Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: December 2018

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

THE OUTBACK AND ALL THAT: Why I loved the inland part of Queensland

FRANK MORRIS

REWARDING: “My association with the Bushies” has always given happiness.” Below: “Without the “Bushies” some of the situations could never have eventuated.”

“After 34 years, I called it a day,” said Sir Sydney Williams. As Chief Executive, of the Queensland-based airline, he’s had the chance to “seek out” some new and exciting destinations. The one that struck him the most was the outback region of the state.

“My association with the ‘Bushies’, the Bush Pilot Airways, has given me happiness of a very rewarding nature! I’ve seen the joys of Outback mums and dads being serviced by a single engine Ausler and Tiger Moth to service 15 cattle stations and Aboriginal Communities in one day.

Homemade airstrips were almost at the front gates, and there was Mrs Hayles of Musgrave Station waiting with tea and scones.

OUTBACK PRIVILEGE

In return, all Mrs Hayles wanted was some link with “the outside world” and “an urgent supply of mail” for the kids who were doing correspondence courses on the popular and easy-to-listen to School of the Air.

“To be associated so closely with people of the Outback is in itself a great privilege. And my love for those people of those vast and open spaces has guided my footsteps for most of my life.”

Sir Sydney William believes that “without the Bushies and its people some situations could never have eventuated.
“Things like these could not be done alone.”

<< Queenslander Magazine of Air Queensland, January 1987.


FILM GREAT: Fatty Finn, comic ‘king’, zooms into film world!

FRANK MORRIS

PIN-UP: POP ORDELL STARRING AS FATTY FINN IN THE KID STAKES. Below: ONE OF THE MANY THEATRES SHOWING THE KID STAKES. Below: FATTY BEING TOLD OFF BY A CRANKY STORE-KEEPER.

“2FC speaking … listen folk! The greatest race of the year is about to start.” It was a billycart derby. An excitable radio announcer was cheering on the goats and riders. This coveted race, critic Judith Adamson says,” earned the film’s racegoers title”.

The first Australian comic strip character to be elevated to film stardom was Fatty Finn. Chief kid-staker Fatty, and his gang of weedy lads, made their debut in Kid Stakes in 1927. “Kid Stakes brings back the Sydney of the 1920s,” said the defunct weekly-pictorial, Pix. “They were all on parade; the ragged urchins, the brawling and the free-fisted characters of the waterfront.” Aside from Fatty, there were Headlight Hogan, Bruiser Murphy, Algie Snoops, and many others, and Hector the goat.

Kid Stakes has been described as “a happy, irreverent piece of suburban Australiana with series of lunatic subplots”.
The film was shot entirely on location at Wooloomooloo, Potts Point and Rockhampton, Queensland, which was a region, at the time, teeming with goats.

Created by Sydney Wentworth Nicholls, Fatty first appeared in the Sunday News in 1923 as Fat and his friends.
Nicholls changed the title to Fatty Finn in 1924.

Kid Stakes, still hailed as “the film that everybody loves”, is today considered somewhat of a classic.
“The director, Tal Ordell, showed unusual skill in translating the new medium of comics into live action film, “writes comic buff and collector John Ryan in his book, Panel by Panel.

NEVER CHANGE STYLE

Nicholls never changed his style of drawing. For fifty years he went on drawing the strip in exactly the same 1920s style, till his untimely death in 1977.

Writes Ryan: “By the late 1920s Fatty Finn had become, perhaps, the most visually pleasing strip in (Australia).
“Nicholls” fine draftsmanship and experimentation with long sweeping panels and tall, column-like frames were complemented by vibrant colouring.”

In the late 1920s, Nicholls published the Fatty Finn Weekly. Containing eight pages and selling for a penny, it is today recognised as the first comic book published in Australia.

Fatty Finn was later published in the Sunday Guardian from 1934. When the Guardian folded the strip re-emerged in 1951 in the Sun-Herald. And there it stayed until May, 1977, when Nicholls died.

The comic was set in the 1930s when times were tough and kids wore hand-me-down clothes.

Monty Wedd, one of Australia’s leading black and white comic artists (Bold Ben Hall, The Making of Australia, Captain Justice), worked with Nicholls in the halcyon days of comic book publishing.

In an interview in 1980, Wedd told me that Nicholls “was a dinky di Australian”.

“He was a real Australian in every way. He just loved his country and everything about it.

“To my mind Nicholls was a legend. And Fatty Finn was the King comic of its day.”

(Fatty Finn was remade in the early 1980s starring Ben Oxenbould as Fatty, Bert Newton, Noni Hazlehurst, Gerard Kennedy and Lorraine Bayly.)

<< Grand Years.


BERNARD LESER: He was the creator of Vogue Australia

FRANK MORRIS

THREESOME: CONDE NAST, CENTRE, WITH DOROTHY PARKER AS HE DISCUSSES SOME OF THE FINER POINTS OF A MAGAZINE FEATURE. Below: THE PERSON WHOSE NAME IS ENGRAVED ON VOGUE AUSTRALIA, BERNARD LESER. Below: FIRST ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA PUBLISHED IN 1964.

The CBD column in the Sydney Morning Herald implied that one of the shareholders of a certain media company was the “founder of Vogue, Bernard Leser.”

Really. No -- He was the FOUNDER of Vogue Australia, the magazine that would eventually become the blue-horse of the fashion world.

In 1959, to put the record straight, Leser established Vogue Australia for the US-based Conde Nast organisation.
The title made its inaugural appearance as a supplement inside the British edition of Vogue.

But as a glitzy title of the 1960s, Leser, it is reported, had a battle with the magazine.

UPMARKET BOY

Leser said readers were primed for a high-quality fashion magazine, but advertisers, propagandised by the influential mass-circulation Women's Weekly and New Idea, didn't realise they were paying for people who weren't interested in up-market merchandise.

The Conde Nast organisation in 1971 threatened to close the magazine. Leser formed a consortium and bought the business from Conde Nast.

By 1989, Leser sold the company back to Nast. The consortium “did well,” Leser said.

Arthur Baldwin Turnure, a New York socialite, founded Vogue in December 1892, as a fashion weekly for “the cultivated and money class.” In other words, the social elite.

The magazine's first editor, Josephine Redding, is credited with choosing Vogue as the title, with the assistance of the Century Dictionary (“the word “vogue” fitted her fledging to a T.”)

CONDE NAST

The entrepreneurial whiz kid Cone Nast (who in 1907, was business manager of Collier's at a salary of $40,000!) became a publisher in 1909 when he bought Vogue, three years after Turnure's untimely death, and turned it into “a synonym for elegance and style.”

When Nast took control Vogue had been published consecutively for 14 years, had a circulation of 14,000 copies and advertising revenue of $100,000 a year.

According to magazine historian, Theodore Peterson, Nast saw in Vogue “a chance to test his theory…that money could be made from a medium which efficiently brought together the buyers and sellers of luxury goods.

When the high-flying New York newspaper publisher Samuel Nowhouse bought 66 percent of Conde Nast publications in 1959 (as a thirty-fifth wedding anniversary present for his wife Mitzi) Vogue's circulation had grown to about 500,000 and its advertising revenues were $8.4 million.

British Vogue started in 1916 when the submarine menace prevented the import of the US edition; and French Vogue started in 1922.

<< Grand Years.


VALE OF TIMES PAST: The King is dead, long live the Queen

SPLASH: KING GEORGE DIED.

The year is 1952. “The King died peacefully in his sleep early this morning.” Before he retired last night, he appeared to be in his usual health. Princes Elizabeth, his eldest daughter, now becomes Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen is in Kenya and will leave by air for London and is expected to cancel her planned tour. Before the King died, she was expected to sail from Mombasa to Australia and New Zealand. Adapted by Frank Morris.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I HAD ANOTHER AMAZING TWELVE MONTHS. I HOPE YOU DO, TOO?

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 December 18

Aged Care: Woman will make our systems a “one-stop shop”

FRANK MORRIS

ALL-SEEING: JANET ANDERSON WILL MAKE SURE AGED CARE WILL BECOME A “ONE-STOP-SHOP”. Below: A ROLE THAT TAKES IN  ALL THE NOOKS AND CRANNIES OF THE SYSTEM.

An experienced health sector commissioner has been consigned to Australia’s aged care industry to oversee quality and safety. Ms Janet Anderson will manage the commission as it prepares to start the “intensified compliance monitoring” from January 1.

The report says, “The nation’s first commissioner will lead the new and independent aged care quality safety commission.”

OPERATE ON $300M A YEAR

Ms Anderson’s appointment will usher in a new era for aged care.

The report says, “She will oversee the approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.” The aged care providers will report directly to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.

The commission will operate a budget of almost $300 million across four years, employing dozens of additional senior compliance offecers. The report says, “Unannounced re-accreditation audits, which have been law since July 1, are set to jump from 263 this year to almost 900 in 2019.”


VALE: Scott Dillon – His amazing ride made surf history!

FRANK MORRIS

THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME: DILLON PADDLED OUT GINGERLY TO MEET THE BOMBORA’S “HEAVY”, AS HE PREPARED TO TAKE OFF ON THE MISSION OF TRIUMPH. Below: THE NEWSPAPER WENT AND SPLASHED THE BOMBORA STORY OVER TWO PAGES. Below: SCOTT DILLON.  Below: AN EARLY ‘KILL’ FOR SCOTT DILLON WAS THIS ‘HEAVY’ FROM PANAMA.

He was a larger-than-life character. He was good at driving stock cars, boxer, traveller, adventurer and inventions.  But he would always be a your mate and best buddy. He was a down-to-earth family man.

Scott Dillon, the man who came across as somebody who cannot be destroyed, died peacefully at 9.15 on Tuesday night (December 11.)

He was one of the pioneers of the Australian surfboard industry in 1960.

One of his closest friends was well-known surf photographer Jack Eden. Eden, together with Scott Dillon and Norm Casey, became partners in the surfing magazine Surfabout.

Eden knew what sort of a big-wave rider he really was. At Bare Island, he captured Dillon on a breaking 18-foot wave in 1963. The wave grew in size at an alarming rate, but it was his moment of triumph.

Dillon was the first surfer to crack a huge “death wave” at the Bombora at Botany Bay.*

THE MECCA

But being an expert photo-leman’s, Eden had positioned himself just above Dillon and followed him all the way. That was one, as it turned out, of the “most amazing” rides in surf history.

In a matter of years, he had established a reputation as a top-ranking custom builder.

His factory was located at Brookvale in 1959, but his reputation spread all over Sydney. With legends like Barry Bennett, Gordon Woods and Bill Wallace, Dillon co-founded the Australia surfboard building fraternity during that time.

Brookvale soon became the mecca of the surfboard industry. Dillon could shape any type of board specified by the customers.

In 2004, Dillon was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame.

Dillon was born in 1928. He was 90 when he died.

As Dillon would say, “Surf’s up, have a go,”.

Frank Morris comments: The bombora episode happened when I was editor of Surfabaut magazine in 1963. Surfabout was the only magazine to have the story. It was my first sighting of Scott Dillon. He was definably a brilliant, self-controlled surfer. We did a spread called Bare Island Bares its Teeth, which turned out to be a runaway success. I can still recall what it said: “At last, the spell is broken, as Scott Dillon moves off on the first “heavy” ever ridden at Bare Island.” The Sun newspaper, Sydney, ran the story. I finished working at Surfabout late in 1964. The new publisher had me write the editorial and a brief history of the major surfboard manufacturers in Australia.


REV JOHN FLYNN: Mrs Flynn of the inland prepares for an outback holiday!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

HAVING LUNCH ‘OUTSIDE’: WHAT A DAY? MEMBERS OF THE FLYNN BRIGADE HAVE LUNCH BENEATH A TREE NEAR THE ABODE. AT RIGHT: LOUNGING IN COMFORT, ARE MRS FLYNN AND HER HUSBAND THE REV JOHN FLYNN.  Below: TRYING TO CRANK OUT SOME MESSAGES.

Mrs John Flynn, wife of the Rev John Flynn, said “the Inlanders are cheerful souls … they never complain.” Mrs Flynn prepared to join her husband and umpteen kids back from a city holiday. On her way, she shared the hazards of the natural outback.

“My husband brought a party of children from Trekelano, 40 miles out of Cloncurry, and 1300 miles to Brisbane for a holiday.

“While he was there he suggested to the Education Department that if they would send out a teacher and equipment the people at Trekelano would build a school. I helped him to take the children home. They travelled in the back of the truck.

“We took two weeks over the trip. Rain held us up for three days at Blackall, and two days at Longreach. When we got back the school was built. A surprise for the padre. The children outback are fine specimens, though they never have milk or butter in the summer; and vegetables can only be grown in the winter.

FENCES ARE FEW

“They take so kindly to corned meat that when every few weeks a bullock is killed and they have fresh meat for one day they don’t like it at all. I know the country where our only woman Flying Doctor, Jean White, was lost for some days last year.

“Everything is so flat that the country looks like a faint mist haze from the air. There are no land marks. The Inland is so vast and surprising. I hearda woman outback talk about a ”bit of a holding” that was for sale. I asked how big it was. She said, ‘Three hundred square miles.’

“Fences are few. The cattle are kept together by water bores, but the sheep country does have fences.
“One time up on Cape York Peninsula I saw a man digging post-holes. He said he was helping to fence a paddock. The paddock was 250 square miles.

<< Australian Women’s Weekly, October 21, 1939.

NEXT: After 34 years I’m calling it a day. Sir Sydney Williams talks about what it’s like to live in the outback.


CANBERRA: Australians – look at these facts! Even the national capital will blush!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

HOLY GHOST!: COULD THE NATIONAL FILM AND SOUND ARCHIVE IN CANBERRA BE THE GHOSTLIEST PLACE IN AUSTRALIA? IT’S SPINE-TINGLING, DON’T YOU AGREE.

Haunted Halls: The National Film and Sound Archive, according to a local legend, Tim the Yowie Man, is one of the most haunted buildings in Australia. For spine-tingling explorations, walk the halls and look for the intriguing Picnic at Hanging Rock exhibition or be mesmerised by the case of missing Prime Minister Harold Holt, who vanished without a trace in 1967. Oh, Canada, you shouldn’t have: The famous 39-metre, 7 tonne flagpole … at Regatta Point was a gift from Canada to Australia in 1957. The Australian flag flies year-round, except on Canada Day, July 1, when the Maple Leaf is flown. Meeting Place: Canberra means ‘meeting place’. This is derived from ‘Kamberra’ in the language of the Ngunnawal people. Sister Act: One of Canberra’s sister cities is Nara, Japan, which is famous for its ancient shrines, and also for its brief tenure as that nation’s 8th century capital.

<< Time-Out publication.

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME! THERE’S A LOT DO … YOU’VE GOT PEOPLE TO HUG AND GREET, HANDS TO SHAKE AND TO WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 December 18

GAMBLERS: Are you a risk taker? I can’t lose, trust me!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WATCH OUT!: REMEMBER, IT TAKES ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD TO BECOME A TRUE GAMBLER. SO, HOW DO YOU RATE YOURSELF. Below: IF GAMBLING IS A PROBLEM, SEE YOUR GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS CONSULANT. Below: A BANK OF POKIES CAN BE A PERSON’S WORST ENEMY.

Why do you gamble? If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand. Nothing can compare with the thrill of the big score, or the excitement as you set your mind against your opponent’s.

Both of you trying to bluff, or double bluff; while searching for a clue to what other person is thinking. It’s better than any sport or game because you’re in control – maybe. That sense of chaotic control is really what makes you a gambler!

Just like the games you play, your interest revolves around two concepts: fun and profit. Depending on personal preference – one may dominate your particular style. But there is a daredevil in every gambler.

Gamblers, as a group, lack structure. In fact, most of you are skilful and individualistic. You win respect through skill and style. That means, if you lose it, lose with flash. Unfortunately, if a style is copied, it loses its flair, hence the streak of individuality.

PROBLEM GAMBLERS

Getting into gambling is incredibly easy. At least, that’s what most people would think. In reality, they’re nowhere close to being a true gambler. The second problem is, which few realise, is that you have to win to be a true gambler. This takes SKILL and LUCK.

If you prove that you are of a certain quality, this will allow you entrance into the special room. This is where the true gaming gets under way. It was when your standard bluff and strategies were inadequate that you knew you were finally dealing with opponents of fine calibre. That’s when you knew they had accepted you.

To leave gambling is not easy to do. Gamblers exist on a continuum and most us will fall somewhere on the pathway to: non-gamblers, social gamblers, heavy gamblers, problem gamblers and pathological gamblers.

So – how do you rate yourself?

If you’re a problem gambler, for instance, then this is usually when an individual’s gambling is out of control and it begins to cause personal, social and occupational reasons to become a problem. Deal with the problem and then comes the solution. This will, of course, take time.

ADDICTED TO GAMBLING

If the answer is “yes” to any of these question, you may have a serious problem:

Have you ever tried to cut back or even stop gambling? Have you ever borrowed (or stolen) money; or had a financial predicament as a result of your gambling? Do you feel high when gambling; depressed after losing; anxious or irritable when not able to gamble? Have you felt guilty about your gambling? Has anyone ever told you that you that are addicted to gambling?

The advice you should have been given is: go to your doctor; or go and see a Gamblers Anonymous consultant in your area.

<< Problem Gambling, Griffith University, NSW.


SPECIAL HOME-CARE: Christmas, not Xmas, should be the joyful celebration of the day!

FRANK MORRIS

STOP IT! LET US ABOLISH ‘XMAS’.

Xmas, as a would-be abbreviation for Christmas, does not conjure up in any way the period when Christ was born in Bethlehem. There’s nothing joyful at all about the word. It doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, reflect the spirit, the custom, the celebration, the tradition, or, sadly, the Gospels at Christmas.

Only an insipid (but creative) mind could have been responsible for dreaming up an implausible word. Everything in our power must be done to have it expunged from the English language.

STAMP IT OUT

Let us have a word that symbolises the ‘great light’ that people witness as they walked toward it in darkness on that special day.

And the word is … “Christmas”.

<< Abbreviated version from the A-Z Health Guide for adoutsenior.com.au


AUTHORS: 100 years ago -- The Magic Pudding book first went on sale

FRANK MORRIS

CHARACTERS ALL: THEY’RE CENTENARIANS GOING FOR A WALK IN THE PARK. ALBERT, THE MAGIC PUDDING, IS HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING UP. Below: THE FIRST MAGIC PUDDING BOOK – OLD BUT YOUNG. Below: THE MAGIC PUDDING – RELEASED WITH THE ANIMATED FILM IN 2000.

Norman Lindsay’s offbeat children’s story about the picaresque adventures of Albert the cantankerous Puddin’, and his friends, has been in print since it was first published by A & R in 1918.

The book took Lindsay nine months to write.

As the author moved towards its completion, he wrote to George Robertson in mid 1917: “I have finished the last slab of “Pudding” and thank God for it, for I’ve had a bellyful.

There is quite as much effort and invention needed to write nonsense as to create more pretentious works, and the stimulus is apt to flag.”

The Magic Pudding is highly valued and much sought after world wide by collectors’ et al.

In the 1990s, a first edition belonging to noted war historian C.E.W. Bean fetched $2100 at auction.

CANTANKEROUS PUDDIN'

Norman Lindsay is the most collected person in Australia, according to the late bibliophile, Walter Stone.  Stone once remarked that one “acquires” rather than “collects” Lindsayana.

A Commemorative Edition was issued in 1987; the Australian Children’s Classic edition in 1990; and a miniature edition, containing one section of the original text, in 1982. This 1924 edition varied slightly from the first edition.

In 2008, another version was published, more like The Magic Pudding of old.  This time the illustrations were rescanned and the page size was much like the original, in 1918.

An animated version of Norman Lindsay’s 1918 children’s classic The Magic Pudding, with an all-star cast, came to life on the big screen in December 2000, with the English actor John Cleese voicing the part of the cantankerous puddin’, Albert.

The film was produced by Energee Entertainment, a local film and television production house.  The animated characters were largely based on the Norman Lindsay drawings from the book.  The book of the film is signed by the actor who voiced ‘Bill Barnacle’, Hugo Weaving.

The story was described by the filmmakers as much “like the Magic Pudding – a resource that never runs out.”


CANBERRA: Visit one the youngest capital cities in the world

FRANK MORRIS

UP, UP AND AWAY: CANBERRA SUMMERS ARE FILLED WITH CRISP MORNINGS AND ARE JUST PERFECT FOR HOT AIR BALLOON RIDES. THE BALLOON SPECTACULAR FILLS THE CITY SKIES AS MORE THAN 30 HOT-AIR BALLOONS, FEATURING SOME STUNNING PATTERNS AND BIZZARE SHAPES, COME FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE CITY. Below: FOUR STIMULATED FOLKS REACH THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. Below: THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF CANBERRA, THE NEW CAPITAL, IN 1913.

Lonely Planet has rated Canberra third on its Best in Travel 2018 list of cities.

“This is the highest ranking an Australian city has ever achieved on the Lonely Planet list since its inception,” the team said. “It reveals just how unfairly overlooked the city has been. Canberra now boasts exciting boutique precincts with gastronomic highlights and cultural most-does.

“As one of the world’s young capital cites you might think Canberra has some catching up to do. It now a repository for national treasures, and a place where nature intrudes elegantly into urban spaces,” the Lonely Planet said.

Much of the charm and appeal of Canberra lies in its natural beauty. There’s dozens of picnic spots set in verdant, open spaces; while trees litter parks and line streets. Canberra is no longer a place for imposing buildings full of politicians and bureaucrats. Far from it. The Canberra of today has a vibrancy all of its own.

When you came to Canberra, do yourself a favour: leave time to explore some of a city’s many attractions. Canberra is a place for seasons, and reasons.

Here are some things you didn’t know about Canberra. Others will be published next week.

Marion Mahony Griffin: While her husband Walter Burley Griffin takes all of the credit for creating the designs for Canberra, it was Marion Mahony Griffin, artist and architect, who drew and presented the winning plans to the panel of assessors.

Phar Lap’s BIG heart: Phar Lap’s unusually large heart is on display at the National Museum of Australia. It weighs a whopping 6.35kg – that’s 1.5 times the weight of an average thoroughbred racehorse heart.

Gone-broke: When the government invited the people of Australia to nominate suitable names for their new capital in 1913, the public responded in good humour. And names like Kangaremu, Sydmelperadbrisho, Swindleville, Gone-broke and Caucus City getting a run for their money.

Einstein angles: At Questacon, there’s an impressive 3D sculpture of Albert Einstein on view. But look at it from a different angle and you’ll discover a completely different image.

Run it up the flagpole: The Australian flag that flies over Parliament House 24 hours a day is a big one. It’s roughly the same size as a double-decker bus and it weighs 22kg. It takes three people to change over, and this happens once a month.

Next: Five more things you must know about Canberra.

<< The Lonely Plant; Time Out; Frank Morris.


NOW OPEN: It’s on at David Jones, for kids only!

DIFFERENT SHAPES: SOME OF THESE MARVEL-ITES ARE KIDS BEST FRIENDS!

Disney, Star Wars and the Marvel characters are right in the heart of Sydney. That’s right!  All kids have the awe-inspiring chance to explore, learn and create. It’s also a world of storytelling for the young and the young at heart. All you have to do is this: Go to a magical one-of-a-kind destination. You’ll be taken to Level 9 Elizabeth Street – David Jones. For kids only.

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 December 18

SHORTS: This is one of the most famous names in British aviation

THE GOLDEN AGE OF FLYING.

FRANCIS ROLLEY

MEN OF HISTORY: THIS HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH WAS TAKEN NEAR LEYSDOWN, ON THE ISLE OF SHEPPEY, IN 1909. IT WAS THE YEAR IN WHICH THE WRIGHT BROTHERS PLACED A CONTRACT WITH SHORTS FOR THE MANUFACTURE OF SIX BIPLANES. DESCRIPTION OF THE PHOTO AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STORY. Below: SHORTS’ OWN DESIGN WINNER OF ONE THOUSAND POUNDS. Below: A SIMILAR DESIGN TO THE WINNER BUT RELEASED 12 MONTHS LATER.

This article was written in 1988 just after Shorts was being considered by a major Australian airline. Back in 1938, the high-powered Qantas-Sutherland flying boats were to undertake the nine and a half days day trip from Southampton to Sydney, landing at Rose Bay, the site of the Sydney’s first international airport. As a promotional brochure advertising the Sydney service said, “it was an era when travel was new, exciting and glamorous.” – Frank Morris.

The headquarters of the  Shorts organisation is now located at Belfast, in Northern Ireland, where the company operates a design and production complex which is one of the best equipped of its kind in Europe.

A broad-based  work program is concentrated in three main areas: aircraft, aerostructures,  and missile systems.
Aircraft activity covers the whole area of design, development and manufacture of  the company’s own aircraft projects.

These include the highly successful 360 36-seat and 330-seat wide-bodied regional airliners and the Skyvan STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) light transport, as well as the new C-23 Sherpa multi-role freighter and the Shorts Tucano  turbo-prop military trainer, all of which are in world-wide service.

In recent years Shorts has greatly extended its international commitments by undertaking the manufacture of major aircraft components for other producers in Europe and America.  They have specialised particularly in the business of jet engine nacelle production.

Major companies with which Shorts have collaborated include Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas, Pratt & Whitney and Rohr in the United States, while teaming up with British Aerospace, Fokker and Rolls-Royce in Europe.

GUIDED WEAPONS

In the missile field, Shorts has for many years been acknowledged for its expertise in close-up guided weaponry.  The company’s current range includes the Javelin and Blowpipe man-portable shoulder-launched systems and the Seacat ship-to-air/surface missiles.

The company also claims the distinction of having supplied guided weapon systems to more countries than any other British manufacturer.

The history of the Shorts oganisation dates from April 1901 when brothers Oswald and Eustace Short first set up business at Hove in Sussex as manufacturers of aerial balloons.

Within  two years they had moved to a larger workshop in London, and in 1906 they transferred to still larger premises at Battersea.

FIRST PILOTS LICENSES

In 1908 they were joined by the eldest Short brother, Horace, and the following year began construction of their first heavier-than-air machine.

In the same year the brothers were awarded the contract by Orville and Wilbur Wright for the manufacture of six biplanes under licence.  These were constructed in a new factory at Shellbeach on the isle of Sheppey, and in them members of the Aero Club gained the first pilot’s licences to be issued in the United Kingdom.

In October 1909 a biplane built to Shorts’ own design gained a prize of 1,000 pounds for the first British aircraft to fly a circular mile,

The brothers had now moved decisively into a new era of powered flight and within  five years their rapidly increasing workload had twice necessitated transfer to larger premises.

From these beginnings the company has risen to become one of the most famous in British aviation, pioneering designs and production techniques which have been adopted throughout the industry, producing a long line of famous aircraft and forging an unbroken link between the first ‘stick-and-string’ pioneers and the supersonic world of the 1980s.

PHOTOGRAPH: Group included Oswald, Horace and Eustace Short (second, third and fourth, back row); in the front row (from left) are J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon (later Lord Brabazon of Tara), Wilbur and Orville Wright and C.S. Rolls, co-founder of Rolls Royce.


FAITHFUL SERVICE: Shorts company served Australia for 70 years!

A SPARTAN LOOK: THIS BUILDING SERVES AS THE FIRST AIRPORT FOR FLYING BOATS IN 1938 FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS.

In Australia the company became well known in 1938 when Qantas, in conjunction with Imperial Airways, the predecessor of British Airways, opened up the Southampton-Sydney air route.

Flying the famous Shorts Empire flying boats, the journey took 9 ½  days.

The final stages from Singapore, for which Qantas had responsibility, were via Surabaya in Indonesia, Darwin, Karumba, Townsville, Brisbane and finally Sydney.

After the war, during which the Shorts Sunderland was operated by the RAAF, Shorts flying boats were again operated by Qantas and others, including Ansett.

<< Airlines Magazine, November 1988.


FOODFROLICO: From Boxing Day to New Years Day – let cool cocktails do the work!

FRANK MORRIS

CENTRE OF THE WORLD: SAN FRANCISO SERVES A MIGHTY COCKTAIL CALLED … SAN FRANCISO. Below: CHAMPAGNE PUNCH … IT HAS A HABIT OF LAYING A PUNCH. Below: SAY HELLO TO JACK … YOU’LL LIKE HIS COCKTAIL.

After the Christmas dinner meltdown, Wine Guide said, you’ll be needing some cool cocktails to tide you over the limbo. Said the Wine Guide, “the emphasis in on long drinks so any spirit base is eligible.

CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

250 ml brandy, 2 bottles of reasonable bubbly, 600 ml soda, 30 ml maraschino cherries, juice of 6 lemons, castor sugar.

Stir the lemon juice with ice, sweeten with sugar to taste, then add the rest of the ingredients. Garnish with cherries and serve in punch cups.

Mocktails – not all cocktails have to be lethal. Here are two suggestions for those who have to drive home afterward.

SAN FRANCISCO

50 ml orange juice, 50 ml pineapple juice, 1 egg white. Dash of grenadine, dash of orange bitters, soda water.                                                                                         
Shake all ingredients. To up with soda water and garnish with orange.

JACK THOMPSON

45 ml Clayton’s dry tonic, 40 ml ginger ale, 50 ml lemonade.

Combine in a long glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.

COCKTAILS: DID YOU KNOW?

Here are a few cocktail party conversation starters:

The archetypal  cocktail, the classic Martini, dates back to about the 1850s … Gin is used in at least 150 different cocktails … A US expert says a cocktail can be strong, seductive, shattering, sensual, swinging and even sentimental … When professional barmen pour ingredients, they “use the eye” so to speak … A State Tourism Minister’s favourite cocktail is a Pina Colada … “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker,” observed poet Ogden Nash, reflecting on how liquor, in some form or another, has been employed to breach maidenly defences … Madame de Pompadour said that, “Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it.” – Frank Morris.

<< Wine Guide; Frank Morris.


Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs have been together for 100 years!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

100 YEAR OF RAISING: NOT BAD FOR SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE. Below: MAY GIBBS … INNOCENCE WAS ALWAYS TRIUMPHANT.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, laconic Mr Lizard, the Big Bad Banksia men, Little Ragged Blossom, Mr John Dory, Miss Anne Chovey are names that roll out of memory and off the tongue like an invocation of Australian childhood.

Where every blossom holds a bush baby, newspapers are written in scribblybark, evil banksia men connive, wicked Mrs Snake lurks and innocence is always triumphant.

The wonderful world of May Gibbs.

FLANNEL FLOWER

Gibbs, artist and author, peopled the Australian bush with beings of her imagination instantly recognizable to all adults who as children were captivated by her books. Plump bare-bottomed gumnut babies in gumnut caps and gumleaf briefs with long blossom eyelashes, gnarled thick-lipped stubbly banksia men and wide-eyed flannel flower babies peering out of blossom cups.

Gibbs’ real world was Nutcote, the home she commissioned in 1923 from architect Bertrand Waterhouse in Sydney’s Neutral Bay.

She lived there until her death at 93 in 1969. She bequeathed the property to UNICEF, which sold it in 1970 for $80,000. (Today it is valued at millions of dollars.)

The May Gibbs’ Foundation opened Nutcote in 1994. Check website.

<< Adapted from Kate Halley’s longer version in Time, May 7, 1990.


TARONGA ZOO: When the modern animals meet up with the dinosaurs return

FRANK MORRIS

The rise of the Tarongasaurs. The dinosaurs will visit Taronga Zoo this summer. Make boredom extinct. Come face to face with the fearsome T-Rex. Kids, climb atop the Pachyrhinosaurus Dino. Keep cool with the spitting Dilophosaurus. Remember, kids, you’ll encounter 20 life-size, roaring and moving dinosaurs of all types and sizes.

Rise of the Tarongasaurs is FREE with Zoo entry. Check: taronga.org.au/dinosaurs

IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME! DRINK MODERATELY, EAT SLOWLY – IT WILL MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS A VERY MERRY ONE INDEED.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 December 18

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