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1970-80 Yallingup Beach car park

Update: 20 March 2017. According to Wardandi Elder George Webb’s book ‘Noonyabooghera’, Yallingup means ‘place of land falling away‘ referring to the limestone cliffs. The ‘place of love‘ myth was created by the people that opened up the caves and Caves House as a honeymoon destination. Source Melia Brent-White.

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Yallingup Beach car park has been a meeting place for surfers since the mid-50s.

The Wardandi aboriginal meaning of Yallingup is ‘Place of Love’. In 2011 a large bronze sculpture of a surfer was erected at Yallingup to recognise its role in ‘the origins of surfing in WA’.

Photos: 2011 unveiling of surf pioneer sculpture at Yallingup. Jim King pics.

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Surfers used to camp under the melaleuca trees at the beach car park in the ’50s. Then in the 60-70s surfers used the old public toilets as overnight accommodation in inclement weather.

Things have certainly changed since those days, camping is now banned on the beach front, the public toilets have been relocated and the car park curbed & landscaped. Today’s surfers meet in the car park to check the waves & ‘chew the fat’ on surfing, footy, women……and more recently ailments issues.

This is a collection of car park images with a sprinkling of comments from surfers who frequented the Yallingup car park & Surfside Store back then, when times seemed so much simpler.

Photo: 1970 State Open Champion Tony Hardy in the car park at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

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Peter ‘Mac’ McDonaldIn the 70s when we were working in the SW carting hay, about 10 of us (George Simpson, Ronny Ratshit, Grant Robinson, Gary Kontoolas, John Molloy & others) slept in our cars under the melaleucas at Yallingup and ate breakfast (tomato mince) & dinner with Bernie & Eve at Surfside.

Photo: 1970 Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn behind & in front of the camera in Ric Chan’s Kombi at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

1970 Yalls Steve Cockburn in Ric's kombi- Ric Chan img202

Peter Dunn (NZ expatriate) Yallingup regular John ‘Tex’ Branch arranged my first trip down south in 1972. Tex met my mates & I at the Cottesloe pub and we then headed to Yallingup in a convoy.

Photos: 1972 First trip Down South. Peter Dunn pics.

Left: Yallingup car park team photo. L-R Peachy, Paul, Renya, Murray, Tex, Keith, Wayne, Dick, Steve & Bow.

Right: Busselton pit stop. Bearded ‘Tex’ sitting on the roof of Prive’s former Holden panel van.

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Len DibbenThis Photo was taken by my wife Wendy in the Yallingup car park at the Australian Surf riding Championships, about July 1973. I was part of the Contest committee to run the 1973 Australia Surfboard Championships. At that time, I was Vice President to Ron Naylor president. I organized the Kombi to help run Contestants & Reporters to & from venues, if needed. The two children are my daughter Kim at 7 year of age & son Troy at 5 years of age. They are now aged 48 & 46. The gear I am wearing is a Baron wear striped t-shirt…very popular at that time, Levi Jeans & John Arnold Hararchi Leather Sandals from then Adelaide.

Photo: 1973 Aust Surf riding Championships contest official Len Dibben in the car park at Yallingup. Wendy Dibben pic.

1973 Aust Titles yalls contest marshal Len Dibben with daughter Kim 6 & son Troy 4

Laurie ‘Loz’ Smith (Quindalup surfer & photographer) – In 73-74 my brother Tony & I would sleep in his split screen Kombi in the Yallingup car park. At that time there were no rangers and camping was free. After an early surf, we used to have a brekkie of sausages & eggs on toast and a cuppa at Surfside for 60c. We would play table soccer for 10c a game while we were waiting for brekkie. We used to fill up the Kombi at Surfside using the hand pump Petrol Bowser. Surfside was the only place to eat brekkie besides the Bakery at Dunsborough. Sally Jones (nee Gunter) used to work at the Bakery and made the biggest milkshakes.

Photo: 1973 Yalls Lobster Pot Restaurant at Surfside. L-R Grant Robinson, George Simpson and Bernie Young at Sally Gunter’s 21st birthday party. Sally Gunter pic.

Photo: 1975 Yallingup car park during State Surfing Titles. Surfside Store is on the left and the old brick Toilets are under the melaleucas on the right. Ric Chan pic.

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Andy JonesWe used to kick the footy in Yallingup car park. It was an open area with few cars and was a good meeting place for surfers. Before technology (surf reports/web sites etc) we used to check waves conditions from the car park before heading off to the best surf destination for the day.

Photo: 1975 Mark Favell ex Bundaberg Qsld & Andy Jones in Yalls car park. Gina Pannone pic.

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Julie FavellAndy Jones, Mark Favell, Neil Juster and myself all lived in Dunsborough. We all work in the Dunsborough Bakery. It was a hell of a time. We travelled to Bears along the old road following coast. One vehicle we had was an old VW with balloon tyres. We always made it through the dirt track. Neil had a blue heeler dog (sorry forgotten his name), Neil was always tying him up and that darn dog always got himself out, could climb ladders at a great pace. At this time there was a surfboard maker at Willyabrup Peter ‘Stumpy’ Wallace who made Pegasus Surfboards. And the beginnings of Creatures of Leisure leg ropes at Injidup by Helen & Dave Hattrick and John Malloy.

Photo: 1975 Yallingup Mark Favell & Southey the dog in front of old brick toilet block. Julie Favell pic

Bruce KingIn inclement weather we used to sleep in the old toilet block behind Surfside tea rooms/store. I never had a sleeping bag and used to sleep in thongs in keep warm as my feet used to stick out the end of the blanket.

Photo: 1976 unidentified surfers in Yallingup car park. Ric Chan pic.

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Al Bean (Surfboard shaper) – I became Manager of Surfside & the Yalls Beach Caravan Park in 1977 at age 20 years. I learnt to cook and employed local girls to help at Surfside. Back then city surfers would sleep in cars in the car park and we would get up to 60 surfers waiting for breakfast each morning over the weekend. It was a different story during the week and we would be lucky to sell a choc milk & newspaper to Harbo at Hideaway Homes. So I would close the shop mid-week and go surfing.

Photo: 1978 an empty Yallingup car park with Surfside Store, Bali Hai surf shop & Surfside rental accommodation in the background. Vance Burrow pic.

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Ross UttingIt was always difficult to fill in long hot surf-less afternoons, particularly on holiday or contest weekends when there were a lot of high spirited people about. Fortunately there were a few blokes who fancied themselves as stunt drivers. These blokes would relieve our boredom by putting on a display of burning rubber and wheelies in the Yallingup car park.

On one occasion, two of these charismatic drivers in Bill “Big Eyes” McVeigh and Kevin “Odey” O’Dwyer fed off each other, with each stunt becoming more outrageous than the one before.  They ended up, each in turn, racing down the hill from the pub at high speed, over the bridge and throwing the wheel on full lock entering the unsealed car park, sliding and spinning wildly through the car park and coming to a halt in a cloud of dust in front of the cheering masses, leaping out of their cars and taking a bow.

Both brilliant drivers, but how none of the vehicles parked in the car park were not damaged or pedestrians killed still amazes me.  The owner of Surfside Tea Rooms with it’s petrol bowser out front wouldn’t have been amused either.

Photo: 1980 Parking spot with a view. Gary Gibbon’s Ford Cortina with protruding surfboard in Yallingup car park. Gary Gibbon pic.

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Louie ‘Longboard’ CorkillI left school at age 13 and started hitchhiking down south. I used to camp in the old toilet block at Yallingup beach. I slept in a board bag made of quilt by my mother. The best camping spot used to be in the melaleucas just before the bridge on the right, as you come down the hill into Yalls. Brian Bell and I would set up our tent or sleep in the car next to the fresh water creek which flowed from the pub.

Photo: 1980 Ray Nott & Dave Seward preparing to go for a surf at Yallingup. Gary Gibbon pic.

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Mal Leckie – Steve “Horny” Campbell used to do an interesting performance for tourist buses in the Yall’s car park when he pulled his boardies up as high as they would go, puff his stomach out like he was pregnant and do an emu walk. 

More than one dead snake arrived at speed into the Yall’s car park behind a car, tied to the back by fishing line and “whipped” into the entry area to Surfside.

Photo: 1981 Steve ‘Horny’ Campbell and hound installing electricity at Caves Caravan Park. Gary Gibbon pic.

Floyd IrvineIn the early 80s my mates and I used to pitch our tent on the lawn in front of the ugly old brick toilets at Yallingup. We had a friendly council ranger who would provide firewood for our camp fire and chat with us. Back then nobody gave a shit what you did!

Photo: 1980 Tony Harbison reading West Coast Surfer magazine at Yallingup car park. Tony and his wife Carol built and ran Hideaway Holiday Homes at Yallingup in the 70s. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1980 surfboard shaper Greg Laurenson and Dave Kennedy from Star Surfboards in Yallingup car park. Sadly the surf industry legends are now deceased. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1980 Greg Laurenson, Dave Kennedy, Tony Harbinson and Mitch Thorson in Yallingup car park with Harbo’s dog Prince. Ric Chan pic.

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Yallingup Beach car park is still a meeting place for surfers in the South West.

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1960s Fun Times at Mandurah by the King Bros.

In the mid 60s metro surfers used to make day trips from the city to Mandurah chasing waves and fun times.

On the way there were beach break waves at Long Point, Surf Beach, Golden Bay and Singleton in offshore conditions. In Mandurah there were fun waves on sand bars at Halls head & Stewart Street on a SW breeze. Further on there were good waves at Bitumen’s, Miami Bay, Geary’s, Avalon, Melros and Tim’s Thicket.

After a wave, visiting surfers indulged in the local social life. Social activities centred around parties with local girls, Sunday sessions and during the annual Kanyana Carnival there were paddle board races & skurfing displays.

In the 60s Jim & Bruce King of Subiaco were members of the City Beach Surf Riders club.

These are the King Bros recollections of fun times at Mandurah in the 60s with their City Beach surfing mates….

Bruce King – On a surf trip to Mandurah, Phil Henderson and I took a 5 gallon keg of beer in the back of a mate’s Mini-Minor as refreshment for the trip. And we charged our mate for the pleasure of our company on the trip!

Another time Phil and I purchased a 5 gallon keg of beer in Mandurah and got our mate to drive us to a Nightclub in the city & return.

We treated our driver poorly and were dickheads back then!

Photos: 1960s hanging at the beach in Mandurah. Photos courtesy of Trevor Burslem & King Bros.

Top: (Left) Rob Halliday & Sheepdog’s autos (Right) Browneyes, Rob Halliday & Dribbles.

Bottom: (Left) Midge Semple being mischievous (Right) Norm Kitson eating a can of sardines.

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Bruce KingOn one occasion, my brother Jim and I had a beer with Gerry Humphries and the Loved Ones Band in the front bar of the Old Brighton pub. Later Sheepdog and I (and a horde of others) broke through the fence and into their concert at Mandurah Oval.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy the concert as the Constabulary were after us and we had to make a quick get-away in Dennis Baker’s Mini Minor.

Photo: 1960s Main drag in Mandurah with Old Brighton pub in the centre. Photo courtesy of Lost Perth.

Note drinkers sitting on roof of the pub and the stack of Malibu’s on the roof of surf wagon parked in the street.

Photos: 1960s an assortment of surfer’s automobiles made the surfari to Mandurah. Photos courtesy Peter Bothwell, Trevor Burslem, Bull Moss & Ross Utting.

Top: (Left) Rod Bothwell’s broken Prefect (Right) Rob Halliday’s Fiat & Malibu’s.

Bottom: (Left) Norm Kitson & Glen Carroll with Bull Moss’s Morrie Minor. (Right) Ross Utting and Craig Henfry with Ross’s Dad’s EK Holden station wagon.

Jim King – In 1967 the City Beach boys put on a skurfing display at Mandurah’s Kanyana Carnival. We had never done it before, but the organiser’s didn’t know that when they programmed the event! We were towed up & down the river between the traffic bridge and the Peninsular Hotel behind a speedboat on our surf boards. We nearly killed ourselves, but put on a fun show for the crowd. We also competed successfully in the carnival’s Paddle Board Races on the river.

Photos: 1967 Mandurah’s Kanyana Carnival Paddle Board Races. Photos courtesy King Bros.

Top: Paddle Race winners Bruce King & Dave Ellis.

Bottom: Bruce’s Paddle Race Certificate and King Bros Paddle Race prizes.

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Jim KingWhen the wind was onshore in the city and there was a good swell running, we used to drive down to Mandurah and surf fun Malibu waves at Stewart St and Halls Head. Unfortunately these sand bars disappeared when man made developments occurred at the river mouth.

Images: 1966 surfing fun waves at Stewart St Mandurah in a SW breeze. Images ex CBSR Super 8 movie film.

Top: (Left) Jim King & Rob Halliday tandem (Right) Ron Moss head stand.

Bottom: Browneyes walking the board.

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Photos: 1960s social times at Mandurah. Photos Courtesy of Glen Carroll, Trevor Burslem, Robyn McDonald & Ron Moss.

Top: (Left) Glen Carrol with flower power board (Right) five wise men L-R Jim King, Rob Farris, Norm Bateman, Steve Cockburn & Bruce King.

Bottom: (Left) Robyn Mac & friends (Right) Mick & Ron Moss socialising.

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Jim King – In the 60s you were allowed to drive your car on the beach at Long Point & Surf Beach. We parked near the best waves, bogged our cars on high tide and had great fun towel surfing on the water’s edge behind Kevin ‘Dirty Odes’ O’Dwyer’s work ute.

Images: 1960s autos & people at Surf Beach. Images ex CBSR Super 8 movie film.

Top: (Left) Rob Halliday’s Fiat & Jim King’s Anglia parked on the beach. (Right) Robert ‘Digger’ Dolphin being dacked by Phil Henderson.

Middle: (Left) Phil Henderson towel surfing on his mum’s best beach towel behind Dirty Ode’s work ute (Right) Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson & Greg (Pant’s) Laurenson leaving the waves.

Bottom: Dirty Ode’s work ute loaded to the gunnels with surfboards.

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Bruce King – When the waves were flat or wind was howling onshore, we would play on a rope swing on the Murray River near Pinjarra while waiting for the afternoon session to start at the Ravenswood pub.

Photos: 1968 River swing on Murray River near Pinjarra. Photos courtesy of King Bros.

Top: (Left) Norm Kitson on rope swing (Right) Phil Henderson dropping in on Bruce King.

Bottom: Bottoms up.

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We were young and they were fun times!

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Three Bears surf break & track in the 70s

In August 1971 surfers George Simpson, Mick Pearce & Mark Rudenberg discovered Three Bears surf break at Kabbijgup Beach. The boys had seen waves breaking along the cliffs north of Yallingup and walked in from Sugarloaf Rock to find the surf break.

American expatriate surfboard shaper Tom Hoye named it MGM after the initials of the three guys who discovered the place, but Perth guys later renamed it Three Bears after the 3 surf breaks Baby’s, Mama’s & Papa’s.

Tom was the first surfer to drive into Bears. He forged a track to Bears from his backyard in Dunsborough, along paddocks and fire breaks to connect with the beach track behind d’Espeisses’ property.

Circa ‘72 Tom and Craig Brent-White used their 4WD’s to create a rough track to Bears through coastal scrub land at Yallingup. In ‘73 Ralph Redman used his 4WD to improve the alignment of the coastal track from Yallingup.

Then the floodgates opened and Bears became an established surf location.

This a collection of anecdotes & photos from ’70s Bears user’s………

George SimpsonWhen we walked in to find Bears Beach in ’71, there were no tracks and the ground was rocky with spiky shrubs. I broke my Dunlop thong in the first half hour. The torturous 10klm trek along the cliffs from Sugarloaf Rock to Yallingup took us 7 hours.

I recall a big day at Bears in ’76. My brother Michael, Peta Baker from City Beach and Tracy (who later became my wife) and I were heading up the track to Bears and we passed Tom Hoye and Dave Hattrick coming back. They told us it was too big to surf and the bombies were wild. We found it was big and breaking outside the Mama’s boil. There was no one else there and it took Michael and I ages to get out the back… we got two waves that broke right through from outside Papa’s, right through Mama’s into Baby’s and were unable to get back out. It was pretty wild!

Photo: 1972 George Simpson surfing Injidup Car Park on a Geoff Culmsee single fin surfboard. Photo by Ian Ferguson courtesy of West Country Surf magazine.

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Tom Hoye – One afternoon, the boys came staggering into Caves House with raving stories of the perfect left-hander, saying, “You gotta go, you gotta go.” We trudged in at dawn to find a perfect 4 to 6ft left hander. A perfect day at Bears.

Photos: Tom Hoye in the SW.

Left: 1971 Tom Hoye outside old shack at Contos Beach, Margaret River. Gary Kontoolis pic.

Right: 1980 Tom Hoye surfing solid Baby’s. Photo (damaged) by Peter Davies.

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For detailed Three Bears recollections from George Simpson & Tom Hoye refer to the Surfing Down South book published by Margaret River Press in 2014. Reprinted 2014.

Bears track pioneers

Craig Brent-White – Circa ’72 Tom Hoye and I used our 4wd’s to create a coastal track to Bears from Rabbit Hill at Yallingup. Glen Lance was a passenger in Tom’s car and Tony Harbison was in my car when we made the first track to Bears from Yalls.

Ralph RedmanIn 1973 I strapped a steel railway line on the front of my Toyota Land Cruiser and pushed a coastal track through to Bears from Yallingup. It connected with an old air strip Budge Guthrie had made on top of the cliffs using an overgrown mineral exploration track. Earlier Tom Hoye had put through a track to Bears from Yallingup, but it was no good as it was high on the hill and too rocky.

Photo: 1976 Ralph Redman surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

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Bruce KingMy version of the first surf session at Bears differs from George Simpson’s recollections in the SDS Book. 

I was with George and a few others the first time it was surfed. Craig Kalmund was also there and remembers arriving at the beach and George’s reaction was “F**k it’s a bit bigger today!” George was the first to enter the water and surf Bears. It was a classic day with the 3 distinct breaks, the bigger one outside, then the medium one, then the smaller break inside that’s why I called it “3 Bears”.

The area itself was referred to as “MGM’s” after the three George, Mark and Mick had walked from Sugarloaf to Yallingup a few days earlier. I remember them arriving back at Yalls and frothing about the waves they saw. In those days it was a walk along the cliffs from Sugarloaf & took about 40 minutes. Later on we worked our way into Bears in our cars from Rabbits at Yalls, sometimes spending the whole day just digging our cars out from the bog while trying to get up the sandy hill, no one had 4wd’s in those days.

Some days on the beach we had a real menagerie of people including Charlie “Dingbat”, Trevor “Yipyip” Anderson, Laurie “Pup” Nesbit, Ronny “Ratshit,” Steve “Horny” Campbell and other rascals. Charlie Dingbat and some of the others ran around naked. No one took water or any supplies, but hit the Dunsborough Bakery big time after a day’s surfing.   

Photos: 1973 Bruce King at Three Bears on Bill Oddy’s trail bike. Bruce King pics.

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Stewart BettenayIn the early 70s my brother Craig & I walked into Bears from Sugarloaf twice on the same day. It nearly killed us as we surfed heaps and had no food or water. We knew Tom Hoye had found a way to drive to Bears in his FJ Holden but didn’t know where the track was. Then one day we saw the sun glinting off the windscreen of his car and we discovered that he was using a track along firebreaks from Dunsborough. When the coastal track was pushed through from Yalls to Bears we used that track.

Photo 1983 Stewart Bettenay surfing Mama Bears. Dave Sheen pic

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Stewart Bettenay – Shortly after 3 Bears was being surfed by the next crew of surfers after the originals, a 17 year Craig Howe (Kalbarri and Gnaraloo pioneer) heard that the way to get there was from Sugarloaf Rock high along the cliffs, as there was no beach access.

Craig took this to be high up on the Ridge, so off he set by himself on a very hot March day. After 3 hours of walking and even throwing his board up on top of thick scrub and crawling along it, he finally arrived battered and scratched to be greeted by the sea-breeze. Surfers leaving the beach showed him the walk track back along the cliffs. Howie never got to go for a surf and described the experience as a “hideous journey” and never returned.

Photos: Mid ‘70s Trevor ‘Yip Yip’ Anderson (middle) and his mates surfing fun waves at Bears. Ric Chan pics.

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Ross UttingShortly after news of Bears leaked out I walked in from Sugarloaf Rock along the cliff tops with Bruce King & Micko Gracie. It was a solid one hour walk, although Bruce reckons he could do it in 45 mins. When we got there Baby’s was 4-5ft & beautiful, but there were 3 other guys already there. We knew them so it was ok. We surfed it all day, but because it was so crowded (ha!), we tag teamed so that there was never more than 3 or 4 guys in the water at a time.

Between surfs, one of the other guys showed me a pool just north of the big rocks at the Baby’s end, it was packed with abalone. Being a bit peckish, because we took neither food nor water, we managed to prise a couple off the reef & ate them raw. I recall them tasting a bit like coconut.

The next day I returned, this time with Russell Stranger, Stewart & Craig Bettenay. The waves weren’t as good, but we were the only ones there. I was better prepared this time, still no food or water, but armed with a screw driver & a canvas board bag.  Between surfs I collected about 10 kilos of abs & shoved them in my board bag. Big mistake! Lugging a board under one arm & 10kilos of abs stuffed in a bag over my other shoulder for an hour, after being completely surf out, was hell.

When we got back to Greenacres Holiday Homes, where Russell was staying, we tenderised the abs with a tyre lever & Russell’s wife Anne crumbed them & we cooked them on the BBQ. We ate the lot. Beautiful!

Photo: 1976 Mamma Bears line-up. L-R Steele George, Joe Fimmano & Graham Waddell. Jim King pic

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Mal Leckie – Surfside, Caves House and the Yalls carpark were the social pivot point for everyone who came down from Perth and most blokes slept there each night regardless of where they surfed each day.

At the end of each day most people would tell where they had been surfing and you built up a picture of who was going where. Mostly it was the same general area because of the swell. We knew everyone’s cars and you would see them driving along Caves Road or up to the Cape and turning off etc. Those were the days of thumbs up, thumbs down as you drove past each other haha.

I remember that we became a bit suspicious of a few guys who didn’t seem to have surfed anywhere; nobody had seen them and they weren’t talking at the pub. George was the one who stood out for his disappearing act as he was a prominent personality and usually very visible in a line-up, most often Margaret. Likewise Micko Gracie went quiet.

Those blokes kept the secret for a long time and went to all sorts of lengths to sneak away so nobody would follow. Even when three Bears was well known about as a break, how to get there was not. For a fair while I thought you had to walk there along the beach. I reckon it was ‘73 before most people knew where the track was.

Photos: 1972 Tom Blaxell Surfboards panel van on Bears track. Jim McFarlane photos.

Left: Greg ‘Egory’ McDonald, Bruce Elliot & Tom Blaxell on the Bears coastal track.

Right: Blaxell Surfboards panel van negotiating boggy section of Bears track.

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Andy Jones – Bears wasn’t crowded those days, as a lot of guys didn’t know about Bears and a 4WD was required until mid 70s. You knew everyone in the water. Then Ralph Redman & Tom Hoye pushed through a new coastal track from Rabbit Hill at Yallingup to Bears. Ralph drove a Volkswagon buggy or a 4WD and I used my VW sedan to access the dirt track to Bears. Later Ray Knott, Craig Brent-White, Mark Moody, Al Bean, Pat Bloomer, Laurie ‘Pup’ Nesbit & I started surfing the Bombie and Three sisters (south of Bombie) on big swells. Peter Mac nearly drowned at Three Sisters.

Photo: 1976 David ‘Dappa’ Plaistead surfing Mama’s. Andy Jones pic.

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Photo: 1976 Dave Seward surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

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Photo: 1976 Mark Moody surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

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Photo: 1976 Snowy from Eastern States surfing Mamma Bears.  Andy Jones pic

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Photo: 1976 Ralph Redman surfing Mama Bears. Andy Jones pic.

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Barry YoungIt was one of those classic autumn days. Ruler edged 4’ perfection and maybe 6 guys at Momma’s (my favourite) and after about 3 hours, although tired it was still too good to go in. I was praying for the onshore to kick in. By this stage only one other guy and I were out. He decides he has had enough and goes in. I stay out about another 20 minutes and finally some sort of light onshore wafts in. Not enough to really worry it but a good enough excuse. As I walk up the beach there’s the guy I had just been surfing with and his girlfriend. He’s sitting there with a cold beer in his hand and his girlfriend was kneeling behind him topless (as was often the case during the 70’s) and she is giving him a massage! As I walked by I couldn’t help but say to him…..” and I thought I was having a good day! “

Photo: Mid-late 70s. Barry Young surfing good sized Momma’s. Steve Russo pic.

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Barry Young – I remember Taj as a 2-3 year old playing with his tractor and dump truck in the sand on the water’s edge at Bear’s while Vance and Nancy were playing in the waves. Apparently he loved bouncing down the Bear’s track in their car and knew that was part of the deal once they got there. They always had their eye on him and besides Nance didn’t stay out too long. Taj was really at ease and happy anyway making truck noises etc.

Photo: 1977 Nancy Burrow surfing Mama Bears 4mths pregnant with Taj. Burrow family pic.

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Vance Burrow – I remember surfing 8ft Bears on my own hoping someone would turn up. It will never be like that again!

Photo: 1978 Vance Burrow 3 hour surf session at Baby Bears on a Tom Hoye surfboard. Burrow family pic.

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Vance & Nancy Burrow – In the 80s Park Ranger Mike Bachelor used to police the Bears track checking for dogs illegally entering the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. He disliked dogs and used to stand on the Bears track with his arms folded checking surfers cars for dogs. He would tell us to leave with our dog Papaya, but there was no way we were leaving if the waves were good. We would say to him “is our dog violating National Park air space?”

Editor’s note: Richie Myers told me about a SW surfer who used to sit his dog in the middle seat of his ute with a cap on, to get past the ranger.

Photo: 1977 Vance & Nance Burrow’s ‘Huey’ the VW checking the surf and ‘Papaya’ the dog checking the camera. Burrow family pic.

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Coming soon Three Bears surf break & track in the 80s.

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1960s WA Board Clubs – Part #1 History

There was a strong Board Club culture in WA in the 60s. You had to be a member of a Board Club and be affiliated with the West Australian Surf Rider Association (WASRA formed 1964) to compete in State Surf Riding Championships.

1960s Board Clubs (This list may be incomplete).

Boomerang
Casuarina (Bunbury)
City Beach
Cottesloe
Dolphins
Indiana (Bunbury)
Kontiki
Miami Surfinks
Mid Way
Moana
North Coast
North End
Sand n Sea
Scarborough
Southern Surfriders
Southside
Surfari
Surfers Inc.
Surfers United (Albany)
Tangaroa
Tarni
Warrain
West Coast
West Girls
Yallingup

Editor’s note: From 1953-57 Ray Geary and his surfing mates were members of the City Beach Board Club. It may be WA’s first board club and was the fore runner to the City Beach Surf Riders Club formed in 1961.

Images: 1976 Arty Sherburn’s WASRA membership card. Images courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

1970s WASRA membership card Arty Sherburn collage_photocat

Regular intra & inter club competitions provided the platform for surfers to compete and gain contest experience and rise to National & International levels, if talented enough. WA’s Ian Cairns was invited to compete in the 1970 World Surfing Titles held at Bells & Johanna beaches in Vic.

Rivalry between the Clubs was fierce in surfing competitions and social footy matches.

Successful clubs held fund raising social functions and were sponsored by local surfboard manufacturers and business organisations. They provided members with Club outfits (parkas, board shorts, t-shirts) and membership cards.

Warrain Board Club in conjunctions with media sponsors held an annual Paddle Through Perth board paddling race.

Images: 1965-69 Paddle through Perth images. Images courtesy of Len Dibben & surf journo Doug White & The Sunday Times.

Top: (Left) 1965 Paddle race contestants leaving Barrack St jetty. (Right) 1969 Doug White’s Wavelets report on ’69 paddle race.

Bottom: (Left) 1968 Paddle race contestants passing under Narrows Bridge & heading to Crawley Bay. (Right) 1968 Surfboard Manufacturer Len Dibben presenting 3rd place award to Kim ‘Dish’ Standish with Don McDonald in background.

1965-69 Paddle Through Perth images 3 collage_photocat

Most of the clubs were located in the metro area, however there were country clubs at Albany, Bunbury & Yallingup.

Some metro board clubs had the foresight to acquire Club shacks in the SW. West Coast,

Yallingup & Dolphins board clubs had club shacks at Caves House Yallingup.

Photo: 1962 West Coast Board Club shack with Laurie Burke’s FB Holden & the Ghost’s Holden panel van out front. Photo courtesy of Brian Cole.

1962 Yalls WCBC shack L Burke's FB Holden & Ghost's Holden panel van - Brian Cole pic img268

Photos: 1964 Board club shacks at Yallingup. Photos courtesy of Ernie Potter.

(Left) Dolphins shack. (Right) Yallingup & West Coast club shacks.

1964 Club shacks at Yalls Ernie Potter pics collage_photocat

North End, Southern Surf Riders & Southside board clubs had club shacks at Prevelly Park Margaret River.

Photos: Margaret River board shacks. Photos courtesy of Bill Mitchell & Murray Smith

(Left) 1964 Southside shack foundations. (Right) 1967 North End shack.

1960s Club shacks Margaret River 1 collage_photocat

Within the Club environment there were also Surf Teams sponsored by Surfboard Manufacturers. While sponsored Surf Teams were recognised, the individuals still competed for their Club in State Rounds.

Photo: 1965 Len Dibben Surf Team at Leighton Beach. Photo courtesy of Len Dibben.

L-R Rod Slater, Dave Richards, Jeff Jowlett, Steve Farbus, Teena Christon, Peter Stephens, Art Sherburn & Doug White.

1965 Len Dibben surf team Leighton Beach L-R Rod Slater,Dave Richards,Jeff Jowlett,Steve Farbus,Teena Christon,Peter Stephens,Art Sherburn,Doug White-Len Dibben pic 01

CLUB HISTORY (in alphabetical order)

City Beach Board Club 1953-57.

In 1953 Ray Geary (age 16) from Wembley started the City Beach Board Club with Graham Killen, Johnny Budge, Brian Cole and some keen surfing mates. Ray and the boys were former members of City Beach Surf Club. The owner of City Beach Tea Rooms gave the Club approval to dig out sand below the Tea Rooms and make an enclosure for Club meetings & surf board storage.  The Club had no President or Treasurer and did not hold surf competitions. Club members just surfed and had fun. Club members paid one-pound per year to cover costs of padlocks & chains etc on the enclosure. Ray was a sign writer and printed City Beach Board Club logos on t-shirts & trench coats for members.

The club folded in 1957 when club members started travelling to SW & NW waves.

Photos: 1954 Beach display article and Ray Geary, John Budge & other CBBC boys at City Beach. Images courtesy of Mandurah News, Ray Geary & John Budge.

1950s-cbbc-memorabilia-picmonkey-collage4a

City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc. since 1961

City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc.(CBSR) was formed in 1961 by Peter Docherty & Viv Kitson (18 year old students ex Floreat). CBSR’s Barry King (Juniors) and Zac Kochanowitsch (Mens were WA’s first State Champions in ’64. In the late 60s Whisky-a-Go Go nightclub sponsored CBSR. The club is still operating today.

Images: CBSR memorabilia courtesy of Ron Moss & King family.

(Left) 2000 CBSR life membership Ron Moss.

(Middle) 1967-68 Bruce King with club memorabilia & FJ Holden sponsored by Whisky-a-Go Go night club.

(Right) Mid 1960s CBSR membership card & Competition Team sew-on badge & 1967-68 CBSR Club Calendar.

1960s cbsr memorabilia 6 collage_photocat

Cottesloe Board Club

Dalkeith surfer Peter Dyson was a junior member of the Cottesloe Board club in the early 60s before he defected to the Yallingup Board Club in 1966.

Peter de Bruin – In 1969-70 Cottesloe board club was re-formed by a breakaway group who were former members of Tarni Board club. The first meetings were held at the Quakenbush household (Earl and Guy). I was the first president of the newly formed club.

Dolphins Surf Riders Club

Photos: 1960s Dolphins Surf Riders Club emblem & signed t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Jim McFarlane.

1960s Dolphins memorabilia collage_photocat

Surfari Board Club 1963-66

Surfaris were set up as a purely social like-minded group of Cottesloe surfers in 1963 before folding and dissipating into separate ways in 1966.

Surfari members included Noel Sweeny, John Ventouras, Bill Oddy, John Balgarnie, Ray O’Neil, Trevor Baskerville, Russ Chapman, Trevor Orr, Graeme Copley, Barry Cain, John Pozzi & Michael Bibby.

Noel SweenyIt was great times for us all. John Ventouras, Trevor Baskerville, Russell Chapman, Bill Oddy & I still get together once or twice a year over coffees and loads of bullshit at Lido in Cottesloe.

Miami Surf Board Club

Photos: 1965 State & Club Womens Champ Teena Christon with her trophies and Tom Collin’s 2nd Club Mens Champs trophy.

1965 Miami Board Club Teena's & Tom's trophies collage_photocat

Mid-Way Board Club

Photos: 1964-65 Mid Way Board Club’s Arty Sherburn with his Dibben & Cole surfboard & home-made Mid Way Board Club wettie. Photos courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

1964-65 Arty Sherburn & Mid Way wettie collage_photocat

North Coast Surf Riders Club

North Coast Surf Riders Club was formed by ex Scarborough surfers Robin Sutherland, Greg Laurenson and Mike Wynne in 1969.

Errol Considine – My brother Jeff was the first President of the Club… and he designed the first club logo & cut the silk screen at home for the t-shirts – which were chocolate brown with an orange logo….both very cool colours then. I think Jeff & Gooselegs came up with the ‘69’ thing – naughty boyz!

I remember one North Coast Club comp on a Sunday at Halls Head with perfect 1-2 foot long left handers….it was a big swell and Southerly wind…and bloody freezing – that was before they built the groynes at the nearby mouth of the Mandurah estuary….have never seen waves at Halls Head again!!– Place getters Mike Wynne 1st and Bob Monkman 2nd.

Russell Quinliven, from Scarborough was a Junior member….I remember the boys got Russell (who was about 12 or 13, or maybe 14) really drunk at a club Sunday arvo keg….we took him home to Scarborough in Jeff’s Mini and kicked him out near Luna Park and I vividly remember him.

Photos: 2015 the late Russell Quinlivan modelling the North Coast ‘69’ t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Peta Quinlivan.

2015 North Coast Surfers 69er T-Shirt IMG_001

Tarni Board Club

Tarni and City Beach board clubs held regular inter-club surfing comps and an annual footy match at Yanchep Oval.

Images: Howard Smith images courtesy of Sunday Times surf journo Doug White and Howard Smith.

(Left) 1969 Howard Smith elected President of Tarni Board Club. (Right) 2011 former Tarni President Howard Smith holidaying in Maldives with Ken Howie on the right.

1969-2011 Howard Smith Tarni & City Beach collage_photocat

West Girls Board Club

In 1963 Cottesloe surfers Tina Daly, Jeanne Abbott & Stefanie Meyers were members of the West Girls Board Club. This was WA’s first all girl’s board club.

Images: 1960s West Girls Board Club members. Left: Stefanie Meyers, Right: (Top) Jeanne Abbott (Bottom) West Girls & others at 1964 (first) State Titles held at Yalls. Images courtesy of Jeanne Abbott & WA Newspapers.

1960s-west-girls-board-club-picmonkey-collage

Yallingup Board Club

Yallingup Board Club (YBC) was formed in the early 60’s by a group of mainly Cottesloe based surfers. Colin Cordingley was President of YBC and an inaugural member. Cordingley Surfboards sponsored Yallingup Board Club.

Photos: YBC courtesy of A Orloff Studios Fremantle, Tina Wilson, Colin Morris & Peter Bothwell.

Top: 1964 undefeated YBC Club photo & club parka.
Bottom: 1960s Colin Morris’s YBC membership card & 1966 front door step YBC shack at Yalls on demolition day.

1960s YBC memorabilia collage_photocat

Interest in Board Clubs started to wane during the 70s with surfers moving down south and to other region’s seeking solitude in the waves.

Coming soon 1960s WA Board Clubs Part #2 Photo Galleries

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1969 Billeting arrangements Aust Surfing Titles

Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Championships for the first time in May 1969.

Major WA board clubs billeted many eastern states surfers here for the Australian titles. The billeting arrangements were coordinated by WASRA and President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor.

Image: 1969 WASRA billeting arrangements. Image credit Sunday Times.

1969 Aust Titles WA - billeting arrangements- Media image

Floreat youngsters Ross Utting & David ‘Bull’ Moss from the City Beach Club hosted South Australian surfers Alistair Boot & Graham Symonds.

Ross UttingBull & I took the boys down south for the contest. I remember Ali bagging gutless WA waves while we were surfing pre contest at Yallingup. He got his comeuppance a couple of days later when he was nearly decapitated by his board when mowed down by a big wave at Margaret. Ali spent the rest of the week walking around with a bleeding tea towel on his head.

In Bali some 40 years later South Australian surfer Clint Habib told me that Ali has been scarred for life by the experience of big Margs & still hears the roaring freight train sound in his nightmares.

Photo: L-R 1969 Floreat locals Ross Utting & Dave Moss with SA competitors Ali Boot & Graham Symonds. Photo credit Ross Utting.

1969 Floreat R Utting, D Moss & A Boot, G Simmons (SA) - billets-Aust Titles R Utting pic

Subiaco brothers Jim & Bruce King from the City Beach Club billeted World champion Nat Young & NSW champion Ted Spencer.

Bruce KingI drove to Perth airport to pick up our eastern states billets late at night. When I got there WASRA President Doc Naylor allocated Nat & Ted to our family. I was stoked to have them staying at our parent’s place.

Jim KingI didn’t go to the airport and had no idea who had been allocated to our parent’s place in Subi, so I was really surprised when I called in next morning and found mum serving a cooked brekkie to Nat & Ted. NSW surfboard manufacturer Shane Stedman (Shane Surfboards) used to come around & pick up the lads for surf commitments and chase mum around the Hills Hoist clothesline.

Photos: 1969 Nat & Ted at King residence in Subiaco. Photos courtesy of King family.

Top: (Left) Ted & Nat. (Right) Ted, Mrs King & Nat. Bottom: (Left) Ted, Jim & Nat. (Right) Nat & Jim.

1969 Aust Titles Nat & Ted Subiaco collage_photocat

Contest rounds which were held at Scarborough & Margaret River with finals completed at Yallingup.

Misfortune struck some of the visitors at the Australian Surfing Titles down south. Nat Young (NSW) broke his favourite surfboard in the big swell at Margaret River. Alistair Boot (SA) was hit by a flying board at Margaret River and needed 19 stitches in his head. Ali went home with a sore head.

Images: L-R 1969 mixed fortunes Nat Young (NSW) broken board & Alistair Boot (SA) head injury. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

1969 Aust Titles WA - Nat Young (NSW) & Ali Boot (SA) injuries - WA News (1)

Jim KingContest head honcho Doc Naylor recruited me as a contest official for the rounds held at Margaret River. I got the job of chaperoning the girls out in big waves at Main Break. The girls weren’t happy being sent out there & neither was I. Every time we spotted a big dark swell line on the horizon, we would paddle towards the middle bay to avoid getting cleaned up. It was great seeing Oz’s best surfers up close, but my wife Kath wasn’t too impressed, as we were on our honey moon at the time (-:

Photo: 1969 unidentified competitor surfing a solid left at Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.

1969-marg-river-aust-titles-ric-chan-026

On completion of the successfully run contest, an Award Night function was held at Caves House Yallingup. It was attended by surfers, officials and friends. Peter Drouyn & other talented surfers entertained the troops. The next day the wind was on-shore and the visitors started heading home to their respective States.

Contest results and photos will be included in surf journo/photographer Ric Chan’s coverage of the ’69 Oz Surfing Titles. Ric’s SDS article is coming soon.

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