Thoroughbred 1936

Thoroughbred 1936

Acknowledgement:

Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

Featured Image:

Advertisement for ‘Thoroughbred’: Scone Advocate 16 June 1936

Dialogue

In 1935 Percy Miller’s Kia Ora Stud was chosen as the setting for Cinesound Production Ltd.’s film Thoroughbred. Hollywood celebrity Helen Twelvetrees was selected for the star role. Ken Hall was the director. The company “arrived in Scone, cavalcade style” on 19 December 1935. “Miss Twelvetrees was shown to a specially designed suite of rooms at the Golden Fleece Hotel”. The Scone Advocate, 20 December 1935.

Prominent Australians in the cast included equestrienne Violet Scuthorpe, brother Lance Scuthorpe and Arthur Winter of Willow Tree, formerly of Scone. The breaking-in segment of the film was shot in the yards at Kia Ora then managed by Bert Riddle. Violet Scuthorpe ‘doubled’ for Helen Twelvetrees who could not ride. The former was a solidly built brunette and the latter (Miss Twelvetrees) a leggy blond. The make-up artists, creative cameramen and editing (‘cutting’) teams were truly tested to lend the final product an ‘authentic’ ring.

Other celebrities in the cast were Frank Leighton and Nellie Barnes. Hall of Fame and all time great American jockey Johnny Longden appears in the official advertisement both listed by name and in a photograph with star Helen Twelvetrees. I doubt Johnny Longden actually came to Scone; but its just possible? It would be a very desirable connection between the industry in the USA and the Upper Hunter?

Thoroughbred was shown at the Olympia Theatre, Scone on three nights and also a matinee on 23, 24, 25 June 1936 and described in the Scone Advocate as follows:

“Australian in construction, in sentiment, in ideals, Thoroughbred reveals to the whole world the glory, grandeur, and true natural greatness of this wonderful country of ours. It was skilfully directed by Ken G. Hall, Australia’s young “ace” director. The film is of more than passing interest to Upper Hunterites, for Kia Ora, the premier stud of the Commonwealth, many wonderful shots were obtained. These not only embraced the scenic beauties of the place, but the great horses that have helped to maintain the reputation and traditions of the place of Australian turfdom.”

The production cost £20,000 ($40,000) and was premiered at the Mayfair Theatre, Sydney in May 1936.

Into the Straight 1949

Into the Straight 1949

Acknowledgement:

Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

Featured Image:

Posters for ‘Into the Straight’: Scone Advocate Friday 4 June 1947 and 30 December 1949

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The Picture Show Man 1977

The Picture Show Man 1977

Acknowledgement:

Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

Featured Image:

Scene from Murrurundi courtesy of Hunter Valley News Photography and the above

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Ride a Wild Pony 1975

Ride a Wild Pony 1975

Acknowledgement:

Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

Featured Image:

Scenes from filming ‘Rise a Wild Pony’; The Scone Advocate & Dr Judy White (‘Belltrees’) as recorded in ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’ (see above)

Dialogue

Walt Disney Productions chose ‘Belltrees’ to film ‘Ride a Wild Pony’ 1975 based on the book A Sporting Proposition by Australian author James Aldrich. The Director was Don Chaffey and the cameraman Jack Cardiff.

The story revolves around a rich girl, a poor boy and a Welsh Pony. Belltrees property and interior of the homestead were used as for filming over two weeks. An office was maintained at Airlie House Motel and the film ‘rushes’ were flown daily to Sydney for processing and editing. The cast included many acting luminaries: John Meillon Senior, John Meillon Junior, Michael Craig, Peter Gwynne with Eva Griffith and Robert Bettles as two child stars. Eva was the only non-Australian. The Meillons acted together for the first time.

Local ‘extras’ included Mark White as stand-in for Robert Bettles, and Ian Merrick at eleven years of age who ‘doubled’ for Eva Griffith who could not ride or drive a pony trap.

Further filming took place at Chiltern, Victoria where “$50,000 was spent giving the town a 1920s atmosphere”. The total budget was $1,000,000.

Smiley 1956 and Smiley Gets a Gun 1958

Smiley 1956

Featured Image: Advertisement for the showing of Smiley – The Scone Advocate, Friday 16 August, 1957

Acknowledgement:

Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

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The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Movie) 1978

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Movie) 1978

Featured Image: Tommy Lewis in the title role of the movie as Jimmie Blacksmith

‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’ was partly filmed at Arthur and Kathleen Pring’s property ‘The Hawthornes’ at Kars Springs to the west of Scone. This is the same area frequented by teacher and later international author Havelock Ellis almost 100 years before. Ellis wrote with sympathetic eloquence about the country. It had probably changed but little in the intervening century? Fred Schepisi and his ‘location spotter’ team selected the mountainous terrain devoid of modern characteristics such as power poles and lines. The site needed to be isolated. Other sets were a bark hut at John Archibald’s neighbouring property ‘Dunwell’. A Bush Fire Water Truck was co-opted to provide rain on demand. Further shooting took place at Rouchel where Anne McMullin recalls the old slab cottage at ‘Bingeberry’ (1864) used as a prop.

The director of the movie was Fred Schepisi now an Oscar Winning Hollywood celebrity. The cast included such well known stars as Ray Barrett, Jack Thompson, Angela Punch and Ruth Cracknell. Tommy Lewis played the part of Jimmie Blacksmith. Local SCADS players co-opted for the scene at the ‘Hawthornes’ homestead were Fred Winter, Ruth Logan and Tom MacMurray. Three month old baby Blake Flaherty (daughter of Ros) was selected by Rhonda Schepisi to play the child born to the character Gilda Marshall who was portrayed by Angela Punch.

Nancy Gray wrote in the Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society’s Newsletter of September 1977:

“Historically the Sparkes Creek Valley is excellent, as Jimmie and Joe Governor, whose lives give Keneally the basis theme of ‘The Chant’, were familiar with the Liverpool Range that towers above the Creek, and walked its ridges and gullies with assurance.”

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Scone Moving Images and the Theatre

Scone Moving Images and the Theatre

Acknowledgement: Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society

Featured Image:

Front Cover ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.

Prologue

Scone and the Upper Hunter have generated an enthralling histoire of celebrated success in filming and movie production. It’s an engrossing, formidable and impressive list. Included are seminal productions ‘The Shiralee’, ‘Into the Straight’, ‘Smiley’, ‘Smiley Gets a Gun’, ‘The Picture Show Man’, ‘The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith’ and ‘Rats of Tobruk’. The list goes on. All are described in minute detail in this pivotal tome. Stars of the Shows include movie screen luminaries Helen Twelvetrees (Hollywood USA), Peter Finch, Dana Wilson, Rosemary Harris, Elizabeth Sellars and Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell.

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Farewell Friends of Strathearn Village

Farewell Friends of Strathearn Village

Postscript

This is the wrong way around but I wish to wholeheartedly commend Caitlin Reid’s excellent article in the Scone Advocate today Thursday 9th August 2018.

See: https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/5566352/thank-you-friends-photos-video/?cs=1533

Featured Image: Past Friends of Strathearn Village Mavis Merrick, Barbara Lowrie, Joan Keevers, Judy Manning, Elaine Collison, Marie Tilse, Sandra Carter and Dorothy Wharton

‘Thank you, friends’: Legacy of the Friends of Strathearn to live on for years to come

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NSW DPI media: Bird bacteria linked to horse and human health

NSW DPI media: Bird bacteria linked to horse and human health

Every so often we receive some timely warnings. This is one of them. Zoonotic Diseases are spread between animals and humans. This one has transmitted ‘Bird-Horse-Human’; so be well warned. Fortunately our local advanced surveillance team are well prepared. See Featured Image. This depicts the level of foal care available at the ‘Clovelly Stables’ Foal Neonatal Intensive Care Unit which we instituted over 25 years ago.

Professional colleague Dr Joan Carrick is a leading authority on placentitis in mares and pregnancy loss. Joan has been at the forefront of this denouement.

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