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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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Ross Utting’s Travel Odyssey 1974-75

Every surfer’s nightmare is to sustain an injury which keeps them out of the water for an extended period of time.

In the winter of 1973 City Beach and regular south west surfer Ross Utting tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during a social football match.

He spent about a month in hospital with the leg in traction, 2 months with it in a plaster cast, then underwent a further 2 months of intensive physiotherapy.

Image: 1973 Injury report courtesy of Doug White’s Wave Length surf column in the Sunday Times.


When all that was over his surgeon said “No surfing for at least a year”.

Rather than sit around and develop bad habits, Ross bought a one way air ticket to London and began a 2 year travel odyssey which ended back in the surf in Bali.

This is his travel story…..

London and UK

When I lobbed in London in early 1974 I eventually found my way to a place in Norfolk Square in Paddington.  I guess in today’s lingo it would be called a “backpackers”, but it was a pretty salubrious address and just a stroll down to Hyde Park.  At Norfolk Square I teamed up with a couple of South Africans and we had a pretty good time exploring London.  These were heady days in London with free rock concerts in Hyde Park on Sunday arvos and great bands in the pubs, clubs and theatres. One concert that sticks in my mind is Ian Anderson and his flute out front of Jethro Tull at the famous Rainbow Theatre.  Wow! That was a show, but there were many others.

The sport was pretty good in London too and during my stints there between trips I saw an Australian/England test match at Lords, the tennis at Wimbledon, went to the horse races at Epsom on English Derby Day and was a regular at Queens Park Rangers soccer matches.

Photo: 1974 London party. Ross 2nd from right. Ross Utting pic.


It was during these early days that I tried to track down Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell in London.  Back in WA we had all heard about Mitch’s exploits in the 1973 UK Surfing Titles in Cornwall, and a Scarborough guy I bumped into in London told me he regularly saw Mitch at a pub in North London where NZ/AUST band Max Merritt & the Meteors were the resident act.  But by the time I got around to ringing Mitch’s number it was disconnected.

Click on this link to view 70s-80s Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell blog re ’73 UK surfing titles.

I travelled all through England, Scotland and Wales but was particularly taken with Cornwall in the SW of England. Saw some good waves around Newquay (Fistral Beach) and St Ives. No one in the water but bloody cold, glad I couldn’t surf.  I went back to Cornwall in 2008 and found good waves again at Fistral, still freezing but now many people in the surf.

Photo: 2008 Fistral Beach Cornwall. Ross Utting pic


North Africa

After cruising around UK I had a chance to do a trip across the top of North Africa with one of my South African mates, so we caught a boat from Genoa in Italy across the Mediterranean Sea to Tunisia, and travelled onto Algeria and Morocco.  It was in Morocco that I developed a taste for offbeat travel experiences.  We headed back to London via Portugal and Spain.

Southern Europe

When we got back to London we bought a car and headed back to Spain.  Amongst other things, we got caught up in the mayhem of the Tour de France bike race when crossing the Pyrenees, explored the Basque coast around San Sebastian and went to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.  We then travelled onto Barcelona where we had arranged to meet another guy.  No mobile phones in those days, so the arrangement was “be on the steps of the Post Office at 11am each day from mid-August, till we get there”.  We were quite a few days late and he said he was getting nervous, but we hooked up in the end.

We travelled all around Southern Europe including a visit to the Monte Carlo Casino on the French Riviera.  Problem was, our standard of dress was so poor that they wouldn’t let us in. Between the 3 of us we put together an outfit, which had to include a tie, that got us in.  One of us would go in for an hour in the fancy outfit, come out, swap clothes and the next guy would go in.  We felt inferior sitting out the front waiting our turn and watching all the limo’s dropping off the toffs.

The trip ended on a sour note when our car was broken into outside Salerno in southern Italy when we were having a swim, and we lost everything but our board shorts, T-shirts and thongs.  Fortunately, we had hidden our passports and travellers cheques in the rocks while we swam.


By now it was winter, I had been away for a year and back in London based in West Kensington, I was ‘over’ going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.  Then I saw an advertisement seeking volunteers to work on a Kibbutz in Israel.  The deal was, if you worked for a couple of months they paid your airfare, provided accommodation and meals and you got 2 bottles of beer thrown in on your Saturdays off.  That’s me! I’m off.

I worked on Kibbutz Gazit in the North of Israel.  Great experience, but the reason they needed volunteers was that the young people were all off fighting wars, some nearby in the Golan Heights bordering Syria.  My first job was picking oranges, but I kept falling out of the trees when the war planes would break the sound barrier low overhead and there was a sonic boom.  I tried washing dishes but upset the other Kibbutzniks when I tried to get them to scrape the scraps off their plates before they chucked them into my sink for washing.  Found my forte when I became a chicken man, feeding the chooks and catching them to take to market.

Photos: 1975 Israel Kibbutz Gazit. Ross Utting pics

Left: Ross’s kibbutz hut. Right: ‘Chicken Man’ Ross.


On completion of our working commitment I travelled all over Israel with my hut mate, a Dane named Torben. Great adventure, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Sea of Galilee, Red Sea, Dead Sea, Bersheba, Eilat ………

Eventually caught a ship out of Haifa headed to Greece, but I could only afford deck class.  That meant you spread out your sleeping bag on the deck up near the bow and were quarantined from higher class passengers.  The ship stopped at Cyprus and Rhodes on the way to Athens.  After checking out Athens, I spent a few months on the Islands of Ios and Santorini. In those days there were no hotels on Ios so you had to make your own arrangements & I found a room at a great family’s home.  There were no jobs on Ios so all the men were either in the US working or on the mainland.  I got allocated tasks around the house, the most important of which was to keep the barrels in the kitchen and bathroom full of water (no running water). I was lucky enough to go to functions and religious ceremonies with my Ios family.

Photos: 1975 Greece Ios Island. Ross Utting pics

Left: Ross with his Ios ‘family’.

Right: (Top) Ross with Ios neighbour Dimitrios. (Bottom) Ios Port view from town.


Turkey to Nepal

From Greece I travelled into Turkey, and around the coast into Iran, Afghanistan, through the Khyber Pass to Pakistan, India and Nepal.

Long and exhausting travel, but extremely rewarding (once it was over) as you just couldn’t do it now.

Afghanistan was like the wild west.  Out of the main towns of Herat, Kandahar and Kabul everyone carried rifles, but they were so friendly.  Not scary at all. Well maybe a bit!

I didn’t get off the road from Herat through Kandahar to Kabul, but from there I headed up through the Bamian Valley to the Hindu Kush mountains. Just beautiful country but harsh.

I recall not taking my clothes off for 2 weeks at one stage. Just too cold and no facilities.

Photos: 1975 Afghanistan. Ross Utting pics.

Left: Ross’s shoe shine spruce up in Kabul (at least his boots were clean!).

Right: (Top) Afghan bus. (Middle): Buddhas of Bamian (since destroyed by the Taliban). (Bottom): View of Bamian Valley from Buddhas Head.


Bali Bound

Once I got to Kathmandu in Nepal I was on a mission, the surf was calling.

On his return from travels with Bruce King, Bob Monkman and Peter Mac, Micko Gracie had told me that he got good waves in Bali on his way home. Remembering this, I travelled down through south east Asia and lobbed in Bali in November 1975. Didn’t like Kuta (too busy. Ha!), but a couple of klms north on a limestone track was another quiet little village called Legian.

There I found the family run losman Puspa Sari on Jalan Padma and settled right in. I think it was about where the Legian Village Hotel now stands. Got a Midget Farrelly board off a Sydney guy returning home and I was all set.

Very few Balinese surfed in 1975 and there were hardly any other surfers around.  I surfed Kuta Reef on my own, but other guys liked to have company and used to come looking for you. Best waves of my life were at Sanur, 6-8 ft freight trains nearly down to an old ship wreck, 5 guys out, but we rarely saw each other. In the months I was in Bali I rode my motor bike out to Uluwatu 3 times and never saw a soul. Even in those days with no traffic it was a long trip on a very narrow road. Doc McDermott of Smiths Beach once told me that in 1975 he and his wife Carol rode their pushbikes out to Uluwatu. Bloody hell, how did they get up that first hill at the back of Jimbaran, let alone the rest of it!

Life in Legian Village was great. Very quiet, surf by day, gamble with the old guys out front of the Banjar buildings on Jalan Legian at night while the gong boys practised inside, and generally chilling out. I needed it after my lengthy travels and while everyone around me was getting Bali belly, I was putting on weight as from whence I had come, the food and hygiene in Bali seemed outstanding.

Photos: 1975 Bali Indonesia Kuta/Legian.

Left: Made Swita & Ross at losman Puspa Sari in Legian.  Ross Utting pic.

Right: Jalan Legian Kuta. Peter Neely pic


The tariff at Puspa Sari was $1 per day including breakfast, which was a thermos of tea and a bunch of bananas left on the table and chair outside your room.

One of the staff members was Made Swita.  I remember his name cos he wrote me an envelope with his name and address and instructions to send him my Puspa Sari photos when I eventually got home.

Anyway, Made had this chook that he was grooming.  Cock fights were huge back then.  “Mr Ross, we can get money today, you come.” With the chook in a basket we caught a bemo to the purpose built ‘arena’ near the bemo station in Denpasar. It had a small ring and tiered seating all around. Losing chooks hung on hooks around the place for sale.

I backed 5 winners in a row leading up to Made’s chook fight, but as is the story of my life on the punt, the one you need to get up, gets beat.

Made was philosophical about the defeat and retorted “No problem Mr Ross, dinner tonight, chicken soup!”

No money, time to go home.

Ross Utting.

Editor’s note: Following his 2 year travel odyssey, Ross continued to travel and surf, often combining both. He also returns to Bali every year, but pines for the days of ‘75. 



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Museum of Surf – Ric Chan images

Our resident surf photographer Ric Chan now has some of his vintage surf photos featured on the Museum of Surf web and Facebook sites.

For a sneak preview of Ric’s images click on either of the following links.

Museum of Surf Web site  

Museum of Surf Facebook 

Ric took the photos in New South Wales, South Australia and West Australia during the period 1968 to 1976.

Photo: 1970 Ric Chan covering the WA State Surfing Titles at Yallingup. Ric pic.

Ric lives in Auckland NZ and still loves snapping pics.


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1975 Oceans surf contest at Trigg Point

Oceans Surf Shop in Perth City ran a surf contest at Trigg Point in 1975.

Surfboard shaper/fashion model Gary Greirson was head honcho at Oceans Surf Shop at the time.

High profile WA surfers competed in the surf contest. Surfers included Ian Cairns, Barry Day, Russell Catto and Colin Ladhams.

Surf photographer/journo Rich Chan covered the action for Independent Newspapers.

Photo: 1975 Trigg Point car park and wave line-up for the contest. Ric Chan pic.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point unidentified contestants #1. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point wave line-up and spectators in car park. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point unidentified contestants #2. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point water action. Ric Chan pics.

Left: unidentified contestant.

Right: Trigg SLSC surf boat splitting the peak.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point beach action. Ric Chan pics.

Left: Peter Davidson and unidentified contestant.

Right: Official photographer John Shanahan.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point unidentified contestants #3. Ric Chan pics.

Photo: 1975 Contest judging panel at Trigg Point. Ric Chan pics

L-R former WASRA President Ronald ‘Doc’ Naylor, Barry Day, Pat Cairns, Linda Milner (Pat Cairn’s sister), Colin Ladhams and Steve Thomas.

Photos: 1975 Trigg Point contestants. Left: Ian Cairns. Right: Peter Bevan. Ric Chan pic.

Photos: 1975 Contest award presentations in Trigg Point car park. Ric Chan pics.

Left: Ocean’s Gary Greirson in black top at rear of Land Rover (bottom left), handing out contest prizes.

Right: L-R Pat Cairns, Barry Day, Ian Cairns and Russell Catto.

Contest results are unknown. The now aging participants can’t remember who won the contest!

Let us know, if you know the contest results.


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1970s Surfside memoirs by Angie Cannon (nee Young)

In the late 60s Bernie and Eve Young took over management of Surfside Tearooms at Yallingup from Jock Henderson. The Young’s previously managed the Caves Park Store near Caves House at Yallingup. They provided hearty meals, holiday accommodation and petrol to surfers, tourists and the Yallingup community until the mid 70s, when the Surfside leased expired and they moved on.

Bernie and Eve lived and worked on the premises with their daughter Angie and Gran.

Photo: 1970 Bernie Young with daughter Angie, Gran, wife Eve and unidentified outside Surfside Tearooms. Photo credit Peter McDonald.

Bernie Young’s daughter Angie Cannon (nee Young) has contacted Surfing Down South and shared her memories of Surfside.

Angie:I was fortunate enough to spend my early teenage years in Yallingup and my parents Bernie and Eve Young would have fed most of you at Surfside in the late 60’s and early 70’s. My fondest memories are of my extended family, always looking out for me painful as I could be sometimes. George Simpson was my surrogate big brother and used to, on occasion, let me tag along generally to carry his board to some of the greatest surf spots on the coast. My daughter Sarah now sends me this info as it comes through and it always brings back memories, including the SDS Blogs on Three Bears. I remember when the boys found the break and for a while it was MGM. It was right up there with discovering gold in the pub and the stories only grew in proportion to the amount of beer consumed at the Caves House. It was the hidden secret that few could reach. Lost a lot of humour when I returned in later years with my kids and a 4WD. I have lots of pictures taken in those early years, most are of parties we had at Surfside and some, I feel sure, would rather be forgotten!! I’ll dig out some of my photos and scan them for you (see pics below).

I now live in Townsville in Queensland and both Mum and Dad have passed on, Mum at a ripe old age of 91 only four months back”.

Photos: 1971 Peter Mac’s Falcon panel van parked in front of Surfside. Photo credit Helen ‘Spotty’ Smith.

Angie:Your SDS articles have stirred up so many memories and stories, I only wish that I had had the opportunity to share them with Mum before she passed on.

If you are still in touch with Ronnie “Ratshit” Jeffrey, ask him about the “tomato” plant he left in my Grans care whilst he went to, Indonesia, I think. My Gran would make homemade wine out of anything animal or vegetable and as inevitably would happen once a month there would be an explosion from her bedroom that meant a bottle had slightly over fermented.  Gran probably holds dibs for the first wine maker of the region!!  I went to help with the clean-up mission only to find Ronnie’s “tomato” plant flourishing in her wardrobe.  Bless her she had no idea, but tended it lovingly for Ronnie until he returned.

Gran would sit on the back steps of the kitchen peeling spuds faster than anyone alive.  Hans Kopp finally retired her for a more sanitary mode of spud bashing in the kitchen of the Cray Pot.

Hans did the best Crayfish Thermidor in the world as we knew it.  Brandy was his friend in the kitchen. 

Hans was an enigma, a soft and gentle man who would turn into some kind of manic chef as soon as he donned his whites.  Many a waitress was bought to tears from one of his legendary tirades in the kitchen.  He wasn’t adverse to the occasional upending of a pot or the throwing of a knife.  I was 14 and copped my fare share.  He would wake up the next morning, go for a surf and get on with his day as if nothing happened. 

My folks did a great job at Surfside and their trusting nature bought them unstuck eventually.  My Dad very much believed in the honour of the handshake, and unfortunately having put in years of hard work at Surfside, he was bought undone as the lease was sold out from under him.  He established the caravan park and worked tirelessly, doing battle with the council, hand sewing grass seed, digging trenches and overseeing the work as it became a reality.  As with all things, it was time to move on.  Mum and Dad only went back a couple of times and were always amazed at the changes.  Dad often spoke of being offered 3 blocks on the top road by Kevin Merifield for $800 each.  Dad was no fool, why would he buy something with no water or services for that sort of money!!!   

They both spoke of their time in Yallingup with great humour and love.  The old man could be a bit of a lunatic, but he was an incredibly hard worker and meant well.  Mum worked tirelessly in the kitchen from six in the morning till late at night in the tourist season.  She would share a grill with George, which meant walking around the immoveable object, serving good basic food for a never ending stream of hungry surfers.

All of this whilst being ostracised by the then civilised locals who were sure that we were a family of drug barons living and mixing with the great unwashed, long haired dole bludgers of the 70’s. They even had a mention in the Melbourne Truth once, with questionable comments as to their REAL motives for being involved with those bludgers on society. The truth be known, they were incredibly naïve and just enjoyed the lifestyle and peace that Yallingup bought to them for 8 months of the year.

Thanks for the memories. Please keep the stories coming”.

This is a collection of Angie’s Surfside social images from her scrapbook.

Angie: “the images are a little worse for wear after all those years!”.

Image: 1971 Eve Young, unidentified and Helen ‘Spotty’ Smith outside Surfside . Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1970s Vicki Jago working in the Surfside kitchen. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1970s Sam the surf dog on the rocks. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1970s George Simpson and others at the back of Surfside. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1970s George Simpson in kids play pen entertaining Gran at Surfside. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Angie: ‘Enough said!”

Image: 1970s Safety conscience trio enjoying a smoke near the fuel pump outside Surfside. L-R unidentified, George Simpson and Glynn Lance. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Angie: “Always safety aware!”

Image: 1971 Bruce King and unidentified girl at Surfside party. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1971 George Simpson’s 21st party at Surfside’s Lobster Pot Restaurant. L-R Barry Day, Amber, Lulu & Spotty. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1973 Sally Gunter’s 21st Birthday Party at Surfside’s Lobster Pot Restaurant. L-R Grant Robinson, George Simpson & Bernie Young. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Image: 1976 Angie’s wedding in Perth. Image courtesy of Angie Cannon (nee Young).

Angie: The Yallingup crew came up to Perth for the occasion.  It was the last time we were all together!”

Angie: “It’s quite bazaar as I can’t imagine anyone or anything changing but its 40 odd years ago!!!  An old photo of ‘Jingles’ (a long haired surfie dude) made me smile. When he left Yallingup and returned to the East Coast, he gave me a bell that I wore around my neck until I got married, mum made me take it off as it didn’t go with my dress.  It’s been on my key ring ever since.

Oddest thing about Yallingup, I’ve never quite felt at home since I left and I have lived all over Australia.   Many years ago I bought a block on the 2nd road down in the middle of the hill.  Sold it in the 1980 for $16k thought I’d done really well.  Makes me a property genius huh!”

Thank you for sharing your photos and memories Angie.

Click on the following web links for more history of Surfside.

Surfside at Yallingup – History (Part 1 The early years)

Surfside at Yallingup – History (Part 2 The later years)