Featured Image: “Shooting at Cuan 1956”; Taken from ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; “The Shiralee…Filming in the Upper Hunter”. Federation Publication No. 1, Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society 1997
I acknowledge that much of this ‘blog’ has been ‘inspired’, if that is the right word, by my late good friend Harley Walden. Much of his work has been variously plundered, plagiarized and purloined by me. I’ve made no secret of the fact and admit it all now.
Ealing Studios, London “hit town” in Scone in on 6 September 1956 to shoot the “The Shiralee” at local sites in Gundy, Wootton and The Cuan at Bunnan; “a warm human story of an Australian swagman set against the sheep stations and countryside of that vast continent”.
Harley was a passionate local advocate of all things Scone; especially the thoroughbred racing and breeding components. He differed from almost everyone else with few exceptions in that he wrote most of it down. However he did not restrict his passion to horses only. Hidden away was a strong thespian streak which went largely undiscovered. I only found this out by fortunate serendipity when I was researching material to satisfy my own burgeoning self-interest. I doubt Harley threatened the male lead in the movie Peter Finch? However not to be totally outdone Harley generously lent his pony ‘Paint’ for the film.