Surf City, Sydney

an Historic Houses Trust blog

Gordon Woods 1967


Gordon Woods taking orders at Brookvale in the movie Ride A White Horse Bob Evans Promotions Productions 1967

Cup of tea and a biscuit with Gordon Woods today and barely scratched the surface on an amazing story of canoe building at Bondi in the 1930s, tom blake hollows in the 40s, contemplating Peter Lawford’s balsa and glass mal in 1951, picking up his Velzy balsa board from Bob Burnside in 56 and the first hollow mals, the arrival of balsa, foam and paradigm shift to Brookvale, fruitful interactions with Californians Dick Metz and Chuck Foss, having kids and running a busy board building operation into the mid 70s, before switching to yachts and other things. Very grateful for Gordon’s time and support.

Gordon mentioned that he drove a taxi for a short while in 1950s, while his board making business caught on. It made me wonder what kind of jobs surfers did to make ends meet and keep them surfing: Jack Bluey Mayes also drove cabs, Magoo McGuigan was a fireman, Nipper Williams was a beach inspector, Max Bowman was an electrician, Bob Pike was a wool classer, Mick McMahon a butcher, Mick Dooley was a garbageman, while others, it appears, were policemen, accountants, labourers, shift workers, dock workers, etc, etc.

Written by garycrockett

July 28th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Posted in 1950s,1960s

4 Responses to 'Gordon Woods 1967'

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  1. jack mayes and I were staying at kirra and we took a day off to go north to surfers paradise – where he picked up his mail and found that he’d been successfull in getting his cab licence – one hour later he was gone back to sydney and I had all the rent to pay on the kirra flat – but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him –

    pete bowes

    29 Jul 11 at 11:45 am

  2. thanks Pete – seems like you’re pretty forgiving

    Gary Crockett

    29 Jul 11 at 1:27 pm

  3. gordon woods made my first board, a bleached balsa double-ender, and he delivered it to dover heights all the way from brookvale – and had a beer with dad (who paid 30 quid for it) –

    pete bowes

    30 Jul 11 at 9:32 pm

  4. Gordon made me a 6 ft board in 1962 it was my first custom board the one in the earlier photo.He made one for Malcolm Greenop at about same time.It cost about 25 pounds or quid…2 quid more than expected as he basically had to work harder to cut the blank down from full size..I had the right money I’d saved delivering The Manly Daily for 3pounds 5 shillings a a week(5 days Tuesdays to Saturdays).Lucky my Dad had a quid in his pocket to make up the extra.

    John Smythe

    8 Aug 11 at 11:02 am

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