This is a rather specialist book mainly of interest to Bush Club members, but is sure to be of some interest to members of other walking clubs and maybe even to historians.
As the title suggests, it provides short biographies of some 43 ‘walks leaders from the Bush Club, starting with two of the founders; Paddy Pallin and Marie Byles. Each biography is illustrated with a pencil sketch of the person, drawn by Steve Murray from a photo, I have to say they are very good sketches – better in many ways than the source photos.
What is so very interesting in this book is the background: how so many prominent people in one club turn out to be involved in other walking clubs as well. And that turns out to be true all the way back to the start of the club as well. It says something about enthusiastic walkers.
Of course, all the amusing anecdotes told by the featured people don’t hurt the book either. There’s Wilf Hilder’s epic confrontation with Sydney Water Board; that he won was monumental in helping bushwalking all over the Mountains.
There was a trip where crossing a simple fence meant ending up in an active nudist colony. And what about the description of the ‘cave worm’; it’s usually green and is found in ‘camping caves’, where it pretends to be dead around 0700.