This gallery has many hands and feet of children, parts of it are faded and parts are weathered away which make me think it predates the 1870s, which was literally 'The End' of 40,000 years - the period of genocide.
I could see Dunk Island and the Percy Islands out in the shining blue of the Coral Sea. To the south there was Clump Point and in the north past the rocky headland was Garners Beach; it was panoramic.
A missing finger indicates death of a child. On a cave wall in The Basin a whole line of hands show missing fingers; these are among the last hand stencils made, still sparkling fresh after 150 years.
In these slides most of the workers can be seen wearing Army Surplus clothing; many of the men had not long been demobbed; some even knew Dad from the airstrips he'd built during the war.
On a later visit the engraving had become ‘known about’ and targeted for vandalism and graffiti; not long after this steel cages were welded over the engravings to protect them.
With hindsight I’d give quids to have some 8mm footage of those days. It was the same time that William Eggleston was producing what would become his signature work.
I'd had the pleasure of going to the screening of an original print of Jean Cocteau's 1946 classic La Belle et la Bete; the nascent shimmer of the silver halides off the print.
The hand stencils in this cave show a whole row of hands with the little finger missing; I was told by Fred Conway that it indicates the loss of a child.