1976 Lou Corkill deck hand on the Contessa

In 1976 young surfer Lou Corkill worked as a deck hand on Graeme Pateman’s fishing boat Contessa out of Hamelin Bay. Lou lived in a farm house for $10 a week at Karridale with another deck hand Graham Roscoe.

Skipper Graeme Pateman moved from Mandurah to Augusta to continue fishing in mid 70s. More recently Graham did shark research for the State Government after a spate of shark attacks in the south west.

These are Louie’s recollections:-

I knew Graeme Pateman back in Mandurah, he was a cray fisherman on his other boat ‘Trimmer Wheel’. When he moved to Augusta I joined Graeme on the Contessa.

We fished for crays, shark, tuna & scale fish.

Photo: 1976 Refit of Contessa at Fremantle Yacht Club. Graeme Pateman pics

Left: Louie with shipwright building new wheel house on Contessa. Right: Relaunching Contessa after refit.

Photos: 1976 Lou fishing on Contessa. Graeme Pateman pics.

Left: Lou with big Kingie at Boranup. Right: Lou working in salt bin.

Photos: 1976 Lou fishing on Contessa. Graeme Pateman pics

Left: Lou in fashion shades Right: Lou catching herring for cray bait with Mark Atkinson and Graham Roscoe. Hamelin Island in the background.

Photos: 1976 Lou fishing on Contessa. Graeme Pateman pics

Left: Lou diving for snagged pots with Graham Rosco and Mark Atkinson at Deep Dene. Right: Lou on Contessa.

Photos: 1976 Lou fishing on Contessa. Graeme Pateman pics.

Left: Louie and Graham Rosco setting pots at the back of Hamelin Island. Right: Lou dhuie fishing Hamelin Bay.

Photos: 1976 Lou fishing on Contessa. Graeme Pateman pics.

Left: Lou going dhuie fishing with Graham Rosco and Mark Atkinson. Right: Lou night fishing on Contessa.

I surfed off the boat at Hamelin Bay, Deep Dene, Conti and Boranup. I also surfed some unnamed surf spots between Conti and Marg’s.

At other times Skipper Graeme dropped me off the cray boat and I paddled into waves at Cow Bombie & Margaret River Bombie. You can only paddle into the bombies when the swell is 10ft plus.

During this time I also surfed ‘A’ frames at Boranup Beach with WA surf legends Terry Jacks, Terry James and Jeffery ‘Re’ Marshall.

Photos: 1990s Boranup beach ‘A’ frames. Pics by Jeff ‘Re’ Marshall and Terry James.

Hamelin Island can be seen on the left in Re’s pic.

Photos: 2003 Boranup beach ‘A’ frames. Pics by Jeff ‘Re’ Marshall.

US ex patriot Leon Thomasian was the lighthouse keeper on the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse at Augusta. Our boat crew used to hang with Leon at the light house and listen to him jam on his guitar. 

Coming soon a SDS story on Leon ‘Lighthouse Keeper’ Thomasian.

Photo: 1976 Lou and Leon in the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at Augusta. Graeme Pateman pic.

After finishing fishing I headed back up north surfing at Red Bluff with Billy Gibson and then started fishing at Port Samson. I ended up working at Argyle diamond mine and Leinster nickel mine.

Click on this link to view Longboard Lou’s Surf Adventures



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.


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.

2011 Yalls surf pioneer statue Jim King picscollage_photocat

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.

1970 Yalls State Titles Tony Hardy - Ric Chan img192

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.


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.

1975 Yalls State Titles Yalls car park img097 (6)

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.

1975 Yalls Mark Favell ex Bundaberg Qsld & Andy Jones - Gina Pannone pic_0004

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.

1976 Yalls car park unknown - Ric Chan 006

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.

1978 Yalls Bali Hai surf shop Yalls VB IMG

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.

1980 Yalls car park Gary Gibbon's Cortina - Gary Gibbon pic IMG_0018

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.

1980 Yalls car park Ray Nott & Dave Seward - Gary Gibbon pic IMG_0025

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.

1980 Yalls Tony Harbison with West Coast Surfer mag - Ric Chan 065

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.

1980 Yalls G Laurenson & D Kennedy - Ric Chan 069

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

1980 Yalls Harbo, Greg Laurenson, Dave Kennedy etc- Ric Chan 072

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



Longboard Lou’s Surf Adventures

Louis ‘Longboard Lou’ Corkill lives in Dunsborough with his dog Sinbad and is a regular charger at Yallingup & up north.

Lou has a daughter and two grand-daughters living at Margaret River.

Photos: 2000s Lou with daughter & grand kids. Lou Corkill pics

(Left) Lou & daughter Esther with Mia at Marg River. (Right) Lou with grand daughters Mia & Paris at Dunsborough.

2000s Lou & grand kids MR & Dunno 6 collage_photocat

These are Lou’s surfing recollections.


I was schooled and started surfing in the Mandurah region in the late 60s (age 7).

I grew up in Halls Head and surfed Stewart St, Blue Bay, Halls Head & Potty’s Hole with Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston, Pat Leigh & Brian Bell. We used to drive to Potty’s Hole in a Peugeot hearse to go surfing. Paul Fitzgerald owned the hearse. Old man’s Sutton’s cows used to be on the beach licking the salt off the rocks at low tide.

I went to school at Mandurah Primary and used to jump off the jetty in front of our house with my school clothes in a plastic bag and swim to the sand bar in the middle of river, run along it, then swim to the other side of the river, get dressed & run to school.

I was a good singer and sang in the Primary School choir. I won a Pope sprinkler singing ‘Little Drummer Boy’ in a School singing contest.…..”if you want to swoon get Long Board Louie to sing you a tune.”

My brother-in-law to be Rob Murray used to work at Innovator Surfboards as a glasser with John Dadd.

Then I went to Pinjarra High School, as there was no high school in Mandurah. I didn’t stay long and left High school at age 13. That’s when I started hitchhiking down south and living in the old toilet block at Yallingup.


To earn money for food at Surfside I used to collect beer glasses at Caves Pub and the bar staff Harbo & George Simmo would pay me in $’s and slip me a bottle of Blackberry Nip. I also mowed Pete Dawson’s lawn on Yalls hill and Hideaway Holiday Homes lawns for Harbo.

Back then Andy Jones used to be a cook at Dunsborough Bakery. In winter time I used to pinch uncut loaves of warm bread off the hot rack, hollow them out and stick my feet in them to keep warm. Mark ‘Murf the surf’ Brescoe and I used to sleep in the hedge next to the Dunno bakery.

I felt my first women’s breasts under Tom Hoye’s Board Shop next to Surfside. I fondled the girl’s breasts while her mother was relaxing above us listening to Neil Diamond’s ‘Hot August Night’.

In the 70s I bought a caravan for $50 and moved into Yallingup Beach Caravan Park. I built a humpy off the side and nailed it to the melaleuca trees.

I spent a lot of time with Dappa & Al Fixter in the shaping dust at Sunrise Surfboards in Smiths Valley. Dappa’s lady used to feed me granary bread and blackcurrant juice.

Photo: 1975 Louie Corkill age 16 Mandurah Len Dibben surfboard & Adler boardies. Lou Corkill pic.

1975 Louie Corkill age 16 Mandurah Len Dibben surfboard & Adler boardies DSC_8670a


In 1979 my girlfriend Gemma (age 34) and I (age 20) leased the Lake Cave kiosk off the Tourism Board in Margaret River. We catered for tourist buses…..Gemma provided Devonshire teas and carrot cake to customers. On weekends nights we ran a vegetarian restaurant called ‘Moon Dance’ – named after the Van Morrison song. The kiosk had a restaurant & toilet facilities but no living quarters, so Gemma & I lived in an Army tent in the Boranup Forest….It was bazaar!

I made rolled oats bars with honey and sold them for $2 a slice in the gravel car park at surfers point in Margaret River.

Back then it was ‘short board Lou’. I rode Ken McKenzie ‘Rick Gath design’ single fins. I surfed mainly at Boranup & Margs. I surfed Boranup with Terry James and Terry Jack’s. The locals called me ‘Fly’….. as in Louie the fly!

During this time Billy Gibson & his wife Kaye lived in Marg River behind the top tuck shop. Billy become my mentor and introduced me to big wave surfing & travelling up north to The Bluff.

The Bluff

In 1979 Gemma & I sold the Lakes Cave kiosk and headed up to The Bluff to join Bill & Kaye Gibson and their son Hamish (age 2 mths). Bill had been up north before and talked me into it. Billy’s Mazda maroon coloured sedan blew-up at The Bluff. We left his campervan at The Bluff and I towed his car back to Carnarvon. He returned once the car was fixed and we had good waves for the rest of trip.

Two of Bill’s photos from our ’79 trip appeared in the The Bluff NW surf history book by Patsy-Anne Wotton. One pic shows the surf at Turtles and the other shows Gemma & I dressed up like Arabs to keep the sun off us.

Photo: 1979 Lou at The Bluff in his budgie smugglers. Lou Corkill pic.

1979 Lou Corkill The Bluff DSC_2363

Professional Fisherman

After the NW trip in 1979, I went to Augusta and worked on a shark/cray/longline/tuna fishing boat with commercial shark fisherman Graeme Pateman. Later Graeme operated the State Govt’s drum line program off Margaret River coast for three years.

Then I headed north & went craying & fishing in Cervantes, Jurien Bay (Joe Wilson owned & operated a cray boat out of Jurien Bay), Greenhead & Kalbarri’s ‘Big Bank’. I also went prawning at Shark Bay. Next I turned my hand to scalloping & snapper fishing out of Carnarvon, before heading further north to Point Samson where I continued fish trawling, prawning & always mending bloody nets. George Simpson owned and operated a prawn trawler Westerly, then the Westmore at Point Samson. George still operates the business to this day with his son Jason.

Underground Mining.

From 1990-07 I went mining underground. Initially I worked on a nickel mine at Leinster then moved to Argyle Diamond Mine at Kununurra. I worked FIFO underground as an operator of heavy mobile equipment for 12-13 hours a day, 7 days on, 7 days off. I loved the isolation underground!

Photos: 2000s Lou mining underground pics. Photos courtesy of Lou Corkill.

Top & Middle: Lou working at Argyle Diamond Mine in the Kimberley.

Bottom: Leinster nickel mine site in WA’s Goldfields.

2000s Lou underground mining 3 collage_photocat

1998 Inaugural Whalebone Longboard Classic

After a 20 year absence from surfing I returned for the inaugural Whalebone Longboard Classic held at Isolated in 1998. I took budding photographer Lane Williams from Augusta with me and he photographed the event for his first gig.

It was the first time I had ridden a mal. I didn’t win, but I had fun and was back into surfing.

At that time, I had a ‘Mo’ that touched my ears and wore my hair on top of my head so it would not hang down my back.

Photo: 1998 Longboard Lou competing in inaugural Whalebone Longboard Classic at Isolated. Lane Williams pic.

1998 Inaugural Whalebone Longboard Classic Lou DSC_2367- Cropped

Back in the South West

After I finished mining in 2007, I moved back Down South and now live in Dunsborough.

I still enjoy surfing & competing in long board competitions & I’m a member of the Indian Ocean Long Board Club.

In 2011 a Fancy Dress surf comp was held in conjunction with the unveiling of the Surf Pioneer sculpture at Yallingup. I went dressed as a pirate and had a Jolly Roger flag draped over my shoulder.

Photo: 2016 Lou with a glossy print of his pirate costume worn at 2011 Fancy Dress surf comp. Lou Corkill pic.

2016 Lou Corkill with pic from 2011 Yalls Statue unveiliing Fancy Dress Comp Pirate 1 DSC_2657

North West surf trips

To this day Billy & I still compete in long board competitions at State & local levels and travel annually to Red Bluff and charge the NW swells!!!

Mick Marlin has joined our team at the Bluff and calls us the Three Stooges.  We fly the Jolly Roger flag at our camp and are known as the Pirates at the Bluff. We are a bit older, a bit slower, but still charging!!!

Photos: 2014-15 NW surf trip with Bill Gibson & Mick Marlin. Mick Marlin pics.

(Left) 2015 Pirate camp with Jolly Roger flag at Red Bluff. (Right) 2014 Bill Gibson charging at Gnaraloo.

2014 -15 NW surf camp Bill Gibson collage_photocat

Photos: 2015 NW surf trip with Bill Gibson & Mick Marlin. Mick Marlin pics.

Top: (Left) Bill & Lou at Gnomes Ville on table-top ranges south of Carnarvon. (Right) Lou with rhino chaser board at Gnaraloo.

Middle: (Left) Lou charging at Gnaraloo. (Right) Lou surfing Turtles on his longboard.

Bottom: (Left) Lou surfing The Bluff. (Right) Lou relaxing at The Bluff with visiting South Oz surfer.

2015 NW surf trip Lou Corkill 2a collage_photocat

Brian Bell also came from Mandurah and now lives in Dunsborough. Brian has become a fixture on our annual ventures up north surfing…..Brian’s a great long boarder, surf photographer & buddy to boot!!!

Photos: 2009 Warroora Station (pronounced Warra) surf trip with Brian Bell, Neil Woods, Kim Whitfords & Louie. Brian Bell pics.

2009 Warroora Stationto Lou from Bells DSC_2370 - Copy

South West pics

Photos: 2015-16 Lou at play in the SW. Photos courtesy of Ian Wiese, Bruce King & Brian Bell

Top: Yalls (Left) Yalls old boys Stew Bettenay, Jim King, Lou Corkill, Baz Day, Peter Hansen, Bruce King & Gary Greirson. (Right) Lou & his best mate Sinbad.

Middle: Yalls (Left) Lou & Taj Burrow. (Right) Lou surfing Yalls a solid right.

Bottom: Injidup Lou competing Indian Ocean Long Board club comp. (Right) Capel Steve Rice’s paddle out L-R Rick & Inga, Lou, Brian Bell, Sean Rowles, Dave Ellis & Jim King.

2015-16 SW pics Lou Corkill collage_photocat

Photo: 2015 Yalls Lou with AFL Brownlow Medallist Nat Fyfe and Bruce King. Photo courtesy of Bruce King.

MAR10.2015 010

Lou is not shy and you may have chatted with him and Sinbad at Yallingup, Gnaraloo or on the Longboard competition circuit. He is a likeable rascal.





Public Toilets at Yallingup Beach

The Public Works Dept built public toilets on the beach front at Yallingup in the early 60s. The toilet block served the community for more than three decades.

In the 60-70s the old toilets were used by visiting surfers as overnight accommodation in inclement weather. The women’s section was usually cleaner & dryer and the preferred sleeping quarters.

Louie ‘Longboard’ Corkill – “In the early 70s I used to camp in the old brick toilets on Yalls beach. I slept in a board bag made of quilt by my mother.”

Ross Utting recalls – “Sleeping arrangements at Yallingup were always problematical with a full car, especially when it was raining.
In desperation, one night me & my mate Norm (Dot) Kitson hatched a plan to escape the wet by staying up late & then bedding down in the ladies toilets.
For some reason the floor of the men’s toilets was always wet, but the ladies was dry. We stay up til past midnight comfortable that in the unlikely event that a female was in the area, they would have done their business by then. I bed down as far away from the door as possible, but Dot lays his bag down right in the middle, the idiot. About 2.30am I am awakened by a mad woman screaming blue murder. Apparently she had tripped over Dot & fallen face first onto him. Immediately I know what has happened & am willing Dot “stay in your bag”, “stay in your bag”. But no, like the idiot he is, Dot jumped out of his bag with just his underpants on & is trying to put his arm around the woman to settle her down. Of course this really fires her up. Reckon it would have scared me a bit too if a long haired bloke in his underpants tried to put his arm around me in the toilets at 2.30 in the morning. Anyway, she eventually escapes & runs out of the toilets never to be seen again.
I didn’t sleep a wink after that as I was waiting for the girl’s boyfriend to come & give us a good kicking or for the cops to take us away. Thankfully nothing happened, but we never slept in the ladies toilets again.”

Refer to Surfing Down South book for more tales of visiting surfers camping in the toilets.

Photo: 1969 Yallingup. Young Ian Cairns (16) with his short Jacko single fin surfboard on the lawn in front of the brick toilet block . Photo credit Ric Chan.

1969 Yalls State Titles I Cairns - R Chan img405

Photo: 1975 Yalls beach front layout. Surrounding the bitumen car park is Surfside Store on the left and the brick toilets (circled) on the right under melaleucia trees. The photo was taken during the 75 State Surfing titles at Yalls. Photo Ric Chan.

1975 Yalls State Titles Yalls car park img097

Image: 1985 Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic (Yal Mal) finalists standing in front of old brick toilets at Yalls Beach. This image has been signed by the finalists. Image credit Loz Smith.

Yal Mal Finalists. L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo, John Clemenger, Pater Mac, Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland.

1985 Yal Mal finalists - Loz Pic (signed) DSC_4751

Photo: 1986 Yallingup residents Alex, daughter Kamala (holding Haley Simpson) and Christine Brennan viewing Yal Mal contest from the lawn in front of the old brick public toilets. Note 1986 Classik graffiti on painted toilet wall. Photo credit Loz Smith.

1986 Yal Mal Alex, daughter Kamala holding Haley Simpson & Chrisitine Brennon - Loz Pic IMG_05

New Toilet Block

The original brick amentities was demolished in the 90s and replaced with a new stone toilet block re-located in front of the Surfside complex. Yallingup residents Rob Malcolm and Ashley Jones were instrumental in ensuring the design was conducive to it’s surroundings. Local ‘big wave’ surfer Tony Harbison built the new toilet block.

Photo: 2015 Yalls Kim ‘Dish; Standish and Bryn the dog standing in front of stone toilet block built by Harbo in the 90s. This image also features the new surfboard shaped showers installed in June 2015. Photo credit Jim King.

2015 Yalls toilet block & new showers Dish & Bryn DSC_9009

Photo: 2015 Yalls Mick Marlin, Bruce King & Louie Corkill (with Sinbad the dog) sheltering from the rain in the new stone toilets. Photo credit Jim King.

2015 Yalls Mick Marlin, Bruce King & Louie with Bowie DSC_9876


Surfside at Yallingup – Recollections

Many SW residents and visiting surfers enjoyed the hospitality at Surfside Tea Rooms/Store/Cafe/Restaurant/Accommodation at Yallingup over the years. This is a collection of their Surfside recollections from the 50s to 80s.

Jim Keenan – pioneer WA surfer

Surfside tea rooms were run by the Hammond family and was a favourite amongst the 50’s & 60’s surfing fraternity for hamburgers upon arrival and breakfast whenever the rain washed out our fires.

The Hammonds were very generous with their tucker and would stay open until our arrival from the city on a Friday night, for a weekend of surfing.

We would arrive rugged up in our great coats (winter) or bear suits half pissed from the journey down from Perth. The honest guys would order hamburgers which of course required action in the kitchen a separate room.

The dis-honest took advantage of this and filled their pockets with blocks of old gold chocolate while the counter staff were preparing the hamburgers in the kitchen. I won’t mention the main culprits name but, his initials were T.H.

I guess T.H. survived because he did share the wares when we returned to our hammocks on the rock face facing Yalls. We felt guilty but, the benefits outweighed the problem.

I have met with Garth Hammond and discussed the above and he assures me that his parents were well aware of the Fagan in our midst, but chose not to complain. Wonderful people and karma will care for T.H.

The tearooms were also the venue for the tourists arriving via a state run bus. They would flood into the rooms and buy their tea and cream covered scones. If the boys happened to visit in the same time frame, I can only imagine what they thought of the strangely dressed patrons talking in what sounded like a foreign language.

Photo: 1962 Jim Keenan & Puppydog surfing outside Gallows on Barry Bennett surfboards from NSW. Photo courtesy Jim Keenan.

1962 Gallows outside break J Keenan & Puppydog on NSW Barry Bennet boards - J Keenan pic

Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald – Yallingup

In the late 60s when we travelled down south on weekends and the weather was poor, we would sleep in the public brick toilets or on Surfside’s side verandah. Later when we were working in the SW carting hay about 10 of us (George Simpson, Ronny Ratshit, Grant Robinson, Gary Kontoolas & others) used to sleep in our cars under the melaleucas. We had breakfast (tomato mince) & dinner with Bernie & Eve at Surfside.

Bernie must have felt sorry for us sleeping in our cars and offered the back toilet/shower block to George Simpson, Rick Lobe & I. We moved in to our plush accommodation.

When the hay job finished we went off picking spuds for the Smith family near Carbunup.

Photo: Early 1970s Moore River L-R Steve ‘Blue’ Nicholson, Peter McDonald, Jenny Limb & Micko Gracie – Photo courtesy of Peter Mac.

Early 1970s Moore River Mac, Blue, Jenny & Micko - Peter Mac pic IMG_05

Steve Carr – Yallingup

This is my best recollection of the fate of George Simpson’s old Ford Customline which was abandoned outside Surfside Yalls probably around 1970/71 (or thereabouts).

The car was parked out the front of Surfside for ages and we (along with a few others) used it to sleep in if we had too many for our own car.

Bernie had had enough of it sitting out the front and asked a few of us if we could get rid of it. I can’t remember how many of us there were involved in the disposal but it was a few, probably 5 or 6 at least. One of the guys that was down there a fair bit in those days was Ian Reid who lived on a dairy farm in Capel and he had a HR Holden that was probably the newest and best car of all the locals down there at the time.

Back then there would have only been no more than a dozen houses in the bay (if that) so we decided to tow it up the hill to the top of Wardanup Crescent and push it off the road into the bush. It did take a fair bit of effort to get it up the hill and I have a recollection that “Ronnie Ratshit” was sitting on the bonnet of the old bomb as Ian was towing it but I think we had to do a bit of pushing as well. Unfortunately poor Ian finished up burning his clutch out in the process of getting it up the hill so it become an expensive exercise for him!

Needless to say Bernie was happy that the car was gone and on the other side of ledger I suspect the poor bugger who eventually bought the block had the additional cost of getting rid of the old bomb from the area before they were able to start building.

Photo: 1974 Sydney NSW Steve Carr & some party animals. Photo courtesy of Steve Carr.

70s Steve Carr & party animals1

Bruce King – Dunsborough

On stormy nights we used to sleep in the toilet block behind Surfside then wake up to a Bernie and Eve breakfast special of savoury mince on toast.

We also stayed at the Lurch house next door and quite often had card nights and séances which were downright scary at times. We communicated with the so called Yallingup ghost (he used to frequent the local area supposedly carry his head under his arm). The then president of WASRA Dr Ron Naylor was present on some occasions and could not explain the phenomena. After one session we predicted a lone swimmer who left from Cottesloe for a swim to Rottnest was apparently attacked and we would find his skull at a beach north of Perth. Trevor Burslem who was working with 6PR radio station at the time heard of this and followed it up. A skull was subsequently found on a northern beach and we gave away séances after that.

Photo: 1973 Bruce King at Three Bears. Photo courtesy of Bruce King.

1973 Bears Bruce King South West 008

Louie ‘Longboard’ Corkill – Dunsborough

In the early 70s I used to mow lawns for Harbo and Pete Dyson to earn money for food at Surfside. Pete Dyson used to pay me out of an army sock with rolled up $20 notes.

Back then Andy Jones used to be a cook at Dunsborough Bakery. In winter time I used to pinch uncut loaves of warm bread off the hot rack, hollow them out and stick my feet in them to keep warm. Mark “Murf the surf” Brescoe and I used to sleep in the hedge next to the Dunno bakery.

I felt my first women’s tits under Tom Hoye’s Board Shop next to Surfside. I fondled the girl’s breasts while her mother was above us listening to Neil Diamond’s “Hot August Night’.

Photo: 1975 Louie Corkill (age 16) at Mandurah with Len Dubben surfboard & Adler boardies. Photo courtesy of Louie Corkill.

1975 Louie Corkill age 16 Mandurah Len Dibben surfboard & Adler boardies DSC_8670a

Russell Quinlivan – Busselton.

Here is a story, printable or not. It was a cold and wintery night, 1972 inside Surfside, with myself, Paul Galbraith, Charlie Dingbat, George Simpson and this drunk guy who owned the 2 holiday units next to Surfside. George and the drunk guy were playing pool for money as we watched on. This drunk dude kept trying to antagonize George after each of his losses, but George ignored it, as he was taking this guy’s money. After his 4th loss in a row, this guy started to verbally abuse George, and even poked George heavily in the chest. George remained calm. Then this guy did the unthinkable, he slapped George across the face. “Oh No,” we thought. George, thought for a second or so. There were 3 heavy laminex tables and chairs between the pool table and the front door, which parted like the Red Sea as George upper cut this guy to the front door, casually opened it and pushed him out. George must have had a lot of brownie points with Bernie, as Bernie never said boo about the mess that we all commenced to clean up. Hope you like my story. Sorry no Bloody photos. Ha.

Photo: 1970s Russell Quinlivan at Trigg Point. Photo courtesy of Peta Quinlivan.

70s Russell Quinlivan Trigg Point - Peta Quinlivan IMG_01

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 used to work at the Bakery and made the biggest milkshakes. If Tony & I surfed elsewhere, we camped in the Kombi at Injidup, Rocky Point or under the melaleucas near the creek at Cowtown.

Photo: 1980s Yallingup Yal Mal contest. L-R Tim Eastwood, Peter Mac & Loz Smith. Tim & Loz are holding Rob Malcolm’s 8 footers. Peter Mac’s is holding a 9ft Cordingley board shaped by Bob Monkman. Photo credit Peter Mac.

1980s Early Yal Mal unknown, Mac & Loz - Peter Mac pic IMG_01

Mal Leckie – Queensland surfer & artist

I remember one funny morning at Surfside. When you ordered your meal you got a numbered ticket and then Eve would appear at the little side door-window thing and call out the number when it was ready. We all sat waiting and talking at the tables.

Eve came to the window and yelled out “99” but nobody came forward, so she put the meal aside and served a couple of others. Then she tried again with “99” a couple of times but nobody showed up. Then she got a bit edgy and yelled out a very loud “Ninety-bloody-nine” but still nobody responded as she stood there holding the plate and looking at the ticket. Everyone was quiet now as the mystery evolved and we were all waiting to see who it was that was going to cop a mouthful from Eve. But as she stood there with plate and ticket, she suddenly got a sheepish look on her face, then very quietly said, “oh, Number 66”.

The place erupted with belly laughs. I’m sure whoever had 66 will remember that, it was a classic.

Photo: 1973 Nedlands Mal Leckie & Tony Hart. Photo credit Faye Hart.

1973 Nedlands Mal Leckie & Tony Hart - Faye Hart pic

Al Bean – Surfboard Shaper Dunsborough

In the early 70s I shaped surfboards for Gary Greirson in Osborne Park. Then I convinced Gaz to let me shape boards down south. In 1975 I moved down south and shaped 10 boards per week at an Ellenbrook Road rental property. I converted an old lean-to on the side of the house into a shaping bay. I surfed and shaped 2 boards per day & drove boards back to the city on a Friday night, socialised over weekend & then drove back to SW with surfboards blanks on a Sunday night.

Late in 77 my dad told me his accountant had a syndicate that had bought a caravan park and store in the SW and they wanted me to manage it for them. When I found out it was at Yallingup I was rapt. I became Manager of Surfside & the Yalls Beach Caravan Park on 20 Dec 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. On a Wednesday I would play country darts at Caves House with all the House boys (local family).

Young Mark ‘Hillzee’ Hills used to cash soft drink bottles at the shop and then sneak around the back and pinch them to re-sell again (-:

I did a bit of grass slashing at the Caravan Park, but not much else. Leon Thomasian used to live in the Caravan Park and would hide in the long grass to avoid paying camping fees.

I managed Surfside and the Beach Caravan Park until 1979.

Photo: 1974 Al Bean (age 19) with Grierson Surfboard at South Point. Photo credit Ric Chan

1974 Sth Pt Al Bean - Ric Chan DSC00021

Leon Thomasian – Dunsborough

In the late 70s, I lived in Al Bean’s unkempt Caravan Park on Yallingup beach. The park was covered in double-gees and would puncture thongs. I was worked as a lighthouse keeper at Cape Naturaliste, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Leveque in the NW before heading over east.

In the 80s young Dane & Scotty Richardson lived in the Beach Caravan Park with their dad. The Richardson boys were like terrorists and got up to all types of mischief with Mark Hills.

Photo: 1978 Leon Thomasian at Meelup Valeey. Photo credit Vance Burrow.

1978 SW Leon Thomasian Meelup Valley cropped VB IMG

Mark ‘Hillsy’ Hills – Quindalup

Biggest memories for me at Surfside as kids were the pinball machines. It was 20 cents a game and to get money to play we used to go through the bins and look for cool drink bottles which you could cash in for 8 cents at Surfside. Would have been around 1978/79 and I was about 12 or thirteen. Tony and Coral Harbison owned Hide Away Holiday homes where we would stay through the holidays and down the side of their home they would stack cool drink bottles in crates left by guests . This was a treasure trove for the pinball machines. Me and Pete Felton thought it would be a good idea to knock off this treasure trove and cash it in a Surfside. We got busted by Harbo and being pretty bloody fair he offered us half the profit if we took the cool drink bottles over to Surfside instead of just taking them. This worked a treat as we also noticed that it was very easy to access where Surfside stacked their bottles. So we would carry Harbo’s bottles over, half the profit, then later take back our bottles from Surfside and cash them back in again. We played a lot of pinball .

Photo: 1990 Mark Hills surfing Rabbits on Mitch Thorson’s Campbell Bros Bonza surfboard. Photo Credit Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland.

1990 Rabbits Mark Hills on Mitch Thorsons Campbell Bros bonza board - Twiggy Sharland pic

Refer to Surfing Down South book for Garth Hammond’s & George Simpson’s Surfside recollections.