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1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA – Marg’s images by Gavin McCaughey

In May 1969 the Nation’s best surfers competed in the Australian Surfing Championships held in WA.

These were the first Oz Titles held in WA and the first opportunity for WA surfers to see World Surfing Champion Nat Young and the cream of OZ surfers competing in metro & SW waves. Prior to that time, WA surfer’s exposure to the top OZ surfers was mainly through surf magazines and surf movies.

Like a lot of other WA surfers, young Scarborough surfer Gavin McCaughey followed the contest from Scarborough to Margaret River & then Yallingup in the South West.

These are Gavin’s photos and comments on some of the Eastern States surfers competing in the ’69 Oz Titles at Marg’s.

GavinWorld Champion Nat Young (NSW) broke his big wave surfboard in the solid waves at Marg’s Main Break. Nat changed to his other surfboard and went onto win the Open Men’s division.

Photo: 1969 World Champion Nat Young leaving the surf with broken surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.


GavinIn this photo NSW team mates Nat Young & Ted Spencer are repairing Nat’s replacement surfboard on the beach at Marg’s. In the background watching the process are L-R WA representative Kevin Ager, Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn, unidentified, WASRA President Ronald ‘Doc’ Naylor (striped shirts were his signature) and a couple of unidentified eastern states surfers.

Kevin Ager – I do have a clear memory of the event surrounding this photo which Nat alludes to in his autobiog. “Nat’s Nat and that’s that” but it (my memory) is not as dramatic as Nat’s narrative. Talk about authors licence, but it does make for a good read!

In fact what Nat had done, prior to Gavin’s pic, was extend the hard edge further into the softer leading main rail section, as the board had little grip in the more powerful waves. Remember it was a Dewie Webber 7ft something, quite full Californian influenced design. Nat was struggling for drive and speed compared to Drouyn and Richard Harvey in the early heats when it was pumping.

After the bog mix gelled he placed it under a car exhaust to promote a quick cure. Unfortunately the mix had been over-primed and the heat of the exhaust made the bog mix ignite, badly burning the board.

The photo actually captures Nat and good mate Ted repairing the damaged section.

As mentioned before, Nats version is more sinister rather than hilarious, which it was during the rescue amid too many trying to help.

Photo: 1969 Nat Young, unidentified & Ted Spencer repairing Nat’s burnt surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.


GavinThis pic shows the back of Paul Witzig (NSW surf journalist/photographer) whilst he checked out Marg’s main break.

Photo: 1969 Paul Witzig heading out for a surf at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.


GavinThis pic shows Peter Drouyn (Qsld) with the surfing priest (whose name escapes me) at Marg’s. Peter finished 2nd to Nat in the Open division.

Photo: 1969 Surfing priest & Peter Drouyn chatting in Marg’s car park. Gavin McCaughey pic.


Gavin – Wayne Lynch from Vic was one of the best junior surfer in World at that time and went on to win the Junior Title.

Photo: 1969 Wayne Lynch in the car park at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.


The 69 Oz Surf Titles exposed the quality of SW waves to the world and many national & international surfers followed thereafter.

Coming soon Ric Chan’s coverage of the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles in WA.




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1960s Surfers Balls

Surfers Balls were popular with board club based surfers and attracted big crowds during the 60s.

The Balls were run by WASRA, board clubs and some non-surfing organisations.

1. Annual Surfers Ball

In 1965 the West Australian Surf Rider Association (WASRA) commenced running Annual Surfers Balls at the South Perth Civic Centre.

Photo: 1965 First Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Tina Wilson.

L-R George Goddard, Jeanne Abbott, Tina Daly & Joe Wilson.

1965 Surfers Ball at Sth Perth Civic centre. George Goddard, Jeanne, Tina Daly & Joe Wilson.042

Photo: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Ron Moss.

L-R Alan Cleaver, Lyn, Connie, Ron Moss, Kathy Ward, Jim King, Rob Halliday, Elizabeth Pearson, others unidentified.

1966 Surfers Ball far right Mick Mc Gowen Yanchep R Moss pic

Photos: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Ron Moss.

L-R City Beach surfer Ronald Moss with Kathy Ward (left) and Connie (right).


Photo: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleaver.

L-R Brian Cleaver & Maureen Davies.

1966 Brian Cleaver & Maureen Davies Surfer Ball - unknown pic

Image: 1967 Entry ticket to the Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Image courtesy of Jim King.

1967 3rd Annual Surfers Ball - J King pic

Images: 1967 Newspaper cuttings from Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Images courtesy of WA Newspapers.

Left: Colin & Jenny Cordingley. Right: Ron Hutton (Doorman), Robyn Ronchi & Michael Wynne from North Beach.

1967 3rd Annual Surfers Ball collage_photocat

Images: 1967 Newspaper cuttings from Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Images courtesy of Alex Regos & WA Newspapers.

L-R Prisca Mackaay, Elizabeth Pearson & Penny Harvey

Photo: 1969 Fifth Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleaver.

L-R Penny Harvey & Brian Cleaver.

1969 Surfers Ball Penny & Brian Cleaver

2. Other surfers Balls

The Yallingup Board Club ran annual Balls for their members.

Photo: 1965 Yallingup Board Club Ball pre-dinner drinks. Photo courtesy of Tina Wilson.

L-R Don McDonald, Joe Wilson & Alan McGilvray with Jeanne Abbott, Tina Daly and Louise Bojear.

1965 YBC Ball pre dinner drinks Don McDonald, Joe Wilson & Alan McGilvray. Jeanne Abbott,Tina Daly & Louise Bojear. 041

Photo: 1965 City Beach surfers John ‘Basil’ Hanley  and Carol McDonald (Dec’d) at PWD Ball. Photo courtesy of Carol McDonald & the Daily News.

Photo: 1960s Ball held at the Palace Hotel in Perth. Peter Dyson pic.

L-R Blue Burridge, Peter Dyson Ned Franetovich & Richard Burridge (girls unidentified).

Photo: 1960s Fancy Dress Ball held at Embassy Ball Room in Perth. Peter Dyson pic.

L-R Jeff Hanson, Don McDonald, Peter Dyson, Hume Heatley & Dave Condon.

Photo: 1968 Peter ‘Rinso’ Wise and partner at University Ball held at Embassy Ballroom in Perth. Photo courtesy of Rinso.

During the late 60s & early 70s participation in Board clubs and interest in Balls waned, so the annual Surfers Balls were discontinued.




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Gideon’s Mini Cordo & Billy’s bonzer surfboards

1. Gideon McDonald’s Mini Cordo surfboard

A friend of Yallingup’s Gideon McDonald (Peter Mac’s son) recently purchased a 6’5” vintage Mini Cordo by Cordingley Surfboards on Gumtree. Gideon’s friend gave him the collector’s item to add to his quiver of alternative surfboards. The stringer-less Mini Cordo has a blue band decoration, original fin & intact logo.

Cordingley’s produced Mini Cordo surfboards in limited numbers for grommet surfers during the mid to late 60s. They were a cut down version of the full adult Malibu’s used in the 60’s.

Photo: Dec 2016 Peter Mac with Gideon’s Mini Cordo surfboard in front of Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell’s cottage at Yallingup. Loz Smith pic.

2. Bill Gibson’s bonzer surfboard

Margaret River’s Bill Gibson has restored the deck of his 6’5″ Len Dibben bonzer design surfboard. Len designed and built the board circa 1974. Bill still enjoys surfing the vintage surfboard in South West waves.

Photos: Dec 2016 Bill Gibson with his bonzer surfboard at Yallingup car park. Bruce King pics.

Many thanks to Loz Smith and Bill Gibson for this material on vintage surfboards.


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1963 Dave Aylett and The Times music video

In the 1960s Cottesloe surfer Dave ‘Davo’ Aylett was a talented singer/songwriter in Perth’s fledgling music industry.

Photo: 1960s Davo (right) surfing Isolated reef near Cottesloe. Davo pic.

Davo AylettIn the early 60s I was being schooled by music producer Martin Clark. He wanted me to write stuff and had an influencing effect that may have been not so cool. The Times were going to be my backing group in U.K. Not all my ideas. I think Martin thought of himself as another Brian Epstein.

In late 1963 I made a music video on 16 mm film as a promo for Martin Clark. It features Perth band The Times backing me with one of my very ordinary, but I think funny acts.

I wrote the lyrics, music and did the arrangement. The song was called Settle Down. The clip was a very raw primitive version that was produced in one sitting.

Click on this video link to view the music clip (run time 1:52 min).


Musicians Left to right: Terry Walker (guitar), me (singing), Jim Sheridan (drums) and right Tony Tyler.

I like the old fashioned count down in the beginning, the out of sync miming and Tony Tyler’s enthusiasm.

While we were performing the demo both Martin Clark and some recording expert were in the control room. They were dancing around and encouraging us to dance and smile.

I was used to having my guitar when I performed, but I was advised to just sing and make some movements with my hands. This clearly didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the label of lead singer. I wanted to be part of a group. Hence the Young Blaydes.

Tony stole the show. He was so into doing exactly as he was being told. He was a sweet little guy, happy all the time and wanting to please everybody. He did have a great voice. He sang a lot of Elvis songs really well. Terry Walker was an excellent musician. I was told he went to NSW and became a session musician doing advertisements and stuff. I’m not sure what happened to drummer Jim Sheridan.

After The Times left for England I made changes to fine tune the lyrics.

Lyrics, music and arrangement was my specialty. I fine-tuned the lyrics and arrangement of that song after the clip was done. The lyrics were changed to “You will have to change your ways, or pack your bags and be on your ways. Cause l’m not the type of guy to run after you. I’ll settle down if you do too.” There were other changes to that song.

Nothing came of it all when The Times returned to Australia after getting as far as I am told South Africa.

Young Blaydes band

Later in the 60s Davo become a vocalist in The Young Blaydes band.

Image: 1960s Young Blaydes performing at the Top of the Town night club in Perth. Music magazine image courtesy of Davo.

Images: 1960s Young Blaydes memorabilia courtesy of Davo.

Click on Young Blaydes band to view more information on Davo and the band.



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1960s Cottesloe Beach – A trip down memory Lane

Former Cottesloe surfers Michael Bibby, Tina Wilson (nee Daly), Jeanne D’Arcy (nee Abbott), Dave Aylett, Dave Simmons and WA Surf Industry legend Len Dibben have recorded their memories of beach life at Cottesloe Beach in the 60s.

Cottesloe beach front by Michael Bibby (with assistance from Kim ‘Dish’ Standish)

The Cottesloe beach front was dominated in the 60’s by the Hotel Cottesloe on the northern corner of Marine Parade and John St and the Hostel Manly on the Southern side.

The pub and its beer garden were the main attraction in the evenings and days when there was no surf. On Fridays it was the meeting place for those lucky enough to be going down south for the weekend. Darts were the favourite pastime for many of the crew with Mark Paterson and Arty Shaw being the main hustlers. The younger guys were also competitive with Hume Heatley, Mike Bibby, Don McDonald being in the A team. The boys were busted when a photo of Mike Bibby winning a State schoolboys comp appeared in the West. As the drinking age was then 21, they then had to rely on the older guys like Terry James and Rob Birch to buy beers.

Image: 1995 Hotel Cottesloe. The Hotel Cottesloe opened its doors in 1905.Originally a wooden building on the corner of John Street and Marine Parade it was designed by C L Oldham. In 1937 it was remodelled in the Art Deco style. Courtesy of The Grove Library image number CPM00990.


The Hostel Manly was a 2 story 40 bedroom 3 bathroom “guest house”. On the street level of Hostel Manly the Tearooms were called Norms after the owner. What went on upstairs is better left to the imagination. It was very run down and was finally demolished in 1971.

On the ocean side of Marine Parade there was the Centenary Bathing Pavilion that is now the Indiana Tearooms. That building contained the Seacrest Restaurant, Steak Cave, Mario’s fish and chip shop and the Cottesloe Surf Lifesaving Club.

In the late 60’s Cottesloe surfer Joe Wilson ran the WIPEOUT nightclub there (see Tina Wilson’s recollections below). Next to that building, the crew would sit on the lawns when not in the water, trying to impress the chicks and eating Mario’s chips.

Next to the Hostel Manly was the Lido dance hall. After it closed down, it was later owned by Cottesloe surfers Alan and John MacGilvray.

Image: c 1965 Centenary Bathing Pavilion before its demolition in 1982. Hostel Manly can still be seen in the background before it was demolished in 1971. Courtesy of The Grove Library image number CPM01960.


There were 4 surf breaks at Cottesloe with winter being the best.  Depending on the sand banks the wave at the end of the groyne was by far the best being a long (for the city) left, then there was a reef between the groyne and the pylon, another at the pylon and then Slimey’s reef break.  All would end in a dumping shore-break which ripped out a number of fixed fins. As they were glassed in, the damage to the boards was often serious.

Sometime in the mid 60’s surfboards were banned in summer from the main beach due to conflict (and injuries) to swimmers, Despite the ban a few would risk their boards being impounded by the beach inspector just to get a couple of good waves.  It was fine if you didn’t fall off as the beach inspector would only grab the boards when they washed in. If leg ropes had been around in those days things would have been very different! The reef breaks to the south of Cottesloe (Cove, Isolated, Dutch Inn and Cable Station) then became popular.

For more historic images of Cottesloe beach & buildings click on The Grove Library.

WIPEOUT Nightclub by Tina Wilson

My husband Joe Wilson was approached by the Camp Association to see if they could hire the venue once a month on a Wednesday night. Joe approached the owner who was a very respectful gentleman, can’t think of his name at present, but he said that was great. Thinking it was the Boy Scouts. They all got a shock when it was the gay association. The people who ran the Camp Association were the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. They turned up in suits and were so respectful, etc. In those days the early 1970’s gay people were not really acknowledged. The Wednesday nights turned out a great success and the most alcohol ever consumed in the club. Therefore a very big money earner. They had a stripper called Jason who needed someone like me to talk to, as he would get very nervous before performing. Because his tiny weeny leather outfit was so precious to him, he asked me to stand in the front, so he could throw it to me as he knew I would return it to him.

The club was very popular with the SAS guys as it was close to Swanbourne army barracks. One of the bouncers Rick, was an ex Golden Gloves boxing champion and he loved a fight. But then Rick did a total turnabout from being an enthusiastic bouncer and turned to religion. Rick ended up trying to convert everyone and would come up to Jurien Bay and baptise us in the ocean, until it all got too much and Joe had to have a word to him. Unfortunately Rick died in the Philippines doing mission work. I could tell you so many stories, but they may not go down too well. Outrageous days for us all.

Photos: 1964 Joe Wilson with Smokey the dog and his two door Austin A30 sedan at the Cove Cottesloe. Photo courtesy of Arthur Sherburn.


Photo: Mid 1960s A collection of Cottesloe & City Beach girls in Cottesloe Beach car park. Bert Moriarky pic.

L-R. City Beach girls unidentified brunette & Glenda Higgs (deceased), Cottesloe girl surfers Stef Myer, Tina Daly, Jeanne Abbott & Sue Ellen in front (deceased), City Beach girls unidentified brunette, unidentified blonde & Gail Smith.


Cottesloe beach girls by Jeanne Abbott

In the 60’s my cousin Tina Daly, Stef Meyer and myself and some other girls lived and surfed at Cottesloe.

We managed to save our money and ordered our own custom built surfboards from Colin and Rex Cordingley who lived in Stirling Highway, Mosman Park. Their father was a boat builder and the boys made surfboards. The boards were 9’2” with one stringer and one fin. The cost of these boards was approximately £35.

The original long boards were quite heavy and we used to carry them on our hips from Tina’s house in Cottesloe to all the beaches along the coast within walking distance. Sometimes the guys used to give us lifts and we used to put in for petrol.

Photo: 1963 Cottesloe beach girls L-R Tina Daly, Jeanne Abbott & Stef Meyer. Courtesy of WA Newspapers.1963-cottesloe-tina-daly-jeanne-abbott-stef-meyer-wa-newspaper-pic-img_001

It took a very long time before the local guys would have anything to do with us, as girls were not really accepted as they are now, but because Cottesloe was our home base, they finally came good and we became good friends especially in the winter months as we surfed all year round, come rain or shine.

When I was old enough to get my licence, my father purchased a Morris Minor convertible and this made our lives a lot easier to get around to any beach we wanted.

One day a beach inspector from Cottesloe came up to me and ordered me off the beach because I had bikinis on, I was shocked because they were cute little pink and white bikinis and he told me to put a t-shirt on and cover up as he said I looked indecent.  A far cry from the bikinis of today.

Norms Tearooms were directly across the road from the Cottesloe pavilion. He made the best pasties and hot chocolate drinks and we used to work & hang out there after many hours surfing.

We were lucky in those days as drugs had not hit our scene and our lives were content with surfing and attending the Swanbourne Stomp each Saturday night.

Photos: 1960s Cottesloe beach scenes. Photos courtesy of Tina Wilson (nee Daly).

Left: 1963 Stef Meyer and Tina Daly (age 15) eating our chips and coke from Mario’s around our fire at The Cove. Stef’s board, Karl Schumacher & others Cottesloe lads are in the background.

Right: 1965 Jeanne Abbott and Tina Daly (age 17) outside Tina’s parents’ house at Cottesloe getting ready to hit the surf.


Surfing Cottesloe in the early days by Len Dibben

When I first started surfing in the late 50’s & through the 60’s even into the 80’s & 90’s Cable Station reef used to break really good, a great right hander. What stopped that break from working was the building of Cottesloe Groyne, Dutch Inn Groyne, Sand Tracks, the lengthening of the North Mole, City Beach groyne & Floreat groyne, just to name a few.

Those were the days when North Mole was a secret spot. Also before the Cottesloe groyne was built in 1959, there was no surf to speak of at Isolated, Seconds or Cove. We surfed Cottesloe beach at the Dummy (formerly the Loom), the Bell (also known as the Pylon) & Slimys reef, Dutch Inn (pre Groyne) & Cable station in the winter.

The beach at Dutch inn was quite wide as local fishermen used to leave their wooden clinker boats on the sand all year round and we guys at Cottesloe used them as a wind breaks when we came in from a surf. In a south west wind we would build a fire to warm ourselves in between surfs.

There were no wet suits, maybe footy jumpers & our swim costumes. Surfers back then were Terry James, Bob Birch, Gary Birch, Cliff Hills, Ron Allen, Jeff Dalziel & Kerry Davies. There were about 10 – 15 of us that were regulars at all these breaks. I was the only guy not from Cottesloe, I was from Beaconsfield.

Click on this link to view Len’s web site

Photo: 1968-9 Len Dibben’s surf shop on the side of former church North Freo. Len Dibben pic.

Just a wavering, stagger home by Dave Aylett

I lived just down the road from the Cottesloe Hotel. Just a wavering, stagger home. Summer and no swell would see the BOYS playing darts and hanging over the pubs balcony wall, offering ourselves to anything in a bikini.

Image: 1995 Hotel Cottesloe on Marine Parade. Courtesy of The Grove Library image number CPM00991.

One day, returning home after dragging myself up the stairwell steps, I negotiated my path to what I thought was my front door. BLOODY KEY wouldn’t fit would it! I gave up trying and gave the door a bit of a bang. The door opened and I tripped in over the threshold and was confronted by Mrs. Young senior. Peter Young’s mother. She was in the WRONG place! She supposed to be down stairs. OOPS! I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere. “VERY SORRY” about turn and hearing MY FATHER’S voice loudly saying “DAVID COME UP HERE!!!”

After finally finding home dad dragged me in behind closed door and said “It’s useless talking to you now, l think we’ll leave it till tomorrow“. Then with dad’s help I made it to my room.

Next thing I know is my rooms ceiling and light fitting are rocking and I had a sudden urge to throw up. Real lucky my windows fly screen had been removed. Must have been something I ate. Boy did I let loose. Next thing I hear are voices. Dad once again interrupts me trying to get some sleep. “DAVID! Were you just sick out your window?” I said “No….l don’t think so”.

In the morning things were very quiet and tense. It was just TOO MUCH for dad not to say anything and I got a lecture on drinking too much and how I had disturbed Mrs Young, who really was a lovely elegant lady and Mrs Commley the tenant of the dress shop ground floor who accused me of spewing on her.

After all that SURF’S UP, I’m GONE. Ain’t life grand?

Isolated & the Cove by Dave Simmons

I remember Isolated and the long row of cars parked along the wall. I swear there were great waves all the time in those days. And one morning while I walked out over the reef at Isolated a friendly voice asked me if I’d like to join Southern Surfriders….it was Arty Sherburn.

Photo: 1967 Dave Simmons and Giles Geiger at Dave’s place at Cottesloe. Dave Simmons pic.


I had some beautiful sessions with one of the Callaghan brothers at the Cove, he was only very young then, but what a great surfer. Every time we went out, the sun was shining with beautiful light off shore breezes. And the Cove used to peak right over on the inside. I remember seeing the City Beach guys going out at the Cove lots of times.

One afternoon at the Cove, it was a beautiful day with great waves, my sister Liz actually swam out to me where everyone was taking off. So funny, she nearly got dumped. It was actually a fair size that day.

And Jeff St John and Copperwine were playing at the Cott Surf Club. They were just so good!!  When I heard them that night, I couldn’t believe it. From memory, I think Rob Gardiner from West Coast Surfboards (I rode WC boards heaps in those days) used to know Jeff St. John.

I also remember watching Ian Mitchell surf really well on a twin fin at Cottesloe Main Beach on a glassy winter’s afternoon.