Names

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WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: NAMES.

THERE ARE NOT many names to be found at the Crater Cove shack settlement in Sydney Harbour National Park. That’s because the only way to get there, other than landing from a dinghy or kayak onto a rock shelf, is by foot track.

The settlement was started by fishermen who built the first of the shacks as weekend getaways during the late 1920s-1930s. Over the decades, it seems people might have lived in the shacks for a time, and in the seventies they were occupied full time by so-called ‘hippies’. There is no running water at the Cove, no electricity, no services. The residents made do with the resources at hand and with what they could pack in, like LP gas or firewood for cooking, a black-painted metal pipe fitted with a shower rose to produce solar-heated water for washing, pit toilets, rainwater stored in tanks and the good company of each other.

When the Cove was included in the national park in the 1980s, the occupants were evicted. The shacks still stand and today are a somewhat hidden example of vernacular building and social history.

I first visited the Crater Cove settlement in the 1980s when the occupants were in the process of being evicted. That was to record an interview for a radio documentary. Since then, I have been back a number of times.

Town hall — that’s the name on one of the shacks. I have no idea why it was called that as it is just a small, one-room structure made of reused timber and galvanised iron. Maybe the residents had a reason for naming it that, but if so that is lost to all but those in the know.

I made this image with an Olympus OM5D, 12-50mm lens, and processed it moderately in Snapseed app for iPad.

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