Cashbook and Claypan
Birdsville or Bust
East From Oodna
Alive in the Dead Heart
B-line for Birdsville
The Birdsville Pub
Hotel Tattle Tales
Queensland Bordertown's Famous Hotel
The fascia on the awning erroneously displays the hotel's full name in what must have been a touch of artistic licence by the painter F. McGinn. The facade of the pub had been drastically altered by the collapse of the front wall into the main street, an occasion still fresh in the memories of the CGG men. This obviously had an impact upon the artist as well. John Blaney-Murphy came through Birdsville again on CGG's next leave break and took the photograph now displayed in the bar, clearly showing the name left on the fascia was the fore-shortened "BIRDS".
Birdsville's Wall Street Crash
On this historic occasion twenty CGG workers occupied the 'drunk tank' and woke in alarm at 8am to find the side wall had collapsed into the street and they were being chirrupped by a crowd of native Australians who had gathered to sticky-beak among the broken bricks.
Happy Birdsville Pub Customers September 1963
The wall fell out into the street later that night. Putting the postcard and the other photos of the pub on this page into some perspective, the "D" in Birdsville is directly above the fourth post on the right along from the corner in the photos, whereas in the stylised postcard version, the whole "Birdsville Hotel" signage fits neatly inside those first four posts. It is a mere curiosity, for the artist's licence has the letters balanced better technically on the postcard, than they appear in the original CGG photos.
Efforts Well Worth Celebrating
This unfortunate lapse of memory resulted in the Leyland Bros labouring unnecessarily for twenty-one days through the northern part of the Simpson Desert and ultimately missing the top drawcard and landmark Poeppels Corner altogether.
Nothing much was heard of Ross Loader for a good 35 years by many of the CGG fellows. He partnered CGG supply truck driver John McFayden in a demolition business for some years but then left to work on the aboriginal reserves in the Northern Territory, where he managed co-op stores for the administration. That was until he suddenly turned up doing a stocktake at the Oodnadatta Hotel for the aboriginal owners at precisely the same moment six of his old cobbers arrived on their 1998 LROCV Vintage LandRover reunion crossing. It was a million-to-one chance meeting and much back-slapping and chiacking took place.
Birdsville's Desert Oasis
Norm had been talked into buying new-fangled bottles instead of the old steel cans. This was in the days before the advent of aluminium cans and the salespeople had told him that the bottles would cool down quicker, hold their cold longer and moreover, were unbreakable. All of that was a pretty formidable argument for Norm to toss, so he bought. I was at the pub waiting for him to dock and he alighted from the cabin to greet me. As we stood there together on his verandah eyeing the load and he said the clincher was the indestructability of the new bottles, I had reservations.
Undeterred, Norm dropped the first bottle he grabbed on to the verandah stones and it promptly exploded and showered us with beer. And another, and another. He became possessed with the need to find just one bottle that would bounce and I had to restrain him else he would have gone through the whole load.
John Blaney-Murphy Returns to Birdsville with the Race Crowd
A casual footnote on the card confirmed for me that John and Marg have always been ready with a kindness. They couldn't help volunteering on the turnstiles, collecting admission money for the RFDS from punters in the first hour or so each day of the race carnival. That's our John and Marg.
||Try the "with Malice a'Forecourt?" link and read what they did|
|Alive in the
||Thommo's Desert Report||The BeeGees Page|
|Coles Express Picks On a Pensioner||The Kid From Towra Point|
|Bulldozing a Desert||Trans National Causeway|
|Signwriter for the Simpson||The Long Haul|
|Simpson Desert Birdlife||French Line Circa 1979|
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