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not all board riders were boofheads – two bondi fables.

Early 1960.

Certain nuances of behaviour could be observed last century when the membership congregated in the sun outside the polio pit and one had to do with clothing. Observe pic on left and you will see piled under the cliff what appears to be clobber you’d have a hard time donating to Vinnies.

Well, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

That’s Col C leaning up against the door back there, which is locked, and Col’s job on the weekends was to (1) make sure the boards stored inside stayed there and none of Cornish’s mob slipped one out without asking the owner and (2) eyeball anyone attempting to add their clothes to the pile who didn’t have permission to do so.

Clubs have their rules.

Legend has it that Aub Laidlaw lost his hat in a gust of wind one Sunday afternoon while patrolling the south end and it blew all the way up to the door. When he came up searching for it he didn’t look under the pile and went away without it. Job done says Col.

The origins of the polio pit itself are unclear  … an old boat shed most agree, unused when the south end was abandoned by the clubbies for bigger premises up the beach.

Not so say others and they propose that when the Astra was built in the 1880’s a sewerage tunnel was extended from the hotel to exit under the cliff where the shed now appears. This quickly proved unsatisfactory and the Astra’s sewerage was diverted to the mainstream which ponded black and foul in the middle of the beach. However the tunnel remained in situ and was able to provide a dry and roomy passage from the back of the shed to an access trap door in the hotel cellar.

I have it from confidential sources that some early members of the South Bondi Boardriders were known to slip away up the tunnel from time to time, their return signalled by a distant rumbling as they rolled the keg back down for the club members’ furtive enjoyment.

You know it makes sense.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Geoff Rule #

    that was me Geoff Rule sitting against the door of the cave club house

    November 18, 2021
    • Terry Jenkings #

      Great to hear from you Geoff. I’ve got a Bondi Forever Hoodie for you but I can never get in contact with brother Tony to get it to you. I trust you are both well. Sadly, the old clubhouse is only a memory. Keep powering on and let me know when you are in Bondi again, it was great catching up last time.

      November 22, 2021
  2. Terry Jenkings #

    ” A dry and roomy passage “!!!!! Pete, your memory is going. It was damp with watery stuff oozing out of the wall . Polio Pit was an appropriate name for the hole in the wall….but, here we are still paying homage to the joint. Happy days, some great stories were told around the little grassed area where clothes were dumped.

    November 22, 2021
  3. Des O'Connor #

    And they reckon the cellar at the Hotel Bondi use to flood on a king tide!

    November 26, 2021

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