Monday, December 10, 2007

Wilson Park ... Contour Map of Australia

The contour map construction is surrounded by water which is fed by way of channels from a waterfall named Thompson Falls.

The Map of Australia is carved out of a natural rock outcrop and concrete is used to form the contours.
Although dating from 1932 it is remarkably well preserved but it is now in need of restoration work.

Work needed now includes weed and silt removal and re-painting of the geographical contours.

The silting problem, which needs attention is particularly bad in the top pond which feeds into the map area.

There are some very beautiful old deciduous trees planted in the park, one of which has a plaque in memory of a Lawson citizen who died in World War Two.

This very rare and unusual contour map sculpture is the only one of its kind in Australia and although it may now be considered un-fashionable because of it's unnatural appearance it deserves to be protected and preserved for future generations.
Kids absolutely love it!!

Let's celebrate the working class people of Lawson who created this work of art by helping in the restoration.

Nepean Times 21 May 1932

The concrete contour map of Australia in Wilson Park Lawson was suggested to the Shire President by Mr John Garlick, formerly civil commissioner and chairman of Main Roads Board.

The map was set out and supervised by Shire Engineer Mr. B A Hoffernan and Mr. R Medcalf and expert concrete worker employed by BMS carried out the work. Professor J Mc Donald Holmes, department of Geography assisted with the contour surface.

It is 32ft X 24 ft. Scale of surface 75miles to 1 foot. One inch on the map= 6 1/2 actual miles. the model being 1:400,000 of the actual size.
All capital cities, State boundaries and rivers are correctly shown, and mountain ranges, which is 3 inches to 1000 feet.
Regulation colours for the school atlases- green sea level, grey 500 feet, chrome 1000 feet, red 2000 feet, brown 3000 feet, light red 4000 feet, white 5000 feet and over.

The map is surrounded by clear running water, kids sail boats in it from a waterfall above the park.
An official inspection was made by Shire Councillors, school children and pubic.

Professor Holmes was present and said it was of great educational value, and only one of its kind in Australia, complemented Shire Engineer on his fine work

Find Wilson Park

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Saturday, December 8, 2007


Contour map of Australia Wilson Park Lawson (1932)
Children from Lawson Public School and Stratford School For Girls were at the opening performed by Mr. Percy Wilson, shire president B.M.S.C.

Some residents of Lawson are planning to restore this unique feature in 2008 in conjunction with the Mid Mountains Historical Society and hopefully the Blue Mountains City Council.

The last time the map was restored took place in 1986, the work was carried out by The Lawson Chamber of Commerce and the local Bushfire Brigade.
In an article in the Echo local newspaper Doctor Keith King was quoted as saying. We would like to see this unique map fully restored, not only for its historical importance but as another tourist attraction for the district.

The photograph above was originally supplied by Doctor King and was taken at the opening ceremony in 1932 which was performed by Mr Percy Wilson, president of Blue Mountains Shire Council, shown with his wife on the bridge.

Dr. King goes on to say that... The builder of this wonderful contour map was one of the Higgison brothers ( Frank) who lived at 35 Allen Street Lawson. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese in Java in 1942 and died as a result of cruelty on the Borneo Sandakan death march in 1943.