Early 1960s SW surfing recollections by Mike Bibby


In the early 60’s trips down south were mainly limited to weekends and holidays as most of us were either at school or working. As teenagers we were lucky to get a lift with the older Yallingup Board Club (YBC) club members, Col Cordingley (Toyota Corona), Terry James (FJ Holden), Rob Birch (Falcon), Cliff Hills and others. There were no 4WD cars making trips to Rocky Point, Gallows and Guillotine an adventure with the cars having to be pushed over the boggy parts.

Images: 1964 Colin Cordingley’s Toyota Corona bogged on a damp Rocky Point track on d’Espeissis property. Still frame images ex Colin Cordingley Super 8 movie film.

1964 Rocky Point Colin Cordingley Corona collage_photocat

Images: 1964 Rob Birch’s Falcon battling water logged Rocky Point track on d’Espeissis property. Still frame images ex Colin Cordingley Super 8 movie film.

1964 Rocky Point Rob Birch Falcon collage_photocat

The road from Mandurah to Bunbury was then an unsealed track and with no 4wd vehicles most of the crew would go via Pinjarra, often stopping at the Wokelup pub on the way. The sealed Old Coast Road was completed in September 1969.

As more got their driving licences it was easy to get a lift down south, with everyone kicking in for petrol. In 1965 it was the equivalent of 8.5 cents per litre.

Photos: (Left) 1966 Brian Boynes’s Ford Customline ex Qsld with Vance Cox (YBC) on the bonnet. (Right) 1964 Joe Wilson (YBC) with his Woody (Austin or Morris) & Smokey the dog at The Cove Cottesloe. Photos courtesy of Peter Bothwell & Arthur Sherburn.

1960s YBC autos Brian Boynes & Joe Wilson collage_photocat

With very limited weather forecasts most would set off on Friday night regardless of the weather and take pot luck on how the surf would be for the weekend. Bruce King, Peter Mac, Micko Gracie and Bobbo Monkman probably set a record by driving down for 49 continuous weekends in a year (in the early 70s). If the waves were no good, it was always offshore at the pub (-:


Images: 1964 Rocky Point. Clockwise from top. Mike Bibby nose ride & head dip, Geoff Berry & Terry James surfing Rocky Point. Still frame images ex Colin Cordingley Super 8 Movie film.

1964 Rocky Point surfing #1 collage_photocat

Images: 1964 Rocky Point. Clockwise from top Mike Bibby, Geoff Berry, Rob Birch & Terry James. Still frame images ex Colin Cordingley Super 8 Movie film.

1964 Rocky Point surfing #2 collage_photocat

Images: 1964 Rocky Point. Clockwise from top. Colin Cordingley & YBC mates, Terry James head dip, Mike Bibby rock hopping (no leg ropes) & bottom turn. Still frame images ex Colin Cordingley Super 8 Movie film.

1964 Rocky Point surfing #4 sucollage_photocat


If there was no surf or the sea breeze had come in, Caves House was the focal point for everyone. Until 1970 the drinking age was 21, but with nearest police station in Busselton, it was not enforced unless there was trouble, and even then we had plenty of advance warning of a police visit. Rob Birch recalls one night in the front bar with things getting out of hand, when Bill Copley (the publican) shouted all those who are not 21 – OUT NOW, and the whole bar emptied! Having helpful barmen such as Murray Smith was a bonus to the teenagers.

On very calm days we would go free diving for crays off Yallingup, the catch brought back to the YBC shack and shared with whoever was down for the weekend with the obligatory 5 gallon keg. Peter Willey, then a young and ambitious Fisheries Officer, (and a Yallingup Board Club member) would threaten to book us for catching undersize crays but backed off when the guys turned on him.

Photos: (Left) 1960s John Harbison & Joe Wilson leaving YBC shack at Yalls to go cray fishing. (Right) 1964 Colin Cordingley’s Toyota Corona on Rocky Point track. Photos courtesy of Tina Wilson.

1960s YBC automobiles IMG_001

Crabbing in Geographe Bay around Dunsborough and Quindalup was also on the agenda when the sea breeze came in. No scoop nets or crab nets, just a forked stick to trap the crab on the sand and then pick it up from the rear. Nobody managed to avoid being bitten, but the effort was always worth it.

Another non surfing activity was caving in the limestone caves to the south of the Caves House caravan park. They were unregulated and it was quite daunting to climb down into them with just a torch and no other equipment. A lot of stalactites and stalagmites were souvenired and eventually the caves sealed off.

If it was a hot day on the trip back to Perth, a stop to swim down the irrigation channels outside of Harvey would provide a welcome break (no air con in the cars). We would put our boards in the channel and “surf” down until we came to a gate in the channel and then it was a long walk back to the car.

Great times.
Mike Bibby.


Bonus pic #1. 2014 Colin Cordingley Remembrance lunch at Bill Oddy’s pub. L-R Dave Ellis, Mark Paterson, Rex Cordingley, Mike Bibby, Helen Backshell (Colin & Rex’s sister), Bill Oddy, Charles Campbell and Kim Standish. Photo courtesy of Mike Bibby.

2014 Colin Cordingley remembrance lunch IMG_1564

Bonus pic #2. 2015 Tina Wilson holding the late Joe Wilson’s 1960’s Cordingley Surf Team surfboard. Photo courtesy of Jim King.

2015 Joe Wilson YBC Cordingley surfboard - Tina Wilson pic DSC00769


Mike Bibby – It is a year since the hanging of the 60s YBC team photo at Caves House Hotel, Yallingup. Pete Dyson said he wanted to make it an annual get together of all surfers from the 60’s and 70’s, so come to Caves House at around 5pm on Saturday 19th March 2016.


1960s Yallingup Surf Board Club – History (part 1 of 2)

The original Yallingup Surf Board Club (YBC) ran from the early 60s to mid-69. This history of YBC was compiled by former club member Michael Bibby.

Club History

YBC was formed in the early 60’s by a group of 25 mainly Cottesloe based surfers following a suggestion to surf pioneers Cliff Hills and Rob Birch to build a shack in the Hotel grounds by the then Caves House publican Bill Copley,. Each member of YBC put in £5 which was used to build a clubhouse in the grounds of Caves House above the bowling green near the West Coast Board Rider’s (Wheels) shack. The shack was built by the boys using a timber frame and asbestos cladding. There was no plumbing, just electricity for a light and a fridge, a table in the corner and 15 or more shearer style beds. The conditions were primitive but provided a great base to stay whilst surfing in the SW.

Inaugural YBC Club president was Colin Cordingley, vice president Terry James, Bill Oddy secretary and Rick Skelton treasurer.

The older members, particularly Colin Cordingley and Terry James were very active in recruiting new blood to the Club in the early 60’s.

Membership was by invitation only and the numbers grew to 43. Up and coming surfers were poached from other metropolitan clubs. Peter Bothwell, Mick Lindsay, Brian Boynes and Mark Waddell came from the original City Beach Club. Hume Heatley, Alan MacGillvray, Colin Morris, Karl Schumacher, Mike Bibby, Don MacDonald & Joe Wilson from the Cottesloe Board Club. Plus the boys from the Leighton Cable Station, Bill Oddy, Vance Cocks and John Pozzi. It was a diverse group with a mix of occupations including builders, mechanics, printer, fisheries inspector, schoolboys, property developers, salesmen etc.

Club meetings were held at Colin & Jenny Cordingley’s house in Beagle Street Mosman Park with the obligatory 5 gallon keg followed by a race to the Van Eileen burger van on Marine Parade Cottesloe. There were a wide range of cars from hotted up FJ and FB Holdens panel vans to go with the Ford Falcons, a Toyota corolla, Simca and an Isuzu Bellett.

Photos: 1960s YBC automobiles;
Top Left: Colin Cordingley’s Toyota Corolla on Rocky Point track. Photos courtesy Tina Wilson
Top right: John Harbinson & Joe Wilson leaving YBC shack to go cray fishing in VW. Photo courtesy Tina Wilson.
Bottom Left: Joe Wilson’s 2 door sedan & Smokey the dog at The Cove. Photo courtesy Arty Sherburn
Bottom right: Unidentified in FJ Holden on SW track. Photos courtesy Tina Wilson.

1960s YBC automobiles compilation IMG_004

The club was unbeaten in inter-club surf board riding competitions held in both the metropolitan area and down south from 1964 to 1966. Sponsors were JD’s and radio station 6PR provided parkas and board shorts. The colours were black with a blue border and the 6PR logo in yellow on the seat of the board shorts.

Photo: 1964 YBC club photo taken at Izzy Orloffe’s Studio in Freo after an undefeated run of comps between 1962 and 1964. This club photo now hangs in the front bar at Caves House Hotel. Photo courtesy of Izzy Orloffe Studios.

1964 Yalls Board Club - A Orloff Studio Frem  picA

Absent from photo shoot: M Bibby, D McDonald. J Pozzi & Vance Cocks

There were many fund raising events from raffles to stomps including a concert at Canal Rocks that was hugely popular but the proceeds mysteriously disappeared.

Club members were issued with YBC membership cards.

Images: 1960s YBC membership card. Images Courtesy Colin Morris

1960s YBC Membership Card - Colin Morris IMG_001

The Club shack was a focal point for after-surfing activities with some memorable parties. It was also the beginning of many long term friendships with interstate surfers who would stay there.

The shack was demolished in 1967 when Bill Copley sold Caves House Hotel to the Emmett brothers, farmers from Dowerin. They didn’t want the shack on the grounds, so the decision was made to demolish it. A request to the Shire of Busselton to lease some other Shire land to relocate the Club shack went unanswered. On the weekend of shack demolition Alan MacGillvray brought down the Macs supermarket Bedford truck with the crew in the canopy covered back (with 5 gallon keg for the trip). The shack was demolished over a weekend with the timber and asbestos being dumped in the sand hills behind the Surfside restaurant on the beachfront.

Photos. Yalls YBC Shack. Left. L-R YBC & West Coast Board Club shacks at Caves House. Photo courtesy of Ernie Potter. Right. 1964 remains of YBC shack front door step on demolition day. Photo courtesy of Peter Bothwell.

1960s YBC Club Shack compilation IMG_001

The club records were lost during that weekend. Sometime after leaving the Mandurah stomp on the way down, someone threw Bill Oddy’s briefcase containing the records out of the truck. Many months later someone from Wokelup rang Bill to say they had found the briefcase but unfortunately most of the contents were destroyed.

As the first and second tiers of members disbanded Colin Cordingley maintained his passion for the club and recruited more up and coming surfers such as Kevin Ager, Ashley Jones and Peter Bevan.

The club was wound up in 1969.

There have been two subsequent reunions courtesy of Bill Oddy, the first in the late 80’s at the Newport Hotel in Fremantle and the second in 2002 at the Rivervale Hotel. Following the recent presentation to Caves House of the framed YBC club photo by Peter Dyson, it is hoped an annual reunion at Caves House can become a fixture.

Photos: 1988 YBC reunion Newport Hotel Freo. Left: YBC Reunion poster. Right: L-R Tina Wilson, Trevor Baskerville & Tanya Hills. Photos courtesy of Tina Wilson.

1988 YBC Reunion compilation IMG_001

See part 2 Yallingup Board Club – Recollections blog for recollections from former Club members .