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’?
Above Photo: Graham “Sleepy” Mutrie takes aim
If you have read the October 1971 issue of the Old Guv’s “Topical Points” you could be excused for thinking it was a copy of Australia’s “Guns and Ammo”.
At that time rifle shooting was a big thing at the Guv with a number of “elitist” shooting groups all over the building.
But the group that was run out of the “Intertype Room” was the one that everyone fought to get into.
The leader of that pack was our very own Father Christmas, the late Jack Findlay.
People like David Lascelles, and others who could afford the club fee were also members.
Membership was by invitation only, so how did a Binder make the side.
Well, the late Des Brown must have been a good rifle man because he won the Bonython Trophy for being able to shoot a running man at 300 yards.
Brian “Grubby” Hartshorne won the Pat Garrett Trophy for the Best In the Back Shot at 2 yards.
Grubs was brilliant at that, but then he had a good master in Jack Findlay, of course, who won the Clint Eastwood ‘Make My Day’ Trophy for 20 years running.
Jack Findlay’s mentor was the late Les “The Bull” Hawes, Government Printer. “A nice man” according to our Grubs.
The Bull trained as a urban sniper by practising on an Old Guv “shitboy” known only as “The Toff” as he reluctantly swept up the flame tree leaves on the King William Road footpath outside of the Old Guv.
Then there is the crazy story of the Machine Room Duck Hunters, that’s to come…
“Foo was here” is an Australian graffiti signature of popular culture, especially known for its use during World War I, but also became popular among Australian schoolchildren of post-war generations.
Foo is shown as a bald-headed man (sometimes depicted with a few hairs) peering over a wall (usually with three fingers from each hand appearing to clutch over the wall as well), with the simple inscription “Foo was here”.
When I started working at the Government Printing Office in July, 1973 I worked on the hot metal Bills staff in the comp room.
I was surrounded by a bunch of crazy comps with nicknames like Abo, Rags, Mac, Dago, Sam, Cyril the Clown, Sleepy and Meggsie.But there was a weird thing I kept noticing and it was a little note stuck on the walls, notice boards, toilet doors and tea urn.
On the note there was a drawing of ‘Foo’ (see above) and underneath the words ‘Allan Orrock was Here’ were printed.
Confused, I went off and spoke to the late Warren Pietsch (Abo) and asked who Allan Orrock was. A big mistake. Warren’s reply was, ‘It’s a joke and he’s a make believe person.
Thirty years pass and I went along to the funeral of the late and great Ron Hamence.
After the service we were standing around chatting when a nicely dressed man approached me and introduced himself as Allan Orrock. I rocked back on my feet and said, ‘But you don’t exist’. ‘Bullshit’ was the reply.
Again, I had been hoodwinked by those bastards in the old comp. room. I soon realised that for a ghost Allan was an interesting and intelligent man.
As I understand Allan left the Guv in the 1960s. But, you are getting your chance to meet him at our Luncheon on Friday, 15 November, 2019 at Westies, commencing 12 Noon.
See you then! Rod