WDP William David Polley (Bill)

This was my Grandfather and the Builder of Barwon Heads Airport.

I'd like to dedicate this page to his memory.

------- Work In Progess :-) ----------


 The Sunshine harvester

In 1883, Hugh Victor McKay, a 17 year old got tired of turning the heavy handle on this fathers’ winnowing machine in Country Victoria, wondered if a harvester could be made to winnow as well.  With the help of his brothers George and John he built a prototype made of old metal scraps and farm tools.

It was finished in 1884 and called the Sunshine Harvester. It was an immediate success because it separated the grain, straw and chaff using a rotary fan making the entire harvesting process automatic. 

He soon established a factory and was selling thousands of the machines in Australia and overseas.  In 1904 McKay purchased  land for a plan in Braybrook near Melbourne.

So important was the Sunshine Harvester to Australian agriculture that the entire area surrounding the new plant was officially renamed Sunshine in recognition of its contribution.

My Grandfathers Sunshine harverster - modified for Tractor PTO power rather than the original wheel driven power, it still works (well it did until I dropped the PTO clutch to quickly and snapped a drive sprocket)...

You can still see the original mountings for when this beast was Horse Drawn prior to PTO conversion.



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Joe Grogan

Joe was a fellow I first met while at RARC at Bringelly, I never knew anyone with a soft spot for animals like Old Joe,  when my ex's dog died it was the first time i ever saw Joe cry tears.

He was a funny Jovial bloke, who's most famous saying was "go and get F%[email protected]".. Pronounced "garngetf'd".  Joe was a typical hard working Aussie, great mates with Hedley White and a lover of fine alcohol of all types.  He looked a lot like Bob Hawke in Appearance. 

His stoushes with his girlfriend where legendary at Bringelly and made for a whole lotta interesting memories, especially when he came into the bar once with the legs cut off his pants and the sleeves cut off his shirt after a blue.  Or his taking the mickey out of our resident Tough guy Simon after he fell asleep in the sun and burned the left side of his face, the right side remained white :-) 

When He died, I know his daughter came over from New Zealand, but I have since lost track of all of them.  If you know anything else about Joe, please comment.


Roger Knight

Rodger was also a local at the RARC, he often frequented the Bar of an evening and was a real help and support to the locals.  Roger built and owned Eagles Plumbing Supplies, and told me the reason for his success was innovation.  He was in the right place when PVC plumbing started coming into the market replacing the old clay pipes, which helped Eagles soar,

If you have heard anything from Rog's family, please post, as he is also dearly missed.



Rolf Vrieling

I first Met Rolf through a collegue at Bringelly, he was an Electronics Engineer from way back. I worked with him for a few years and he taught me a lot, and like Hedley, he had some great warries of his own.  He was Australian Service Manager for National for some years and also service manager for Kenwood Australia.

Rolf's real name was ADOLF, but he said he prefered Rolf because of the stigma attached to his real name after WW2.

One of the First Television sets Rolf had me work on to TEST me out was an old Phillips K9, it had vertical wavy colour bars in the picture.  Rolf let me work on thet set for almost the whole day, I was pouring over the Oscilliscope waveforms everywhere and could not find a single problem with the set.  In frustration I finally told him everything was fine and asked what it was - he smiled at me and just said - LOOSE SCREEN in the Picture tube.  It was flapping around inside causing the colours to go crazy... Lesson learned..:-)

He also taught me lots about microwave ovens,  I was driving all round western Sydney for him replacing waveguide covers and blown diodes and fuses.  The old National (now Panasonic) Microwaves  had temp sensors that where often dodgy.  Bridging them with a 100ohm resistor permanantly fixed the problem there.

The number of Video players i fixed is too many to mention, and the number that where full of cockroaches (eeuuww) or made up of "BITS" of others where numerous.  Often they had casettes in them that the owners DID NOT want us watching.. you can imagine what was on them....

We had one old Phillips TV come in where the owner stated the wife was mad at him so she tipped his dinner in the back - while it was running!  On opening the back we found the circuit cards coated in cooking oil and chicken bones stuck between components.  That set was NEVER the same again!!!!

Rolf also had a Russian Friend in Blacktown, together they bought an old dentists drill at auction and proceeded to drink 1/2 a bottle of scotch each and fill each others teeth.. There's some toughness for you!

Rolf was a frequent visitor to Penrith City Auctions.  Once he went there to buy a tv for parts, as a customer had brought one in with a broken back cover.  He found one the right type and got it for $10.. when we went to pick it up it turned out to be a Lot, not a single TV, and we had to take home 45 televisions of all shapes and sizes.  I believe when he eventually filled in the back yard swimming pool a lot of em ended up there!  I'd hate to dig in that back yard.

While he was at Kenwood, he was given a car with a state of the art $20,000 worth stereo as a showpiece.  To protect the car he had an ingenious device set up.  Mounted underneath was an electric aerial, which when activated went down and contacted the groud under the car.  Connected to the car Body was a simple car ignition coil, which was connected via a reed switch mounted inside the front windscreen.  When he would pull up, he would reach out and place a magnet on the glass near the reed switch and turn on the coil / electric antenna from inside the car. Once he was out of the car and the car was locked he would remove the Magnet completing the circuit.  Even leaning on that car gave a powerful kick :-)I doubt in this day you could get away with that though...

I'll ad more as I have time as there ARE lots of stories from the TV Repair days.


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Florence Edith Polley

 26 September 1913 - 13 June 2010

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1: 21)



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