THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St, Sydney.
No. 165 AUGUST 1948 Price 6d.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave. Milson's Pt.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production Asst||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs||Betty Hurley|
|Typed||Hilma Galliot, Shirley King, Leslie Martin, Jean Kirkby|
|Editorial - The Mark Morton Primitive Reserve||1|
|At Our July Meeting||3|
|Social Notes for August||4|
|Two Days in the Maze, by Jim Brown||4|
|Where the Red Plains Run Out by Allen A. Strom||7|
|Madden's Maddest Mission by J.F.||9|
|Nearly In Trouble by Clem Hallstrom||11|
|Upper Clyde and Pigeon House, Sketch by D.G.||11|
|Apologies and Complaints||14|
|Siedlecky's Advt., Working Bee at Era, News from Dorothy Lawry||15|
|Points on Packing by Kevin Ardill||16|
|Federation Notes, by Brian Harvey||17|
|More about Camp Fire Sing Songs (Paddy's Advt.)||18|
The conference convened by the Minister for Lands to consider the fate of the Mark Morton Primitive Reserve was fully reported in the Bowral “Mail” of July 2nd. The course of the discussion, as reported by the “Mail,” is most disturbing to those who have believed the published statements of the Forestry Commission on the need for primitive areas.
Mr. Maclean of the Forestry Commission said that the point of view of the Commission was that the area of 45,000 acres should be put to the use of the people, so that the greatest benefit to the public would be achieved. In its present state the reserve was open only to a small minority of hardy hikers who were young and active. If the timber resources were developed on scientific lines of silviculture they would assist materially in making the State dependent on its own timbers. The reserve should be opened up and roaded. If this were done, revenue would be derived and could be used for further development. The area, he said, was regularly swept by fires which killed timber, and he could see no difference between trees killed by man and those killed by fire.
In reply to questions the following facts were revealed Mr. Maclean:
Any revenue paid would be paid into consolidated revenue, it would not necessarily be spent in the area.
Some timber which had already been cut could not be delivered through lack of transport.The main form of transport, failing at present, was the railway, and that was why areas in close proximity to market's, from which timber could be removed by motor transports had increased in economic value.
Furthermore it was pointed out by the Trustees that the staff of the Forestry Department was not adequate to deal with the work already in hand. Nor was there enough local labour to get the timber out. Mr. Lamond (one of the trustees) said that two millers in this district had informed him that they had over five years' supply of timber to cut, but were having difficulty in obtaining sufficient labour to cut it in the period.
Piecing this evidence together it appears that a primitive recreation reserve is not considered worth expenditure for the enjoyment of the people (it doesn't pay, let it burn), but a State forest, which produces revenue, should be protected from fire and carefully managed. Furthermore coal is very short and long timber hauls by rail use a lot of coal. Better to cut down the handy timber in our only primitive reserve than to use more coal.
The decision on the fate of this reserve rests with the Minister for Lands. His Government assures us that plans now being carried out will overcome the coal shortage in the next few years. But the trees which will be cut take generations, in fact centuries to grow (some of the trees in the reserve are said to be over 2,000 years old). If the Minister wants to “achieve the greatest benefit of the public” he will not only forbid the removal of timer from the area but will move to have funds made available to preserve it from fire and to enable the public to enjoy it.
Mr. E. Caines Phillips advises that Map.No. 45 of Dora Creek and tributaries, including Lake Erraring and Whitehead Lagoon (Western Lake Macquarie) - is now completed.
The President was in the chair and there were about 50 members present.
Two new members George Davenport and John Broughton, were welcomed. Ron Knightley's resignation from the offices of Vice-President, Federation Delegate and Search and Rescue contact man for the Club, was accepted with regret. Ron is taking a job at the Alpine Hut for a couple of months, after which he plans to go to New Zealand. The President gave notice that these offices, together with that of substitute Federation Delegate in place of Fred Doutch (now working in Canberra), would be filled at the next general meeting (August 13th).
Eric Rowen announced that the Social Committee had decided that, in view of the comments of Mr. Keast Burke, it would divide the prize of one guinea for the best photograph at the exhibition between Ira Butler and David Stead.
Laurie Rayner then moved - in order to obtain guidance for the Federation Delegates - “That this Club doesn't approve of the use of firearms in the bush”. Some so-called bushwalkers had, he said, used firearms on a Sunday in a sanctuary, and some members of affiliated Clubs didn't think that this mattered to walkers. Allan Hardie reminded the meeting that the committee appointed to report on this subject were unanimous in condemning the use of firearms in the bush. The motion was then carried.
Allan Hardie then rose in a determined manner and the President asked was his business going to take a long time. To which Mr. Hardie replied : I can be very brief if I like.“ Notwithstanding this assurance, the President called for short business first and Edna Stretton brought up the question of purchasing a 35 millimetre projector. The photographic committee has been asked to report on this so the discussion was postponed until their report is received. Ray Kirkby then asked for a loan of any records of ballet music for the use of the 21st birthday committee.
Allan Hardie then got moving on the long business. It proved to be the customary discussion on the Narrow Necks and culminated in the matter being referred to the Federation for the seventh time. This month, unlike, last month, tho proposal was for the Federation to start a fund for the purchase of the land. This makes the third time since August 1947 that this proposal has been made to the Federation. The meeting closed at about 9.30 p.m.
We have three super social events lined up for August.
1. Dinner at Pakies on 20th August. Those wishing to putake of the excellent food be on the doorstep at 6 p.m. sharp. Address 219 Elizabeth Street - near T. & G. Building.
2. David Stead is just dying to give us the low-down on those pets of his. Hear his lecture on 20th August on ''Snakes & Ladders”. Fascinating title! Fascinating lecture.
3. Here's your chance photographers to again show your masterpieces. This time the display will take the form of a Slide Night and it is strictly the members' night. So bring them in (see Roley Cotter). 2, 20 or 200 - well be glad to see the lot.
Which is an attempt to explain how and why we crossed the Blue Labyrinth from Burragorang Valley to Glenbrook. (When we could have been attending a nice easy comfortable Instructional Week-end)*
If anyone cares to look up the “Bushwalker Annuals” for 1940 and 1941 he will find articles written by A.Whaite of the Warrigals dealing with the mapping work carried out by several members of that Club in the South Western corner of the Blue Laybrinth in the difficult days when there was no Jenolan Military Survey map. The article for 1941 is titled “An Elusive Landmark - Eureka Trig re-discovered” and goes on to relate how a Warrigal party virtually stumbled across this Lost Trig, way out in the thick stuff south of Erskine Creek, further, it gave some details of the way of approach from Burragorang.
I had read the articles years ago, of course, when a freelance walker, but it was not until doing a few easy jaunts into the more familiar parts of the Labyrinth late last year that I found my appetite whetted for this fascinatingly sombre, tangled terrain. After some vague, uneasy stirrings of mind there came forth the absurd notion of following the Warrigals' course in from Burragorang to Euroka Trig, then crossing the Erskine Creek, and following the ridges north and east to the Wheel, the Oaks, Glenbrook.
The more I thought of it, the better I liked the plot, so that when my crony, the Walks Secretary, put the acid on me for a walk for the next programme, I said almost automatically: “Bimlow, Euroka Trig, etc..”
Well, that meant a reconnaissance. I'm not quite such a bad fellow as to let any trusting comer take pot luck on an unknown trip, particularly when that trip is through an acknowledged sticky bit of terrain. My colleagues were Phil Hall and the aforementioned Walks Sec.
We made preparations of an unusual nature (for us). Apart from the purely animal precaution of taking an extra day's kai, some time was put in with maps and protractors so that, when we set out on Friday, May 21, armed with many maps and three prismatic compasses, we also carried a complete list of the bearings and distances to be travelled along each ridge. In fact I had virtually steeped myself in the Jenolan and Liverpool sheets so that I could almost have redrawn the sector in which we were interested.
The bus from Camden deposited us at Bimlow at 8.45 p.m. and we camped about two miles downstream on the opposite side of the Wollondilly. Away at 8,30 in the morning, we were on the banks of the Warragamba just below Cox junction at 9.15 to find that the ford shown on the maps has been washed out - or so it appears, for we could see no shallow crossing, and were compelled to retire upstream and ford the mouths of the Wollondilly and the Cox individually. This was a sad loss of time and resulted in most of our anguish on the trip, for it was past ten o'clock before we were assembled on the north bank of the Warragamba.
Our way was up Gogongolly Gully (shown on the Blue Mountains Burragorang Tourist Map about 1 mile below Cox Junction). This stream is not unlike Cedar Creek, though not as picturesque, and the first couple of miles kept us well occupied until lunch time at 12.30. By this hour it was possible to leave the Gully on the western bank, so that when we set out again at 1.40 it was up a steep, ferny hillside, twenty minutes climbing brought us out on the tops, with glimpses back towards Burragorang which seemed distressingly near at hand.
From this point it was map and compass work all the way. Speed was a minor consideration and accuracy was everything. We counted ourselves fortunate when we could make 1.5 or 2 miles in the hour (even though walking about 3 miles per hour). At least, the going was reasonably good with little of the tangled, prickly upland scrub found elsewhere in the Labyrinth, Cautiously checking each ridge, and moving with map and, compass constantly in hand, we reached the watershed between the Warragamba and Erskine Creek at 3.15 p.m., followed it for about 2000 yards,and veered north towards Euroka at 4.0 p.m. We made the Lost Trig at 4.45.
Euroka Trig, 2022 ft. overlooks Erskine Creek and, for that matter, practically the entire Labyrinth: to the east the plains are clearly visible, and to the south, the tops of the hills above Burragorang. In the north and west the main Blue Mountain ridge forms the horizon with the huddled buildings of Katoomba and the masts of 2KA,near Wentworth Falls skylined. We could even descry the smoke of a westbound train, pencilled darkly against the orange sunset. Nor is the trig without interest: according to the Warrigals it was founded in 1882, and the name of one of the Fitzpatrick family from Burragorany who visited the spot in that year is still to be seen carved into the post. On the discs themselves, Harry Whaite and Jack Gibson had written their names, plus the date (April, 1941), the height 2020 and the reference which they computed 467154. This tallies very closely with the reference on the more recent Jenolan Military Survey (463154). The discrepancy of 400 yards in eastings is a very minor one, considering the sweep of the country and the possibility that both maps are slightly inaccurate.
I should have liked a time at Euroka, but it was past sundown, and the gulf of Erskine Creek was growing shadowy; it was almost a thousand feet down to water, and we had been without since 1.30, also it was disquieting to see that the flanking spurs were all hemmed about with cliff faces. Probably our ridge was the best in the vicinity yet it too resolved into a steep down about 200 feet above the brawling stream, and with darkness upon us we abandoned the attempt to go on down, and made a dry camp within sight and sound of millions of gallons of hurrying water. Sandstone hillsides are not the best spot for a camp, and the tent as a slap-happy erection that night: but there was mercifully little wind and a good deal of effort made the mountain-side flat enough and soft enough for rest.
We finished the descent before breakfast on Sunday morning. It was not a particularly terrifying descent, but be it known that I am a rabbit on steep places, and baulked for some minutes at a point where it was necessary to leap down some seven or eight feet. In fact it wasn't until I'd knocked over a cigarette that I could urge myself to it - I still can't fathom why for the ledge beneath was amply wide.
Away from the Creek at 9.30 a.m. we faced a fairly gruelling ascent on the north side: once again there were cliff faces, and once again my timidity compelled me to try an “easy” way up, so that I worked my way into more strife than Speed Gordon, and took more than an hour to top the first few hundred feet. From that point it was a simple walk up, no steeper than the Dogs, and far lower, and by 11.30 we were venturing into the ridge tangle north of the Erskine. The going here was far more savage than that of the previous day. Thorny, scratchy scrub described red pencillings on our legs and the visibility was often limited to the space of an ordinary room. If we had operated by map and compass on the previous day, on the Sunday morning the compass held sway, for it was only at intervals that one could determine landmarks at any distance. At least it was brilliantly sunny, and at times we could glimpse the pallor of the plains away on our right.
The walk to the Wheel was a long, dry one. There was no water en route without leaving the spur, which we were reluctant to do: and the scrub appeared to become thicker as we neared the limit of our previous exploration from the Glenbrook end. Happily we were off our course on two occasions only, and then for no more than a few minutes when the variation between our pre-determined bearings and the showing of the compass established our error. We came to the Wheel at 3.05 p.m.
Lunch occupied the next hour, and at 4.15 we set off on the last leg - a long 3 mile jaunt on a bearing of 87-deg. magnetic to The Oaks and the well-defined trail in to Glenbrook. At least we picked up traces of a track along this stage, and just as it had become dark enough to make out the luminous glow of my compass dial, the presence of casuarina trees told us we were on the borders of The Oaks. Within a few minutes we had intersected the track. Then it was torches out, and the best possible speed, to make Glenbrook at 7.45.
Yes, its dreadful country, this Labyrinth, but it's rather satisfying to beat it. Why the Dickens did we go there?I don't know: perhaps because we were frustrated that we didn't join in the Moron's Race.
Allen A. Strom
The “Riverina Express” sidles over the eastern scarp of the Great Divide and, having made the plateau lands, pauses for a breather at Goulburn before charging off through the gullies and rolling hills of the Western Slopes the Pathway to the setting sun.
At Cootamundra we changed to a very apologetic chariot that crept along through increasing numbers of wheat fields, belts of Cypress Pine and gathering flocks of erratic Galahs; the speed was leisurely – in keeping with a land that was rapidly becoming tireless, and red and flat. Somewhere near Temora, darkness caught up with the train and Barmedman along with a few other forgotten sidings passed by in the night until the four of us were tipped off at West Wyalong – the dead end for one day's travel. We slept on the West Wyalong Railway Station.
What a different world met our eyes on the morrow – stunted eucalypts and flatness; bare patches of soil with some grass; not our grass with some soil. And a funny place Wyalong. Three stations – South, Central and West and none of them with platforms worth worrying about.Two towns – THE Wyalong and West Wyalong; THE Wyalong planned and forgotten; West Wyalong with modern shops, an air of urban maturity and a relic of the past, a large Poppet Head over an old 900 ft Gold Mine Shaft.
Yes, that's the clue! West Wyalong began in the heyday of gold fever and it present day winding streets bear mute testimony to the bullock tracks that once wound through lines of tents.
Next day we moved on to Ungarie – the perfect picture of a town “Way-out West'; just the spot for a wild-shooting affray, clinking spurs and covered waggons; the place where a “man off the land” looked at us, asked did we want work, and then conjectured that we were something of “a conundrum” – he “couldn't make you blokes out”. A strong, cold westerly came across the flatness, unhampered by mountain peak or wooded slope and as we mounted the bikes and rode with a tailwind towards Ugalong, the sun was dropping red in the heavens. Laurie Ninness, our lumbering school-teacher mate came along to meet us. We shook hands on a road that meandered between fence lines a quarter of a mile apart whilst the new-born crops grew green, and amber and gold and the Grey-crowned Babblers skylarked in the Cypress.
That night we sat in front of a brilliant blaze of grey box and crackling, spitting pine, caught the old aroma and listened to the hooting of the Boobook to the yellow moon. There is no sensation that can bring crowding memories as quickly as the smell of pine boards.
And then to Lake Cargelligo with the Mallee to flank the line for miles and blue hazed on the western sky, stands the mighty remnant of a mountain chain, the Lachlan Range some thousand or so feet. Here Nature turned on a first class squall bringing a howling wind and a drive of rain that promised to cause the country to “dissolve” – turning-dry dust to curdled quagmire. Then suddenly, the heavens cleared to be painted with yellow, orange crimson and purple in turn, whilst a whisk of cloud played around the peaks of the range and we sheltered beneath the towering heights of a concrete wheat silo. First Class accomodation was provided that night by a railway carriage.
Next day we pedalled the long, long stretches of flat that separate Lake Cargelligo from Euabolong. Here, the mile pegs alone break the monotony of an endless horizon, the converging telephone lines and the stretches of clay pan. Who ever saw a better campsite in all their roaring than beside the meanderings of the Lachlan at Euabolong? Many an Out-back Wayfarer has dropped his “tucker bag” here and “cooled-off” in the waters that were racing to meet the Southern Seas. Here beneath ancient and twisted River Red Gums, we ran up the tent and watched the shadows creep through the Coolabah whilst hawks soared high above and scores of other feathering of many species held conventions before retiring for the night.
We got out amongst the sheets of water that abound in the area and once again marvelled at the abundance of bird life to be found – ducks, black swans, the remarkably graceful pelicans, the austere and stately ibis, egret and brolga and along the tracks, the “whirr” of the Crested bronze-wing, the splashes of colour from parrots and galahs, the noisy Apostle-birds “hurdle-racing up the trees”.
This is a wide open land, another Australia, the land of wheat and sheep – of drooping wilga, treacherous mallee and underfed mulga; some time ago we came to know its brilliant sunsets, its distant mirages, its sorrows and its pleasures – and the call to come again is persistent!
Having been told very emphatically that the trip from Berry to Robertson, though probably a test walk, would be a “spine bash”, and lured by the fact that we would be walking through the best mushroom district, I agreed to go. Even appeared delighted at the prospect.
Alighting at Berry we met the rest of the party. There were six of us in all: leader, Stan Madden; happy pal, Eric Lewis; one near member, John Broughton (going up before the Committee next meeting); two new prospectives, Alan Mayblom and Frank Young (who hardly spoke at all during the trip), and me, Jenny.
The leader confidingly told the prospectives as we waited for the taxi to take us the five miles to Woodhill “This'll be the easiest test walk you'll ever do”. Happily I listened in, gloating over the gorgeous gorging of mushrooms I was going to have on the morrow. Fine!
The moon shone brightly for us and we easily found our way down to Brogher's Creek which, being still swollen from the flooding rains of the previous week we had to wade through to get to the camp site. Though the location was windy in the extreme, the grass underfoot was flat and soft, and we all had a good sleep, to be woken in the morn by Daisy and Strawberry carolling to us from jut outside the tents.
After breakfast we wandered for over an hour along some ridge or other, on and off a track, till it was decided that the time had came for us to descend to Gerringong Creek. “There's a track somewhere which leads us all the way down” quoth the leader, taking us by another route, straight down. The angle of descent being pretty steep, we soon were at the bottom of the ridge and amongst the lawyer vines, stinging nettles and blackberries again. Not a mushroom in sight.
But enough of this, for soon we came upon the lemon trees and stayed there awhile. A little more plodding, along an old cart track now, and we were at the lunch site, on the creek bank. The distance between Gerringong Creek and Yeola, along the Kangaroo River was speedily covered, as a bulldozer had been through, and we made camp pretty early.
On Sunday, breakfast disposed of and having until 3 p.m. to lounge about, the leader proposed a side-trip. With chocolate and light hearts we set off to visit Carrington Falls via the Kangaroo River and view them from the bottom. It was fun rock-hopping and wandering along the jungly banks of the river until we came to a rock wall and again had to cross. Here I had a little bath, unintentional, to make up for the wash I'd not had before we started off. John had a bath, also unintentional, to keep me company. After that, the leader commenced up the ridge, and he having the chocolate, John, Alan and 1 followed.
We saw some magnificent country - blackberries, native hollies, stinging nettles, lawyer vines and straight, tall, tall trees - but still not a single mushroom. While admiring the straight, tall, tall trees and thinking how Marie's heart would gladden at their sight, we came across a road (the bulldozer at work again) and skirting Dodds Lagoon we made our way at a good pace till we came to the cart-track leading down to Yeola.
We moved off after lunch half an hour ahead of schedule. (Influence of the silent prospectives; they'd been ready to go for nearly an hour). In no tine we were at Johnstone's Creek at the foot of the hill on which stands Robertson Station, where we stopped for a drink and a rest. Here Eric, still happy, started a fire on a groundsheet to keep himself warm. But when he discovered that the sheet was his own, he hastily transferred the blaze to the bare ground. In good nick, we did not take long to reach the station, with oodles of time for the 5.49 p.m. train to Moss Vale.. There, nasty little notice greeted us, our train had been cut out. The only one running that day was at 8.45 p.m. to Wollongong (no Sydney connection). That a blow, and the wind howled fiercely.
Being a lady, and all other rooms being locked, I invited the boys into my parlour. Dumping our racks, we went for a look round Robertson, with the hopes of having a feed. However, all the shops being shut, Ire decided to make do with our remaining scraps and have a real “blow” in Wollongong.
Returning to the Ladies Waiting Room we made ourselves thoroughly at home - spreading groundsheets on the floor and food on the chairs and in no time we were tucking into bread and spread, cheese and condensed milk. Then, with hours still to go, five of us formed ourselves into a solid mass to compatibly keep each other warm, while the near member kept aloof, aloft on two chairs.
At last the train … and what startled looks from the locals as five fellows and a female dashed from the “Ladies” into the train. Nothing but the best for us, so we wedged ourselves into corner in the first class corridor.
Great disappointment in Wollongong; all the food shops shut, and lovely window displays, brilliantly illuminated, of heavenly beds and comfortable lounges. Still, it could have been worse. Strolling past the Railway Station once again, we noticed a train had just pulled in from Sydney, which meant that the Refreshment Room would be open. Wild scramble over the fence and we were gulping down coffee, pies and cake.
Then, having decided against asking for the padded yell at the Police Station, we found shelter in several dog boxes in a siding of the Handy and warm, but how the windows did rattle; and they left most of the station lights on all night - right outside the window too. At 5.30 a.m. the leader hauled us up and over the fence again and we'd hardly hit the waiting room before the train appeared and we were off again. Once aboard, we all lined up for a wash and were clean again, ready for the beautiful spectacle of the sun rising over the sea.
From a neighbouring friendly passenger we learnt that power would be available that day for industry and thus we broke up happily at 8.5 a.m. at Central, to dash off home for a shower while the gas was on and then to work.
Sunday of King's Birthday week-end was a tough day for the party of sixteen who hoped to reach the Castle near Pigeon House. What a terrible predicament had half the committee been lost. What history that would have made.
All that day we were groping OUT way through wet bushes in wind and rain and mist so thick we could only see a few yards around us. It was a case of the blind leading the blind. Our guides did very well considering they did not know where they were and could do nothing but follow a compass course over a rough mountain plateau, with a ravine here and a precipice there. There was certainly some anxiety that we might be overdue but everyone tried to lend a hand in some way or other. Our ex-air navigator used all his skill though he admitted that cliffs were a problem. The situation was grim and it looked as if we were lost and could find no way out of our trouble unless the mist lifted.
Once we completed a circle after walking what seemed to be hours. On seeing those tell tale footprints, made earlier in the morning, we were a lot more careful with the compass readings.
By late afternoon many had given up hope, when to our glorious surprise we came to a saddle which we recognised as the one we had crossed the previous day. Cheers and songs rent the air. We were out of trouble and saved the humiliation of becoming lost.
After crossing the saddle we soon made camp in a timber-getter's hut, large enough to take nearly double our party. Sleeping in this hut was a luxury after the wind and cold of the previous night. Soon beds we carefully prepared. Some slept on the floor, others used the mattresses that were about and one party commandeered a large wallaby skin rug. Everyone was happy to be off that plateau and to know that now there was no danger of missing the 6.35 p.m. from Nowra.
PRIVATE WALK: You remember that walk scheduled for July 4th that we tipped you off about last month? Well, sixteen turned up to meet the two charmers - which just goes to show - it pays to advertise in the magazine. What's privacy compared to fame, anyway?
When Peg politely inquired of Max whether he had met our two guests his reply was, “No, but I'll know them before the day is out! ” How true subsequent events proved! The hon. organiser or leader sported a nice white shirt, in addition to his usual walking apparel, and a scarred face - he had been to a Ball on the previous Friday night but he drew a discreet veil, not a word, mind you, over the proceedings at that function. Instead of his usual cry of “Oh me back ” it was “Oh, me face” whenever he tried to smile, a procedure which became frequently necessary as he oozed charm on the guests.
After crossing the drink in M.V. “Bundeena” there was the usual shedding of clothing by the walkers of the party in a convenient thicket, and the two guests of honour and a prospective strayed onto a wrong track. When rescued the guests were very taken by the scenery revealed and so the party pushed on to Marley discoursing on the joys of bushwalking, identifying some wildflower specimens, taking photos and talking madly in an effort to divert the guests' attention from the damp going underfoot.
One of the guests proved her mettle near Marley by leaping with gazelle-like grace, a creek which had been treated with respect by the elders of the party. However, they did not fare so well where Marley Lagoon runs across the beach and after bogging to their shoe tops, had to retreat and follow the foxier members who crossed on solid rock near the surf. A couple of surprised deer created such a diversion that Joyce Fletcher, recently engaged, foiled by the oft repeated word “Deer”, hurried forward, disturbing a fair sized wallaby, which hopped off quickly, growling something about Sabbath peace.
At Marley Pool were found three more invited guests. We are not quite clear how they got there, but gathered from the garbled accounts, that they had caught a later train. The leader, host, or hon. organiser - as you will plied the guests with such mountains of chips etc., at lunchtime that they protested that they would have to be rolled back to the ferry.
After lunch, Bill, Kevin and Len decided to present an impromptu sketch. The growing habit of presenting this form of entertainment after lunch on Sunday walks has much to commend it and is very entertaining. It also suggests good material for the Annual Play Night— or could it be just the influence of the Oliviers?
After that, it was time to pack up and take the main track to return to Bundeena. The guests lived at Hurstville, and, of course, one would have expected the hon. organiser to have escorted them home. But not so ! Upon arrival there, who should alight with a fair damsel on each side - Max ! (See Para.2) and after his recent lucky escape from a widow! (See June issue).
Oh, well — Take our tip. Organise a private walk - You'll be surprised —so will your friends.
“Tired and bleary-eyed after a week end in Paris”. Bill Horton leaves London for Paris with the address of one “Maria” in his pocket, but meets other interests en route and is seen doing a round of the hot spots,that finished at the Bal Tabarin, reputed to be Europe's best “or worst”.
He admits that he was “mixed up in an apache dance” at a dive in the Latin Quarter, but omits to say to what extent, and of the forty lovely ladies of the Bal Tabarin, his only comment was “the poor girls must have been terribly short of clothing coupons, but they put up a brave front just the same”. However, although Bill was seeing the sights early next morning, we have it on good authority that his fair companion did not regain consciousness until lunch time. You can't keep a good bushwalker down. His difficulty seemed to be the directions on the Metro, as he said “the difficulty was in picking out the right notices to read for directions. There was never time to decipher them all, including the advertisements, before the train came in.”
FOOD PARTY FOR TWO: Sorry, but I must have my wheatmeal Porridge. Nothing else stays by me. On the first morning I thought I'd' have sausages as well.”
“Sausages! I couldn't eat sausages for breakfast. I'll have an egg. But what about the evening meal? We could have fresh meat the first night and perhaps bacon the next.”
“Fresh meat's rather heavy. Actually, I always carry dried meat for dinner : it's so light and catsmeat stew is so filling.”
“Well at least we can cook our dried fruit together. I've got apricots. “Sorry, but I've got apples and I'm afraid they just don't-mix” ..”No, they don't…..a pity.“
CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes to Herb and Jo Morris who were married on July 3rd and to Irving and Heather Galnan, who are now in Sydney and were in the Clubroom one night.
Although last Friday's club room party was only an afterthought, put on a free night in response to popular request, and despite the fact that many were away for a “bank holiday” week-end, it was well attended. At first some centrifugal force seemed to keep those present enmeshed in the furniture at the edge of the room, leaving the dance floor bare, but the music was the sort that went to the feet and it soon drew them in. It was provided by a pianist and a saxophonist from the Syd Ross Studio, assisted by Roy Gaddlin from the Canoe Club, with his violin. Amongst those present was Gavin Talbot who, what with chalking notices on the board and conducting the orchestra, had a busy evening. Nancy Moppett and Frank Burka were there too. They did not appear to approve of the night life of the wicked city.
We are very sorry to have reported Audrey Chaplin as having said, at our May meeting, that we should enjoy ourselves here on earth, when what she really said was that we should have something substantial and lasting to mark our twenty-first birthday party or have no party at all as the Club name would go on after the present people had drifted.
Ira Butler writes; In the interests of both sailors and ornithologists, I would like to draw attention to an inaccuracy in your recent reporting of the 1948 Photographic Exhibition. A photograph of mine was for some unknown reason described as “Seagull from low-flying plane”. Actually, the theme of the picture was “Ship's Wake”,” the seagull an albatross and the low-flying plane the deck of the Zealandia. I am sure that my albatross would be offended on being described as a seagull.
To which we reply that, in the interest of Bush Walkers, photographers should label their photographs, and not leave it to the Editor, who is neither a sailor nor an ornithologist.
Mr Hardie complains about lack of publicity for his utterances of Narrow Neck. He should be the last to complain of lack of publicity in these pages. Whenever he says anything of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers it is reported, but he will need to change the record before he gets any more publicity on the Narrow Necks.
Sorry about the gaps in so many of the words typed in the magazine. Don't blame the typistes, or even the Editor. Its the machine—-it's worn out
WORKING BEE AT ERA: Jack Wren advises that there will be a working bee on Aug. 7th and 8th. The work to be done is the planting of 108 trees ((30 swamp mahogany, 30 bangalay, 36 broad leafed ti-tree and 12 dune cypress pine). The trees are to be planted in holes 12“ deep and 12” square. The posts erected at the last working bee will be wired, as the committee has succeeded in obtaining some wire. Those attending are asked to bring six stakes each; the stakes to measure 4' x 1“ x 1” - if they can manage it. Tools required are spades, mattocks and harriers.
DOROTHY LAWRY, who is now working on tree planting for Australian Forest Products Ltd., Tea Gardens, Nth. Coast, says that the company has about 9,000 acres of marshy heath and ti-tree scrub which it is planting. Although most of the pinus radiata was wiped out by a bush fire in 1944 another species, pinus caribea, survived practically undamaged and now the company are planting practically nothing else. The trees here appear to grow much faster than they do in their native Some of the girls working with Dorothy plant up to 680 trees in a day. Dorothy already has her eye on some “nice bumps on the Southern horizon and “beautiful serrations on the northern skyline and is planning to get there.
AS SEEN FROM THE DRIVER'S CABIN. Every week-end the loco. fireman watches these simpletons alighting from his train at country platforms. They are burdened with frying-pans and billy-cans on heavy packs, bent on facing the ordeals of bushwalking with its dangers of fatal snake bites and broken limbs. He, (the fireman) on the other hand, at no cost to himself, is free to enjoy the passing landscape … “A Locomotive Fireman” in S.M.H. 21-7-48.
By Kevin Argill.
Everyone of us, at some time or other, has got into strife when packing his or her gear. After a great deal of bad language and many experiments I feel I have at last evolved a method which gives maximum results with a minimum of effort. With typical unselfish bushwalking spirit I offer for your edification the results of many hours of painful thought. (Deep breath.)
The first step is to unpack from the previous walk. If at this stage you utter a loud cry of protest, all I can say is, if you unpack when you arrive home, you trifle with the truth or else you are a disgrace to the Club you belong to. I do not wish to converse further with you sir or madam. As I was saying first unpack. Any surplus gear, food bags, etc. you, may have accidentally acquired are carefully tagged with the owner's name and placed away for future use. This tagging is most important as it saves one from taking such gear away when the ex-owner is likely to be in the party. Next invert the pack and thump vigorously on the bottom (of the pack). This may dislodge the collection of leaves, sticks, dead ants, milk powder and other odds and ends.
Now we are prepared for the serious business. Spread out groundsheet on floor and place thereon everything you are taking away. This,is called method or system and by doing this I find one is almost certain to overlook the groundsheet in the final check. It probably needs reproofing, so you would get wet in any case.
There are two schools of thought on packing the sleeping bag. The upright stance is popular while the lay-it-down-flat adherents vouch for their method. I advise you to forget both ways and try this.
Taking care to keep the head down and not forgetting the follow through, hurl everything into the interior of the pack. Easy isn't it. You see, the damn stuff takes up the same amount of room anyway.
Take tent from storage place, shake out moths and replace in storage. If you can't urge into somebody's tent, immediately retire onto the non-active list. Your food will almost certainly include a half loaf of bread. Place carefully in clean food bag, drop on floor and jump on it several times. Its going to get squashed before you eat it, so do the job early and take up less space. You had better take that tin of fruit juice. It may stop raining some weekend and it can possibly save your life. The same applies to those malted milk tablets you got in a disposals sale packet at Paddy's. Who cares whether you like malted milk or not. They were cheap weren't they? Well bung 'em in. I hate taking this line but you've got to be cruel to be kind. It hurts me more than it hurts you. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know.
A stitch in time saves nine - and talking of stitches don't forget a needle and cotton. Joining a train other than by the door places a terrific strain on the seat of the pants. Brother, put in two needles on public holiday weekends.
At this stage your pack should be shaping up nicely and when you glance at the clock and find your train goes in about ten minutes you had better cram everything you can lay hands on into every available space. Thats what I always do.
The Annual General Meeting of the Federation was held on 20th July, when almost 50 walkers were present. The retiring President, Stan Cattier of the C.M.W. was re-elected, with Ron Compagnoni again ably filling the position of Hon. Secretary. The Annual Report was received. Federation entered the new year with a credit balance of only L17 which is by no means sufficient for the Year's work.
Annual Reunion was fixed for 18/19th September at a place to be arranged. Mr Jack Wren being elected convenor of the Camp Committee.
It was resolved at the meeting that a date be fixed for the next and future ANNUAL RE-UNIONS. They will now be held on the week-end before or coinciding with the full moon in September.
The Rover Ramblers' Annual Barbecue will take place just one week earlier ie 11-12 September, at the confluence of Woods Creek and the Grose River near Kurrajong. The small charge of 2/- is being levied to cover a generous portion of venison.
A Motion has been carried that “Federation expects each one of the affiliated clubs to accept the fullest responsibility for each and every one of its members”. The motion was carried by only a slender majority and notice of notion has been given by a S.U.B.W. delegate of a recision motion. In accordance with the Constitution this notion will be debated at the September meeting.
Anzac Day Shooting Incident which concerned members of the Bushcraft Association was discussed. A letter from the Association was read to the effect that whilst the incident was regretted, the Association denied any responsibility for the action of any of its members on unscheduled walks. However, the delegate explained that the culprits had been severely reprimanded upon which it was decided that in view of the youthful nature of the members, more stringent measures need not be called for.
There will be a meeting of the SEARCH & RESCUE SECTION on 9th August next at Paddy's at 5.30.p.m.All clubs are invited to send a delegate.
The Kameruka Bushwalking Club of the Sydney Teachers' College was welcomed to the Federation.
Another aspect of camp fire singing Which is frequently overlooked is what I call for want of a better word - change of voice. What I mean is that most people soon get tired of beefing out chorus after chorus and as much variety as possible should be worked in. One of the easiest ways of getting this effect of course is for chorus aongs to be interspersed with solo items, but frequently singers are bashful and will not volunteer. Nevertheless sufficient variety can be worked into most songs by one person (or a group of people) singing the verse and everyone joining in the chorus. In this way every one gets a rest and the whole thing is enjoyed much more.
There are three songs which come to mind which are frequently ruined by being sung in chorus from start to finish. First is-
“The Capital Ship”. This is essentially a patter song and must be sung by someone who knows the words thoroughly with of course everyone joining in the chorus. Another is “Green grow the rushes ho”. There are many people who dislike this song and generally because it has never been sung properly. The correct singing is, thus.
Solo. “I'll sing you one ho”
Chorus.”Green grow the rushes ho. What is your one ho?” Solo. “One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so”. The second verse goes.
Solo: “I'll sing you two ho”
Chorus.“Green grow the rushes ho. What is your two ho?”
Solo. “Two, two the lily white boys clothed all in green ho.”.
Chorus.“One is one and all alone etc. and so.on.
The third song is “The Keeper”. This lovely song can be sung either by solo and chorus or by the two sides of the fire each taking its appropriate part but never should be sung as all chorus. Songs sung in this way are infinitely more enjoyable than ones sung continuously by everyone from start to finish.