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1960s SW surfing recollections by Wayne Mclaughlan – Updated 6 May 2017

Update: 6 May 2017. Added 1960s Social life in Bunbury by Davo Aylett and Wayne Mclaughlan see below.

Former Busselton surfer Wayne Mclaughlan recalls surfing down south in the 1960s.

Surfing Down South is a great book and bought back wonderful memories of the sixties down south -campfires, baked beans, Irish stew, screaming flatulence, endless swells, Caves pub with duffle coat on, Tony Harbison riding 8 metre swells etc.

I fired up my first campfire around 1967, so these boys were the pioneers. Thanks for leaving the powder dry for the next batch of nomadic surfers!

Photo: 1967 uncrowded Yallingup waves. Photographer unknown.

I rode a 9 foot 4 inch Len Dibben long board. Interestingly, I had no wetsuit and used my Grandad’s WW11 green jumper.

Also the tempers fried a bit with us using the fisherman’s tracks, especially at Injidup.

Sometimes when we were leaving the Caves Pub the gutters outside were flowing full with rain water. The next morning we would head around to the Farm knowing full well the creek would be flowing strong, setting up the left and right surf break. It was always pleasant to say good morning to the cows strolling across the paddock, sometimes in pea soup fog.

Photo: 1968 Yallingup Beach. State Surfing Titles judges stand & spectators. Jim King pic.

Women were always on one’s mind especially after laying on a plank all day. But pussy was a rare commodity in the sixties down south. You could go into the Caves Pub on a Friday or Saturday night and see 4 birds to 100 blokes – if you could see through the smoke (Dope, wood fire and Capstan)!!!

Busselton was no good either, a drive in to search for girls resulted in nothing but a dog scratching his genitals outside a pub.

1960s Social life in Bunbury

Davo Aylett (SW surf pioneer and lead singer in Young Blaydes Band) – Chasing skirt back in the early sixties (1962-62) was always a topic of conversation. On long weekends Sunday night at the stroke of midnight began the Midnight Dance at the Railway Institute Hall Bunbury. It would begin with Trad. Jazz from the (I think they were called) the Old Port, or something like that, Band and I think Ray Hoff and the Hoff Beats played rock once. It was a sell out every time I remember. Packed with Bobby Soxs and short skirts. Generally what happened would be two blokes in a car would travel from Yallingup to Bunbury to attend the dance. If one of them got lucky he would get the car keys so he could take the prize beauty home. The other would just mope around the car park until his friend came back for him with wild and unbelievable yarns. Once I remember I stayed till close with a mate. We both got lucky and we stayed till the music stopped. When we spilled onto the car park a lot of blokes I knew, some I didn’t, wanted a lift back to Dunsborough, Yallingup and Busselton. Fortunately I had borrowed dad’s FC Holden Panel Van. So we left Bunbury packed to the gunnels. My mate and I with our chicks in the front seat and wall to wall hitch hikers about 10 in the rear spilling off the tailgate. Everything was going fine with a careful top speed of about 30mph until just outside I think Dunsborough when a fight erupted in the back. Panic stop, at just on dawn, Monday morning, in the middle of the bush.”Bugger”. We didn’t get out of the front seat. We stayed put until it all died down and then continued. Next day saw a couple of black eyes and a bit of bark off. Nothing like a glassy session to make everything right again.

Wayne MclaughlanWe used to drive back to Bunbury from Yallingup to go to Little Pinocchio’s-the ol Burly. From memory, never successful in the feline chase. Slept on the beach at Hungry Hollow on Bunbury back beach in sleeping bags and in the morning the fisherman would walk past and calls us drunken bums from this new age surfing fraternity-not respectable surf club members, but no good surf bums.

I used to have a good head of hair then and in the morning the frost gave me a Maggie Tabberer hair set that they paid big bucks for in Sydney.

Photo: Mid 1970s Yallingup with Hideaway Holiday Homes in the foreground and Surfside Store & shacks and beach car park in the background. Brian Trainer pic.

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Wayne is now retired and lives in the big smoke. He still likes to dabble his toes in the ocean.

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