far afield, one to Barrington and one to Tumut and Kosciusko. The explanation is that what he has seen of other parts only makes him love the southern Blue Mountains more. However, this year he is off to New Zealand and a taste of mountaineering, and it will be interesting to hear whether this type of scenery attracts him as much as his beloved Cox and Kowmung.
This year is the first year bushualkers have taken part in race-walking, and as we all know they topped the lists coming second and third after Gordon in each event. I was therefore very interested to hear Gordon's comments on the possibility of racing walkers being drawn from the bushwalking movement. It was this:-
“In a long race nine-tenths of the N.S.W. Walking Club fail because they lack the necessary stamina. This is where the bushwalkers score. They have carried heavy packs up steep hills and the whole of the bushwalking activities builds up that requisite stamina. Those who went in for the walking races this year had none of the racing technique or style, and yet they succeeded. If they would acquire these things, then, the younger ones especially should be very successful. I hope they will take it up; I think there should be a race at least once a year.”
The N.S.W. Walking Club, of which Gordon is such a distinguished member, numbers about 60. But members are not all very active. It is interesting to learn that some years ago they had it in mind to establish a club like the S.B.W. But the S.B.W. established itself while they were cogitating over the idea. Gordon thought this a pity since the other method would have put the N.S.W. Walking Club on a sounder basis financially, and better able to send teams to other States and such like. However, perhaps it was a wise fate which kept the bushwalking separate from the racing, and its separation does not prevent the N.S.W. Walking Club from drawing recruits from our ranks.
Apparently, a Merciful Providence decided that Paddy would need a week or so to recover from the Easter rush before being inundated with new customers, ao he surely will be if the proposed Junior Club gets going. Anyway, Sunday, April 12th. was wet, so they had to postpone their inaugural meeting to the 8th. May. By the time you read this you will know whether, or not, they had better luck then.
All the older members were delighted when the Chownes dug themselves out and strolled down to “Morella-karong” on Re-union Sunday. But, when Gwen got so thrilled at seeing so many of her old friends again that she wanted us to have a repeat performance the next week … We can't have another Re-union until we have had time to growl at the new Committee. However, we do hope Gwen and Bill, and young Geoffrey, will come along to the Sports Carnival at Emu Plains on July 10th., and re-une with the older members between bursts of applaise 12) for the energetic youngsters.
By the way, all you young fellows had better be getting into training for the Sports Carnival. Frank Duncan might bring young Ross along. Did you hear that Frank took him for his first big trip a few weeks ago? They walked from Couridjah, through the Burragorang Valley, and up to the Q.V.San. at Wentworth Falls in six days. How's that for 5¼ 13)? The “Tigers” had better keep an eye on young Ross Duncan.
|Vice-Presidents:||Harold Chardon and Jack Debert.|
|Hon, Treasurer:||Tom Moppett.|
|Hon. Social Secretary:||Flo. Allsworth.|
|Hon. Walks Secretary:||David Stead.|
|Hon. Secretary:||Richard Croker.|
|Hon.Assistant Secretary.:||Betty Pryde.|
“Duch” Drewell, Dot English, “Mouldy” Harrison, Brian Harvey.
|(March to August)||Tom Herbert and Marie Byles.|
|(August to March 1939)||Tom Herbert and Alec. Colley.|
Mrs. Hilda Blunt and Mrs. Thelma Hellyer.
Maurie Berry, Joe Turner, and Dorothy Lawry.
|Hon. Assistant Treasurer:||Perce. Harvey.|
|Hon. Assistant Walks Secretary:||Bill Hall.|
|Hon. Curator of Maps, Recorder and Historian:||Charlie Pryde.|
|Hon. Assistant Historian:||Evelyn Higinbotham.|
|Hon. Librarian:||Winifred Eva Duncombe (“Dunk”).|
|Hon, Assistant Librarian:||Doreen Helmrich.|
|Hon. Editor:||Dorothy Lawry.|
|Hon. Business Manager:||Bill Mullins.|
|Publication Staff:||Clare Kinsella, Kathleen Mackay, Dot English, Flo. Allsworth, Brian Harvey, Johnnie Wood, and Stan. Lumsden.|
|Hon. Assist, Social Secretary:||Mrs. Hilda Blunt.|
|Social Committee:||Doreen Harris, Doreen Helmrich, Grace Edgecombe, “Dunk” (W.E. Duncombe), Ray Bean, Gordon Pritchard, & Jack Debert.|