Chimney restored at the hut called Bradleys and O'Briens

BRADLEYS and O'Briens Hut near Cabramurra in the Kosciuszko National Park has received some careful attention recently.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages more than 70 historic huts. As part of this program field officers Peter Scobie and Andy Galbraith recorded and dismantled the old chimney and fireplace,.

This involved carefully numbering items so they could be reinstalled in their original location.

NPWS Ranger for the Upper Murray in Kosciuszko National Park Craig Smith said the works were urgently required, both to preserve the heritage of the area and because of the hut's popularity.

"Bradleys-O'Briens Hut holds strong ties for families in the region and it's used by bushwalkers and other visitors, but the chimney had been leaning a little more each year," Mr Smith said.

"Large fires had weakened the building materials so the stone fireplace was reconstructed, timber slabs split, and a new corrugated iron flue installed with a poured concrete hearth.

"During the reconstruction we also catalogued artefacts including bottles, plate fragments, cutlery, part of an old camp oven, and a rabbit trap, but alas we found no gold."

The chimney reconstruction was funded by NPWS and the Federal National Historic Grants Program. NPWS program co-ordinator Megan Bowden said the grant also enabled reconstruction works on Daveys, Mackeys and Pedens huts and at Coolamine Homestead.

"Most of the huts in Kosciuszko have volunteer caretaker groups, most of whom are members of the Kosciuszko Huts Association, and they do a great job undertaking minor maintenance works," Ms Bowden said.

"NPWS carpenters and field staff undertake the more structural works and grant funding enables us to do more major works like those at Bradleys-O'Briens."

O'Briens and Bradleys Hut has a single room clad with corrugated iron, a huge fireplace at one end, and a verandah at the front and back.

The Alpine Ash used in the construction of the hut was cut from nearby Fifteen Mile Ridge and the sawn timber came from the Burra Mill in Tumbarumba.

The hut goes by two names because Pat O'Brien and Jack Bradley jointly held the snow lease. They employed Jack Bailey from Tumbarumba to build the hut in the summer of 1952 with labour provided by both families.

Hut restoration is one way the Office of Environment and Heritage helps increase visitation to National Parks and enhances recreational opportunities.

Please contact the Kosciuszko Huts Association on www.khuts.org or the NPWS Tumut office on 6947 7000 if you would like to help conserve huts in Kosciuszko National Park.

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