‘The Tunnel.’

Did you know there was an old railway tunnel just near the Old Guv building in King William Road?
Well there was!
As far as I know it was built in 1886 to service the old Exhibition Building and the Exhibition Oval near Kintore Avenue.
My grandfather Cyril used to tell me that there was a tunnel under King William Road which continued on from the Adelaide Railway Station under King William Road onto the Exhibition Oval.
They held the Royal Adelaide Show there in the late 19th Century
This of course was in the days before the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds were built at Wayville.


The Flippers and Floppers of the Old Guv.

Flippin’ and Floppin’ were swear words used by our Salvation Army workmates.
The two main users of these weak as piss swear words were Bert Cotton and the late Ivan (Frecklehead) Merrett.
Allan (Porky) Dell, Trevor (Mr. Nice Guy) Roberts and Steve Jones (Monocaster) would also use these words freely when they had the shits on with the comps.
The big question is what word did flippin’ replace and what word was floppin’ replacing?
I often wondered what a Salvation Army service would be like if they all got angry or all holy and started calling each other flippin’ and floppin’ idiots.
Can’t you just imagine Ivan Merrett telling Bert, “I say Bert, you really are a big flippin’ dobber.”
Then Bert would reply, “Ivan, go and get flopped!”
I wonder if the Salvation Army still uses these words today?

‘Confessions of a Young Bazza’.

unset1Hi, It’s Young Bazza here,
When I was at Primary School I decided that I wanted to be a Hot Metal Compositor.
Those blokes seemed so dignified, intelligent and handsome and got the best looking women in Hindley Street on a Saturday night.
So I gave up up my dreams of becoming a professional chicken plucker and after I left School I started applying at Printing Places all over Adelaide.
Every place I went to, I begged to became a Hot Metal Comp Apprentice, but they just laughed in my face and told me to “Fuck Off”.
xo6m39mws8roi6metcyk“I had always wanted to be one of these wonderful compositor blokes.” Young Bazza.
Then one day I found myself outside of the old Government Printing Office in King William Road.
I didn’t have an appointment but hesitantly climbed the stairs worried that I would get yet another knock back.
But this time I said that I wanted to be “a letterpress printer” and then told the old bloke who interviewed me that I played for Glenelg Colts.
Luckily, it was A.B. (Jumbo) James and within a few days I started as a Shitboy in the Print Room.
Within 15 years I realised that the Hot Metal Comps were the “has beens” and forgotten dinosaurs of the trade and I never looked back.
I went to work for a colour blind printer called Alec and had made firm friends with another strange Scotsman who got out of paying the ten pound “tourist fee” when he came to Australia.
Oh! That was my best ever mate the late Lew Morrison. Life was Beautiful…
Young Bazza

Rick “Ricky” Bell.

32redcoupeside-scaled500Rick Bell (Maintenance Section) hated being called Ricky and didn’t like his surname used as a noun because he was called ‘Bellie” and things like ‘Dingdong’ at Primary School.
At least one of Ricks after hours passions was working on his cherry red Ford Coupe Tourer (with the Dicky seat). In the early years of his apprenticeship to Printing Engineering, he struggled to keep the original 1930s (something) engine going and bits like the clutch, brakes etc were also proving difficult as even items from the wreckers and Rare Spares dried up.
An offer from someone in the Bindery enticed Rick out of his Ford passion and into the new world of Holden. The offer was to take away for free, an EH Holden wagon with a 186 motor. Rick lived at O’Halloran Hill and the car was in Salisbury. I lived in Allchurch Ave. Kurralta Park with not much to do on weekends so offered to help.
We duly arrived at Salisbury in the Ford early one Saturday morning and had a look over the Holden. The head had been refurbished but was on the floor of the back seat. A heap of other ‘running gear’ was in buckets and tins on the passenger side front floor.
The owner said that the brakes worked a bit but you probably would need to rely more on the handbrake..
We attached a big ‘under tow’ sign to the Holden and slowly dragged the hulk back to Ricks place. Somehow. all went smoothly until we got about 1/2 way up Tapleys’ Hill, when the heat from the Ford’s exhaust pipe burnt though the tow rope.
The original gear on the Ford had the pipe coming out from the middle of the body under the back bumper. So I’m cut loose from the little Ford and running backwards down Tapleys Hill Rd, again (blessedly) not much traffic.
Finally instinct kicked in and I pulled the handbrake on. Made no difference. Pumped the footbrake. Made no difference. Threw the car into gear, something went BANG and I drifted at an angle into the side of the cutting. Rick stopped and ran back laughing his head off. I
told him about the loud noise under the bonnet and we put the bonnet up to find that the engine dismantlers had put all the other other U clamps, nuts and bolts, old valve stems etc in the top of the cylinder pots. When I put the can in gear, the pistons moved and pushed all the contents out onto the road.
Finally back at Ricks place, we took the engine out, cut the Holden body in 1/2s along is length and took it 1/2 at a time to the Happy Valley dump with windows and seats. By the time we got back with the 2nd half, the doors and seats had gone to a better homes. I’m thinking this was about 1972-1974.
When we wuzz yung ‘n’ dumb.
Grant Hofmeyer

Dean Groves and the Balls Up.

Dean Groves, a Binder was also a SANFL league goal umpire, of some note, long before the AFL ever existed. He was picked to umpire, not sure who the teams were, but I think it was one of the better matches between two of the top teams.
The game happened to be televised live that day and Dean was centre stage waving his flags and doing a great job. I was watching the game at home on the live telecast when all hell broke loose about a disputed goal.
The goal umpire down the end of the disputed goal happened to be Dean. The problem was that the footballer that kicked the ball was convinced he kicked a goal and Dean instead of putting the two fingers up to signal a goal he only put up the one for a point.
Well then it was on, the player rushed up to Dean and tried to stop him waving the one flag instead of two, but to Dean’s credit being the professional umpire that he was, he ignored the player and carried on waving the one flag with one very angry player in his face trying to stop him.
The only problem was that because the game was televised they had a camera right behind the player when he kicked the ball and it showed on replay that it was clearly a goal. The commentators had a great time playing and replaying the goal that never was thanks to poor unfortunate Dean making one of his worst decisions and televised for all to see.
Of course when Dean returned to work on the Monday we all stuck up for him or was it we all stuck it up him.
As you know at the Old Guv you were not necessarily remembered for any good deeds you did – but mostly remembered for the stuff ups.
Ian Pedler

‘Pies and Pastys’.

frankharding2-1When we worked Saturday morning Overtime John “China” Buckby would get up a Pie and Pasty list for Morning Tea.
I was given the list and money and told by Buckby, “Go and get the Pies from the Railway Station Cafeteria and the pastys from the Bank Street Deli.”
“Get f**ked” I would say. “I’m getting everything from the Railway Station Cafeteria.”
After arguing for five minutes or so, Buckby went and got Merv “Nobby” Clarke (Supervisor) to come down and tell me where to go and what to do
“Oh, for God’s sake Warren.” Merv sighed, “Just go and get everything from the Railway Station Cafeteria and tell that bloody Buckby you got the pastys from Bank Street and the pies from the Station,” Merv said.
After Morning Tea was over, Bucko gets up pats his tummy and says,
See Warren, I told you aren’t those Pastys from the Bank Street Deli just so much better?”