ABRIDGED AND EDITED VERSION


INTRODUCTION

In 2009, the State Library of Victoria completed the online publication of digitized images from the vast glass-plate and photographic print collection of the football photographer Charles Edward Boyles. Boyles took hundreds of photos of Victorian football teams and individual players in the period from the late 1930’s to the early 1960’s. The appearance of these fascinating images on the SLV website immediately prompted interest in the life story of Boyles the photographer but also in the stories of those members of his immediate family that helped run the business. The 2010 interview Ken Mansell conducted with Harley Boyles, the youngest son of the photographer, can be found on Boylesfootballphotos.

The interview with Harley Boyles that is reproduced below (albeit in an abbreviated and edited version) was conducted by Ken Mansell and Michael Riley in November 2012. It covers some of the same ground covered in earlier discussions with Harley but also opens up some new areas of interest. Here, Harley provides more details about his methods as the foremost seller of Boyles photos in the period (roughly) 1939-51, and for the first time reveals the extent of his brother Ron’s involvement in football photography.







HARLEY BOYLES - SELLER OF PHOTOS




Ken
Harley, you were born in 1931 – and I think you told me once you started selling the photos for your Dad when you were around about eight or nine years old – that’s when you first started. So that would have been about 1939-1940. Is that right?
Harley
Yes.


Ken
When you first started selling the photos were you selling at the grounds, at the matches?
Harley
Yes.


Ken
So it wasn’t that you first started going to training nights – in fact when you first started selling the photos you were doing it at the matches?
Harley
Both of those things were part of my activities.


Ken
You were selling at the matches and also at the training nights?
Harley
Yes, and delivering – you know, taking orders from the players and then delivering them back on a Thursday night.
Michael
It’s a bit daunting for someone so young.
Harley
The thing about it was – you have to have some context about the depth of the Depression and the effects it had on families….we were six kids in our family…I was the last and the three brothers were older and they’d sort of gone because wartime……they were all in the Services and so on. You know, it was a battle, and given my father’s physical condition – it made it even worse because he was not an employable person. Nobody would give him a job – so I just did it. I was also selling newspapers up on the tram stop around the same age…not only I…plenty of kids my age did that……because for a family to survive in the Depression everybody had to do their bit.


Ken
When you stopped selling the photos – it would have been probably when you started going to Teachers’ College?
Harley
Yes, around that time, yes.


Ken
Can you remember the year you started going to Teachers’ College?
Harley
It would have been about ‘49. I was about eighteen or nineteen.


Ken
So you would have stopped selling your Dad’s photos at the grounds and on training nights around about 1949, 1950?
Harley
Yes, and also he was starting to ease off at the same time. He didn’t have a great run of good health – even with his ongoing problems of…..even walking….


Ken
So he would have slackened off a little bit as the 1950’s progressed. After you stopped selling – which we reckon would be around about 1950 when you’re nineteen or eighteen - how does he manage to sell his photos? Because if you’re not selling them, who was selling them? Harley
Oh, we found some other kids to do it, some local kids. They’d go off and do it. Or one’s that I’d known at school, other school friends – they were quite interested to have a go…… I started to lose track of it because I had other activities…I was more interested in sport myself. I was already involved fairly much in basketball.


Ken
So throughout the fifties he’s still managing to sell photos but it’s basically using other kids.
Harley
In the fifties themselves I’d already become a teacher in ’51 – and I went bush – the first three years I was teaching at country schools – up around Wangaratta, down in Gippsland, and somewhere around Kyneton.


Ken
We do have quite a lot of photos that have survived from the middle fifties and the later fifties – not as many as the 1930’s and the 1940’s but there’s still quite a few of them…….
Harley
Yes, the late thirties and right through the forties were certainly the prime eras that I was totally involved in.
Michael
And your brothers sold at the grounds before you?
Harley
No, not so much…see, because of the age difference…my first brother was born in 1916, 1917 and the third one was born in 1921…by the time I was up there they had started to disappear – whether it was to work or to…..they joined the forces…my brother went to sea in the merchant navy…..you know, they weren’t around then – they’d gone off somewhere else…..another brother had become very involved with a religious group – he disappeared and sort of lived with that group. They were quite a family so…...we were left with my two sisters – Becky was five years younger, and Pearl was fifteen months younger, than I. So they’re the two I really grew up with. My brothers – I couldn’t say that as people I really got to know them.
Really I grew up with my two sisters.


Ken
You’re fairly definite that some of your friends and some of their friends were able to carry on your activity after you’d dropped out of it?
Harley
Well yes, before I’d dropped out of it I’d introduced some other sellers.


Ken
And they were all fairly young?
Harley
Yes, they weren’t at work. Kids selling newspapers and things like that….an extra job.


Ken
You’ve mentioned how you sold at the games and you quite often were able to get inside the boundary, the boundary fence – or the fence.
Harley
I was always able, even at the MCG. They didn’t kick me off.


Ken
You actually sold at the MCG as well – and inside the fence at the MCG?
Harley
Yes, I could get in there.


Ken
So you sold at finals matches?
Harley
Yes. You see, the crowds were huge in those days. There were times when even the spectators – at the Grand Finals and so on – spilled onto the ground – inside the fence – and they sat inside the fence watching the game.


Ken
Yes, and you were there amongst them.
Harley
It was just amazing the crowds they used to get…but of course that was overcome by the extra building that went on.


Ken
Can you remember being at the drawn Grand Final between Essendon and Melbourne in 1948?
Harley
I went to a lot of Grand Finals. Yes, I would be pretty sure I would have been there.


Ken
That was a pretty amazing match. That was where Essendon kicked 7 goals 27.
Harley
I wasn’t all that interested in Essendon. Melbourne I didn’t care too much for – they were Collingwood’s big enemies in those days.


Ken
Did you ever sell at Geelong, at Kardinia Park?
Harley
Yes, every year. Once the photo had been taken I might go down two or three times – so that we’d made the most of the opportunity. I went down on the train and caught the tram that used to go down past the footy ground.
Ken
When you did that, when you did go down to Geelong on the train, would you have been selling photos of the Geelong team or just the opposition team?
Harley
Oh Geelong mainly, but if we had already done the other club that they were playing, I’d also have some of their photos – I’d have some of both – but primarily the reason for going to Geelong was because that is where the market would be.


Ken
Did you go down by yourself, without your Dad?
Harley
Yes. I can’t remember whether my father actually took photos at Geelong. I know that he took photos of them up in Melbourne. He may have even gone to Geelong. I don’t have a clear answer for that one.
Michael
How did you choose which grounds to go to each week? Did you go to the biggest game? Or when you had the most photos? You had six VFL games every Saturday in Melbourne. On what basis would you choose a particular ground to go to? Why would you choose a particular game?
Harley
I went where my mother and father told me. I was probably their primary seller – so mostly it was the team that was taken the previous week – and the other kids would go off to the other grounds like Fitzroy or wherever – that’s the way it seemed to work.
Michael
How many kids did you have when it was the biggest? Did you have about four or five working together? Not the same place, the same day.
Harley
I’d say three or four, including myself……because as the year went on, you’d already burned out a few of the – the best of the market – at those places – or, if it was early in the year, you hadn’t taken the photos yet – so three or four would have been the maximum required at any time.


Ken
If there were three or four of you doing it on a particular Saturday, would each of those sellers be more or less alone at their particular ground?
Harley
Yes, we all operated the same way. They just made their way there and back and did whatever they had to do.


Ken
Would you all meet at Nicholas Street beforehand to get all the photos – would they all meet together at Nicholas Street on the Saturday?
Harley
Yes, they’d have to go back and book in their sales……my mother usually would count their returns and work out how much they should have – they paid the money in and then they were paid.


Ken
When you say they were paid, what did they get? It was like a commission, was it?
Harley
It was a commission, yes. The more they sold, the more they got.


Ken
You would have done it for nothing but these other kids probably wouldn’t……..
Harley
I did it – mostly I did it – and went through all that business about the……asked me what I’d do and how many I’d sold and whatever else – but my mother, and particularly my mother, made sure that I would only get a fraction of the money that should have been coming to me. She said ‘No, that goes in the bank’.... because that was their thinking. I mean loose money was not how the family ran – there was very little loose money around and it’s not as though we were dealing in thousands of dollars. I remember they were paying off the house and the money that they paid off the house they paid off twenty-five shillings a week. So, that was one pound five. So it gives you an idea that that’s what that sort of family….. lived on, you know, the minimal amount of money, and because of the situation with unemployment and my father and so on – and my brothers had all left (they weren’t contributors at that stage) – you know, it was a pretty tight life. I think I told you that in my whole junior life I only ever can remember having one toy – one.


Ken
There would have been moments – as you were going around the ground – particularly if you were inside the fence – you would have got pretty close to the actual players….on the odd occasion the ball would come very close to where you were, wouldn’t it?
Harley
Yes, but if I was doing that inside the ground I always had a little rule of my own – of where I would park – and it would always be on the wings – because I didn’t want to get in the road of umpires, and so on…..having them sort of booting me off and saying ‘Look, you’re in the road’.


Ken
I suppose there was more room for everyone on the wings, wasn’t there?
Harley
Oh look, I just tried to keep out of the way – and nobody worried me and I didn’t worry them.


Ken
Can you remember – some of the Saturday afternoons would have been terrible weather….did you wear a thick gabardine coat perhaps?
Harley
Yes.


Ken
I can just imagine. There was one particular Saturday afternoon out at Footscray where the drains burst……and you probably remember this……you wouldn’t have been there because you would have been……this is a couple of years after you stopped….it was 1953, and Footscray played Fitzroy out there, and up until about I think the last five minutes of the match Fitzroy still hadn’t scored – because there was so much water on the ground the players were swimming around – and somehow ‘Baron’ Ruthven managed to kick a behind or a goal – I think it was a goal – and so Fitzroy’s score for the afternoon was one goal nothing – and if Ruthven hadn’t kicked that goal in the last couple of minutes Fitzroy would have gone scoreless. Do you remember that match?
Harley
I don’t have a clear memory of it. The one that I can remember, similar to that, was at Geelong, where the ground flooded. With rain – and yes, they actually stopped the game…..and then tried to get it going again. Yes, the footballers had to put up with whatever comes down from the sky.


Ken
Yes, but did you? If it was raining solidly and heavily would you still have been prepared to go out there?
Harley
Well, I’d probably gone there with hope that everything was not going to happen. And until it happened, you know, I didn’t believe in it.


Ken
So there would have been quite a few occasions when you were out there and it was raining and pouring cats and dogs and you were still selling them?
Harley
I wasn’t selling. That was the problem when you’ve got a day like that, you know – your returns were very low. You still stuck around and hoped the rain would stop – and you’d be able to sell a few but, yes, the rain was often the predictor of the outcome….of the amount of business you could do on the day.


Ken
How about the wind? Did you ever lose any photos to the wind?
Harley
No, not really. Because I always carried a bag and if that wind had come up I think I probably would have shot them into the bag anyway.


HOW CHARLES BOYLES TOOK HIS PHOTOS




Ken
When I spoke to you last on the phone we were talking about how your Dad took the photos on the match day, the players would come down the race and he’d have a seat prepared you know for the three rows…….
Harley
Oh, well, one row was seats. One row sat in along the front, and the others stood at the back.


Ken
He seems to have been able to set that up pretty easily, or at least he got somebody to help with the seat because obviously he couldn’t have lifted it himself – he must have had some help with it.
Harley
Well, I think the players realized……the captain sat in the middle, the small ones sat down the front – that’s why Thorold Merrett was down on the front row, sitting on the ground, and the big guys were up the back – and they pretty much sorted that out for themselves.


Ken
Yes, so he didn’t have to direct them where to sit – they kind of understood what they had to do.
Harley
Yes, they knew what a photo was, most of them, after a while. If they didn’t probably others told them.


Ken
And he seems to have been very good at getting them to take the photo seriously. None of them were mucking around.
Harley
Oh no……..and even after the prints were printed and then I’d take them back to the clubhouse and you know on the Tuesday night……no, they were always pleased to see them and look at them…..and see that they were willing to actually purchase them themselves out of their own money, their own pocket. Yes, they were quite happy with what was going on – they loved to get their own photo, their own team photo.


Ken
When he was actually taking the photo on match day, would you sometimes be present when he was taking the photo, at the spot where he was taking the photo?
Harley
Only occasionally and mostly the answer would be ‘No’ – ninety per cent of the time I’d be somewhere else, but yes I did see him take some photos – and why that worked out, perhaps he took a photo of the visiting team and I was there for the home team – or the other way round.


Ken
Did he ever need your help in carrying his camera equipment into the grounds, or anything like that?
Harley
Well, I think he actually wheeled it. He had a wheeling arrangement where he could wheel it in. But it wasn’t a lot of equipment. It was just one bag – and the sticks on which they mount the camera. So there wasn’t a whole lot to carry. And then he had in a little bag his plates and so on. And it was only slip a plate in and pull it out.


Ken
We found one example of where he had taken a photo at Brunswick Street – that’s the Fitzroy ground – before the match. I think he took a photo of the Hawthorn opposition team, obviously before the match because all the players are clean, their jumpers are clean and there’s no mud on them. To take the photo before the match was his standard procedure of course. And then on the same day – we know this from checking the match results and who the players were – or on the same afternoon, he’s gone from Fitzroy after having taken the photo there…..he’s gone across to Yarraville and taken a photo of the Footscray team at half-time. You know it’s half-time because they’ve got mud all over their knees and all that sort of thing. So on the same day he’s gone from Fitzroy to Yarraville and taken two shots.
Harley
Our old T Model Ford which he had – that was his first car that I remember – he had a couple of others. I think he’d get over there in…well, you had an hour didn’t you? He’d get there and set up. That’s not impossible.


Ken
So he would have done it. Do you think he would have done that quite a few times, try to take two photos……
Harley
Not a regular one. Normally it was one a day, but depending on what pressure he was under to get the photos. No, he had a pretty good system, because normally if he was doing two in a day, I would have said, it might have been that he did Carlton and Fitzroy, or he did Collingwood and Richmond one day.


Ken
Because they were close together – those grounds were close?
Harley
Yes, they were close. But the one that you just nominated doesn’t sound to me to be absolutely impossible.


Ken
When, say for instance the Carlton team ran on to the ground and had their photo taken…..was there any…..I’m trying to think of the right term…….quid pro quo? Did the club know that it was going to get…….was the club getting anything at all? Was he sort of saying to the club ‘I promise you ten photos of this shot that I’m about to take’? What was the club getting out of it – anything at all?
Harley
The only thing that I know – and I don’t know that it applied in every case – but I do know that eight or nine of the teams in the VFL at the time – of the twelve – my father was a member of the club – he paid up his membership. He was a member of about eight of the clubs. He bought a member’s ticket. It was probably just a way of donation. But it also, you know, made access for him a bit easier.
Michael
But no direct cash or photo to people?
Harley
No, I can’t remember anytime anybody being paid.
Michael
Today, that sounds absolutely amazing that the club would allow......not their own photographer but somebody else to come down and get the players…….take up the players’ time before the game. I know it was very different.
Harley
Well, it was something that the players accepted and enjoyed – to have their photos taken on a match day.
Michael
I just think it shows how different it’s all become now……how different football is now…….how much more of a business it is.
Harley
Oh look, the world’s different! It was the same thing as, you know, when I made the comment about living in the Depression years, you know, and people that never lived in that time – it’s just amazing – you can’t understand the world as it is because the world just goes on – change, change, change – that’s what life’s about.
Michael
I found a great photo of you on the internet with your mother – with your arms around your mother – it’s a wonderful photo.
Harley
Yes, he wasn’t a bad photographer. I think he would go through the process – if he was not pleased with the first one he took, he’d take another one. My father didn’t take a lot of photos of our family. We don’t have a lot of family photos - not a drawer full. Just occasionally he would take our photo.

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC ACTIVITY OF RON BOYLES




Ken
You weren’t born until 1931 - but we’re still struggling to try and understand what your Dad was doing in the 1920’s, because he………
Harley
Well, he was taking some photos because I know only one of the brothers, the older brothers, took on taking photos, and he used to do the Association teams – and that was my brother Ron – but as I mentioned earlier it didn’t last all of that long – I was aware of that and he did it in my time – I told you that he went off with a religious group and that was the last we saw of him. Ken
Can I just ask you about that again? Are you saying that your brother Ron actually took photos of Association football teams?
Harley
Yes, he did - because my father sort of taught him. But he never took a photo of a League team, but junior teams, and local sub-district teams like East Brunswick and so on. He would take those photos.
Michael
Did Ron have his own camera?
Harley
Eventually he had a camera of his own. I remember he used to borrow the camera but eventually when he started to do the Association teams it virtually meant he had to have a camera of his own.


Ken
Did Charles ask Ron to take the VFA teams because he felt it was less of a priority for him – he was more concerned with trying to get the VFL teams?
Harley
Well, obviously the VFL is always the primary target….you were lucky if there were a few hundred people sometimes at the VFA games…..the money was made selling the photos back to the players and so on, and some supporters around the club.


Ken
But Charles did actually take some VFA photos himself, didn’t he?
Harley
Very rarely. I can’t remember…..he may have done a couple.


Ken
So, if we have a look at, say for example, a Camberwell photo taken in 1931……
Harley
If my father’s stamp is on it, it’s possible he took it, but not necessarily. I think he was trying to encourage Ron with some sort of a future.
Michael
I’ve seen at least one photo with ‘Boyles and son’ written on it.
Harley
That was Ron. It didn’t last for a hell of a long time.
Michael
Did Ron have his own stamp – or did he just use his father’s?
Harley
I’m not aware of that. The only stamp that existed was the one my mother used to stamp all the photos.


Ken
What year was Ron born again?
Harley
1916.


Ken
So, if he’s taking a photo in the early thirties he’d only be fifteen. So it’s unlikely that Ron would have taken a photo of 1931.
Harley
Not impossible.
Michael
That’s why there’s the gap between roughly 1930 and them kicking up again in the late thirties – because it’s Ron taking them from the late thirties.


Ken
The photos of the VFA that Ron took are probably more the later thirties I’d say.
Harley
I’m hazy on that. I know it happened but I can’t put a timeline on it.


Ken
I don’t think that I was aware Harley, until this morning, that Ron had actually taken photos of football teams.
Harley
Yes, of some football teams, but certainly not League teams. My father kept that to himself.


Ken
Just to summarize that then – we can probably say from what you’ve told us that Ron took more VFA photos than your father did.
Harley
Yes, over time, yes – that would be true.
Harley
I lost track of Ron……Ron disappeared early in my life – and from the family – and even after he sort of left home…….I know he was still doing photos for some time.


Ken
Can you remember how old he was when he left home?
Harley
He would have been fifteen, sixteen, seventeen.
Michael
So, he is taking them young.


Ken
Well, if Ron left home when he was about 17, that means he left home about 1933 when you were only two years old. Doesn’t that mean that he’s unlikely to have taken VFA photos in the late thirties?
Harley
No, it doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say that at all. Because even after he left my father, and left home, he still continued doing some photography work, taking photos of teams and so on. He did run his own little business. By comparison, like with my father and Ron, Ron’s was a pretty small operation.


Ken
Yes. Nevertheless I don’t think I realized that he’d been out taking photos of his own accord. I think you had told me he was interested in photography but I didn’t realize he’d taken football photos. He also took Sub-District teams and things like that – the minor leagues?
Harley
Yes.
Harley
I remember going over to East Brunswick…..their home ground was just ten minutes walk from our place, and I used to always be there when Ron would take a photo there.


Ken
Fleming Park, I think they called it. East Brunswick played in the Sub-District League, a Sunday comp.
Harley
Yes.


Ken
You’d go there because it was only about ten minutes – or a short distance – from you.
Harley
And I knew Ron was taking photos there. I didn’t lose all contact with Ron, but once he really cut the cord with home, I only occasionally, very occasionally, saw him. I never lost total contact with him.


Ken
When Ron took photos at Fleming Park, the East Brunswick ground, he would have been taking photos there of the Sub-District teams, including the opposition playing East Brunswick?
Harley
He could have done. The attendance at the Sub-District teams was pretty small. They ran their football games different from the League. It was more casual – so they wouldn’t mind lining up two teams, I’m sure. If they wanted two teams to take, I’m sure they’d oblige.
Michael
Was East Brunswick black and white, like Brunswick?
Harley
East Brunswick was black and white - same as Collingwood. That’s why they caught my attention….once a team has got the right colours on I’ll take notice.

THE FOOTBALL RECORD




Ken
I think I’ve mentioned to you before that Michael has discovered that your Dad’s photos are definitely reproduced in the Football Record, particularly around 1951, ’52 – but you told me you didn’t have any memory of this.
Harley
I just didn’t know that. I would have said ‘no’. My father wasn’t the most communicative person in the world. He lived in his own world. And I was just a kid, you know? I was his son – and he probably didn’t feel any need to tell me anyway.

JOHN COLEMAN AND OTHER FOOTBALLERS




Ken
When you were at the footy matches selling and you were inside the boundary perhaps, or you were in an aisle, or you were up in the grandstand – you must have watched a fair bit of the footy – you wouldn’t have just been looking the other way – you would have been watching a bit of the game. Do you remember ever seeing John Coleman?
Harley
Absolutely. A wonderful, wonderful player. It was at Essendon – and I was selling photos also that day.


Ken
So where were you on that particular day? Were you moving all about? Were you moving around the ground?
Harley
I would have been selling photos at the same time.


Ken
So you were moving around?
Harley
But I’d be watching the game. I found myself down behind the goalposts at the outer end of that ground, and of course he was there, and he took some screamers – and they’d always stay with me, the impressions that he made that day.


Ken
It’s interesting how you can remember specific moments. I’ve got this memory of being taken to the Glenferrie Oval by my Dad around about 1952, watching Hawthorn play Fitzroy and watching Hawthorn play Carlton on two separate Saturdays, and I can distinctly remember Len Crane, the Hawthorn full-back, kicking off – drop kicks from the goal square, you know. Carlton must have kicked a lot of behinds because it seemed that every couple of minutes Len Crane was kicking off with his magnificent drop-kicks to the half-back-flank, you know.......and I can still hear the noise that he made when he connected with the ball, you know – the clicking noise…it’s stayed with me. Obviously it made an impression. It was my first experience of the game of Australian Rules Football.
Harley
I can remember a lot of players…..and a lot of teams…….and my father became friends with some of the teams, some of the players…and they actually did come to our house. We’d have a bit of a party and he’d invite a few and they’d come… three or four or five would turn up.


Ken
You told me earlier – you know, two years ago – that ‘Skinny’ Titus was a friend of his.
Harley
Yes. ‘Skinny’ Titus came to our place.


Ken
Jim Cleary?
Harley
Jimmy Cleary, yes - he was one of the most frequent visitors to our house. It wasn’t every day.
But he was the one I’d be more likely to remember. A great fellow, Jim Cleary – a great gentleman.


Ken
They called him ‘Gentleman Jim’.
Harley
Well, he earned it.


Ken
Yes, but when he got reported in the ‘bloodbath Grand Final’ he was a bit upset. You weren’t there that day were you, at the ‘bloodbath Grand Final’?
Harley
I would have been there. I’ve got a memory, a vague memory of him being reported. I remember the incident. I think that would infer that I was there.


Ken
Do you remember ‘Mopsy’ Fraser?
Harley
Oh yes. Old ‘Mops’. Yes, he was a character. A showman.


Ken
I remember that you told me you knew Thorold Merrett really well.
Harley
I saw him play his first game – when he was 16 – over at Footscray. I was around that same age then. He was around my age.


Ken
And he was pretty small, wasn’t he, when he started?
Harley
Yes, and he surprised everybody, and then after the game I met him on the railway station at West Footscray. He was just going home like anybody else on the train.


Ken
With his kit bag?
Harley
With his kit bag, yes – with his gear. He was a very nice fellow, and if he’s still around he’s still a nice bloke I’m sure.


Ken
I can remember when he was on the TV, on World of Sport, he was very well-spoken. He spoke well, he was intelligent and a very good media person – and then of course he set up the sports business.
Harley
I used to make some sporting gear for him, for his shop. I manufactured cane hoops and bean bags and all those sorts of things.


FRAMING THE PHOTOS




Ken
I’m going to ask you a question now just to clarify something that I got from you when I spoke to you ten days ago. Now the question I asked you was – ‘The 1940’s saw the introduction of a smaller yellow metal plastic frame. Do you know anything about these?’ And you answered me. You said ‘I can’t remember the 1940’s frames. We sold framed photos to players and officials if they asked for them. We had some 10 by 8 inches’. And I’ve got in brackets – ‘What do you mean – are these 10 by 8 inch ones framed photos?’
Harley
The framing was done by Patricks down in Rae Street North Fitzroy. And we would take…….the players had the choice – players or anybody at the club – they could either have a framed one – we would have a framed one ready by the time I would go there on the Tuesday – or you’d have an unframed one. And they had the choice. They could either have the framed one or the unframed one. Mostly they ordered the framed one.
Michael
I’ve seen two types of frames – I’ve seen some with the names (each player’s name is written on the frame) and others where the frames have got nothing written on them.
Harley
Yes, there was a chance for them, and normally if it was taken around the Finals time you know, and they were major games, it would be almost automatic that the names would go on them.
Michael
And about these other frames………we talked about these metal frames?
Harley
No, the metal frame means nothing to me, nothing at all. The only ones that I know of…… because I used to take them down after school, take them down to North Fitzroy to the framer. And they were on a metal back with a plastic front.
Michael
They were small little postcard-sized ones, or were they bigger ones?
Harley
Bigger. But mostly the full-sized plates – the 10 by 8’s. If the players wanted to buy them, their obvious preference was for the bigger lot. I don’t think many of them ever bought postcards. They were sort of for the public. But I did take a……..if we had a few left over from the club for any reason – say there was even one or two, that had already been framed – and I’d take them out to a match. They didn’t last long – they’d still sell – somebody would buy them. But you wouldn’t bother framing all of the stuff because you could never carry them.
It was much easier to just have a stack in your hand – and the rest in the bag – and maybe half a dozen or so in your hand and just hand them out and re-supply yourself. But I would hate to have thought I would have had a hundred or two hundred of them in frames and cart those around. Not possible.


THE GLAZING PROCESS




Ken
Can I ask you about the glazing process Harley? You say that the roller was part of the glazing process, part of the glazing method.
Harley
They were rolled onto a plate, onto a silver plate.


Ken
What you told me last time was that you would roll them out on the piece of cardboard that would go into the frame.
Harley
I would only take down to the framer the actual photos – they would do all that, they would roll them out. No, but if for any reason some player wanted something and we weren’t really justified in going to all the bother, sometimes they were quite happy if you just put them on a piece of cardboard, and they’d probably go off and get them framed themselves. And we could do them a bit cheaper for that……….the photos, the prints, were rolled out onto a shiny silver plate - which was on the table - with a rolling pin, right? And that would squeeze it, squeeze it out.


Ken
You told me last time ‘the roller was part of the glazing process, part of the glazing method’.
Harley
Only in that it rolled it out. It squeezed out any moisture that was in the print – if there was any – but it also flattened it out – if it needed to be flattened out and put on an open sort of a frame, just a cardboard frame.


Ken
You said ‘the roller was part of the glazing process, part of the glazing method. You would roll them out on the piece of cardboard that would go into the frame. The frame was a shiny metal plate’.
Harley
Yes. We did that but it wasn’t…..the ones that were done with the plastic were done where I took them – down in North Fitzroy. They had their own methods. It was nothing to what my father would have done or my mother would have done……because we didn’t have their equipment. But she certainly had a roller, my mother, and she could roll them out – and after they came out of the dish sometimes – when you wash the print, you print it and then you wash it through the chemicals and then you wash it through water to get rid of the chemicals. Then sometimes if you wanted it in a hurry you would actually roll the water out with a rolling pin, and the thing would dry more quickly.

CONCLUSION




Ken
I basically have finished with all my questions. That was a very good session. A couple of new things came up, particularly Ron and his photos with the VFA.

end



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