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Location: New South Wales, Australia

Born in Yorkshire, raised in Australia. I love Poetry, Guitar (especially Spanish classical & Delta Blues), Tudor, Jacobean and Stuart England, Archaeology & good Ale. I edit The Flea & The Chimaera (with Peter Bloxsom), and Shit Creek Review

Friday, March 10, 2006

Some Royal George Denizens


?, Rick O'Hara, Terry Stanton, English Paul, Larry (Jesus), ? squatting - 1964, the Domain, Sydney. I was there when the photo was taken, but because of a recent brush with the law, I'd had my long hair cropped to a short-back-and-sides: and it was long-hairs only in the photo.

By the way, I think I have located Terry Stanton in this photo, labelled "Australian Actress Annie Marie Winchester [Anna-Maria Winchester], Putu Sugianta and Terry Stanton, inventor of the big bamboo sofa. 1980":

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from this site. It looks like the same chap and I know he has an Indonesian connection. I think I will be able to give more information on this in the future.

Back to 1964: waistcoats were very à-la-mode, and could be bought for a few pence at Paddy's Market. It was very hard to get work in 1964 if you were a male with long hair - many of us used to line up at "Camberg's Corner" (named after a carpet shop there)near Sydney's Central Railway at 7:00 am to be picked - or not - by Middlemass Pty Ltd for day labour to clean out industrial sites, mostly oil refineries. One attraction was that you could get your pay at the end of the day (rather than wait a week or fortnight) and head down to The George to spend it that very same night. So you had to go down again to Camberg's Corner next morning to get money for the next round.

The line-up was very popular too with winoes, derroes and alkies who had often been drinking at the early-openers since 5:00 am before rolling up to Camberg's Corner, or in some cases were well away on methylated spirits. But the Young Push lads kept separate from these and generally stuck to beer and methedrine tablets (yippee beans)- but only the night before, not in the early morning. You had to keep some standards!

Another favourite place for day-labour for long-haired Push members was the wharves, loading wool-bales. The railways would hire long-hairs as goods loaders or fettlers: I fettled at Darling Harbour goods yard (now converted to an entertainment precinct).

The Sydney Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board also hired long-hairs, and was very popular. But it had a policy that it would not hire the same person twice, so you had to sign up under aliases (I used poets - Shelley, Keats, Byron, Shakespeare etc). I did this 15 times, working a few weeks boodling or jack-picking (and once 176 feet underground on a concrete gang building a sewerage tunnel at Dee Why), collecting my money and buggering off to Kings Cross, Paddo or The George to resume bohemian activities again. This was a fairly typical pattern.

Conversation at the Artarmon Water Board depot:
Wages Clerk: Ahh, you're back again Paul. What name is it this time?

Me: Alfred Tennyson.

Clerk: And how long are we here for this time, Mr Tennyson?

This clerk was cool. He became fascinated by the stream of long-haired layabouts turning up every so often under various bizarre names, and took to coming down to The George himself for a while.

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Off to Kings Cross to resume bohemian activities: Looking down William Street to Kings Cross in the early 1960s. Note the Dunlop sign where the Coke sign is today. But if you look hard, you'll see the smaller Coca Cola sign underneath (Sydney Morning Herald)


Swiss Walter (back), seated Irene Smith? (I think) - a Jewish girl who with her (later) husband Keith Smith started Earth Garden magazine in 1972, Paul Stevens (in towel). Location: fisherman's hut near (I think) Bobbin Head which had big bunks inside - maybe a dozen from The Royal George were present, including Paul Clarke (Paul Adams, English Paul), Chris Owen, Terry Stanton, and Fran ?. 1964