The Pines Scout Camp, comprising the entrance gates and archway erected in 1964, Aleppo and Stone Pines and other mature trees and associated land comprising the original crown reserve at Altona Road, Altona.
How is it Significant?
The Pines Scout Camp is of local historic, aesthetic and scientific (horticultural) significance to the City of Hobsons Bay.
Why is it Significant?
Historically, it is significant for its strong associations with the development of recreational facilities in the municipality and in particular with the local scouting movement. It demonstrates the increasing popularity of the scouting movement in the postwar era, which reached its zenith in the 1960s. It also has associations with the former Williamstown Racecourse and the horse trainers, Philip Dowling and CB Fisher, which are demonstrated by the remnant early Aleppo and Stone Pines along the perimeter of the site. (AHC criteria A4, G1 and H1)
Aesthetically, it is significant as a unique cultural landscape, which is notable for distinctive and quirky entrance gates and archway and the mature trees throughout the site. (AHC criteria B2, E1 and F1)
Scientifically, it is significant for the relative rarity of mature Aleppo and Stone pines, both as a group and individually. (AHC criterion B2)
A 1960s wrought iron gateway marks the entry to the site. The gates include two central columns supporting an archway above the road and two simple gates. The arch is adorned by the name of the camp, with the word "Pines" centrally located in cursive script flanked by "scout camp" in lower capitals in a faded green. The two central columns are flanked by lower columns connected by angled fences. Each column is surmounted by the scouting emblem in metal relief. What is presumably the original colour scheme survives: A soft yellow to the word "Pines", the two innermost column emblems, and the two outer columns, and a soft green for the other elements, with the exception of the gates and fence which are painted white.
The gates lead to a winding gravelled road lined by painted rocks introduced by the scouts and groups of Aleppo and Stone pines ('Pinus halepensis' and 'Pinus pinea'), which also occur on all boundaries of the site, having probably once formed a triangle. There are also Eucalypts and Monterey cypress which may have been introduced around or after World War 2.
Plaques on the site include:
- Gates presented by Ern Richards, President of the Pines Development Committee 1964-67
- Footscray Altona Werribee District Scout Camp official opening 29 August 1964 - Ralph Schutt district commissioner 1947-69
'The Pines' forms part of a wider cultural landscape that includes, to the north, the former Williamstown Racecourse site: where 'a lone date palm, rising out of the flat landscape, and some ruins of the grandstand are reminders of its nineteenth century grandeur' (Barnard 1999)
West of the entrance is a section of what appears to be stone pitched roadway with a dressed kerb on its eastern side, which may be associated with the use of the site during the nineteenth century by Dowling and Fisher.