Sunday, December 18, 2011

Basalt Railway Trek

From my old blog January 2008

I was going to use my mum's photo's for this story but they are old colour photo's from 1976 ( before Gwen Dundon's photos ) and are not really scanable ( did I just invent a new word ? ) So I decided to go get some updated digi pics and set off on a small hike up Woy Woy Tip last Sunday morning.
Packed a small pack with supplies : water , map , mobile phone , knife , 2 x Chomps ( sugar hits ) , body parts bag ( hey you don't know what you may find ) , digital camera and a lighter.
Headed to Woy Woy tip and parked outside of gates and notified garbage guy at the weighbridge of my intentions and possible return time , then set off up the track to Dillions Farm , once you hit the first corner just go along a bit and look over the right side and start looking for the raised soil that was the foundation for the small gauge railway that ran from the top of the tip ( the old loco shed site is now buried under tonnes of landfill )
Once you are on this raised path you will get familiar with it's shape and you will hit the first creek crossing soon after , here it's just a small bridge with some retaining stones still there and a concrete foundation , also some nice red yabbies and some kind of lizard that can hold it's breath longer than my patience !
About 30 metres further through some really dense and scratchy bushes you will come to the best bit which is the big trestle bridge that crosses a creek , here there are several foundation blocks and 2 large piers made of concrete spanning across the sandstone creek bed ( you can see this from Google Earth ) I then climbed up the other side and continued to follow the raised path again through some spectacular bushland as it wound its way round the mountain curves.
Another couple of small creek crossings and after about 15 minutes I was at the end of the top line at the crusher chute site , here you can see the old remains of the crusher chute which ran down a 45 degree slope to the crusher bin just near the sewerage treatment works ponds , I bit the bullet and headed down the steep incline ( knowing I had to come back up argh ) and checked out the crusher bin site , the cutting for the lower line and the other big trestle bridge site , here it is thick with lantana so take a machete ! As I was heading back I went down a different path and found the last remaining piece of rolling stock left , an old skip car - the same one my mum had pics of , so a took a few piccies and headed back up that bloody hill !

Skip car at bottom of incline

Then off to part 2 of the mission - to investigate an alleged ammo dump from WW2 that the NPWS mention in a tour brochure , heading down and across another valley I came to the top of the tunnel and began to work my way down when I came round a corner into a large cave on the hill overlooking the railway line, the first thing I see is an army ammunition box ! geez talk about bingo I thinks before seeing the rest of the cave contents - it was obviously an old hobo's home and from the items around I'd say he was living there around 10 years ago, the ammo box was from 1953 and had a newspaper from 1998 in side so that discounted it being WW2 vintage , I scratched around in the dirt on the floor and found a Halfpenny from bloody 1942 to confuse things even more !


I then set off to look at the intended area , a small tunnel directly above Woy Woy Tunnel , here I took more pics to send off to Pete from who I annoy every now and again and who was interested in seeing it as there were actual plans to blow certain tunnels and bridges in WW2 if the Japs ever landed.
By now the old legs were getting like jelly so I headed back along my original path and stopped for a breather at the first trestle bridge , sat in the creek with my feet in the ice cold water and had a Chomp , filled my water bottle up with new cold spring water and hit the scrubby bit on the way back , all the time being circled by evil looking crows
I was back by about 1.30 so it was about a 5 hour journey and without the tunnel detour you could just do the railway walk in under 3 hours if you wanted to , just be careful to get out before they shut the tip gates at 4pm !

Woy Woy Files article on the Basalt Quarries Ltd railway here
Blog entry on the WW2 Woy Woy Tunnel Demolition plan  here

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Woy Woy by Night

Taken back in 2008 , much to the amusement of by-passers who thought I was some kind of pervert with a camera lurking around in the dark corners of town ..
I have long been a fan of the art of Jeffery Smart , I discovered his work when I was an apprentice working at the Art Gallery of NSW , I have tried to emulate his style in these photos.

This is the new Catholic church on Blackwall affectionately known as the " biscuit tin " , you can't see the tin bit in this photo , this is a side view of the air conditioning ducts that had nice shadows of the trees on them.
When the church first opened I had to add a little commentary to my old blog

Recently the new church on Blackwall Road was opened and the new set of bells were brought into action for the first time. For years the local parish saved up and purchased the mammoth set of 3 bells that first roared out over the Peninsula just before Christmas.
The beaming Reverend John Hill was quoted as saying " These bells kick arse ! for years my poor parish has been bombarded in their homes by the local heathen population playing Black Sabbath and Megadeath at ungodly hours , but come Sunday there will be final atonement as these babies kick in ! "
Obviously the bretheren had done their research as the pastor detailed...
" We had the bells cast overseas in the same factory as the bells used by AC/DC on the Hells Bells Tour and Sister Mavis was trained to use the state of the art computer controlled bell ringing software that drives the 3 bells we have nicknamed
" Big Bopper " " Left Scrote " and " Right Scrote "

Church 3

The Sentinel , lamp post with rarely monitored security camera K-Mart carpark


Silo 8 - well Fire Stair 8 K-Mart carpark

Stairwell 8

Air Lock - top of staircase K-Mart carpark , sorry to the lady I scared the shit outta while taking this pic hehe

Lift Shaft

Car Park - I like the colours in this one , I should of taken the time to walk down and move those bloody trolleys outta shot :|

Carpark 1

The Shaking Poles of Woy Woy Town

Inspired by the last story and in need of some better pics , I headed into town last Saturday night to do some shooting.
It's hard to get some different looking pics to the usual fare , so I figured no one had taken night photos of Woy Woy before and set about my task , much to the bewilderment of some locals ( it's called art not stalking ffs )
Anyway when I get to this building my memory comes back and I am reminded of a tale from long ago ............
It's brisk and bitterly cold winter morning at Woy Woy station , waiting for the 5.17 am train to Central , my fellow travelers stand fast on the platform with backs to the waters of Woy Woy Bay in hope that the sun may come out just a tad earlier and warm our souls up.
There is always one lark who will wear shorts to work everyday ( even in mid winter ) , he stands there grinning as folk say to him " Aren't you f#@king cold mate ? " and replies " nah it ain't f#@king cold enough mate ! "
One morning this lark says to our assembled group " check out the flagpole on that building across the road , one is wobbling all over the place " and it was true , one of the twin flagpoles was going berserk wobbling like a giant had just flicked it with it's thumb !
Mind you there was no wind present and the wobbling did not slow down , we noticed this event for many mornings over the next few months. Theories abounded on what caused the pole to rattle , there was no wind or passing heavy traffic , it shook in cold or warm weather - maybe some sort of magnetic influence ?
The shaking became so evident that the staff inside the building noticed it and the pole was secured according to another bystander on the platform at Woy Woy , so that's the story of the shaking poles - only known by a few until now !

June 2008 - This is an old post from my blog , I need to clean up that web space so I will be moving selected stories from dat one to dis one over the next couple of weeks

Friday, October 28, 2011

Easter Island Secrets Revealed

Easter Island

This pic showed up on Facebook and the debate was whether it was real or not , I did a bit of Googling about and it seems to be real , taken back in the 70's.
It shows that some of the statues on Easter Island are bigger than first thought and extend underground up to 30 feet
To me it explains the relaxed expression on the faces of the statues , under the cover of the soil they are secretly scratching their nuts

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hello where have I been ?

Skulking back into my dashboard I can only say it wasn't me , I was hibernating for the winter , I did lurk about tho ...


I battled on the cyber battlefields at World of Tanks , a hugely popular free online game that has many Aussies playing and lot of them are older players like myself who have a chuckle at destroying tanks commanded by impatient teenagers


I also seen some photos of cars being shipped to Africa for the new Mad Max movie....


And pondered mysterious Aboriginal carvings near Woy Woy , maybe a line of defense ?


and thought I better mow that lawn before Chewy disappears

Saturday, May 21, 2011

History Channel visits Kariong

This is the portion of the latest Tony Robinson doco entitled " Digging up Australia " that was shown on the History Channel on pay TV a couple of weeks back.
As they investigate early arrivals to Australia before Captain Cook , they have a look at the possibility that Egyptian sailors may have made it here and of course that would lead them to the infamous Kariong Glyphs.
As paying for TV is an utterly ridiculous idea to me , I waited for it to be uploaded to YouTube.
I was originally approached by the producers to supply some background info on the site and possibly offer them a sacrificial lamb to be interviewed , they wanted a " believer " and not a sceptic like myself , alas I will have to get my 15 minutes of fame from somewhere else.
As Rex Gilroy and other assorted fruit loops would not appear on camera , I suggested they might like Jake Cassar who subscribes to the Egyptian theory and that they did.
Poor old Tony is seen to be biting his tongue , rolling his eyes and in the end says " the whole idea is very , very daft "
Kinda glad it wasn't me now hehe

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Postcard from Umina

I am still alive just been crook , busy and to shitty to post for ages now , this made me laugh the other night , sometimes it hurts to say you live here , what the hell

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snake in the hills

A member of Elvina found this stone arrangement some time ago and recently found out you can see it on Google Earth quite clearly , so here is the Woy Woy Tip snake from space.
It is noted on a 2006 survey of the area as Aboriginal and I have no doubts that it is as there are stone arrangements on top of a lot of the ridges in this area.
Situated 800 metres east of the current land fill depot at South Woy Woy and at over 15 metres long , it's quite impressive.
It bugs me that people spend a lot of time pondering the Gosford Glyphs when great mysteries like this are in abundance.

 33°30'33.36"S  - 151°17'4.08"E

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Help from above

This is becoming a regular event , again on Saturday night the big Ambo chopper buzzed in from Sydney and landed on Ettalong Oval , here's a video I took a couple of weeks back showing the path it takes right over my house , it's a bit blurry as I used my digi cam to grab the footage , still haven't worked out the focus on that bit yet lol

Hot for Dogs


40 degrees.... geez

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fighter World - Williamtown RAAF

Took my nephew up to the local RAAF base that has a museum called Fighter World , lotsa boys stuff thought yas might like a looksee

Figther World 013

A look at the main hall Meteor , Sabre , Macchi , Vampire

Figther World 005

Gatling gun with a drum mag the size of a large garbage bin , tried to nick it time !

Figther World 021

This was a donated model collection , over 300 models all built from scratch over 40 years , frikkin impressive work

Figther World 009

My very stoked nephew and I test out the cockpit of a Macchi trainer jet , well worth a visit just to see the smile on his dial

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mad Max 4 - Inside the new movie shhh !

It's baaaaaaccckk ......

My bland old job takes me to many places and I meet the occasional rich and famous person along the way , this week I am working for someone who has inside knowledge of the new Mad Max 4 movie ....
As you might have noticed I am a massive fan of this movie and dream of roaming the wastelands in the Interceptor ..
So I thought I'd glean some info from this chap - glad I did !
With the aid of his iPhone I was shown pre production footage of some of the stunts being worked on for the movie and lots of pics of the vehicles being used , lots of them in the wicked post apocalyptic style we loved from the second movie ( purists will tell you there was no Mad Max 3 )

The Vehicles
I saw lots of cars , bikes , semi trailers , monster trucks all MM2 style , they seem be using lots of old vintage stuff with Model T / old Ford Mercury looking cars but of course with massive V8's in them , my source tells me that they all have real motors in them this time and a lot of cash has been spent on building them , one car is a converted off - road racer that cost over 100 grand to build and " glides like a bullet through the scrub " he said.
He also remarked there was to be no " jap crap " cars in the movie except for one in the beginning that gets destroyed by a giant boulder ( I can hear the cheer in the audience already ! )
Another video I seen was of the novel way they are going to use to transfer actors between vehicles at high speed , this is going to be awesome but I was told this is Top Secret so I'll won't divulge what it is ( ner ner )
I then saw a photo of the informant leaning on the old Interceptor from MM2 , " An old pic ? " I asked
" Nope we bought up about half a dozen already converted Interceptors from members of the public / fans to be used in the new movie .... "
" S S So the Interceptor is back ? "
" Yes it is " ( oh shit yes ! )

The Story
The story starts off where we were left at the end of the second movie and follows the tale of what happens to the group as they move out of the badlands and look for a better life.
It looks like the story does not connect in any way to the 3rd movie , but follows on from MM2 , this is what the fans wanted from 3 originally , yes Beyond Thunderdome was shit , everyone agrees.
I think this movie is going to deliver everything the die hard fans want and more , it is going to be a " road movie " , rolling non stop from start to finish and here's some more , our travellers seem to end up back in the badlands from the 2nd movie !

The Cast
An unknown English actor will play the lead character and he may even be taking the role of the original Max ..
Charlize Theron will play a role in the movie , and I'm gonna leave this as a surprise , a popular character from MM1 makes a return ! ( o man this is going to rock ! )

The Location
I'm not telling , but if you have read this article closely it ain't half obvious ....

Why is it taking so long ?
The movie has been on the go for many years now , originally it was to be filmed in Namibia back around when 9/11 happened , actors and crew were reluctant to travel by air , and they ran out of time as director George Miller had other commitments ( Babe 2 )
So the project was locked up in storage and later canned altogether , at this stage some 40 bikes and 20 other vehicles had been delivered to the desert location and a small town had been built for filming.
Last year pre production filming took place and filming was to begin this year except one thing has halted them - the desert is too green after all this rain !
So we wait again ..........