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Blue Mountains Tourist : Spring 2009
The Burning Mists of Time Those interested in the role of mining in Katoomba's history can read about it in 'The Burning Mists of Time'. Written by Philip Pells and Philip Hammon, the book tells a fascinating story beginning in the 1800s when pioneering developers were drawn by the world's richest oil shale deposits and coal seams, and of Katoomba's rise to touristic fame. To provide background to the central story, and to help understand 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. The research needed to write this book was undertaken over many years, both by professional researchers and amateur dirt scratchers. 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. Phillip and Philip have put all this together in a very readable and well illustrated book, with many previously unpublished historic photos, plus sketches and diagrams to clearly explain what was a quite complex operation. For the serious researcher, the book has a comprehensive index and is filled with references to the sources of the information that has been gathered. 'The Burnings Mists of Time' is on sale at Scenic World's Souvenir shop as well as Megalong books, The Mall Leura The State Library Bookshop Lindfield Bookshop Plough Books: www.ploughbooksales.com.au Glee Books, Blackheath ARHS NSW, Central Railway Station Bennett Books: www.bennett.com.au The Turning Page, Springwood Angus & Robertson, Orange Anyone who purchases a copy of the book at Scenic World will receive a presentation box containing a piece of oil shale and a souvenir book of matches. Skyway walk on air World's steepest Railway Visit the valley by Cableway Walkway explore ancient rainforest Unlimited Discovery Pass Your family rides all day for only $80* *Subject to availability. Arrive at Scenic World early in the day to make the most of this special. Open 9-5 every day (Last rides 4.50pm) Violet Street & Cliff Drive, Katoomba 2780 PH 1300 SKYWAY | 02 4780 0200 www.scenicworld.com.au Walk on air, if you dare! The adventure of a lifetime is just two hours from Sydney! spring 2009 www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au 23
Summer 2009 - 10