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The Last Day at Rocklea - Harness - Racehorse TALK

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Offline Arsenal

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O.P. « 2018-Aug-15, 09:51 AM »
Unless the Rocklea Club's appeal to the RAT ,heard Monday 28 July,is upheld giving the club a chance to prove it is a viable concern the Rocklea track will fade into the sunset after 54 years of operation .

There was a massive crowd in attendance on the scheduled last day last Saturday and this is a video of some of the action .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2XyBOIsxTE


There is more coverage on the Brisbane racing link on the Just Racing website.

The above is the end of harness racing at Rocklea almost 10 years ago
 
www.justracing.com.au

Recently I was fortunate to see a booklet of some 20 pages produced by the forerunner of the Metropolitan Harness Racing Club Rocklea which raced as the "Rocklea Trotting Club" from 1957 to 1966...... the booklet was produced after the club closed down for a period and it's very interesting to read the trials and tribulations the club went through the personalities pictured and their often difficult relationship with their landlord  the Rocklea Show Society the owners of the grounds. The Secretary was J F McGill formerly a stipendiary steward with the QTC while the President was Norm Duce. I knew Norm who played poker with my parents at my  former childhood  home in West End at 18 Crowther St...... Norm raced a couple of good horses that I remember Dowborough was one the other Fort William both trained by Fred Best......I can still recall Norm's  colours Blue & White Halves Red sleeves....once I remember how to do it I'll post selected pages from the booklet starting with the cover .which has the logo of a horse and driver without hopples which was also used by the MHRC on our racebooks.....more to come.

Giddy Up :beer:


 

Finally Success :thumbsup:



« Last Edit: 2018-Aug-15, 10:17 AM by Arsenal »

Offline Wenona

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« 2018-Aug-15, 11:08 AM Reply #1 »
They were different days that's for sure.

Rocklea was the first racecourse I ever stepped foot on. Went there with my dad ... must have been 1970 I think ...... always a thrill when we went ..... in those days no internet obviously and the TAB pool closed for off course bettors 45 minutes before the jump and the Brisbane gallops were way over on the north side - though occasionally we did make our way into the city and grab a share cab to the races from Burnett Lane. Seeing a bookmaker for the first time was probably one of the most profound things that ever happened to me behind the usual list.  emthup
« Last Edit: 2018-Aug-15, 11:16 AM by Wenona »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-15, 07:04 PM Reply #2 »
This is the inside cover Rocklea $2000 that would have gone a long way in 1966.

Page 1 of the book some history of Rocklea



Giddy Up :beer:






« Last Edit: 2018-Aug-15, 07:58 PM by Arsenal »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-16, 09:33 AM Reply #3 »
This is page 2 the continuation of Secretary J F (Jim) McGill's editorial....I knew Bill Tindall he lived in Harriet St West End just down from my old home in Crowther St he sold Perkins Soft Drinks door to door and every Saturday we would load his truck with our bikes to race in the BJACC event usually along Nudgee Rd out to Cribb Island and back in Winter ...Summer was at Balmoral or Kelvin Grove we were all under 16 Bill's son Darby was a crack rider later he worked in TV as a cameraman ......very interesting contribution from Jim McGill it appears he had some political connections and influence in those days but was at logger heads with the landlord the show society .......the hall mentioned was The Walter Mumford Hall since demolished when I joined the later version The Metropolitan Trotting Club Rocklea Les Diplock was the President. 

Giddy Up :beer:




Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-19, 02:31 PM Reply #4 »
I've skipped the photo pages for another day to get to the nub of the matter President Norm Duce's report  a 2 page issue which includes the names of  officials, the bookies and some of the Club's employees.






Giddy Up :beer:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-20, 05:08 PM Reply #5 »
This is the end of the story...quite a gap in knowledge ...the promised history which is referred to as "cannot at this stage be written ......only when the Club ceases to function."
doesn't appear to be available possibly lost in the 1974 floods when Rocklea was submerged......the QHRB would/may be the only repository if indeed such a history was ever written......It is evident that the relationship between the Trotting Club and the landlord the Show Society was toxic .......they the Show Society  didn't know what a good wicket they were on with the tenant providing weekly income building & improving facilities and providing jobs...so small minded they cut off the nose to spite the face ......and the land was gifted to them by Walter Mumford so I am led to believe and Show Societies are /were major beneficiaries of Guvment subsidies.

There are several pages of photographs which I'll eventually post for posterity's sake.




Giddy Up :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-21, 06:02 PM Reply #6 »
Pictures from the Rocklea booklet include Norm Duce President who used to play poker with my mum and dad and other toughs...... VP Len Keogh was later a parliamentarian Bill Tindall headed up the Brisbane Juvenile Amateur Cycling Club of which I was a member and I came across John O'Connor later in my career....and some visitors at Carnivals .....others I knew were Bill Quince who operated a sand and gravel  trucking business at West End and Charlie Boyd who headed up the then control body.
 






Giddy Up :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-26, 08:50 AM Reply #7 »
Lots of pictures from the booklet Remember Rocklea....withsome more to come ...in the second pic at the  committee table Jim McGill is sitting top right while Norm Duce is at the head of the table while Noel Jones the betting steward is pictured bottom  left closest to the camera in the second committee picture.
 I don't recognise any of the women all dressed up in the first pic that wasn't something that happened in the 70's when I joined the now defunct MHRC Rocklea.

Presntations picture shows  Frank Donohue, Stumpy Gilliland and one of the best ever drivers at Rocklea Des Weeks

John McMullen with Rod Hill..a group of drivers in the Rocklea Cup and a young Roy Gonchee in the third picture.

Two more pages Amongst the Champions and four photos on the last page ...for posterity......I wish we could bring back the good old days. :thumbsup:














Giddy Up :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Aug-27, 06:15 PM Reply #8 »
Jim McGill's camera was working overtime starting with the page Some of the staff....everyone will recognise the voice of trotting the very handsome Rod Hill who unfortunately  is not in the best of health these days Les Greer a well known starter had a race named after him in my day


The Stewards Noel Wilson betting steward in my time Fred Brown later went into gallopers Jack Gregg long time chief steward and a good friend I only struck Harry Greigg once at Tweed Heads my horse was skittled at the bell lost 3 lengths got beaten a neck absolute certainty beaten and the driver protested but I wasn't allowed into the hearing the protest was dismissed Greigg was the only steward on duty..... after the race I ran into one of the visiting drivers I knew he told me he didn't know it was my horse otherwise he would have spoken up as he saw the interference.....would have made a big difference.





Rocklea always had a very strong bookies ring here are those fielding in 1966....some of whom were still twiddling the knobs when I joined the club...Jim Boyle...Kev Hughes..... Tas Burbury.....Jim Mc Donald ...Kev Madden...and Wally Mitchell a well respected owner/trainer related to the Wanless family.









Giddy Up :beer:


Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-02, 10:27 AM Reply #9 »
This is the last lot of pictures from REMEMBER ROCKLEA who'll ever forget it not those who were regulars in the days when harness racing was thriving day trotting througout the State each Saturday afternoon and night racing Mondays Wednesdays Fridays & Saturdays in the south east and the north to what is left today...how did it all go away.....it wasn't progress. :o



Percy Copeland possibly related to Don Copeland a good supporter of trotting and owner of Copeland Canvas had horses with Kevin Thomas......the draw for the Rocklea Cup..Jim McGill, Rod Hill & Jack Gregg....The Concert Band ..& other on track visions.



The Social scene well presented lady patrons....... the Rocklea Scratching Board .....done in copperplate chalk out in the open a bloody dangerous job from the look of it ...the Show Society dismantled the board during a fit of pique with the trotting club typical landlord and tenant dispute...and a young John McMullen later to be accorded some fame and considerable success earning the nickname of "Hollywood"



Now the final page two of the State's Treasurers and Racing Ministers...Sir Thomas Hiley and later "Sir" Gordon Chalk ......I met "Chalky" a number of times he was a racing man who knew his way around ......... members of the Committee and a list of members....Col Bennett MLA the clubs's barrister was my local member.... the number of good deeds he did for locals from paying overdue bills or representing them pro bono would fill a volume on its own.


Giddy Up :beer: 

Offline foxy6481

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« 2018-Sep-04, 04:28 PM Reply #10 »
That is my dad Mervyn Fox on the back page of the Rocklea Trotting Club booklet.

Like me, he was a practicing solicitor until his death in 1999 at age 82. Jim McGill and Dad were best friends and had morning tea every Monday at the Shingle Inn in Edward Street.  Jim and Dad re-established the Licencees Assistance Association Inc in 1962 and acted as Honorary Solicitor until his death and I took over. Dad loved Rocklea and it was just as prestigious as the QTC and the BATC. The start of night racing at Albion Park changed things. However, Dad had a winner on the opening night with his trotter "Amocon" with Rod Belford in the sulky. There was a spectacular 7 horse fall on the home turn and Amocon tip-toed through the carnage to dash away and win. Amocon also won the Ekka trotting final in 1968 the night my younger brother was born - Dad at the Ekka and mum at the Mater although young baby Dan got to sleep his first night with a blue Ekka sash! Dad and Mum raced many good horses including Sunset Red (Gunsynd's full brother) who won a McKell Cup for Pat Murray, ran a gallant fifth in a Doomben Cup and unluckily got ballotted out of the 1973 Melbourne Cup on the Saturday Night before.

Dad and I raced horses until the end (and I still do). His last good horses were metropolitan winners Beachboydreams and Zedara with Roy Dawson.

Dad loved racing and racing people AND helping people. I fear the end of an era.

He was a member of the QTC for decades until his death and got buried wearing his last members badge. He would despair at what has become of his once great Club, its sale to developers and the fact that (unlike Rocklea), racing is NOT its core business. I dread to think what he would have thought about the billboard in Nudgee Road "More than Just Racing" without Eagle Farm.

Jim McGill and Dad got my membership at QTC put though the committee (thank you David Laing) the day before my 18th birthday in 1982 as my main birthday present. Mum says I should run for the Board this year. A life in racing, 35 years a member, 30 years a solicitor, charity committees, horses here there and everywhere, turn up every metropolitan meeting...aah problem... I have no interest in property development or real estate. No chance. Mirvac and Lendlease will make sure of that. So sad.














Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Sep-04, 06:21 PM Reply #11 »
A pleasure to hear from you foxy .....some great memories thanks for sharing. I remember Amocon winning I was on it that night..... good effort to stay upright with all the carnage fortunately trotters are tough  I don't think or remember any serious casualties.........some great photos too. Many winners.

Giddy Up :beer:




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