‘The Tunnel’ near the Old Guv, Adelaide.


Did you know there was an old railway tunnel just near the Old Guv building in King William Road?

Well there was!

As far as I know it was built in 1886 to service the old Exhibition Building and the Exhibition Oval near Kintore Avenue.

My grandfather Cyril used to tell me that there was a tunnel under King William Road which continued on from the Adelaide Railway Station to the Exhibition Oval.

They held the Royal Adelaide Show there in the late 19th Century as well as some international  sporting events.

The Royal Adelaide Showgrounds was later transferred to its current position at Wayville.



The Letterpress Machine Room at Netley.

From Right to Left: Norm Hodson, John (Sgt. Carter) Cresswell, Grant Hofmeyer (with beard) on Heidelberg 4; Ray Belt on KSB, John Cowell  and Ian (Luwigi)  Russell on KSB.
On 10 x 15 Heidelberg Platens over by the sink are: Bob Cooper in light coloured shirt and George Palmer in Overalls.
Laurie Hussin is on a Vertical Miehle behind them and I think way over in the back is ‘Farmer’ John Fletcher.
Note the pieces of dirty and stinking rubber (Cut up conveyor belt) placed at the machine delivery.
These rubber mats were procured from a fertiliser company by Frank Johnson to protect our wonderful parquet floor from the rough bastards who kept on dropping their letterpress printing formes on the floor.
The parquet floor was totally impractical for a Machine Room and soon started breaking up.
In the words of Brian James, Government Printer, “this is the largest parquet floor in the Southern Hemisphere”.
YEAH! So what…OK for a Ballroom but hopeless for a heavy work area.
Caxton 1947.

Old Guv Wayzgoose, 5 March, 1887.

This is another in the series of ornate Wayzgoose Programmes from the Government Printing Office, Adelaide, South Australia.
This Outing must have been a real big undertaking for the male staff of the Old Guv.
This Wayzgoose was held at the Temperance Hotel in Murray Bridge.
The name of the Hotel is a bit weird as the Temperance Movement was anti booze. If anyone out there can provide an explanation feel free to comment.
Rod Parham

“The Old Guv.”

oldguv03-scaled1000This is a beautiful shot looking down King William Road towards The River Torrens.
You’ll notice that the the Old Guv is still by itself, no Parliament House yet.
That makes it before 1936 and by the look of the road transport some time before that.
Is that an early version of the City Baths next to the Guv or some other Building?
The picture is from an Adelaide Postcard kindly provided by Kym Frost.

History of the Old Guv, 1849-1974.

Explanation: I have been asked what was the structure on the right hand side of the Old Guv, in the above picture (the one with the curved roof).
After consulting Grant Hofmeyer, I have been told it was a railway shed and was termed Commodius Freight Accommodation by the Railways. Which means in plain English that it was a Large spacious shed.
The first printing press which landed with the Free Settlers of South Australia in late 1836 was a Stanhope (hand driven) Press, which was located in a crude tent occupied by the Thomas family on the North Bend of the “Paddywallunga” River at Glenelg.
The Stanhope Press was owned by Mr Robert Thomas and Mr George Stevenson, Secretary to Governor Hindmarsh, the State’s first Governor.
The Act of Proclamation and first Government Gazette had been printed in England some six months before the Settlers arrived. The Proclamation Ceremony was held at the Old Gum Tree, at Glenelg in December, 1836.
The Captain of the ship that landed the Stanhope Press felt the metal type on board would make perfect ballast for his crossing of the treacherous Tasman Sea to Hobart.
A frustrated Robert Thomas was finally re-united with his precious cases of metal type  some time after the first landing.
In June, 1837, the second edition of the Government Gazette and Colonial Register was produced. At that time the Printing Office had been moved to Hindley Street, Adelaide.
The first official Government Printing Office was established in 1849 with William Caddy Cox as Government Printer. It was housed in a low single storey brick building behind the Supreme Court Office in Victoria Square.
The original staff  compromised three men, a boy and a horse.
A new Printing Office was built behind Old Parliament House in 1867 (the Old Legislative Council Building) comprising a basement and ground floor. By now the presses were steam driven.
In 1879, William Caddy Cox retired and was succeeded by Emmanuel Spiller as Government Printer. In 1885, a third storey was added to the building.
The Comps. Strike: The records of the Printing Union in South Australia show that a strike occurred in 1876 when a number of men were paid below what was considered to be the basic rate for Compositors at that time.
The Comps. finally returned to work when the State Secretary-General and the Adelaide Typographical Society brokered a deal. Emmanuel Spiller died in 1888, and former Apprentice and Compositor Henry Leader was appointed the new Government Printer.
Leader proved to be a popular Printer, however, he  died in in 1890. Charles Bristow was then appointed Government Printer.

The 1902 Wayzgoose: The Wayzgoose was a Printer’s Picnic generally held on a Saturday for the Tradesmen and Boys. On 1 March, 1902, the drags left  the Office in King William Road and begun their journey to Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.
The Pubs they dropped into en route were the Eagle-on-the-Hill, Stirling West Hotel, German Arms Hotel and the Union Hotel in Hahndorf.
After a wonderful dinner and a day’s entertainment at Jackson’s Hotel, Mount Barker (including a cornet solo) they finally made their way back to Adelaide leaving Mount Barker at 6 p.m.
Hansard Production: In 1914 the Government Printing Office was given responsibility for the production of Hansard (Parliamentary Debates) which up until then had been done by the newspaper  proprietors in Adelaide.

Three new Intertype Hot Metal Typesetting Machines (English version of the Linotype) were purchased and set up in a newly remodelled section of the Old Guv.
The administration and Office sections were also expanded at that time.
Kent Town: In 1965, a temporary annexe was set up out at Kent Town to  undertake hand binding and ruling work. This operation employed  a number of women and trade bookbinders.
Goodbye to the Old Guv: In late 1973, the Government Printing Office in King William Road  and the Kent Town site were moved to the Netley Complex on Marion Road, Netley  (South Western  suburb of Adelaide).
In 1974 the Old Guv Building which held so many wonderful memories and had stood for over 100 years was brutally ripped down to make way for the construction of  the Adelaide Festival Theatre.
Rod Parham

Old Guv Footy Side,1955.

gpd-footyThe 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.