‘Best Buddies.’


It is no secret that Don Woolman (Flash) and Brian Hartshorne (Grubby) are Best Buddies.

At a recent Old Guv Luncheon Don agreed to be interviewed by Brian about his time at the Old Guv. 

Grubby – Now Don let me say this, in my opinion you were the best Government Printer we ever had, even better than Les ‘The Bull’ Hawes. Did you enjoy getting the job over the  ‘Mushroom’ ?

Flash – Yes, Brian, I was quite clearly the standout man for the job and it was a real buzz coming back as ‘Top Dog.’

Grubby – Is it true that one of the reasons you left the Old Guv was because you ran down Keith ‘Doctor Cack’ Stevenson with your pushbike in the courtyard?

Flash – Yes, that was one of the reasons. But it was after Stevenson told me that I had a bad attitude and would never make it in the printing trade that I decided to ‘piss off’.

Grubby – Now Don have I ever told you that you were the best Government Printer ever?

Flash – Yes, I believe you have on a number of occasions Brian.

Grubby – Don is it true that you were given a free ticket to the infamous and illegal Cricket Club Games night at the Netley Canteen in 1975?

Flash- Now, you well know Brian that I agreed to this interview only if that that question was never to be asked.

Grubby – Sorry Buddy. Were there any low points of your time as G.P.?

Flash – Yes Buddy, in my first two weeks I survived a poisoning attempt by Bert Cotton..

Then the Public Service employed a chap called ‘Ankles’ from Perth as our new Production Manager. This bloke had a shocking memory and a habit of telling porky pies. His employment application was a fabrication and then when he was supposed to be representing the Guv at the Drupa print conference in Germany he ended up enjoying a tax payer funded holiday in Paris. 

Grubby – I’m just so sorry to hear that Don. But you were still the best Government Printer ever. Have I ever told you that buddy?

Flash – For fuck’s sake Grubs, yes you have. Now, could you kindly ‘piss off’?


Popeye, Wingy & The Lolly Box Disaster.

Cath Wing and Frank “Popeye” Nelson (Association President) decided that on the Monday before payday they would send cardboard boxes with sample lollies and chocolates to each floor of the Office.
The goodies would be discounted and by putting your name down on the list you could order what you wanted and pay for them on pay day!
When the samples got to the Gazette Staff, Alan Orrock grabbed a Violet Crumble and smashed it with his rubber mallet. Abo found a way to get the jelly beans out of the packet without opening it. He always left a few jelly beans in the packet.
Rags and Macca took the Cherry Ripe out to the Back Press, put it on the rollers and made it magically 18 inches long. Dago just grabbed a chocolate bar opened it and ate it, leaving the wrapper in the box.
Everything went back empty, busted or eaten to Wingy and she went “Nuts”.
Popeye said to Cath, “From now on the Comp Room are barred from the discount lollies.
After about two months Popeye relented and said to Wingy, “I think they have learnt their lesson.”
The following Monday the comps got a Lolly Box and Order form.
When it reached the Gazette Staff, Allan Orrock busted up the Violet Crumble, Abo ate the Jelly beans, You know the Rest…
That was the last of the cheap discounted Lollies and Chocolates experiment. Popeye resigned as Association President and life went back to normal.

Bags Baker and the ElevatorTrick.

To this day I do not know how “Bags” Baker and “Meggsie” Gow performed this trick but it was truly amazing stuff and I always wanted to see a replay.
They would stand, on a table I think, behind the door going from the Typesetting Room towards the kitchen and toilet. They would have pieces of cardboard and they would move these pieces of cardboard so that you would swear you watching two people going up in an elevator.

It was fantastic, even if I was probably half pissed. But if you tried to get Bags to repeat it, he just dug his heels in. “Be thankful you have seen it”, he would say. Ginger Meggs just apologised.
I remember well another night after the numbers had lessened with the departure of many of the staff to Riverside.
We had finished our cookathon and were having a few ambers in the little back room off the typesetting which became the reading room after “JB” decided readers were no longer necessary.
We used to put a metal rubbish bin against the door so if the security guard ventured in we would hear the door bang against it and we would quickly hide the evidence.
This particular evening we heard no noise and next thing there was the security guard standing at the door. Well I sh*t myself but “Mork” cool as you like said, “Do you want a drink mate?” Next minute the security guard said he best be off then and he did, never heard another thing about it.
Two months later the same security guard cut his fingers off doing a “foreignee” down in the SACON workshops.
They were great nights but not to be associated with those naughty card nights which preceded SOMEONE becoming COMP ROOM OVERSEER.

‘Beware – Snake Gully Sluggers,’

In every work place there is always a group of Renegades who bond in their bastardry.
This is the story of one such group at the Government Printer in the 1970s, known as the Snake Gully Sluggers.
John “Rags” Elsdon. A follower and distinguished by his inability to tell Jokes. Could have been a great footballer so he says, but the piss and fags got him. Carpet Snake.
Rod “Sam” Lawn. Also known as “The Ape”. This bloke was dry, sarcastic and a real mystery at times. For a short period of his life he was known as “The Wild One.” Apologies to J.O.K. Boa Constrictor.
Jimmy “Jock” Tennant. A Wild and lovely Alcoholic Scotsman. Unfortunately, suffered a very serious heart condition from birth that sadly cut his Life short. Toy Snake
Albert Wellman. The Boss and Clicker, evidently a Champion Rower when he was young. Liked the North Adelaide Wine Bar, but a very bad person to get on the wrong side of. Rock Python.
Warren “ABO” Pietsch. Could have fought for either the British or French armies at The Battle of Waterloo. The best Cannon and Bullet Loader bar none. Elephantic memory with a “pay back” mentality. Rattlesnake!
Lew “Banjo” Murray. Apprentice Bastard back then, but hit his straps in the 1980s and became “a real bastard”. Puff Adder.
John “Macca” McInerney. An inspiration to the Snakes, sort of their Unofficial King. His wicked brain hatched most of their foul deeds. King Cobra.
It’s a pretty brutal assessment, but they deserve it, they crushed so many people as well as chocolate bars and type gauges…

Ron ‘Snevets’ Stevens & the Wig.

img_6141-900x598_1-scaled500“Snevets” was Ron Steven’s signature when he wrote poems and stories.
It was, of course, Ron’s surname spelt backwards. Ron was yet another 10 pound tourist who joined the Comp Room in the 1950s.
Our Ron fancied himself as a Ladies Man who loved to chat up the young girls who worked at the Guv.
Now poor old Ron was as bald as a badger on top, but his body from the neck down and back was covered in grizzly bear hair.
One morning Ron arrived at work with grey hair on the top of his bald head.
It was a wig, of course. He stood in the Gazette Area waiting for the work bell.
In we all trooped and there was Ron, a huge beam all over his face.
No-one said a word, we just stared at him.”Big Dogs” was the first to speak. “There’s something different about you Ron.”
Ron just smiled and moved his eyes upwards.
Big Dogs continued. “Ron there’s something different about you!”
Ron couldn’t contain himself. “I’ve got hair he cried!” ”And so you have,” said the Dog and with that we all gathered round Ron touching and caressing his wig.
The downside to Ron’s wig was when the temperature got above 90 degrees fahrenheit, a yellow gooey, gluey substance would run down the side of his face.


The Toff’s Report, OGL Luncheon, 16 Feb. 2018

I hate doing these reports but I will because Parham has promised me a bottle of Californian wine when he  comes up to my Bridgewater Mansion to visit (he thinks). As you know I will drink any wine from anywhere in the world as long as it is FREE.

Hghlight of the Luncheon was of course.
Jenny Easther being made a Legend and she told us about her life as a compulsive chatter box, selling Avon and Choccies and being outspoken (I think we call that being a pain in the arse).
‘Jenny, We all cried when you told us Avon were going online and you would have to find a new second job’.

It was pleasing to note that Don Flash Woolman and Brian Grubby Hartshorne are still friends.
Ray The Informer Belt was a bit worried when they first walked in and sat at different tables, then gave each other the finger.

Great to see Trevor Roberts and Darryl  O’Keefe at the Luncheon, both former Log Cabineers.
Unfortunately Geoff Michell could not make it, as his daughter was in hospital and Con Rogers was having a knee operation.
Another blast from the past was Ian Russell (Printer) and wife Yvonne attending.
Ian, who thinks he is quite special could not work out why he wasn’t already on top of The Legends Board. 
Great meals and thanks to Dane and staff at Westies.

Next LUNCHEON is on Friday, 20 April, 2018 at 12 Noon at Westies.