Online Catalogue last updated 23rd of May 2020
"We're looking for someone to start some sort of rocket range - or something." Len Beadell cheerfully accepted the challenge in this apparently casual remark and thus began his involvement in what was to become a multi-billion dollar weapons testing project in the Australian outback - on the Woomera Rocket Range.
Laden with trig poles, theodolites - and porridge - Beadell and his team built roads, laid out town sites and undertook an enormous survey programme in order to prepare a test launching area in one of the most isolated parts of the world. The problems ranged from taking astrofixes in a cloudy sky and becoming surrounded by a sea of red mud, to patching a bald spot on a pet joey. All were solved by using those two most necessary ingredients of life in the bush - ingenuity and imagination. Len Beadell's descriptions of the countryside, the adventures the team experienced, and the Australian bush characters they encountered are by turns illuminating and hilarious. His high-spirited account of the work that had to be done "before they called it Woomera" makes vivid and entertaining reading.
LEN BEADELL, who has been called the last of the true Australian explorers, was born on a farm at West Pennant Hills, NSW, in 1923. As a surveyor and road builder he has worked all over the Australian outback from Arnhem Land to the Gibson Desert. In 1958 he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his work in building the Gunbarrel Highway across Central Australia. In 1987 he was made a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Mining Surveyors (Aust.) and the following year was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. The author of six best-selling books, he is married with three children, all of whom have features in outback Australia named after them.
Code No. 003260, 175 pages, ISBN 1863024034, $19.95