Sunday, August 04, 2013

Roosters and Feather Dusters

It was a bit of a struggle to post this weekend with no inspiration coming to the fore. I started pottering on the Internet, as you do on a lazy Sunday. I found this research website called TROVE over the weekend and started typing in family names - well talk about "Roosters and Feather Dusters" stuff. I found some sporting results and a few skeletons in the closet.

BULLANT SIMS - Great Uncle
I of course knew that my passion for cycling came from my father but I really didn't hear much about his actual racing. I also knew about his uncle, Ernie Sims who was a boxer. He fought under the name of BULLANT SIMS. He was 5'5" tall and was a bantamweight. From all accounts he had some success locally and nationally. Ernie had three brothers, John my grandfather, Leslie and George. Having grown up in the suburbs of Collingwood, Fitzroy and Carlton, they all probably knew how to defend themselves. The area was full of workers cottages and slum accommodation in those days.

Poor quality I know but I like the headline best!
My Father's big success on the bike.
I've posted several times on this blog about my father Jack, I'm extremely proud of him and he's been a good mate as we both have matured, probably at the same rate, truth beknown. Dad's been a very humble man, not the sort to "pump up his own tyres" in cycling talk. I thought I would type in his name and this newspaper article came up with his success in a bike race before the war. In discussion only tonight with my weekly phone call I asked Jack to recall the race. He said he finished the race with grease laden hands because he lost the chain on his 2 speed sprocket and had to stop to put the chain back on. I can actually remember seeing this old two speed sprocket in the tool box as a young child.
The Fastest Time of the day was from the scratch bunch and won by Ken Stewart who over the years was a good friend of Dad's. Ken has passed away like many of the other riders of the day so I guess my Dad is still winning the race of life.

Lionel Davey - my uncle
Then from my mother's side there was Lionel Davey, my Uncle whom I do remember a little. I think he and his wife had thirteen children. Although his parents came from Bendigo before moving to Melbourne, somehow Lionel found his way to Queensland and took up motorcycle speedway racing and actually gained some International fame in Great Britain before returning to Australia. Family folklore says he raced  in Queensland under the name of Percival Davey for some reason. Being so young, naturally I never saw him race but he was a good friend of Fred Tracey, the owner of Tracey's Speedway in Maribynong and we would often be invited to attend the Speedway Meetings.

And finally my maternal Grandfather, Percival Davey.
It seems that my Grandfather on Mum's side was a nice bloke but possibly a bit of a rogue. I found some newspaper cuttings that tell of him being in court on three occasions. One was for selling underweight bread when he was a baker. The second was when he was the proprietor of a hotel in Sydney - the charge was for a member of the public drinking at his hotel after hours. The third cutting I found was the court case of his divorce from his wife. I believe he finished up as a band leader and died at Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.
I never met him.

So much for sporting success and skeleton's in the closet.


1 comment:

  1. That is amazing and how exciting to find so many good things about your family. The skeleton in thr cupboard always seems to pop up makes interesting reading if nothing else :-) Keep well you two; not long and you will be back here again, time flies. D & N

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