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Blue Mountains Tourist : Winter 2009
The Burning Mists of Time A new book launched this month, ‘The Burning Mists of Time’, tells the fascinating story of coal and oil shale mining in the Jamison and Megalong Valleys near the town of Katoomba, and includes the history of the Scenic Railway. Written by Dr. Philip Pells and Philip Hammon, it traces the stories of the pioneering developers of the late 1800s, drawn by the world’s richest oil shale deposits and coal seams, and the resultant rise of Katoomba to touristic fame. To provide background to the central story, and to help in understanding the motivations and limitations of the central characters, it also describes the society in which this all happened – the Aboriginal influences, and the bureaucratic and financial systems within which the developments had to take place. The technical descriptions of the amazing infrastructure needed to recover the rich oil shale from the vastness of the Jamison and Megalong Valleys are written to be understood by the non-technical person. Cecil (a coal skip) will be your friend for life! The research needed to write this book was undertaken over many years, both by professional researchers and amateur dirt scratchers. The latter asked the question “why is this here?” and the former tried to provide answers. Envisioning the 19th century engineering solutions from the scant remains of abandoned worn cables and eroded earthworks took a wealth of experience in wire rope workings, steam haulage, mining practices, underground and surface surveying, and even pony management. Philip and Philip have put all this together in a very readable and well illustrated book, with many previously unpublished historic photos, plus sketches and diagrams to clearly explain what was a quite complex operation. CAFÉ JOSOPHAN’S 187a Leura Mall, LEURA 4784 3833 Luxurious Josophan’s HOT CHOCOLATE and our signature boutique coffee, Housebaked desserts and treats, Belgian style waffles, gourmet Breakfast and lunch Open 9am – 5pm 7 days Extraordinary handcrafted fine chocolates – freshly made on-site in our Blackheath store. CHAMPION CHOCOLATE EXHIBIT SYDNEY ROYAL SHOW 2006 & 2008 WEDDING CAKES, CORPORATE GIFTS www.josophans.com.au CHOCOLATE BOUTIQUES 132 Leura Mall, LEURA 4784 2031 Open 10am – 5pm 7 days 12 Govetts Leap Rd, BLACKHEATH 4787 6333 Open Fri-Sat-Sun 10am-5pm Specialist chocolate boutiques, stocking • Josophans handcrafted fine chocolates • Premier French chocolates • Hot chocolates • Chocolate baking supplies & books NEW Chocolate Appreciation workshops 18 www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au winter 2009