The Art of Billiards – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about billiards.

Instruction by Howard Reede-Pelling

As a thirty-year-old I took advantage of an offer of instruction in the manly game of Billiards. My tutor was one Mr. Bourke who just happened to be the husband of Dolly Bourke (nee Lindrum), who took over and ran the famous Lindrum Billiards Rooms in Flinders Lane and then in Flinders Street, just past the offices of The Herald – Sun.

Dolly Lindrum lived in the same house as Walter Lindrum, in Kerferd Road, South Melbourne; where Mr. Bourke gave instruction on the very table which was made famous by Walter. It was situated at the rear of the premises and was self-contained. Walter Lindrum spent much of his early life-time at that particular table.

These were the main points that I was taught: –

Stand square on to the table. Bridge at a half arm’s length and use the rest, don’t stretch. Use the nine points of the cue ball and strike gently according to the position required. Play the ball, don’t just shut your eyes and bash; that is for pub players. Leave the cue ball to your advantage, NOT your opponents. Control the ball, do not let it control you and above all, have respect for the table.

Take the fifteen RED balls off the table leaving only the six coloured balls and the cue ball. Imagine that the pack has been broken and you are left with only the coloured balls to pocket. From a position left or right of where the triangle of red balls were, now pot all six colours in order, one at a time making sure to leave the cue ball in a position to pot the next colour. This is an exercise to control the cue ball to its best position for the player so as to pot each ball in turn, from the most advantageous position.

Enjoy your potting.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Ephemera – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about ephemera.

Euphemera! What is it you may well ask? Fair enough! Euphemera is paperwork and the art of collecting it. Such as old tickets, newspapers, photographs, cuttings, programmes, posters postcards, in fact anything of historical value of our past in paper form. There are clubs and associations dedicated to it and indeed they hold exhibitions, displays, buy and swap stalls etcetera. Take for instance the 1956 Olympic Edition of the newspapers. A copy of the newspaper in mint condition is worth $100 – $1000. A boarding ticket for the Titanic (if one still existed) would possibly be in excess of thousands. A Ballroom Ladies Card for the Trocadero (now well demolished) would set one back hundreds of dollars. This is just a small sample of what euphemera collecting is all about.

A search through any drawer could well reward one with many items forgotten about in every home. People do not put much stock in such things and are very liable to pass them by as unworthy, not worth the effort; I must clear that drawer out some day! Be very careful, what you may regard as just a mundane scrap of paper, could be worth many dollars to a collector of trivia. It may pay you well, if when you do clean out that drawer, that you look up the appropriate clubs in the yellow pages and have an expert determine what is collectable and what is to be thrown out. Look before you leap is a well-known saying, never has it been truer than when clearing out rubbish.

Everyone knows how valuable those old tobacco cards are, they are euphemera! Look in any Antique Shop or a Second Hand Shop and you will see dozens of items of euphemera. They would not be there if there was not a quid to be gained by having them. It does seem to be a pity that not a great deal of interest has been engendered in the very real and profitable art of collecting euphemera.

It is one of those easily overlooked hobbies that so many people just ignore, until they realise the money-making potential! In the wonderful world of collecting euphemera, the collecting of cards is just one of a plethora of diversities. There are people who collect only newspapers for example, or magazines. (I had a valuable collection of T. V. Weeks, from Vol. 1 No. 1 up to ten years without missing an issue) which,
when disposed of, it brought more than the face value. I can recall a friend who has a similar story to tell of his collection of playing cards. Some of them dated back to the seventeenth century.
Have you the makings of a collection of Euphemera?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Philately – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about philately

Philately is the hobby of stamp collecting. We all did at one time or another. delve into the fascinating world of this most ancient of pastimes, well of the last century or so at any rate. Because of its diversity there is an interest for all, young and old alike.The young because it is really fascinating the old because of the fiscal benefits. Stamp collecting has a very large following and it has an extremely large diversity. For instance, there are collectors for charity, that have no real interest in philately but they know others do have and get together all the stamps that would that would otherwise have been wasted and send them to institutions; mainly as money-raisers. Then there are the beginners, children mostly, who have the curiosity to learn of the different cultures and variety of stamps, those fledglings who begin a collection and then lose interest. But far and away are the serious collectors who steadfastly adhere to the rigid guidelines of philataly and properly store, tend, and preserve these icons of yesteryear and of the future purely for not only the monetary value but because they have a genuine love of stamps.

A true philatelist is one who takes a genuine interest in the hobby and acquires all the necessary utensils to adequately consumate their ideals of the collecting and storage of stamps. A couple of pairs of tweezers (fine and heavy) the correct drying material for used stamps, good pocket albums for the correct storage of their treasures, most importantly, two pairs of eyeglasses for the finer inspection of the stamps to take note of imperfections and variations. A nice airy office and an uncluttered desk for the laying out and sorting of these sometimes very scarce and valuable items, drying

As the years roll by, stamp collecting is becoming more and more of a mind-boggler. The new varieties keep coming as the governments realise that huge incomes can be gained for the public coffers, due to the enormous interest that is encouraged by new variations and sets of stamps.
It would seem that everyone is trying to cash in on the enormity of stamp collecting. Personalised stamps, stamps of the different flora and fauna of countries, even motor racing and yachting events are catered for. Anything from which governments are able to raise monetary gain is being exploited. While the interest is there, and it looks like the interest always will be there, people and governments are out to make a profit. And why not? When there is a genuine need and people are happy with it, make it viable; there is no harm in promoting that which does some good for all involved.
I like philately, do you?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Swimming – Teaching – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about teaching swimming.

I first began teaching swimming at the age of seventeen. I had two pupils. It was not until the 1956 Olympic Games that 1 began in earnest, and then I was so taken by the likes of the Konrads and John Marshal, that I adopted their ‘new’ style of swimming – the third stroke breathing method. This is an evergreen style that is as near to breathing at a walking pace, that one can get. I shall endeavour to pass on to my readers, this little gem of information; read and put it into practice for the betterment of your stroking.
The Third Stroke breathing Method is not unlike that old favourite ‘The Australian Crawl’. With the australian crawl one takes a deep breath and holds it until one has swum an entire lap, pulling up at the end of the lap through sheer lack of breath. With the Third Stroke Breathing Method, one does just that – breathe on every third stroke! Not only can one breathe normally when swimming, there is also stability to your stroking inasmuch that the body does not rock sideways at each stroke. A steady even pull such as a sculler is also evident.

For Third Stroke swimming, one does the crawl but on the third stroke, turns the head to one side sufficiantly enough to take a breath. The breath is taken BELOW the water level for with the forward propulsion of the body, a hollow is left after the head has moved forwards. It is in this hollow that one takes their breather, blowing out gently with the head straight down for two strokes. On the third stroke (which is now upon the other side of the body), the swimmer should take the next breath. With a minimum of movement the head moves from side to side with the third stroke, only the chin moves from side to side. During two strokes, the head should be held in a straight forwards position. The feet should be kicked two, four or six times during the entailing three strokes. Depending upon the distance to be swum, marathon, two to six laps or sprint.

This method enables the swimmer to gain maximum speed with very little exertion. An easy stroke for practice laps and a purposful stroke for an average distance. More frenzied can be left for the last half a lap in a sprint race. As a rule, an easy purposeful stroke will eat up the laps and get the swimmer from A to B with little exertion. The Third Stroke Breathing Method of swimming is a proven practise drill and a world-class winner in marathons. Enjoy your swimming.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Camping – Bush Lore – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about camping and bush lore.

Ah, the call of the wild! Nothing is as good as camping, communing with nature if will. But beware the pitfalls, and there are many of which the city dweller may not fully comprehend. Just a few reminders for city folk.
Be sure to pack the can opener, a box of matches and a torch. There are many things of creature comfort which we take for granted, but may not remember in the bush. A toilet roll, extra blankets, a container for water, a spade, the medical kit and most importantly – let someone know what you are planning and where you are going.

Setting up camp is like planning a house. One must look to safety first! Don’t just plonk down in the first shady spot you come to, look for the dangers. It may be there are bushes or logs about that could harbour spiders or snakes, which could come out and creep into bed with you for warmth at night. The river bank upon which you have erected your tent may be unstable and give way, casting you into the water at night. Perhaps the shade tree you have decided to camp under is a blue gum, which are notorious for dropping healthy looking limbs of great weight upon you unexpectedly. Then again, the gravely bank a little away from camp may be just one massive bull-ants nest!

Given that one has not neglected safety, all has been remembered that is necessary and the camp has been set up respectably; if one is fishing, the next step is to locate bait and a good fishing spot. Most people will rely upon the spade for the recovery of worms for bait. Not good enough! Fish do not rely on worms alone for feed; they eat the natural things which fall into the rivers and streams. The little white moths that abound near wattle trees, wichetty grubs that fall into the water from the same trees, spiders that can be found under the loose bark of gums and acacias, grasshoppers and locusts from the grasses and yabbies from nearby dams. A good angler will have the outer cable-case of a push bike handy. They can be stored in one’s creel quite easily. A lone ghost gum in a paddock is a good place to scrape the ground-cover leaves away and expose the bardie grubs web. A flick upon each hole will tell you whether a grub is home or not. A dull thud means he’s at home, a ting means he has already been taken.A twist of the cable down the hole and you are able to extricate the grub as bait. Scrub worms are also good bait.

Have fun safely and catch plenty of fish. Above all, take heavy boots to guard against snakes and scorpions.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Story Writing and Poetry – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about story writing and poetry.

There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to put thoughts in your head down on paper, be it in book form, prose or poetry. Writing can be described as an art form, indeed I think that in some cases it is so but a rank ami can and is, able to put pen to paper and make some sort of a fist at it; given a little leeway. After the first book or fifty or so poems, one does acquire a ‘knack’ of imparting their thoughts with somewhat of a bit of respectability. I know, I have been there – done that – so I have experience at it. After having written fifteen books, including 550 pages of poetry and countless articles for magazines of clubs to which I have been associated, I do have some expertise in this area.

When one writes, there is a need to have a format. One must have a beginning, a middle or body of the article and an ending. It is also advisable not to deviate from one’s goal, put the thoughts in their proper perspective, make the story viable. One must keep the reader interested and keen or the plot will be lost and the reader will cast away the article and pick up the comics. In writing a story, there must be interest at all times. That is one of the reasons for making chapters. A chapter is in itself a story. A whole book encompasses maybe twentyfive chapters and even though they are related, there must be an interest at the ending of each one to keep the reader enthralled. To make the reader look at the next chapter just to see how the story is going, what the next exciting episode is all about. Do not go out at a tangent unless you are going to return to the gist of the story at a later time, for one may forget what the plot is about and end up on a different tram.

Prose and poetry are the same. Although prose has a story to tell, it does not rhyme as poetry does; it is merely a statement of an idea. Poetry on the other hand, not only tells a story but it does so with rhythm and sound alike words. Poetry has a ring to it which is easy to listen to and is easily understood. But, as in story writing, one must stick to the story-line and not deviate. A good piece of poetry or prose must have a meaningful beginning, the two or three middle verses should have the body of the story and the ending must be just that -an ending. Keep the reader enthralled!

Good poetry can easily be made into songs; just work on the syllabel system when composing your piece. Each first, second or third line, in fact right throughout the piece, have your syllabels symetric and all will fall into place.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Skating – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about rollerskating.

Have you ever experienced the pleasure of gliding along with the freedom of flight, the very smooth rythmic flow of good balance and the wind in your hair as you glide majestically through the suburbs, up hill and down dale, in and out amongst mere pedestrians and trees, along smooth bitumen paths or around a car park? Then you don’t know the glory of skating. Skating is fun, be it upon the ice, on cornered wheel boots or in-line-skates, it is freedom of flight and ease of movement flowing along with grace and poise. It is an exhilarating form of sport, exercise and relaxation.

A few precautionary tips. Make sure you are well protected in case of a fall, and you will fall occasionally, due to the very nature of the sport. Matches, sticks and stones, even other pedestrians can cause a downfall for the unwary. Proper protective padding is a must for the skater. Headgear, elbow pads, kneepads, wristguards and even shinpads are a necessity for your safety to enjoy this most pleasurable of pastimes.
Care and respect for others is also a must. All have the right to co-exist in safety, so be aware of the needs of others. Just because you have a pair of skates does not give you an automatic right of way!

To fully appreciate and enjoy the thrill of skating, take care and go slowly at first. It is much better to properly master the use of your blades, be they ice or roller, before you can go hurtling along at breakneck speeds. Instead of lifting your feet one after the other, try letting your weight pull you along.
With a little practice this is easily done by first of all putting the weight evenly upon both blades, then ease the skates away from your body by leaning to the fore with the weight upon the heels. After one has moved about one metre, the weight should be transferred to the toes and pull the feet together.
This will bring one to the upright position again and you will have moved about two metres. This movement is called ‘wows’ and should be repeated for as long as it is practical.

Wows keeps one evenly balanced, remembering to always lean slightly to the fore, and as one practices, skating by lifting each foot in turn will automatically follow. Let the body flow forwards and movements is made possible by stepping forwards rather than pushing forwards. Skating can be very hard on the ankles at first as one is using muscles that are seldom exercised so vigorously. Take care not to overdo it for the first few weeks. Later, the muscles will have hardened and skating will become second nature. Have fun!

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Upholstery – Restoration – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about upholstery and restoration.

That shabby old chair or divan one has in the attic or garden shed, either Grandma’s old couch or Dad’s favorite chair, just laying there gathering dust; now is the time to restore it! Upholstery is not a mystery any more, even you can do something about making an effort to at least give it a new outlook. One does not have to be an expert to restore it to something of its former glory; just a little common sense will suffice. A couple of metres of new material just draped over it and tucked in at the seat will give it a new, clean look. But, if one needs something a little more substantial – read on!

Now if the need is for diamond or spade buttoning, perhaps then one should have the piece expertly done; however, for just the odd easy chair or divan, they may be restored with a minimum cost and be made to look good. The secret is to first remove the outside arm and back covers. Now one can see how the inside arm and back materials are fastened. When covering your furniture it is basic to stretch the material evenly and firmly into place. Replace springs that are broken or have slipped, and be sure to tie them properly to prevent them slipping again. Sometimes the supporting hessian has to be replaced as it may have worn. Carefully note how it is attached before removing it, so that you can replace it as it was.

If your furniture has stab buttoning, then that is easily restored. Just get the button which has come undone or a replacement, and a trip to an upholsterer will supply you with the necessary needle so that the button may be re-attached. Look how the others were done and simulate them. If extra padding is needed, that is where the upholsterer will come in handy again. If you wish to have the tacks covered, be sure to take note of how the outside back and arms were attached. Back tacking is the simple means of cutting strips of cardboard and putting the tacks in a straight line along it; the cover is then folded down and tacked to the underside of the furniture. The sides are then slip-stitched and your furniture is as good as new.

If it needs a polish, do not despair; a quick wipe over the woodwork with a touch of shellack and metho will take most surface scratches off and give your piece a warm sheen. Make sure if you are recovering, that you do not make the mistake of putting on a too gaudy cover as it may not suit the polish. Pastel colours are the evergreen trend and a safe guide for a comfortable unit. Remember, you may have to live with it a long time.

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Bird Observing – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about bird observing.

This is a most relaxing and serene of recreational activities, the observation of our natural bird-life.
The feathered creatures that abound in our habitat are indeed a natural treasure, but on the whole, we, the so-called ruling majority; take little if any notice of one of nature’s wonderful gifts to mankind. Bird life is an amazing and diverse feature of our universe, yet we take most of it for granted without looking deeper into this vast and informative area of living beauty and diversity. Take just a little time out to think and ponder of the possibilities in this field. Think well of the various sizes, shapes, types and colour variations of these our feathered friends, set there for our enjoyment to wonder at and witness, yes and even to learn from and gain much in living together in harmony, even as we of multiple races have not yet learned to do.

Bird life has its own set of rules for the harmonious co-existance of the species. This is a rule, not of kill or be killed, but more of a Took before you leap’ existance. True, birds do prey upon each other in many cases, however, this is not the rule; there are many species of birds that are not cannibalistic or indeed, meat-eaters. Although the vast majority of our native birds are insect or honey-eaters, there is a large field where the bird-life are grain-eaters. Even the carnivorous of our feathered neighbours are not so aggressive as to be warlike; no indeed, their aggressiveness comes merely as a need to eat to survive. Birds such as the eagles and kestrels. Many
birds need sea-life upon which to live; Gulls, Pelicans and the like. But this paper is not just a guide to the eating habits of birds but a prelude into the wonderful spectacle of witnessing the colour and beauty, and indeed, the idiosyncrasies of the more common types of birds to be found in our neighbourhoods.

It is a fact that more and more clubs and gatherings of bird observers are now becoming quite the norm, it is a relaxing, peaceful pastime and is gathering much momentum because the interest and beauty are there, to witness free of charge and to get one out in the open air. When first one takes the time to sit quietly in a natural country-like setting in one of the areas set aside for the purpose, close to the city; say for instance Yarra Bend Park, when all about is still. That is when one can see the native birds in their natural habitats doing what birds do, chirping, flirting, eating and even playing. To witness a couple of tiny tits seeking insects, although they may be just a drab grey colour, their lively antics keep one enthralled. Then there are the more colourful varieties, parrots etc. Swallows and the fleet swift. I am a Bird Observer, are you?

Howard Reede-Pelling.

Bottle Collecting – Howard Reede-Pelling

This post is part of a series of short writings by a small writer on particular topics and stories named Howard Reede-Pelling, he lives in Victoria, Australia and is in his older age now. Here, he has written about bottle collecting.

I was a member of The Western Antique Bottle Club for eighteen years. In that time I sat on the committee in various portfolios. Social Secretary, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor and President. We had many memorable shows including one at the Showgrounds in 1983. At that time I was Secretary and had the pleasure of firstly inviting and then presenting with a gift, the Miss Australia winner, Sharon Me Kenzie, whom I then escorted on a tour of inspection; of our Bottle Show. Many shows at town halls and exhibition centres were made. Including one at the Williamstown Town Hall where I had the pleasure of escorting The Right Honourable Joan Kirner, just before she became Premier.

Antique Bottle Collecting is a lucrative and very interesting hobby. The value of these pieces is remarkable. Two thousand dollars for a single bottle is commonplace. One must specialise in particular areas as the house would tilt otherwise. Bottles are quite heavy when one gathers huge amounts of them. My first experience with bottle collecting came during my days at a Gem Club. A mate and I were a little tired of delving fruitlessly for agates and haematites in a gold mining area at Castlemaine, when my mate suggested that we dug out one of the mullock heaps of an abandoned gold digging. We toiled for a half of an hour before we found our first bottle. It was only Kruses Oil bottle, but it was an 1880’s piece and it was found by myself; my very own link with the past. I became quite interested in Bottle Collecting.

With Bottle Collecting it is most important to specialise. My first area was with the then quite common milk bottle. There are 625 different dairies in the Melbourne district and I had one or two bottles from each of them by the time I sold the lot to the Clunes Historic Society and concentrated upon the stoneware Ginger Beer Collection. I still have the best collection of Victorian Stone Ginger Beers in existance. Some of my bottles are valued at over two thousand dollars each. On an average the Victorian Collection of Ginger Beer Bottles are worth one hundred dollars a bottle. I have a total collection of five hundred and ten Ginger Beer Bottles. My complete collection including the Codd Bottles, Pointy enders (Hamilton Patents) and various others including Wines, Scents and Stone Flagons; would exceed $80,000. As well as antique furniture, I might add.

To properly relate the exciting possibilities with Bottle Collecting one would need an entire newspaper. This I don’t have access to, so I hope that I may have inspired some of you a little. Advice is free, so if you so desire feel free to be enlightened by myself in regard to Bottle Collecting.

Howard Reede-Pelling.