The Photograph above shows a wise middle-aged gentleman with his young protege basking in the sun and lolling around on the grass near the Old Guv.
The people in the photo are Harry Kinder, a polite well dressed Englishman and excellent Compositor. Sitting close by is Alex Riley, a young toffy nosed lad and child of rich parents who claimed links to the British Royal Family.
Alex thought he was superior to other comp. apprentices and refused to clean the comp room toilets. This made him very unpopular with older apprentice Brian Hartshorne and the victim of many practical jokes.
Harry Kinder who had done much to befriend the boy eventually became sadly disillusioned with his young protege and his horrible anti-social ways and so gave him the ‘arse’.
We now fast forward 50 years and discover that Harry Kinder has passed away and Alex Riley is now an grumpy old tight arsed bastard who has retired to the Hills of Bridgewater, near Adelaide.
Here Alex has become known as the ‘possum whisperer’ and Old Man Yeti, a shrunken old man carrying a magic wooden walking stick with a love for possums.
This is a photo of Possum No. 9, one of the possum friends that Alex feeds apples and grapes to each night. This is one cute possum.
Has our Alex changed? I think he has at least with the Possums.
I never knew Frank Harding the Englishman who worked in the Comp Room at the Old Guv during the 1960s.
Evidently Frank was a very nice sort of fellow who was very popular with the Aussie Compositors.
Which made him unique as most of the Pommy comps were treated with some suspicion by the Aussies.
Why you may ask?
Some of the older Australian compositors thought that some of our English comrades were not actually tradesmen. Nothing was ever proven though.
Back to Frank. He was the poor man who fainted when Dennis Starr ate a large moth that had frightened Frank by wandering into his work frame.
Anyway, Frank’s wife wanted to go back to the old homeland and so Frank gave notice.
The following pictures are memories of his departure celebrations.
From Left to Right: Frank Harding (seated) happily entertaining his workmates on the didgeridoo, the late Greg Novice, John Buckby, the late Colin Haines, Steve Palmer and Alex Riley (with hair).
From Left to Right: Bob Allen, Frank Harding, Darryl Stone, Kevin Stone, Alan Crate and the late Reg Hartshorne. Photo courtesy Kevin Stone.
Kevin says, “As far as I recall, we gave Frank his gifts at work – in the comp room – and then went straight over to the old South Australian Hotel, North Terrace to celebrate”.
The Old Guv Men’s football side from 1955 at Rostrevor College Oval.
From Left to Right: Rex Wells (Comp), George Sparnon (Comp), Glyn Paul (comp), Paul Raby (Printer), Allan Hitchox (Comp), John Strudwick (Printer), Brian Long (Printer), Laurie Blackwell (Printer), Don Woolman (Comp), Mike Conroy (App. Machine Comp), Allan Swinstead (Comp), Dean Groves (Binder), Alex McDougall (Printer), Don Loose (Comp), John McInerney (Comp), Malcolm Lind (Binder), Frank Cole (Captain), Billy Ross (MonoCaster).
Kneeling: Paul Korff (App. Machine Comp), Ron Sparrow (Comp), Dick Korff (Binder).
This brave group of blokes played National Paper Industries (who used to make most of Adelaide’s paper bags) and got done.
They were wearing kit borrowed from the Sturt Football Club and organised by Rex (Fitzy) Wells.
Photo courtesy of David Korff.
“A Breakfast Dish made with oats, very hot water, salt and stirred becoming a sticky mess generally consumed by the lower classes in England and in Australia.” OR
“A prison sentence in a British Prison, e.g.”doing your porridge”.
Immortalised in the wonderful British TV Comedy “Porridge” starring Ronnie Barker. OR
“In South Australia down at The Old Guv on King William Road, to be porridged meant you had been bollocked by the Boss (told off).
Once the Comps found out you had been porridged they would let YOU know that THEY knew in one way or another about your serve of “porridge”.
John Buckby would sing the old Elvis song “All Shook Up” and change the words to “All Stirred Up” right in front of you. Some would whistle the song.
Others would ask, “What did you have for Breakfast?” “Some Porridge Arsehole?”
And some would simply say, “Serves you fuckin’ right! ” They were the suckholes.
The late Warren Pietsch