Sir Eric McClintock

Sir Eric McClintock


Another highly distinguished figure originally from the Upper Hunter Valley has recently passed away. I think his story is eminently worthy of recording for posterity?  I knew is brother Bernie quite well and also an earlier relative Dooley McClintock who lived in Scone.

LEADING political and business figures have paid tribute to Sir Eric McClintock, a prominent businessman and public servant, who died in Sydney on Tuesday at the age of 99.

The older brother of the late Muswellbrook Chronicle and Hunter Valley News editor Bernie McClintock was a senior adviser to Prime Minister Sir John McEwen and, as Assistant Trade Commissioner in the late 1940s and First Assistant Secretary for the Department of Trade in the 1950s, played an instrumental role in Australia’s trade and commerce policy, including tariff protection.

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Scone Bypass Contract Awarded

Email sent Thursday 26/04/2018 3:09 PM

From: Bill Howey <>

To: ‘’

Cc: ‘’; CURE Mark <>

Title: Positive Plaudits

Dear Phil, Mark et al

I have just received notification of the ‘Start of work on the New England Bypass of Scone’.

I am absolutely thrilled! I have watched the video fly-through animation of the bypass. It’s brilliant! I can hardly believe we have reached this stage of the third great transport infrastructure creation in our history. The building of the ‘Great North Road 1826 – 1832’ (Governor Darling) and the arrival of the Railway in 1871 (Governor Lord Belmore) are the other two. How lucky we are! I hope to stay alive long enough to witness the bypass in action!

I reiterate what I have written so many times before: that the Bypass when constructed and fully operational delivers all the outcomes we set out to achieve almost 20 years ago viz.:

  1. Remove heavy (and other) vehicles from Kelly Street
  2. Provide unfettered access for emergency vehicles (and other) East/West over the railway line.

Very many thanks indeed for your ongoing stamina, persistence and perseverance on our behalf. It only remains for me to convince my erstwhile ‘recusant’ colleagues on the UHSC that this is the optimal (and only) solution!

I am,

Yours sincerely,


W. P. Howey


PO Box 509

2 Shaw Street


Tel:         6545 1859            0408 685 296


Contract awarded for the delivery of the New England Highway Bypass at Scone

Featured Image: Kelly Street Scone courtesy of Scone Advocate


THE New England Highway Bypass at Scone is another step closer to reality. It’s another pivotal stage along the way which began with the establishment of Scone Traffic Action Group (STAG) in 2002. ‘Without a plan you plan to fail’. We came with a firm plan and some sound statistical reasoning.

Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce today announced the award of the construction contract to Daracon Group for the delivery of the project.

Mr Joyce said the two-lane highway bypass to the west of Scone will provide a vital link in New England’s road network and provide significant advantages to heavy vehicle operators in the electorate.

“This $120 million project is helping build a corridor of commerce in the New England from the Queensland border to Aberdeen and ultimately, on through to Newcastle and Sydney, and this bypass is a vital section of that,” he said.

“It works hand in glove with projects like the Tenterfield heavy vehicle bypass, the Bolivia Hill realignment as well as numerous other resealing and resurfacing works stretching the length of the New England Highway.

“I also want to thank local state member Michael Johnsen for the hard work he has done to help get this project off the ground.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the bypass construction will feature three bridges and provide major benefits to long-haul heavy vehicle operators and residents and visitors to the town.

“The Scone Bypass will remove a large number of heavy vehicles from the town centre and improve travel times and safety for all road users,” Mr McCormack said.

“Around 8,000 vehicles, including around 1,200 heavy vehicles, use the Kelly Street level crossing in Scone’s central business district every day.

“Substantially reducing these volumes of vehicles will provide huge safety and amenity benefits.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey, said the four-kilometre section of highway to be bypassed had a poor crash history with 26 crashes recorded in the five years to December 2015.

“The new bypass will help address rising road and rail volumes as well as associated safety issues,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Several design changes were made as a result of feedback received during the December 2015 environmental assessment. These changes will further improve road safety, connectivity and access for local businesses.”

New South Wales Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said construction was expected to start mid-2018 and be completed in late 2020, weather permitting.

“The Australian and New South Wales Governments will continue to keep the community and stakeholders informed as the project progresses,” Mr Johnsen said.

Access to the bypass would be at the north and south of Scone as well as at St Aubins Street with all access points accommodating all turning directions, providing an alternative route for road users wanting to travel across town unrestricted by rail operations and will be particularly important for emergency services.

The Australian and New South Wales Governments have committed $120 million to fund the New England Highway bypass of Scone.

Bobby Palmer & Nabinabah Breezette

Bobby Palmer & Nabinabah Breezette

Featured Image: One of the greatest performers of all time, Bobby Palmer & Nabinabah Breezette

Acknowledge Australian Stock Horse Society

In 1979 Bobby Palmer & Nabinabah Breezette won the World Championship Campdraft at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. In seven rounds they finished with three firsts, two seconds, an equal second and an equal third. This was her first Royal Easter Show and she certainly did not let the Palmer family down. As well as her win in the World Championship Campdraft she also won the Supreme Led ASH Exhibit of the Show, plus the Best Station Horse and second in the Working Horse.

Nabinabah Breezette had her name added to the Honour Roll of winners in the Warwick Gold Cup (‘Melbourne Cup’ of campdrafting) in 1981, a feat she repeated in 1984. She also repeated her success in the World Championship Campdraft at Sydney winning this event for five consecutive years from 1981 to 1985. For five years in a row she won the Best Station Horse at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, and was twice the Australian Bushman’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association National Campdraft Horse of the Yaer in 1983 and 1984.

Other outstanding awards that Nabinabah Breezette achieved were Supreme Ridden ASH at Sydney Royal Easter Show in 1981 and 1982, Supreme Led ASH at Sydney in 1979, Champion Campdrafter at Melbourne Royal Show in 1981 and 1983, World champion Campdrafter at Chinchilla in 1979, Australian Campdraft Champion at Coonamble in 1985, and the Reserve Champion Led ASH at the Melbourne Royal Show in 1981.

At the peak of her competition career Nabinabah Breezette was nearly unbeatable, and she truly wears the crown as the Queen of Australian Stock Horses. Australia has seen many great horses in many different disciplines but it is doubtful if any horse could match the performances of this great mare.

Nabinabah Breezette

Nabinabah Breezette

Featured Image: Nabinabah Breezette (Nabinabah the Gun – FS/ Nabinabah Comma – FM)

Acknowledge the Australian Stock Horse Society

In the undulating hills of the Upper Hunter Valley near Scone, Nabinabah Breezette was born on the 26th October 1973, on the renowned Nabinabah Stud. The owner of the stud Mr David Archibald gave employee Mr Bob Palmer the pick of the young horses on the property. Bob had been raised on Thornthwaite were he absorbed many of the formative skills from his father Jack who was an outstanding horseman. Many of the working horses at Thornthwaite were derived from Gibbergunyah stock. Nabinabah the Gun’s dam Serene was acquired by David Archibald from Thornthwaite. She was a daughter of Brown Girl by Gibbergunyah.

Bob Palmer’s choice was a little bay filly with a large running star which he named Nabinabah Breezette after her full sister Nabinabah Breeze, who was already a successful polo pony and winner of camp drafts.

Nabinabah Breezette began her show career at the Hunter Branch Show held at Scone in March 1976. She won the event for two year old fillies. As a three year old, Nabinabah Breezette was educated in the sport of polo. At her very first carnival in 1977 she won Champion Novice Polo Pony, and by the end of the season she was judged Champion First Season Polo Pony.

At the Rouchel Rodeo in November 1977 Nabinabah Breezette had her first start in a campdraft. She won the Maiden and Novice campdrafts and took out the top Cut Out awards in both events. At the Walgett Show in 1978 Nabinabah Breezette was entered in a Working ASH class for the first time and won the event.

See later Bob Palmer & Nabinabah Breezette

Nabinabah the Gun – FS

Nabinabah the Gun – FS

Acknowledgement to the Australian Stock Horse Society, Scone

Featured Image:  Nabinabah the Gun – FS with David Archibald

He was always used as a paddock sire at ‘Nabinabah Stud’ in Gundy NSW

David Archibald was a polo enthusiast and always tried to breed the ultimate polo pony. In the 1940s the Finlays of Thornthwaite Station, Scone were renowned for their polo ponies with many of them carrying the Gibbergunyah line.

David began to build his stud in the years following World War II, and tried to tap into recognised breeds. He was extremely lucky to obtain from Thornthwaite an outstanding mare, Serene. Serene was out of the Gibbergunyah mare Brown Girl. Serene’s sire Pantler was a winning TB by Pantheon, an outstanding racehorse and sire. Pantheon produced 26 Principal Race winners, with his most famous being the great Peter Pan, winner of the 1932 AJC Derby and the VRC Melbourne Cup in 1932 and 1934.

David joined Serene to Bob Mackay’s great polo pony and sire, Panzer (See: ) to produce Nabinabah the Gun – FS in 1957. Panzer played polo for Bob Mackay winning some of the biggest tournaments of the time, before it ill health forced Bob Mackay to retire from playing. Panzer was only 11 years old when Bob Mackay retired, and at that time he felt that Panzer was still reaching his peak, as every chukka he played was better than the last.

Panzer was by Panthom, who was by Pantheon, so Nabinabah the Gun – FS had this great sire on both sides of his pedigree. Panzer’s dam Nellie was by Kangon, whose dam Diffidence had won the Sydney Cup. Diffidence was also the grandam of Nellie’s dam Gooralai. Panzer is also the sire of another Foundation Stallion, Myra Bronze – FS.

The descendants of Nabinabah the Gun – Fs have proved wonderfully adaptive horses, not only now starring on polo fields but also excelling in campdrafting, polocrosse and show work. These horses are renowned for their beautiful shoulder, rein and headset. With over 8,000 descendants, Nabinabah the Gun – FS is the seventh most influential sire in the Australian stock Horse stud Book.

‘The Sewer of Social Media’

‘The Sewer of Social Media’

Featured Image: Mike Atherton

I swore I wouldn’t buy into this debate. However I’m motivated to do so following an excellent article by Mike Atherton in the London Times and ‘The Australian’.


‘Smith’s tears jolt for every father who has a son’.

Mike has also not been backward in coming forward; or where his sympathies lie. He is on the front foot in an ‘Odious stink of hypocrisy’. I don’t always agree with Mike Atherton. As with many other high profile media moguls there can be tsunamis of self-righteous indignation and nationalistic tub-thumping at times. Gideon Haig is my personal choice as a truly objective unsullied commentator.

However Mike Atherton included in his narrative on Steve Smith the following seminal vignette on the state of play with our ‘sporting’ social media:

 “To see the sewer of social media rising in indignation, swaying this way and that, changing opinion on the wind of every unverified fact was to recognise something deeply unpleasant in human nature”.

It’s a very percipient piece; and I agree! I’m still a firm ‘rejectionist’ when it applies to the so-called pusillanimous communication cesspit so accurately identified by Mike Atherton. Both the protagonists and antagonists aren’t held accountable for their opinions or accusations. It’s all so cowardly, tasteless and feeble! I have my own descriptors of this sort of activity: ‘egregious otiose ordure’ and the ‘captious caviling of the carping curs’.

It’s also a reflection of our society. In a state of high dudgeon I eventually resigned my beloved Gold Membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2015. I append my letter of resignation at the end of this submission. I have to say I was appalled by the attitude and behaviour of some in the members section of the SCG. They were identifiable as typical arriviste nouveaux parvenus of a certain genre, gender and generation. Maybe I’m just a ‘sanctimonious old flatulent’; as claimed by at least one of them? The actual verbatim accusation was much less polite! I identify it as declining standards in our society. Social ‘cricketing’ etiquette is a dead duck; excuse the unintended pun. No-one waits for the end of the over anymore as a courtesy while leaving a seat. Beer ‘swilling-and-spilling’ has become the ‘norm’.

If the purported egregious vile filth perpetrating as sanitised ‘sledging’ on the field is at least half true then I won’t be missing anything (see below)? For example I will not be supporting a worthy charity on the 3rd. day of the annual SCG Test as I have done in the past. The cause is noble; but the proponent is not!

Writing about yet another Wallaby defeat in ‘The Australian’ Monday 17th September 2017) Wayne Smith writes: “It’s the menacing anonymity of social media. Everyone can express an opinion but rarely is anyone held accountable for it”. Smith was writing about the egregious behaviour of a disgruntled Wallaby fan-post match following the loss to the Argentinian Pumas.

My very good friend trainer Pat Farrell from Muswellbrook has a much more basic and prosaic but equally profound philosophical purview: “Opinions are like a…..s; everyone’s got one”!

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“Veronica’s Bird”

“Veronica’s Bird”

Featured Image: ‘Veronica’s Bird’ Book Cover: Published by Clink Street Publishing 2018.

ISBN:     978-1-912262-61-8 Paperback     978-1-912262-62-5 ebook

Book Review (Publisher)

Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the Fifties, as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty.

Astonishingly, to her and her mother, she won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her classmates. A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness, until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped form the frying pan into the fire: he took over control her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as a cheap option on his market stall.

Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away and applied to the Prison Service, knowing it was the only safe place she could trust.

This is the astonishing, and true story of Veronica Bird who rose to become a governor of Armley Prison. Given a ‘basket case’ in another prison, contrary to all expectations, she turned it around within a year, to become an example for others to match.

During her life inside, her ‘bird’, she met many Home Secretaries, was honoured by the Queen and was asked to help improve conditions in Russian Prisons. A deeply poignant story of eventual triumph against a staggeringly high series of setbacks, her story is filled with humour and compassion for those inside.

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