Christmas Sports Carnival

‘They were virtually world famous, our coastal carnivals. In those days we used open tracks, like around a football ground… being an open track, you get a bit of a cold night or windy night and all of a sudden they hit the bend and ‘schuuum’ they’ve got a big head breeze going into it. Just to name a couple there was Max Sloane, Graham Gilmore, Ron Grenda that rode off scratch. But the middle marker boys, like our locals… they were right up with them. It was a credit to them. And people loved it too, we had massive big crowds then.’
— Joe

‘I had a friend who liked the cycling so I used to go just to be another body there. I wasn’t all that keen on cycling, I hated to watch them as they came around the bend for the last time because I was always frightened they were going to fall off and cause themselves all sorts of injuries. I can’t bear to see skin off knees. So I watch the Tour de France sometimes, but only to see the scenery!’
— Helen

‘I had to ride my push bike to Moriarty, twelve mile it was, and you had to be at work at quarter to eight in the morning. So I rode the bike for quite some time, until I got married… But there was a bus service started then, we’d be picked up by one of Russell’s busses… They were carting workers from Port Sorrell, and they had a small bus that took about twenty. You’d be there by about quarter to eight and back around five o’clock to pick you up.’
— Bill

‘In those days, there was a lot of work involved in preparing the ground. I can remember the running track around the ground, Godfrey Matthews, he had an orchard out in Spreyton… he used to bring his tractor in with the big boom spray on it. We’d mix up the paint… we diluted about 25:1, 50:1 depending. Hopefully, when you got round to where you started, the joins came in. In most cases it was pretty good, but sometimes we had to go and paint some lines out and just do it by hand. Our Christmas Carnival, even last year, we had 8 different countries from around the world represented. That’s not bad for a little place like Tasmania. We’ve had probably some of the greatest runners and cyclists in the world competing.’
— Joe