Woomera Memories

G'day Mark,

And thank you for an absolutely unbelievable site - who would have thought that such a small town with such a highly transient population would stay so vividly in so many memories.

I just found this site - typed in Woomera in the vague hope that  the people I started looking for, might mention it in their sites - and I've been trawling  the archives for next two hours with a lump in my throat as the names I remember jumped out at me.

I'm Rob Bleckly (it would have been Robert then) of 12 Booreen St, 1957-1964 (after a short stay at 5 Karnang Ave aka Tin Pan Alley, in a metal clad house - worked like an  oven).

My father, Stan Bleckly, worked for the then PMG maintaining the teletype machines that sent tracking data back to the States during the early space programme. My mother was a telephonist in both the Woomera Exchange and [department of] Works
exchange (at Woomera West?). My brother Ian started school there and my youngest brother Brian was born there.

As far as I'm concerned Woomera is my hometown. I grew up there from age 10 (beginning of 1957 - grade 4) until age 17 (end of 1964 Intermediate grade 10) when my parents returned  to Adelaide so I could start work (tech-in-training also with the PMG - like father ...)

Memory is a funny thing - the people I remember may not remember me and vice versa, but  here is a list of names of people Iíd love to contact. Some have connected over the years, but lately all contact has been lost.

Gordon Jones (stayed in Woomera a lot longer - I stayed with him once on revisit). Either of sisters Linda (married in Woomera UP church to Bob Shaeffer? - my fiancé and I came back for the wedding and stayed with Margaret Trench - mentioned in these archives) or Averil Jones (Linda's wedding was the last time I was there - circa 1968/9)

Ernie Barratt, Malcolm (Mouse) Bowden, John Stone (who all came to my 21st in Adelaide from various parts of Australia - or Johnís sister Julie. John Stone was also best man at my own wedding in 1969.

From my U - Trevor Harding ( I ran into his father Tom in my Darwin years), the Davidson boys (we used to kick the footy along the top of the U), Janice Webb (her father was one of the Brits out on a two year contract - here one year gone the next).

From the next U towards the centre - Robyn or Wendy Stap(b)leton, Lorraine Weakly, Anthony Way (last met in Darwin) and Suzanne Dunn.

From school, Fortune Anderson (the "gogomobil dart" girl - who lent me 'Peyton Place'), Virginia Ginane? (funny how I remember the girls when there were only five in class of 30) or anyone from Lucus's classes (change the side - change the sign - painted in yellow on the blackboard), Bruce 'leper' Mason, the Beckman brothers (cricket in the aisle with blackboard ruler and dusters - WPB as wicket).

So many names - so many reawakened memories - I'd be more than happy for anyone with similar to contact me and swap stories - I have lots of early pictures circa 59-64. I really gotta go back soon - it's only 300 miles north, and bitumen all the way now I'm told.

Rob Bleckly



(2 January 2003)

Memories of Woomera

A History of Woomera
Research Missiles
Tracking Stations
Return To Orbit
Gibber Gabber
Woomera Village
Woomera Life
Memories of Woomera

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Copyright © 2003   Mark T. Rigby
(Last updated: 1 May, 2003)