‘That’s 2 T’s in Merrett.’

Robert Padfield was the sort of person who should never have worked in the Printing Trade.
For a year or so, he used to pick Parham up on the way to the Netley Complex.
He was a huge laugh and also good mates with John Freebairn, another apprentice comp.
He resented authority and disliked Ivan “Frecklehead” Merrett (overseer and boss) and was very much a free spirit and so…..
One day in the Comp Room, Robert wrote on the back of his time sheet.


He must have forgotten about it and at the end of the day Robert handed his Time Sheet in.
Ivan took one look at what he had written, walked out of his Office, went over to Padfield and said…


The late warren pietsch

For Bob Miller the Toff’s prank was no Joke.

“Here’s a little story mate about The Toff’s cruelty to his fellow man  and  it goes like this….”
One winter’s day Alex is on his way to work at Netley, and the rain was fairly bucketing down.

Alex had just driven past the Rex Hotel when he spies the late poor old Bob Miller up ahead.
Bob is struggling in the wet to keep his pushbike on the road when our “Hero” sees a huge puddle of muddy water just ahead of Bob.
So quite deliberately he speeds up and sends a huge Tsunami of Water crashing down on Bob.
So Bob is covered in stinking muddy water courtesy of Riley. When Bob gets to work he tries to find the Cruel Alex, but can’t.
Not many people saw Alex that day as it is rumoured that he spent most of it hiding in the women’s toilet.
“Bloody Hell. That’s the worst act of cruelty I’ve ever heard of cobber”.
“Ain’t it just!”
Anonymous Bastards

Sam Lawn outfoxes The Toff.

Alex The Toff Riley when a Sales Officer would often return to State Print around 4.00pm. After settling in he would ring Brian Grubby Hartshorne to enquire about his jobs in progress throughout the plant.
On this day Grubby’s phone was not answered. Bugger me says Riley and departs for Grubby’s office after phoning another three times with no answer.
On arrival there’s our Grubby sitting back at his desk. Riley confronts Grubby and asks why he doesn’t answer his phone.
The old Grubbs answers back smugly that if the phone doesn’t ring, He can’t answer it. Riley is stumped for words and storms off.
The following day when Riley returns, he again attempts to phone Grubby. Again no answer. After a hard day’s work Riley storms off to Grubby’s office only to find him sitting back with not a care in the world. Riley again confronts Grubby about not answering his bloody phone.
Grubby again says his phone didn’t ring. Now Riley’s getting annoyed and asks Grubby to get someone, anyone, to ring his phone. And guess what – the bloody phone rings.
Riley is now beside himself and can see that Grubbs is becoming annoyed. So, he returns to his office red faced, clearly in a state of annoyance and he tells the guys in sales his problems with Grubby and his phone. They all look surprised, but say nothing.
The next day Riley again returns to work, but this time an hour earlier, and decides to settle for a coffee. He rings through to Grubby, but the phone as usual rings off so Riley says nothing and finishes his coffee. He then decides that he will phone Grubby, JUST ONE MORE TIME.
Finally, Grubby’s phone is answered, but not by Grubby. It was answered by a workmate Peter Humby and that’s when Riley realised that he had been sucked in.
Some rotten bastard had changed Grubby’s phone number to Peter Humby’s home phone on Riley’s phone.

Oh! yes it was a big joke and all they were grinning at how The Toff had been made to look an idiot. What bastards.
And the biggest grinner turned out to be Rodney Sam Bloody Lawn, the Cheeky Monkey.  Beauty Sam.
And oh yes, then he had to face Grubby.

Tony Harris, trades Bookbinder.

Tony was born in the county of Surrey in the South of England.
He came to Australia in March, 1964 as a “Ten Pound Pom” after answering an advertisement for a trades Bookbinder.
His decision to migrate was as a result of stories his father had told him when he was a young fellow.
He started at the State Library Binding Section and spent a long nine months there.
He finally made it to the Government Printing Office in March, 1965.
Four years later he became a Leading Hand in the Hand Binding Area of the “Old Guv”.
Tony’s main interest outside of work is collecting and studying colonial military firearms.
He has spent many hours researching his hobby in the State Archives with a view to publishing his research in Book form.
Article from “Points” Magazine, published August, 1979.
Special Thanks to Tony for donating numerous publicatios to the Old Guv Legends

Early days at the Netley Complex.


Since our arrival at the Netley complex on 2nd January, 1974, members of the Machine room have grown used to change.
From that first day of seeing all the machines set out in organised rows, there has been constant change of machines being moved here, there and everywhere.
Two events in recent times have caused me to look back into the past and to write about change.
One was the visit of the retired people on 7th June,. It was good to see the faces of so many people who have retired since the arrival at Netley. I counted 22 in their category, and seeing them in the building again gave a strange feeling of being “Home Again”.
The other event was to see a list of names of workers who have earned their 20 year badge and were connected with the Machine room at the time of arrival at Netley.
Postscript: Since the article was first written the following Machine Room staff have passed on:
Barry Cagney, John Dawe, Jim Fisher, Lawrie Hussin, Bob Virgin, Jan Keizer, Norm Fellows, Norm Hodson, Kurt Peiker, Laurie Blackwell and Colin Goodfellow.
Ray Belt

1981 Christmas Party.

Dear Rodney,
I found this old photo the other day which I thought you might like for your files.
It was taken at the 1981 Guv Christmas Party held in the quadrangle between the Main plant and the Planning and Pay Offices.
Left to Right are: David Barber (Apprentice Comp), Jamie Black (Apprentice Machinist), Kym Morrison (Apprentice Machinist) and Mike Carter (Machinist).
Interestingly Mike Carter and I were ‘drafted’ into the Sales Office about a year or so later and have recently renewed our friendship in Melbourne where we both now live.
David Barber