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The Sydney Bushwalker, May 1941, No.77

A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney. Price 3d.

EditorDorothy Lawry
Business ManagerBrian Harvey
SubscriptionsDoreen Harris
“On Service Copies”Grace Jolly
ArtMary Stoddart
ProductionBrian Harvey and Jean West
ContentsAuthorPage
Editorial 1
At Our Own Meeting 2
The Official “82”“Stoddy Junr.”3
Special AnnouncementHon. Social Secretary6
Progress Report from our Services Committee 6
Paddy's Advertisement 7
Inside EnglandKen Iredale8
Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies Advt. 10
Letters from the Lads - No.3Gordon Smith11
Anne's Pantry – Advertisement 13
Foot-gear Through the Ages “Wayfaring”14
Federation Notes 16
Club Gossip 16

Editorial

In March last “The Camp Fire Club Magazine” announced that it had survived its first year of existence. Good for the war baby!

In April “The Sydney Morning Herald” had its 110th birthday. Grannie has left Johnnie Walker at the post - more power to her!

With this issue we complete, our first ten years of publication, and we take this opportunity of extending our thanks to all who have in any way assisted “The Sydney Bushwalker”. We hope everyone will co-operate in making our next decade brighter and better still.

Starting as “The Bushwalker”, a bit of a waif that appeared every second month, the efforts of Marj Hill, her Publishing Committee, and the various contributors were so successful that a year later the Club decided it could risk accepting financial responsibility for the magazine. “No.8” appeared in August, 1932, the official organ of the S.B.W. and under the new name of “The Sydney Bushwalker.”

From December, 1932, until January, 1936, Brenda White perched in the editorial chair very successfully, then handed over to Marie Byles, who had already edited for the Club the first two issues of “The Sydney Bushwalker - Annual.”

After the 1936 issue, the “Annual” was handed over to the Federation and their publication has ever since borne our original name, “The Bushwalker”. Very confusing.

In 1936 the bi-monthly suffered from a severe attack of “bluepencilitis”, and throughout 1937 was only just alive, as a quarterly. However, it not merely survived, it was rejuvenated as a monthly when, at the end of 1937, the Club bought a new duplicator and Bill Mullins and Brian Harvey took over the work of production.

In 1938 Marie Byles went mountaineering in Western China and the editorial chair and traditions were handed over to Dorothy Lawry, who feels that the support given by contributors and readers alike proves that “The Sydney Bushwalker” is now safely past its teething troubles. Assured of their continued cooperation with the editorial and production staff, the magazine can face the future with confidence, and hope for a long and useful life.

At Our Own Meeting

At the April General Meeting our new President's first job was to welcome as a New Member Mr Gordon Upton. Then Alex presented the two cups and various certificates won at this year's Swimming Carnival. The holders of the Mandelberg Cup now are Flo Allsworth and Arthur Brophey, while the new Mansonia Cup for the best score in both swimming and diving events was won by Joan Hocking.

The meeting then got down to business, and soon learned, amongst other things, that Bill Mullins has changed his address and is now in the A.I.F. Training Camp at Cowra. That's one vacant seat there'll be at this winter's Celebrity Concerts! However, there are still quite a number of S.B.W's left in Sydney to use the season tickets Mouldy has secured again this year.

As usual, our Social Secretary was appointed to represent the S.B.W. on the Bushwalkers' Ball Committee, so Doreen Helmrich is the one to see for all details.

Three new Room Stewards volunteered and were appointed for the ensuing two months; they were Dot English, Mary Stoddart and Len Webb, so, apparently there are not as many Friday night trips starting out now Jack and Gordon are away!

Tom Moppett, who was present “in his blues”, having accidentally discovered a new (?) ceiling light for spotlighting lectures, the Hon.Secretary was instructed by the meeting to write and congratulate the Royal Life Saving Society on this improvement.

Jean Moppett was also instructed to ask the Federation to congratulate the Warrigal Club on the new Taro's Ladder [Tarros Ladder] at Clear Hill, but at the same time to suggest that a few extra pitons would add to the safety of the descent for all short-legged walkers. Various rock-climbers regretted that all the “interest” should be taken out of the Ladder, but Dorothy Lawry said she could not see how that chimney could have any interest for them as it had been used successfully by mere walkers in the old days without ladders, pitons, or ropes. The meeting decided that “safety for all” was what was wanted.

The Official "82"

By Stoddy Jun

In two detachments on the night of Friday, March 21st, six purposeful people set out for Katoomba, the starting point of many trips of note, this one proving no exception.

The Leader, Bill Hall, with Bill Whitney, sped down to Carlons from the earlier train and they were safely tucked into bed before the second detachment arrived. Consisting of Tim Coffey, Reg Alder, Ron Baker and myself, Mob No.2 journeyed from Central in the narrow confines of a Guard Room at the extreme forward end of the train in company with five C.M.W's. During a lull in the shouted conversation I introduced the subject of Packs and lightness thereof with reference in particular to my own. This gentle feeler roused the manly chivalry of Tim, who proposed sending my pack back to Sydney with everyone's discarded nonessentials, and after sever censorship, my sadly depleted kit, consisting of pyjamas, sneakers, face cloth, two bars of chocolate and a piece of cake, was divided amongst the three boys.

Alighting at Katoomba we shivered our way to the Reservoirs in inky darkness lit by no friendly star or benignant moon. Warmed up by then, we put on pace downhill to the Devil's Hole. A few cold pin points of rain splashed maliciously down as we slipped and scrambled haphazard into that weird formation.

As we passed the “Pub” Site there was some desultory talk of short cuts, but somehow we missed the beginnings of them and so went round the long way.

All hills climbed at last, we swooped down into Green Gully and arrived to find Mrs. Carlon sitting up for us with tea on tap and large slices of scone loaf. Et puis, em lit.

With the first faint appearance of dawn came murmurs from the verandah and it was time to get up. After a super-ooper breakfast we groaned our way up the hill and raced gaily down the other side into Carlon Creek. Floods have changed it and Breakfast Creek into Public Highway, and, believe me, the nettles looked positively nettled to see us striding along unstung.

Does anyone really admire Breakfast Creek? We were all glad to see the Cox at last, stopping long enough for dips, then on again at a smart bat on the right bank. Bell birds and Whip birds carolled us on and we were able to keep to one side for some distance past the Black Dog Rock. We stopped for lunch between Moorilla and Moko Creeks and had refreshing swims there and in the Kowmung. After Cedar Creek the country was new to me and we made a number of river crossings through picturesque Kill's Defile.

We were very lucky with the weather, which was sunny with a chill wind, and so we were never too hot despite the pace.

We saw some splendid horses and innumerable pigs of assorted sizes and considered putting one in our pocket en route. Conscience triumphed however, and we left the piggy ranks to forage undepleted.

Opposite Moody's a new boarding house was in process of erection, and its owner informed us that he had just taken his wife down to McMahon's to cook our tea for us, Mrs Mac being in hospital. We asked him if his wife was a good cook and he said “Not bad”, so we redoubled our flagging efforts, passing a very pretty girl with no noticeable slackening of pace, and presently came to the funny part of the trip. In the middle of the river about one mile from Moody's a car was sitting with an obstinate expression on its face. Billy Ball was giving me a lift across on his shoulders and could hardly keep his balance as we were both laughing “fit to bust”. Inside the car a fat man in shorts was seated, perfectly dry and unamused and determined to remain both. He demanded assistance and four of the lads made the appearance of heaving hard at the wheels with no result whatever. Thirty-odd miles and suppressed mirth may have had something to do with it. We left him to his fate and noticed as we passed out of sight he was still inside patiently keeping his tootsies dry.

The valley widened out and we crossed the river several times, having a final wash and brush up at the last rapids. Then up and over the hill to McMahon's, very tired, warm with nettles, and absolutely ravenous.

Mrs Smith, our substitute cook, was bustling round the kitchen, from which appetising aromas came floating forth. Presently a sumptuous repast was stacked before us and we needed no second bidding to commence plying knife and fork. Dinner was followed by a round of massage of sorts and we retired.

For the first part of the night everyone squirmed with nettle stings and stiffness, and all dogs in Creation decided to voice their sorrows and fight out their long pent grievances, but about midnight silence reigned supreme and Tim was allowed to “oleaginously mutter” undisturbed in his corner of the verandah.

Morning came with the first sun's rays lighting up one headland and leaving all the others dim with purple haze, and the flat grass lands a misty straw-blond.

We made a lateish start after a good breakfast and set off somewhat uneasily along the track. Many were the wide beautiful vistas unfolded for us on every hand of level of undulating valley surrounded by sunlit sandstone cliffs or tree clad mountain ridges. Reg was dropping behind with his colour film gadget to his eye. Trees reflected in still waters; smooth plains of grass like “hair soft lifted by the winnowing wind”; one or two magnificent trees, ages old, left perhaps out of very respect for their hoary size….

As we turned up the Wollondilly, we looked down to the Warragamba Gorge over fields of green corn and glimpses of shining river between attendant Casuarinas. On the hillsides the bracken was reflecting the sunlight like chain mail, and two headlands oddly resembling thatched roofs stood sentinel to the valley.

Now we came to bridges and open grids and better roads for cars but somewhat monotonous walking for feet, albeit opportunity for our eyes to take in the full beauty of that unparalleled valley, the Burragorang.

It is a place that will always be beautiful, Man cannot ruin it, even though he flood that wide basin which is the wind's playground, because it is the surrounding hills which make its splendour, and if they are to look down to a mirror instead of a golden dancing floor, they will remember and so will we.

Bye and bye the stiffness wore away and we came to Bimlow, and partook of pears and apricots by the fingers out of tins, just as a snack and because we were ahead of Dave's schedule. We saw a row of mugwumps on Bimlow verandah, wumps outward, but as we hove into view the mugs were thrust speculatively to the fore. Our pace slid up again to four M.P.H., and we deferred lunch one hour. Up hill now, and the knowledge that all descents had to be reclimbed, but our pace was not affected. In fact we joyously swapped notes on our fitness and wondered that we felt so fresh. After a long descent with an eye to the panorama of Upper Burragorang with Bonum Pic upthrust into the blue distance, we reached the Nattai bridge and stopped for lunch. Not making tea was a great help in keeping us up to and ahead of schedule, and as we turned up the Nattai valley and climbed steadily our stiffness gradually and imperceptibly returned. Expectations of a weary road walk for the last 18 miles were being continually and delightfully disappointed, as we passed through leafy bushlands with sunny open spaces and glimpses of deep green pools.

Just before Riley's Crossing we paused to read the inscription on a small headstone beneath a perfectly grown Kurrajong tree. A small boy of seven had been drowned near there seventy-one years ago. Protected by that shapely old tree, planted to his memory, the marble surface bore simple wording which had defied time and weather.

After Riley's Crossing we made a steady ascent along a wonderful convict built road in excellent condition, clinging most securely to the hillside, hung over dizzying drops into the dense tropical green of the valley, which must have held some grand waterfalls, because in no time at all the watercourse appeared with one last leap right at the roadside. That last dip contracted everyone's muscles a bit, but then, as we told one another cheerfully, there were only ten and a half miles to go.

On through rising and dipping forest land we followed the track and came out on the road between The Oaks and Picton. Patter, patter, went our sneakers and we were confronted with an amazing change of scenery. Rolling tablelands sloped away from us in huge patches of cultivation, and dipped into melting distance. The sun's rays, gradually becoming level, intensified the colour in everything - yellow of grass, green of tree and crop, red of wild briar, and the sudden enormous blueness of the overarching sky.

“Down hill all the way and only a biscuit toss to Picton” was the slogan of the moment, but there was still some uphill left. The Barnado Homes of Mowbray Park appeared, ideally situated in a sheltering fold of low hills, and we passed their old red brick Lodge gates with a wave to the Lodge Keeper's daughter.

Bursts of song kept our spirits from flagging as the miles swept underfoot and when Picton was supposed to be two miles away it was still out of sight; and so it stayed behind a small hill right until we caught it by the tail and staggered thankfully into the milk bar to freeze our “innards” with “two milks straight.”

Munching apples and bananas some time later we emerged to make a precarious journey the last 3/4 mile to the station, coming on it in the same sudden last minute unexpectedness peculiar to Picton and its possessions.

Many were the doleful pictures conjured up of what our condition would be at Central, but suffice it to say that we disembarked on our two overworked pins and managed not to appear inebriated.

Special Announcment

Our first dance of the season.

Please alter the details on your Social Programme to –

  • Time: Wednesday, 28th May, 1941, at 8 p m.
  • Place: Macquarie Lounge, Phillip Street, Sydney (near Martin Place)
  • Price: 3/6d per person.

See you there
Doreen Helmrich
Hon. Social Secretary

Progress Report of our "Services Committee"

This committee, formed by the S.B.W., now has the support of the Trampers Club, the Rucksack Club, the.C.M.W., the Rovers Ramblers and the Camp Fire Club, whose representatives all assist in the work of collecting and posting magazines, etc., to the various bushwalkers who are on service with the Navy, the A.I.F., or the R.A.A.F.

The combined Committee is indebted to Paddy Pallin for the use of a room in which to conduct business. It meets there on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays and sorts, wraps and addresses the various packets.

So far the response to appeals for magazine stories, newspapers and reading matter generally has been better than the response to the Committee's other appeal, which is now repeated. Will members who have friends in the various Services please see that Dunk has their correct address. At present the Committee is handicapped through lack of sufficient information.

And, photographers, please remember the boys overseas whenever you have any good photos. The Committee's funds are useless without your negatives.

Inside England

by Ken Iredale

Five A.M., the old Jowett chugged along in the cold morning air with its cargo of three – Norman, Clara and myself - and rucksacks. Skipton, Settle, then, turning along a country lane near Clapham, we soon found ourselves in a farmyard, where we parked our car and were introduced to our companions for the day - two men and a girl from Leeds-Cave Club and a man and a girl from Sheffield exploring their first cave. We were guests getting details of the cave for a future trip with our own club.

As we were a comparatively weak party, it was felt that we could only explore the first part of the cave, for which we would have to carry between us 150 feet of heavy rope and two 30-ft. rope ladders. At 9.30am, we were only waiting for the Sheffield couple to change into old clothes as we had done, but soon realised it was their intention to stay as they were in immaculate slacks and pretty pullovers. Without further comment we set off up the fells and soon reached our cave, only a short distance from Gaping Ghyl, the deepest pot hole in England, where a stream disappears into a dark chasm hundreds of feet deep. Flood Exit, the cave we were to explore, communicates' by underground passages with Gaping Ghyl, and gives emergency exit in times of flood.

Fastening a 30-ft. rope to a boulder and using it as a hand rail, we slid down a scree slope to a vertical crack in the rock barely eight inches wide. Into this we were able to slide sideways, touching ground about five feet below. After a violent struggle with the rock faces pressing fore and rear, we squeezed into a wider section of the chamber, taking care to avoid the apparently bottomless crack in the floor, and gradually becoming accustomed to the light provided by the torches on our headgear. We now tied one end of a rope to a convenient rook jammed across the crack, hurled the rest down the crack, and our leader began to descend, jamming his feet against one wall and his back against the other.

The problem was not to prevent too quick a descent but to find a place wide enough to descend at all, for the deeper the crack went the narrower it became. However, by working along the crack as well as down, the leader reached the bottom fifty feet below and our three novices, nervous but determined, were sent after him with the safeguard of a waist line. We managed to lower the ladders, after a struggle with projecting rocks which would get in the way, then, we followed, taking ropes with us. Norman and I, being rock climbers, were expected to climb the crack on the return trip, taking up a rope with us to extricate the rest. We were now fairly comfortable, though a little wet from the constant drips, in a clay bottomed crack which soon became a tunnel as we went along, sometimes crawling sometimes walking erect, and winding in all directions but always descending gradually.

There were few formations, the only one of note being a musical stalagmite, extending from floor to ceiling, upon which a tune could be played by tapping it at varying heights. We emerged into a large chamber with a high roof. Ahead our tunnel went along for some distance; on our left was a wide mud floor with a tool about a foot above it - a bedding plane. On the right a stream ran through a gravel bed under a similar low roof, and we were given the alternative of crawling through the cold stream on our stomachs or being crushed between the gravel and the roof but keeping more or less dry. Choosing a half in and half out position, we did another wriggle and soon emerged in the bed of the stream with a high roof again. The passage now descended rapidly with cascades and waterfalls shining in the torch light and we had to use our rope ladders. Soon we stood on a rock ledge looking over a dark pit, the limit of our exploration without a much stronger party. Rocks thrown over here bounced once on the opposite side, then were heard to bounce down a long shoot until, after several seconds, there was silence again. From where we stood this shoot descends at an angle of 600, coming back beneath our feet and finishing in the passages of Gaping Ghyl.

Rather thoughtfully, we returned the way we had come, gathering up our gear as we went, for potholing is a strenuous sport, and the newcomers were by no means as fresh as when we started. There was the problem of the crack ahead of us, too narrow for rope ladders; its ascent was dependant almost entirely on the strength of the people climbing it. Eventually we reached its foot and ate chocolate while we considered the problem. I was sent first and, with a little help from below, reached a position about 15ft. up where I could rest in comparative comfort while Norman followed, saved from some of the exhausting back and foot work up the wide crack with the help of my rope. After a rest with me he set off again, now in the narrow part of the crack, taking up my rope. After an exhausting struggle he reached the boulder jammed at the top of the crack, and rolled over into the chamber. Next I brought a third member of the party up to my ledge, then I set off up the crack, finding a position about 15ft. from the top where I could lean against one wall with my toes jammed in a crack on the opposite side. The two ladders were now tied together and onto the end of the rope fixed at the top of the crack. With the three of us hauling and steering them clear of projections, we eventually got these to the top.

Our next problem was the exhausted girl. Tied onto the end of the rope and with an extra hand line for her to haul on, we got her about 20ft, up, and there she hung, too exhausted to give us any help and wishing only to be lowered to a place where she could die in comfort. I was rapidly becoming cramped and not capable of giving much help, and all Norman could do was hold her from sliding. While he held on, I climbed the remaining fifteen feet, taking care to avoid her rope, and helped hold her for a few minutes while we both recovered our breath. Hauling together, we gradually got her nearer the top, though as she had not sufficient strength to prevent herself from swinging into the narrow part of the crack, her comfort was not increased by being scraped back and fore by the sharp rocks. At last she reached the boulder, but, to our horror, was discovered to be on the wrong side of the hand line, so that we could not haul her out, but must bring her out on the opposite side of the boulder. While Norman held the rope tightly, I bent over and took her round the waist, hauling her up feet first. Her trousers and blouse parted company but, fortunately for her, they did not come off entirely so she was saved from the indignity of a nude dive head first into the crack. With the help of Norman, who had now left the useless rope, I pulled her to safety and she lay exhausted in a corner. Dirty black hair covered an equally dirty face, and the lovely jumper and slacks were torn in a dozen places.

By the time the rest of the party had joined us the girl was sufficiently recovered to be pushed up the remaining narrow crack into the fresh air and daylight again. An hour later we were all fairly clean once more in fresh clothes, and eating a huge tea in the farmhouse kitchen.

I have often thought of the tired girl who sat opposite me, too weary to eat; I wonder whether her first pothole was also her last.

Stop Press

On Thursday, 24th April, Merle Hamilton became Mrs. Ken Iredale, and these two members of the S.B.W. promptly started their married life in the best possible way - by going bushwalking. On behalf of all their Club-mates we wish Merle and Ken long life and happiness, in other words - “Good Camping”;

Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies

20 Hunter Street, City. (opp. Wynyard Entrance).

Your photographs will be permanent records of lovely days spent in the bush. It is important that they should be done with care and understanding.

We can offer both: Utmost care is being taken in developing your negatives, which in most cases could not be replaced if they, were spoiled. And we also have the understanding: the technical side as a matter of course; and – perhaps more important – the understanding of those who love the bush and want to express its beauty in pictures.

We do Developing, Contact Printing, Enlarging, Copying, Colouring, Mounting and Framing. We stock always fresh films of the best brands, and Papers Chemicals and Equipment for those who do their processing themselves.

You will be interested in our big range of Still and Movie Cameras and Accessories.

We give friendly, expert advice on all questions of photography.

Letters from the Lads

Here are some extracts from a long letter Gordon Smith wrote to the “Tigers” from Malaya:-

“The air-mail arrived today and I unexpectedly received a few letters. Glad to have it as we are supposed to leave here today and most certainly will do so tomorrow.

History repeats itself. More S.B.W. get lost at a Swimming Carnival. Wish I could be hitting the water just about now. That is the great drawback here. Don't forget I want the Easter Trip in full even if it takes two letters to do it; the first Easter since 1926 that I haven't been on a walking trip. I'd like to be going with the crowd. In due course you'll know what I did on those dates.

We expected to leave here any time after breakfast but I am now sitting in the front seat of a truck while the clock strikes two. It is very hot and sticky while the chances of getting a shower are very small. I am anxious to be off as I am riding in the front seat with the transport driver and hope to see a lot of new country if we are going any distance. It is hard to say when we'll return or if we'll go somewhere new, so this may not be posted for a few days. If we do come back to this town I shall try to have a look over a couple of their mosques or temples.

…This is a very disjointed, jumpy sort of letter but different things catch my eye and I write about them. Travelling vendors are of three types. Some carry their goods in two baskets supported by a long cane pole which runs across the shoulders. They move at a short fast rate while the loads carried by some of the women in this fashion would surprise you. Another type pushes a small cart which can be stopped and used as a travelling shop should one wish to buy bananas, pineapples, etc, Then there is the travelling salesman who rides a bicycle with an enormous load on his carrier almost hiding him from view.

….The military exercise was completed the next day but, while the rest of the troops returned to barracks, the section remained to do ten days reconnaissance work. We are camping half a mile from a small village. Population mostly Chinese. Two rivers join near the village. There are reputed to be crocodiles so, although slightly sceptical, will keep a good look out when I do any swimming. While we are here our work will consist mostly of examination of any tracks that hit the main road. We enter these two to a track complete with compass (for bearings), parangs (for obstacles) and one loaded rifle to pot a tiger occasionally. Regret to say that the only wild animals seen so far have been a couple of monkeys, a tortoise, a few small fish, a small animal like a weasel and a few water buffalo. I hope for better things. There is a small waterhole 400 yards from camp where we bathe daily.

….Life has been fairly humdrum although reconnaissance of the jungle tracks is all very similar to bushwalking and I have a couple of baths a day. There was a little excitement today. Just as we were preparing to leave after lunch a big black spider stung Harry Gibbons on the finger. After a ligature had been applied and the puncture gashed, he was hurried back to camp. While an Indian doctor was stroking Harry's head and murmuring incantations, a snake crawled along the hut pole. I climbed half way up the side of the hut to crack him and at the second whack brought him down - fortunately outside, where an Indian administered the coup de grace. Forty inches long, six inches of poison, very thin and very deadly - death in one minute, so they say.

Harry Gibbons was taken to hospital last night but returned this morning none the worse for his spider bite. Soon after breakfast Stan and I left camp with the intention of following a side road to the river, thence continuing downstream until the main road crossed it, but we got amongst some thick jungle tangled trees and high grass - on the river bank, where we spent a very torrid hour fighting a way out into the open. There is a particular vine with fine teeth very close together which catch and rip the skin. It's worse than lawyer vines. A track brought us to the river, where we spent a pleasant hour swimming and lolling in the rather shallow water.

….Followed a track some 6,000 yards into the jungle taking over a hundred bearings. This was slow, rather tiring work, but our interest quickened when we saw the unmistakable footprints of an elephant. He had enormous feet - the pad being 20 inches in diameter. Here he had scrambled along the bank, there he had knocked down saplings quite obliterating the track, but although we saw signs for a couple of miles we were not fortunate enough to see the real animal. On our return journey a cobra slid away from our path.

….Orders to leave tomorrow. Rather sorry as the life suited me and long reconnaissances in the jungle were a pleasure rather than a job of work. Still it will be nice to get some letters after a fortnight and some clean clothes.

…..Sorry I was not present to welcome the old Debert. As I said previously, this job should suit him perfectly and if he gets a chance to go abroad as well he will be in seventh heaven. Can well believe he looks well in his Air Force Uniform.

I'd like to see Dot again and hear about all her experiences in N.Z I knew she'd climb Mt. Cook. I wonder whether I shall ever get the chance.

So the Re-Union comes and goes. I never did care much for them but would have liked to have been there this time. This place is all right but will become monotonous and I shall hardly care to stay while the rest of the A.I.F. is fighting elsewhere. Of course it may come here if there is little chance of activity we may be moved.

So Tim won the canoe. While I think of it - if and when I come back it should be possible to canoe the Cox and its tributaries (on account of W. dam); while on walks they'd need special water-proof bags to cover rucksacks while swimming. Will spoil river flats but make some places more exciting. Can imagine what some of the trips will be like then. OH BOY!

…..Up at 5.30 and did all my packing. For once we actually moved at the scheduled time - about 11am. Quite a pleasant drive to our new location 20 miles distant. We are about 400 yards from the sea and it won't be my fault if I don't get plenty of swimming. I have had no chance to look around yet but the surroundings seemed all right from the truck. Town 4 miles away. No pictures I'm afraid and I'm not sure about tennis facilities. Our quarters, of course, are not to be compared with the previous ones. It is a long hut with no doors or windows but a wide overhanging roof of laced palm leaves which leaves a space all the way round. Roof high like a tent. Can't say much more till I look at everything. Had first swim before tea. Baths 50 yards long, water deep at high tide. Milky colour, hard to see the bottom. Slight roll against the beach, which is white sand inferior in appearance to Sydney beaches, but weather was very dull and may have spoiled effect. Beach fringed with cocoanut palms. Several large bungalows near beach. Owners so far unknown.

All for now.

Gordon.

Here is his adress for you, folks:-

NX26819
Private G. A. Smith.
B/N Hqrs. 2/19th Batt,
A.I.F. Abroad.

(Reprinted from “Wayfaring”, Journal of the Melbourne Women's Walking Club, December 1940. Ed.)

Footgear Through the Ages

The history of footgear is very old and has many interesting aspects, artistic, symbolic and utilitarian. It is of interest to walkers because they are usually concerned about their footgear and perhaps some of them have wondered what type of sandals, boots or shoes the ancients wore when they marched the long distances which history records.

When the world was young, the foot of the magnificent sun-gilded savage was flawless, his legs were strong and stout as the bole of a palm and his feet, fleshy and fan-like, grasped rather than trod the earth. His toes were almost as prehensile as his fingers.

Then as the world grew more civilised it began to adopt coverings for the feet. The most ancient type of which we have any record was the Egyptian Tab-teb or sandal, which consisted of plaited papyrus strip or hide secured by thongs. But with the Egyptian woman, the sandal was very much more than merely protection for the feet. She regarded it as a very important ornament and so with its beautiful pigments which rivalled the plumage of the ibis and the parrot, its touches of Nubeen gold and all the other luxuries of effect, it became an indispensable weapon in the armour of the Egyptian girl. Thus briefly is indicated the artistic aspect which, of course, is a subject in itself.

When the Egyptian woman dies, closing a life which has been an idyll in order to enter upon a second and even more idyllic life, she leaves behind her sandals, because when she is depicted in Egyptian portrayals of the other world, we notice that she is depicted without her sandals. There is a great deal of symbolism attached to the wearing and casting off of a sandal or sandals, but, as Kipling would say, that is another story.

The Egyptians had a rather unpleasant habit of painting on the soles of their sandals the figure of an enemy whom they could thus insult every day by treading him underfoot. The Egyptian insult, however, was the Greek compliment, for the Greek, in proof of his affection, would carve the name of his beloved on the soles of his sandals so that wherever he trod he might leave a witness of his devotion to her.

Leaving the symbolism of this subject, we now come to the utilitarian aspect. The Roman soldier wore sandals of leather attached to strong soles, studded with hob-nails. They were strapped to his feet by means of strips of narrow leather about one inch apart across the instep and round the ankle with a perpendicular strip joining these and running from between the big toe and the second toe to the top horizontal strip. The sandal was thus firmly attached to the foot. Apparently there was no sock or other covering and the Roman soldier marched long distances in these sandals.

Celtic British chieftains wore shoes of untanned hide with the hair inside; made in one piece, with a thong of hide to-lace the edges over the instep.

The women, when not bare-footed (which was the prevailing custom) wore similar shoes drawn in at the ankle. With them, the wearing of the sandal was exceptional and, when worn, would have been imported from Rome.

Sandals, shoes and boots were worn by, the Romans and Greeks, but the sandal was the most commonly used. The sixth century marked the final transition from the sandal to the shoe.

In ancient days (27 B.C. to A.D.400) peasants and shepherds in Europe wore shoes of thick felt and their legs were covered with pieces of coarse linen, tied under the knees and round the ankles. Another form of covering was long strips of hide wound round and round the legs like the modern puttee.

The most primitive form of leg covering in use was a piece of hide wrapped round the legs and secured with thongs arranged crosswise.

About 800 A.D. the first form of sock came into existence. It was a kind of short hose made of cloth or leather, seamed up the side and cut to fit the foot and ankle at closely as possible and yet sufficiently large to enable it to be drawn over the foot and heel.

About this time there was also a loose covering made of linen in the shape of a sock which was worn under a short boot or sandal of leather, and fastened by a series of straps and buckles. These straps were sometimes placed criss-cross and studded with metal.

Prior to the 16th century, stockings were made of velvet or finest cloth called “hosa”. As far as I can tell, it was not until the reign of Elizabeth of England that knitted stockings became known. The Queen was presented with a beautiful pair of silk knitted black stockings. Knitted stockings were introduced from Mantua, Italy. In 1564, a certain William Rider saw a pair of knit worsted stockings at an Italian merchant's shop in London. He borrowed them and having made a pair like unto them, presented the same to the Earle of Pembroke, which was the first pair of worsted stockings known to be knitted in England. Nineteen years after, stocking of silk, worsted and other materials were common in England.

There does not appear to be any earlier reference than this to knitting in England. Originally, stockings were knitted in two pieces and sewn together. The word 'stocking' is Angro-Saxon in origin and means 'to stick' and is so called because it was 'stuck' or made with sticking pins now called knitting needles. It would appear from the Anglo-Saxon of the words 'stocking' and 'knit' that knitting had other than an Italian origin, but evidence appears to be lacking in this regard.

In this short article it has been possible to give only a brief outline of 'Foot-gear', but I hope it will suggest interesting by-paths of thought to be explored.

–Sybil Wingfield. (Member)

Federation Notes

It is here - or almost - that Working Bee on May 10th and 11th at Maitland Bay. There is sure to be a good roll up because everyone so enjoyed the Working Bee arranged there last year by the Trustees of Bouddi Natural Park that no one will want to miss out this year. By the way, don't forget, you are asked to provide your own axe, or mattock, or what-have you?

How well do YOU know the Platform Cave at Kanangra Walls? Can you immediately visualise the “drip hole in the cave”, the second cave along? That is where the Warrigals sank the empty half drum to catch the drips on a ledge in the cave, not outside it. A “Drinking Water” notice having been prepared, it was taken to the Walls at Easter by a party of Y.M.C.A. Ramblers on their first visit, but they failed to find the spot, so parked the, sign under a rock. Then along came the Federation Secretary, saw the notice, and searched for the sunken drum, but failed to discover it up on the inner ledge, so the notice, was not erected at Easter.

In the March issue of their magazine, our young friends of the Camp Fire Club have summarised an article that appeared in the Bush Fires Advisory Committee's Booklet. We feel they have hit the nail on the head with a good, hard wallop when they say – “Most Bush Fires are man made and fire prevention is everybody's business – not to be left to someone else to attend to.”

Club Gossip

On Sunday, 23rd March, 1941; Bertie and Evelyn Whillier welcomed a daughter. As everyone knows, all the best bushwalkers start by doing a Sunday walk, and we hope Lynette Dawn Whillier will prove no exception. We congratulate Bertie and Evelyn, and also wonder is Lynette Dawn the lass whom Jack Debert was so noisily searching that time at Re-Union?

The rest of the news this month is matter of comings and goings:

We are all delighted to see Dot English and Dorothy Hasluck back from New Zealand. Did you know that Ted. Dollimore has also returned to Sydney from the Land of the Silver Fern - “for the duration, in a war job”. We wonder whether we shall see much of him, or whether he will join the property-owners at Otford. Arthur Austin and Bill Piggott having started it, Alister Menmuir and Harry Lee also purchased land and built weekenders there!

Evelyn Higinbotham was in the Club Room the other night just brimming with anticipation. She has joined the staff of Burns Philp & Co. Ltd and starts work at Suva just as soon as a ship can get her there. We'll be seeing you again, Evelyn, when you come to Sydney on leave in two or three years' time.

Two other old members who have recently taken their family to fresh fields and pastures new are Joe and Kath. Turner. Joe has a job in Armidale, so we wish the Turners “good camping” in New England, and holidays at re-union time.

194105.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/28 12:11 by sbw