While the Club had started patrolling Somerton Beach, one of the problems that arose was where to store all the equipment. At the time, the Club had the basic patrol equipment, which consisted of the following:

• Patrol shelter.
• Reel, line and belt.
• One set of patrol flags.
• One set of signalling flags.
• One shark flag.
• One pair of binoculars.
• One first aid kit.
• One double-ender surfboat and trailer.

In addition, shortly after, Tony Kidney purchased a patrol board, which was 16 feet long.

Without a clubhouse, the Club had to rely upon the generosity of the community. To this end, the equipment was stored in various garages and tool sheds. Eventually, all the gear was stored in one place, Mrs Bowden’s back yard and garden shed. It is important to keep in mind that Mrs Bowden’s house was some 150 metres from the patrol area. However, to get the surfboat out, it was necessary to do so from the back of Mrs Bowden’s house in Whyte Street. This involved members wheeling the surfboat and trailer some 350 metres to get it onto the beach.

Members were also confronted with the absence of change rooms. At the time, there where wooden public change rooms on the beach at the end of Eton Road, and members had to avail themselves of these facilities.

During the winter of 1961, Tom Russell’s father acquired an old windmill tower. He used this to construct the Club’s first patrol tower. The tower was about ten to twelve feet in height, approximately 3 metres. To make it easy to move the tower, Mr Russell mounted the tower on a small trailer with two small car wheels. The tower could be wheeled to the location, and then taken off the trailer. The original location was on the Esplanade, just south of the boat ramp at the end of College Road. Eventually, this tower was cemented into place.

Thank you for reading the first four chapters of our Club History. A book is soon to be published titled

“White, Green and Black – Somerton SLSC 1960-1975: The Formative Years”

The book has been written by two of the Club’s founding members, Tony and Robin Kidney. The book will be launched in March 2016. Stay tuned to this website for updates on the books launch date, location and cost.

To read more about the Club’s history, order your copy of the book now by emailing info@somertonslsc.org.au

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