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Journal by itellya

I believe I have seen a letter by members of Victoria Police to the Shire of Bulla, suggesting the name of Attwood for the area north of Broadmeadows Township (Westmeadows south of Kenny St) but this may have been caused by a misreading of the following:

From 1965 to 1967, I spent three happy years in the Castlemaine district where I met my darling wife, Val (nee Howarth), with whom I have spent 50 beautiful years. My many friendships at Castlemaine were mainly forged through sport and brought back memories at the funeral of Graeme Bassett, one of my sporting heroes, on Tuesday 4-9-2018.

Some other sporting heroes were Geoff Bryce of the S.E.C. who brought basketball to Castlemaine and his trusty lieutenant Jim Berry a policeman who was killed in a road accident after I moved back to Melbourne, and Charlie Oliver, a star cricketer for North Castlemaine who tragically lost an arm after I'd moved back to Melbourne.Sadly North Castlemaine was in B Grade and I never saw Charlie play cricket but when a copy of the Castlemaine Mail arrived, I excitedly turned to the sports pages to see his latest century or big bag for Newstead in footy. I coached High School in Geoff's basketball competition with young Robbie Ross and David Broad showing as much talent in that game as they did with the Maggies at Camp Reserve. David impressed me greatly after our game in the drill hall when he invited me to join him at the DEVELOP CASTLEMAINE meeting at the Town Hall. As I told Rex. Howarth's widow (mother of three of the children kidnapped from Faraday State School) at the Wake, I was impressed by such community mindedness from a teenager and, later, completely unsurprised when I discovered that he had become a Shire Secretary. Many years later, I discovered that David is a distant relative of mine- through a Broad/Howarth Marriage.

Val's matron of honour at our wedding at Christ Church, Castlemaine in 1868 was Jenny Turner and her sister Linda Portwine was a bridesmaid. Both were daughters of Roy Portwine, a builder and Val's uncle, who was my favourite among Val's NUMEROUS relatives whom we visited before and after our marriage every time we enjoyed a holiday with Val's parents. The Talbots had moved to East Keilor near Tullamarine and Ray and Jenny Turner moved to Cherokee so we saw quite a bit of them and I actually house sat Ray and Jenny's house while they went on a holiday. My other SPORTING HERO had married Linda Portwine two years after our wedding and I only saw her occasionally when visiting Roy Portwine (with her husband Graeme Bassett otherwise engaged at the farm or, probably,cricket practice.)

At the Wake, both Linda and Jenny mentioned that Jenny's daughter, Aleisha, had found my HOWARTH journal and told the rest of the family about it. Aleisha's older sister, Michelle is a senior member of the police mounted squad and while speaking to her, I told her that the mounted squad members based on part of the old Dundonald farm in Mickleham Rd had suggested to the Shire of Bulla that that area be named ATTWOOD. Now I'm not so sure, hence this journal. It took me four hours to find any reference to VICTORIA POLICE-ATTWOOD (link at start of journal)and this might have been the letter that I thought had been written by the mounted squad. And it mightn't be! The actual letter might have been included in the many, many, many comments under my journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA but is not in the journal under ATTWOOD or DUNDONALD or in the DUNDONALD ESTATE journal.

As I told Linda and Jenny, the only times I ever met Graeme were on a cricket field and I was TREMBLING IN MY BOOTS. I played two seasons with Guildford, captained by Max Glenn of Franklinford and a season with Maldon under the leadership of Rex Beach, the Shire Secretary. John Bassett and George Skinner opened the bowling for Muckleford and to be frank my cowardice when walking out to bat is summarised by STAYING ALIVE,the title of the song in SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER. Both could get the ball up from a good length and were so fast that I didn't actually see the ball from the time it left the bowler's hand until the wicketkeeper, Graham Bassett, threw it to a fieldsman to start its relay back to the bowler. As fast bowlers are inclined to do, their bowling was aimed just outside off stump and I slashed at every ball with the hope that their aim would remain so, having seen my fondness for the square cut. Effectively, I was LEAVING the ball but Graeme had no such luxury and the sound of the ball thumping into his gloves was the only indication that the ball had safely passed me by and that we wouldn't be picking up four byes. In fact there were very few byes due to Graeme's courage, reflexes and athleticism. Strangely, his excellent batting, as illustrated by the numerous trophies that I inspected at the funeral, was not impressed as deeply in my memory; terror is an excellent aid to memory! The wonderful Eulogy delivered by Graeme's daughters made me regret that I had not actually met this wonderful man socially and been able to share such memories with him during his tragic long illness.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2018-09-04 22:43:13

Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.

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by itellya on 2018-09-04 23:37:34
by itellya on 2018-09-05 00:06:05

There was no respite for wicket keeper, Graham Basett after another blistering over from his brother. Bill Lawry said that George Skinner was the fastest white bowler he'd ever seen.

John Bassett and George Skinner comprised the most feared pair of opening bowlers in A grade during my inglorious two years under Max Glenn at Guildford and the next under Rex Beach at Maldon during the late mid 1960's. Keeper, Graeme Bassett must have had bruised hands stopping balls that the batsmen never saw. I found this article when I googled George Skinner, Muckleford. As graham Bassett started his footy at Winters Flat, he may have been the author of this article.

If you said the name George Skinner to those playing today
probably 95% would say George who! You can be assured that a
huge number of retired players are glad that they are not playing
against him. He, playing for Muckleford, was the fastest bowler
to play in the local competition. With a slinging type action he
swung the ball and had a vicious off cutter. Many batsmen carried
bruises for a long period of time. I am sure one Kyneton/Malmsbury
stalwart would agree with me. George was picked in country
Victoria sides and played against all touring countries. He played
a game against the Victorian State side. Bill Lawry was the opening
batsman. He stated that George was the fastest ‘white’ bowler
he had ever faced. When asked what was the greatest memory
he had playing against international sides he said, dismissing the
great Indian all rounder Kapel Dev. If asked, he added quietly if
the catch had not been taken it would have been a six.
I grew up with George tagging along with the Muckleford side
each week where we played junior and senior cricket together
with Winters Flat. I kept to a lot of bowlers around the State and
I can say that I stood back eight metres further than to any other
bowler when George was bowling. His fame started at Technical
School when we played a game at Echuca. He opened the bowling
claimed four wickets in the first over. The teacher who was
umpiring requested he not bowl any more so that there would be
a chance that some form of game could be played. He said this
kid will play test cricket .
George ensured Muckleford won several premierships. During
one game he delivered a ball which reared up and struck the
batsman in the middle of his forehead (no helmets then). It
stunned the batsman but did not cause any serious injury.
However the impression of the seam and stitching of the ball was
clearly indented on his forehead. Employment took him to Carisbrook,
where he performed as expected. He was invited to play
with Fitzroy where he did play some games and achieved a deal
of success. He did not continue as he could not comply with the
rule that he had to attend their practice. He was a very capable
batsman also. He still holds the record opening partnership at
Muckleford it being over two hundred runs.
What has this got to do with Mia Mia ? In a game played at their
ground he claimed a triple hat trick, clean bowling 5 batsmen in
succession. (Bridge Connection May 2015

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