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Interclub comps make a comeback in ’71 by Errol Considine

In December 1971 West End Board Club, led by Peter Bevan, put together a bid to revive the prestigious annual Interclub competition, which had previously been a celebrated annual feature event.

The Interclub had fallen away with the demise of original WA Surfriders’ Association (WASRA) affiliated clubs like Scarborough, North End, Cottesloe and Yallingup …and then the short-lived second generation clubs like North Coast.

A new wave of clubs saw West End spring up, and then a new bunch of young guys revived Cottesloe club.

Dolphins was a club based in Scarborough/Trigg/North Beach and had survived and kicked on from the early days.

The trio of clubs combined to field teams for the 1971 Interclub event.

Peter Bevan lined up the sponsors, did the artwork for a program/brochure, and got the printing done cheaply through his contacts as a graphic designer. He was working as a Press artist at WA Newspapers but had started doing some private design and print jobs – and would leave The West the following year and start up his own design and advertising agency.

Images: 1971 Interclub competition Sponsors. Errol Considine image.

I wrote the copy for the Interclub program and lined up the newspaper coverage in the sports pages of the Weekend News (published in Saturday in Perth) and Sunday Times.

I wrote in the Interclub program/brochure, in part:

“Surfboard design has gone through many radical changes…along with these changes has come the demise of both our local club and competition scene.

“Clubs that were once rich and strong have since dissolved or gone into a dormant state of non-activity and new clubs have sprung up…

“The 1971 STW 9 club championship is an attempt to rejuvenate the competition scene and revitalise the role of clubs in our scene…”

Image: 1971 Interclub competition Brochure. Errol Considine image.

West End Board Club also staged a BBQ with drinks and a rock band on Jim House’s farm near Yallingup, which was on the opposite side of Caves Road near what is now Cullens Wines and a brewery. The show was a ripper and ran like clockwork ….except for the small but important facet of our fairly amateurish security which meant there were heaps of gate crashers who didn’t pay the $1 entrance fee – we lost money on the gig!

Image: 1971 Interclub competition Program listing Prizes, Show, The Contest, riders and judges. Errol Considine image.

Image: 1971 Interclub Contest Rules. Image extracted from Contest Program.

Image: 1971 Interclub contest Riders and Judges. Image extracted from Contest Program.

I have kept these press clippings in my scrap book because I wrote and phoned in the stories to the “Weekend News” and “Sunday Times”…… email back then, had to go up to the Yalls servo shop and use the pay phone box to dictate the text …

Image: 1971 Errol’s Day #1 contest review in Weekend News. Image courtesy Errol Considine.

The waves at Yallingup were pretty crappy, but Cottesloe blitzed the point’s board. They had a super team with great surfers like Ricky Lobe, Ian and Bruce Hocking, Barry Day, Mark and Paul O’Callaghan, Al Fixter, Wes Bable, Peter ‘Rinso’ Wise, Ian Mitchell and Phil Taylor. Most of whom featured strongly in State titles.

Image: 1971 Interclub competition results courtesy of The Sunday Times.

Somehow Tony Hardy was in the Cottesloe Club too – even though he spent just about every weekend surfing down south and didn’t get into the water that often in Perth. And Tony was shaping at Blaxell Surfboards and his boss Tom Blaxell was a Dolphins man – dunno how that happened?!

Image: 1971 Blaxell Surfboards advt featuring Peter Bevan surfing and shapers Tony Hardy and Tom Hoye. Errol Considine image.

As a postscript to the event, Peter Bevan was named as WASRA’s ‘Surfer of the Year’ in recognition of his “contribution to the sport” led by his prominent role in making the 1971 Interclub happen.

WASRA President Dr Ron Naylor said Peter had contributed greatly to a change of public attitude to the sport which had been “long overdue”. This included getting high profile sponsors like Channel 9 on board for the Interclub.

The Surfer of the Year was pretty prestigious. Fred Annesley won the inaugural award in 1969, followed by Ian Cairns the following year.

Image: 1971 Peter Bevan named WA Surfer of Year in Daily News article by Errol Considine. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Despite all the hard work put into the ’71 event, it was a one-off and the Interclub fell away again after that as a headliner on the WASRA competitions calendar.




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Loz Smith’s 11ft Bay Cruiser

Winter time can be a fun time for surfers living in the South West. Winter storms can create novelty waves in the north facing Geographe Bay. Normally placid points and sand banks between the Cape Naturaliste lighthouse and Busselton jetty can come to life in the right conditions. The waves are fickle and don’t hang around, swell size and direction, tides, sand banks and timing are critical.

Some SW locals have the fickle conditions wired. A local female surfer reckons she can feel it in her bones when Geographe Bay point waves are breaking….Ha!

Quindalup resident Loz Smith lives on Geographe Bay and can monitor wave conditions from his house. Loz has enjoyed many happy hours surfing peelers on a sand bar near his place with family and friends.

Photo: 2017 Loz and his son Jimmy surfing the local sand bar. Bruce King and Loz pics.

Recently Loz Smith commissioned Chris ‘Chappy’ Chapman from Chapstar Surfboards in Clark Street Dunsborough to design an 11ft cruiser for use on the Geo Bay peelers. Chappy designed and finished the board. The foam blank was cut out on Al Bean’s shaping machine in the Industrial Area at Dunsborough.

This article covers the making of Loz’s custom ‘11ft Bay Cruiser’ surfboard by craftsmen in the South West surf industry. It is based on Loz’s photos of the various stages of the custom surfboard manufacturing process.

Stage #1. Machine cut foam blank to design specifications.

Al Bean’s shaping machine cutting out a polyurethane surfboard blank to Chappy’s computer specifications. Al Bean Surf Design is located in the light industrial area, Dunsborough WA.

Top: (Left) Chappy designing the board and entering specifications on computer software to meet Loz’s requirements. (Right) Al Bean and Chappy examining the extra-long 11ft+ blank prior to shaping in the shaping machine.

Middle: (Left) Al Bean setting up the blank in shaping machine. (Right) Al and Chappy monitoring the computer and watching the blank being shaped in the shaping machine.

Bottom: (Left) Shaping machine cutting out surfboard shape from blank. (Right) Chappy loading the machine shaped blank onto a truck for transport back to his surf factory for finishing.

Stage #2 Hand finish surfboard shaping

Chappy cleaning up the machine shaped board’s outline and hand finishing the shaping process.

Stage #3 Artwork on surfboard

Artist Chubby Button adding yellow tint and black slash design to shaped foam board prior to glassing.

Stage #4 Glassing surfboard

Master fibreglasser Charles Campbell and Chappy glassing the shaped surfboard in Chappy’s surf factory.

Stage #5 Filler coat and leash attachment

Chappy adding filler coat to glassed board and customised leash attachment.

Stage #6 Sanding surfboard

Chappy sanding the glassed board.

Stage #7 Buff and polish surfboard

Chappy finishing the manufacturing process with a buff and polish.

Stage # 8 Finished product

Chappy with finished surfboard at Chapstar surf factory.

Stage #9 Happy customer.

Top: Loz with new Chapstar surf board

Bottom: (Left) Loz’s maiden voyage on new board at Yalls – Mick marlin pic. (Right) limited edition Natas Kaupas single fin purchased from Yahoo Surfboards.

Loz:  “Many thanks to Chappy, Charlie and Chubby “the three amigos” for doing such a great job on my new board”.

Thanks Loz for sharing your photos. Aloha Loz.

Click on this link to view Chapstar Surfboards Facebook page.



Bob Monkman’s Surfing Life by Malibu Mick Marlin

In 2001 Dunsborough surfer and longboard surfing scribe Malibu Mick Marlin wrote an article on South West surfing legend Bob Monkman for Australian Long Board (ALB) magazine (Edition 18).

The ALB story was based on Bob’s first 50 years of life and was titled THE HAPPY HALF CENTURY. It’s been 50 years of pleasing progress for WA’s Bob Monkman.

Image: 2001 ‘The Happy Half Century’ double page cover shot in ALB mag. Paul Jarvis pic.

This is Malibu Mick’s updated story on Bob Monkman’s surfing life. It is based on an excerpt of the 2001 ALB article and has been updated to August 2017.

As a young would-be cowboy hanging out in front of his folks’ petrol station in the tiny wheat-belt town of Mullewa, 400km northwest of Perth as the crow flies. Bob Monkman had no idea of where life on a surfboard would take him. Good heavens, this was 1963, and at the age of 13 he hadn’t even seen a surfboard, much less ridden one, living in this dusty little town 100km from the ocean. As luck would have it, the nearest high school to Mullewa was in the coastal town of Geraldton, so young Robert Cliff was sent to board at a Church of England boarding hostel with the vicar and his wife. The boys’ hostel was on one side and the girl’s hostel on the other. There was no leaping the fence, as the young boys were all sweet and innocent in those times. The hostel was located not far from Back Beach, so the boys would ride their pushies down Gregory Street and bum an old mal from Neil Peggler, one of the original Geraldton surfers, and by the way still going at it.

A year later, Bob’s folks moved to Perth, where he completed his schooling. But now, the surf was more than just a pushbike ride away from home. Bob had a new mate whose mum had bought him a Ron Surfboard from Boans department store. Bob and his mate would then hitch from Mount Lawley to City Beach where the board was stored and the two keen young gremmies would carry the board, one at each end, down to the beach. As Bob was now a confirmed city slicker and beach boy there was no need for the saddle and riding gear that he’d brought with him from the bush. So he sold the lot and bought a brand new 9ft McDonough for 48 pounds ($96).

With the new board came a change of scenery – Scarborough Beach. Here, Bob met lifelong friends Norm Bateman and Gary ‘Gooselegs’ Vaughan, along with Wayne Jacks, Kim Trayner and Murray ‘Tiny Brain’ Smith, who was about 20 at the time and king of the kids. Not long afterwards, a brand new 9ft 3 in Len Dibben was under Bob’s feet – being a little bloke he needed a much smaller board. In those days, before the Floreat groyne was built and the sand hills were tarred and feathered for carparks, the Scarborough boys only surfed their stretch of beach, as well-shaped waves were aplenty. The road to Trigg Point ran inland and the farthest north they went was Threepenny Reef, now covered by sand.

Later throughout his teenage years and apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker, surfin’ safaris down to the wave-rich grounds of the lower south-west were all the go on weekends, with Yallingup, Margaret River and Cowaramup Bay the main areas of focus.

The first set of wheels Bob owned was the ‘Pink and grey Galah’, a 1954 Vanguard, and with it full of mates like Gooselegs, he’d drive south on Friday nights. By now, it was about 1968, the boards were shortening and the v-bottom McTavish’s were state of the art. Ian Cairns was on the rise to fame and glory. On bigger days they’d be looking for guys to go surfing with as these were before leg-rope times and a lost board meant a long swim. One of the guys, Ron Waddell, wiped on the very first wave on his brand new board at Yallingup and off it went into the rip, never to be seen again. News spots were surfed – Gallows, Guillotine, Three Bears and anywhere the old wagons could find a track to the coast. They used to surf Big Rock a lot as the road ran along the hill and doubled back to Big Rock. They looked at this wave just down the beach for years and wondered if it was rideable, until someone finally did the walk and the legendary Left Hander was named and soon overrun with surfers.

Photo: 1970 young Bob cuttie at Rocky Point. Ric Chan pic.

At age 21, Bob finished his cabinet maker apprenticeship, hung around for a while and then in late ’72 went to South Africa with three mates – Peter Mac, Micko Gracie and Bruce King. They bought a Kombi in Jo’burg, drove down to Durban, then on to Port Elizabeth to work, surf ‘n’ play. After a stint in PE, they drove to Cape Town and then on safari up through Kruger National Park to Rhodesia and Victoria Falls. The other guys went to England and Bob took the Kombi and bailed for Jeffreys Bay to surf the beautiful right-hander for a few months before he too headed to England.

Photo: 1972-73 surf trip to South Africa. Bruce King pics.

Top: (Left) 1972 departure from Perth Airport on route to South Africa. Bruce, Bob and Mac (Micko absent). (Right) 1973 South Africa Port Elizabeth Flat. Mac, Micko & Bob.

Middle: (Left) 1973 South Africa Mac & Bob with Kombi. (Right) 1973 South Africa Kruger National park Boab Tree. Bob, Bruce & Mac.

Bottom: (Left) 1973 Victoria Falls in Rhodesia. Bruce, Bob & Mac (Right) 1973 South Africa Transkei Kombi breakdown. Micko, Bob & Bruce.

Back in Oz, it was time for a change in career. Bill Oddy, the owner of Cordingley Surfboards, offered Bob a job as a shaper. His cabinet making skills were transferred from planning timber to planning foam. “It was pretty easy,” reckons Bob, “as the boards at the time had flat decks, flat bottoms and round rails.”

Photo: 1972 Cordingley Surfboards Jolimont WA surf design by Bob Monkman. Courtesy of Grant Mooney collection.

During this period, a young gal from Sydney was holidaying in Perth. Jenny Bell was her name. One night at the White Sands Hotel, Peter MacDonald introduced Jenny to a multilingual local surfer. This handsome young man reckoned he could parle Francais, spreche Deutsche, hable Espanola and speak at least another dozen different languages. Now young Jenny was pretty smart, and coming from Cronulla she knew that all surfers were full of shit, especially around closing time. However, something must have sparked. According to Jenny, it wasn’t love at first fright, but they had a lot of fun together, speaking only in English and, of course going surfing. Romance blossomed and the two lovebirds married in December 1975.

It’s 1976 and the newlyweds set off on safari to England first, then California, where they settled in Santa Barbara (near Rincon) for over a year. They bought a Kombi and surfed The Ranch and would head down to Ventura where Bob encountered the coldest water he’d ever surfed in. For work, he shaped a few boards for legendary Rincon surfer and board manufacturer Reynolds Yater, then moved on to shape for Al Merrick for a while. Shaping and surfing on single-fin pintails, he noticed even then a few longboards in the line-up and thought “What’s wrong with these guys, are they stuck in a time warp or something?” Bob also fixed up and extended houses while Jenny helped with the detailing and doing a few cleaning jobs.

They’d work for a while and save a bit of money, then hit the freeway south to Baja California, 250 miles south, for a few weeks of surf and adventure. On their biggest trip, Bob and Jenny were on their way down through mainland Mexico, heading for El Salvador and Costa Rica, when they decided to go down to the coast in the State of Oaxaca for a few days. What looked like a quick drive on the map finished up being an all-day encounter with nothing better than a goat trail, not getting out of second gear the whole way. However, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was the Mexican pipeline, Puerto Escondido, still undeveloped and reminiscent of early Bali. Even though it was not the best time of the year, the surf was quite good and they stayed for a few months until the money ran out.

When they went through the immigration gates at San Diego, they didn’t have enough money for entry into the United States, but as luck would have it, the crabby old bitch at the Immigration desk happened to be training a new girl. “Do this! No, don’t do that!” The poor girl was so frustrated that she forgot to ask Bob and Jenny how much money they had on them and just stamped the passports. So through the gates they went, breathing a sigh of relief, and drove up to Santa Barbara and went back to work.

After 12 months away, Bob and Jenny decided to come back home. They travelled through Europe and even checked Biarritz in France, before flying on to Singapore. Next, it was a plane trip to Java and overland to Bali for a few months before settling back in Oz. There wasn’t much in Bali in those days; Kuta was all rice paddies and a few losmen, Lasi Irrawatis, Losman Kedin and Kamala Indah. Poppies Lane had a few thatched warongs and a few of Bob’s old mates from Perth were hanging out for the winter. Bob had uncrowded surf and Jenny had her first taste of Asian culture.

Back in Perth Bob fitted-out boats for a couple of years before buying a farm down south at Yallingup. On New Year’s Eve in 1978, Holly their first daughter, was born. Not long after, the family packed and moved to the farm. Bob set up a workshop in the shed and started making cabinets before moving into a factory unit in Dunsborough. Pretty soon a factory unit and land came on the market just down the road and they hocked everything to buy it. “Best move we ever made!” reckons Bob.  In June 1981, twins Kyla and Sage were born.

In 1985, the ‘bunch of fun locals’ at Yallingup decided to have a surfing contest, featuring only Malibu surfboards. And so the Yallingup Malibu Classic was born. Bob needed a board for the contest so he had his old mate Greg ‘Thunderpants’ Laurenson, master shaper for Rusty Australia, make him a new mal. Bob recalls his first wave: “I remember saying to myself that I must step back before I turn. Well I stood up, tried to turn and plonked right over the side!” He swapped between short and long boards for a number of years and dominated the annual Yallingup Malibu Classic. So much so, that the organisers changed the rules. Now the prize of a new board and trip to Bali were drawn out of a hat and not won by the winner, which was always Bob Monkman. By now, Mark Ogram had set up Yahoo Surfboards in Dunsborough and Bob became chief test pilot.

Photo: 1985 Inaugural Yallingup Malibu Classic presentations on beach front. Brad Leonhardt pic.

L-R Bob Monkman, Greg Laurenson and Loz Smith.

In 1991 Western Australia sent its first team to the national Longboard Titles, held that year on the Gold Coast. It has sent a team each year ever since. Two years later, the late Lindsay Thompson started competing at State level and was WA’s top competitor, winning every age group title. He became the first West Aussie to make a final at the Nationals when he came fourth at Bells in ’95. The following year, Bob decided to give the State Titles a go and won both the Masters and Grand Masters, thus making the team to compete at Caloundra in Queensland. The surf was tiny, the competition fierce, but he still managed to get through a couple of rounds and came away more experienced and far wiser.

Photo: 2000 Yal Mal contest presentation at Yallingup. Mick marlin pic.

Front row: Chris ‘Chubby’ Tranthem, Mick Marlin (author), Bob Monkman, unidentified (2).

Middle row: Unidentified, Bob Bright and Adam Lane.

1996 was the biggest year so far for WA longboarding as the Nationals Titles were to be held at Yallingup. Bob went all out in the State rounds, winning the Open ahead of Gary McSwain and Lindsay Thompson and also the over-45s Grand Masters ahead of Lindsay Thompson and Mick Marlin.

However, a month before the National titles, tragedy struck. At Cowaramup Bay, teachers, students and spectators were watching the final heat of the annual surfing contest between Margaret River and Cowaramup Primary Schools when the cliff above them collapsed, resulting in the deaths of nine people, five adults and four children. One of those lost was Lindsay Thompson, who was judging at the time. The National Titles were dedicated to the memory of Lindsay and his photo adorned both the poster and program. Although a sad time for all, the titles went off without a hitch in good surf, with the feeling of Lindsay watching over the proceedings from above.

Photo: 1999 Yallingup Malibu Classic – Lindsay Thompson Team Challenge winners – Team Yahoo

L-R Kevin Anderson, Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland, Bobo, Gary McSwain and Mark Ogram sponsor of Team Yahoo. Loz Smith pic.

Bob went through to the final of the over-45s, not even dropping into the repechage heats. But even a home break advantage is not enough to help if luck is against you. “I thought I had to surf fantastic to win, but all I had to do was just go out and surf normal,” says Bob. “So I thought I’d pick those nice inside lefts that run down the reef – the point scorers, but every wave I took off on closed out!” The other guys sat out on the shoulder and took the fat ones. The winner was Peter Hudson NSW, then Alan Atkins VIC (second), Bob WA (third) and Eric Walker NSW (fourth).

Photos: 1999 Bob Monkman competing in State Titles held at Avalon Point. Mick marlin pics.

Bob won the State open and over-45s almost every year for a while, until his young protégé Justin Redman from Quindalup started winning the opens. The bridesmaid’s tag at a national level was a hard one to shake, with a second place behind Robye Dean QLD at Port Macquarie and a second behind Eric Walker NSW in South Australia. It was not until the Australian Longboard Titles at Bells Beach, Victoria, in October 1999 that the trophy was held high by a West Australian when Bob won the over-45s from Phil Trigger QLD and Andy McKinnon QLD. A solid performance throughout the entire event put Bob on the victory dais at last. Although lost for words at his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to his old mate Lindsay Thompson, who placed fourth in the final of the same event, just five years previously.

Photos: 1999 Bob Monkman competing in National Titles held at Bells and Jan Jac Beach Vic. Mick Marlin Pics.

In 2000 Bob was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for his contribution to surfing. He was presented with his Medal and letter from Prime Minister John Howard at a ceremony held at Caves House Yallingup.

Photo: 2000 Bob with his Medal and letter from the PM at presentation ceremony Caves House Yallingup. Loz Smith pic.

Bob got back into the shaping bay for a five or six years, shaping his own boards and doing a few signature models for mates through Mark Ogram’s Yahoo Surfboards. “I can’t believe how hard it is to shape a modern longboard, it’s 10 times harder than shaping an old tracker!” Bob reckons.

Photo: 2004 Noosa Festival of Surfing. Old boys final. L-R Wayne Deane, Bill Tolhurst, Robbye Deane, Bob Monkman, Eric Walker, Norm Bateman.  Mick Marlin pic.

The Monkman’s eldest daughter Holly followed in her Dad’s footsteps. She became a very keen and competent grommette, winning the State Junior Women’s title and later, the State Open Women’s title. Holly capped this off by taking out the Australian Women’s title in 1997, before turning pro and doing the world circuit. Taking Holly to contests, Bob would enter the short board rounds and won the State Grand Masters title.  After Holly’s big win they both went on a yacht trip through the Mentawai’s while Jenny and the twins lapped it up in Bali. Holly competed on the world circuit for a few years before taking up marketing and management positions with a number of surf companies. Creatures of Leisure, Globe USA, Electric, Coastalwatch and Quicksilver Asia among them. Now a resident of Bali, Holly runs a surf school.

Photo: 2014 Jenny & Bob Monkman at Surfing Down South book launch held at Vasse Felix Winery. Loz Smith pic.

Into the new century Bob and Jenny built a new home in Dunsborough and ran the gallery and woodworking business until 2007 when they decided to retire. Bob kept having a crack at the national titles and in 2001 he won the Aussie Over 50s title at Yallingup followed up by winning the Over 55s when the titles returned to Yallingup in 2006. In 2011 he won the Over 60s division at Port Macquarie.

Photos: 2001 National Titles held at Yallingup. Bob Monkman over 50s champ. Mick Marlin pics.

Left: Bobbo the Over 50s national champ.

Right: WA team L-R Justin, Paul Thompson, Bob Monkman, Claire Finucane, Tim Fitzpatrick, Gary ‘Gooselegs’ Vaughan and Bob McTavish.

Photos: 2006 National Titles held at Yallingup. Bob Monkman over 55’s champ. Mick Marlin pics

Left: Bob waxing up his longboard.

Right: Holly and Jenny Monkman cheering Bob on at Aussie Titles Yallingup.

In 2017 Bob won the Over 65 division at this year’s WA State Longboard titles and at the National Titles at Cabarita NSW he made the semis in the Over 65s and won the Over 60s division surfing against the young blokes.

Bob and Jenny are part time grey nomads and proud grandparents. Twins Kyla has had three sons and Sage one son.  Bob has his annual one month sojourn up at Gnaraloo riding mostly a 6 foot 6 inch fish while around Yallingup he uses mostly a mal.

Photo: 2012 Bob cooking scones at Gnaraloo surf camp. Ron Marchant pic.

L-R Bob Monkman, Tom Martin and Ron Marchant.

A surfing life well lived. Just look out for the little bloke perched on the nose out at Yallingup.


Malibu Mick


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Pantsman memories by Tom Blaxell

Former WA Surfboard manufacturer Tom Blaxell recalls Greg ‘Pantsman’ Laurenson.

I first met ‘Pantsman’ in 1966. It was at Cordingley Surfboards in Hay Street Subi, where Colin Cordingley had just given me a job for the summer school holidays as a board repairer.

I had made my own first board in the garage at home in ‘64 when I was age 14, and had been instantly hooked on surfing. I also had this creative side and loved making things as well.

Seeing my enthusiasm for surfing, my Dad bought me a book by Midget Farrelly called “This Surfing Life” which had this underlying theme of submersing your life in surfing and I swallowed it hook line and sinker.

In those days there was no such thing as professional surfing, so the only way to make a living out of surfing was to get involved in making the equipment.

Ding fixing has always been the starting point in a surfboard making career, and sure enough it is the best way to hone your skills initially, on a miniature but broad range scale. Repairing a board actually involves small amounts of shaping, graphics, glassing, sanding and finishing – all the major skills in making a board.

So there I was on the threshold, on $20 a week and blessed by being amongst a fine team of experienced craftsmen who were at the height of their game.

Colin Cordingley was the nicest guy you could come across and was the front man for the shop, along with his wife Jenny, who had this knack of somehow making me feel like I was her little favourite.

Colin’s brother Rex was the main task master and head shaper. He could get a little grumpy at times but every team needs somebody to keep the show rolling, and he always kept his sense of humour.

Photo: 1970 Colin and Rex Cordingley with Bill Oddy at Australia Day contest presentations at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

Kathleen King and David Moss are among the spectators’ bottom left.

Charlie Campbell was the ultimate glasser who toiled like clockwork, ever dependable, never making a fuss and a great working companion.

Photos: 1970s Charles Campbell – Cordingley glasser images. Norm Bateman pics.

Left: 1970s Charles at Cordingley Surfboards Subi.

Right: 1975 Charles skate boarding at Carine.

Dave Ellis was a more colourful character with a certain artistic flavour to his way of thinking. He did the graphics, glossing and most of the sanding. He guarded his gloss room like Fort Knox and used to do a lot of the glossing in the cool of night. He also did some repairs and was the one who gave me most of the guidance in my work.

Photos: 1970s Dave Ellis – Cordingley finisher images.

Left: 1970s Dave at Cordingley Surfboards Subi. Norm Bateman pic.

Right: 1979 Dave at Cordingley Surfboards Jolimont. Ric Chan pic.

Then there was Pantsman, the rising star shaper. The thing that struck me about him most was his totally engaging way of communication. What with big wide eyes, full of interest, his insightful thoughts and questions, delivered with such eloquence and spiced with humour amongst the foam dust. It always required a considered response, so that the briefest exchange, even if it was just a joke, left you with the feeling that it was something important and it stuck in your mind. He could become spell binding, and always made you feel good when you had a chat.

Photos: 1970s Pantsman images

Left: 1970s Pants in Cordingley Surfboards Advt which appeared in West Coast Surfer magazine.

Right: 1970 Pants with GL Surfboard and mates at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

For some unknown reason he dubbed me “ Tonneau “ and always opened up with it whenever we ran into each other, and I would be compelled to respond “ Pantsman”, a silly little thing that I always cherished.

Of course in those days, as a punter you got to talk to the shaper, and even get to watch him shape your board. Greg’s gift for communication stood him well in that arena, and of course also later as a contest commentator.

At the same time Pants was of course an extremely talented craftsman who set himself very high standards. In those early days at Cords he was fairly new on the scene but I could see him rapidly developing a growing following, which was encouraging for an even younger bloke like me.

At the end of summer it was back to school, but a lot of my mates wanted me to make boards for them which I did in my spare time in the garage. When I finished school that year I had decided that I wouldn’t go on to Uni but instead devote my life to surfing, so it was back to Cords again.

By the end of that summer the demand in the garage had grown to mates of mates, and it had got to the point where I had 20 boards on order. That gave me enough courage to make the decision to go into business myself at the age of 17. Col took the news pretty well but pleaded with me to stay on until Easter as things were pretty busy, so I agreed to stay on before setting up shop in Ossie Park.

Photos: 1970s Tom Blaxell images.

Left: 1971 Tom at Blaxell Surfboards factory in Osborne Park. Ric Chan pic.

Right: 1973 Tom with full mop top at Gobbles Night Club. Tom pic.

Later on Pantsman did the same, setting up just down the road from me. There was no bad blood, and to me it seemed like a natural progression for him as well. We always had a special connection from the days back at Hay Street.

There was one notable incident when he was shaping a board but made a mistake, and in a Van Gogh perfectionist reaction punched a hole in the wall and broke his arm! He couldn’t shape for some months after, which probably didn’t help business very much.

Another moment was one year at the Margaret River Masters. We had organised a low key sundowner at the point on a Saturday night with a local band from town to entertain the troops. However at the end of the show I had come to the realisation that we didn’t have any cash on hand to pay the band.  So I was discretely making myself scare behind a banner to save the embarrassment, when up pops Pantsman “Tonneau, what are you up to? “  When I explained my predicament he instantly responded by opening up his jacket to reveal 2 bottles of vino to say “Well I’ve got a couple of orphans that I’ve adopted. They were looking for a good home. Why don’t you come back with me to keep em company? “… Band? What band?


Tom Blaxell

Click on this link to view Greg Laurenson – Master Shaper by Errol Considine published 2 August 2017.



Hammond family farm (Yallingup Hill) early history

In 1933 Thomas Garfield Hammond purchased circa 100 acres of land at Yallingup in front of the historic Caves House Hotel site owned then by that state government.

Thomas built rental cottages and grew oats on the land. 66% of the Hammond land was developed and 34 % was left as undeveloped.

Thomas ‘Ting’ Hammond and his wife Silvia ‘Dorrie’ Doreen (nee Burkett) bought up their sons William ‘Garth’ and Graham ‘Jack’ on Yallingup hill.

Ting was a Dental Surgeon and practiced out of Claremont and a surgery at the top end of St Georges Terrace in Perth. He also had an effective medical suite with dental surgery and denture manufacturing workshop at the big house on Yallingup Hill.

Photo: 1940s Ting’s bronze Dental Surgeon professional plaque and a small selection of his dental equipment. Hammond family pic.

Thomas Hammond’s grandson Evan Hammond has kindly provided this history of his family’s early years on Yallingup Hill. Evan is a 3rd generation Hammond family member living on Yallingup Hill. Evan and his elder brother Dene are the sons of the late Garth Hammond and Patricia Hammond (now of Floreat).

Photos: 1933-36 Ting and his convertible at Yallingup campsites. Hammond family pics.

Left: Ting at Canal Rocks campsite.

Right: Ting at Yallingup hill campsite (near Steve Russo’s place on Valley Road).

Ting built their first family cottage on the undeveloped side of the valley in Yallingup in the 40s. Today only the remnants of the white cap rock chimney and a fruiting fig tree remain.

His wife Dorrie used figs from the fig tree to make fig jam for tourists visiting Yallingup. Initially tourist buses visited the ‘big house’ for refreshments, then later the Hammond Tea Rooms (Surfside) were built on the beach front at Yallingup. The tea rooms served food, Devonshire teas and petrol.

Photo: Dorrie and the hand cast copper pot used to make fig jam. Hammond family pic.

Left: 1922 Dorrie Burkett age 19.

Right: 1940s Dorrie’s fig jam pot.

Photo: 1940s unsealed Valley Road Yallingup. Hammond family pic.

From 1943 to 1947 Ting built rental cottages on the hill. He built 5 rental cottages on the high side of Elsegood Avenue.  On the low side of Hammond Road he built the big house and two cottages (Laurie Schlueter’s cottage and the Savage Family’s “The Junction” cottage).

Ting’s private family house was called ‘the big house’. It was built on stumps and had an enclosed verandah covered in wooden slats.

The cottage on the corner of Hammond and Valley roads was called ‘The Junction’ because it was physically halfway between the pub and beach.

The Junction and its very old hedged tree fence can be found is at the end of the Ghost Track (also known affectionately as the Ghost Trail or Bridal Trail) when walking from the hotel to the beach.

Photos: 1940’s the Hammond’s ‘big house’ on Hammond Road Yallingup. Hammond family pics.

Left: Ting with his car meeting with guests and the cottage builders at the big house.

Right: rental guests at the big house.

Photos: 1940s rental cottages being built on Elsegood Avenue. Hammond family pics.

Left: Rental cottage with the big house and Tings car in the background.

Right: Rental cottage with Ting’s car out the front.

Photos: 1947 Hammond cottages on Yallingup hill. Hammond family pics.

Photo: 1947 Hammond cottages and the big house on the hill with a clearing and a windmill in the foreground. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1947 Hammond rental cottages with guest vehicles out the front and the big house on the right. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1947 panorama of Hammond land on Yallingup Hill. Hammond family pic.

L-R Hammond tea rooms, rental cottages, the big house and The Junction.

Photo: 1949 Ting watching Garth (age 7) climb a ladder to a water tank at the rental cottages on Yallingup hill. Hammond family pic.

Photo: 1946-47 Ting’s son Garth playing with a friend at Slippery Rocks Yallingup Beach. Hammond family pic.

Note beach erosion at Rabbit Hill in the background.

Ting’s boys Jack and Garth attended Yallingup Primary School on the corner of Caves Road and Wildwood Road (now Steiner School). Hammond family pic.

Photo: The Yallingup Primary School class of ’52 with Garth in front row 5th from right.

Records show that circa 1952 to 1966 there were just the lower roads on Yallingup Hill. Then the development of Wardanup Crescent was undertaken by Alan Bond from Bond Corp and sold in and around the 1967 to 1972 era. Interestingly Wardanup Crescent is named after the Wardanup Ridge which is visible behind the Yallingup Hill town site. It’s also finds its name from the Wardani people, of the Noongar tribe of indigenous Australians.

Photo: 1955 Hammond family on Valley Road Yallingup with Ting’s Chevrolet sedan. Photo courtesy of photographer John Budge and Surfing Down South book.

L-R. Ting’s sons Graham ‘Jack’ & William ‘Garth’, Mrs Silvia ‘Dorrie’ Hammond and Thomas ‘Ting’ Hammond.

Ting’s car in the photo is a 1954 Chevrolet BelAir 4 Door sedan. 235 cubic inch 6 cylinder with a three speed box. Evan recalls Garth saying there were some “adventurous” runs to Busselton when the old man was away. The car was very powerful for its day.

The number plate BSN 1991 on Ting’s Chev is still retained by the Hammond family and since Garth’s passing it is on Patricia’s car. Evan’s 1979 Range Rover has the number plate BSN 1881 and both these plates are the original family plates.

Ting acquired the ship’s bell off the 1897 MV Helena.

MV Helena was built in England, dismantled, shipped to Perth then rebuilt at Coffee Point (South of Perth Yacht Club’s site) for Ting’s father William John Hammond and his business partner Alex Matherson as they developed what was known as Melville Waters Park Estate which is now called Applecross.

She would steam paddle back and forth from William Street Jetty Perth with supplies and materials for the company’s subdivision and development site.

An Exert from WA maritime registers has the following information on her;

No.12, 1898, HELENA, O/No.102216, 27.5 tons.

Paddle Steamship.

Dimensions, 65 x 12 x 5.25 feet.

Built by A.H.Grey at Coffee Point, during 1897.

Owner: Melville Waters Park Estates Ltd. of Perth.

This vessel was abandoned at Coffee Point, Swan River in 1905 and eventually sank at her moorings.

The ship’s bell subsequently found a home at Yallingup and is well known to a lot of kids on Yallingup hill.

From 1982-83 until recently, Garth Hammond would do up the ute, dress in a Father Christmas outfit along with some years Jack or Mick Mickle and ring the Helena bell to signify Santa was coming. His sons Dene & Evan and any other festive local ready to give a hand would throw out wrapped toffees to celebrate Xmas with the Yallingup Hill community. Very kindly these would be provided by Allens Sweets and organised by Peter Dyson as a gift to his Yallingup hill family.

Graham John Hammond (Uncle Jack) is of the belief that Ting hand built the wooden frame to house the bell he inherited from his father.

Photo: 1897 MV Helena ship bell at Yallingup. Hammond family pic

Garth and Patricia Hammond’s sons Dene and Evan still live in Yallingup.