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Alf Adamthwaite

Our family lived on a property bordering Alf Adamswaite's in the early 1950's.  I was told it was a 'Church House' that my parents rented - in the middle of nowhere.  Dad (Ken Court) worked the sheep & did anything needed, while Mum (Chris) raised chooks & grew produce.  I was born in May 1953, my brother Andrew in 1956, & the family returned to the UK a year later.

 

Over the years I was told many funny stories about life in Quamby...one involved Alf himself:

 

At the time we had two cows, Myrtle and Daisy.  Daisy particularly liked to lick peoples' necks for the salt in their sweat.  This habit led up to an incident in the garden.

 

Just for a change, Mum was pegging out washing.  It was one of those days when you could hang things out and then, by the time you'd reached the other end of the washing line, you could start collecting them in again because they were already dry!  As she reached to peg something up, Mum felt a huge lick across the back of her neck.  Thinking it was Daisy up to her old tricks, Mum gently smacked her on the nose and told her to clear off.

Another huge lick followed and again Mum pushed the nose away and told her to buzz off. The third lick did it - as the tongue rasped it's way across her neck Mum turned to really tell Daisy off, but it wasn't Daisy!  It was the bull from the neighbouring property!

 

Mum told me that she dropped the laundry, ran towards the house, picking me up en route and got on the radio straight away.  Apparently she told Alf Adamswaite, the bull's owner, that the bull was 'terrorising' us and he was to come and 'rescue' us immediately!  Alf was a good sort and came over in his Ute to collect the bull.  'Terrorise'? - That was a bit of a joke - Alf just whistled, like you would to a dog, and the old bull ambled away behind his master, with Alf laughing as he went!

 

                                                                                    reproduced with kind permission from Gez's memoirs

 

 

and Elizabeth has told us another story about Alf ... seen below with his famous team

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some recollections submitted by Gez - whose family used to live near to the Adamthwaites in Quambatook in the 1950s

Well, it was the time for the Quambatook races.  Alf (aged about 15) would have loved to have gone, but races were a "no no" in the house of Alf's father Edmund.   Grandfather Joseph Adamthwaite, on arrival from Westmoreland, had done well at the diggings in Moyston, Victoria.  

Later, he bought the land at Quambatook, but he was not very successful as a farmer and even worse, lost large sums of money betting on horses.  So any race meeting was "out of bounds" for Alf .

 

However, one of the organisers, having seen that Alf was a capable rider, spoke to him about the excitement of the Cup, and went so far as cajoling Alf to enter the great race.  Thinking to himself "Dad would never know if I just had a ride",  Alf put his name down.

 

Alf rode the ride of his young life and won the Quambatook Cup !!    

         

 

Big decision - Where to hide the cup from Dad??     A high shelf in the outside toilet seemed to be a good place.  All was well - none of the family had been to the races so the event was not referred to in any way.

 

Unfortunately for Alf  the next morning's paper featured the headline

 

                                        "Young jockey wins the Quambatook Cup!"

 

The outcome can be left to the imagination.

 

 

 

 

There are more photos of the area around Quambatook (taken in 1932) in the  

Photo Gallery for the TEAL line

Alf with team

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