Interesting times for the FiveStarVagabond
Melbourne Danger Drama Romance
Melbourne drama & romance in the mid 70s, it turned out to be a period of change & exceptional drama. I transferred from Adelaide to Melbourne with Sanyo, in 1973, lived there 2 years & met many new & interesting people, got engaged to a beautiful lady and narrowly escaped an attempt on my life.
Please note this is not part of my travel blog, it is my online photo album.
When an underworld gangster threatens your life it certainly gets your attention, but it couldn’t have been further from my mind as I turned my red E-type Jaguar into my street at 11pm on Saturday September 27 1975. My best friend Wolf Wottke and I had been at the piano bar at the Old Melbourne Hotel since 2pm discussing my predicament and trying to work out if the threat was real or imagined. That nine hour drinking session included my other best friend “Jim Beam” who in later years was replaced by “Jack Daniels”.
Not much gets past me, so the question was answered fairly quickly when I saw the three fire engines and two police cars parked outside of my smouldering home at 10 Wood St North Melbourne.
My first thought was “the house next door has had a fire”, my second thought was “Houston, we have a problem.”
My worst fears were confirmed when a detective opened the door of the Jag and I fell out onto the road, he looked down at me and asked “are you Mr Herd”?
“I certainly am” I slurred, and he said “well I have some bad news for you; there has been a fire in your home”.
So how did it get to this? Well it all started three years ago when I met a beautiful dizzy blonde at a party in Avalon in Sydney, my story about this meeting was told in another post, more details about how and why my house was firebombed can be found here.
Looking back all those years ago I could have lived without the Melbourne drama & focused more on the romance. 🙂
I sold my Adelaide home in Torrens Park
I had only lived in my lovely sandstone home at Lochwinoch Ave Torrens Park in Adelaide for seven months in 1973 when Ross Radford my boss at Sanyo Office Machines decided to transfer me to Melbourne as his State Manager. In many ways I was sad to leave Adelaide and all the friends I had made but it was a promotion with more money and prestige so how could I refuse?
You will laugh at the prices in those days, I paid $24,000 and sold it 7 months for $31,000. I also remember buying new cars for my sales reps, Holdens were $3,200 and my salary was $6,000 per year.
I still consider the two years I spent in Adelaide from 1972 were perhaps the most fun I have ever had in my entire life. 🙂 Arriving in Melbourne drama & romance were the last thing I expected, then again I guess the romance was not a surprise but the drama was.
Same house 40 years later in 2014
The house had not changed in all those years, seeing it certainly brought back some wonderful memories.
Lexton Grove Windsor
One of my lovely Adelaide girlfriends Jan Seegars came to visit me in Melbourne. I was renting a house in 15 Lexton Grove Windsor, just off Dandenong road & two blocks from Orrong Rd.
Here is Jan 50 years later in 2014.
Still looking very good. 🙂
Here we both are October 2014
We crossed paths again in Dromana in Victoria in October 2014 & shared lots of laughs about the great times we had in the 70s.
Lovely Lee Gregory.
I mentioned romance in my opening paragraph, and here is my most serious attempt at it. I met Lee in Adelaide and was thrilled to find she had moved to Melbourne. After a very short period when became engaged, after what seemed an even shorter period it came to an abrupt end. Her ex boyfriend from Adelaide was always lurking in the background and his influence won the prize, c’est la vie. 🙂
Lee & Baxter
Fiancée number 2, it would take 10 years before fiancée number 3 would appear.
Lee & I in Singapore in 1974
Melbourne Cup 1975
John Lawless & Ray Dodd at the Melbourne cup in 1975. Ray has owned the Keilor Hotel since he acquired it from his father in 1974.
George Dodd established the first school in Keilor, several years later Mathew Goudie opened a school in the Keilor Hotel. Mathew was a Scottish baker fro Ayr who had previously run a bakers shop in Bourke St. Mathew purchased the Keilor Hotel in 1862 for the sum of 1000 pounds, it had been built in 1849, succeeding a timber building erected in 1842 by the Hunter brothers. Georges son, John, married Mathews daughter, Mary, they had five children and established a farm called Brimbank (because the house was on the brim of the river bank). Today the areas of Keilor and Sunshire are the City of Brimbank.
After Mathew passed away another of his daughters, Jane, ran the Hotel to 1907 when the family decided to lease the Hotel out. Tough times followed with World war 1 and the Great Depression, John & Mary’s son Harry could remember collecting the money from the leasee and picking up 1 keg of beer from Bouverie St in his fathers horse drawn wagon, the keg could last 2 weeks before they had to make another delivery.
Post World War 2 prosperity returned to Keilor and to the only surviving hotel in the area (there were a dozen during the Gold Rush). Now the older generations of the Dodd and Goudie families had passed away, Harry preferred to remain a market gardener and it wasn’t until 1974 that Harry’s son Ray leased the Hotel from the family.
Melbourne Cup 1975, check the haircut. 🙂
After all it is nearly 40 years ago.
Think Big won the cup that year for the 2nd time in a row, think big was obviously also what the guy above was thinking when he combed his hair.
Angella Savic, Hank Wottke (RIP), Di Parkinson & Trevor Beach (RIP) in Adelaide.
Beechworth Victoria 1975
An absolute classic photo, check out the bell bottom jeans and my beautiful E-Type Jaguar. Di Parkinson, Phil Parkinson, Paula, Wolf Wottke & Angella Savic.
Beechworth Victoria 1975
A red E-Type & a great looking chick, what more could a fellow want? A haircut maybe. 🙂
Dianne Parkinson, great lady but a little bit crazy.
She was a terrific looking girl, totally crazy and a lot of fun. There is no doubt that no other woman in my life caused me more drama than Di. From the moment we met in 1971 and for the next 5 or 6 years she at times turned my world upside down. 🙂
Max was my service manager at Sanyo
Max also worked for MacDougalls LTD when I was transferred to Melbourne from Sydney in 1969, he worked for me when I returned to Melbourne with Sanyo in 1974. Looking back my Melbourne drama was one of the most dangerous events in my life, however apart than that, life in Melbourne was very good to me. I had a great job earning good money, a nice car and some interesting friends.
Melbourne Danger Drama Romance
Not quite Melbourne, in fact it happened in Adelaide. The Photo below was taken in Melbourne, now 40 years later in October 2014 I paid a visit to John in an Adelaide jail where he has spent the last 24 years.
John, Rosalyn & I
Taken at my home in Lexton Grove Armidale, what do you think about my classy shirt? This photo was taken 40 years ago in Melbourne in 1974. John Farquhar & Roslyn were friends of mine, John received the 2nd longest sentence in South Australia’s history, 3 weeks ago I paid him a visit in the Adelaide prison where he has resided for the last 24 years. Believe me when I say he looks nothing like he does in this photo, I guess I don’t either. I have no idea what happened to Roslyn. John was very good company, polite and interesting. However he had a wild streak and a total disregard for the law. He was also clever enough to have a solicitor for a girlfriend, her name is Natalie? She bought my E-Type Jag in 1979 & still owns it today. This may sound strange but in the 70s he was a very nice guy, but sadly an habitual criminal. Here is one very funny story I recall, he used his own white E-Type Jag as a getaway car after pulling a robbery. With the cops in pursuit he is firing bullets at them from the car. Now in Adelaide in 1974 there were only about 6 E-Type Jaguars in the city, John’s, my red one, my best friend’s green one an 3 others. Naturally the police tracked him down in no time at all.
I have just found out an old friend passed away in August 2016, one of Melbourne’s great characters, on many occasions I did enjoy “an ale with the Whale”.
Greetings from Thailand
It’s 2017 and I have been living in Thailand for 6 years. I’m planning to return in 2022 & find a little bolthole somewhere on the NSW coast close to the beach.
Here are some more posts to check out
That’s all folks
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