Tough in the Old Days
by Bill Scott
Rigby, 1979, [First Edition], ISBN 0727009893, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, some edge and shelf wear, some rubbing and bumping to edges, corners and spine, institute stamp to front and back end papers, dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing, bumping, chipping and small tears to edges, corners and spine (see photographs)
“Bill Scott plunges straight into his story of a ‘battler’s’ life thirty-odd years ago with a hilarious account of his discharge from the Royal Australian Navy. After that he sets off around his native Queensland trying his hand at many occupations, in an attempt to ‘make a quid’. He and his mate Johnny first put their small savings into the ‘fail-proof’ business of gold prospecting. They found little gold but lots of experience and fun, and Bill Scott writes with intimate knowledge of a prospector’s life and the rugged country where gold is found.
From gold prospecting he went on to copper mining, at the great Mount Isa mine. He covers this period with a brilliant description of life in hard conditions: a kind of ‘Foreign Legion’ existence where men did not talk about their backgrounds but each man trusted his mates.
Men went to ‘the Isa’ for various reasons – to escape responsibilities, evade the law, r merely to save money – and many of the unusual characters are described.
His next job was on the cane fields of Queensland. He became a canecutter: even in those days one of the most slogging types of work imaginable. This led him to the great love of his life: the little steam locomotives that help to collect the sugar-cane harvest and take it to the crushers in the mills. Bill became a fireman on one of them and he writes affectionately of the pains and pleasures associated with these ‘Puffing Billys’. Again he enjoyed contact with many colourful characters and he shares his enjoyment with his readers.”