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Blue Mountains Tourist : Spring 2008
A Blue Mountains Pilgrimage Revisiting the Age of Steam Pilgrims dance and sing at Scenic World T he recent World Youth Day event saw thousands of pilgrims range far and wide from Sydney – and it may be years before all the benefits brought by the event are realised. Scenic World alone played host to more than 12,000 World Youth Day pilgrims from all over the world, most of them on package tours. Other venues and attractions in the Blue Mountains were also inundated. The pilgrims included a small group of high ranking officials from The Vatican and the Archdiocese of Madrid. They proved a bonanza for all kinds of businesses, including souvenir shops. As one proprietor said later: “On our biggest day, the shelves in the shop were as empty as Target’s after a sale!” The pilgrims brought with them colour and spirit, and took away memories and pictures that should result in many more visitors to the Blue Mountains in future years. World Youth Day – it actually spilled over a couple of weeks – was the largest event Australia has ever hosted. A new attraction is coming to Scenic World this Spring... It’s the Scenic World Steam Clock and it has been designed as a reminder of the history of the site on which the attraction now stands. The site was home to a coal and shale mining operation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – in the days of steam power. The association with steam is represented in the clock by real steam engines – models of those which winched coal skips up and down the incline from the mine. A model skip will be winched to the top of the clock every 10 minutes. to keep the clock running. Steam whistles will mark the quarter, half, three-quarter and hour, with successive four bar parts from ‘Waltzing Matilda, with the hourly whistle going for a full 16 bars. A bull whistle will announce the actual number of hours. The whistles have to be kept warm to remain in tune, so a trickle of steam will be constantly passed through them. At the top of the clock is a globe showing the relative positions of the world’s largest cities. illuminated. every 24 hours and will be positioned so that approximate day and night times will be correct. The Scenic World Steam Clock is being built by Ray Saunders of Landmark International in Vancouver, Canada. Vatican officials on the Scenic Railway 18 www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au It is scheduled for installation during October. spring 2008 Those on the ‘dark side’ will be The globe will rotate once The skip then descends