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Down Memory Lane - Blogs - Racehorse TALK

Author Topic: Down Memory Lane  (Read 154503 times)

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Offline Arsenal

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O.P. « 2011-Jan-22, 06:17 PM »
It'll be a long walk for me down memory lane ...........there's a lot I've forgotten and somethings I wish I could forget. :whistle:

So this is the start.........and like any story it'll start from the beginning ........that is when I get there. :beer:

Keep a look out..........coming to your PC, sooner rather than later.  :lol:


Offline shaun

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:22 PM Reply #1 »
sound's like as usual you have you hand on it. :nowink:
i thought you had got used to the fact no-one cares what you post.  :lol:
then again...i'm doing it. :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:  :lol:   :lol:

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:44 PM Reply #2 »
I for one look forward to your blog mate  :yes:

Offline shaun

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:47 PM Reply #3 »
I for one look forward to your blog mate  :yes:

of course you would...he is a Qld right winger...  :lol:   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:49 PM Reply #4 »
 :chin:

I used to play fullback, and sometimes played on the left wing, and also as hooker  :/

Offline shaun

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:50 PM Reply #5 »
:chin:

I used to play fullback, and sometimes played on the left wing, and also as hooker  :/

  :lol:   :lol:  :clap2: :clap2: 8-) 8-)

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Jan-22, 06:56 PM Reply #6 »
Looking forward to it, Arsey. I don't mind reading fiction

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-22, 07:23 PM Reply #7 »
As Jeff Fenech said........I luv yuz all  :thankyou: for looking :thumbsup:

Offline JWesleyHarding

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« 2011-Jan-22, 07:43 PM Reply #8 »
I for one look forward to your blog mate  :yes:

Is that any wonder?

Just think of that forum capacity freed up by all those

"Man bites dog" stories safely filed in one thread.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-23, 09:26 AM Reply #9 »
Down Memory Lane.

Telling a story should start at the beginning, but my story  began so long ago, 1936, there's too much ground to cover so I'll leave most of it out and stick to the more tellable, a much abbreviated version.

Some things I remember clearly, but more has been forgotten than remembered.

 My memory today isn't as good as it was, and it won't get any better at my age. I do know the name of the nurse who delivered me, when the stork arrived all those years ago, Nurse Prudence.

My mother said it was such a momentous event for us that a public holiday was declared, the day after, April 25th..........If only.

I was an only child for quite a while until my brother was born in 1944.

 Nurse Prudence had a maternity hospital on the corner of Granville and Boundary Streets, West End. Seeing it on Google Earth doesnít bring back any memories apart from some sentimental nostalgia. The building is in fine shape today and is now the HQ for a community organisation.

West End

Both my parents lived with their own families in West End before they married in St Francis Church, Dornoch Terrace .My mother was only 21, my father quite a few years older.Mum was born in Sydney, and they lived at Randwick and were horsey people. Her father was a saddler and her grandfather a jockey, Billy English, rode Arsenal to victory in the Melbourne Cup 1886, he was killed in a race fall some years later.

My father, originally from Toowoomba, lived  in Loch St. when they first met.

 Mum had one brother and 3 sisters, one sister is still around living in Sydney, she was 95 a few days ago.

Dad came from a larger family, he had 4 brothers and 2 sisters all of them departed.

Their first matrimonial home was a rented house in Egbert St, a small dead end street off Victoria St, parallel with Hardgrave Rd, one of the main roads in the suburb.I remember mum complaining to the landlord about the stove recess in the kitchen, the miserable old buggerís solution was to tell her to plant a tree as protection from the cold and wind.

Our neighbours were a Chinese family on one side and an older couple on the other.
He was a greyhound trainer and his wife a very genteel lady; they had one son a few years older than me.

Len, the son in the other family, and I went to St Jamesís in the Valley together. Lenís father was a Chef and was involved in the Chinese Joss house near Albion Park. As an adult we would often bump into each other at the Creek in the good old days and exchange info.

Childhood days

In the vacant block next door, but one, in Egbert St was a stable and shed where the local delivery man kept his horse and cart. In those days lots of horses were used pulling carts, mainly draught horses, used by carriers, garbage and nightsoil collectors, milkos and clothes prop men.

I remember a clothes prop manís horse bolting with his cart down Hardgrave Rd one day  slipping and sliding with its steel shoes ringing out on the bitumen and tram  lines, racing downhill towards the intersection near the state school, scattering housewives and frightening the  shit out of us onlookers with the clothes prop man in hot pursuit.

Bryceís were a large carrying company then and kept their horses down off Montague Rd in a paddock, the ostler was an old man who used to get drunk every Saturday and stand on the corner of Harriet St giving a speech. We never knew what he was on about but he used to scare mum and me and we would peek through a slit in the slats in the front porch so he couldnít see us watching. Hoping he would piss off home and stop bothering everyone. I donít remember anyone ever calling the cops possibly because most didnít have a home telephone.

The first time I rode a horse was when I was a little kid on holidays at Kirra. There was a team of ponies agisted next to where we stayed and the owner would saddle them up and go to the beach each day for hire. Iíd pestered my mother to let me have a go; she was hesitant as I had never ridden before. I would have been very young; finally she relented and paid over a shilling or so. She thought the guy would lead me on his pony but that didnít happen .

When he legged me up he said ďcan you ride?Ē with the roar of the surf drowning out his question I thought he said ďDo you want a ride?í
ďYes ď..... I said and with that he  hit the pony on the arse and it took off up the beach at top speed with me hanging on to the pommel  for dear life .Seeing this, the guy chased and caught this Phar Lap of the beach and rescued me to mummyís welcoming arms. He   gave me a decent serve for letting him think I could ride.

Eventually I did learn to ride, as a teenager a group of us would ride our bikes on Sundays from West End to Kalinga to a riding school run by the Railtons.My favourite, when I could get him, was a pony Black Tommy, a very nippy little guy who could beat most of my mate's mounts if he put his mind to it. Mostly we rode through dirt roads and bush tracks and only raced each other when we had decent ground to go on.

One day we were riding in single file past Lutwyche Cemetery and there was a tram/bus shelter we had to pass through. There was  only one  couple, a young bloke,  at a guess 25 or so,  and his girlfriend, waiting for a tram  and the youngest of us, who liked to show off in front of girls, flicked his horse on the rump knowing it would give a half hearted pig root which it did. The bloke, without a word to the girl, jumped up on the seat out of harmís way leaving his girlfriend stranded. At the time we thought it very funny seeing his reaction but it was a stupid thing to do. I reckon the girlfriend might have given him the flick after that.

That's it for today.................more to come................much more. :thumbsup:

Offline Wenona

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« 2011-Jan-23, 09:56 AM Reply #10 »
Bought our first family home in 1997 at 6 Egbert St and had two kids there myself.  

From your description if that vacant block is the same vacant block still in the street I'd guess you might have been at No7?

« Last Edit: 2011-Jan-23, 09:59 AM by Wenona »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-23, 06:25 PM Reply #11 »
Bought our first family home in 1997 at 6 Egbert St and had two kids there myself.  

From your description if that vacant block is the same vacant block still in the street I'd guess you might have been at No7?



Could be Wenona...can't remember the number but still could recognize the house.It was on the right hand side going down from Victoria St.I'll have a look next time I'm over that way. :beer:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-24, 12:23 PM Reply #12 »
This is the second instalment........I'm still in short pants  :lol:

Going to the dogs

While living at Egbert St the greyhound trainer would sometimes take a mate and me to the dogs with him.
He had an Oldsmobile; I think it was, bit like the Model T, dark reddish/brown body  with black mudguards and a black vinyl top.
We would hold the dogs so they didn't jump out, if they saw a cat you had to hold on tight.

 I never knew the theory but sometimes before putting the dogs in the car they would throw up.
 I never asked and assume he had given them some mixture to ďclean them outĒ. 
In later years I read of horse trainers sometimes giving their horses paste balls which used to be advertised as Winns or something I think.

He had about 3 or 4 dogs at any one time and every day without fail he would walk them down Victoria St, to Montague Rd, around Davies Park and back.
We went with him to the greyhounds at Rocklea, a bit further out than the trots, it was a straight course with live hare chased by a bloke on a piebald horse, and the hare had an escape hole at the end.
Once I saw the hare turn turtle, running back when the dogs almost caught it and the race was called off. There was a swamp next to the track full of leeches.
This was a very basic set up nothing as grand as Rocklea trots eventually became.

The other  dog track I remember  going to was  at Kedron, a former pony  track opposite the Kedron Park Hotel,  thereís a QUT there now I think,  it used to be called  Teachersí Training College.
It was more like a real race track, nice green grass with trees and gardens well cared for.
One day his wife came to see one of their dogs race, Black Corinne was its name and he thought it a good thing and put his money on.
Unfortunately it was nosed out by a dog called Real Artist which interfered with it.
 He was filthy and if his wife hadnít been there as a calming influence I reckon he would have decked the other trainer as he was a big, strong, fiery old guy.

One dog I saw race and win that day was Archieís Wonder a big white dog, very good it was, owned by an old time fighter Archie Bradley who came from Gympie I think.
 On another day someone knocked off his price and I overheard him telling someone he could tighten the dogís collar to fix him up.

I donít know what his full time job was, greyhounds wouldnít provide a living in those days but he did lay a concrete path on his own from the front fence to the back door when we moved to Crowther Street, maybe that was his occupation.

Moving House

When finances improved we moved from Egbert to Crowther St just a street away, the house built around 1926 was named ďOonatraĒ an aboriginal word. I forget what it translates to.
It cost about 850 quid; Iím not sure what year we moved there, sometime in the 1940ís. It was a highset weatherboard, on wooden stumps, red/brown paint with a tin roof and paling fence. A rough stunted looking black wattle tree in the front yard and 2 mango trees in the back. There were 2 bedrooms and a sleep out, a covered porch, kitchen, bathroom, outside toilet and laundry with a rain tank, lounge and dining rooms.
It was facing west towards the Brisbane River and Mt Cootha, high at the front low at the rear.

No garage, we didnít have a car in common with almost everyone else in the street in those days.
My uncle built a chook house up the back and we were self sufficient primary producers for a short while.
Poultry was a luxury in those days and at Christmas one of my cousins would catch and kill a rooster and mum would pluck it and serve it up for dinner.
 One day at school I won a raffle, the prize 2 bantam roosters, I carried them home in the back of the tram from the Valley. I think we ate them eventually.
 I remember at school when rations were light, swapping sandwiches with Cookie whose family owned a shop out Petrie way, he had sardines, and they were gold in those days.


Dad came from Toowoomba originally and had raced a few horses with limited success.
His colours were pretty basic, purple with a gold sash, but I never saw them or I might have used them myself many years later.
One horse he had which I remember hearing about was Spotted Owl which, after he sacked it, went bush and won a number of country races.
 Hemp was another and I think he had a mare  Lady Bine .
I know a jockey, who later became a successful trainer, rode one for him and when he came back to scale after running down the lane, he queried who told the old man to back it, saying the horse hasnít had a decent feed and couldnít possibly have won.
The trainer sheepishly owned up he was broke and couldnít pay for feed but was too embarrassed to admit it.
It was a race to the feed bin and the trainer beat the horse.

The War

My father enlisted in the Air force during WW ll and was sent to Townsville and other places for some of the time before being transferred back home.
Mum stayed at home, terrified of the blackouts and no street lighting.
 We often stayed with my grandma in Granville St as mum didnít like us living alone all the time with the war on.
Grandma and my aunt and uncle were relocated to a housing camp in New Farm Park at one stage before building their own home in Oxley Rd.Graceville close to the Graceville Oval.
There were a few other housing camps as I remember Ekibin and Victoria Park was a couple of them.

 I went to school at the Convent in West End as normal, decked out with a khaki hanky to put over my head and a rubber bit for my mouth, if caught in an air raid.
There were air raid shelters everywhere and we had practiced what to do if the Japs bombed us.
 There were trenches dug and sandbags in the playground if the worst happened.
One day during a trial run, the air raid siren went, one old lady was coming down our street and in her fright she fainted and neighbours had to rescue and revive her.

As it turned out, Brisbane although prepared, never suffered any attack.
The closest it came  was when the Aussies and the Yanks  soldiers had a pitched battle in the City.
Negro servicemen werenít allowed over the Victoria Bridge and were restricted to south of the river.
One of our neighbours in Crowther St. worked in a Bank and he was always bringing home yanks, that were very grateful for some home cooking.
They didnít come empty handed either, bringing gifts which were not generally available to locals.

Thats it for now. :beer:
 


Offline usernametaken

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« 2011-Jan-24, 08:11 PM Reply #13 »
Keep it coming A.
I love these sort of reads.

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Jan-24, 08:21 PM Reply #14 »
Good read Arsey and keep it up.

I am surprised however that you cant remember the number of your first house but you can remember the name of the dogs that ran the quinella in a Kedron maiden.

The things we remember !

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-25, 09:05 AM Reply #15 »
Growing Up

My brother was born in 1944; there are only the two of us. He was a lot different to me, even as a kid, he was very academic, loved school and study and went to Uni.
Until he retired recently he worked as a Professor of Sociology at Gippsland Campus of Monash University

He has written a few published books, one on animal rights that I know of and he caused a big stir once when he did a paper on exploitation of teenagers in the fast food industry.
On the other hand I hated school and left as soon as I was allowed.

I was Ok at maths and bookkeeping but wasnít keen on chemistry, physics or Latin and French.
 I finished secondary school at St.Laurencesí College but did some further study at night  at what was  the old Trocadero  Dance Hall in Sth.Brisbane  , when working in the MRD to improve my job prospects.

I wouldnít do it any differently today, although one thing I would change if I had the chance and could turn back the clock, would be smoking.

I wish I never started smoking. Growing up at 16 or so, we would buy cigarettes to smoke at the flicks Friday and Saturday nights without our parents knowing. I would hide the packet in the roots of a big tree under the fence of a yard on the corner on the way home.
We used to buy anything we could get. Australian cigs were rationed and kept under the shop counter. Craven A, Ardath etc were the tops and those on the shelf were Martins, Players and some other inferior English brands.

Going into Poppa Dourosís shop and asking for a packet of fags you would hit the jackpot if nobody else was around.
Poppa would check out that no one was watching, then heíd put his hand under the counter and slip you an Aussie brand one of those mentioned or Capstan or Three threes at the worst.
I gave up smoking after I had a heart attack in 1985.
I was in St.Vincentís  Sydney  in intensive care  for 10 days and  havenít touched a fag since.

As a kid I had a few bikes, the first was a Christmas  present it was a ĺ Malvern Star roadster  red and khaki  frame, big fat tyres, with a  foot brake and mudguards.
Len my mate got a Preston Star, yellow and black; there were limited colours due to the war.
The bikes in those days were all made in Australia. Malvern Star, Special, Speedwell, Ashby, Hoffy, Local.....were well known brands with bike shops in every suburb.
Now most are  made in China and are imported from overseas.

I took up bike racing when I was 13 or 14 joining the Brisbane Juvenile Amateur Cycling Club.
 It was run by Bill Tindall who lived in Harriet St. and whose son Grantley, (Darb) Bill called him, was a gun rider.[attachimg=#]

Bill sold Perkins Soft drinks door to door and on Saturdays we would all pile onto the back of his truck with a few cases of cold drinks and our bikes, either to a track, Balmoral, Kelvin Grove or Bundamba in summer, or out to Nudgee Rd or Grassdale in winter for the road races.

My first racer was a semi racer bought from Bob Toddís Local Cycles near the Blue Moon Skating Rink south of the river near the Victoria Bridge. It was gold with some decorative markings and I used it until I could afford a better one.
Mum made me a set of colours green with a gold sash and gold piping on the sleeves.
The BJACC colours we used in club events were white with a red poinsettia badge on the breast.

While I wasnít a Group 1 rider I did manage to win the 8 mile Club Championship under 15  on the Nudgee course in July 1950 and still have the winnerís blue and gold sash as a memento.
First time out on the Kelvin Grove velodrome I led all the way but was fined 5 bob by the referee for looking around.
This was very highly banked bitumen and metal track, very bloody scary, not like the flatter Balmoral we were used to.
One day a rider, Alan Bunn, lost control when the strut and handlebars came out in his hands on the top corner and he crashed into the bamboo safety rail .
He wasnít seriously injured in the accident. If that happened today itís likely someone would sue.

That day at Kelvin Grove was my first use of singles on my bike.I remember they were very expensive, five quid they cost.
It was the first real racer I had, specially built by Bernie McGrory who owned Aussie Cycles in Boundary St. West End.
It was made to measure, iridescent darkish blue with contrasting hand painted panels with my name engraved and flowery artistic lines.
Bernie was a racegoer and he was fitting my singles before going to the races that day and was having a bugger of a job getting the bostick right.
He was cursing and swearing while I was ready to cry in case he buggered up the job.
It all ended well, he got to the races and I got to Kelvin Grove, we were both winners.

We used to ride our bikes 50 miles or so down the coast some Sundays and hitch a ride home on the back of a truck if we found  an obliging truck driver.
We never had an accident although some of the truck drivers drove like maniacs, foot to the floor all the way, which we thought was great fun passing all the cars and poking fun at them.

Coming home one day from Nudgee after our usual Club handicap there was a dead horse lying spreadeagled on the ground outside Doomben ,probably waiting to be collected by the dogger.It was the first real deadun I Ďve seen.

My first job

When I left school I got a job as messenger boy with J.D.Garland a local carrier in Jane St. opposite the old Davies Park baths.
J.D was a dashing figure, tall and handsome with a toothbrush moustache and slicked hair.
He wore custom suits with flash ties, two tone shoes sometimes, and drove a big American Hudson sedan.
He could pass for a Hollywood star.
Mrs. Garland, a very stylish woman, was very nice to me, they both were.
 They were very social, no kids that I knew of and they were well up in the Australia/American Society, always entertaining.
They lived at St.Lucia across the river from the yard at West End.

Soon after starting there Mr.Garland merged with a Melbourne transport carrier named Collier, forming Collier Garland Co.
This allowed them to expand the existing carrying business into interstate transport with semi trailers.
Locally they had contracts with Olympic Tyres at Geebung which was a big client.
My job, on the bottom rung of the ladder, meant going into the city and delivering and receiving documents to and from shipping & customs agents and running other messages.
I listened to Deltaís Melb Cup in the Customs House the year it won.
Had I stayed with CG I may have learned the ropes as a customs agent and had a ride on the gravy train that those in that exclusive occupation enjoy.

I used to ride my bike on company business and to the tram stop on Boundary St.
JD very generously paid for my tyres and tubes.
One day, one of the office guys, Doug Graham- Clarke, borrowed my bike to go to the pub at lunch time.
Until he was half way there he didnít realise it was a track bike with no brakes and a fixed wheel.
He nearly killed himself, so he said, coming back freewheeling down the hill on Jane St. with no brakes.
And that would have cost him a new bike for me.

 The transport manager was a guy named Pat, he was always on the go, the most energetic man Iíve ever seen to that point, he ran the place, and it would have stopped without him.
 His secretary was a Miss Taylor who admired him greatly.
 I think she was secretly in love, but Pat wouldnít have noticed, he was so wrapped up in his job and was probably happily married.

 I got on well with everyone and was eventually promoted to junior office boy with a pay rise.
 I recommended a local kid for my old job and he took over the messages while I did some office work.
 I was under strict instructions not to let him know how much I was paid.
 I think it was a bit more than 3 quid a week.
 In those days nobody knew what the next person earned unless you had a sneaky look at the discarded pay envelope left in the wpb.

Although too young for a driverís license I learned to drive on some of JDís Vanguard Utes.
With the tacit approval of obliging truckies, I would take one for a spin around the back streets.
Once I stalled on the tram line at the intersection on Hardgrave Rd.
That put the wind up me, big time, but I managed to get out of the way of the oncoming tram and got back to the yard with the Vanguard intact.

My boss in the shipping dept was a tosser, a real  :censored:  , he was  up himself, walking around  posing with his silly bloody pipe.
It was rumoured he made some stupid or insulting comment at a party to a Dutchman or some sailor and was decked.
The story goes he fell off the wharf into the river where a ship was moored.
He was very sheepish when he came to work with a black eye.
He left after a while and was replaced by another poor bugger who was going so bad he wore an old Air Force uniform to work.

I got the message, that was it for me and I left for greener pastures.

Back with more ...................tomorrow :beer:

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« Last Edit: 2011-Mar-08, 11:17 PM by Arsenal »

Offline westie

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« 2011-Jan-25, 11:13 AM Reply #16 »
Arsenal
Very entertaining read.  Some of the places bring back memories Davies Park baths (I competed there as a kid) do they still exist and Balmoral when to High School there.  Lokking foward to the next post.

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-25, 07:23 PM Reply #17 »
No Westie.......the Baths went long ago.

There's a boatshed where it was and the river road is blocked to cars at Jane st now but is open to bikes and walkers.

Open  to traffic past Davies Park along to the Orleigh and St lucia Ferry.

Thanks for visiting. :beer:


Offline Tauto

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« 2011-Jan-26, 03:35 AM Reply #18 »
Quality stuff !!!

Keep it coming, im waiting for the R rated scene !

Offline triple7

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« 2011-Jan-26, 07:14 AM Reply #19 »
Agree, enjoyable reading Arsenal.   emthup

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-26, 08:26 AM Reply #20 »
Teenage years

During my teenage years a few of us would go down  the Coast by train each weekend, none of us had a car and we would stay at a guesthouse, very basic , bed but no breakfast , on Coolangatta hill.
We had a good time, plenty of surf, underage drinking not a problem then,SP betting at Tweed Heads in a billiard saloon, open slather, prices on  blackboards,  Danceland , picking up  girls, none of which lasted more than a couple of weeks. No fights or violence, no drugs, just a lot harmless fun, without a care in the world.

Playing poker was a pastime my mates and I got into as soon as we had some money to spend, we favoured blind poker 2 bob minimum, or sometimes Pontoon or 21.We played at weekends, staying most of the night until early morning, winners wanting to knock off early but losers always wanting once more around the table.
 
Mostly we played under a house in Montague Rd owned by the family of one of the mates.
His old man was a bookie in the Flat and he went to the races by tram carrying his bag and books up Victoria St.to the tramstop.
I never saw him in action as I started at the races in the Leger one rung up from the Flat but one down from the Paddock and a lot cheaper.

Back in Crowther St.my parents had a regular poker school, mum would provide supper, all homemade ,
cakes,scones,sandwiches,tea etc,and there was always a bit of cake left when I came home late.
 
We always had the good fortune to have good neighbours wherever we lived.
Vince and Gloria was a couple without children who lived two doors up.
They were great friends, with lots of common interests.
Vince was a part time bookies clerk and when I was older and still living at home we would all go to the races each Saturday in Vinceís Holden.
Vince used to call himself The Black Panther .
He wasnít black, he was as Aussie as anyone but had a darker complexion being from Lebanese parents.

National Service

When I was 18 I was called up for National Service and was sent to Wacol in the Ordinance Corp.
Not everyone had to do NS there were so many of us available that the medicos didnít need to pass everyone.
One of Mumís friends husband was a doctor and he would knock back some with pimples if there were too many called up.
I could have got out of it had I wanted to but in a strange way was looking forward to the experience.

It wasnít all it was cracked out to be, as I soon discovered.
We lived in tents in the middle of winter with the flaps open and I was so bloody tired and exhausted after marching up and down all day.
I woke up one night with the rain pouring in, the floor mats floating and we all had to get out and unfurl the flaps and get back into the cot with wet pyjamas.

We learned drills, how to fire a 303, read maps and lots of other stuff and march march march.
The NCO we had was a nasty  prick of a bloke, everybody hated him but the higher ranks were OK.
I was on guard duty one night keeping the nonexistent enemy at bay, calling ďWho goes there ďat every opportunity  with my finger on the trigger, but no spies or enemies were found.
Another time on guard duty we forgot about the boilers and had cold showers in the morning....that didnít go down too well.

I was in Yeronga military hospital for a while undergoing tests to find out what was wrong with me and eventually I was discharged medically unfit.
I was very glad to get out even though I met a lot of nice guys .
There were a couple of jockeys in my intake and one was in hospital with me.
He wanted to get out too and get back to the horses so he could get hay fever and follow me to freedom.

Wheels

Some of the boys I grew up with went into motor bikes but I never did.
 I saved my money to bet with and didnít want to waste it buying a bike.

I would have been about 20 something when I bought my first car.
It was a second hand Singer, two doors 4 seater with a canvas top, a convertible.
I bought it on HP from WorthsíCar Sales Lutwyche for about 200 quid I think.
It was a bomb, my girlfriend, who Iím now married to, had to hang on to the gear stick to stop it jumping out of gear, the wipers didnít work and I was always putting stuff in the radiator in a vain attempt to stop it over heating.
There were no road worthyís then, it would never have passed; even the guy selling it said he really wished I had bought a better car.

Finally I got rid of it and bought a decent car, an FJ Holden two tone blue with a grey marbled steering wheel, red centre piece  and chromed circle horn.
It was an ex cab from Sydney although I didnít know that when I bought it.
It was a fantastic car.

I was paying it off on HP so my father helped by taking a car load of blokes to the mid week races at a pound a head.
A fiver came in very handy and petrol was cheap, no more than 3/6 a gallon .
They would get picked up on Wednesdays in Melbourne St in South Brisbane opposite the Terminus Hotel and drive off to Gatton, Oxenford, Beaudesert, Esk or wherever the meeting was.

There were no radio calls of mid week meetings except for Gatton, when on a good radio, you could pick up 4AK Darling Downs, a Toowoomba station which did Gatton.
I only had a bet if any of the horses I followed raced.
Two of my specials were Tiny Denis and Graceful Turn trained by Harry Lee in Tufnell Rd. Nudgee.

In those days the provincial race books had photo finish pictures from  the previous week.
Herb Joseph who lived on Dornoch Terrace and raced a couple of good horses was the innovator of this aid to punters.
Strange that something as helpful as that was available then but not now.

Hianthus, the iron horse he was called, was another I always followed.
Trained by Bill Krafft at Beaudesert, he was a prolific provincial winner before he graduated to City class winning open company and was placed in a Stradbroke.
He was my favourite.
In later years when I got involved in trotting I came to know one of Bill Krafftís sons, a trotting driver, after he became too heavy for a jockey.

My father was a bookies clerk, and when I was old enough he got me a clerkís job during the Winter Carnival working for Frank OíNeill a Toowoomba bookie.
After getting married I worked as a bookies clerk at the Ipswich trots for a short time to supplement my paltry pay but gave it away when I got a better job.

More to come.......Thanks for reading....appreciate your comments :thumbsup:


Offline richo

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« 2011-Jan-26, 10:22 AM Reply #21 »
gees arsy you havn't got old timers, well done

Offline JWesleyHarding

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« 2011-Jan-26, 10:33 AM Reply #22 »
Why not cut to the chase and let us know how you learnt to copy and paste a dozen articles a day on a forum?

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Jan-26, 10:43 AM Reply #23 »
Why not cut to the chase and let us know how you learnt to copy and paste a dozen articles a day on a forum?

That's in the third book, "Arsey's Bucket List"

Offline Arsenal

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« 2011-Jan-26, 10:30 PM Reply #24 »
gees arsy you havn't got old timers, well done
Not yet Richo  :beer:


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