September 27, 2021

Syd’s Escape Diary 12.01.2009

A much cooler night last night which made sleeping much easier.

Today was also a more reasonable temperature of around 26C and many of the unit have been offsite – Luke to the movies, Jess and Charlotte to Rottnest Island, James surfing, while Joe, Kieron and Ian went go karting.

Unfortunately Helen has been in First Aid for the past couple of days as a bite on her foot got infected but the swelling has gone down and she’s been hopping round the site on her crutches today and should be in tomorrow’s newspaper.

All still having a great time. This evening the contingent have been practising their English haka for the closing ceremony while Martin plus Zoe from Alverton were interviewed for the official DVD.

Harry’s Harbinger Volume 4


Syd’s Escape Diary 11.01.2009

The hottest day of the trip so far with temperatures close to 40C for Visitors Day at Fairbridge.

Also the 1st day of offsite activities – Ross and Alex went karting, Jasmine to Adventure World, Luke surfing, James to Fremantle, Martin to the movies and Moose to the pool while the others either caught the shuttle bus to nearby Mandurah, enjoyed the onsite activities including water slides, wood turning, jelly wrestling, craft, camel rides or simply staying out of the red hot sun.

Harry’s Harbinger Volume 3


Harry’s Harbinger Volume 2


Harry’s Harbinger Volume 1

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Here’s a copy of the first edition of the camp newsletter, Harry’s Harbinger:


Syd’s Escape Diary 08.01.2009

Syd explored Northcliffe in the morning – a town settled in 1924 by UK ex-servicemen promised a new life in paradise after the First World War.

The reality was somewhat different as they had to clear forest to make space for the dairy farms that would provide them with a living.

The town has only a couple of shops – 1 sold everything from milk to CDs, motor spares to magazines while the other opened for 1 morning and 2 afternoons a week.

We then drove a couple of hours North, again barely seeing another car and arrived at Sun, Sand & Fun in Bussleton where we met up with several of the Alverton Explorers plus 3 UK service leaders.

The site was great and right next to the beach and clear blue Indian Ocean – the only downside the huge amount of flies around the site.

As it was the last night for all expeditions before returning to Fairbridge tomorrow we were treated to a barbecue by the beach and Beach Bums Ball.

Syd’s Escape Diary 07.01.2009

Syd spent the morning in Margaret River buying a few bits for the contingent HQ back at Fairbridge – including some British sweets (or lollies as they call them here) Black Jacks and Fruit Salads ready for Sunday’s visitors day.

We then drove 2 hours through forests, seeing no more than 20 cars in the 2 hours it took to arrive at Northcliffe.

We met up with Jess and the Bikers expedition shortly after arriving and they had just completed a 40km ride.

The campsite was on the edge of town and semi wild kangaroos and alpacas roam the site.

A little later Alex and Martin arrived with their 4 x 4 groups – as with all of the others Syd has seen all 3 said they were really enjoying camp.

In the evening a couple of the UK service leaders arrived with the South West Tour expedition for an overnight stay, bringing news of seeing rain in Albany the previous day.

Syd’s Escape Diary 06.01.2009

This morning Syd left Fairbridge bright and early for the 2 hour drive to the South West and Margaret River area where a few of the expeditions are staying.

After 5 days in WA we saw a rare sight – the first cloud we’ve seen in the sky since we landed at Perth airport!!

Unfortunately we couldn’t catch up with Helen as she was down a cave but we went to the Wharncliffe Mill campsite where John and Charlotte are based with Coastal Crusaders.

A really nice campsite with kitchen and covered dining area plus a shower block that puts some of the UK sites to shame.

They had just returned from a morning’s surf lessons plus a coastal ‘marine interpretation’ walk and were looking forward to a film after dinner.

The previous evening they had been on a walk through the bush around the site to see if they could spot any wildlife – the wildlife had taken one look at 60 Venturers and made a hasty exit so nothing spotted though plenty heard!!

After that Syd travelled onto Contos campsite by the coast where several of the Alverton explorers are staying with the Adrenalin Junkies units – all also having a great time.

We hear you have snow in London – forecast for Perth is 39C tomorrow rising to 42C on Sunday so looks like Syd’s desk in the air conditioned contingent HQ will be a popular place with both Venturers and the visitors to the Open Day alike!

Syd’s Escape Diary 05.01.2009

Last night’s opening pool party went off well – unfortunately Syd was at a meeting so missed this – but was reliably informed that the swimming pool crammed with 800 Venturers was a sight to behold.

The water resembled milk when everyone got out due to the large quantities of sunblock required under the fierce WA sun – Jason, our International Escape leader said it was 39C down here and we can well believe this.

A couple of bands then played in the main arena back on the site – units then off to Expeditions this morning.

James and tall ships first out at 7am, Luke waiting to go off to Rottnest when Syd wandered round the main camping oval and all will be gone by 10am until Friday.

Syd then spent the early part of the morning finding out a little about the history of Fairbridge Village – thousands of British children were sent here from 1912 for a new life and education and this continued until 1982!!

We then drove a couple of hours North to Hillarys and visited Ian, Jasmine and Ross at their Adventure Tour campsite for lunch.

After lunch all 3 units walked along the beach from the site to Hillarys Harbour and went to the Great Escape park with several water chutes which were welcome on such a sunny day.

Syd left shortly after this but all were enjoying themselves and then looking forward to dinner at one of the local takeaways around the harbour.