Patriotic Race Meetings

Not even WW2 stopped the folks of Yarramalong Valley and Wyong enjoying a day at the races. Even in those highly regulated wartime days they staged race days and did so with all the trimmings punters expect.

Country Race Meeting

Bill BOTTOMLEY’s book Back Then carries a quote from Keith FERNANCE:

Keith: I should tell you about the horse races we used to have at Yarramalong in the war years – the Patriotic Race Meetings. You know where the bottom (Yarramalong) cemetery is? Well the racecourse was beside that long straight. It was about three and a half furlongs. It started off with saddle horses and anyone’s horse around the place, then, when they started betting they were bringing in old racehorses and all sorts of things … It was a pretty good track. They had a bookmaker there, and they had a licence to sell grog, and an eating house.

Bottomley: And this name – “Patriotic Race Meeting”… ?

Keith: It was the only way they could get a licence. The money went to the war effort or something.

Then as now, regulations or not, life and the races went on.

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SOURCES: These history notes are contributed to Valley Ventures by one of our members, Max Farley.


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