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Oxley's Hill Hillclimb - Bowral NSW


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#1 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 22:02

To add to the NSW Southern Highlands body of Motorsport knowledge...the mighty Oxley's Hill Hillclimb - Bowral NSW is added.

On the following site which gives tribute to Jack Myers there is a Record Certificate for FTD at Oxley Hill Climb on [edit: 1st December 1959 (nearly a full year later to issue the certificate? transcription error? or was it at the Printers all that time!].

http://aussieroadracing.homestead.com/Jack-Myers-P-3.html

Hope this helps.


good to see Jacks time of 62.75 seconds over 1426 yards set on 19th October 1958 in the WM Special!

What a sight and sound that must have been.

Does anyone know anyone associated with the Berrima District Automobile Club?

On Jack's certificate, G Moore was Pres, Bert Stokes (spl) was Secretary etc....I was also told that Eric Worner may know things related to this subject.

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 15 October 2011 - 23:01.


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#2 GMACKIE

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 22:17

Perhaps I should have a word with Eric Worner, and Lance Hill for a start. There are probably more around here who competed at/were involved in Oxley's Hill. The Berrima District Automobile Club had some enthusiastic and active members back then.

If it is worth a visit to The Highlands, I may be able to organise a meeting, so that you can get some information 'first hand', Mick.

Cheers, Greg

#3 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 22:30

Perhaps I should have a word with Eric Worner, and Lance Hill for a start. There are probably more around here who competed at/were involved in Oxley's Hill. The Berrima District Automobile Club had some enthusiastic and active members back then.

If it is worth a visit to The Highlands, I may be able to organise a meeting, so that you can get some information 'first hand', Mick.

Cheers, Greg


Thanks Greg, I don't need an excuse to visit the Highlands....love exploring that part of the world as you are probably aware.

However, my presence is not crucial for you to glean some more info from the lads (not saying I wouldn't like to meet them though) or even better, get one of them/both of them to post their knowledge on TNF :up: Cheers, Mick

#4 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 03:28

Fascinating picture of Oxley's Hill Rd during a Hillclimb Event (locallly sourced, copyright no issue). dirt road, so any locals recall when it became tar seal?

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The clothes worn suggest late 60s/early 70s? and the overalls worn by the gent sitting on the fence post could mean he is an Official or pit crew spectator? Photographer on tuther side of road?

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Hmmm this is the hard part, when I spotted that curved cowling I immediately thought "Dak Dak" and the twin "boxes" high up could be aircleaners on top of a flat four with twin carbs?? twin Motorcycle engines? or two massive seperate-jacketed cylinders??

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#5 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:30

My vague suspicion that this was a very special picture has been confirmed...photo shows Jack Myers in his amazing Cooper, probably in 1959, which was powered by a supercharged pair of 650 Triumph motorcycle engines.

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 30 July 2012 - 09:31.


#6 GMACKIE

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:41

How about we have a chat with Lance and Eric one day, Mick? They most probably were there that day.

#7 275 GTB-4

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:47

How about we have a chat with Lance and Eric one day, Mick? They most probably were there that day.


Thanks Greg...would look forward to and enjoy that very much, Cheers Mick

#8 DanTra2858

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 21:28

Could some one please show on a map where the Hill Climb was please. :confused:

#9 GMACKIE

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 22:09

Could some one please show on a map where the Hill Climb was please. :confused:

It's still there....Oxleys Hill Road, Bowral, NSW. You can drive up anytime [at the speed lmit, of course]. :rolleyes:


#10 275 GTB-4

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 00:34

Could some one please show on a map where the Hill Climb was please. :confused:


I intend to take some shots of the hill as it is today...when I rustle up enough courage :)

#11 johnny yuma

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:15


Perhaps the attractive young Lorraine Hill,sister of Lance,competed there in her Doretti,circa 1961 ?

#12 GMACKIE

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:24

Certainly did....as did Lance, in the TC. Lance still has the TC.

#13 plannerpower

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:28

The house in the background of the photo looks rather like this one;

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I have added the co-ordinates for those who like playing with Google Earth.

It is just after the start.If it is the location, this is how it looks today;

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Edited by plannerpower, 31 July 2012 - 05:43.


#14 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:42

It's still there....Oxleys Hill Road, Bowral, NSW. You can drive up anytime [at the speed lmit, of course]. :rolleyes:


I am well aware that it is Oxleys Hill Road but what I should of asked is what part of the road was the Hill Climb & no "the road type answers please" could some one do a Google Earth please. :wave:

#15 plannerpower

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:57

A tus ordenes, mi senor obispo.
:)

Here is my best guess;

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I will certainly not be offended if others who knew the venue well alter this.

:)

Edited by plannerpower, 31 July 2012 - 06:03.


#16 johnny yuma

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:22

A tus ordenes, mi senor obispo.
:)

Here is my best guess;

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I will certainly not be offended if others who knew the venue well alter this.

:)

Fascinating bit of Auto Archeology,appears it was an unsealed road then,distance about 1300 metres and FTD of 62 seconds says average speed under 80 km/h.
In order to have 1300km of track length (unless Google Maps scale is out to boogery) the course must have run from the a Reserve near the bridge over Mittagong Creek,
or around a left-hander hairpin from a dead-end side road(Parry Drive today) on the left as you head up the climb.

Edited by johnny yuma, 31 July 2012 - 09:25.


#17 GMACKIE

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:43

Fairly sure it started close to the creek. When I get back next week, I'll dig up some more info......be in a bit more searching, Mick?

#18 plannerpower

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:58

TomTom tells me that it is 850 metres between the two points; I don't know the accuracy/precision of that result.

I had a feeling that I had placed the start a little too far west; that may account for some of the discrepancy. I think that Greg is correct in saying that the start was closer to the bridge.

Constructed roads tend to straighten over the years; original gravel roads tended to wander-around a bit within the normal 20 metre-wide reserve. There seems to be a left-hander in the photo foreground that is not there today.

If the original distance had been measured with a surveyor's wheel along the formed gravel centreline it might have been rather longer than the present along-the-centreline length.

#19 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:54

With the interest in these Australian hillclimb venues ie Huntley and this climb at Oxley and there where a few other climbs in NSW such as Foleys, Silverdale, Tamworth, Bumble Hill!, South Bowenfuls/Fourty Bends probably also called Lithgow?, Nowra and Annangrove, Bathurst and Newcastle to name a few used in the 1950's and early 60's
My question is which hillclimb venue is this picture of the XK120 taken I do not believe it is a Qld SA WA or Victorian venue.
my guess is the picture was taken late 1950's or early 60's
Any thoughts?
terry

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Terry you can rule out Huntley, Nowra, Forty Bends, Fountindale, Newcastle, Douglas Pass, Bathurst as it appears today & Silverdale.

The start appears to be to the left of the picture with a long straight into a continuing right hand corner which the 120 is still taking, I know of no Hill like this in the late 1950/60 operating in NSW from 1959 onwards.

All the cars in the picture appear to early 1950,s & not one Holden to be seen??????

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#20 DanTra2858

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 23:55

With the interest in these Australian hillclimb venues ie Huntley and this climb at Oxley and there where a few other climbs in NSW such as Foleys, Silverdale, Tamworth, Bumble Hill!, South Bowenfuls/Fourty Bends probably also called Lithgow?, Nowra and Annangrove, Bathurst and Newcastle to name a few used in the 1950's and early 60's
My question is which hillclimb venue is this picture of the XK120 taken I do not believe it is a Qld SA WA or Victorian venue.
my guess is the picture was taken late 1950's or early 60's
Any thoughts?
terry

Posted Image


Terry you can rule out Huntley, Nowra, Forty Bends, Fountindale, Newcastle, Douglas Pass, Bathurst as it appears today & Silverdale.

The start appears to be to the left of the picture with a long straight into a continuing right hand corner which the 120 is still taking, I know of no Hill like this in the late 1950/60 operating in NSW from 1959 onwards.

All the cars in the picture appear to early 1950,s & not one Holden to be seen??????

#21 plannerpower

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:10

Back to Oxleys Hill.

The distance from the bridge to the top of the hill is given, again by TomTom, as 1.3km; the course distance on the certificate is 1426 yards (1300 metres). If we assume that the distance "as the car drives" was a little longer in earlier years, that again supports Greg's view that the start was near the bridge.

This is the view from the bridge;

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Looks like a "natural" start area with space, even today, for a paddock area.

This is the top of the hill today;

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It's reasonable to assume that the finish was just before the top and that an area at the top was used for holding cars.

I think, from the cadastre & the fence line, that the sealed area seen on the right was the original road and that the corner was "eased" into the bank when the present road was built.

Searching turned-up this postcard (undated but possibly ca. 1950) of Oxleys Hill;

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Compare it with this modern view from the top of the hill;

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I think the postcard photo was taken from a point near the left-hand bend in the above photo; about here;

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A good illustration of how the road has changed over the years; the old road would have "hugged the contour" on the right where the telephone pole is until substantial filling of the gully allowed the corner to be straightened.

I think the brick-walled structure on the left in the hilltop photo is part of a monument/memorial of some kind; I can't find any association of the explorer Mr Surveyor Oxley with this locality but there may be some connection.

It would be nice to think that it commemorates the hillclimb!

Edited by plannerpower, 01 August 2012 - 06:47.


#22 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:00


Nice work plannerpower...hey never thought I'd see "cadastre" in an autosport forum ! I would tend to think Oxley does refer to Surveyor
Oxley,must investigate.Near Mittagong is Mt Jellore ,which is a similar height to Oxley and was used by Surveyor Thomas Mitchell in the early stages of
his 1831-32 Trig (and Topo.) Survey of the Nineteen Counties. Surveyors had the luxury of milling about on hilltops taking obs for hours!

#23 plannerpower

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:41

... never thought I'd see "cadastre" in an autosport forum !

"Stadia" & "Tellurometer", although both "historic", might be a bit more difficult to work-in, though! :)

Perhaps it's not co-incidental that Kirkham Road intersects Oxleys Hill Road at the Bowral end; Kirkham (named for his birthplace, Kirkham Abbey) was Oxley's estate at Camden.

A bit more research shows that Oxley ran cattle in the Bowral area from 1823; that is probably the connection.

The structure at the top of the hill seems to be a lookout; there is a sign there which may refer to Oxley.

Perhaps a PS could be added; "By the way, this was the finish of the old hillclimb". :)



#24 johnny yuma

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:07

To further growing knowledge,a 2005 cyclists hillclimb lists Oxley Road,Bowral,from the bridge over a small stream to the top of the hill near a property called Panorama,a distance or 1.27km(spot on) with
a rise in elevation of 134 metres,from 665m at the bridge to 799m at the crest.8 minutes on a pushie
for a fit cyclist...he even posts how many kilojoules he burnt !

To confuse us,Mt Oxley Hillclimb at Tamworth is named after our esteemed Surveyor/hillclimber...the lad got around ! He also had 4 kids to 3 different women (2 to Mrs Oxley) Bit of a lad.

Edited by johnny yuma, 01 August 2012 - 07:08.


#25 275 GTB-4

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:37

Fairly sure it started close to the creek. When I get back next week, I'll dig up some more info......be in a bit more searching, Mick?


Ummmmmm "Some men see things as they are, and say 'Why?' -- I dream of things that never were, and say, 'Why not?'" ;) Yepperooney!

#26 275 GTB-4

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:50

I think the brick-walled structure on the left in the hilltop photo is part of a monument/memorial of some kind; I can't find any association of the explorer Mr Surveyor Oxley with this locality but there may be some connection.

It would be nice to think that it commemorates the hillclimb!


Sorry...its mostly about Gundungarra Aboriginal Land information... :)

#27 plannerpower

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:49

Not particularly relevant to this discussion but present-day Bowral is located on Oxley's 1823 2400-acre grant Weston (perhaps a mistake for Westow, a Yorkshire town near his birthplace at Kirkham Abbey).

That is clearly the origin of the name Oxleys Hill.

#28 275 GTB-4

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:56

Not particularly relevant to this discussion but present-day Bowral is located on Oxley's 1823 2400-acre grant Weston (perhaps a mistake for Westow, a Yorkshire town near his birthplace at Kirkham Abbey).

That is clearly the origin of the name Oxleys Hill.


and not too much of the 2400 acres grant remain in one piece :|

#29 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 13:43

...but it all has an air of "I'm on this 2400 acres and you're not!" about it...

Not like down-to-earth Mittagong.

#30 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 00:29

Bowral Hillclimb...today

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Revs rising...clutch engages...(previously a causeway, now a low bridge)

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Road realigned to a sweeping right hander and cuts out right-left kink where Jack Myers is pictured above...

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Bloody agitators...dumping there leftovers by the side of the road...grrrrrr :lol:

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Over the top...

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Possible assemble on the right and wait to go back down the hill....

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Edited by 275 GTB-4, 03 August 2012 - 01:01.


#31 275 GTB-4

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:09

now...anyone know if the beaut little windy incline to the lookout above Lake Alexandra reserve in Mittagong was ever officially used as a climb?? )

(I'm talking about the continuation of Victoria Street...Katoomba Lane??

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 03 August 2012 - 04:15.


#32 plannerpower

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:53

Very interesting; today’s view has little resemblance to the view that Jack Myers would have had as he made his way up the hill. The road surface is one major difference of course but the corners are also quite different.

Today’s road-building techniques include substantial cutting, filling and drainage; this was not done in early roads where horses and carriages simply followed the natural “flow” of the topography.

(Forest roads still do; that is why they are so satisfying to drive on).

The constructed road often pre-dated the laying-out of the cadastre (the boundary lines of land subdivision) so the original cadastre is angular as the surveyor followed the road alignment.

Motor cars brought-about a demand for less-winding roads; as cars became faster the demand for “easing” of corners grew rapidly. Sometimes two or more stages of “easing” can be seen to have been done over a long period. This easing is apparent on maps as the original (commonly 20-metre-wide) road reserve is no longer parallel-sided.

The corner in the Jack Myers photo has clearly been changed over the years; he is negotiating an S-bend that is now just a right-hander. Here is a “guesstimate” of how this happened;

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The house visible in the photo is shown and the irregularity of the road boundaries indicates that much re-alignment has taken place.

There is another interesting example near the top, at the point from which the postcard photo was taken.

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I have “ghosted” the airphoto in behind the cadastre; the present road and the lookout/monument at the top can be seen.

Given the topography (the bank would only have been cut away when the present road was built) there was probably not much "spare" road at the top for parking of cars; I would guess that, possibly, private land or just an extension of the road after the finish would have been used.

The original 20-metre road reserve can be seen; the present road departs from the reserve in the plan centre, probably because the Council built the road under a “Permit to Enter” and never got around to finalising the new boundaries (there are myriad examples of this).

A good deal of fill would have been required to ease this and other corners outwards along the gully; this would have come from banks such as the one at the top where the corner has been eased into the hillside.

There is evidence of the old road at this point in the final photo of my post, where the power/’phone pole can be seen.

The hill is an easy cruise for today’s Bowral Bulldozers; it would have been a considerably different story for Myers and others who fought their way up.

Tough men!

Edited by plannerpower, 03 August 2012 - 02:56.


#33 johnny yuma

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 02:15

Our wide road reserves are a real luxury--driving around in "first world" countries ...UK,Spain,Ireland etc
there are often no road shoulders,and the stone walls and hedges are an outstretched arm away ! And
often with 60km/h limit. Hmmmm. All pre motor car of course.I've heard it said we generally ran 1 chain
(66 feet/20 metre) wide road reserves in our pre-motorcar days to allow a bullock team to turn around without backing ,filling and a lot of swearing ! A lot of rural roads were 2 or 3 chain wide, doubling as Travelling Stock Routes.

#34 terry mcgrath

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 13:47

I have found this pic of an XK120 at Oxley Hillclimb taken in 1955 date not known.
In 1956 there was an event at this same venue in march so it might have been a regular date?
Does anyone have a programme or list of entrants or the results for this event at Oxley or any event at Oxley Hillclimb?

The history of this car with a colour photo of it at the start line of this event with its important first owner at the wheel is included in our recent XK120 Book
Sample Pages at http://www.jtpublications.com.au/book/ Visit: www.jtpublications.com.au for full details.
The full racing histories of all XK120, 140 and 150's will be included
in Volume 2 which is the XK140 volume
terry

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Edited by terry mcgrath, 09 August 2012 - 13:53.


#35 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:14

Fabulous shot Terry and your info opens the debate even further date wise...the car looks to be near the top of its run by the elevation ...Cheers, Mick

PS does the shot in the book show the causeway AFTER the start??

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 11 August 2012 - 02:16.


#36 plannerpower

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:54

The car is almost certainly in the right-hand corner on the left side of the following photo before the top of the hill; that is the only corner that matches the topography;

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If that surmise is correct, the white blurred building in the background of the XK photo is "Wingecarribee" homestead which can be seen on the right in the above airphoto.

This is, very approximately, the same view today;

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#37 275 GTB-4

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:13

The car is almost certainly in the right-hand corner on the left side of the following photo before the top of the hill; that is the only corner that matches the topography;

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If that surmise is correct, the white blurred building in the background of the XK photo is "Wingecarribee" homestead which can be seen on the right in the above airphoto.

This is, very approximately, the same view today;

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Well done! very interesting...what a smart alex you are ;)

#38 plannerpower

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 21:20

Well, I don't know that I am so smart; I've been thinking about this.

The car is coming up the hill from the photographer's left; the photographer is standing on the right-hand (going up the hill) side of the road.

It's clear from the photo that he is standing on the bank or high side, looking across the road to the low side.

The airphoto in my previous post shows that the slope on the top half of the hill is downwards to the north, ie the bank or high side of the road is on the left-hand/south side.

To get the camera, the Jaguar and "Wingecarribee" in a line as in the photo the photographer would have to be standing on the left-hand/south side of the road; in that case the Jaguar would be approaching from the right side of the frame, not the left side.

If the building is not "Wingecarribee" the photo may have been taken further down the hill looking approximately south-east; banks on the right-hand side of the road can be seen in 275's photos of the lower part of the road.

There are a couple of candidates in this section;

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Very few of those houses would have been there at the date of the Jaguar photo. The contour interval in the above air photo is 10 metres so the slope in the Jaguar photo is present. It was grazing country then so there were not many trees; the present trees would have been established as the area was suburbanised in more-recent times.

It's possible that the blurred building in the Jaguar photo is the brickworks which is just out-of-shot on the right; that would have been the only building there in those days as the present intensive industrial development around the brickworks is later.

If that is so, the photo may have been taken at the "fork" where the cars went right; the camera would have been pointed approximately east.

Alternatively, it may have been taken at the right-hand bend just to the right-of-centre in the above air photo; it may have been a more-pronounced corner in those days.

That's the one I tend to favour but there's a great deal of guesswork. :)



#39 terry mcgrath

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:45

the other pic shows no discernable background features just a flat paddock and some fences but my guess it is at the start of the run.

Fabulous shot Terry and your info opens the debate even further date wise...the car looks to be near the top of its run by the elevation ...Cheers, Mick

PS does the shot in the book show the causeway AFTER the start??



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#40 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 00:36

the other pic shows no discernable background features just a flat paddock and some fences but my guess it is at the start of the run.


Thats probably before the creek then, on the Bowral town side...the terrain rises on tuther side :)

#41 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 00:42

That's the one I tend to favour but there's a great deal of guesswork. :)


PP there does not need to be guesswork here....contour maps don't generally change for 100s of years! (barring natural disasters or man made changes)...so, older survey maps etc can help here?

What I want to do next is hit the old maps and old street directories (when did they come into vogue?? I can remember them in 60s)....the Oxley's Hil Rd as a dirt road/hillclimb might then be revealed :cool:

#42 275 GTB-4

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:11

If that surmise is correct, the white blurred building in the background of the XK photo is "Wingecarribee" homestead which can be seen on the right in the above airphoto.

This is, very approximately, the same view today;


PP, Wingecarribee has a flat roof...so bldg maybe Dorset Farm (highly likely), Alderley Edge or even the old Dairy? :)

#43 plannerpower

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 04:48

You will note that I withdrew from my initial view that it was "Wingecarribee"; see post #38.

I thought Alderley Edge; it fits the direction but looks as if it's been substantially altered or a new house built in the suburbanisation of the area.

I think the white line acoss the photo is the farm lane that became Orchard Road; I can't pick-up the tall tree though, possibly gone.

#44 johnny yuma

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 23:10

There is evidence the curve at Orchard Road turnoff was tighter when the road was dirt,the driver of the jaguar is hugging the earth gutter and leaning over looking for an apex ,the background shows an elevated knoll-in fact a Grassy Knoll -on which the big house sits.Go on google maps/street view,and place yourself beside the sign just downhill from the Orchard Rd turnoff,in Oxley, saying"GROSS LOAD LIMIT 10 t" ,look in the background and there's the grassy knoll.

I rest my case, JFK was ....wait,no, wrong year.

#45 275 GTB-4

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:42

There is evidence the curve at Orchard Road turnoff was tighter when the road was dirt,the driver of the jaguar is hugging the earth gutter and leaning over looking for an apex ,the background shows an elevated knoll-in fact a Grassy Knoll -on which the big house sits.Go on google maps/street view,and place yourself beside the sign just downhill from the Orchard Rd turnoff,in Oxley, saying"GROSS LOAD LIMIT 10 t" ,look in the background and there's the grassy knoll.

I rest my case, JFK was ....wait,no, wrong year.


Close to the right year though....Hmmmm the aforementioned Lance is ensconced in a book suppository...maybe he holds the key to this mystery :)

#46 johnny yuma

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 00:27

Close to the right year though....Hmmmm the aforementioned Lance is ensconced in a book suppository...maybe he holds the key to this mystery :)

Dear God ,surely you don't mean a book suppository !!

#47 275 GTB-4

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 00:43

Dear God ,surely you don't mean a book suppository !!


Yes Sir, I most certainly do...I have been unable to use the word repository for over 20 years....ever since I heard that Italian Innuendo joke :blush:

#48 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:56

Well you just used it...

How about you try to avoid putting silly things like that in every post?

#49 GMACKIE

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:13

Yes Mick....didn't your Mum warn you not to put silly things like that in? :rolleyes:

#50 Catalina Park

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:30

Yes Sir, I most certainly do...I have been unable to use the word repository for over 20 years....ever since I heard that Italian Innuendo joke :blush:

That's not the one where he says to the Doctor, "for all they good they did me I might as well have stuck them up me arse"