Old Falls Creek

Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
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Here's a pic of the 'resort' from 1959, taken by my father who worked on the McKay Ck power station pipeline. It's a scan from a slide that's dated May!

1959-05 Rocky Valley 01.jpg
 

Ziggy

A Local
Aug 24, 2003
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I should add that he worked for Humes which had the contract for the pipeline and maybe also for the aqueducts. I got my first driving lesson at about 4 or 5 y.o. sitting on his knees steering the Land Rover on the road up.

He went on to manage the penstock construction at M1, M2 (near Khancoban) and T3 (Talbingo) in the Snowies. I did a labouring stint at T3 in the early 70s. That was the last power station of the scheme I think.
 
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Kletterer

Thredbo Doughnut Tragic
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Nov 26, 2014
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It was treacherous . Dad would use 2 in the morning. Then after boozing all day with the locals come out and use remaining 2 in the arvo.
 

gerard paviet

First Runs
Oct 14, 2016
5
3
3
france and uk
Hallo Andrew
Not wishing to take anything away from Teckel's better skill at getting photos into this forum for me, it was me behind the camera that day. We were using the one and only Ratrac at Falls to gather snow to keep the Summit T-Bar track together for one last October weekend.
The only other tracked machines there at the time were a couple of Weasels run by Herbie at Oversnow Transport.
I was one of the two drivers for the Ratrac which spent more time on bringing supplies up to the Frying Pan and maintenance work than grooming. No tillers in that day so skiers favoured natural conditions more than the smooth ice one could leave behind the Ratrac.
It had notoriously weak transmission - you can see the final drives are not original and used to break shafts like carrots...perhaps a self-inflicted problem since it had an Aussie Falcon six-cylinder petrol engine?
Great website Andrew....many memories there too. In 89/90 my wife and I helped out at Mt Dobson in NZ - where we had a newish PB200, a faithful Thiokol and a manic little Kiwi-built "wee-groomer". I'll look out some pictures.[/QUOTE
BONJOUR
HI MATE , I JUST FOUND THAT SITE , I AM GERARD PAVIET THE FROG, CAN YOU SEND ME A MAIL TO ;
pavietgerard@gmail.com. i have plenty pics of falls creek and the retrace etc....i am still in touch with Elena humprhries , and just saw Bill Bradford wife 105 years old , i was back skiing in falls 4 years ago...i now live half of my time in wiltshire and in france....gerard
 

gerard paviet

First Runs
Oct 14, 2016
5
3
3
france and uk
I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Hyman some years ago when I stayed in his lodge, (Forget the name, but someone will know) A fascinating character, willing to share memories and anecdotes. He had a lot in common with Lee Thaw, a Baw Baw pioneer and lift builder.
I Met bob in france with bill Bridgford, in 69 when Bill offered me a job in falls to be in charge of the ski patrol and of the ski runs so i was driving the ratrac , i spent time in south of france in bob house , met his daughter and son....as he spoke french we got well together we also managed his four season lodge with my wife for one summer and Ertha was not interested to do it the summer ....great time ..
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
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Welcome Gerard, from a Falls Creek addict. I only started going there in 1981 but I love hearing about the history and have been lucky to have known a few of the old characters.
 

gerard paviet

First Runs
Oct 14, 2016
5
3
3
france and uk
Hi, first I shall introduced myself ! I am Mireille de Mulder (Hymans) Bob's ex-wife and mother of Eric Hymans and his two sisters Brigitte and Chantal. I am now living in Belgium, my birth country. I am writing to this forum because I have lived in Falls Creek (year round!) from April 1954 to August 1959. I have seen the Grand Coeur Chalet being built and also the first chair lift. With Bob's clients I have participated to many sky hiking journeys to Spying Kop and some other places, which names are escaping my memory.... I have some photos, mainly in the snow, they are still in relatively good conditions and could be edited for you all if you so wish ? To my knowledge Cecil Dobson is still alive, living in Mount Beauty, he has been a companion of Bob and I when I first arrived from Europe and then moved on with Orest, they both kept a little grocery store. Also in Mount Beauty is Alberto Costa (maried to Shirley a nurse at the hospital) who first came to work for Bob around 1956 when he was 19yrs and had just arrived from Trieste - Italy. Bob has also used the services/help of Bernhard an Austrian ski instructor and his firend Mark (not sure of the name), they both belong to a small group of Austrian family, Trudy , 14yrs at the time who later became Bernhard's wife and was the first woman ever to give birth at Falls Creek during the winter season while we were snowed in!

By the way the exact date of Bob's death : 7 July 2007, so easy to remember ...

My english is getting rusty ! My memory is still relatively good and if necessary I can try answering queries ....Hope to hear from anyone of you, any time !!!

Mireille
bonjour mireille
j'ai connu bob avec Bill a la station de la plage ou je travaillais, en 69 ensuite je suis parti a falls creek avec ma femme et fille , j'ai connu vos 2 filles et fils, je suis allé aussi en vacances dans sa maison a ANtibes ...vous pouvez me joindre a
pavietgerard@gmail.com
 
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Andrew McCallum

Hard Yards
Oct 15, 2016
8
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My latest project is discovering a bit about the lifts built by Ron McCallum. He was associated with Bill Bridgeford's Alpine Developments Holdings, the company that bought up most of the lifts at Falls in the early 60's and in 1961 McCallum replaced the nutcracker lifts on the Summit and Village runs with T-bars of his own design.

I know for sure that in the 1960's he also built the chairlifts at Portsea, Caribbean Gardens (Melb) and Perth Showgrounds, but does anyone know if the Sun Valley T-bar and first Gully Chair were McCallum products or were they bought from a foreign lift maker like Pomagalski, Riblet or Doppelmayr?

It appears he may have also built Boggy Creek T-bar at Buller and a few others, but information is sketchy.

Hi my name is Andrew McCallum, son of Ron McCallum. He built all his own lifts in a factory in Moorabbin. He is 92 now, and living with my wife and I in Highett. I'm sure he would be ok for an interview.
Great to see all the old Falls stuff being discussed. Most of my fondest memories are from that place, that we spent so much time at.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
Ski Pass
Sep 17, 2003
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Kiewa Valley
Hi my name is Andrew McCallum, son of Ron McCallum. He built all his own lifts in a factory in Moorabbin. He is 92 now, and living with my wife and I in Highett. I'm sure he would be ok for an interview.
Great to see all the old Falls stuff being discussed. Most of my fondest memories are from that place, that we spent so much time at.
@teckel, could you let @Bogong know about this post? I don't know if he even lurks these days. Thanks
 

Andrew McCallum

Hard Yards
Oct 15, 2016
8
10
53
Some more from 1972.

Dad & friend.
1972_110_Falls_Creek_Dad_Rudi.jpg


Day park area.
1972_111_Falls_Creek.jpg


1972_112_Falls_Creek.jpg


Summit T-bar
1972_114_Falls_Creek.jpg


Village bowl - can't remember what this lift was called.
1972_116_Falls_Creek.jpg
[/QUO
The second "day car park" pic is flipped over. You can see Diana on the left, and it should be on the right.The one under it is also flipped over. Snow Crystal should be on the left and the Village lift should come out to the left.
 
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VSG

Crayon Master
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Jan 1, 1998
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Fantastic photos Andrew! my dad and I stayed at what was apparently a lodge built by or for RAAF staff and family, around the vicinity of the current International Poma load. In 1974 I stayed a few days. :D
 

gerard paviet

First Runs
Oct 14, 2016
5
3
3
france and uk
My latest project is discovering a bit about the lifts built by Ron McCallum. He was associated with Bill Bridgeford's Alpine Developments Holdings, the company that bought up most of the lifts at Falls in the early 60's and in 1961 McCallum replaced the nutcracker lifts on the Summit and Village runs with T-bars of his own design.

I know for sure that in the 1960's he also built the chairlifts at Portsea, Caribbean Gardens (Melb) and Perth Showgrounds, but does anyone know if the Sun Valley T-bar and first Gully Chair were McCallum products or were they bought from a foreign lift maker like Pomagalski, Riblet or Doppelmayr?

It appears he may have also built Boggy Creek T-bar at Buller and a few others, but information is sketchy.
i have told andrew his son who is going to write a lot of things as his dad is still alive and liv with him, so soon yu will get a lot about Mac callum lifts ...great man i have worked with him for 2 years with dick also ....gerard
 

Heinz

Have skis, will travel - Once borders open again..
Ski Pass
Oct 14, 2005
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Just to clarify, they were my fathers slides which I scanned in a few years ago. It is possible I may have got a couple of them the wrong way round.
 

JonthePom

Hard Yards
Aug 22, 2011
48
19
58
Cornwall, England
Hallo. Doesn't time move along? It's hard to believe it's now over two years since Sally & I made a pilgrimage back to Falls......catching some great snow conditions, meeting many old friends and sparking so many memories. It must have been the ghost of my old boss, Dick, that had me out of bed at daybreak and walking up to the dam at sunrise. From there it was 1970 still.....the same mountains and the same Inter. Poma along the spur.....absolutely beautiful. But arriving back into the melee of visitors, oversnow transport and then finding two days parking cost the same as I paid for my first Holden FE, brought me right back to the present. The 1970 Alpine staff earned $27.50 for the girls and $34.00 (all found) for the boys......yes, not PC now but still another world on prices.......it was still enough for a few beers most evenings.
It was a wonderful visit but I'm not sure I could have 'corporatised' into the decades after my time there.
 
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JonthePom

Hard Yards
Aug 22, 2011
48
19
58
Cornwall, England
How great to see a couple more 'old faces' turn up here!
It's great to hear from you Gerard - we must have last met when skiing with Dick ('Basha' & 'Irish') in La Plagne in the mid 70s. From your photo, you look as young as ever. I can still remember sunny days spent helping splice the cable for the 'new' Baby Poma and French cuisine for dinners with your family at Four Seasons
And also so good to find out from Andrew that Ron is still going strong. It was the biggest regret of our 2016 visit that we missed seeing him when he headed to Falls (to celebrate his 90th, I believe?) just as we rolled into Melbourne. Please remember me to him. I just hope I got it right with the earlier postings about which were McCallum lifts?
 

Scott No Mates

One of Us
Sep 14, 2003
3,545
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@VSG - any chance of recovering @ausi ski bum's pictures from the early pages?

I haven't read this thread in years - I love how it's going again with some new faces. Learning things about many of the people who I have known at FC as well as everything else.

I must be a newbie - first couple of trips in the mid-80s then almost every season or green season since before the turn of the century.
 
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BillyKidd

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2010
1,407
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I first skiied at falls in 1983
I was a late starter to the sport..obsession
These stories a brilliant and it sounds that a visit to a falls creek museum should be a must
PS Bogong please come back
We miss you

First skied Falls in 1969. Have lived, worked or skied there on and off ever since. This thread is a real treasure. Have seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so good but all interesting. The Alpine Shire itself has changed a lot too. Different stages of development and activity during and after the hydro work and road building, lodge establishment, changes to the tobacco industry, the very noticeable changes in skier type, number and visitation, the outcome of various recessions, competition, development and the changing focus of revenue generation from being just a ski hill to real estate opportunists to struggling for sustainable revenue. This thread keeps some of that to the fore so keep it coming as an historical resource. :D
 
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BillyKidd

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 11, 2010
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And I should note too the changes in equipment, lifting and XC and the variability of the snowpack and tree cover.
 
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gettingtooold

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 6, 2012
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Reckon the most defining change has been after the installation of Falls Express ( and all it's other names ) shifting the focus away from the village bowl. I've been going to Falls since the 70's and some of those old pics and contributions bring back great memories. Thanks to all.
 

Andrew McCallum

Hard Yards
Oct 15, 2016
8
10
53
How great to see a couple more 'old faces' turn up here!
It's great to hear from you Gerard - we must have last met when skiing with Dick ('Basha' & 'Irish') in La Plagne in the mid 70s. From your photo, you look as young as ever. I can still remember sunny days spent helping splice the cable for the 'new' Baby Poma and French cuisine for dinners with your family at Four Seasons
And also so good to find out from Andrew that Ron is still going strong. It was the biggest regret of our 2016 visit that we missed seeing him when he headed to Falls (to celebrate his 90th, I believe?) just as we rolled into Melbourne. Please remember me to him. I just hope I got it right with the earlier postings about which were McCallum lifts?
Hi Jon, I'll chat to dad tonight and go through the list of lifts, and maybe post some corrections. I'm hoping Bogong (whom ever that is), or someone else will interview him before long. My email address is in my profile. It's a bit hard to work out who people are by their nick names. Anyway it's a great site.
 
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gettingtooold

One of Us
Ski Pass
Jul 6, 2012
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It's funny how times change. Went to Falls on a bus, the one time only time with a group staying at the Mt Beauty chalet. Recall all the drivers sitting in the pub all day (Sundance ?) , only getting out to cook the barbie for lunch and drive us back down. I can only imagine what condition some of them were in.
 

JonthePom

Hard Yards
Aug 22, 2011
48
19
58
Cornwall, England
I agree......that looks like John Searle's hair and build. The female instructor in the pic by the Ski School sign might well be Lorna (the instructor, not Dunkley).....though, Renate Haberzetl (sp?) also wore a fur hat. Is that Zigi in the line for the
Village T?

Yes, the Summit was bumpier - and I was only learning! I think I'm right in saying that, despite masses of snow (enough for the cornice to break off a couple of times), we only groomed it once all season. That was for the races and the results of our efforts with the basic trailed mogul-muncher/roller didn't impress the organisers much.

Note the footwear of the woman with the child by the Summit T-Bar!

My guess is the pictures were 1967/8?
 
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