Fred Hardwicke.


In January, 1966, I left the Comp Room’s shitboy job to start my apprenticeship in the Jobbing Room. My clicker was Fred Hardwicke.
The crew consisted of Shorty Moncrieff, Jack Wells, Ray Stagg, Joe Scholberg, David Copley, Rod Stone, Alex Riley and Bruce Kutcher.
Fred’s bark was far worse than his bite.
If you started talking about his beloved North Adelaide Football Club (he played for them) or the country town of Port Broughton everything would work out just fine.
Shorty Moncrieff would often set my copy on fire. I was stubborn. “I’m not putting it out”, I’d say. Shorty would just shrug and reply, “Neither am I.”
I’d go over to Fred and say, “I’ve lost my copy.” Fred would grunt and ask, “Did that idiot set it on fire again?”
But he would always get out the spare copy for me.
Fred noticed that I was always buying LP records. “You like music?” he would grunt. “My brother had a record shop on Hyde Park Road years ago.”
One day out of the blue he came over to my frame with a package, “Thought you might like these!” Inside were four brand new 78 records (Gene Krupa, Spike Jones, Kid Orry and Duke Ellington).
Another time he grunted, “I notice that you like bright coloured shirts.”
A few days later later he gave me a couple of those Hawaiian shirts that people were wearing in the late 1950s.
“You don’t wear those shirts I gave you a few months back,” he queried.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I had binned them.
Bugger me dead if they didn’t come back into fashion six months later.
A lot of people didn’t like Fred’s grumpy moods but he was good to me and I say anyone that can put John Buckby through a window can’t be all bad!
The late Warren Pietsch.

One thought on “Fred Hardwicke.

  1. Dion wrote:

    I would have to agree with Warren’s assessment of Fred Hardwicke. When I started at the Gov in 1969 in the Jobbing section, the whole thing was a real culture shock: the place and the way it was run was so old fashioned, so different to what I had been used to; the management was unbelievable.

    In particular I had trouble with Fred: I found him arrogant, bad tempered, narrow minded and difficult to deal with. Then one night, on overtime, I got talking to Fred and got him onto football and his days with North Adelaide. He also talked about the scare he had with cancer.

    From then on, as Warren mentioned, we had a different understanding all together much better than before.


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