Here’s a picture for you.
The photo mechanical crowd from Netley taken in 1987. Most of the names I can remember and are listed below (with a few gaps).
You’ll be interested to see the late Bob Miller (who recently featured in one of your updates). He was passing through when I took the picture and no doubt wanted to join in.
Cheers Mark Noble
Left to Right: Barry James, Alan Baker, Aldus Bogdanovs, Clive Baker, Rob Bruin, Ken Shevlin, Phil Pocock, Herb Kiess, Peter Gates, Keith Luce, Kaarel Lume, Rod (Bags) Baker, Bob Miller, Sandie Bruce, Felicity Turpin and Trina Butters.
This is not me. The bloke pictured here is about nine inches taller than me, handsome and built like a “brick shithouse”.
One of my first jobs of a morning when I entered the dog box which we called the Comp Room at National Paper Industries. Port Road, was to switch on the Lead melting pot.
It was electrically operated and would melt the lead slugs from the Ludlow typesetter which had been dissed from the completed print jobs.
It was a dirty job and of course was left to the “shit boy” to do.
Depending on what went into the pot the smell could become a bit rank, but generally it was cigarette butts, and the occasional sweepings off the shop floor.
At one point in the process I had to open the lid to whack some flux in, which supposedly would help clean the lead, antimony and tin that made up printer’s lead.
One Monday morning I flicked the switch on and went about my business.
I never knew that on the Friday night before all the bosses, arse crawlers and office staff had organised a huge piss-up after work.
Unfortunately, on the way down to the factory toilets a number of them had spotted the open melting pot (not working) and had relieved themselves on top of the type metal in the pot.
The smell that came crawling out of the pot as the stale urine turned to steam was unbearable and I vomited into the pot setting up a chain reaction which had vomit tainted lead splatter flying around the comp room.
I survived that horrible day and we got a lock to make sure the lid couldn’t be opened when we weren’t on guard.
I was not happy…
I had a near death experience some 40 years ago when I lived with my Mum and Dad and slept out the back of the house in a “sleep out”.
It was one warm Adelaide night that I rolled over in bed and displaced a testicle.
Where did it go? I don’t know, but all of a sudden I had a golf ball and a basketball where normally two snooker balls should have been !
Oh! The agony and searing pain. I staggered into the house and wailed for my dear old Dad.
My father had been a Sar Major in the Aussie Army and not unused to grief. “It will be fixed,” he announced. “Now go back to bed my boy and I will be out in a flash”.
I laid back on the bed groaning and throbbing. The door flew open and in walked Dad a can of Johnson’s Baby Powder in one hand and a Philips Heat Lamp in the other.
He proceeded to powder the painful area profusely with baby powder and then taking the heat lamp he concentrated its red intense ray on those poor unfortunate testicles.
Did it help you may ask?
No Bloody Way! After an hour of this torture I screamed “Help Me”!”
“Perhaps, I had better ring the Doctor,” Dad murmured.
Some time later he came back and said, “Not Good News I’m afraid son.” “There’s a possibility you may die if we don’t get you to the Royal Adelaide Hospital quick smart”.
We made it to the Emergency Ward in Dad’s old FC Holden.
There. a group of Doctors were excitedly calling to each other. “Hey! Come and have a look at this.” “I’ve never seen one of these before!”
They herded me into a small room and turned off the lights. I was hysterical. Then the flashlights started popping on as they strained to get a better view.
All I could see was eyes, doctor eyes!
Then the manipulation began as they tried to move the offending testicle back into its rightful pocket.
It worked, the relief was instantly wonderful as they congratulated themselves for saving yet another set of testicles.
I staggered out into the corridor to live yet another day. Dad was waiting and hugged me.
Under his breath I think I heard him say, “Next time I think I’ll use the bloody Savlon cream instead.”
My first mobile phone was an analog “brick” given to me as a “hand me down” as part of my job as a union organiser.
At the time, I thought about how I had managed to do my job quite successfully over the years without a mobile phone.
Then my son Danny taught me how to use a laptop, with very little explanation I might add.
After some time I signed up with Twitter only because 140 characters for a tweet seemed achievable even for me. Nowadays, I don’t use Twitter.
Facebook was a disaster because my account was soon hacked and people were receiving all sorts of strange messages from me that made me sound like a raving loony pervert.
What annoyed me about Facebook was I was swamped with useless bits of information about people’s lives. I didn’t want to know if they had tomato sauce on their pie for lunch or whether they had a decent bowel movement that morning. I no longer use Facebook.
“Truthfully though, I do find a mobile phone useful in emergency situations and texting people is practical because no-one seems to answer voice mail anymore”.
Only God knows what it is like for some of my older friends.
If they have a query with a Government department they ring the relevant section and after waiting for an hour they are told by a voice it’s quicker to look it up on their home computer.
What bloody computer?
Most of my friends who are over 80 don’t have a computer.
It’s cruel you know to put that sort of pressure on older people who are just trying to stay alive.
No wonder there are so many scams committed against older people on the internet.
Luckily, I have an eight year old grandson Seamus who is a kind boy and helps me out, whenever I need help.