Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Trivial History November 4

Tis Cup Day; the day in the calender where good, sensible boys and girls stay at home, drink copious amounts of black tea and watch the race in all it's glory on the idiot box.
You could be like the blokes all dressed up as nuns who carried a coffin into Flemington Racecourse which was filled with cold tinnies and bags of ice.
*This was about 26 years ago so I seriously doubt you'd get away with it now.

As I was in a Scottish pipeband that played at the Cup each year we had to hang around till every man, his dog and drunken wench had staggered home from the track (gawd knows why) so we amused ourselves by collecting from under the stands $20 notes that people had dropped with their dud racing tickets, found a ripper pewter mug one year, some bits and pieces of jewellery, a flashy handbag or 3, the odd lone stiletto we gave a wide berth, the same with the gazillion feathers plucked from poor abused fascinator hats, the trampled fascinators themselves....and the passed out girls slumped on the ground loudly snoring/burping/farting through the cheap champagne haze.
And that, boys and girls, is why you should always wear knickers when drinking and watching horses!

1825 Get your shoes polished and practice the Windsor knot for your ties; the Sydney Free Grammar School opened it's doors for the learnin' business with Mr L.H. Halloran in the post as Headmaster.
Pity it shut up shop barely 12 months later...

From The Northern Territory Times Tuesday November 4th, 1930
Melbourne Cup.
Our usual wire not coming to hand in time the following was supplied to us over the phone -
1. Phar Lap
2. Second Wind
3. Shadow King
It may be remarked as a curious coincidence that most of the winners of the Melbourne Cup have been horses with seven letters in their name; the latest winner is no departure from the rule.
1876 The 2nd Theatre Royal opened it's doors in NZ, bragging of having the largest stage in all of Aotearoa despite being built in only 17 weeks.

From West Australian Saturday 18th November, 1899
Melbourne Cup November 16-
At today's meeting of the Baptist Union a long debate took place on the proposal that the Union should support the agitation on foot for the abolition of Cup Day as a public holiday.
1897 Lancaster Park in Christchurch tried an experiment with gas...lighting, that is, and bicycle races but failed miserably.
From The Argus Wednesday 5th November 1919
Run Down by Trams.
Four people were injured through being run down by tramcars late yesterday afternoon.
(Oops, wrong report).
Melbourne Cup.
Artilleryman's Great Win.
105,000 People Watch Race. 
(page 9 if you're interested).
1934 Charles Kingsford-Smith flapped about and made the first Brisvegas - San Francisco air crossing.
One hopes he remembered to wear a flower in his hair.

From Northern Territory Times and Gazette Friday 24th November, 1893
Melbourne Cup.
After a desperate race Tarcoola won the big race of the year by half a length from the Derby winner Carnage, with Jeweller a short head away third.
1970 That great Aussie rock group Daddy Cool made it's debut in Melbourne, with Ross Wilson in the lead...err...as lead singer.
From The Argus Tuesday 7th November 1916
Course deemed unsafe.
Events run next Saturday.


  1. "...the odd lone stiletto..."

    You'd have thought it's owner would have noticed when she tried to walk home and her chin kept slamming into the ground every second step.

  2. aww thats what I mis about working is the sweepstake that will be going on, then staying behind after work with some drinks and nibbles to watch the race, and sometimes being last in the race pays dividends int he office sweepstake lol. Wow, you certainly found some interesting items after the race. We have a TV programme where each week a few men try to get into stadiums with drinks and disguising the drinks in different ways, very entertaining and so far this season they have been successful.

  3. LOL at Brian :)

    I don't get all the excitement over a horse race. Blame my Baptist upbringing or something. I'd rather be watching Aliens battling space ships for interstellar peace or paint dry.

  4. LOL
    Most likely crawled home, Brian, or got a piggy back ride from the chap liberally plying her with cheap grog ;)

    The trick was to search under the members' stands, Janine, where the good rubbish was lol.

    The race is ok to me, Marita, but the tragic fashion victims, the Hollywood celebs and the rest of the garbage they can shove back in the bin lol.

  5. horses for courses I guess.

    Doesn't really interest me. The race that is.

    Your blog always interests me ;)

  6. My sister got away with the ban by putting her champagne in Dad's bookie's bag although he made her carry it. She stopped going when one of her friends threw up on her in the train coming home.