Friday, March 25, 2011

GOLD MINING AT PARKES

* a collection of stories and memories, in no particular order, from the life and times of John Clarke, who served as a policeman in the Australian Police Force, a great practical joker, he also had a great affinity with people and wildlife, was a champion swimmer, snooker player, loved golf, still loves fishing and is also an artist. I hope you enjoy his recollections - cheers, karin (his daughter)

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In about 1962 I was working night work at Parks with Bob Walsh.

Back then, Geoff Luland was living in a flat and had a big boiler constantly on the stove into which everything was put, ducks, chooks, rabbits, hares and vegies.  We would often leave something on his front door mat for the pot.  This pot would cook for months at a time.

Bob and I decided (as it was quiet) to patrol one area at Parkes, known as the "rifle range" with a rifle to see if we could get a rabbit for Geoff's pot.

It was 'round 1am when I spotted a fox run across the front of the police car.  In order to keep him in the headlight, I backed the police car and turned to keep the lights on the fox - next thing we knew the police car was vertical.  I had reversed down a gold mine and the car was stopped from going deeper than it's length by tree branches.

We managed to get out of the car and climbed up the car to get out of the mine.  Bob stayed with the car whilst I ran back to the police station where I dug out the police rescue equipment, ropes, grappling hooks, etc and the F100 police truck.

After a couple of hours work, we managed to get the police car out and just managed to get back to the station before the day shift arrived.

The few scratches on the police car were never noticed.
This incident did not make it to the occurence pad.

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