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1960s Yallingup Surf Board Club – History (part 1 of 2)

The original Yallingup Surf Board Club (YBC) ran from the early 60s to mid-69. This history of YBC was compiled by former club member Michael Bibby.

Club History

YBC was formed in the early 60’s by a group of 25 mainly Cottesloe based surfers following a suggestion to surf pioneers Cliff Hills and Rob Birch to build a shack in the Hotel grounds by the then Caves House publican Bill Copley,. Each member of YBC put in £5 which was used to build a clubhouse in the grounds of Caves House above the bowling green near the West Coast Board Rider’s (Wheels) shack. The shack was built by the boys using a timber frame and asbestos cladding. There was no plumbing, just electricity for a light and a fridge, a table in the corner and 15 or more shearer style beds. The conditions were primitive but provided a great base to stay whilst surfing in the SW.

Inaugural YBC Club president was Colin Cordingley, vice president Terry James, Bill Oddy secretary and Rick Skelton treasurer.

The older members, particularly Colin Cordingley and Terry James were very active in recruiting new blood to the Club in the early 60’s.

Membership was by invitation only and the numbers grew to 43. Up and coming surfers were poached from other metropolitan clubs. Peter Bothwell, Mick Lindsay, Brian Boynes and Mark Waddell came from the original City Beach Club. Hume Heatley, Alan MacGillvray, Colin Morris, Karl Schumacher, Mike Bibby, Don MacDonald & Joe Wilson from the Cottesloe Board Club. Plus the boys from the Leighton Cable Station, Bill Oddy, Vance Cocks and John Pozzi. It was a diverse group with a mix of occupations including builders, mechanics, printer, fisheries inspector, schoolboys, property developers, salesmen etc.

Club meetings were held at Colin & Jenny Cordingley’s house in Beagle Street Mosman Park with the obligatory 5 gallon keg followed by a race to the Van Eileen burger van on Marine Parade Cottesloe. There were a wide range of cars from hotted up FJ and FB Holdens panel vans to go with the Ford Falcons, a Toyota corolla, Simca and an Isuzu Bellett.

Photos: 1960s YBC automobiles;
Top Left: Colin Cordingley’s Toyota Corolla on Rocky Point track. Photos courtesy Tina Wilson
Top right: John Harbinson & Joe Wilson leaving YBC shack to go cray fishing in VW. Photo courtesy Tina Wilson.
Bottom Left: Joe Wilson’s 2 door sedan & Smokey the dog at The Cove. Photo courtesy Arty Sherburn
Bottom right: Unidentified in FJ Holden on SW track. Photos courtesy Tina Wilson.

1960s YBC automobiles compilation IMG_004

The club was unbeaten in inter-club surf board riding competitions held in both the metropolitan area and down south from 1964 to 1966. Sponsors were JD’s and radio station 6PR provided parkas and board shorts. The colours were black with a blue border and the 6PR logo in yellow on the seat of the board shorts.

Photo: 1964 YBC club photo taken at Izzy Orloffe’s Studio in Freo after an undefeated run of comps between 1962 and 1964. This club photo now hangs in the front bar at Caves House Hotel. Photo courtesy of Izzy Orloffe Studios.

1964 Yalls Board Club - A Orloff Studio Frem  picA

Absent from photo shoot: M Bibby, D McDonald. J Pozzi & Vance Cocks

There were many fund raising events from raffles to stomps including a concert at Canal Rocks that was hugely popular but the proceeds mysteriously disappeared.

Club members were issued with YBC membership cards.

Images: 1960s YBC membership card. Images Courtesy Colin Morris

1960s YBC Membership Card - Colin Morris IMG_001

The Club shack was a focal point for after-surfing activities with some memorable parties. It was also the beginning of many long term friendships with interstate surfers who would stay there.

The shack was demolished in 1967 when Bill Copley sold Caves House Hotel to the Emmett brothers, farmers from Dowerin. They didn’t want the shack on the grounds, so the decision was made to demolish it. A request to the Shire of Busselton to lease some other Shire land to relocate the Club shack went unanswered. On the weekend of shack demolition Alan MacGillvray brought down the Macs supermarket Bedford truck with the crew in the canopy covered back (with 5 gallon keg for the trip). The shack was demolished over a weekend with the timber and asbestos being dumped in the sand hills behind the Surfside restaurant on the beachfront.

Photos. Yalls YBC Shack. Left. L-R YBC & West Coast Board Club shacks at Caves House. Photo courtesy of Ernie Potter. Right. 1964 remains of YBC shack front door step on demolition day. Photo courtesy of Peter Bothwell.

1960s YBC Club Shack compilation IMG_001

The club records were lost during that weekend. Sometime after leaving the Mandurah stomp on the way down, someone threw Bill Oddy’s briefcase containing the records out of the truck. Many months later someone from Wokelup rang Bill to say they had found the briefcase but unfortunately most of the contents were destroyed.

As the first and second tiers of members disbanded Colin Cordingley maintained his passion for the club and recruited more up and coming surfers such as Kevin Ager, Ashley Jones and Peter Bevan.

The club was wound up in 1969.

There have been two subsequent reunions courtesy of Bill Oddy, the first in the late 80’s at the Newport Hotel in Fremantle and the second in 2002 at the Rivervale Hotel. Following the recent presentation to Caves House of the framed YBC club photo by Peter Dyson, it is hoped an annual reunion at Caves House can become a fixture.

Photos: 1988 YBC reunion Newport Hotel Freo. Left: YBC Reunion poster. Right: L-R Tina Wilson, Trevor Baskerville & Tanya Hills. Photos courtesy of Tina Wilson.

1988 YBC Reunion compilation IMG_001

See part 2 Yallingup Board Club – Recollections blog for recollections from former Club members .