Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Annual Westcoast Camp - Denniston Incline part one

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
oldbearnews editorWell - it was this time of the year again were we take a small group of willing slaves - oops SCOUTS on our annual Westcoast camp. This years trip was to Denniston and based around early coal extraction and the world famous Denniston Incline. We based ourselves in a lovely warm Hall right next to Carters beach. It was very spacious and ended up quite a warm place. Here you can see the arrangement of HALF the hall. One patrol of 4 at the far end - then the dining area - and then the other patrol!
Leaders got to bunk down-wind from me (hehehe in vain hope that snoring noises would not carry . . . . )

Urm - you see - my urm - other partner - ahem, *cough* whom I have a easy going urm - well - it's listed as a complicated relationship on FB - urm - sighs - okay -- HIS wife and son came and dropped him off late - as he finished work well after we had left and as USUAL when they go camping and meet up, they share breakfast together - and best of all - it's a healthy variety - Weetbix - a good kiwi breakfast. Here Vinnie can be seeing hosting his friend!!

First stop was the Coal town museum in Westport. The kids got given a sheet with questions and had to work out the answers by going round and looking at the various models and the DVD which was continuously being played etc. Here you can see a recreation of the acute angle of the Denniston Incline. Pretty steep huh??? Imagine - for many years this was your only means of transport up or down the hill (on the Denniston Plateau) and e v e r y t h i n g came up or down that way - piano included!!
The Denniston Incline was the subject of 2 major books (the Denniston Rose & Dancing in the Wilderness) and while both are fictional - they both very aptly describe the early life up on the Hill!! A good read to be sure!

From the Museum we then carted our intrepid scouts to the Waimangaroa Cemetery. Interesting fact is that the coal miners up on the Hill could not bury their dead up there as there is no soil - just rock hard granite - so they had to cart their dead down via the Dennistion Incline and bury them down here. Sad part was, the cemetery is close to the beach and funerals could only be held during low tide or the coffins would have floated of . . . . . - not to mention the fact the almost all days Denniston was shrouded in mist - so the woman folk who stayed up on the Hill could not SEE the funeral take place.

Here is the link to the Museum


weird the www.coaltown.co.nz link is not working - ah well this one will give you a good idea about the museum - enjoy

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Sir G. H. said...

Where is the other side of the hall?

oldbear's trip said...

lol - well - you may have to use your imagination!

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