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Report - Brisbane 'Darkie', Brisbane - December 2015

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by WildBoyz, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    History (Part One)

    The area where Brisbane is now located was originally discovered by European colonialists in 1799, when Matthew Flinders first explored Moreton Bay. He spent a total of fifteen days there before returning to Port Jackson. Before the area was seized, so to speak, a number of Aboriginal tribes resided in the area; notably the Jagera and Turrbal tribes. It was used as a seasonal settlement area and several camps capable of sustaining between 200 and 600 people would be erected each year, within the vicinity of the good fishing spots. Due to its suitability for farming, fishing, timbering and the potential use of other useful materials, a town was initially built on that land that would, in due course, become Brisbane. The first settlement, however, became a penal colony after free settlers in Sydney petitioned to have their worst convicts sent somewhere else.

    The first convict colony, led by Lieutenant Henry Miller, was established at Redcliff Point in 1824. However, by 1825 the entire colony was forced to move further south, closer to the Brisbane River – the current site of the Central Business District. The town grew steadily over a number of years, although it remained very primitive. There were no stone or brick buildings, only wooden huts, and the sole link to civilisation was the very occasional arrival of a ship from Sydney, which would dock in Moreton Bay rather than Brisbane River. As the settlement grew it was ascribed the name Edenglassie; a portmanteau of the two Scottish cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow. As expected, the name failed to appeal to those residing there and it was soon changed to ‘Brisbane’, in honour of Governor Thomas Brisbane.

    The first stone buildings started to appear in 1827/28, with the construction of the Commissariat Store and the Prisoners Barracks. The Commissariat Store, which still exists today, was built using stone quarried from Kangaroo Point, and lime, for mortar, through burning oyster shells taken from Amity Point. The barracks soon became the largest building in the settlement at the time and it had the capacity to hold up to 1000 convicts. The town of Brisbane was beginning to grow at a considerable pace, nevertheless, the colony still remained reputed for being a harsh place to work and live. Among the convicts, and indeed people outside the colony, it was known as a ‘prison within a prison’. Records indicate that in the period between February and October 1828 alone, over 11,000 lashes were inflicted on 200 convicts. Hundreds of convicts were reported to have fled into the bush in the first few years because of the brutal conditions. Although many perished, a few, such as Scottish-born James Davis, managed to succeed at living as ‘wild white men’ among the Aboriginal people. In addition to the threat of punishment inside the settlement, local Aboriginals also attempted to starve out the colony by destroying many of the crop fields.

    *More on the development of Brisbane’s drainage system will continue in the next report.

    Our Version of Events

    As you will have noticed, if you’ve been following some of the other reports we’ve posted from Sydney, much of Australia’s surface level abandonment gets trashed or demolished pretty quickly. That’s not to suggest that there’s nothing out there, they’re just few and far between and many become well-kept secrets. Anyway, having discovered this for ourselves, feeling a little disappointed, we decided to head up to Brisbane where there’s a large draining community, to try our luck exploring something else. Fortunately, we managed to contact a well-known explorer in those parts, who goes by the name of Darkday, and she was willing to meet up with us. So, after accepting her offer we decided to hop on the train and go check out what lies underneath Australian streets.

    The train journey wasn’t too bad, since all we had to do was sit there and eat Australian cookies, which I seem to have acquired a taste for. At the station we then waited for a car to pick us up. But, not knowing what Darkday actually looked like at that point, we had to poke our head inside random vehicles and simply ask for someone by that name. After a short while Mayhem seemed to get vibe and decided to hop into a car that had just pulled up. I climbed in after him, and after quickly glancing at the people inside, I deduced that they seemed friendly enough. It was only then though, while sat in the back; feeling a little awkward and uncertain that we hadn’t just clambered into some randomer’s car, that I remember to actually check that we were indeed in Darkday’s car… We were, so all was good.

    We had a good chat with Darkday on our way to the first location, and she explained that this was known as the ‘darkie’ of the city, Brisbane’s classic drain explore; something all major Australian cities have in the exploring world apparently. But, before we could get down and dirty, we were, following typical WildBoyz tradition, quite unprepared for getting wet, so we had to request a quick stop at a Woolworths (good old woollies survives!) to pick up some appropriate-ish footwear. After a quick pit-stop, and a change of shoes, we headed directly to the location.

    Inside, things were a little different to our drains. For one, the ovoid shape was rather unique. Second, Aussies don’t mind getting wet; they’re not pussies like most of us UK lot with our wellies and waders, so quite quickly we found ourselves wading through water. I did explain, in our defence, that it’s a lot colder in the UK. Third, following on from that last point, the heat down there was incredible: describing it as a sauna perhaps sums it up succinctly. I felt as though I’d shed a few pounds afterwards. And finally, the wildlife down there is starkly different to the creatures we’re accustomed to. Some of this included, but was indeed not limited to, cockroaches, big spiders, killer spiders, lizards called ‘dragons’ and eels – although we didn’t see any eels in here. The drain itself changes throughout, as we passed through brick sections which were built by the convicts (I’ll explain more about this in the next report, to avoid putting a huge history in this one), spray-over concrete areas and the standard modern concrete pipe. Towards the end we came across some of the ‘dragons’ Darkday has been telling us about, and we watched as she attempted to rescue them, to save them from an imminent death down inside the drain. She explained how they get trapped down there after falling inside.

    And that was our first drain in Australia. All in all it was great to see a part of Brisbane’s historic past, and to enter somewhere that’s well-trodden by the Cave Clan. The night certainly wasn’t over, though. Afterwards, we made our way to a public barbeque and, after a quick safety brew to uphold our English roots, a bit of food and a few bevvies, we made our way to the next drain on the list: ‘the Batcave’.

    Explored with Ford Mayhem, Darkday and Darkday’s Accomplice.

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    #1 WildBoyz, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015

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  2. trailboss99

    trailboss99 28DL Full Member
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    The damn graf has got worse since I was in there last (a while ago admittedly) but it's nice enough mooch.
    The other reason we don't mind getting wet is our drains are clean(er), the sewer system is totally separate to the stormwater system. Glad you're enjoying BrisVegas.

    /me -----> Waits for PT 2.
     
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  3. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Yeah, Darkday was saying that as we wandered through. It seems it gets everywhere! This drain seemed very clean like, but the next one we did has some fresh leaking into it. I guess it was a bit different though.

    Brisbane's probably one of my favourite places in Oz so far, really enjoyed being there. Are you based there? Planning on revisiting sometime in April I think.
     
  4. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Well that"s Fucking shiny mate :thumb

    Enjoyed that write up & the piccies, although i wanted too see a "Dragon" :( look forward to Pt2 Cookie Monster :D

    & happy New Year to you both :thumb
     
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  5. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Cheers mate :thumb Appreciate the comment. I know, I forgot to take a photo. I'd never seen one before, so was amazed at the size of them I think.

    Happy New Year to you too mate, hope it's a good one for you. Hopefully get some more exploring done in the UK when we get back.
     
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  6. stranton

    stranton subterranean explorer
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    very nice, alot like ours :thumb
    never seen so much graf in a drain
     
  7. trailboss99

    trailboss99 28DL Full Member
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    That would be cool, you can come up for a barbie if you like. We're near Woodford, if you have seen the news on the folk festival I could hit the site with a good slingshot from here.
    http://www.lastplaneout.biz/Files/DJI00003.JPG
     
  8. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    Always keen for a barbie :thumb I'll drop you a shout when I'm next in Brisbane, be cool to meet up.
     
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