Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rumbalara Reserve

(Gosford walkies #35)

Green Point from Yaruga Look-Out Rumbalara Reserve Gosford
Reasonable resolution at bigger sizes (click it)

Green Point from Yaruga Look-Out Rumbalara Reserve Gosford

Green Point* is at the end of Kincumba Mountain, that flattish bulk of hill taking up most of the left side of the view. I have done no walkies there yet.

The area in the foreground is, on the left, East Gosofrd and Springfield. The big park along Erina Creek is Hylton Moore Park. The bridge is Punt Bridge. The right side of the foreground is East Gosford and Peeks Point.

Fagans Bay from Rumbalara Reserve Gosford
Resolution at biggest size is merely adequate

Fagans Bay from Rumbalara Reserve Gosford. The foreground is about half of Bustling Downtown Gosford. The two pyramids at the bottom are the courthouse at the corner of Henry parry Drive and Donnison Street. The curved street is Henry Parry Drive. On the right, halfway up the picture, is the footy oval, Grahame Park AKA Bluetongue Stadium. The blue block of flats is a block of flats. The beige block on flats on the left is the pebble-crete tower of the Gosford City Council on Mann Street next to the old conservatorium.

Feeling better yesterday so I went out for a bit of fresh air. Grabbed a mate and we walked down from the top of Rumbalara Reserve (the hill above Gosford).

Lovely walk. A faint breeze cooled our brows, the single notes of bell birds' calls reverberated in the gullies, the hillside was covered in spring fresh bracken and the tall thin trunks of the trees. There were plenty of wildflowers budding and blooming beside the track. It was an easy walk. Downhill for one thing but there was also steps and the occassional handrail. Just what the doctor ordered.

Putting Woy Woy on the map

i wish more people could tkae the time to do similar around the globe

They did, Vengaman, and are:

All Things Woy (another local)

World wide walkers
Catron County walk
Drew Kettle's 25,000kms
Fat man walking
New York City Walk
Strolling Round Socorro
Walking Berkeley
Walking Dunfermline
Walking Fort Bragg
Walking Hither Green
Walking Sydney streets
Walking San Francisco
Walking Turcot Yards

Oh, and if the Local Studies Librarian is reading, there is a large clear photo of the old Bay View pub in the upstairs office of the UFO.

* There's two. The other one's at Pearl Beach.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bugger this for a laugh

Spent yesterday in bed. Still feeling like I've gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson, yacking up gross stuff, coughing so hard I forget my own name. Stupid flu aftermath.

Barrenjoey Head & Lion Island from Umina Beach

On the up side, I tottered down to the beach today and laid there in the sun for a couple of hours.


I have a young family and am looking at moving to the central coast, maybe Umina direction. ...I am not overly familiar with the area, but Woy Woy gets lots of bad press amongst the Sydney-siders.

Is it really that bad? Having driven up there once or twice it doesn’t appear to be so….and reading your blog it appears you never got mugged, stabbed, robbed, etc. I guess I am looking for an honest local opinion. Would appreciate your thoughts.

Don't believe everything you read on the telly.

Woy Woy is safe. Naturally we got a few nutters and fuckwits and road collapses but so has every town, including Sydney. Bad news about Woy Woy sticks in the mind because of the memorable name. And because only bad news is reported.

Little old ladies are safe here. Fuckwits who lurk on the beach with an open beer and an attitude get punched by other fuckwits. They're not often active, it's a big beach and there's usually lifesavers on duty*. Housing prices are going up not down. They don't go up in unsafe places.

Bring the kiddies up for the weekend and have a look. You'll love it.


Council risks second road collapse - scary cracked culvert photo of Pearl Beach Drive

Aboriginal place names

Righto. I'm off to bed with a couple of hotties called Whisky and Lemon.

* Swim between the flags and all that.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Secret WWII Business

I was wondering what the fuck I was going to blog about, still being too sick to go walkies, then I had a look at Steve's images relating to the WWII emergency airstrip under Trafalgar Avenue.

WWII emergency airstrip in Woy Woy
WWII emergency airstrip in Woy Woy (line of dots)

The numbers are possible locations for the "hideouts" mentioned in the secret document transcribed below.

Number 3 I think would have been where the Bowls is now, the one on the corner of "Wharf Road" (Brick Wharf Road) and North Burge Road. Number 2 I think exists today as the scout hall on the foreshore, about 200 metres from the bowls. Numbers 4 and 5 I think were using the proximity of the lagoon now in the golf course and Paperbark Forest as extra cover.

First page of document reads:

"[Stamp, upper right corner]
18 FEB 1945
[Stamp, upper right side]
Recieved DD
19 FEB 1943

[Document proper]

Report prepared from inspection of site on 16th February
1943 with:--
P/O Roberst ( 1 D.W.O.)
Mr. Priddle (1 D.W.O.)
Mr O'Halloran( Department of the Interior).
Mr. Lipscombe( Com. Land Valuer).
and from D.W.B. drawing No. 42/43/491A. and aerial photographs.

SERVICE: Department of Air.


ESTABLISHMENT: Satellite (Schofields)

OBJECT OF VISIT: To review proposed hideout locations andtaxiways.

Taxiways to Hideouts 1, 2, 3.
WHARF ROAD. To be retained as a taxiway. To be widened
on North side only. This widening to extend from Blackwall Road
to runway. Wharf Road, West of runway not to be used as taxiway

These alterations were principally giverned by locations
of electric light poles and other services.

Hideout No.1 to remain as on plan 42/43/491A

Hideout No.2 to have access from west side instead of
from east as on plan

Hideout No.3 to be resited close to and on North side
of Wharf Road 150 yards West of Hideout No.2.

Taxiway to Hideouts Nos 4, 5.
OCEAN BEACH ROAD. This will not now be used as a taxiway.
Hideout Nos. 4 and 5 have been resited as follows:--

Hideout No.4: on west side of and close to Ocean Beach
Road about 100 ft. North of Watkin Avenue,

Hideout No.5: 150 yards east of hideout No.4

access to these two hideouts, it is suggested, should be by
a Taxiway in direct continuation easterly of Watkin Avenue, connecting
with Trafalgar -Avenue, (i.e., the strip).

Hideout Nos. 6, 7, 8. Nos. 6 and 7 were too closely spaced for
existing policy. No.7 remains as on plan. No.8 remains as
planned but access will be from south instead of from North.
No.6 has been resited in good timber on S-W corner of Keith Street
and Springwood Street.

Taxiway 6, 7, 8. Access to these three hideouts should be
by constructing Albion Street from Trafalgar Avenue to Springwood Street
and a short portion of Springwood Street, between Ettalong Street
and Palm Street. (Palm Street is already constructed and built on and gives
access to town). A certain amount of additional grading to Springwood St.
should be included in the camouflage Scheme ( See Aerial Photos.)."

(First page of document ends.)

"Keith Street" does not now exist but I think it would be either the existing Warwick or Wallaby Streets, as they are tucked into the shadow of Blackwall Mountain.
"Ettalong Street" also does not exist now but I suspect it was what is now called Bangalow Street.

Locals (and ex-locals) will be able to spot how much the area has changed from Steve's photo of the old strip overlaying recent shot of Trafalgar Avenue. For non-locals, I can tell you the trees around the strip in the photo are now almost all gone. A few venerable old gums still loom silently from people's backyards but the rest of the trees have been replaced with suburbia. But all is not lost! The gums still stand proud and wild on Blackwall Mountain barely 500 yards from the old airstrip.

Those secret 1943 documents are fascinating. Pretty much the top half of the Peninsula was going to be an airbase. The airstrip (runway) was built and so was a hangar in Alma Avenue which is a short street running off Trafalgar Avenue near its north end.

Airstrips generally have their hangars (plane sheds) to the side of one end of the airstrip. This is for a few reasons. It's a short distance for taxiiing (driving the plane onto the runway), which saves time and fuel, if there's a prang chances are the pranging plane won't hit the hangars and total the other planes, as pranging planes are more likely to come off the runway around the middle of the strip rather than close to the end.

How much of the rest was built I don't yet know but I will be fossicking around in those spots with a fresh eye.

Steve also talks about the WWII airstrip up at Tuggerah, about an hour's drive north of Woy Woy.

I'm looking at your aerial image, Steve, and reading this:

"in the centre there is a clearing in thick trees running north to south which is most probably the old strip"

I am inclined to think that's the one. An airstrip running north-south is much better than an airstrip running east-west in terms of dusk and dawn light-related landing mishaps.

By the way, I also liked your night photos of Woy Woy. You've even made the carpark and the Vati-can look good!


A HD Fowler mailed me asking for permission to use the Ducktionary as the basis for his "The Australish-ish Dictionary (TAD)."

He goes on "I intend for it to be a compilation of slang and "proper" Australian and New Zealand English words and phrases. English as it's used Down Under, if you will ... I liked what you had done so much, it's what I'd like to use for a starting point."

No worries. at which the embryonic TAD is.'s board has a list of other Australian slanguage dictionaries, none of which I've read yet so proceed at yer own risk.

Right, that's it for today. My flu-enfeebled brain and bod are worn out from sitting on my arse using the keyboard. I'm off to enjoy the wind.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

West Gosford

(Gosford walkies #34)

Pacific Hwy West Gosford

Nice bit of Art Deco (circa 1915 - c.1940) on Pacific Hwy West Gosford, opposite Garnet Adcock Park, the sportsfield on the right as you come into Gosford.

Pacific Hwy West Gosford

Toothy building a couple of doors down from the one above, also on Pacific Highway West Gosford.

West Gosford is an industrial area up in the north-western shore of Brisbane Water, about 15 minutes drive from Woy Woy. It's official eastern boundary goes through Waterview Park (Presidents Hill) behind the racecourse and down Bately Street to the railway bridge over Fagans Bay.

That toothy business with the bricks (topmost edge of facade on this building) is not uncommmon but not often noticed. It's mostly seen on low brick garden walls in the Brisbane Water area though there are a few examples on buildings themselves.

Woy Woy has its own example of Deco on Blackwall Road near the railway station. It houses a $2 shop now and I have not been able to find out what it used to house. I keep thinking I've got a good photo of this building but nup. Must remedy.

Creighton's Mann Street Gosford

The most notable Deco building in the Brisbane Water area is Creighton's, the former funeral director's on Mann Street Gosford. Love that fin. There's a smaller fin and stepped facade on the fish & chips shop on Dane Drive.

Its ceilings are georgeous too, though rather different in design, being in keeping with other floral plaster ceilings of the time. More on Creighton's.

Farts in jars

Well, near as damnit. Woy Woy tip's gas conversion plant is open.

"Methane-rich gas is produced as organic waste decomposes within landfill sites. The generation plants at Kincumber and Woy Woy extract this gas and combust it to generate electricity.

Each plant produces enough energy to supply the annual electricity requirements of about 1,300 average households. In the process, the two plants combined will destroy methane equivalent to 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum." (Sun Weekly)

Pity it wasn't thought of before this debacle.

I'm off to scuttle back under my blanket on the sofa. Thought I was getting better yesterday but today I'm as weak as cat's piss again. Can't even chuck a rock at that blasted cockie screeching its head off on next door's roof.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ye olde Post Offices

You should be hearing this post in a faint scratchy voice frequently interrupted by a hacking cough and intemperate language. I am definitely Not Well. And definitely Utterly Fed Up. It's one of these new-fangled wogs that's resistant to anti-biotics and takes a while to shift.

Steyne Road Saratoga

This wee old cottage is the former Saratoga Post Office, on Steyne Road, facing Point Clare across Brisbane Water. It has been posted on a stamp-fanciers' board (ta for the acknowledgement & link, Skippy), along with a lovely old photo of when it was the P.O..

Also check out the old Matcham PO further down the board. It is barely bigger than a backyard dunny.

Old Kincumber Post Office

One of the old Kincumber Post Offices, on the corner of Avoca Drive & Davies Street, opposite Frost Reserve.

Run by William George Humphrey from 1945 to the 1990s. Before that the P.O. was down the road a bit at Manasseh Frost's place (below).

Old Kincumber Post Office

You can still see the old "Kincumber Post Office" sign up under the upholsterer's sign.

Old PO Boxes

The old PO Boxes are still there, albeit closed up. I wonder if the upholsterer uses the backs of them as a cupboard?

Manasseh Frost's Store & Post Office Avoca Drive Kincumber

The other of Kincumber's old Post Offices, and Manasseh Frost's Store (1901), just a couple of blocks down the hill from the other old P.O..

The sign on the right of the building reads "M Frost Kincumber Cash Store".

Stone stumps

Sheets of tin over the top of each stone stump to stop the ants eating the wood of the building.

More on Frost's Post Office

Woy Woy's own old P.O.'s are long gone but you can see their photos up in the current P.O. (opposite the library, just near the station) and here, second from the right.

There's the old "PMG" (Post master General) lettering on a Woy Woy manhole cover on Brisbane Water Drive between the Bay View pub and the footbridge.

You can have fish and chips in an old Post Office (albeit a seventies one) by getting the ferry to Empire Bay and walking to the orange and brown building you can see from the wharf.

Recommended fiction for stamp-fanciers is Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. It is amusing even to non-philatelists and has a hero called Moist von Lipwig.


Old news but worth having: Australian researcher saves the planet

"An Australian researcher has won an international prize for her plan to wrap a giant asteroid with reflective sheeting to stop it colliding with the earth and destroying all life.

Such an impact would have the force of 110,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs if the asteroid, which actually exists, hits the planet in 2036, said Mary D'Souza, a PhD student with the University of Queensland's School of Engineering."

Click for the spectacular digital mock-up picture, stay for the scary asteroid stats.

Woy Woy girl competes in her fifth consecutive Paralympic Games - Australian basketball capt. Liesl Tesch in Beijing

Right then. I'm logging out before I crash on the keyboard. Thank you very kindly for all the hugs and haiku and tips. It makes a person get well a bit faster than by mere meds alone.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Flu be gone

Got the flu. Fucking painful cough, raging temperature, heartfelt desire to be put out of my misery, all that crap.

Come back on Saturday. I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Walking Sydney Streets

Alan Waddell of Walking Sydney Streets is gone.

From his website:
"Alan's Passing 2 September 2008

Alan died peacefully at 3.00 this morning from complications after a successful hip replacement. In memory of Alan we will retain the site and continue to add accumulated photos of his discoveries. We trust that this will still help to brighten your day and encourage exercise in the interests of better health."

Sydney has 642 suburbs. Alan walked every street of 284 of them. He started in January 2003. On his 94th birthday last month his site got its 500,000th visitor.

A massive walk for anyone, let alone a guy in his nineties. Onya, Alan.

Latest updates

Alan in the news


Little red man

Skitster at Walking New Cross seems to have stopped walking for the moment. Hope it's not permanent.

Matt and Tiffany haven't blogged a walk since April, and Rob McIntosh's power has been out since June.

Our New Zealand cousins seemed to have stopped. Their blog has said "Error establishing a database connection" for months now.

On the up side, I've added Rob Burdock and Wulf and Eric to the world wide walkers blogroll at last.

Today's picture post

Wee old churches

(My favourite Woy Woy churches)

It pissed down all yesterday and rained out my walkies. Below is a post I've been meaning to put up for a while. I like the shape of wee old churches. These ones are all on Blackwall Road, going away from the station in the order they are here. (Map)

Seventh Day Adventist Church Blackwall Road Woy Woy

Seventh Day Adventist Church Blackwall Road Woy Woy. It's set back from the road a bit and easy to miss. Locals, it's between KFC and the optometrist near Westpac.

Seventh Day Adventist Church Blackwall Road Woy Woy

It has a lovely door.

St John the Baptist, Blackwall Road Woy Woy

St John the Baptist, Blackwall Road Woy Woy. On the roundabout near the Roosters and the Thai restaurant.

It used to have a couple of lovely shady trees out the front but they went. Then some silly bugger has built a giant silver cake across the road.

There's units round it now. Rather nice units actually. In sympathy with the old brick and flat arches of the church. Before the units there was some old school buildings.

St John the Baptist, Blackwall Road Woy Woy

Old St John's also has a lovely door.

St David's Blackwall Road Woy Woy

St David's Blackwall Road Woy Woy

Very plain inside but a charming exterior. If you look on the left edge of the picture, just above the fence, you can see more units being built behind the church. They're finished now. Units for Dear Old Things.

St Luke's Blackwall Road Woy Woy

St Luke's Blackwall Road Woy Woy

St Luke's Blackwall Road Woy Woy, now the Woy Woy Environment Centre. My favourite. Built in 1908, a stripped-down version of Carpenter Goth. The style is circa 1840 - circa 1890 but it can be years between the plans being drawn up and the building actually starting.

Wee old churches of Blackwall Road Woy Woy

The green dots are the wee old churches.

From the top they are:
Seventh Day Adventist
Old St John's (twin dots, upper, lower dot is the giant silver cake)
St David's
St Luke's, now the Woy Woy Environment Centre

I rambled on a bit about wee old wooden churches a bit in 2005.

The red line of dots is the old WWII emergency airstrip.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fagans Bay

(Random Gosford walkies)

Fagans Bay Point Clare/West Gosford

Fagans is a tiny bay hidden in plain sight, barely noticed by commuters as they rattle into Gosford on the train.

Fagans Bay Point Clare/West Gosford

I like the lazy blue swirl of the speedboat's wash on the water.

Western side of Brisbane Water from Pacific Hwy Gosford

Looking south from Gosford, down the western side of Brisbane Water.

From the foreground back into the photo:
Gosford foreshore
Point Clare, with TS Hawkesbury
Tascott (pretty much invisible behind the bulk of Point Clare)
Kooelwong, Murphys Bay
Woy Woy
Lion Island (spottable only by the eagle-eyed)
Saratoga (left edge of photo)

Low tide in Woy Woy Bay - very atmospheric

A Photo a Day - Col, Woy Woy blogger

UFO (or not)

So there I am this morning sitting half asleep on the bus to Gosford. The sky was blue, the warm morning sun came in through the window like a warm blanket. The bus pulled up at the lights next to the trots and the traffic jerked and flowed in and out of Racecourse Road.

Then I saw it. It was beautiful. A small spherical silver craft hanging perhaps 300 feet above Brisbane Water, right near TS Hawkesbury. It was lit by the sun and glowed white. It just hung there absolutely still in the air above the water.

I goggled at it for a moment or two and reached out the tap the person in front of me.

Then the lights went green and the bus moved off and the UFO flickered and moved off with us. It was just a reflection and nothing more, but for a few short moments I thought we had LGMs!