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”.
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…
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.
When 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?”
Hi! My name is Alex Riley the ‘Toff’ and I used to work at the old Government Printing Office in King William Road, and at Netley.
When I was a young lad (with hair) I accidentally killed a bush snake with my stick, out the back of Bourke in New South Wales
I still have the snake at home, unfortunately it’s dead, but it does take pride of place in the pocket of my pants, right next to my moth infected wallet.
And YES! although I am old and senile, I am still very much Alive and filthy rich. Eat your hearts out!
A ridiculous dispute over Alex Riley not sweeping up some flame tree leaves off the pavement outside the Old Government Printing Office in King William Road some 54 years ago has been finally settled.
On the one hand we had a snotty nosed apprentice Alex (the Toff) claiming that Brian (Grubby) Hartshorne (Senior Apprentice) had set him up by scattering flame tree leaves on the pavement after Alex had supposedly cleaned them up.
Alex got into trouble with the Government Printer, Les (The Bull) Hawes who had screamed at Alex and accused him of being an incompetent lazy idiot and what’s more a Liar. All which was true, of course