Lefthanders (or ‘Lefties’) surf break south of Grace town has been surfed since the early 70s. State Titles and rounds of the National Titles have been held at the break.

There is some debate about who was the first to surf the break. WASRA credits Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell & Peter Dyson but Bob Monkman, Peter Mac, Micko Gracie & Bruce King also lay claims to being the first.

Murray SmithI remember in the mid 60s we were surfing Big Rock and Scarborough’s John Bartle walked up to Lefthanders and reported the break’s potential.

Living on the Beach

Lefthanders beach had some inhabitants in the early 70s. In 73’ Pat Bloomer and his American mates lived in a timber shack built on the beach and Frank ‘Little Big Eyes’ McVeigh lived in a beach cave for a whole summer. Both residences were located south of Lefthanders.

Beach Parking Facilities

In the early days, surfers walked along the beach from an old dirt car park located near the site of existing car park & amenities. Then in the early 1970s fisherman and/or surfers pushed through a sand track along the coastal sand dunes to Lefthanders. This dirt track and it’s rocky car park was closed by Dept of Conservation & Environment (DEC) in the late 70s for environmental reasons.

Bill GibsonI used to drive up to the break in my old Falcon. Sometime I would continue onto Ellenbrook. I wasn’t happy when DEC closed the dirt track to Lefties.
Murray SmithIn the 70s I used to drive right up to the break in my VW Beetle.
Pat BloomerAlthough the dirt track was primarily for 4wd, I used to drive my Kombi Camper up to Lefthanders.
Bruce KingSometimes we would drive to Lefties along the dirt track from Ellenbrook in Micko’s VW Beetle.

Today’s bitumen road & car park with toilets located north of near Lefthanders were built in the mid 70s. Surfers walk approx. 700 metres along the beach past a series of popular reef breaks to reach the waves at Lefties.

Photo: 1973 Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston and vehicle at former dirt car park located behind Lefthanders. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1973 Lefthanders Chris Fullston - Ric Chan IMG_0006

Photos: 1975 Lefthanders car parks. Ric Chan pics.

(Left) Original car park located north of surf break near Gracetown. (Right) Former dirt car park located behind Lefthanders line-up.

1975 Lefthanders caraprks 4 collage_photocat

Photos: 1975 Lefthanders wave line-ups. Ric Chan pics.

1970s Lefthanders waves 8 collage_photocat

Photos: 1973-75 topless beach girls at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pics

1973-75 Beach girls Lefthanders collage_photocat

Photos: 1973-76 Beach people at Lefthanders. Surfing Craig Bettenay top right and Chris Reynolds bottom left. Ric Chan pics.

1970s Lefthanders 7 collage_photocat

Photos: 1975-79 Surfing at Lefthanders. (Top) Steve Hannett & Bruce Smith. (Bottom) Unidentified surfers. Ric Chan pics.

1970s Lefthanders surfing 8 collage_photocat

Photos: 1976-77 spectator & surfing at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pics.

Top Right: Surfing Tony Hardy, other surfers unidentified.

1976 Lefthanders surfing misc 7 collage_photocat

Photos: 1978 Aust Surfing Titles held at Lefthanders. Vehicles are parked in former dirt car park located behind the surf break. Ric Chan pics.

1978 Lefthanders Aust Titles 5 collage_photocat

Photos: 1980s Surfing at Lefthanders. (Top) 1980 Chris Fullston. (Bottom) 1981 Dave Macaulay. Ric Chan pics.

1980-81 Chris Fullston & Dave Macaulay collage_photocat

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Peter Mac’s happy snaps #2

We may have sold Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald a bit short in our recent SDS blog Peter Mac’s happy snaps.

We forgot to mention that Mac is an integral part of the Yallingup community.

He is a member of the Yallingup Rural Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade with Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell & Kim ‘Dish’ Standish. He is also a member of Yallingup Residents Assoc and clears beach bins and cleans the beach during holiday periods.

So if you have left thongs, jocks or bikini tops on Yallingup Beach, Peter Mac may have your missing apparel!

Photo: 2014 Mac driving the motorised ‘mule’ on cleaning duties at Yallingup Beach. Loz Smith pic.

2014 Peter Mac Yalls Beach mule IMGP3290

Peter Mac also assists Surfing WA with the setting up of beach equipment at major surfing competitions in the south west.

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Peter Mac’s Happy Snaps.

Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald has lived, surfed, fished and worked at Yallingup since the 70s.

This a collection of his happy snaps of Yalls & elsewhere.

MacIn the 60’s my parents had a holiday home at Moore River (north of Perth). My sisters & I enjoyed many fun times there.

Photos: 1960s Moore River holidays. Photos courtesy of Peter & Robyn Mac.

Top: (Left) Early 60s Peter age 12 with Nina the hound. (Right) 1963 Peter surfing Moore River beachie.
Bottom: (Left) 1969 Jenny Payne, Robyn Mac, Jenny Lym, Denise Waters & Bruce King. (Right)  1970s Peter Mac, Blue Nicholson, Jenny Lym & Micko Gracie standing in front of outside dunny.

1960-70 Moore River Peter Mac collage_photocat

MacIn the 70s Chris Green & I were partners in Yallingup Bricklayers Co.

Photos: 1970s Yalls. (Left) Mac & Chris Green going over the books at Richie Riggs place. (Right) Mac, Chris Green & his bro Richard (ex NZ) rugged up for SW winter. Photos courtesy Peter Mac.

1970s Yalls Mac & Chris & Richard Green collage_photocat

Photos: 1973 Yalls some of Mac’s mates. (Left) Micko Gracie & Rodney dog. (Right) Steve ‘Blue’ Nicholson napping. Photos courtesy of Bruce King.

1973 Yalls Micko & Blue collage_photocat

Photos: 1970s Capel party. Photos courtesy of Peter Mac.

Top: (Left) Ron ‘Gremmo’ Ellis & Howard Johnson (decd). (Right) Christine Johnson & Wendy Campbell.
Bottom: (left) Laurie ‘Pup’ Nesbitt. (Right) Hornie Campbell, Peter Mac, George Simpson & Glen Lance.

1970s Capel party various collage_photocat

Mac – In 1978 Bruce King, Kevin O’Dwyer, Ian ‘Prive’ Morris & I lived and worked on building sites in the Bunbury region. Tropical Cyclone Alby went through Bunbury with 130Km/h winds and did a lot of damage while we where there.

Photos: 1978 Bunbury party. (Left) Bruce & Mac. (Right) Prive. Photos courtesy of Peter Mac.

1970s Bunbury Party Bruce Mac & Prive1 collage_photocat

MacIn the late 1970s I was still single and Chris Green & his wife Lynette were living with me at Yalls.

Photo: 1979 Yalls Mac’s house (centre red brick) and view across empty caravan park to the ocean. This photo was taken from Prive’s block on Yallingup hill. Peter Mac pic.

1979 Yalls overlooking P Mac place & caravan park P Mac pic

Photos: 1970s Yalls Chris Green’s van parked out front of Peter Dyson’s shack. (Right) Chris Green at Mac’s house. Photos courtesy of Peter Mac.

1970s Yalls Chris Green collage_photocat

Photos: 2000’s Peter Mac surfing Indijup Car Park. Photos courtesy of Peter Mac.

2000s Peter Mac surfing Injidup Car Park collage_photocat

Photos: 2008 Yalls. (Left) Prive and his ‘Meyerhoffer’ coke bottle shape surfboard. (Right) Peter Mac and his fish catch. Photos courtesy of Jim King.

2008 Yalls Prive & Mac collage_photocat

Photos: YalMal classic Yalls (Left) 1980 Tim Eastwood, Peter Mac & Loz Smith. (Right) 2014 Peter Mac, Peter Dyson & Loz Smith. Photos courtesy of Loz Smith.

1980s 2014 YalMal & collage_photocat

Photos: YalMal classic Yalls. (Left) 2011 Prive, Mark Hills, Arns Smith & Yesca Maas. (Right) 2014 Bob Monkman & Peter Mac. Photos courtesy of Loz Smith.

2011 & 2014 Yal Mal Loz pics collage_photocat

On a sunny day you may see Mac riding his old bike to Yallingup beach for a swim.

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1960s Dave Aylett Surfer-Singer-Songwriter Part #2

Dave Aylett’s Part #2 continues on from Part #1 Surfing in the 60s.

Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

Dave Aylett – Rhythm guitar & vocals

Greg Wynne – Bass guitar & lead vocals

Terry Malone – Lead guitar

Michael Byrom – Drums

Victor Kailis – Manager

Mike ‘Gruff’ Reynolds – Roadie

First 45rpm single – Can’t fathom fate and flipside Alone.

These are my recollections of the Young Blaydes.

My music started with getting 3 guitar lessons with Billy Barns after my father giving in to my birthday request of a guitar. I learnt about half a dozen cords got side-tracked with something else and put the guitar under my bed to gather dust. I don’t know what made me take it out and start playing. I think it may have been seeing Rock Around The Clock. Being at an impressionable age standing in front of a mirror training a kiss curl and trying to be a cool looking James Dean type I think may have started it all. I saw movies like The Wild One with leather jacketed heroes as someone I thought it might be fun to be. The wild swings from surfing to girls, cars and music would change with every breath. I started writing songs then because I was not a good reader so instead of learning the words of songs it was easy for me to make up my own words and songs.

I managed to sing and play a large number of some of the worst songs ever performed, but my mum thought they were terrific. Dad knew a Mr Clark senior who recorded all the horse race and trotting meetings and Mr Clark built a sound studio for his son Martin Clark in Murray St. Perth. One day dad introduced me to Martin Clark and Martin was impressed with me. One day he said “there is a concert happening I think you should see it. The acts include the Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison. They are all very new and they have booked at the Capitol Theatre on the 13th Feb 1965. I can get you back stage.” Well I didn’t know what to expect and to be honest I can’t remember much of the sounds except that is was distorted and loud. Then I was dragged through a crowd and told “This is Mick Jagger.” I held out my hand, Mick looked at it and continued talking with some star struck girls. There I was introduced to Mick Jagger. Not impressed!

Soon after in Martin Clarks Recording Studio we listened to recordings and discussed various styles of songs. Martin suggested I should write some songs Roy Orbison style about crying and that stuff. Well the first few were shocking. We even recorded some on the old 78rpm speed cellular with the newly formed group The Times. The Times were told that the happening scene was in U.K. So they decided to work on a cruise ship and eventually end up in England. Well l don’t know what happened but I was told they got as far as South Africa and there was some trouble. I don’t know what the trouble was, but they soon returned to Perth. It was a plan that once they arrived in U.K. Martin Clark would know more about the scene, advise me and I might join them.  That was all off now.

At about this time Victor Kailis and I became surfing friends. We both enjoyed all the music at that time and one thing lead to another and Vick suggested we form a band with Vick as band manager. We advertised in the newspaper that we were holding auditions in a conference room above the old Swanbourne Theatre. The response was low volume but high quality. Out of that we found Greg Wynne (bass guitar) and Mike Byron (drums). These 2 guys were great mates and had a good understanding of creating a solid foundation for a band to build on. We also found the best of a bunch of guitar players to be Graham Flintoff. Both Vick and I felt the combination was acceptable but there seemed to be something wrong. Both Greg and Mike felt we could do better with the lead guitarist. Mike and Greg raved about a young and brilliant guitarists named Terry Malone. We arranged a meeting and from the get go we knew we had something. Vick didn’t like it, but he was given the job of telling Graham Flintoff we were letting him go. Graham didn’t like it, but it had to be done. Sorry Mate! Well straight away we needed a place to practice.

Image: 1971 Young Blaydes manager Victor Kailis & associates appearing in Victor James Entertainment advt.

1971 Victor James Entertainment advt - West Country Surf mag img246 cropped

I had done my homework and I had my eye on a disused butcher shop in North Street Swanbourne that had been vacant for some time. I told the guys and showed it to them and decided to phone up the telephone number on the to-let sign on the window. The property was owned by an old retired guy in Cottesloe. I went around to see him with my idea and he was concerned with the neighbours and whether he would get noise complaints. I convinced him that with the loudest instrument in the band, the drums, if they were set up in the disused fridge and we were to carpet the walls and floors with second hand carpets I bought with the help from my dad from Gregson Auctions in the shop front and with time restrictions, we would not disturb any neighbours. Well this old guy and I got on like a house on fire. He collected and polished gemstones and once he was happy with the conditions after the first 2 weeks rent he let us practice there for free. Our land lord said he would leave the to let sign on the shop window in case he got a paying customer. The shop had been vacant for years so that didn’t worry us at all. It was terrific and we set to developing the type of sound that made us all happy and Vick started telling his friends and relations, some had nightclubs and hotel interests, about his HOT NEW BAND that once polished in performance would HIT THE SCENE.

It was Xmas when we were almost ready. We had a strong line up of copy songs and we had in mind what we wanted to record with original songs which I had written. We all know words and music is nothing without arrangements. A successful arrangement must have an attitude with a HOOK and this takes band member’s time to develop harmoniously. By New Year we were nearly there. We had an absolutely outstanding NEW YEARS EVE PARTY. New Year’s Day we were still rocking at about noon. The neighbours instead of complaining joined us and were all very supportive. It was TIME. We were stoked! Straight away Vick was arranging the gigs and took us to a Greek tailor (family friend) and had made matching navy blue Beatle style suits, white fancy shirts, high heel, winkle picker boots, fake gold cuff links and the name The Young Blaydes logo on Mikes drum kit. We looked, for Perth in those days, a SHARP OUTFIT.

We were originally going to record on the Clarion label and use Martin Clark’s studio and equipment until we were approached by a sound recording technician who worked for 6KY. Although the equipment was ancient this guy knew the business and had a great ear for sound. He translated in to what we said we wanted and helped with sound affect echo etc. Then in about 3 or 4 nights we put down tapes and produced a 45rpm single. Can’t Fathom Fate and flip side Alone. We were flat out from the get go and soon developed a strong following with the opening of some clubs like THE TOP OF THE TOWN the pubs / clubs and some nights doing as many as 3 gigs. We had only one roadie. His name was GRUFF. He would sometimes get help from friends in order to get free entry into the venues. He was a great guy and was a good friend of Mike our drummer who had the most gear to cart and set up. All in all a tight group of solid friends with a direction.

It was great. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday surf/practice Thursday, Friday, Saturday work and sleep where ever on Sunday. Sometimes getting home Sunday night. Dad probably wasn’t sure about what he’d help to start but mum was proud. That mattered to me. The offers came thick and fast. Some of the gigs were amazing. One of a couple that I remember was at the old engineering works on the corner of Milligan St and Wellington St. Perth. The university students and friends were the organisers. Our stage was on about 20 feet high on about a 20 foot X 20 foot disused steel platform. Surprisingly the acoustics were brilliant, however Mike’s drums kept sliding away from him on the steel flooring. Until the first break Greg and I took turns in stopping the bass drum from moving forward with our feet while still carrying out a performance. During a short break Gruff our roadie secured the drums. From memory it was a Bonny and Clyde fancy dress fundraiser. It was a credit to the organisers and the encores were so demanding we played it felt like 8 hours solid. What a blast!

It was a short highlighted career. Nightly blissfully careering through group fan girl traffic was outstanding. Lots of sex was the currency. Then group members begun to become steady with special girlfriends and before long arrangements were needing to accommodate the band members steady’s. My girlfriend and later my wife told me that our manager Vick told her that he would break her arm, if she was to interfere with my career. Vick would never say something like that seriously, but with my then girlfriend it struck a nerve. Suddenly the end was in sight. The band was burning out and we couldn’t keep up the pace and the bitching. Vick did a great job and we did a pilot T.V. show for Guest Cool Drinks. We worked really hard setting down miming to our music (nothing was live those days) and recording a song for a great voice (Diane Zapher, hope I got the spelling right) who had a crush on Vick. When we failed to get the gig and lost it to Johnny Young we imploded.

The band became a NIGHTMARE to manage. Musically none of us were close to what we were. Together we were something. It was like something that had just begun died. I felt sorry for Vick, Greg, Terry, Mike and most of all myself. I got married and put my nose to the grind stone for 25 years. From then till now it has been fun and fulfilling. The future looks great and one of the highlights of every year now, the weekend before Easter, is the Yallingup Board Club reunion. I feel something special is happening when I walk into the Caves House Bar and see my mates smiling faces turn and say “DAVO! How ya go-n mate?” What a crew! I love em all.

Bonus song lyrics by Dave Aylett.

I was once asked by a newly married young bloke who was having trouble. “What is the best way of getting along with women?

I thought about this question for some time and I thought I would put NEW WORDS to a song sung by Old Franky Boy. “I DID IT MY WAY!”

‘He Did It Her Way’

Girls, I’ve had a few,

But then again,

Too few to mention,

I did what most blokes do,

I saw it through,

Without a mention,

To think I did all that,

And now I say,

In a VERY shy way,

Oh no, no, no, not me,

I did it her way.

For what is a man,

What has he got,

When she says jump,

And he does not,

She says the words,

He always fears,

He runs away,

And drinks more beers,

He takes the blows,

God only knows,

He’ll do it, HER WAY.

He’s lived,

He’s laughed and cried,

He’s done his share,

Of win and loosing,

The things that he has tried,

And haven’t worked,

Were all his choosing,

She’s planned,

His charted course,

And kept his wheels,

On the highway,

And more,

Much more than this,

He did it……. HER WAY.

For what is a man,

What has he got,

When she says jump,

And he does not,

She says the words,

He always fears,

He runs away,

And drinks more beers,

He takes the blows,

God only knows,

He’ll do it, HER WAY.

Photo: 2016 Yallingup Board Club ‘60s reunion at Caves House. L-R Peter Dyson (former lead singer The Banned) and Dave Aylett (singer/songwriter The Young Blades).

2016 Yalls Peter Dyson & Dave Aylett - Loz Smith pic IMGP0796

Click on this link to view 1960s Greg Wynne and ‘The Young Blaydes’ Band

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1960s Dave Aylett Surfer-Singer-Songwriter Part #1

In the 1960s Cottesloe lad Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett led an idyllic life surfing during the day and playing with a band at night time.

Dave was a talented surfer and musician.

From 1967-68 Dave played rhythm guitar and was a singer/song writer in the popular Perth band The Young Blaydes managed by Victor Kailis. Victor was a great manager and dressed them in suits and ties like the Beatles. They had hair to match, with exception of lead vocalist Greg Wynne, he grew an afro!

Dave’s 60s recollections are featured in two parts:

Part #1 Surfing in the 60s

Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

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Part #1 Surfing in the 60’s

1961 was the year when we surfed at Trigg blue hole, Threepenny reef, Contacio’s, Scarborough’s numerous beach breaks and City Beach groyne.

We would surf City Beach at night time under the groyne light after parties, if we were to luck out with the chicks. From time to time we would get hooked by the fishermen. One time l had to release myself by biting through the fishing line. I had the fish hook in my hand and it tore out. While I bled on the beach the fisherman wanted to fight me for being responsible for the loss of his tackle. The fishermen hated us being there and they would cast over our heads or try to hit us with their sinkers.

Photo: Early 60s City Beach groyne with fishermen & surfers co-existing. Photo Tom Collins.

1960s City Beach groyne surfing - Tom Collins pic NVE00028

Swanbourne (rifle range and nude beach) rarely performed, North Cottesloe (about the same as Swanbourne except for the nude stuff), Peter’s pool, the Slimy, the Cottesloe pylon, Cottesloe groyne and Cove’s right and left breaks.

Isolated

Then came the ISOLATED with only a hand full of guys knowing about it. Richard Hadley and I were surfing the Cove one day and the waves became a bit boring so we decided to take a paddle to Dutch Inn. Surprise, surprise, we came across this great little wave. Well I’m not sure whether we were the first to take off on this nice little break, but hell we were stoked. The tide was just right and it was going off. What a gas!  Well we both worked shifts at that time and it was mid-week and we were the only ones out there, so we agreed not to tell anyone else.

Photo: Early 1960s Dave Aylett surfing Isolated surf break at Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Dave Aylett.

1961 Isolated Dave Aylett 207127-1

Back then there was a limestone 1.5 metre high wall separating the road Marine Parade from the steep rugged limestone cliff. If you were driving your car along Marine Parade you would NOT see the surf. Different if you drove a truck. But no one I knew drove a truck!

Photo: Early 1960s Dave Aylett surfing Isolated surf break at Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Dave Aylett.

1961 Isolated Dave Aylett 207127-2

Those days if you were to find a NEW spot you would keep it to yourself for as long as you could. Acquaintances would ask “where are you planning to surf this weekend?” and you found ways of NOT telling by saying, “to a SECRET SURF SPOT” and just to throw them off completely. We would say, “IT’S VERY ISOLATED” which of course was far from true. I don’t know whether we were the first to surf the break in 1961 because others may feel as though they found it. I can only suggest Richard and I would most likely be the first to surf this great little break. We had it to ourselves for more than a month then the word got out and it became crowded. By then the name ISOLATED stuck and became known for this break. The 1.5 metre limestone wall was removed and it became one of the most popular breaks along the coast.

Images: 1967 State Spring Titles held at Isolated surf break Cottesloe.

Top: Male competitors entering the surf & spectators viewing action from limestone cliff. Still images ex City Beach Surf Riders Club Super 8 film.

Bottom: Carol McDonald leaving the surf and female competitors on the beach L-R Jan Stirling, Maureen Farrell & Carol McDonald. Photos courtesy of Carol Putland nee McDonald (dec’d).

1967 Isolated State SpringTitles _photocat

To escape the city crowd I started taking the long drive down south to Yallingup and breaks like Gallows etc. I’d like to find out who found and named all the other spots. It would make a great read and probably generate some controversy.

Lancelin

Victor Kailis and I surfed with Johnny Balgarnie. I think from memory Bob Mayhew, Bruce Woodward, George Goddard, Vic Francis and Ron Allen surfed northern breaks, the best from my memory were South Passage and Edward Island and sometimes a little but well-shaped shore break we called the Rubbish Tip.

I think the best day of surf I can vividly remember was South Passage. It was a long paddle out so Vick whose family is and was big in fisheries invited us aboard one of his fishing boat out to South Passage. Rarely one gets conditions we had. After catching a wave while paddling out it looked as though the reefs were rising in the crystal clear oil like water. Not a bird in the sky or fish action and slightly overcast. When the wave tubed you could hear it gurgle..Magic! We all became champions in our own lunch hour. When we became too tired to continue this dreamlike session, Vick gave a wave to an incoming cray boat, they knew he was there, and we lay on the deck, completely spent. What a day! I slept like a log after the drive home on the rough limestone white dust (I was going to say road) track. Vick spent a long time nose riding. I think hanging five was his specialty. We were friends then, but since he has become so big in business my emails have been answered by his staff and any contact is like getting an audience with the Queen.

Surf Mobiles

My dad ran and owned retail and wholesale butchering interests. The best position I held was tally boning for Globe Meats. That was shift work when the Norwest cattle came down. I made very good money and before I was seventeen I purchased my first car. A 2 door Morris Minor mid 1950s model. I used that until I purchased brand new a 1962 (and a half) VW.

That car got absolutely hammered. I had what they called in those days ‘winter tread’ tyres on the rear and ran them at as low as 10p.s.i. when driving off road. That V-dub could handle any beaches tracks & one time it even floated in Mandurah estuary. We even skurfed behind it when there was no surf. We would use the rope we had to tie the boards on the rack like a ski rope with a bit of stick on the end with the other end tied to the bumper.

That car going to Yallingup with 4 on board & 4 surfboards on the roof taking the old limestone coast road with brick on accelerator (cruise control) would get up on a down-hill run to as much as 65 m.p.h. and we would drink King Browns Emu, Swan all the way. When we arrive at Yallingup Caves House I could drive fine. I just couldn’t walk! How we survived is a miracle. Caves licensee Bill Copley was a great guy. I think he had the patience of any angel putting up with this mob of piss heads. (I did have some photos of those days, but they were victims of my messy divorce). That car lasted me till 1964. In 1964 Rex Cordingley asked me if I would like to drive to Sydney for the First World Surf Championships in Cordingley’s sky blue F.C. panel van with some surfboards on the rack. Rex also asked Peter Utting. We both said yes. What an experience! But’s that’s a story for another day!

Click on this link to view Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

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