BMACHO

3 Mar 2016

The Gardens of Stone National Park and Beyond

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Book 7 in the series, The Gardens of Stone National Park and beyond, is principally about the last three centuries of European occupation of the area. It includes stories of such iconic engineering feats as the Wolgan Valley Railway, The Newnes Industrial Complex as well as follies such as the proposed Wollemi International Airport and a 6000MW power station at Birds Rock.

Previously unpublished historic photos are included together with interviews involving descendants of some of those men and women whose parents and grandparents were directly involved. It is a book of contemporary history, warts and all.

One of the most amazing stories is that of the construction of the dam on the Bungleboori Creek. Although very much of our recent past, the pictures tell stories about changes to Work Place Safety while at the same time revealing just how much our lauded, second to none, pioneering resilience has been lost.

Perhaps the greatest challenge documented in the book is the story of the telephone services that connected Newnes to the outside world. Michael, Brian and Yuri, along with bushwalking colleagues walked many tens of kilometres following residual evidence of the original poles and wires that have survived the depredations of bushfires, storms and souvenir hunters.

There are also many great walks, principally along the southern escarpment of the Newnes Plateau from the Darling Causeway to Hassans Walls. The case for the entire escarpment with its rich natural, Aboriginal and European heritage should to be declared a national park as a matter of priority.

Even if you hated history at school, we think you will find these stories and the many hundreds of pictures a compelling read

MK, BF and YB

GOS Book 7 review/MK

Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations
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