Gallery

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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Gallery

Rod Slater living down south in 1967 – Updated 29 April 2017.

Correction 29 April 2017: Rod Slater was born and bred at Triggs and went to Scarborough High because that was the closest high school.

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Scarborough surfer Rod Slater and his surfing mates Buttsy and Choko shifted down south in 1967.

These are Rod’s SW memories and photos.

I finished 5th Year at Scarborough Senior High School in 1966 and in the autumn of 1967 shifted down south with David ‘Buttsy’ Purcell from Watermans and ‘Choko’ (not sure of his real name) from either City Beach or Cottesloe (I think).

We rented a few rooms at the back of an old house in Busselton. The only work we could get was picking up sticks and cleaning paddocks.

We had some good uncrowded waves with the likes of John Balgarnie, Terry James and Alan McGilvray.

When we couldn’t afford to live in the South West any longer, we went back to Perth in early 1968. Back in the big smoke I laboured to raise funds to go surfing over East.

I have included a few photos from our brief attempt to live down south.

Rod Slater

Photo: 1967 David ‘Buttsy’ Purcell at the back of the rental house in Busselton. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 the boys on Yallingup Beach with surf boards #1. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 the boys on Yallingup Beach with surf boards #2. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy with Choko and his Vee-Dub sedan in Yallingup Beach car park. Surfside Store holiday accommodation units are in the background. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy and John Balgarnie in Yallingup Beach car park. The historic Hammond cottages are in the background. Rod Slater pic.

Photo: 1967 Buttsy and SW surfing pioneer Terry ‘Rat’ James in Yallingup Beach car park. An undeveloped Valley Road is in the background. Rod Slater pic.

In mid-1968 Rod got on a train in Perth and headed over to the East Coast chasing waves.

Coming soon Rod Slater’s memories of surf trips to Phillip Island in Vic.

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Gallery

Greg Woodward surf photographer

In the 50-60s WA’s pioneer surf photographers were John Budge, Brian Cole and Jim Breadsell. The next wave of surf photographers in the 60-70s were Tom Collins, Dave Condon, Rod Taylor (West Australian Newspapers), Trevor Burslem, Greg Woodward and Ric Chan.

Greg Woodward is holding an exhibition of his 60-70s surfers and beaches photos. The exhibition titled ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ will be held at Nyisztor Studios, 391 Canning Highway Melville/Palmyra from 6-21 May 2017. Gallery open Wed. – Sat. 11am -5pm, Sunday 2 – 5pm.

There are approximately 80 images in the exhibition, about a third of which are guys surfing. The rest are beaches, waves, bikinis, sunbathers and a few portraits.

It features the following surf riders: –

  • Murray Smith
  • Greg Laurenson
  • Peter Bothwell
  • Peter Dyson
  • Ian Cairns
  • Ron Waddell
  • Howard Taylor
  • Brian Hood
  • Ian Taylor
  • Norm Bateman
  • Jim King
  • Steve Cockburn
  • John Pawson and Charlie Bartlett in Victoria….and some unknowns.

There are one or two pics of the guys listed.

Greg’s reason for calling his photo exhibition “The Dazzling Young Riders” follows:-

“When I first saw surfers riding waves as a young guy at High School I was bedazzled by this new ‘sport’. These tanned and handsome young men and women were literally walking on water –dancing across the waves. It was a new sporting activity so different to football and cricket.

 Now; surfing viewed from my landlocked armchair seems more frenetic and hysterical than dazzling”.

Images: 2017 The Dazzling Young Riders exhibition invitation by Greg Woodward.

Profile on surf photographer Greg Woodward.

Greg Woodward was a West Australian surf photographer and writer from 1966 to 1974.

He photographed in Perth, Mandurah and Cape Naturaliste sending photos and articles to the then brand new OZ surf magazine called ‘Surf International’.

Image: ‘A Place of Surf’ article by Greg Woodward appeared in Surf International Magazine in 1968.

Photos: 1966-67 WA surfers riding metro waves. Greg Woodward pics.

Left: (Top) 1967 Ian ‘Spydor’ Taylor surfing Trigg Island. (Bottom) 1966 Brian Hood surfing Scarborough Beach.

Right: 1967 Jim King surfing south side City Beach groyne.

In 1968 Greg was called up to do two years of National Service in the Army. On his Army leave he visited Bells Beach and met the Torquay surfing crew. He also checked out Coolangatta and Noosa Heads and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the great point and beach breaks in Queensland.

Photo: 1968 Greg’s first leave from Puckapunyal Military Camp Vic. Greg Woodward pic.

In 1970, out of the Army, he returned to Melbourne to study photography. He hitchhiked to Torquay on the weekends for a surf and to spend time with the Torquay crew.

Photos: East Coast travel snaps. Greg Woodward pics.

(Left) 1969 unidentified surfer Noosa Headland Qld (Right) 1970 Greg at Bells Beach Vic.

1971 saw him back in Perth photographing around Perth beaches, doing more documentary pics and newspaper work rather than surfing photos. He worked with Ric Chan at the Independent Newspaper for six months. Doing roving jobs and on Saturdays taking pics. Greg remember Ric coming across very stylish and confident but never realised he was an avid Surf photographer and writer.

In 1974, Greg started work as a photographer at the Art Gallery of W.A doing exhibition catalogues and recording the art and exhibitions for their files.  He retired from there in 2007.

Photos: 1970s Cottesloe Beach. Greg Woodward pics.

(Left) 1972 unidentified body surfer leaving the water. (Right) 1974 day at the beach with an esky.

In 1982 he stopped surfing due to ill health, the crowds and inconsistent beach breaks. He found he was spending more time driving around trying to find surf, instead of being in it.

Greg misses the waves and is still interested in the freedom and natural beauty of surfing. Two items on his bucket list are to see Yallingup bay closing out and Meelup Point breaking again.

SDS will feature images from Greg’s ‘The Dazzling Young Riders’ Photo Exhibition in a future blog.

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Gallery

Yallingup Boardriders Club – Past meets Present

A gathering of Yallingup Boardriders Club past members was held in the beer garden at Caves House Yallingup on Saturday 8 April 2017. The event has been held for several years at Caves House on the Saturday before Easter break.

For the first time some present YBC members were in attendance and mixed with past members from the early 60s. This provided an opportunity for cross pollination between the two groups.

Loz SmithThe purpose of the social function was to connect past and present YBC members. Hopefully the two groups will bond and document Yallingup Boardriders’ past and present history.

Pizzas were kindly provided by Loz Smith.

Photo: 2017 YBC past members (and guests) in Caves pub beer garden. Loz Smith pic.

Standing: L-R John Pozzi, Mike Bibby, Jim King, Kim Jones, Ashley & Nina Jones.

Sitting: L-R Kim ‘Dish’ Standish, Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett & Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell.

Photo: 2017 past & present group photo in front of all conquering 1964 YBC team photo hanging in the front bar at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: 2017 Garth Mullumby, ‘Spook’ Bothwell, Aaron & Micko in the front bar at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Photo: 2017 Garth Mullumby (current YBC President) with Jim King (former City Beach President) in the beer garden at Caves House. Loz Smith pic.

Image: 2017 Yallingup Boardriders Club sticker (Club incorporated 1991). Loz Smith pic.

To view YBC Facebook page click on Yallingup Boardriders Club

The gathering of YBC past members will happen again same time and place next year.

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Gallery

1960s Gallows surf break & dirt track

History

Cattle farmer, vigneron & ex Busselton GP, the late Dr Kevin Cullen purchased a rural property at Wilyabrup in the early 50s. A powerful left hand reef break in front of the Cullen family beach house was appropriately named Gallows.

Tony HarbisonDr Cullen’s dentist friend Ron Rankin-Wilson from North Cott SLSC was invited down to the beach house for a weekend. He walked to the beach and saw the wave going-off. Ron was the first to paddle out on his 16ft single ski and surf Gallows.

As word spread about this hot new wave, the dirt track to the house (Cullen Rd) became a main thoroughfare. The track stopped approx. 2 kilometres from the coast and surfers had to sneak through the bush past the Cullen beach cottage to the beach lugging their heavy Malibu’s. The surfers would often disturb Dr Cullen’s attractive daughter sun baking nude in the back yard.

Photo: 1961 Gallows bush walk pre-dirt track. Steve Mailey pic.

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In the early 60s the West Coast Board Club used all the money they had in their bank account £20 to pay local cattle farmer Boodge Guthrie to bulldoze a rough dirt track through the remaining bush to the coast (Gallows and Guillotine).

The track’s black ilmenite sand was very hot in summer & there were bush flies in plague proportions. But the popular reef break was now accessible to all SW surfers.

For more background information on Gallows refer Surfing Down South book published 2014 by Margaret River Press. (Reprinted 2015). See early Gallows anecdotes by Tony Harbison, Geoff Culmsee, Kevin Merifield & Jim McFarlane.

Gallows Line-up

Gallows initially breaks 500 meters out to sea, before reforming and breaking on the inside where the take-off zone is. Tow-in teams use the outside break as a practice ground.

Bigger waves wash all the way through from the outside and the inside is best ridden on a smaller swell. The inside reform has a shifty peak and in bigger swells has a sweep that drags you north.

Gallows can be a fun wave and it doesn’t get too crowded.

The old dirt track off Cullen Rd in no longer in use. Surfers now access Gallows & Guillotines from Juniper Road.

A collection of surfers anecdotes and photos follow:-

Dave Williams – In the late 50s there was a surfer at Yallingup called John ‘Red’ Abbott, we used to call him ‘Brer Rabbit’. He would come to Yalls with a sleeping bag, a hammock, a piece of ply 6” x 6” (which he used as a hand board), a towel, his money & clothing. He was very microscopic as far as the gear he took down south.

Photo: 1958 John ‘Red’ Abbott surfing on his plywood hand board at Gallows. Photographer unknown.

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Jim Keenan – In March 1961 I went to Yalls for a two month holiday with Puppy Dog Paton a talented surfer from Manly NSW. It was the summer that fires ripped the South West apart with many mill towns like Karridale wiped out. We were also nearly wiped out at the Gallows on a very big day. The bomboras were working for what seemed miles out to sea. We were stupid enough to try out the fourth break and it was there that we were threatened by the relentless swell. Puppy was only about 17 years of age and I was fearful of losing him in the surf. We chose our wave with respect and managed to make shore a little out of sorts.

Photo: 1961 Gallows outside break. L-R Jim Keenan & Puppy Dog from Manly NSW. Photo courtesy of Jim Keenan.

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Brian Cole – Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent was a keen SW big wave rider in the early 60s. He got his nickname from the white zinc cream he plastered on his face.

Bill Gibson – In the 60s ‘The Ghost’ was always surfing at Gallows. He was the furthest one out chasing the big ones!

Photo: 1961 Howard ‘The Ghost’ Kent surfing at Gallows. Photo credit Brian Cole.

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Zac Kochanowitsch My first trip down south was quite by accident. In the summer of 62 I travelled to Avalon (near Mandurah) with my mates John McGuire and Boz Cummins in John’s mum’s new Morris Minor 1000. When we got there the surf was too small so John said “bugger this, we are going to Gallows”. John immediately dismantled the car’s speedometer cable as he was told to go no further than Avalon and his dad always took a speedo reading to check how far we travelled that day.

To save time we headed off down the Old Coast Road on a rough dirt track between Lake Preston Road House and Australind. Finally we found our way to the The Gallows. To our surprise we were the only ones there, it was offshore wind and a perfect head high wave. We surfed for 2 hours then John said “we have to go home now as I have to have the car home before 6pm”. So we headed home to wash the car & reconnect the speedo and pretend Avalon was as far as we went.

Photo: 1962 Gallows close-out set heading towards surfer Brian Cole. Photo courtesy of Brian Cole.

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Mark Hills – My dad (Cliff Hills) was one of the early pioneers to use the dirt track to the Cullen property to access and surf Gallows.

Photos. 1962 various surfers at Gallows. Photos courtesy of Brian Cole.

Top: (Left) Bob Keenan. (Right) Bob Keenan & Brian Cole.

Bottom: (Left) Dave Williams. (Right) Brian Cole.

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Photo: January 1963 North End Board Club lads surfing Gallows. Murray d’Arcy pic.

Photo: 1963 Terry ‘Rat’ James performing ‘Quasimodo’ maneuver at Gallows. Photo courtesy of Sonny James.

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Geoff Berry – In the early 60s Merv hart, Mark Waddell, Martin Pardoe, Brian Boynes & myself bought a Hudson Pacemaker sedan to save our own vehicles and use as our ‘Surfari Wagon’. It was big enough to sleep full strength across the back seat. We even took it down the gallows track.

Unfortunately it made its last fateful trip to Yallingup circa 1964. Refer Surfing Down South book for more details.

Image: 1964 Hudson Pacemaker similar to the boys ‘Surfari Wagon’. Image courtesy of Geoff Berry.

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Extract from Arthur Sherburn’s Surf Diary – Gallows Sunday 2 Jan 1966. Courtesy of Arthur & Surfing Down South book.

One of the best sessions we (Rex, Bartle & I) have ever had here. Fantastic tubes. Rainy, cool water and air. We had half of the session to ourselves. ‘TOO MUCH’. Then 3 Yallingup guys came Droppin’ In. Session started!!!

Photos: 1964 Gallows vehicles on water logged Cullen Rd. Arty Sherburn pics.

Left: Bruce Brown’s FC Holden bogged.

Right: Ford Anglia & FJ Holden on soggy track.

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Geoff BerryFormer Cottesloe surfer/photographer Dave Condon took these pics of Ken ‘Kiwi’ White, Mic Lindsay & myself at Gallows in ’65.

Kiwi (retired tuna spotter) now lives at Port Lincoln in South Aust. His home beach is Cactus and he travels OZ and the surfing world chasing waves.

Mic (former City Beach surfer) now lives on the NSW mid north coast with his wife Wendy. He surfs and swims many kilometers per day.

I now live on the NSW mid north coast with my wife Julie. During the 70s & 80s I surfed Indo, Fiji & Hawaii. These days I surf the East Coast from Manly to Crescent Heads.

Photos: 1965 Gallows photos by Dave Condon.

Top: (Left) Geoff Berry’s trusty VW Beetle on Gallows track. (Right) Gallows beach car park. L-R Ken ‘Kiwi’ White, Mic Lindsay & Geoff Berry

Bottom: (Left) Geoff Berry. (Right) Mic Lindsay.

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Jim King – My first surf trip to Gallows was ‘66-67 with Colin Cordingley and the Cordingley Surf Team. The team included Kevin Ager, but I can’t remember the other surfers. The left was big & unruly so we surfed a punchy right north of the main break. (I think it is now called Hangman’s). The right hand peak was a challenge on our heavy Malibu boards.

In the late 60s Yallingup Board Club surfers Brian Boynes & Mark Waddell used a Morris Mini-Moke as a beach buggy to traverse the Gallows track. They would leave Yalls car park suited up in scarfs and racing goggles to protect themselves against the elements on the trip to Gallows. When they returned from Gallows, they were covered in black dirt and looked like coal miners after a long shift underground. The only clean spots were around their eyes after they took their goggles off.

Photo: 1968 unidentified surfer at Gallows. Jim McFarlane pic.

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Mike BibbyMy only recollection of Gallows is the black sand which was bloody hot in summer and going with Bill Oddy in his Simca sedan. Being the fastidious Mr Clean we had to wash the sand off our feet after a session in a bucket provided by Bill otherwise we weren’t allowed in the car. No photos unfortunately!

Photo: 1970 Gallows track unidentified surfer’s XL Falcon panel van. Jim McFarlane pic.

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Photo: 1968 Murray Smith surfing Gallows. Photo courtesy of Murray Smith.

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Jim McFarlaneKevin Merifield spent a lot of time surfing Gallows and Guillotine. As we sometimes walked down the track, boards on head and towels wrapped around our faces, we could hear Kevin roaring up the dirt track in his Mercedes. He seemed to be able to get up & down the track in almost any conditions.

Photo: 1968 Kevin Merifield’s Mercedes 280SE on the Gallows dirt track – Jim McFarlane pic.

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Coming soon 1970s Gallows surf break & dirt track.

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