Talking with Bill Underwood and Alan Ross – Celebrate Living History

Talking with Bill Underwood and Alan Ross

Bill Underwood and Alan Ross met as bubs and are still best friends today with other sixty years of antics they have quite a few yarns to share!


Bill and Alan Brisbane July 2012.

Chatting to these two is like hanging out with naughty kids at school, there is a lot of nudging and carry on! Alan takes the lead and starts talking about how he is a relative of the earliest pioneers of Frankston.

“My family came here in 1875 my Grandfather had one of the first factories in Frankston, and it was the Aerated Waters up on Hastings Road and to get the soft drinks he manufactured, it was taken from a spring which was up near Heatherhill Road and piped down,” he says.

“He had a family of eight who all worked in this factory making drinks, taken by horse and lorry all over the peninsula,” “It wasn’t easy work those days but the water there was very good out on the spring, because you never had any pollution. “

Bill interjects and has a yarn about how in those days there were chores such as feeding chooks. “ We used to go to Alan’s grandfather who had the bottle yard in Clarendon Street we got a good deal because Alan was his grandson,” he says “I think by todays standards we had a better time, we worked but it didn’t matter we still had plenty of freedom it was an entirely different lifestyle that I enjoyed more than todays.”

Alan grins and says as kids they used to work together at the Peninsula Country Golf Club.

“I started over there caddying at the age of six and I used to caddy for ladies who would carry light bags,” he says.

“I remember Bill did a job there after he finished school, and he had aspirations of being a professional golfer, he said to me when you get home from school tonight get into the club, there is someone there I want you to meet and that someone was Don Bradman,”

“He was on the putting green with his wife and I waited until he finished and I said excuse me sir can I have your autograph, I thought I was made I had Don Bradman’s autograph.”

Alan says there were many politicians, movie stars and beauty queens that used to stay at different times at the Peninsula Country Golf Club.

“Being a caddy you learnt a lot of respect, you learnt to address them as sir, excuse me and yes thank you. You learnt all that because if you didn’t you would not get a job,” he says.

“It was a learning curve for any kid to get over there, its all changed now they have brought in motor carts, the jobs are not there anymore it was a good time for us.”