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Catalina Park


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#1 gazza

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:50 PM

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The reason they called it Catalina Park ....

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They had a PBY parked on the pond

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Many visitors and local people have fond memories of the flying boat at Catalina Park, a natural amphitheatre to the west of Katoomba. Although officially named Frank Walford Park, it has more recently been called by its earlier name The Gully. In the mid-1940’s this area of bush, swamps and springs was largely undeveloped and home to a small settlement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

The land was owned by Horace (Horrie) Gates, owner of the Homesdale Guest House with its Wentworth Cabaret nightspot. In 1946, he felt that a new attraction was needed to bring tourists back to the Blue Mountains after peace was declared. Accordingly he dammed Katoomba falls creek to form an ornamental lake where he constructed an amusement park offering ‘every facility for fun and food’.

The park was an instant success and in 1948, the shell of a Consolidated Catalina PBY-5 flying boat was added to the attractions, which included speedboat rides, tearooms, miniature train, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, swimming pool and a Giggle House showing Charlie Chaplin films. Although many people believed the plane had flown there, it had in fact been dismantled and brought to Katoomba by truck, where it was re-assembled and anchored to a concrete block in the middle of the lake.

Up to thirty passengers paid two shillings to be taken out to the flying boat by punt where in the dark, stuffy interior, they viewed film of a flight over the Sydney area, heard the story of the Catalina and tried out the controls. While the film was showing, an assistant would stand on the wing rocking the plane to simulate flight while the speedboat would circle the lake providing waves and engine noise. Fun seekers emerged from this sensory experience dizzy and gasping for air, many too ill to enjoy further amusements.

For many years the lake operated as Katoomba’s swimming pool and provided a fireworks display after the New Year’s Eve street parade. However as the town’s population increased, it became run down, its reputation unsavoury and its water polluted.

Council purchased the land in 1952 with the purpose of turning the area into a public park and treated water swimming pool. In 1954 the Catalina aircraft, showing signs of age and wear, was pulled up onto the bank and left to the ravages of weather and souvenir hunters, until in 1958 it was sold to Sheffield Welding & Engineering, Auburn NSW, where it was dismantled and cut up for scrap.

In 1957 the Gully Residents were evicted to make way for the Catalina racing car circuit that was completed in 1961. A new Olympic Pool was opened adjacent to the original swimming pool in 1972. In 2003, the Katoomba Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre opened on the site where a new generation of fun seekers relax in the heated spa in place of the murky water and tadpoles. In 2005, the Gully was declared an Aboriginal Place.

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#2 oldslot

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:24 PM

here's a few more some from my old slides and some of jane's crash
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Edited by oldslot, 20 March 2011 - 10:25 PM.


#3 gazza

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 03:41 AM

Great photo's Viv

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#4 Vinno

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:46 AM

Should do a day trip up there some time and walk around the track.

#5 oldslot

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

forgot this one
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#6 gazza

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 05:07 PM

Viv you need to put more coins in the imageshack machine to keep the pictures going

Just as well i have no problems pinching photos .....

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#7 slots

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM

Hey Viv, what did you do to upset imageshack??????????


Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.
Stu

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#8 gazza

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

View Postslots, on 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.
12th
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#9 teamredracing

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 07:53 PM

Onya Vince looks like you got yourself a date :o :blink: :lol:
I dont remember the road racing side of it . Only remember the Rally cross they use to show on the telly. Wonder what Jane was thinking after that. Doesn't look like to many scatchs on him. Maybe a few skiddies else where I bet :D

Edited by teamredracing, 21 March 2011 - 07:58 PM.

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#10 Bulsara

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

I have competed at Catalina twice in car club events, I will try to find the pics. Got a class win trophy somewhere. Believe it or not I raced a 1978 Holden Gemini Panelvan. It was basically a CDT Gemini in a panelvan body. It was mighty quick. Was also my daily driver. Miss that car.
Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

My poor Krell!

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#11 oldslot

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:18 PM

View Postslots, on 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Hey Viv, what did you do to upset imageshack??????????
bucketdifino


Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.


#12 KarKraft

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 08:55 PM

View Postteamredracing, on 21 March 2011 - 07:53 PM, said:

Only remember the Rally cross they use to show on the telly.

Would that have included Evan Green in an Austin 1800?

If so, I remember some of that!

#13 gazza

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 02:59 AM


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#14 slots

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 04:44 PM

View Postgazza, on 21 March 2011 - 07:24 PM, said:

View Postslots, on 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.
12th

12th of March would be great.............if we could time travel :blink: . I say 10th of April which is a Sunday.
Stu

Old racers race harder

#15 gazza

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 06:42 PM

View Postslots, on 22 March 2011 - 04:44 PM, said:

View Postgazza, on 21 March 2011 - 07:24 PM, said:

View Postslots, on 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.
12th

12th of March would be great.............if we could time travel :blink: . I say 10th of April which is a Sunday.






no good for me ..... i'm doing my hair
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#16 Mohawkk

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:26 PM

View Postgazza, on 22 March 2011 - 06:42 PM, said:


no good for me ..... i'm doing my hair


doing your hair on a sunday? must be after church
Love,
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#17 Vinno

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:59 PM

View Postgazza, on 22 March 2011 - 06:42 PM, said:

View Postslots, on 22 March 2011 - 04:44 PM, said:

View Postgazza, on 21 March 2011 - 07:24 PM, said:

View Postslots, on 21 March 2011 - 06:55 PM, said:

Vince, I'll join you on that walk. Name a date.
12th

12th of March would be great.............if we could time travel :blink: . I say 10th of April which is a Sunday.







no good for me ..... i'm doing my hair

Sunday is Mountain bike riding day. Besides Stu, the misses wouldn't let you come.

#18 KarKraft

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:23 PM

Yesterday, on Sunday fair,
I walked a track that wasn’t there
It wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish it’d go away

#19 gazza

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 03:15 AM

View PostVinno, on 22 March 2011 - 07:59 PM, said:

Sunday is Mountain bike riding day.
what better place to go riding than on the old track .... don't forget to take pictures
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#20 Bulsara

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:51 PM

View PostBulsara, on 21 March 2011 - 08:04 PM, said:

I have competed at Catalina twice in car club events, I will try to find the pics. Got a class win trophy somewhere. Believe it or not I raced a 1978 Holden Gemini Panelvan. It was basically a CDT Gemini in a panelvan body. It was mighty quick. Was also my daily driver. Miss that car.
Found the trophy!!! Might not seem like much but it is something I will always be proud of.

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ps. Also got trophies for Amaroo, Silverdale and Oran Park. She was a quick little beast.

Edited by Bulsara, 23 March 2011 - 07:53 PM.

Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

My poor Krell!

After a million years of shining sanity...
they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them.





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