Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fort Scratchley and Blackbutt Reserve

Well here we were at the Famous Fort Scratchley in Newcastle, on a ripper of a day. This photo was taken by Auntie Jodi with her beaut camera, and as you can see it's of the Newcastle harbor.

Here are the kiddies hanging out on a '80 POUNDER' cannon outside the Fort, Now Fort Scratchley was built in 1882 and is situated on a strategic part of the south-eastern headland at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. Set high on a hilltop overlooking the ocean and harbour, Fort Scratchley was designed with such a low profile that it is almost oblivious to any threat from the seaward side.

Hear are the kiddies walking past one of the two big guns in the fort, a 6" MK VII GUN which was the main armament in Fort Scratchley from 1911 till now. Now here's a bit of history for ya, on the 8th of June 1942, at 0217 hours (army talk) The I-21 surfaced in Stockton Bight under the cover of darkness, now the I-21 was a B1 Class Japanese submarine and was the most successful fighting submarine during the Second World War.

The Girls!

Now like I said under the cover of darkness, it opened fire with it's deck gun. For sixteen minutes I-21 shelled Newcastle's Industrial and commercial area's as well as Fort Scratchley. Commander Matsomuro's prime targets were the state Dockyards and BHP Steelworks.

The Boys!

From official Japanese records, around 34 rounds were fired by the sub. Surprisingly only three shell's exploded and there were no serious injuries. I-21 began firing from an area behind Nobbys which was a blind spot to the gunners at Fort Scratchley.

As you can see from this photo how easy it would of been, to hind hay. Well as the 6 inch guns were firing at i-21 by Captain Watson, a ship by the name of the BIRUBI steamed into the port at full speed to find refuge in the dockyard. Regrettably black smoke billowing from the ships funnel obscured the submarine, which used the cover to zig-zag out to deeper water and submerged.

Cool story hay and totally true mate and just to think, as those shells were hitting Newcastle my Mum was about nine or ten years old. She was with her family hiding in their Cookshill house, hoping nothing would go wrong. Now just imagine if one of those shells landed on her little head, well for starters I wouldn't be writing this blog hay! (freaky)

The young fellas again.

The little sheilahs on another '80 POUNDER'.


As we were leaving an old ships anchor caught the kiddies eye's, and so yet another photo opportunity came up.

So after leaving the Fort we drove over to the other side of Newcastle to a little place called Blackbutt Reserve, which I used to go and see when I was just a little nipper. Blackbutt provides nature trails, wildlife exhibits, children’s playgrounds and recreational facilities. It is the perfect place for sinking a couple during a relaxing family picnic or let the kiddies explore the wonders of nature.

Talking about the kiddies..... here we are about to walk along a walkway, that gives ya a chance to look down on all the different animals the the reserve has to offer.

And here are Sarah and Sophie having a gander at some poor sod of a Kangaroo. I bet ya he dreams of being out in the nature of the wild, with all his wild kangaroo friends. Come to think of it I saw heaps of his friends all along the side of the road, and a few hanging from the side of a roo shooters ute. So given the chance to compare his pampered little life with.... say Skippy, I think he might change his mind real quick!

This walkway is a little ripper mate, you get the great chance to have a squizz at all the wildlife, without them even knowing your their..... like they really care hay.

Then we made it to the Koala area, now this is a bloody beauty. The little ferry buggers look like they are really happy, just hanging out in the trees with the kiddie hanging onto ya back. And isn't that just the easiest way to look after the little nevilles. Now stay with me on this one... Think about it for awhile, you don't even have to keep an eye on the little bugger because as Mum knows. If junior decides to go walkabout and lets go of mum's back as shes up a tree, well it's good night the fox hay! I can hear the little one now 'aaaaahhhhhhh' THUD!!!

Talk about things that go thud in the night, here are Sophie and Sarah having a gander at a wombat.

G'Day Fatso!

Here's a photo of an old man Emu, or as they call them in the bush A big chook! Photo by Jacko.

And here are the kiddies having a chat with an old man Emu, their cute little furry things hay. And the Emu isn't that bad either!

Another big chook!

Here's a beaut photo of a kanga by the little fella himself Nicko.

'Okay,Okay I'll start the meeting, George put that down, you do know wh
ere it's been'... 'Now I don't know who's been pooping down by the north fence again, but just cut it out okay' (laughter behind him ha,ha) 'hay, if I find out who it is i'll have a chat to my Chinese friends' (quietness)... 'yeah not so funny now is it'!


Here's a screamer for ya, a bush turkey by the name of Sarah being chased by a turkey called Sarah! But that was the end of our walkabout with the Troon's around Blackbutt Reserve, and didn't we have a beaut time. And when they travel across to Perth in the years to come, we might be able to return the favor.

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