IN May one of the most important events in our nation’s history will be celebrated when a cast of hundreds, maybe even more, will be involved in the bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains.
All along the route followed in 1813 by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson residents, visitors, historical societies and local government bodies will be involved in celebrations that have been many months in the planning.
It’s planned to be an extravaganza befitting such an important walk on the wild side.
Last weekend a number of key players interrupted their Christmas plans for something of a dress rehearsal in the Hartley Valley.
The Hartley Saddlery at Adam’s Shed was the focal point where descendants of Gregory Blaxland and William Charles Wentworth got together with assorted packsaddlers, a team of horses and one dog.
(The organisers are still trying to locate descendants of William Lawson in time for the big event.)
One of the Blaxland descendants made the long trip from Tasmania for the occasion.
The players in the various roles were involved in a photo shoot to prepare promotional material as the re-enactment gets closer.
The heatwave conditions provided a reminder of just what the explorers would have encountered in the mountains before their late autumn arrival at the end of their trek westward at Mt York, or Mt Blaxland or wherever it may have been — a place in history which is still hotly debated.
The official launch of the bicentenary program will take place in February.
Lithgow Council is actively involved in the planning and its committee is headed by now retired former mayor Neville Castle.