Royal Hub-capping

Royal Hub-capping

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HRH Prince Charles and John Archibald at the Scone Polo Club’s ‘Yarrandi’ ground in 1966

It would be hard to top a future monarch as a social coup, wouldn’t it? This is exactly what the Scone Polo Club (who else) was able to do on more than one occasion. HRH Prince Charles had attended school at the ‘Timbertop’ campus of Geelong Grammar. ‘Wing Nut’ knew what to expect. He was the appreciative recipient of the special hospitality provided by the White Family of ‘Belltrees’.

My good friend Racehorse Trainer Pat Farrell of Muswellbrook was the first to introduce me to the sobriquet ‘hubcap’. It derived from those he perceived as ‘hanging around the big wheels’. He applied it to a local Stud Master who he thought was always a trite ‘uppity’. He called him ‘Hubcap Jack’. There were some good reasons for this appellation. Pat also referred to the professionals who resided at Skellatar Heights as living on ‘Snob Knob’ or ‘Pill Hill’! Maybe Pat had a bit of a complex? He was described as being of ‘Bog Irish’ appearance if that’s a clue?

Prince Charles was just ‘one of the boys’ in this scenario and fitted in beautifully. My spouse Sarah was introduced to him on this occasion as an ingénue of 14 years. Sadly she had to settle for very much less almost 10 years later! I think my mother-in-law was devastated?

Incredibly (for those interested in history) ‘Yarrandi’ was the property visited by the ‘Birdman’ John Gould and his wife Elizabeth in 1839. The property was then owned by Elizabeth’s brothers from Kent; the Coxens.

I don’t know what Pat Farrell would have called HRH Prince Charles if he’d met him? It was never likely. He did come up later with an even more derogatory nick name: ‘Tow Bar’ as in bringing up the rear or hanging off the coat tails of the upwardly mobile! I could list a few. The great thing about Pat is that he never considered himself to be part of any underclass!