This is one of several pages relating to the history of the automatic totalisator, its invention in 1913, the inventor George Julius and the Australian company he founded in 1917 which became a monopoly in this field (later part of an oligopoly). If you wish to start from the beginning then go to the index

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George Julius Genealogy and other Latterday Tote Interest

I do not wish to get too involved in George Julius' genealogy; I do not have the time for my own family genealogy! However I have received some Emails from people interested in tracing George's descendants and I have provided some contact details, to facilitate communication amongst them. If you wish to be added to this list please send me email via the email button at the bottom of this page.

Contact details

Wendy JonesGeorge's great granddaughter lost contact
Susan JuliusGeorge's cousin
Diane McCarthyResearching Wendy Whiteley George's (sister's Email address)
Lexie OldlandGeorge's great
Tony ShellshearGeorge's great
Dermot ElworthyGeorge's great
Edward FennGeorge's cousin once
Pip BucknellPip is George's 2nd cousin two generations

A list of George's close ancestors

A list of George's immediate descendants

Having mentioned Roderick Julius in the list above, I notice that in newspapers of the time, a Roderick Julius was billed in plays. As Roderick Herbert Julius' associate, Clarence Stumbles, was the Publicity Officer of Kings Theatres Pty Ltd, perhaps the aviator Julius and actor Julius are the same person. Clarence also was the manager of the Rose Bay North Theatre in Sydney and an owner and member of the Royal Motor Yacht Club. Of additional interest to me is that Clarence was interested in forming a police flying school. I have a friend Ron Elgar, who was a pilot in the NSW Police Force Airwing, which probably developed from Clarence's idea. Clarence lived in Bellevue Hill in Sydney, where I attended boarding school.

There is much more information available regarding the Julius family at, following are a few interesting extracts.

The name The Kings Candlesticks comes from candlesticks that King George IV gave to George Alfred Julius' great grandfather Dr. George Charles Julius. King George IV used to stop his carriage when he saw George Charles Julius to tell him There is nothing in the window today. This referred to the way the King signalled whether the royal family had any need for the doctor to visit, by sticking some putty on a window.

This family is traced back, but not proven to John Julius, of Nth Yarmouth, who, in the 17th C, became a sugar planter on the Island of St Kitts, (St Christopher) West Indies. His son Capt William Julius RN was honoured with burial in Westminster Abbey for his success in capturing French naval "Prizes". William's descendants worked the land with their slaves, becoming wealthy and influential. Spreading out across the world.

There is an interesting anecdote relating to William John Julius born in 1726 in St Kitts, which I have summarised. When William lived in Cavendish Square London, he was secretary to the Prime Minister, The Marquis of Rockingham. He lived the life of a fashionable man about town. At this time highwaymen abounded, one of them was Sixteen Stringed Jack considered second only to Dick Turpin. The nickname refers to the 16 various coloured strings he wore on the knees of his silk breeches. The Duke of Argyle out riding one night was bailed up by an armed robber who threatened to shoot him. In reply the Duke drew his pistol and fired at the robber who fled back to London. The Duke who had recognised this renowned highwayman gave chase but was given the slip. The Duke was taken by the highwayman's fine grey horse which reminded him of William Julius' very celebrated four grey horses. He then went to visit William and found he was out to see a play. The Duke interrupted William in his box at the theater and William informed the Duke that he must be mistaken as he had travelled to the theater with the four greys hauling the carriage and that the horses were at the local stables. The Duke convinced Julius to accompany him to the stables. Three of the horses were cold and calm and the fourth was panting and foaming. The Duke recognised William's coachman as Sixteen Stringed Jack who was arrested, tried and hanged at Tyburn. Note: the original document from which this summary was derived is the Julius family magazine Julius Jottings No 4 Jan 1901. I have seen another version of the demise of John Rann (Sixteen String Jack).

Neville Mitchell, a long serving Automatic Totlisators Limited Manager and Engineer made the following comment about George's son Awdry Julius:

The only one I met was Awdry Julius, the chairman of the ATL board about the time when the NYRA project was in progress. We were developing the J11 Issuer. He was a quietly spoken man not terribly tall but he held his position and status very well.
The NYRA project Neville refers to involved the development of the world's first digital computer based totalisator. This was a big project for Automatic Totalsators Limited, the customer being the New York Racing Association (NYRA). The project involved multiple racetracks and massive turnover. The annual turnover at the Aqueduct racecourse alone, exceeded the GDP of two countries at the time.

Dermot Elworthy, George Julius' great nephew a mechanical engineer and retired professional pilot, wrote the following about the Julius and Elworthy families starting with George's father Churchill Julius, after I asked him if he had any idea in which factory or facility the first three Julius Totes were manufactured:

Churchill Julius and all his children, save one, were born in England. The exception was my grandmother, Bertha, born in Ballarat in 1886, the year after her brother Arthur (born in Milner Square) died at a young age; the family moved to Christchurch when Churchill took the job there. The children, with the exception of George (the eldest), all lived out their lives in New Zealand. I imagine that George, after obtaining his degree in Christchurch, judged that there would be restricted opportunities in NZ for someone of his very considerable abilities and that prospects would be much better in the larger and more technically developed Australia. Apart from infrequent visits to his siblings, the adult George seems not to have maintained any particular association with New Zealand.

George's brother Awdry followed his father into the Church and the five sisters married into local families, all of whom were connected with farming in the South Island. Two Julius sisters married two Elworthy brothers, one of whom was my grandfather and that is how I am connected with the Julius tribe.

As is well recognised, the Juliuses were clever. Apart from his horological interests, the Archbishop invented a number of ingenious devices born of his mechanical aptitude and it is clear that George inherited many of his manifold abilities from the old man. Music does not feature in the Archbishop's accounts and I don't know to what degree George might have been drawn musically but my great Aunt Ella was a very accomplished pianist and my grandmother a violin player of considerable distinction - she had once studied with Maud Powell, a pupil of the great Joseph Joachim. Years later, long after she had ceased playing, I took her to W E Hill's shop in Wardour Street to sell her 18th century Guadignini. The Elworthy/Julius marriages were spectacularly successful and whilst the family acknowledged the cleverness of George - "he invented the totalisator, you know" - there really was little understanding of his inventions and even less of the mechanics involved. Certainly, there was insufficient appreciation of what George had achieved in terms of Australian scientific and technical advance. But in fairness, perhaps that might be said of his adopted country as well! It was inevitable that George in ploughing an individual furrow in a different land, to some degree would become isolated from his NZ connections and would found a new dynasty having little in common with the "old order". I remember "Gentleman" George Y Julius cropping up in conversation more often than his father.

I mention all this to demonstrate why I have such scant knowledge of Uncle George, his accomplishments and manufacturing arrangements. Such knowledge as I have largely is thanks to you. I find this absence of understanding personally irritating because I feel that Uncle George and I might have shared several things in common, albeit vicariously since he was a couple of generations ahead of me and died when I was much too young to engage in matters of possible mutual interest.

2015 A Dream Come True

I have presented this event first, out of sequence, as it is the most significant of events in my time associated with this history.

Unbeknown to me at the time, it all started when Joan Coghlan, as tours coordinator with the Sherwood Probus Club, arranged a visit to Eagle Farm Racecourse and the Eagle Farm Racing Museum, when Paul Coghlan, although a Civil Engineer, recognised the totalisator as a unique piece of mechanical engineering. Although Paul did not initially realise its full significance, it was the spark that set the ball rolling for the Julius Tote's engineering recognition.

On the 5th August 2013, I received an email from a friend of mine from Queensland Racing, David Rowan. It passed on a comment received from Paul Coghlan who had been reading the Queensland History of Racing website. Paul read some of my content on that website and his comment read: I'm from the Qld Engineering Heritage Committee of the Institution of Engineers. I would like to speak to you (Brian Conlon) about the Julius Totalisator at Eagle Farm. Thank you. I had no idea at the time, however this was the seed that resulted in an outcome that really goes beyond the title of this section. It is what I would have described as beyond my wildest imaginings, when I embarked on what turned out to be a rather lonely campaign, to try and preserve some of this totalisator history in the early 1980s, when it was rapidly being eradicated. The most dramatic evidence of this disappearance was my seeing three electromechanical Julius Totalisators bulldozed on three racetracks in Queensland.

Paul was looking for some technical information relating to the Julius Totalisator for an Institution of Engineers Australia function being held on the 19th of August, celebrating 100 years since the first Julius tote. I provided information I thought would be of interest and his reply was Thank you so much. It is what I was looking for. As a Civil Engineer I don’t pretend to follow it, but I imagine it should be of interest to the Mechanical and Electrical Engineers present.

Tony Shellshear, Sir George Julius' great grandson, who has a segment below on this page, attended this function on the 19th and made the following observations:

Just touching base quickly after the presentation last night. The evening went very well and had a good attendance; about 50 or so I would guess. The tote itself received a lot of attention.
I took along the old Evans Lathe and some pictures / memorabilia from Sir George which also attracted a lot of interest. During the evening I spoke with several people who raised your name and spoke very highly of the work you have done.
I am keen to get you over for a BBQ to show you what I have accumulated here, and as a means of thanking you for the wealth of information you have provided, not to mention the shaft adder.
And so the dream begins. On 28th April 2014 Paul sent me an email. The opening sentence read: I am working on the submission to obtain Engineering Heritage recognition of the Julius Totalisator which will be awarded by the Institution of Engineers Australia, National Heritage Committee. It contained some outline ideas and solicited more information. This entered a period of collaborative work on the submission with Paul.

Fast-tracking past the project details, on 20th September 2014 I received the following email from Paul: For your information, attached please find the complete submission submitted to the Engineering Heritage Australia Committee who hopefully will grant the award. Thanks to you for your help. It was much appreciated.

Paul's final submission had a title page which credited me for my contribution to it. I found this an amazing recognition of my input to it, and it was like a breath of fresh air from the usually thankless task of trying to preserve some of this history not to mention contending with some of the absolutely opposed opinions and politics. The following is an extract from the title page:
Submitted by: Engineering Heritage Queensland Panel
Prepared for E.H.Q. by Panel Member Paul D. Coghlan
With major information supplied by: Brian Conlon (Retired – Ex Chief Engineer of the PDP11 computer totes that superseded this and other Julius totes in Brisbane)

On 3rd November 2015 Don McKenzie wrote regarding my name on the title page mentioned above. An extract reads:

Brian, I can't think of anyone more deserving than you being on the title page of the submission for the award, as you are the one that kept at it, and made the history of ATL really come to life. Many of us tried to get the racing industry involved in the historical support of the tote and failed, but your approach appears to have been extremely successful.
Then on 11th October 2014 I received an email from Paul, the wait was over, he informed me we had been successful and that the Julius Tote had been awarded an Engineering Heritage Marker. And there was More! Not only had it been successful, the submission hit a jackpot that we had not anticipated. It was awarded an Engineering Heritage International Marker. As Paul put it, An International award is very rare. He further informed me that it was the first in Queensland! Then in an email dated 13th October 2014 he informed me that it was the fourth awarded in Australia, the prior ones being for The Carnarvon Deep Space Tracking Station, the World War 2 Liberator Bomber and the Gladesville Bridge in Sydney.

Next came the preparations for the award presentation ceremony. Paul wrote amongst other things, on 24th November 2014 Meeting with the Race Club in a few weeks time to get the totalisator function under way so will keep you posted.

And loose ends to be finished for example Paul's email dated 3rd April 2015:

Attached is a photo of the Julius Tote in the Racing Museum in Brisbane. It is a photo which I copied from your website and I am wishing to use it on the Interpretation Panel.
I have sent it to Richard Venus, who is doing the graphic work for the Interpretation Panel; (who may or may not have contacted you on other matters) but he feels the photo itself is not 'big' enough (mb), (this probably because we have copied from the website).
Would you by chance have the original and if so, would it be possible for you to send a copy of it to me to use on the Panel.
I did have the photo, as I had taken the picture decades prior before the frame was repainted. It is the top left hand image in the Interpretation Panel Below.

The Interpretation Panel The Institution of Engineers Australia Interpretation Panel

The Interpretation Panel above was a demonstration of what I found to be unbelievable recognition. There are two names on this panel. Sir George Julius' and mine. It leaves me speechless! Praise beyond my wildest imaginings! Thank you Paul and anyone else involved in putting me on that pedestal. Perhaps this is fitting, as some have thought me possessed by George. Neville Mitchell wrote after seeing the panel: I think you deserve to be mentioned on the Interpretation Panel, you have poured your heart and soul into the Tote history like no other.

Then came the Engineering Heritage Australia National Committee meeting. It was held at Eagle Farm Racecourse Brisbane, to see the Julius Totalisator in the Racing Museum and was held on June 13th 2015. I was asked if I would like to attend as Richard Venus had expressed a desire to meet with me. I attended with the only intention of being an observer and engaging in casual conversation. However when Paul asked if I would like to say a few words about the Julius Tote to the committee, this avalanche effect took place, as happens when a group of intensely interested engineering people keep asking pertinent questions inspiring me to keep going. I felt afterwards that I had gone overboard in monopolising their visit!

Then on 17 August 2015 I received the following from Paul: We have finally got a date for the ceremony for the Totalisator so am just letting you know so you can mark it in your diary. You will receive an invitation in due course. The date is Monday 26th October, 2015. The Governor is going to do the unveiling. The time set is 2.00pm but this is not confirmed yet.

Then on 7th September 2015 Paul sent an email suggesting that I might like to give a talk about the Julius Tote with a list of suggested topics. I was concerned that I was already working on my lateral thinking Father Of The Groom speech for my younger son's wedding which was looming. After some thought, I concluded that being limited to 10 minutes it could not be a major undertaking and accepted.

The day after, Tony Shellshear who had also been asked to give a speech suggested that he and I collaborate so that we avoid presenting the same information. We agreed that I would stick to the Automatic Totalisators side of the History and he would cover the Sir George Julius side of it. Tony has contributed mammoth effort in providing support information for these events. He sets up display panels crammed with information and puts on display major pieces of memorabilia, even George Julius' lathe that he restored to perfection.

On 8th October 2015 I received an email indicating that the dictates of protocol demanded that no speech be in excess of 5 minutes and Tony and I had to rearrange our talks accordingly.

On returning from our son's wedding in Lawrence NSW, where my unconventional speech generated considerable interest, we brought a virus home, which we shared. Just as I was thinking it was a mild dose of flu and I was recovering in time to attend the Award Ceremony at Eagle Farm, the virus rallied and I ended up recuperating in bed as the ceremony was in progress.

When Tony Shellshear, received my apology for not attending the Award Ceremony Event he wrote on the day of the event 26 October 2015:

I must say I am devastated to hear you will not be able to attend today; of all people you are the most deserving in terms of your contribution to the assembly and preservation of the history of the totalisator, not to mention the huge effort put into making that history accessible through your website.
And Paul Coghlan wrote:
As you say, everything is done for a reason, but we don’t always know what that reason is, do we. I am very sorry you won’t be there today for more reasons than one. I know you would have enjoyed the Totalisator getting some recognition after all your many years of hard work, and it would have been hard for you to make this decision today, but your own welfare comes first. I hope the recovery process is speedy and that you will soon be your 'old' self again.
The decision Paul refers to was not hard to make, there were no options, it was hard to comprehend why now, however I have learnt to be a lot more philosophical about life these days and this event remains a dream beyond my wildest imaginings come true.

Working with Paul Coghlan and Tony Shellshear on this project was a delight in itself. One thing is for sure: I would not have undertaken a project the likes of this during retirement, without someone like Paul to provide all the knowhow regarding the protocol of making a submission such as this and providing the drive and energy to bring it to fruition. Paul was pivotal in this 3 year project. Thank you Paul. Also thank you Tony for your major contribution of time effort and historical knowledge to achieve this outcome. I have not met anyone who knows more about Sir George Julius or has a collection of his memorabilia that is a scratch on yours. And thank you for your major contribution to this website.

Paul Coghlan and the Interpretation Panel Paul Coghlan standing next to the Interpretation Panel

On 2nd November 2015, Rod Shellshear sent an email, following is an extract: May I take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of others within the Julius family and me for all the work you have done to bring this award to fruition.

On the same day Graeme Twycross, ex Automatic Totalisators Limited, who spent decades in the industry as an engineer and manager wrote: It is a credit to you in your perseverance and dedication in collecting, collating and distributing the history of the tote. You deserve the accolades that come your way.

On 7th November, Dermot Elworthy, George Julius' great nephew wrote regarding this event. Following is an extract:

Firstly, please may I add my congratulations to those you already have received.
Preservation of artefacts representing past national achievements is not easy in a country like the UK where, sadly, national achievement generally is viewed through the prism of history but in a young, infinitely more vibrant and forward-looking nation like Australia, engendering a public appreciation of these historic milestones must be so much more difficult, particularly when faced with the degree of apathy evinced by the Antipodean racing fraternity. You have promoted the cause of Australian engineering and assiduously sought to achieve a wider recognition of the Julius tote and what it represented. This was an unique concept and something of exclusively Australian development - things nationally to be celebrated. Your website is a tremendous accomplishment and the prestigious acknowledgment by the Institution of Engineers Australia is nothing less than you deserve. I have some idea of how much Narelle must have supported you in all this, so my hat goes off to you both.
I have presented Tony's and my talk for this event next. I have used the original 10 minute versions as they convey more information about the history.

Tony Shellshear's 10 minute speech

If I were to ask an average group of Australians what an Irish engineering genius with a wicked sense of humour, an Anglican Primate with a strong stance against gambling, and the inventor of the automatic totalisator, had in common, their response might possibly be ‘not very much?’. To which my response would be ‘Want a Bet?’

George Alfred Julius was born at Norwich, England on 26th April 1873, to Churchill and Frances Julius. The Anglican Primate I referred to was his father Churchill, an Archbishop of New South Wales, before taking on the role of Primate of New Zealand. Many may be familiar with just one of his contributions to the church in Christchurch Cathedral, sadly lost in the more recent earthquakes in that city. He was also very active in promoting women’s rights, and in his stance against the dubious practices and corruption in the gambling industry.

The Irish engineer was C.Y O’Connor, the Chief Engineer in Western Australia at the time, and is remembered for the famous water pipeline to Kalgoorlie, and for Fremantle Harbour, which caters for the world’s largest ships even today, virtually unchanged in over 100 years.

Evidence of his wicked sense of humour is seen in his choice of names for his newly born daughter. Charles was in Ireland at the time at an engineering conference, and visited a local library to find the most ancient and odd names he could find, which he duly sent by telegram to his wife in Perth. Sadly, (?) had no sense of humour at all, and the girl was christened ‘Eva Dronghsia Odierna O'Connor’; the ‘Eva’ being added by her mother so she didn’t have to go through life being introduced by those dreadful names.

The connection? George married Eva on 7th December 1898, at St John's Church, Fremantle. I still have fond memories of this fine and strong lady, who survived until I was around 20.

George and Eva were blessed with three sons, the youngest of whom, George, became famous in his own right … as the ‘tidy’ bandit, ‘Gentleman George’. Whenever he broke into houses he found in a mess, he would take the time to tidy them up. And he always made sure the house was securely locked before leaving; still taking the valuables I might add.

The second Rod, was a celebrated commercial airline pilot, sadly killed at just 39 in a plane crash.

The eldest, Awdry, followed in his father’s footsteps as an engineer, in time assuming the role as head of the highly renowned consulting practice his father would establish.

In his early years, Awdry was his father’s ‘tradesman’s assistant’; whenever George was working on a mechanical project, Awdry was expected to be able to predict what tool his father would require next, and what size, and to have it to hand when required. There are many similar recollections on a series of radio interviews done by the ABC with Awdry in the 1970’s.

Early years

George was educated at Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and then at Canterbury College in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he completed a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) in 1896. Later, in 1919, has was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Sydney; engineering was no longer a science?

Between 1896 and 1907 he worked for Western Australian railways, during which time he published three important works on the physical characteristics and economic uses of Australian hardwoods. These are still considered valuable references today.

In 1907, George moved to Sydney as consulting engineer to Allen Taylor & Co. Ltd, timber merchants, at the same time establishing his private practice, later to become Julius, Poole and Gibson. His farewell card from WA Railways indicates clearly the high regard in which he was held.

Between 1907-1910 George used an old English ‘ornamental turning lathe’ to create the components for the first totalisator prototype, which still exists, and is now acknowledged as one of the more treasured exhibits in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

The lathe, made by John Evans of London in around 1830, was originally owned by one Richard Crawshay, one of two brothers who at the time were iron and steel magnates, with ironworks in England and Wales. This lathe too, still survives, and I have spent the last five or so years restoring it, and trying to figure out how half of the tools and accessories work!

There is no record as to where and when the lathe came into Sir George’s possession, but I now strongly suspect he inherited it from his father, the Archbishop. Churchill loved things mechanical, as evidenced by his passion for the newly invented and terrifying ‘motor cycle’ and ‘motor car’. Churchill is documented to have had a lathe as part of his workshop, and his reputation as the person to whom to turn to have complex mechanical devices, particularly clocks, fixed, was quite significant in his later life.

I now also have, to display alongside the lathe, a shaft adder from one of the early totalisators, courtesy of Brian Conlon, who will talk in more detail on the totalisator history. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the immense amount of work Brian has put into accumulating and documenting the history of the totalisator, and of Sir George. I’m very grateful for his efforts, and continue to find his website a great source of information.

Sir George grew to acquire a reputation for his technical genius; some referred to it as ‘engineering wizardry’. Over the ensuing years, Julius Poole and Gibson, and specifically Sir George, were retained by Commonwealth and State Governments as advisers in many national engineering projects.

In 1913 he was elected president of the Engineering Association of New South Wales, and in 1925, President of The Institution of Engineers, Australia. He was also a member of Council of the Electrical Associations of New South Wales, and its President in 1917-1918.

As one of the founders of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, ( now CSIRO ) he was appointed the first Chairman in 1926, retaining the position until 1945. Also in 1926, having fostered the formation of the Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association, ( the Standards Association of Australia), he became President until 1939. Between 1940 and 1945 he was Chairman of the Australian Council of Aeronautics, having been instrumental in establishing an Aeronautical Research Laboratory

Other of his numerous roles over the years included Chairman National Research Council, Chairman of the Army Inventions Directorate, and President of the Rotary Club of Sydney.

Awards and Achievements

It probably comes as no surprise then that George was created a Knight Bachelor in 1929, becoming ‘Sir George’.

In 1927 he was awarded the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal of The Institution of Engineers, Australia; in 1938 the William Carlos Kernot Memorial Medal by the University of Melbourne, and in 1940, an Honorary Degree as Doctor of Science of Canterbury University College, Christchurch, New Zealand.

In his honour, the Sir George Julius Medal was initiated by Engineers Australia shortly after his death, and is still awarded today.

Public service

Sir George was also a man who gave selflessly of his time, and money, to the public welfare and education sectors. One of Sir George’s hobbies was playing with model trains would you believe; and he had constructed over the years a model town, centred around the railway. But this was a model town ‘Sir George’ style! A Model City no less. It is recorded that he had put some £10,000 into its construction.

During the Second World War, the model city was placed on display in each capital city, with visitors charged 6 pence for a half-hour tour. All funds raised went to the Red Cross.

He devoted time to providing what were no doubt celebrity lectures at Universities in engineering and science. By all accounts students were then as they are today, often noisy and somewhat inattentive at times. Sir George had a ‘party trick’ that was apparently very effective; on entering a noisy call room he would simply walk up to the blackboard, pick up the chalk, and draw a large circle. The lecture room would instantly go quiet, following which applause often broke out. Sir George had an uncanny ability to draw a virtually perfect circle freehand – He had their attention!

Sir George’s wife Eva, ( she of the ‘orrible name ), now Lady Julius, also devoted significant time to community causes and activities, becoming a Patron of the Country Women’s Association, and State Commissioner for Girl Guides, an organisation in which her grand-daughter, my mother, was also heavily involved.

The Man

Sir George passed away in Sydney, Australia, on 30th June, 1946.

On his passing, many tributes were written and published in a myriad of newspapers and magazines, although nothing, thankfully appeared on Facebook… These, along with his eulogy, provide a small window into the character of a man of strength and of genius. In closing, I can do no better than to quote from these sources -

‘With his rather gaunt face, his crop of curly brown hair, and his very luminous blue eyes', Julius was slight in build. He was always mentally alert and spoke in a staccato manner. He could be autocratic, impatient, even choleric, but those qualities were disciplined by his sense of fair play, his quick sense of humour, his objectivity in scientific judgement and his keen political sense'.

‘His faults were the faults of greatness, the kind that those who knew him well smiled over and rather liked him for. His conviction. of the soundness of his views made him a difficult opponent to deal with in debate. His hatred of all the meanness of the spirit made him intolerant of pettiness, small-mindedness and mental weakness. He could not dissemble when disgust at evidences of such attributes swayed him.’ (He spoke his mind)

‘He had the gift also of understanding the other man's point of view, and this enabled him to become a convincing exponent of the practical value of scientific research when governments had to be persuaded to make adequate funds available, and other interests had to be won over to co-operative effort.’

To me, one of his finest legacies to us as a family, was his documentation of the Julius Family History compiled during his brief period in retirement.
‘Sir George Julius will ever be remembered as a notable engineer and scientist, a successful leader and administrator, a truly great Australian citizen, and a generous-hearted and lovable man.’

Brian Conlon's 10 minute speech

History of the Julius Tote

How does one present 150 years of totalisator history in ten minutes? By concentrating on 50 years and then fast tracking past next to all of that.

It is an irony that for a nation that stops for a horserace and one in which most citizens know what a TAB is, that next to nothing is known about the 50 years of rich, uniquely Australian, totalisator history that existed prior to the advent of the TABs.

The world’s first automatic Totalisator was invented by George Julius here in Australia in 1913 and was installed at Ellerslie in Auckland New Zealand where it operated successfully. The second installation, was at Gloucester Park in Perth in 1916 and the third installation was here at Eagle Farm in 1917 and the one here in the museum was installed around 1948.

That first system at Ellerslie, which was purely mechanical, was described as a giant tangle of piano wires, pulleys and cast iron boxes and although many racing officials predicted that it would not work it was a great success. This disbelief from people observing Julius installations for the first time continued even after it was a well-established product. As Jack Bell wrote in his 1932 Miami Herald article regarding the Julius Tote being installed at Hialeah which was electromechanical, the old time horsemen around the track will tell you in no uncertain terms that the damn thing will never work. They look at all the Mechanism and shake their heads knowingly. Jack calculated it had 195 miles of electrical cable.

George founded the Australian company Automatic Totalisators Limited in 1917 to further develop and export these systems. It started out dominating the industry globally and later became part of an oligopoly.

Where were they installed

One chronological snapshot of installations during the Julius Tote era has a full A4 page of installations in Australia and two and a half A4 pages of New Zealand ones and includes many others overseas. A 1970 company article during the computer tote era indicates ATL had installations in 29 different countries.

Automatic Totalisators had subsidiary companies overseas, I will mention only one Atusa renamed Autotote which was a major manufacturing subsidiary in the USA, with a history equal to that of the parent company that it outlived.

In the home region, Automatic Totalisators had branches in the North and South Islands of New Zealand and in every state of Australia with a head office and factory in Sydney.

How the tote works

For those who do not know what a totalisator system is, if you know what a TAB is, then very simplistically, their computer systems, networks, peripherals, software and a myriad of display electronics providing the betting and information services are the totalisator of today.

We did not arrive at this level of functionality in a hurry however, it was a result of continuous development over the 150 years since Catalan come Frenchman Joseph Oller, invented the Pari Mutuel method of betting on which all totalisators are based and he started operating a manual totalisator conducted from horse drawn wagons.

Two of these developments stand out. First George’s automatic totalisator and second the computerisation of the totalisator pioneered by George’s company which developed the world’s first electronic computer based totalisator system for the New York Racing Association. You might think this would have been a small trial system, it was a big project involving multiple racetracks and massive turnover. Aqueduct racetrack alone had an annual turnover exceeding the GDP of two countries.

Having mentioned large, the French contract for the Julius Tote in Paris was Australia’s largest financial transaction with France at the time. This system at Longchamps took the title The Largest Totalisator in the world from the Julius Tote in Bombay India and later lost it to the Julius tote in White City London.

Significance of the Julius Totes

It is interesting to compare the Julius tote with its successor, electronic digital computers. The simplest block diagram you can draw of a digital computer consisting of four boxes can equally be applied to the Julius tote however below that level the architectures are radically different.

I have some video clips on my website on this subject, produced by the Greater London Industrial Archaeological Society as a part of their study of the Harringay Julius Tote. I don’t think there would be anyone today seeing the clip showing the Julius Terminal in operation that would not say this is part of a computer system.

Dr. Doron Swade MBE, wrote, relating to the London Science Museum that the Julius tote is the earliest on line real time data processing and computation system that the Curators of the London Science Museum had identified.

The Computer Conservation Society, a sub group of the British Computer Society, indicated that they regarded the Julius Tote to be a computer.

Many of the metrics are the same. Regarding metrics, a system was built and tested Sydney 1920 capable of supporting 1000 terminals and a sell rate of 250,000 transactions per minute; This is good by today’s standards.

The Julius tote had electromechanical Time Division Multiplexers. I have not met any technologist who is not astounded to hear that Time Division Multiplexers existed prior to the electronics that made them a common concept.

Early Julius Totes, also had a device called a storage screw. Storage is an essential concept to digital computers and perhaps the storage screw is the first use of the word storage in the sense of artificial memory.

An Automatic Totalisators France Limited Prospectus written in 1927 refers to computing and indicating of totals. If this is the first use of the word computing to refer to a machine, as previously people performed computing, then by deduction the Julius tote is the first machine to be called a computer.

I end this talk with a comment from Emeritus Professor Trevor Cole from Sydney University who said of George Julius We should be aware of our engineering heroes. Hopefully this award will raise Australia’s awareness of George Julius their engineering hero and this Australian achievement.

A Christmas Postscript

And you, dear reader, probably thought that there is nothing more that could be written about the Julius Tote Heritage Award. But wait - there's more: Mick Gulovsen an ex-ATL Tote Engineer in Victoria wrote to me asking how to acquire a higher resolution copy of the Interpretation Panel as he wanted to present it to Don McKenzie as a Christmas present. Don is another ex-ATL Tote Engineer in Victoria who had worked on the Julius Totes, which this award relates to, as well as the later computer totes.

On 3/11/2015 Mick wrote the following extract from an email: I wonder if you have a high quality version of the photo of the interpretation panel and if you wouldn't mind me using to to blow up as a Christmas present for Don?

On 26/12/2015 Mick wrote another email, following is an extract:

I got the print done just under 16" wide which fit perfectly in a frame I think was 17x14" size. I am fairly sure Don was surprised and appreciated the picture of the panel he said he can now actually read the text.
I previously sent Don the high quality image of the kid with a gear in his hand in front of the racks of rather large odds display wheels, I joked that it was Don's job to strip them down and rebuild it again and that he had a gear left over...
On 26/12/2015 Don McKenzie wrote the following extract from an email to Mick and Myself:
Yes, we had a great Christmas up here in Darwin. Has been wet, wet, and wet, and a little rain to top it off. :-)
Mick, yes very surprised and did appreciate the picture of the panel. Haven't even thought about where to hang it as we had to get into the "We are going to Darwin for Christmas" mode quickly.
On 6/03/2016 Don wrote another email, long after "We are going to Darwin for Christmas" mode was over. Following is an extract that replies to my question about what happened to his Presentation Panel Christmas present: Mick gave me the framed copy, which I quickly, and proudly hung up in the hallway at home.

It might look like this is the end, but there is one of those coincidences that I regularly experience with this history, which occurred the following year! On March 19 2016 Narelle and I visited long-time friends Kirk and Von in Geelong for a couple of days. I met Kirk at a DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) course on PDP11 hardware conducted by Ray Warner in 1978, when Kirk was working for Queensland University ( later renamed the University Of Queensland to avoid confusion with QUT ) and I had recently started working for Automatic Totalisators Limited. During the visit Kirk told me that a friend of his, who is on the Institution of Engineers Australia Engineering Heritage Committee, mentioned that he had attended the presentation ceremony of the IEAust International Marker, that had been awarded for the Automatic Totalisators Limited's Julius Totalisator. Kirk asked him if he knew me. His friend replied definitely.

2015 A Very Special ATL Reunion Dinner

I have also presented this event out of sequence, as it is a major personal event for me and could be considered an adjunct to the previous event. It certainly immediately followed the completion of the previous event.

The Automatic Totalisators Limited reunion held on 9th December 2015 was very different to any other I have attended. The first thing I found odd was that about twice the number of people I was expecting to see attended. Russell Graham originated the idea that made this dinner different and Nick D'Angelo did the communicating and had to ensure whenever he sent broadcasts that I was not included. Warwick Halcrow informed me after the event, that half the people came for the food and the other half for me.

The first action that took place, which made me realise that we were deviating from the norm, was Nick D'Angelo striking a glass with a spoon loudly and calling for QUIET. Neville Mitchell then commenced to make a speech and I thought that today must have been the anniversary of some company special event. I was surprised when Neville started to talk about me and he soon became emotional about the subject, prompting Warwick Halcrow to take over the speech. Neville's Speech follows:

Written by Neville Mitchell delivered by Warwick Halcrow

Firstly let me welcome you all here this evening and I suggest that we thank Nick for arranging this occasion and all the past occasions, which have been a wonderful way to keep us ex ATLers in touch each year.

Tonight I would like to say something about the Totalisator Website that Brian Conlon has built after many years of research and hard work putting together the history of the totalisator, while paying particular attention to its founder Sir George Julius. Along the way Brian and Narelle have travelled widely both nationally and internationally visiting museums and race tracks in their search for the history of the man and his miraculous totalisator machines.

I think I would be correct in saying that most of you here tonight have spent time browsing the extensive totalisator website, now consisting of many contributions by people who worked for, or were associated with ATL over many years.

I have been a friend of Brian's for some thirty odd years. He first came to my notice when he joined the company working with Ron Hood in the installation department. In fact we had actually worked on the building of the new Queen Elizabeth Grand Stand at Randwick Racecourse. Brian was working for AWA on the CCTV and Sound systems. I was project managing the tote side however our paths never crossed whilst on this installation which historically was the first CCTV system installation on any racecourse.

When Brian became oncourse computer tote engineer manager with ATL in Brisbane we did not get to see each other very often.

About the year 2001, I was involved with the Powerhouse Museum's 100 years of Wagering in Australia exhibition. I met up with Brian and Bob Plemel in the archives of the Powerhouse Museum. This meeting was the start of literally hundreds of emails answering and asking questions that Brian had in relation to the tote company's long history.

Brian was fascinated by the Julius Totalisator machine at Brisbane's Eagle Farm Racecourse. He took it upon himself to get the machine restored to a stage where all its working parts could be viewed, while Brian explained its functions to the people who visited the site. The restoration involved many ex tote engineers trying to get together the missing bits and pieces and emails were flying regarding the signage, which were finally answered by an ex New Zealand engineer Del Linkhorn and Bill Johnson, who both had a long association with Julius electromechanical totes.

In recent times the Eagle Farm Historical Totalisator site, has been recognised and a Dedication Plaque was presented by the State Governor.

Of late, the people gathered here tonight have long thought that Brian's work should in some way be recognised, for his passionate efforts in promoting ATL Totalisator history. So a group got together and were able to source a unique piece of Julius Tote memorabilia, which we present to you in appreciation of your efforts.

Tony Shellshear made some notes to be read out after the presentation. This was a clever deception that worked very well, to keep me from initially realising that the presentation sliderule was the personal property of Sir George Julius, leaving this for the very effective final astounding revelation. During the presentation, when I was handed the sliderule and removed it from its carry case, I firmly believed that the sliderule I had been presented with had been sourced on Ebay and that it was the same as the one in Alan Bromley's collection, which was probably the same as one used by Sir George. There were voices prompting me to realise that it was in fact Sir George's personal sliderule, however I was slow to come to this realisation. George's name on the back, that the voices were prompting me to read, is not written in ink. It is indented into the varnished wood and it took some time to get the light to shine on the back of the slide rule at an angle of incidence that revealed the name. I thought they were pulling my leg, but when I eventually saw it, I was astonished. It was a mind boggling experience!

Delivered, by Warwick Halcrow.

To recognise the Contributions you have made to the assembly and preservation of Totalisator history I wanted to find something to give you that was in some way connected to your field and of IT compatibility.
In browsing round the internet I came across an item in the Powerhouse Museum that belonged to Professor Alan Bromley with whom you are familiar.
We managed to find an identical item {On Ebay} which we would like you to have as a token of our gratitude.

After Brian opens the Slide rule Neville please point out that the previous owners name is on the back imprinted in the varnish finish is the name GEORGE JULIUS.

Being presented with George Julius' sliderule is a mind blowing experience in itself, I regard this particular sliderule as the "Holy Grail" of Totalisator history, however the display case is a whole other present in itself which obviously involved a lot of thought and effort.

Tony Shellshear, George Julius' great grandson, provided the sliderule and later told me that he has never given away any piece of George's memorabilia to anyone outside the family before. I cannot imagine how he managed to part with this highly sought after piece of his family's history. Tony also designed and built the display case.

Russell Graham wrote the following It was a pleasure to work with Tony S on this project. He has inherited some of the family’s creative genius.

George's Sliderule in the Presentation Case George Julius' sliderule presented to Brian Conlon

Russell Graham wrote to me about the above image Tell Narelle that she is allowed to bump you in the ribs if you spend too much time gazing at the case!

Before proceeding with more on the sliderule, I must point out that this presentation was not just for me but for Narelle as well. No not for being tolerant of my obsessional interest in this subject, but for actually having encouraged me in this venture and furthermore for her significant contribution to the research of it. Narelle received a very nice bottle of Moet which I know she will thoroughly enjoy and share.

Now back to the sliderule, following is the text from the left hand side of the presentation label:

Presented to
Brian Conlon

For services and commitment in promoting and preserving
ATL Totalisator history.

Thankyou Brian, from your friends and ex-colleagues, -
December, 2015

Following is the text from the right hand side of the presentation label on the glass cover:
This slide rule was used by Sir George Julius in creating the history that Brian has so earnestly chronicled and shared with us all. It is another piece of history to remind Brian of how we appreciate the dedication and passion he has shown in his pursuit of totalisator history around the world and in how he has promoted the history in many forums.
Appreciation and thanks go to Tony Shellshear for providing Sir George Julius' slide rule for use in this award.

There are two pieces of metalwork in the display case with engravings. Each one is a metal strip with teeth cut into the upper edge. The left hand strip has a cog on top engaging the edge teeth. This is a mechanism that George Julius used to describe epicyclic gears being used in an adding or subtracting operations as documented in the Mechanical Aids to Calculation chapter of this website.

The left hand strip engraving reads Sir George Julius' Personal Computer and the right one reads Presented to Brian Conlon - December 2015

The manufacturers label on the rear of the Sliderule reads:

147, Holborn Bars, London, E.C.
Sole Maker for Great Britain.

On the front centre of the sliderule, on the top of the sliding part, is printed in red ANDERSONS IMPROVED SLIDE RULE. This model was manufactured from 1904 to 1910. The Patent text on the front, to the left of the previous text, also in red reads PAT. GT. BRITN 22/4/03 PAT. U.S.A. 30/8/04 the years referring to 1903 and 1904. I replaced my sliderule as a student, with a hand held electronic calculator, a HP21, around 1971 or 1972.

Even the box that Tony had used to protect the sliderule and its display case during transportation, has a totalisator history pedigree. Although the ink with which it was written has run, probably due to being wet at some time, it is still possible to read ATL LONGCHAMP FRANCE. There are images with associated information relating to the Julius Tote at Longchamp Paris and Automatic Totalisators France Limited in the Photo Gallery + Synchronicity chapter of this website, under the photo gallery heading starting Longchamps Paris 1928.

Russell Graham later informed me that one of the group who organised this event wrote in an email to him: I commend you on this initiative to show the credit that needs to be duly dumped on him.

When speaking at the presentation replying to the presentation speech, I was in a euphoric state and did not have time to think about it, consequently I made a major omission when speaking of contributors to the cause of keeping the company memory alive.

One obvious and kingpin contributor to this cause is Nick D’Angelo which Neville Mitchell noted in his speech. I think that without Nick, in all likelihood these reunions would never have started, let alone develop into these annual meetings that have continued for decades after the demise of the company, on which our reunion is based. I suspect that without Nick stepping up to organise this event year in year out, it would end.

Furthermore from my perspective, the only reason I have the wide connectivity with the ex ATL fraternity is Nick, as it is Nick’s email list that I use to communicate with everyone. Without this connection I suspect that my motivation to persevere with my research into this history would have been significantly diminished.

So in summary, without Nick's efforts throughout the decades the 2015 ATL reunion, which has been such a mind blowing event for me, would not have happened at all.

It was a real pleasure that Merv and Delma Cathcart drove all the way down to Sydney from Brisbane to attend this reunion for the first time. Merv and I worked together on the Queensland racetracks for many years and have weathered many totalisator storms together. It is amazing that they attended this particular reunion dinner, which was such a special occasion for me. Merv knew about the presentation and like the rest, kept the secret very well.

Horses buttonGo back to the index    Horses buttonGo to the bottom of the page

Other items put on display at this event:
Tony Shellshear brought George's Knighthood medallion and his Australian Racing Hall of Fame induction pin and an Institution of Engineers Australia Julius Medal. Tony put them on display for the reunion dinner attendees. Bob Moran brought a Julius tote adding shaft that demonstrated the workings of the epicyclic gear arrangements, as well as one of his engineering drawings of a Julius tote shaft adder and a Powerpoint presentation of the working segment of the Broadmeadows Julius tote used in the Powerhouse Museum's Gambling expo.

As I have mentioned Bob Moran above, it seems appropriate to provide the following image of a Julius Tote centenary memorial he made commemorating a hundred years since the world's first automatic totalisator commenced operation. He presented this to me at last year's Automatic Totalisators Limited reunion dinner in recognition of my contribution to the preservation and promotion of this history. Thanks again Bob, much appreciated, as is your outstanding contribution to this subject. The Centenary took place the year prior to Bob's presenting me with this memorial.

Bob Moran's Centenary commemoration present Bob Morans Centenary Memorial presented to Brian Conlon

Other items received at this event:
John Pickering an ex-ATL sales manager who attended the reunion from Manila, gave me a set of ATL cufflinks in brand new condition. Lachie Macdonald, an Ex-ATL engineer, gave me a set of photographs from the Ipoh and Penang installations in the PDP11 computer era. Bill Johnson an ex-ATL engineer and manager gave me some negatives of the Caracas installation. Caracas was a Julius Tote system. There are some very interesting photos, so far as I can tell from the negatives and I am looking forward to getting some prints made of these. There is a chapter on Caracas in this website titled Caracas a latterday Julius tote installation. Bill also gave a talk relating to an event on a Penang installation, which may have been in the Julius Tote era. There was an image of a Julius tote there amongst the photos of the PDP11 systems that Lachie just gave me, which presumably was being replaced by the PDP11s.

Russell Graham wrote the following about my reaction to this event I am so glad the award/event worked and had the desired effect on you.

Some Email Comments

Brian Killin wrote on 11/12/2015: We were all very delighted that your efforts have been recognised. Without such endeavours our history is greatly diminished.

Max Burnet, ex CEO of DEC Australia (Digital Equipment Corporation) wrote on 11/12/2015 relating to the sliderule presentation: I heard there was something special happening for you but every one was sworn to secrecy worthy of the DoD. And what a wonderful icon to add to your Eagle Farm display.
Max also wrote relating to the ex Digital Equipment Corporation employees morning coffee get together that Narelle and I attended: Thanks for coming to the PH pub coffee morning. A lot of retired engineers miss the conversations around the office café bar and enjoy the chance to get together. It is nice to be able to introduce talented visitors like the Conlons.

Max Burnet, after I sent him a photo of George's sliderule, wrote again on 12/12/2015, with a very interesting observation regarding the sliderule:

What an unusual, early slide rule. I have never seen such a one in my travels. However, if you google “Andersons improved slide rule” the Powerhouse Museum have one.(in the Prof Alan Bromley collection) I suspect that is the only other one in Australia.
Your one has a wonderful provenance, imagine how many ATL and CSIR projects were evaluated by Sir George Julius with it?
Warwick Halcrow wrote on 12/12/2015 to Neville Mitchell and others who organised this event, prompted by Neville who thanked him for presenting his speech. An extract follows:
I have also been both an on-course and off-course friend of Brian and Narelle's for over thirty years and it was my privilege, no honour, to be able to present your notes of gratitude to Brian at the ATL Xmas 2015 reunion. Brian has already expressed his delight on the reception of his award and I also express the gratitude of all to Tony Shellshear for this exceptional heirloom from the Julius family.
Bill Johnson wrote on 12/12/2015 It was a great night especially your surprise. Food was good too. Best in the dinners I have attended.

When I thanked Nick D'Angelo for his significant input to this presentation, as this event would not have taken place at all if it was not for Nick's annual ATL reunion dinners, he replied on 13/12/2015 with some details about the development of this annual event, which was broadcast to the people on the invite list:

Thank you for your kind words. Who would have thought that this all started as a means to have a Christmas drink and catch up with some work colleagues/friends after they had left ATL. The original group in the mid 80's was just myself and Ziz, and then Richard having a drink at Mary's Pub at West Ryde. Then it became a dinner rather than just drinks, and included more people from the ATL technical department.

Over the years it's expanded with people from all departments, and some from pre 80's era, as well a few others with special connection to ATL. And with everyone on email now, it's certainly much easier to organise than previously calling everyone individually.

These days our reunions are usually getting about 30 people attending, and I'm always amazed at how many people travel large distances to come along - from Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Central Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, and even from The Philippines.

So thanks to everyone for coming along and being part of it.

Rod Richards wrote on 13/12/2015:
Congratulations Brian for a job well done. Sir George’s slide rule is very appropriate and a wonderful gift. I am glad you had a good night as I heard on the grape vine that something special was planned.
An extract from an email Neville Mitchell sent on 15/12/2015:
It was indeed a great night I’d say best so far congratulations to Nick and all whose who participated in arranging the presentation to Brian & Narelle. We met up with Brian & Narelle and Commander David Hamilton and his wife Erella in the a coffee shop at Lake Parramatta on Friday morning. We had a two hour talk fest, Brian brought along the Slide rule to show David, who you may remember was NSW oncourse manager for 17 years.
Joe Brandon, an engineer and manager of Autotote, the company that used to be ATL's subsidiary in the United States wrote on 18/12/2015 Sir George's slide rule? Holy Moley! Golden Grail doesn't even do it justice. How incredibly cool!

On 21/12/2015 Emeritus Professor Bob Doran from Auckland University, who is a totalisator history expert, wrote: Congratulations on your award. That looks like a nice slide rule in itself but very special with the Julius name on it!

On 23/12/2015 Nick D'Angelo broadcast the following wrap-up of the 2015 ATL reunion dinner.

Just a wrap up on our recent reunion dinner. A great time had by all, made especially memorable with the surprise presentation to Brian Conlon for his ongoing commitment in preserving ATL Totalisator history.

Originally suggested by Russell, we didn’t know what item of memorabilia we might come up with from our group, given the limited timeframe. So when out of the blue, Tony Shellshear (Sir George Julius’ great grandson) offered Sir George’s personal slide rule, we knew that would be hard to top as such a truly unique piece of ATL history. Thankfully we were able to keep it all quiet from Brian so it could be a big surprise on the night. And we also fortunate to have Tony attend the dinner as well to magnify the impact with the family connection. His attendance wasn’t a giveaway though, because behind the scenes Brian had also been trying to get Tony to come along to the dinner for the first time. So much skulduggery going on !

On the night, Brian was indeed surprised and blown away by the presentation, and has recounted the evening on his website. Check out the video when available.
Brian writing: I have omitted Nick's section on the video of this occasion as it went through many permutations and the latest version is presented at the end of this section.

I’d like to thank Tony Shellshear for his very generous gesture in parting with such a family heirloom, and organising the impressive display case. It looks fantastic.
Thanks to all those that came along this year, particularly from the longer distances, and interstate and overseas. It’s always good to catch up with you.

There were a few dollars left over from the night, so I’ll get a lotto ticket for the big draw around New Year. Never know your luck.
So until next year, have a safe and happy Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.

John Pickering wrote on 23/12/2015 to Nick D'Angelo and the ATL invite list. Following is an extract:
As usual you did a great job in arranging the dinner. We are fortunate to have you to arrange and coordinate the dinner each year. I always enjoy catching up with my friends from yesteryear.
The presentation to Brian for his work on the ATL history was the highlight of the evening. Wow what a great gift of Sir George Julius's slide rule. It was great to see how much this unique gift was appreciated by Brian. Special thanks to Neville for his speech and for his continued contribution to the ATL history.
On 24/12/2015 Bob Moran wrote to Narelle and I:
Once again thank you very much for championing the Julius story, I am so lucky to have been introduced to this by the late Allan Bromley and to be linked to yourself in perpetuating Julius's remarkable work.
To record and preserve ATL history as you have, is a great credit to yourself, Max and I are privileged to have your thoughts regarding the Discovery Shed aired on your web site.
Congratulations on your well deserved award, recently received at the ATL reunion, this bears testimony to your great efforts.
On 26/12/2015 Mick Gulovsen, an ex-ATL tote engineer in Victoria sent an email, an extract follows:
Congrats on the slide rule, I think you thoroughly deserve it, I am a wee bit envious as when I went to tech school in the early 70's I was the only person in class who used a slide rule for school. This is of course before calculators were around, it was slide rule or logarithms in those days. I did get a commodore brand calculator in 1974 or 75 and was one of the first to get this basic calculator that cost my working class parents $90 at the time, well beyond what they could really afford at the time.
Also on 26/12/2015 Don McKenzie, another ex-ATL tote engineer in Victoria also sent an email. An extract, relating to Mick's extract above, follows:
I have to endorse what Mick said about the slide rule presentation Brian. Thoroughly deserved, and so glad to hear this news. The amount of effort you have put into the history of the man George Julius, and his ATL tote company on your web site, far eclipses anything else that others (including me) have attempted on this subject. The years of dedication has returned a small delightful gift for you. A gift I know you are very proud to own, and never expected.
Narelle wrote to a friend of ours in London regarding this presentation, she replied How wonderful for Brian to get the great man's slide rule! She also wrote that she had told a mutual friend of ours and added as you can imagine he was incredibly impressed.

On 3/1/2016 Chris Robertson, the most knowledgeable high value punter regarding the racing industry that I know, wrote the following about this presentation:

Reading about the recognition you have achieved for your herculean efforts in rescuing the history of the automatic totalisator makes me feel fortunate to have been a very small part of this history - even if it was only as a customer of ATL. For just a few moments I regretted that I didn't live in Brisbane, but then I would have missed growing up with Melbourne's rich racing and wagering history, so on balance I'm happy to be a Victorian. I also got to know Don McKenzie, just about the most likeable person anyone could ever want to meet on a racecourse.

As for the accolades you have received for your tireless work, I can only say they are thoroughly deserved. From a personal viewpoint I am mightily glad that your website exists. In what must be one of horse racing's great shames: the failure to appreciate just what they had in the electro-mechanical totalisator, you have almost single handedly rescued this aspect of the sport's history. The pages of racing's history are littered with stories of colourful bookmaking characters, but nothing of the people who provided the means for racing surviving and flourishing, i.e. those who built and ran the totalisator. The totalisator flourished against opposition from the friends of bookmakers who were so prominent for so long on Australia's racing club committees. So while you have been thanked for your role in preserving an important piece of Australia's engineering past, I would like to thank you for being an important racing historian, even if that is only incidental to your main aims. I am also glad that there were enough farsighted racing men to stare down the totalisator's opponents.

On 5/1/2016 Max Burnet wrote again:
I asked the leading collector of slide rules in Sydney about the Anderson and here is his response. He confirms my hunch that it is very rare. It seems a fitting item for Sir George Julius to have owned!
On 7/1/2016, Chris Roberstson wrote again. Following is an extract:
I feel privileged to be getting the thoughts of an ATL insider first hand; it's like another chapter has been added to my racing experiences. The accolades you have received are, as well as being richly deserved, also a vindication of the efforts of so many tote people through the decades.
On 10th January 2016 Edward Fenn George Julius' cousin once removed wrote:
How entirely appropriate you should be given his rule, as a mark of appreciation of your magnum opus documenting George and all his works.
It is a fiercesome instrument to one devoid of any mathematical capability, and of importance to George as an Engineer somewhere on the same level as a wife I would make a guess?
It also gives me great pleasure you have been so well recognised for a project that is now, due to you, part of the continuing history of Australian endeavour.
Furthermore as a bonus you are obviously having a lot of fun and meeting many interesting people.
Keep up the research I am sure there is still more to record.
On 12/1/2016, Bernadette McLoughlin, Tabcorp General Manager Phone and On Course, wrote regarding this presentation. Following is an extract: Wow what a moment for you and Narelle. Congratulations on a well deserved recognition and I know the sliderule will be treasured.

On 27/1/2016 Tack Tanaka, who was a computer engineer with Fujitsu in the Totalisator Division, wrote an email about this event. Having mentioned Fujitsu, on the subject of Japan, it is interesting to note that in the encyclopaedic French book PARI MUTUEL - L'AVENTURE D'UNE GRANDE INVENTION FRANCAISE, there is a centrepiece map of the world. It is titled "Chiffre d'affaires du PARI MUTUEL" which translates to Pari Mutuel Sales and categorises the tote turnover of the major countries in the totalisator business. These turnovers are represented by different sized cubes. Japan stands alone, with the biggest cube of all, categorised as greater than 20,000 million d'euros. Following are some extracts from Tack's email:

Thank you for letting know the great news, and many congratulations on your award!
Brian, I wish I could see the photo taken when you were given the sliderule, or when you delivered your speech.
The only thing I can feel the sentiment that all of the people got together in this event shared is the greatness of Website you created. This is simply unbelievable.
Really, really, congratulations!
I try to communicate your message to Yoshida-san, and if possible, to some of my Tote people in Fujitsu. But this would involve a lot of translation!
By the way, have Narelle and you drunk the valuable Champaign?
On 28/1/2016 Tack wrote again to indicate he has passed the information about the Institution of Engineers Australia Heritage Marker described at the top of this page, on to Yoshida san, who I met when Tack and Yoshida san visited Australia investigating totalisator history.
Now I understand how valuable the sliderule you received is. It’s your “family treasure” to be kept generation to generation.
Yesterday, I wrote an Email to Yoshida-san about the International Engineering Heritage news. He was amazed. And he asked me to send his congratulation message to you. Yoshida-san was happy to know that there was another man (Paul) in Southern hemisphere who, like Yoshida-san, started the action to commemorate the great work of Gorge Julius.
Thank you for uploading my Email to your website. I am honored.
On 27/1/2016 Ian Johnston, who was a Totalisator Engineer at Turffontein Racecourse in South Africa working on Automatic Totalisators Limited systems in the early 1970s. Following is an extract relating to this event. I’m really glad that the ATL reunion dinner went off so well. Also great that you got presented with such a valuable gift as the Julius slide rule. I watched the U-Tube clip. There is a link to the video clip of this presentation that Ian mentions, at the end of this section before the next main heading New Zealand holiday 2007.

Long time friends of mine Sue and Vasco Barros, wrote on 30 January 2016 about the 2016 ATL reunion dinner in Sydney: What a fabulous trip you had, and the recognition received by your peers is so special! I watched the u tube and read some of the website material, it is so extraordinary and wonderful that you are instrumental in keeping this history alive.

On 4/2/2016 Bruce Rutter, ex Automatic Totalisators Limited CEO wrote the following:

Thank you for your very informative email and hearty congratulations on the well earned acknowledgement of your efforts which have not only enhanced the association of Sir George Julius with AutomaticTotalisators but has provided a great history of the Company and its people.
The presentation of Sir Georges Slide Rule was wonderful and well deserved.

An Amazing Two Weeks

As many people have been introduced above, I thought I would write a little more about the events of the two weeks Narelle and I spent in Sydney whilst down for the 2015 reunion dinner. It was crammed full of nostalgic activities reuniting with very good old friends some of whom we had not seen for some time. I will limit this to people and events related to totalisator history.

Bob Moran mentioned above has created what he calls The Discovery Shed to inspire young people into thinking about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, logic and history. Don't get the idea this is something for youth only, I am 65 and find it absolutely enthralling and the shed is really the premises of his working era engineering company Precision Dynamics. It has a strong focus on the Julius Tote and after two visits, with a duration of about half a day each, I have concluded that I have not yet scratched the surface and need to allocate a whole day to it next time. I was fascinated by the F28 Fokker Fellowship centre console which I spent time examining in detail. It was interesting to see that the reverse thrust in flight lockout was still working, locking the reverse thrust levers until the thrust control levers are pulled past flight idle into the reverse thrust gate. I am used to the Beta range reverse thrust on a turbo prop, as I have flown this type of aircraft, but have never had my hands on the reverse thrust control in a turbo fan before, although I had seen them used.
There is more information about the Discovery Shed under the heading Bob Moran's Interactive Julius Tote Displays below. Additionally, there is a link to Discovery Shed information in the 3 more ATL systems in Asia/Links to other pages chapter of this website.

Having mentioned the Discovery Shed, Max Burnet mentioned above is Bob Moran's partner in this venture. Max provided the Digital Equipment Corporation historic computer displays and associated computer era information. These are from an era of really serious computer hardware which were a sight to behold, not the boring micro machines of today. I am fascinated by the massive amount of synchronicity Narelle and I experience. Max Burnet has a fascinating synchronicity with Charles Babbage which is particularly pertinent as Bob Moran's Babbage Difference Engine No.1 construction is on display in the Discovery Shed. Max's Birthday is 150 years to the day after Charles Babbage's!

Narelle and I had a great time catching up with Merv and Delma Cathcart mentioned above. We all attended one of Max Burnet's ex DEC employee morning tea functions which we thoroughly enjoyed. Merv and I have something in common with the ex DEC employees in that the company we worked for, ATL, was a major OEM (Other Equipment Manufacturer) of their company and one which multiple DEC employees regarded as being significant in getting DEC Australia started. Warwick Halcrow, also mentioned above attended this event as he worked for DEC prior to working for ATL. It was after this event that Merv Delma Narelle and I visited the Discovery Shed mentioned above.

Having just mentioned Warwick Halcrow, who read the speech at my presentation, he invited Narelle and I to attend a get together of his friends at a coffee shop in Lane Cove. We met Warwick's delightful friends and engaged in many interesting conversations. We immediately felt like we had known them for a long time. We met with this group three times before returning to Queensland. At the first meeting, I was talking to Warwick, with Jim and Margaret listening in, relating the fact that I had visited the North Shore Rowing Club's boat shed whilst in Sydney and asking if he would like to join Narelle and I in a visit there at 0630 when it would be open. I was getting to the punchline about Spencer Grace, an Olympic rower and benefactor to the North Shore Rowing Club, having also been a GM and MD of ATL, when Jim blurted out "Spencer Grace" before I mentioned it. I could not beleive it! More Synchronicity! Not only did he know of the connection between the North Shore Rowing Club, Spencer Grace and ATL but he actually knew Spencer Grace!

Narelle and I spent two delightful days as guests of Bertha Schoder who worked for ATL in the wiring department for many years. Wiring electronics backplanes was both demanding and exacting work requiring long periods of intense concentration and attention to detail. A single wiring job could take days to weeks. Bertha made life a lot easier for many in engineering and research, as any wiring she produced, which in those days was prolific and consequently complicated, was guaranteed to work according to the wiring diagrams. Mistakes in wiring can introduce significant delays identifying the mistake or much worse, mistakes. Bertha attends the ATL reunion dinner and was present at the presentation documented above. Our time with Bertha was non stop entertainment characterised by what I term utmost hospitality. She even provided a movie on each night, which were both very much in line with Narelle and my interests, which we all thoroughly enjoyed and discussed.
There is an example of a backplane wiring accessible via the Photo Gallery + Synchronicity chapter of this website by selecting the image thumbnail with the text starting A Raceday Control Console. Look under the heading Information and Images from Max Burnet ... at the image titled The PDP8 Backplane.

Neville and Nancy Mitchell and Narelle and I met with David and Erella Hamilton at the Coffee Shop at Lake Parramatta. David was the NSW Operations Manager for Automatic Totalisators Limited. I opened the carefully packed box containing Sir George Julius' sliderule and presentation case, which I had received, as David and Erella were not at the reunion and had not seen it. Usually when David and I meet we have a lot to talk about, but this time I managed to ask him about the experience of flying the Seafire, the naval version of the Spitfire which he did at the age of 21 when he was in the Royal Navy. It was delightful listening to his description. He said it was a good aircraft to fly and that he only flew the Seafires with the Griffon engines with horsepower of 2000 upwards. As a consequence of this power, you had to be careful of torque effect. Danger was present when approaching to land whether on an airfield or a carrier where you are at a low speed and for some reason you slam the throttle open. This produces a large amount of thrust from the propeller, combined with poor effectiveness of control surfaces due to the low airspeed, this can cause the fuselage to start rolling around the propellor, resulting in a torque stall which was always fatal. On the upside the power provided for very impressive rate of climb. David said that he later flew Seafires with contrarotating propellors which solved the torque effect problem. These propellors had two sets of blades one set rotating one way and the other rotating in the opposite direction resulting in the torque effect of one cancelling the torque effect of the other. He also mentioned that the cockpit was comfortable for himself but was cramped for very large pilots. He knew a Seafire pilot who was big and flew in combat without a parachute, as he could not fit in the cockpit wearing it. David did not mention it, however for those interested in such details, the Griffon engine has a capacity of 36.7 Litres!
David's tote memoires appear on this website in the Memoires of an Ops Manager and Harold Park chapter.

Neville and Nancy Mitchell and Narelle and I met with Rod and Elizabeth Richards for the first time. We had a wonderful time together in a coffee shop in Parramatta, reminiscing about Automatic Totalisators Limited. Rod performed the Ipswich Julius Tote installation in 1950 and I worked on the development and later operation and maintenance of the PDP11 systems that replaced Rod's totalisator at Ipswich. Rod brought along photographs of installations he worked on. Neville who started at Automatic Totalisators long before I did, knew a lot more of the people that Rod remembered. Whilst determining what mutual people we knew, Rod mentioned a name that had Neville and I prick up our ears as we both knew him well, Rex Turner. Ironically, Rod had not met Rex whilst working for Automatic Totalisator Limited, as Rex worked there in a later era, they met each other at a Bowls Club. They now play Bowls together at the club once a week. They ascertained that they both had worked for the same company, Automatic Totalisators Limited. They had not realised however that they had a connection through the Ipswich Amateur Turf Club and the racetrack at Bundamba. Rex was the installation engineer for the PDP11 based totalisators that in 1979 replaced the Julius tote at Ipswich which Rod had installed in 1950. Rod sent me an email on 18/12/2015, an extract follows:

I caught up with Rex Turner and he was surprised when I told him that we had lunch together and wanted to know how I knew you. I gave him both you and Neville’s cards and told him about your web site with his photo standing by the Aztec. He mentioned his work experience to Bagdad and his escape—that would make a good read in Tote History!

Rod has provided information about the Ipswich Julius Tote installation as well as other totes he worked on in Tasmania, on this website. Rod's memories of the Ipswich Julius tote installation are in The shaft adder in the image chapter under the heading Rod Richards' Revelations and his recollections of the White City Tote in Tasmania are accessible through the Photo Gallery continued chapter by selecting the image thumbnail with the associated text starting The adding equipment part of the central processing system at White City Stadium London.

As Russell Graham started all this off, it seems appropriate to end on a couple of perceptive comments from Russell:
I guess Narelle had an interesting drive back to Toowoomba with you in the car after the dinner!
I hope the champers made up for it!

Here is a video of this presentation provided by Nick D'Angelo who filmed it The 2015 ATL Reunion Dinner Presentation

New Zealand Holiday 2007

Whilst on holiday in New Zealand in September 2007 I visited Christchurch Cathedral. I spoke to one of the guides indicating that I was interested in Archbishop Churchill Julius, George's father. I was surprised to find that he knew about George and that George was regarded as somewhat of a curiosity considering his business association with gambling. George's mother was Alice Frances Rowlandson.

Churchill Julius was appointed Archdeacon Ballarat in 1884, nominated to the Diocese of Christchurch in 1889, consecrated Bishop of Christchurch in 1890, Anglican Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand commencing 1922. He was on the Board of Governors of Canterbury College (University). He was known for his liberal views. The year of my visit was the 90th anniversary of Bishop Julius Hall. Bishop Julius gave his home Bishopscourt Park Terrace to be a dwelling for women students in Christchurch. Churchill's father was Dr. Frederic Gilder Julius a surgeon who was married to Ellen Hannah Smith.

There is a list of Deans inside the Cathedral, John Awdry Julius, George's brother is amongst them. George had 2 brothers and 5 sisters.

I noticed that there was a "Julius Place" whilst visiting Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Checking to see if this had anything to do with the Julius family, I learnt that Alfred Henry Julius first cousin to Churchill Julius was Vicar for the Akaroa Diocese.

Canterbury College Image of Old Canterbury College buildings now the Arts Centre

Whilst in Christchurch I visited "Rutherford's Den". It is a tourist attraction at The Arts Centre, shown in the above image, which is now located in the buildings that used to be Canterbury College, later known as Canterbury University. Rutherford's Den consists of the cloakroom where Rutherford used to conduct his experiments and the surrounding rooms and lecture theatre. Ernest Rutherford was a world famous scientist who discovered the nuclear structure of the atom and was the first person to knowingly split it. It has been suggested that this claim should be to split the nucleus of an atom! He is pictured on the New Zealand $100 bill. Both Ernest Rutherford and George Julius obtained degrees at these premises and they both started in 1890.

post-script 1: July 2011, I have just discovered an article in Nature, International weekly Journal of Science, reference Nature 158,124 (27 July 1946) which states that George attended classes with his contemporary and friend Ernest Rutherford.

post-script 2: May 2016, I have just finished incorporating a 1932 article from the Trove newspaper archive titled HOW THE AUTOMATIC TOTALISATOR WAS INVENTED in the Mechanical Aids to Calculation chapter of this website. In this article Sir George Julius states:

After matriculating here at the University I entered the New Zealand University--where one of my fellow students was the now eminent physicist, Lord Rutherford--and was its first graduate of engineering.
The Trove details of this article are: 1932 'HOW THE AUTOMATIC TOTALISATOR WAS INVENTED', Gippsland Times (Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 7 January, p. 3. , viewed 20 May 2016,

Before leaving the image above, showing the old Canterbury College clock tower, Dermot Elworthy, George Julius' great nephew, who was at school just around the corner at the time, remembers a "Chummy" Austin 7 of mid-twenties vintage hauled up the outside of the clock tower as a 1954 rag week stunt. The poor car was suspended from the roof for several days whilst the authorities pondered how to return it to the ground. He sometimes has wondered what his Great Uncle George would have made of this nonsense 60 years after he had been a student in that very place.

I also visited Riccarton Racetrack. I had no prior knowledge of it and had a look purely as a result of having seen a signpost to Riccarton Racetrack. I was surprised to find a barometer indicator on an old tote building reminiscent of the ones which were part of the Julius Totes. The tote house was occupied by a Veterinary company and an employee there knew that the building used to be the main tote house, that it had historical significance and that the old electro-mechanical Julius tote was still upstairs but not easily accessible. On further investigation I found that Julius tote installations were performed here in 1921 and 1935.

Riccarton Park old main tote house. Canterbury Jockey Club Riccarton

I informed Prof. Bob Doran of this system. He subsequently visited this site and documented his findings regarding the Julius tote machinery which was still present. Amongst his findings was a drawing which he photographed and is shown below.

Julius Poole and Gibson blueprint Blueprint of wiring to Grand Total Units

I find this drawing of particular interest for two reasons. Firstly the fact that it is a blueprint. I recall there being a proliferation of blueprints in the AWA print room at North Ryde in Sydney in the early 1970s. This was a once common means of reproducing engineering drawings. Despite Blueprints becoming so common that the word became part of the English language, they now seem to have disappeared into antiquity as I have not seen any blueprints in decades. Secondly, the drawing was produced by Awdry Julius, George's son, for Julius Poole and Gibson.

Having mentioned the print room at AWA, I recall my first visit to this room to collect a drawing. You waited outside the room at a long counter with a large opening above it through which you could see the inside of the print room. Staff on the other side of the counter would attend to your requests for documents or accept documents to be stored. This opening had a shutter which I first thought was purely for securing this room. This I found a little odd as it secured the print room from the rest of the factory and other staff on the outside. It was a bit like a small shop front or canteen servery. As I waited to be served, my attention was drawn to a sign on the wall inside the print room. It was a set of instructions regarding the possibility of a fire. Evidently in the event of the fire alarm being triggered, the personnel in the print room only had seconds to exit the room before the fire system automatically closed doors and shutters and flooded the room with fire extinguishing gas! I wonder what occupational health and safety issues there would be with that nowadays. I suppose in those days these rooms contained the Knowledge Base for the organisation and this made it extremely important to preserve the contents. In addition this predated the widespread use of computer based drawing and document creation and storage and database systems with off site storage for backup.

George Julius' Model City

In March 2007 I received an email from John Shoebridge enquiring about a Model City that George Julius owned. John had been communicating with Bill Chalmers who wrote about it. Following is an extract from his email:

I don't know anything about the abilities of Sir George Julius in model-making, but can certainly add something about the "Model City". It was built over a period, probably about 1937-39, at the opulent Rushcutters Bay home of the Julius family right on the waterfront. I think his chauffeur had a lot do with the construction. It was offered by Sir George as a Red Cross fund-raising display in 1940 and went on display at, I think, Grace Brothers in Sydney. It was later moved to the then Myer Emporium in Melbourne, being set up in the basement during 1941

It consisted of a plaster-of paris mountain-side built on transportable wood frame sections and was about 13 metres long, 3 or 3.5 deep and about 3 high. It had an extensive Lionel "0" gauge layout with fiddle yards behind the scenes. Trains operated on a programmed sequence, as did various cranes, conveyors, barges, coalmines, etc, with a commentator describing the action.

My father, the late A.M. Chalmers, was employed by Sir George ( but maybe the Red Cross - not sure) to manage, set up and operate the display with a small staff. I remember the maintenance technician was Ted Beckett and there were girl operators and a professional commentator - the programme ran for about 40 minutes. I still have my father's draft set-up and operating notes, also some large photos of parts of the layout.

I emailed with Bill in August 2008 and following is an extract from his reply providing additional information:
To add a little to my reply to John Shoebridge; I remember accompanying my father to Sir George's home right on the shore of Rushcutters Bay, probably in 1940. The home was quite large, of three levels, I think. The Model City was housed in a large room in a lower level - the memory is really vague on that, but I clearly remember being introduced to Sir George and a member of his staff, who was probably his driver/mechanic or whatever, and the impression on a nine-year old of the huge model. In fact, the plaster-of-paris mountain construction was painted in rather garish colours, as I remember.
The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney have the remnants of this model city.

The following is an extract from the book Julius Poole and Gibson The First Eighty Years relating to The Model City.

In the early years of the practice George Julius, with the help of his sons, made great progress in constructing the model railway set which gradually grew to be a model city measuring 13 metres by 4 metres, and up to 3 metres high.

Many years later on the occasion of its exhibition in Melbourne, The Argus gave the following description (26 June, 1941):
The model city is a perfect miniature township, with railways, lakes, a park, windmill and street lighting.
Behind the town is a mountain made of seven tons of plaster. The mountain is criss-crossed by railway lines and is full of tunnels. It has several deep gorges crossed by suspension bridges and is dotted with miniature engineering devices. There is an excavator digging soil from the hillside and depositing it in waiting trucks, a dredge scooping gravel up from the dock, a coal mine, complete with its own railway services and loading cranes, post cranes for loading timber and a mine from which iron ore is carried in buckets on a belt conveyor to an electric grab which deposits it in barges. There is also an iron foundry and a farmyard all to scale.

Lent to the Red Cross in 1941 to raise funds, the model city was exhibited in an annex to the toy department at Myer Emporium in Melbourne. The model city was insured for 10,000 pounds and received nationwide newspaper coverage. It was eventually presented to the Sydney Technical Museum.

An email from Tony Shellshear

In March 2009, I received the following email from Tony Shellshear, George's great grandson.

Not sure if it is of interest, but I am Sir George Julius’s great grandson.
I have just taken delivery of the original lathe on which Sir George created the first totalisator prototypes, along with many cogs and wheels, which are presumably ‘left over bits’ or spare parts.
I have only just started doing an initial assembly of the lathe, as I received it in parts, with no drawings or notes. So far so good.
Once I have it figured out, or at least as far as I can, I will send some photos.
Have not yet managed to determine the make of the lathe, however some of the gear and thread cutting accessories carry the name ‘Evans and Sons, London’.
My intention is restore it ‘gently’, so as not to lose the sense of age of the machine, but to hopefully get it working for display purposes.
It was originally a pedal powered machine, but has had an electric motor conversion at some stage. Sadly, the original pedals and flywheel are no longer with the machine, but I am going to do some net hunting to see if I can firstly determine what they would have looked like, and start the hunt for replacement parts.

Will keep you posted as the mysteries unfold.

Image of the ATL reunion dinner held in December 2008
Tony Shellshear visiting the Julius tote at the Eagle Farm Racing Museum April 2009, which was manufactured by his great grandfather's company Automatic Totalisators Limited.

It is now March 2014 and Narelle and I have had a wonderful lunch at Tony and Cathy Shellshear's place. Tony is engaged in a rigorous project to return George Julius' lathe he mentions in the above email to its original condition. It has already undergone a major transformation to be in the condition shown in the following photograph. The lathe was manufactured by Evans and Sons of London in 1830.

George Julius' Evans and Sons Lathe George Julius' original lathe

Tony also gave us a look over his extensive collection of George Julius memorabilia including his degrees, knighthood certificate and medal, slide rules, tools, documents, other awards and achievements, his induction document to the Racing Hall of Fame, membership and family documents and George’s lathe, as well as many photos. It is an astounding collection. I have presented images of medallions from Tony's collection in the Sir George Julius chapter of this website. Whilst on the subject of Tony Shellshear, I will mention that Awdry Julius who created the Julius Poole and Gibson blueprint drawing shown above is Tony's Grandfather.

The ATL reunion dinners

Nick D'Angelo, a long serving ATL manager has created an ATL tradition. Every year in December he organises an ATL reunion dinner in Sydney which is usually very popular. I have included a photograph of the 2008 reunion mainly because it is the smallest of these gatherings I have been to and everyone attending fits onto the one photograph. Usually these reunions are at least twice this size with a lot of dropouts this year due to business meetings that could not be broken and people being overseas. My apologies to the people down the far end of the table and if anyone has a better photo I am happy to replace this one particularly since Narelle would have preferred to be down the other end.

These reunions are something that many outsiders do not comprehend. They wonder why it is that a group of people saw something so special about the company they worked for, the relationships they made whilst employed by that company and the work they performed there, that they make the effort to come to a reunion often travelling long distances or international to celebrate a company deceased for decades.

The 2008 ATL reunion Dinner Image of the ATL reunion dinner held in December 2008

An email from Mike Bell, a long serving ATL projects manager captures the sentiment of these occasions:

I just wanted to say “thanks” on behalf of all the guys and girls (whether or not they could make it) for arranging the dinner last night – good food, good wine / beer and good company (well, mostly – right Ziz? :-) ). It’s a great tradition that you’ve established (and maintain) and long may it continue.
Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a great 2009 to you and the rest of the gang.
And the reply
Hi Mike,
Thanks, it's always good to catch up with everyone and share some merriment around this time of year.
A special thanks to those people that travel the long distances to attend, and I hope to see as many as possible of the gang again next year.
Till then, stay safe and well, have a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

Britain Holiday 2009

The Church of St Peter Mancroft Norwich Image of the Market Church and Norwich Castle
In September of 2009 I visited Britain again. I did some flying in a Cirrus SR22 from Humberside airport near Hull to Manston in Kent pursuing another historical interest the Battle of Britain. I noticed that George Julius' home town Norwich was in the vicinity so I went to have a look at it. The photo is of The Church of St Peter Mancroft in the foreground and Norwich Castle in the background on the right hand side of the Church. I am presently reading A History of Norwich by Frank Meeres. It is said that Norwich has a pub for every day of the year and a church for every Sunday of the year. It is ironic that George invented the first automatic totalisator and came from Norwich known as a city of firsts.

Dermot Elworthy informed me that Archbishop Julius, George's father, started his career at St Giles in Norwich.

Britain Holiday 2010

I visited the UK in 2010 again. I always used to think that the concept of Best Friend was a childhood concept. I am starting to think that it permeates throughout life. Whilst in London I spent several occasions with Charles Norrie, the northern hemisphere expert on George Julius and his totes. Charles has definitely become what I would call one of this 60 year old’s version of a best friend. Maybe the correct term is Soul Mates! We have been Internet acquaintances for many years and I have spent time with him during my antipodean visits to the UK for the last 3 years.

I had planned to do some flying in an SR22 again this year in the UK. I planned to fly from Humberside to Exeter to meet Dermot Elworthy who is George Julius’ grand nephew. Dermot and I have been Internet friends for a long time and share many passions such as aviation, motorcycles and steam engines and of course Julius family and totalisator history. Dermot’s career was in mechanical design and development engineering with a change to corporate aviation when the company he worked for purchased its own aircraft. The aircraft I was hoping to fly had a faulty transponder, eliminating the possibility of flying under instrument flight rules and in controlled airspace. This left the possibility of doing any aviation in the aircraft dependent on visual flight conditions which did not exist during the period of time I had allotted to aviating. This resulted in two aborted attempts to fly to Gloucester to have the transponder repaired and to Exeter to meet Dermot.

Whilst spending time in Doncaster, waiting for suitable weather to fly out of Humberside, I visited Doncaster Racecourse. This Racecourse is where The Doncaster Cup is run and this is the oldest continuing regulated horse race in the world. I was there shortly after the St Leger Stakes had been run and witnessed a massive two story marquee being dismantled. We have set up tote facilities at Eagle Farm Racecourse in two story marquees during carnival events before however the sight of this behemoth made me pleased that we have not had to do something on such a huge scale.

After Doncaster we travelled to Edinburgh which I found an extremely impressive and historical city. I am not going to diverge into a travelogue of Edinburgh but try and keep some reference to the topic of this website. Whilst in Edinburgh I took photos related to two people who had a big impact on electronics engineering. John Napier the inventor of Logarithms who is interred in the graveyard of the Church of St Cuthbert, and the birthplace of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who invented the telephone. These two men are linked as the unit of measurement of gain or attenuation, the Decibel, named after Bell, incorporates logarithms in its calculation. This preservation of technology and engineering history is something not strongly practised in Australia.

Narelle, Brian, Dermot, Charles and Danny at the meeting at the Bridge House Image of meeting to determine if GAJ society should be formed October 2010

Whilst in London I attended a meeting to determine if a Julius Society should be formed. It was held at The Bridge House at Little Venice. I eventually met Dermot here at last! I attempted to convey the message to the other attendees at the meeting, that average Australians do not regard any engineers as heroes, as the attendees thought George Julius should have been recognised in Australia as an Australian Engineering hero. They found it anomalous that we do not value these people. Professor Trevor Cole recognised this anomaly when he wrote of Julius We need to be aware of our engineering heroes. Similarly Prof. Martyn Webb wrote of Julius One can hardly believe that such a man could go almost unnoticed and unrecognised. Danny Hayton made a statement at the meeting that I found particularly poignant. The concept of what he said is that it is ironic, considering the amount of energy that goes into the history of the arts, and how comparatively little goes into engineering and technology history as it is the latter achievements that emancipated the human race sufficiently from the basic requirements of life to be able to engage in the former.

Whilst in the UK, I received an email from Prof. Bob Doran to inform me that he had found a website Exploring 20th Century London that indicated the Museum of London had an exhibit containing a part of the Harringay Julius tote that operated at the Harringay Greyhound Racing Track. I spent an afternoon in the London Museum with Charles Norrie and could not find any evidence of this exhibit. I eventually found a curator who knew of it, Jim Gledhill at The Department of History Collections Museum of London, who was very helpful and keen to show it to me. Unfortunately he was not available till after my departure home. I have included a link to this website in the link page of this website.

Whilst in Edingburgh I went looking for Powderhall Stadium where a Julius tote was installed in 1936. Another Julius tote was installed in Edinburgh in 1930 for the Greyhound Racing Association however I do not know where that one was installed. I discovered that the Stadium no longer exists. Bob Wilson from Leeds wrote in his contribution to the Growing Up in Broughton website:


Powderhall Stadium, was originally built in 1870 for cycling and athletics. It fell into decline and was converted to a greyhound racing stadium. Over 10,000 people attended the first meeting held 3rd August 1927. The long, grass straights from the dog release traps meant safe running conditions and fast times.

1930s to 1960s

In its early days as a greyhound stadium, the main racing event was the Edinburgh Cup, first run in 1933. Greyhounds trained in London won the Scottish Greyhound Derby ten times before 1960, including wins for one of the greatest greyhounds ever to race at Powderhall stadium, Pigalle Wonder.

In the 1940s, the stadium was the pride of Scottish greyhound racing. My gran lived within walking distance of this track, and I spent many a pleasant summer evening there on my annual visits.

The sport of greyhound racing thrived throughout Britain, in the 1940s, but in 1960 it was killed off by the arrival of the national TV service. No one wanted to go to a often cold, blustery dog track when they could sit at home and watch free TV, especially Coronation Street.

1980s and 1990s

In 1988 the Greyhound Racing Association, the GRA, sold the track to local businessman Norrie Rowan, who sold it on to Coral the Bookmakers for an instant profit.
In 1992, the stadium was taken over by Eddie Ramsay, a nightclub owner, but in 1995 it went bankrupt. Its terraces were bulldozed for housing development.
I find Bob's comment about the thriving Greyhound Racing industry being killed off by the National TV Service particularly interesting. If you thought Disruptive Industries were a product of the 21st century, here is a 1960 example of it.

In transit between London and Edinburgh, on the way up and back, I drove through Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I contacted Brough Park Newcastle Greyhound Stadium where another Julius tote was installed in 1936. There was another Julius tote installation for the Greyhound Racing Association in Newcastle in 1931. I received a reply from Marjorie Jackson indicating that the system was no longer at the track and that it had probably been moved to another track in the 1960s, however no one at Brough Park knew where.

Postscript April 2018: I have had a lot of coincidences with the subject of Totalisator History. A minor one occurred when my cousin Michael read the above paragraph about Brough Park. Michael wrote:

In your travels to the UK, you referred to Brough Park in Newcastle and a correspondence you received from Marjorie Jackson . You may be interested to know that prior to us being married my wife's name was Marjorie Jackson .

Bob Moran's Interactive Julius Tote Displays

Bob Moran, a Sydney based engineer with an interest in totalisator history has built a Julius totalisator single adder interactive display module which provides a safe hands on experience to understand the workings of the shaft adder, odds calculator, odds relay, scanner and ticket issuing machine parts of the Julius tote. The unit is work in progress and will be fully enclosed when complete. He is also working on a 4 shaft adder Julius tote demonstration unit. I visited Bob in December 2010 at the premises of his company Precision Dynamics. He showed me his Julius Tote demonstration units. I find this inspirational work and it amazes me how devotees such as Bob invest so much in time and materials, in the interests of preserving history, with little probability of any return. Bob also showed me his Babbage Difference Engine 1 project which is taking shape. It is a sight to behold!

Bob Moran's Interactive Julius Tote Display Image of Bob Moran's Julius tote demonstration system

Bob sent me the following email on 30 August 2010:

Hello Brian,
Quite a few years have past since we last communicated, this is when I put together some of the Broadmeadow tote for the PHM, you kindly put me in contact with Neville Mitchell. Well things have gone the full circle again!! I am trying to retire from the business which I sold off a couple of months ago to someone with their own workshop etc and am now cleaning things up which has turned out to be quite an job. I still have the factory and machines which I need to finish the Babbage DE1 project. From the tote wreckage left over, I have worked out I have most pieces to build two four adder displays (ie 2 win and 2 place) and two single adder displays. The design drawings are finished and I have commenced making the framework which will use up material around the place. A lot of the framework and bits were lost when Allan transported it to his house plus the Newcastle Museum grabbed a lot of it. Hopefully these units will be small hands on interactive displays which will properly demonstrate the workings. The PHM machine was too big and posed safety and reliability issues, which should be easier to overcome with these units. The other day I contacted Neville Mitchell and Bob Doran to touch base and keep them informed. I feel you too would be interested in what I am up to.

Absolutely love your web site. For years I have been meaning to come up and look at the E/F Museum
Best Regards
Bob Moran

And an extract from another email on 31 August 2010.
It is not great news yet, but I am trying, will keep you informed. The tote was in my mind a very important milestone in data processing and proves somewhat that innovation is demand driven. The bits I have are too important and just can't be junked. ...
Yes I would like a copy of "Totalisator History in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum" whenever you get around to it, might help me get my head around some of the issues.
Thank you Brian you are a font of information, have a nice holiday and I will have to make it to Brisbane soon.

And an extract from another email on 15 October 2010.

Welcome back trust you had a great trip. Thank you for the photos very interesting and timely as I am trying to put together a modest display on computing before computers leading up to Babbage's printing of tables etc with DE1 and what calculating devices were available in the early 19th century. Napier and his logs figure greatly with this, nice to have some background information on the man, wish I had a set of "Napier's Bones" anyway I have a 2' Gunter's scale and a Sector, then slide rules then some old mechanical calculators etc. (please not I am a mech engineer and not too good with the electronics your DVD was great and opened my eyes to a lot of computing issues)

Please see attached file of where I am at with the single adder interactive still WIP but very close now. The four module unit is on hold till I sort the single one out, ideas change all the time and I am finding the more manual I can make it the easier it is to understand.
Thanks again for your input.

And finally another email on 18 October 2010.
Dear Brian,
Thanks for the Tote encouragement and the great picture of Faraday, he is also on my hero list, it is amazing how many brilliant minds have enabled us to be where we are! Regarding what is happening here, with the interactive display, Bob Doran knows what I am up to in some detail as they are scrapping a tote in Palmerston North which I would love to get some parts from. As for other people, not many others know as I am still finishing a few things on the Tote and want to make sure I am happy with its performance before I say too much. Matthew was to visit last month but he is very busy. I am just forging on to set up a 'Discovery Shed' here at Precision Dynamics in Mona Vale, the tote is just one of the things I have that hopefully will make it an interesting place to visit. I have a window of opportunity here at the moment with an empty factory and plenty of junk to maybe do something for the community, I need to cover overheads but everything else will be voluntary. I welcome your interest in what I am doing and if you wish pass on information that is fine, just be aware the interactive is not finalised yet there may be changes and when it is I need to finish the four adder unit which needs to incorporate a grand total unit (some of the parts I need). Feedback and suggestions would be most welcome. If you are in Mona Vale in December that would be great timing to come and have a first hand look ! Tea and coffee are on all the time here. Hoping to see you in Dec.
Regards Bob
Jumping to 2nd November 2015, I received an approval email from Bob, as a result of my email requesting permission to present one of Bob's magnificent engineering drawings of Julius Tote shaft adders on this website.

Bob Moran's 1926 Tote adder 10 register schematic Image of Bob Moran's shaft adder diagram

When I harbour thoughts contemplating that I have a ridiculously obsessional interest in this subject, I look at work like the drawing and interactive displays above produced by Bob, and I realise I am just a beginner. This and other drawings Bob has produced are of Julius Tote machinery that has not been used for 33 years and will never be used again. He has produced drawings that are probably equal if not superior to the drawings Automatic Totalisators Limited had when these devices were being manufactured. In other words, these professional quality drawings were produced without any possibility of having commercial value. I have long thought that engineering drawing and art are linked. I think Bob's drawings are definitely pieces of artwork. Following is an extract from Bob's reply to my request for approval to present his drawing above. I would be delighted and honoured to have my drawing on your site, maybe this might precipitate a challenge as to its correctness or otherwise.

February 2017, I have just stumbled onto a quote from Albert Einstein regarding art and science which is related to my comment above. After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well. This comes from a remark made in 1923; recalled by Archibald Henderson, Durham Morning Herald, August 21, 1955; Einstein Archive 33-257.

March 2019, I have just created a new page in this website in which I have included a comprehensive description of Bob Moran's schematic diagram above. Bob wrote the following in an email after reading this page:

I can't believe the preciseness & trouble you have gone to to document what I consider one of the best researched web sites. Not only this but the subject is so important to me as I consider Julius's 1913 mechanical totalisator & the later electro mechanical tote to be the first commercially viable computer. And most of all thank you for the nice words about, and the wonderful explanation of my drawing.
To read the description of Bob's drawing, select the Go to the index button in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page, then select the Prof Bob Doran's 1935 ATL Technical Documents chapter in the Thirdly section of the index. Now scroll down to Bob's schematic drawing titled Bob Moran's Tote adder 10 register schematic. The description of Bob's schematic starts in the sixth paragraph above his schematic drawing and continues in the two paragraphs below it.

A trip to Perth March 2011

In March 2011 Narelle and I visited our elder son Paul in Perth. I took the opportunity to chase some totalisator history in the West.

Gloucester Park PerthGloucester Park Trotting Track Tote building

The first automatic totalisator in Australia was installed here at the Western Australian Trotting Association Gloucester Park in 1916. Another Julius Tote was installed for the WATA in 1929. The first floor level of this building was the Julius tote machine room. The slots below the runner numbers on the first floor provided a public view of the runner total counters installed in the machine room. The part of this building on the nearest side of the central tower displays runners 1 through 9 and the far side of the tower displays runners 10 through 18. The top row relates to the Win Pool and the bottom row the Place Pool. The nearest Place Pool runner total display windows relating to runners 1 through 9 have now been filled with some of the signs that identify the 1936 Inter Dominion Final Field. These signs have been placed on the building after the Julius Tote ceased operation. Automatic Totalisators invented the world's first odds computer in 1927 and after that year Julius totes displayed the odds instead of the runner totals. The central tower housed the pool total display and manually operated dividend display. The Club Management was very obliging and interested in the history of their tote and I was shown over the ex Julius Tote Machine rooms. This was not as straight forward as it sounds. In the case of the one in the photograph, as I have observed at other locations, there is no fixed staircase to this level. A metal retractable staircase has to be lowered by electric winch to gain access to the first floor. This photograph was taken in 2011 and the Julius Tote machinery is all long gone. The only remnant was a solder terminal block still attached to a wall with the stubs of removed cables still attached to it.

I was informed by a manager of Perth Racing that there is nothing left of the Julius totes at the West Australian Turf Club. The computer room and main tote at Belmont was demolished circa 1979 and the computer room remnants at Ascot were cleared out circa 1982. ATL (Automatic Totalisators Limited) finished at Belmont and Ascot in 1977.

A 1959 WA Report of a Royal Commission On Betting indicates that Automatic Totalisators operated a mobile totalisator at Pinjarra, Northam, York, Toodyay and Beverley. It states that Automatic Totalisators has approximately 80% of totalisator turnover in Australia and in Perth has systems at the three West Australian Turf Club metro tracks presumably Ascot, Belmont Park and Helena Vale. The Perth Racing manager informed me that Helena Vale racetrack closed in 1973. According to Wikipedia, Helena Vale was the original name for the area now called Midland where Paul now works as a software engineer. The Commission Report also indicates that as well as Gloucester Park Trots, Automatic Totalisators had a totalisator operation at Richmond Park Trots. This trotting track seems to have been in Fremantle. Mr. Fairburn was the General Manager of Operations at Automatic Totalisators at the time and in the Royal Commission Report he notes a decline to totaliastor turnover comparing 1959 with 1955 which affects the gallops more than the trots.

There is a link to the Royal Commission report mentioned above in the links page of this website. Additionally there is an extract relating to The Canning Greyhound Racing Association's Greyhound racing track at Cannington in the Tote Topics chapter of this web site. Select "Go to the index" at the bottom of this page and then select Tote Topics in the index and then scroll down to the Perth heading.

More Perth January 2012 - An email from Tim Vickridge

On the 3rd of January 2012 I received the following interesting email from Tim Vickridge relating to George Julius and Fremantle.

I stumbled upon your excellent website on Sir George Julius and was fascinated by his incredible story. I do remember reading the Time magazine article on him and managed to obtain a copy.
I lived in Fremantle and our family bought the home from the Julius family in the early 1900s. My late mother told me a story that her mother had told her that Lady Julius had said that "George would tinker for hours out in the backyard working on a contraption with belts and pulleys"
I thought you might find that of interest.
On the 10th Tim wrote again, after I replied and asked if he knew of C.Y.O'Connor and his relationship to George Julius as well as informing him that I had placed his email on this website. I also suggested I could show him the Julius Tote in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum. His response follows:
Hi Brian
I'm honoured to be included on such an informative website about a hugely influential man.
Richmond Raceway was a trotting track in East Fremantle.
Yes I am very aware of C.Y. O'Connor as he supposedly lived in the house before his daughter and George Julius bought it. The only conflicting story is that CY did not ever own a property and died with only a few assets having rented all his life. I find it difficult to believe, given his position and salary, that this is true. I'm told that he only lived in the house for a short period. There is a CY O'Connor pub in Piara Waters, south of the Fremantle.
Yes the article was Chris McConville's.
If I get to Brisbane I will definitely make contact, I'd love to see the Tote Machine.

Germany and Britain Holiday 2016

Yippee! Since the last entry above I have retired. What a wonderful experience that is.

In August, whilst in Germany visiting Berlin, Narelle and I visited Mariendorf Trabrennbahn (Mariendorf Trots) where Autotote, the American subsidiary company of Automatic Totalisators Limited, installed a computer based totalisator system, which commenced operation in 1984. The year 1984 compels me to mention that 1984 was the title of George Orwell's futuristic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which several of my school friends read. I lament not having read it. Sorry! Back to Mariendorf -

Me at entry gates Mariendorf Trabrennbahn Mariendorf Trotting Track in Berlin

I was impressed to find that the Mariendorf trotting club (Berliner Trabrenn-Verein) management, were very interested in the history of their trotting track and the Autotote totalisator. I was amazed to find the old Autotote system was still operating there. As I have already got images of tickets produced by this system, along with an article on a similar Autotote system in Bahrenfeld Hamburg, in the Tote Topics chapter of this website I have documented this visit there, under the heading Mariendorf Trabrennbahn Germany - Autotote System.

Postscript: In April 2019 Neville Mitchell sent me the following information about Mariendorf Trabrennbahn - Mariendorf Trots: I think that Bill York assisted ATUSA on this project? I recall that after the opening Bill went to Yorkshire to visit his family parents and sister. I knew Bill at Automatic Totalisators Limited well and always enjoyed his company. Like my father, Bill was a Yorkshireman and I could not distinguish him from my father when talking to him on the phone except for identifying who I was talking to.

In October in England, Narelle and I had a marvellous couple of weeks with my cousin Michael, his wife Marjorie and their family. Constrained by the subject of this website, suffice it to write that Michael and Marjorie took Narelle and I on an enthralling Magical Mystery Tour around pertinent points of interest, first in Sheffield and later in Somerset and Cornwall, all involving a lot of reminiscing over times near half a century past. Whilst in Sheffield I noticed the local Greyhound Racing Stadium was Owlerton near Hillsborough, which is close to the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club grounds. Michael has conscripted me into being a Sheffield Wednesday fan, which is expected of family members.

In 1932, when Greyhound Racing commenced at Owlerton, the press reported the following about the totalisator: a mechanical and electrical marvel as it registered bets within fractions of a second as they were placed. As I have not yet found any Automatic Totalisators Limited reference to Owlerton Stadium, I suspect this Owlerton system was not a Julius Tote. The nearest three dog tracks to Sheffield, which had documented Julius tote installations are Belle Vue Racecourse and White City Old Trafford both in Manchester and Leeds Racecourse in Leeds.

As a result of phone calls to Owlerton and Belle Vue Greyhound tracks, I discovered that Bob Rowe was the most likely person to have knowledge of the electromechanical totalisator systems. I exchanged multiple emails with Bob. One extract from Bob's emails reads: I retired two years ago, but still do two days each week on racing consultancy work at Owlerton Stadium, which yes is only half a mile from Wednesday's ground. I have included more of Bob's information provided, in the The end of an era - Harringay chapter of this website under the heading Bob Rowe's Email.

Later during this trip, we stayed in Taunton, which is close to Michael's daughter Tina and her husband Edward's place in Wellington. When I wrote about visiting Wellington to Dermot Elworthy, George Julius' great nephew, he had a great suggestion:

It has occurred to me that if you have time to spare in Wellington, you might care to visit the "suburb" of Rockwell Green, site of the Elworthy woollen mills (most of the buildings of which are still there) and where the family funded the building of All Saints church (also still there!). It was from here that Edward Elworthy went to Australia before moving to NZ. Two of his offspring married two Julius girls who were the sisters of George - the rest you know.
The rest that I know is that Dermot is descended from one of the Elworthy Julius couples. I found this quite a synchronistic revelation, that I have a relative who lives in a town, which has a connection with George Julius, whose slide rule has pride of place in its display case in my house, thanks to Tony Shellshear and my ex work colleagues! Furthermore, as well as the Elworthy woollen mills in Wellington, there were Fox woollen mills there as well. Dermot indicated that the Elworthys and Foxs in Wellington were connected by a marriage between the families. Ironically, Tina and Ed live in a beautiful house that was a Fox family home, which still has the Fox family crest in the stained glass windows. Narelle and I had a great time with Tina, Ed, Michael and Marjorie in that house. Tina and Ed kindly gave Narelle and I the grand tour of Wellington including Rockwell Green and All Saints church, as suggested by Dermot.

Dermot also wrote the following information:

George Julius was born in Norwich in 1873 when his father, Churchill Julius was a curate at St Giles not long after having become MA (Oxon). Churchill Julius had married Alice Rowlandson whose father, being concerned about the delicacy of his daughter's health, arranged for his son-in-law to be appointed to a cure in the gentler clime of what then was known as South Brent, Somerset. The village subsequently was renamed "Brent Knoll" to avoid confusions arising from having two South Brents on the same railway line. In 1875, Churchill became vicar of Shapwick some 14 miles distant before moving to London for six years. Subsequently he was encouraged to take his family on passage in the wool clipper South Australian to become Archdeacon of Ballarat, Australia. In 1890, the Julius family moved to New Zealand where Churchill was consecrated Bishop of Christchurch and this is how George found himself at the university there. Both men were awarded doctorates - Churchill divinity and George, science.

Sandy and Dermot Elworthy and I at St Mary's Image of St Mary's at Shapwick

There's been a church in Shapwick since the first part of the 8th century and St Mary's has an almost complete record of incumbent vicars since 1230; Churchill Julius being included within that number. I am still planning to have a ring in the six-bell tower there and, as you so painfully heard when we visited the church, have made strange noises on the small but pleasant organ. My great grandfather was popular here and had a joint responsibility; his pastoral work was shared with neighbouring Ashcott's All Saints and his pace of life must be envied by the present incumbent who is expected to look after five churches!

Shapwick has another association with the Antipodes; Henry Strangways, scion of a prominent local family which held the patronage of the church for very many years until 1944, was, briefly in 1868, Premier and Attorney General of South Australia. He is buried in the churchyard.

Whilst dwelling upon family associations, did I tell you that my father had been employed as a jackaroo on one of Fergus McMaster's sheep runs? McMaster was a founder of QANTAS and of which, when later nationalised, Dad's uncle George Julius held a 2% share as an arbitrator. Weird how these connections keep appearing.

Dermot, his wife Sandy, Narelle and I spent a couple of exciting days together in Wells. Dermot made some surprise arrangements for our time there including a private tour of Wells Cathedral and a self guided tour of the Bishop's Palace. The Cathedral Tour had a particular focus on the Wells Cathedral Clock. Narelle and I felt like we were VIPs as our private tour was conducted by none other than the Cathedral's Keeper of the Fabric, Elsa van der Zee. The Wells Cathedral Clock is considered to be the second oldest in Britain, probably the world, with the original clockwork dating back to 1390. It has animated jousting knights. As the clock predates Copernicus, the earth is depicted at the centre of the solar system. Restoring church clocks was of particular interest to Churchill and George Julius. The four of us attended Evensong at the Cathedral which was fantastic as was the Choir Concert performed by the German Bonner Kammerchor the following day.

Dermot and Sandy also took us on a tour of St Mary's Church in Shapwick which was very interesting. Dermot mentions Churchill Julius was a curate at St. Mary's church in his text presented above, where I have inserted a photo taken at St Mary's Shapwick. It was nice to see that it is possible for the Church to be left open to the public with all its valuables left unattended inside. Dermot played the organ beautifully, contrary to Dermot's adverb above, for his three devoted fans, as the organ was left in a fully functional state. I signed the visitors book indicating we were visitors interested in Churchill Julius and we left donations.

Additionally Dermot mentions in the text above, that after Shapwick, Churchill Julius moved to London for six years. Churchill was the cure of Holy Trinity Islington before leaving for Australia in 1884 to become Archdeacon for the diocese of Ballarat Victoria. I have learnt from Edward Fenn's magnificent website The Kings Candlesticks, that George Julius appeared on the England census on 3 April 1881 residing at 44 Milner Sq Islington London described as a son aged 7 a scholar born Norwich Norfolk. Charles Norrie, who is regarded as the northern hemisphere expert on George Julius and his totalisator systems, visited this address with Narelle and I during our visit to London.

Charles Norrie and I outside 44 Milner Sq London Image of Charles Norrie and I outside George Julius' house in Islington

I find it ironic that Charles lives within walking distance of this early abode of George Julius' in London and I lived for around a decade, within walking distance of George's last abode, which was in Killara Sydney. There is additional irony in the fact that Gibson Square adjoins Milner square and that this square has the same name as one of the founding partners of George's engineering consulting company Julius Poole and Gibson. I have heard Charles and I referred to in the same phrase, him being the Northern hemisphere expert on George Julius and his totalisators and me as the counterpart Southern hemisphere expert on the same subject. I have not spoken to Charles about this, however this title does not sit easy with me, as I know of several people who either have significantly more knowledge regarding George Julius or more knowledge regarding the Julius totalisator systems. There is a better photograph of Charles Norrie in the image earlier in this page under the heading Britain Holiday 2010

Dermot Elworthy provided the following additional information about Churchill's time in Islington:

Churchill Julius took up his position at Holy Trinity, Cloudesley Square, Islington on 22 May, 1878. He left London on June 20, 1884.

Holy Trinity must have seemed dreadful after an idyllic life in rural Somerset. There was no vicarage attached to the church so Julius rented 8 Barnsbury Park where in 1879 his third daughter, my great aunt Ella, was born. This house proved less than satisfactory so, after a couple of years here, the family then moved to the "tall house" in Milner Square where two more of George's siblings were born; Ada in 1881 and Arthur in 1884. Arthur did not survive to see his second birthday. Islington has become somewhat gentrified since the latter part of the 19th century and now is one of the higher rent districts of London.

Whilst in London, Narelle and I had a very enjoyable night and dinner with Danny Hayton and his wife Sue at a nice Austrian restaurant. Danny was introduced under a previous heading Britain Holiday 2010 and he appears in the image there, of the meeting attendees at the Bridge House, a meeting held to determine if a Julius Society should be formed. Danny is an excellent conversationalist particularly on the mutual subject of interest, technology history. It is rare that I can inform Danny of something that he does not already know something about. I thought I had discovered something that he might not know, as it had recently surprised me, that the binary numbering system had been discovered by Leibniz, who was born in 1646, so long before the advent of the digital computer era. I have documented my discovery of this fact under the heading A visit to Germany and Hungary in the 3 more ATL systems in Asia/ Links to other pages chapter of this website. Not surprisingly, Danny informed me of how he made this same discovery, that the British Computer Society (BCS) used a room at the Royal Society where they have on display a different page from their minute book each day. One day when Danny was there with the BCS, the book displayed the record of Leibniz's description of binary, which Danny read. That night, Danny informed me that the awaited display of the Wembley Julius Tote would be taking place sometime next year so Narelle and I will make a return visit after it opens. Danny and Sue were interested in hearing about our travels around Europe and Danny has written that it has prompted them to plan a holiday in Munich next year.

Update to the above paragraph: Next year has arrived, now March 2017. Danny has written to inform me that the awaited display of the Wembley Julius Tote has opened at the London Science Museum in the new Maths Gallery. He sent a couple of interesting photographs. Danny also mentioned that he and Sue have their Europe trip planned which includes Munich.

Having dispensed with the totalisator history connected aspects of this trip to England and having introduced synchronistic elements to it, I will return to where we started in the UK, Sheffield, with more on synchronicity. Whilst there we spent some time with Michael's Son Sean and his wife Dawn who were both very interesting to talk to particularly about their experiences as detectives. Sean shared my love of motorcycles. I have a Kawasaki ZRX1200. This model is rather unusual for a modern conventional Japanese horizontal in line four, in that it does not have a fairing. This gives it a classic look which attracted me to it. It is not a common model. I know of only one other person who has a Kawasaki of any sort, my younger son Ian who has a different model a Z1000. Imagine my utter surprise to find my relative Sean has the exact same motorcycle model as me and that he was attracted to this model for the same reason I was! I had asked him what motorcycle he had and he said "Kawasaki ZRX1200" and asked what model I had. Struggling to contain myself, I replied drolly "Kawasaki ZRX1200". Thinking he had just heard an echo and must have been mistaken, he asked me again what model is it? Sean demonstrated a similar level of astonishment to mine. On one of our get-togethers, Sean Dawn Michael Narelle and I had a wonderful day visiting the Major Oak tree in Sherwood Forest. As legend would have it, Robin Hood and his band used to meet in the vicinity of this tree. When we met that day, Sean said I was going to bring the bike with a spare helmet but Michael said you didn't have any leathers with you.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Ed in Wellington about his RAF experience. I was thrilled when he answered something that had been puzzling me regarding an F111 cockpit experience I had at an aviation museum, which was why full thrust without afterburner was insufficient on take-off. It was a great revelation to discover that I was under the impression we were going for a joy flight jaunt around the local area and my instructor was departing on a strike mission at all-up weight with full fuel and weapons payload. Additionally, Ed joined the select group of people who have read this whole website. After I had spoken about Sir George Julius, he searched the internet and came across this website and read it all. He found it interesting and said it was written in a courteous style.

Whilst in Taunton, I spoke to Edwin Osborne on the phone. Edwin worked for the English totalisator company Datatote and later bought the company, eventually selling it to Sportech. Datatote provide all of the dog track systems in the UK and Ireland and also some fixed odds systems for horse tracks and betting shops. We have been attempting to meet for a long time however we always seem to be like ships in the night. I think we have been in email contact for longer, however the first time I spoke to Edwin on the phone that I can remember, was in 1998 on a visit to the UK when we spoke about, you guessed it, Totalisator History. On that occasion our busy schedules prohibited our meeting. The next opportunity to meet came in 2008. Edwin wrote the following on the 25th June about the London tracks There are only a couple left, Wimbledon and Walthamstow (this due to close in August). We have our equipment in most of the UK tracks (29)and all signs of the old equipment have long gone unfortunately. Let me know when you are over and hopefully we can meet up.

On the 30th of January 2016 Edwin wrote about this website It’s a great website, huge amount of work! He also wrote the following synchronistic piece of information:

I originally worked for Datatote and met Jim Murphy from AWA late 70s early 80s. We later formed a JV company AWA/Datatote and this company designed and built a couple of ticket machines, the Tim20 and 21 (Tim90 in UK) and also marketing some outdoor signage, the Liquid cell technology from a company in Perth.
This was synchronistic on two counts. I was well aware that Edwin worked for Datatote however now he mentions AWA, a company I am a great fan of, having worked there for two periods during my career. The second piece of synchronicity in Edwin's statement is the TIM90. I am well acquainted with the TIM91, which was a descendent of the TIM90. My department maintained the TIM91s in Brisbane for many years. The TIM91s have a presence in this website in the computer Tote Maintenance (technical) chapter which has extracts from the maintenance logs under the heading TIM91 Faults. Edwin also made the comment I remember going to North Ryde, must have been late 70s, what a great building! I totally agree, I loved that factory! The first time I worked for AWA I was in the Field Engineering Department, which was based there. Edwin and I reminisced via Email, over many AWA staff names from this factory in the 1970s.

When I first emailed Edwin after arriving in the UK, he again echoed my sentiment with Would love to catch up if the diaries allow. Later, in Taunton, which is nearer Edwin's neck of the woods, I made the phone call with which this segment started, however he was just on his way to Spain. Narelle and I were tantalisingly close to Edwin's place when Michael and Marjorie drove us from Sheffield to Taunton! Yet there was still a chance of meeting! Edwin would be in Sydney the following month after we returned home to Toowoomba. Although we would be in Sydney for the ATL annual reunion dinner, circumstances conspired against our meeting yet again, as the earliest we could get to Sydney meant we would miss each other by two weeks. As Edwin wrote: Ships that pass in the night indeed! We got in to Sydney last night and head up to Cairns on Sunday then over to Asia on Wednesday. Sounds like you had a good/busy trip and I’m sure we will get a chance to share a beer one day.

I am going to restrain myself from going into lengthy descriptions of the continuous, from beginning to end, unsurpassed time we had in Germany and England so without any explanation, I will just mention a few places we visited, that I think George Julius would have found interesting, which have not been mentioned elsewhere on this page. Kelham Island Museum - which has the most powerful steam engine in the world, the Crich Tramway Museum, the Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Ladybower Reservoir - Barnes Wallis Dambuster bouncing bomb fame, Glastonbury Tor, Looe Cornwall, the Arithmeum, the Zeppelin Museum, the Dornier Museum, Wewelsburg Castle Museum and the HNF (Heinz Nixdorf Museums Forum) Museum.

Oh just one teeny weeny comment, as an example of the history that permeates through everything here, outside that presented for the mass of tourists. Up on a hilltop outside the Crich Tramway Museum just mentioned, is a lighthouse tower commemorating over 11,000 men of the Sherwood Foresters who died in WW1. A plaque titled The Sherwood Foresters War Memorial near the hill on which this lighthouse stands, states that the hill may have been part of the beacon chain used in 1588 to warn that the Spanish Armada was amassing and preparing for invasion, a message I presume would have been received by Sir Francis Drake. In Looe, mentioned in the list above, I saw the attractive building housing the Smugglers Cott Restaurant. The sign on this restaurant states that it was built in 1430 and restored in 1595, using beams and timbers salvaged from the Spanish Armada.

There is more information relating to this trip in the 3 more ATL systems in Asia/Links to other pages chapter of this website under the heading A visit to Germany and Hungary.

Victoria Park Racecourse

Whilst in Sydney for the ATL 2016 reunion dinner, Narelle and I visited Zetland in Sydney, where Victoria Park racecourse used to be. The whole district has been transformed from an industrial one, as I remember it 46 years ago, to a residential one. Having mentioned this, I also visited the old ATL Meadowbank factory site with the ex Engineering Manager of ATL, Bob Plemel. We knew our old workplace had been demolished and we found it to be a hole in the ground. We reminisced about our beginnings in this old workplace. Bob asked one of the construction men what they had done with our factory. He replied by asking about the company that occupied the factory and later suggested we might like to purchase some units. The exact same process of converting industrial to residential, is taking place in Meadowbank, as has taken place in Zetland. A few of the demolished factories I recall from Meadowbank are, ATL (Automatic Totalisators Limited), Siemens Plessey, TEI (Telephone and Electrical Industries), and Hoover.

George Julius Avenue Image of George Julius Avenue Street Sign

Some of the history of Victoria Park racecourse is presented on signposts in the streets where the racecourse used to be. The history information in the rest of this paragraph comes from these signposts. Additionally, reference is made to these signposts in the following two paragraphs: After wetland named Waterloo Swamp was drained, Victoria Park racecourse was built. Parks and Apartment blocks now occupy this ground. George Julius Avenue, as signposted in the image above, is named in memory of Sir George Julius and runs down the side of Nuffield Park. Victoria Park racecourse was eventually purchased by Lord Nuffield, founder of MG (Morris Garages) who built a factory to produce Morris cars for the Australian market. In the BMC (British Motor Corporation) era, the factory produced Austin, MG, Morris, Riley and Wolseley cars. This factory was impressive, it could produce a car every four minutes and in its heyday had 50,000 workers.

Victoria Park also hosted motor car racing and Police carnivals with motorcycle stunt cycling displays. I mention this as my father was in the Royal Signals White Helmets, a team which pioneered motorcycle stunt riding. Additionally, as aviation was important to George Julius as indicated in The shaft adder in the image chapter of this website, under the heading An Aviation Diversion I will mention the following, which appears on one of the information signposts in the area:

In 1909, a huge crowd watched one of the earliest powered aircraft flights in Australia. Colin Defries took off from the racecourse and flew about 115 metres, averaging a height of 5 metres in his 5.5 second hop. In 1914 Frenchman Maurice Guillaux thrilled the crowds with his aerobatics displays when he looped the loop in front of about 60,000 people.

Green Square Library/Old Tote House Image of Green Square Library

It will come as no surprise for you to read that Victoria Park had a Julius tote. It is recorded in a list of installations in a company document presented in the Installations/Testimonials - The Premier Totalisator chapter of this website. It records this system as being installed in 1923 with 25 terminals. We also visited Tote Park which is in the grounds that belonged to Victoria Park racecourse. At the North-western end of Tote Park is Green Square Library, shown in the image above. This Library building used to be the main tote house on Victoria Park Racecourse. This building housed the Julius Tote and is the only surviving building from the racecourse. The information displayed on a wall inside the library, regarding Victoria Park Racecourse, relates the totalisator indicator board was suspended from the first floor. The recess on the first floor visible in the central section of the building in the image, is probably where the indicator was located. A horizontal beam is visible at the top centre of the recess, extending from the rear of the recess to a position flush with the front wall. This may have been the means of suspending the indicator. The information posted on the inside wall of the library also mentions George Julius and his totalisators.

Other history related street names are Victoria Park Parade and Grandstand Parade for horse racing, Wolseley Grove, Austin Grove, Morris Grove, Leyland Grove for car manufacturing and Defries Avenue for aviation history.

On the way home we stopped overnight at Singleton and enjoyed a delightful dinner with Jan and Kathy Oosterveen. Jan is a technology manager with Tabcorp working on the totalisators of today. I had the great pleasure of working with him before I retired. Similar to the last dinner we had together in Singleton, we discussed a myriad of fascinating topics and the one of interest here is totalisator history. When I mentioned Green Park Library, I was surprised to hear that Jan already knew about the Library that used to be a tote house. The previous time we spoke to Jan and Kathy I was equally surprised to hear that they knew of C.Y.O’Connor (Charles Yelverton), who is mentioned multiple times on this page and elsewhere in this website. Charles was a famous Australian engineer and George Julius’ father-in-law. Additionally Jan and Kathy were knowledgeable regarding one of his greatest achievements called The Golden Pipeline, which brought water to the West Australian gold-fields. This was a feat with much opposition, as it was considered to be technologically impossible at the time. Since then, Jan and Kathy have explored the Golden Pipeline by car! There is an introduction to C.Y.O’Connor in the Sir George Julius chapter of this website. When I mentioned Bahrenfeld Trots in Hamburg and Mariendorf Trots in Berlin, both previously referred to in this page, Jan informed me that he had recently added these venues to the list of venues that the current totalisators operate on.

It is amazing how many friends responded regarding the Zetland Morris factory. It is obviously well entrenched in our society. I have included some emails below in the sequence they were received.

A Trip to Tasmania 2017

In July, Narelle and I visited Tasmania. In Hobart I took a photo of the T&G Building at 113 Collins Street where Automatic Totalisators Limited used to have an office.

The T&G Building Hobart Image of The T&G Building in Hobart

Whilst walking around exploring streets in Hobart, I stumbled upon Tabcorp premises in Warwick St. I popped in to have a chat explaining that I was an ex employee. I was introduced to the Tasmania Service Manager, Stephen Spaulding, who showed me his department which was reminiscent of the maintenance department I ran in Brisbane for decades. I introduced him to the subject of totalisator history and informed him of the Julius Totalisators that used to operate at Elwick and White City and provided him with the URL of this website. In a later email to me, after I returned home, he indicated that he had been reading this website and found it very interesting and will enjoy reading more of it.

In Launceston Narelle and I stayed at the Grand Chancellor which is in Cameron Street. When I looked up the address of the ATL office in Launceston I was surprised to find we were coincidentally staying in the same street. I immediately walked down the street to 93 Cameron Street where the office used to be. I suspect the building that now stands there is newer than the one that contained the old ATL office.

Whilst I was in Launceston, I visited the Queen Victoria Museum, to which I had donated a Julius totalisator shaft adder in the 1990s. I did not expect to find anyone at the museum who remembered either of the two people who I had dealt with regarding the donation. I met Ross, who actually remembered both. Ross indicated he recalled the actual donation as although he was not involved in it, he recalls it being discussed. He checked the record and informed me the donation took place in 1991. We had a very interesting conversation about totalisator history and I informed him of new additions to this website. He said the website was already recorded on the computer record, associating the website with the shaft adder.

A Visit to the Eagle Farm Racing Museum

Pip Bucknell sent me an Email on the 10th of November 2016 and wrote: I am a relative of Sir George Julius and met him at Killara, NSW in 1945, along with a lot of additional information. He indicated he was in search of information relating to George's totalisator systems. In the ensuing email interaction relating to this subject, when I mentioned that there is a Julius Totalisator still standing in the Eagle Farm Racing Museum, he wrote to say he had to see it and when I wrote that I would accompany him to the museum and talk to him about the Julius Totelisator there he wrote WOW. That would be wonderful. I contacted Peter Howard, the President of the Thoroughbred Racing History Association to organise entry to the museum. Peter was very helpful and patient in organising the visit.

On the 29th of July 2017, this visit to the Eagle Farm Racing Museum took place. Peter brought Hugh Naughton, also from the Thoroughbred Racing History Association with him and Pip brought his son Chris. Everyone was very interested in the history, mechanics and operation of this system and I related what I know of the Julius totalisator in the museum. Many interesting questions were asked. It is always a pleasure to be with people who are so interested in this history!

One particularly pertinent question came from Hugh regarding the sound the system used to make. This was quite distinctive and emanated from a number of sources for example mechanical counters, drive shafts, escapement mechanisms, solenoids and relays activating. The Engineers working on these systems would know the length of the queues and the proximity of the next race just by listening to the system. Additionally sound was a useful diagnostic tool for them. Computers in contrast are quite silent except for the noise of fans and the sound emanating from peripherals with mechanical elements like printers. Much was written about this during the transition from electromechanical to computer based totalisators. The sound of the Julius Totes is described in an article extracted from a Tote Topics magazine, which was the company magazine of Automatic Totalisators Limited. To read this, select the Go to the index button in the Nav Bar at the bottom of this page and select the New era the Electronic Totes chapter in the Finally section of the index and scroll down to the heading Electronic Totalisators II.

Eagle Farm Racing Museum and the IEAust Award Plaque Image of Brian Chris and Pip at the Racing Museum

The above image, starting from the right, shows Pip Bucknell, Chris Bucknell and myself standing by the Institution of Engineers Australia Engineering Heritage award Interpretation Panel, and the end of the Julius Tote mainframe. This award is well documented earlier in this page under the heading 2015 A Dream Come True. That section contains a larger sized, legible version of the panel in this image, titled The Interpretation Panel.

I am not the only one who has coincidences with this history. Regarding the first Automatic Totalisators Limited factory at Alice Street Newtown in Sydney, Pip Bucknell wrote: There are unusual links that often come to me. Newtown Sydney (Alice St) I believe is where the Totaliser factory was. Also in Newtown I note a Bucknell St and Bucknell Lane. Research tells me that my Bucknell family were in Newtown early. I am going out there with a lady (well she was just a young girl when I met her in Vaucluse in 1957) as her son is in Albert St. There is a chapter in this website relating to the Alice Street factory. To view this, select the Go to the index button in the Nav Bar at the bottom of this page and select the The first factory Alice St Newtown chapter in the Thirdly section of the index.

Regarding Eagle Farm, Pip made the following comment: Funny relationship, there as well. I arranged flying of race horses from Brisbane to Sydney in a Bristol freighter back in 1960s.

On 17 November 2017 Narelle and I attended the Max Burnet Computer Old Timers Lunch. in Sydney. Max, introduced previously, used to be the CEO of DEC Australia (Digital Equipment Corporation). The lunch was organised by the ACS (Australian Computer Society) Foundation and we were privileged to have been invited by Max himself to sit at his table. At the luncheon I met many interesting people. Warwick Halcrow was present, who we already knew well having met in 1978 as he was a systems programmer on the ATL Brisbane PDP11 project. Warwick had previously worked for DEC. We spent the rest of the day with Warwick after the luncheon, having tea together and talking till late at night catching up and reminiscing as well as discussing our new Chrysler SRT. I also met Ray Stone for the first time, who similarly worked for DEC and ATL as well. His brother Rob, who also worked for ATL, has contributed a significant section to this website about the PDP8 systems at Harold Park and Wentworth Park.

I sat close to Graeme Philipson who has written an Ebook titled A Vision Splendid The History of Australian Computing. I was amazed when he announced that the Totalisator History website was a major resource for the George Julius and Totalisator section of his Ebook and that he was very thankful for its existence. Chapter One opens with a history of the word computer followed by the first title which reads GEORGE JULIUS AND THE AUTOMATIC TOTALISATOR. The first paragraph under this heading consists of the following two sentences By far the most important early development in the history of Australian computing was George Julius’s invention of the automatic totalisator and This device used many of the concepts later found in electronic computers and deserves much recognition in modern Australia.

I am gratified by both these sentences and regarding the second, I have been promoting the concepts in the Julius Tote that have occurred to me as having counterparts in modern computers. I have also been interested in the reaction of crowds observing the impact of computing machinery for the first time, long before the invention of the digital computer. Graeme included part of an email I sent to David Demant at the Museum Of Victoria on 16th December 2009 relating to these subjects, in this section of his Ebook. Graeme also included a link in his Ebook to this website. I have returned this link in the 3 more ATL systems in Asia / Links to other pages chapter in the Posthumously section of the index. To read this select the Go to the index button in the navigation bar at the bottom of this page and select the chapter mentioned in the index.

Sadly on 22 November 2017 Neville Mitchell, a long serving ATL Engineer and Manager, his wife Nancy and daughter Elizabeth, Narelle and I attended David Hamilton's funeral at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium in Sydney. I have written about this funeral in the third page of his memoirs on this website. To view this, select the Go to the index button in the Nav Bar at the bottom of this page, then select the Photo Gallery+Synchronicity chapter in the Finally section of the index. Then scroll down to the Harold Park Harness Racing Track section of the image thumbnail index of the Photo Gallery and select the third image thumbnail with associated text starting Selling windows with ticket issuing machines at Harold Park in 1958. Finally scroll down to the title David Hamilton-Farewell Old Friend.

At David's funeral, although it was a solemn occasion, I was delighted to see that 3 Ex Royal Navy pilots from the Fleet Air Arm attended. I quickly realised where they saw David fitting into the scheme of things. I mentioned to them that it was ironic that David ended up in the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. I provided some background of ATL, the company David worked for after his time with the Royal Navy. I told them of Sir George Julius, that he founded ATL and gave a quick summary of his achievements and historic contributions to Australian technology and the fact that he had been called an Australian nation builder. I then got to the point and informed them that George, his wife Eva, their son Roderick who also was a pilot, another son Awdry who was a director of ATL, as well as his wife Agnes who happens to be next to Narelle’s mum, are all in the Crematorium. From this I suggested that David would be in good company. They looked as if I had said something wrong and as I started to ponder how I could have mistakenly insulted them, one of them piped up and said, NO, on the contrary it is THEY who are in good company! Point taken!

The VAX based totalisator Control Room Image of a Totalisator control room with Fay Swindell

On a second Sad occasion, 7 February 2018 Narelle and I attended the funeral Fay Swindell at The Garden Chapel at Bridgeman Downs. I worked with Fay and other operations staff for decades in the totalisator control rooms which were adjacent to the computer rooms on the Brisbane Race, Trotting and Dog tracks. Fay is present in the image above showing the control room at Eagle Farm of the second ATL computer totalisator that serviced the Brisbane region race clubs. She is standing second from the right wearing a turquoise dress.

Fay was one of a group of excellent Race Day Controllers or RDC operators, who worked extremely well under stress. As you will no doubt know, when it comes to money, people in general have little patience. The punters were the customer of our Race Club customers so they were important to us. As the punters tended to be out enjoying themselves at the race tracks, the consumption of alcohol at these race meetings only exacerbated frustration problems associated with the perception of any deviation from normal regarding totalisator performance. No enforced codes of conduct in those days! Add to this the fact that the first of the on-course computer totalisators in Brisbane was particularly "cantankerous" in its early stages and the operators working on it having never seen a computer system before, as was the case for most of the population in the Brisbane region at the time, and you had all the ingredients for a stressful job. Most of the punters had no idea what to expect of a computer totalisator. Despite the job stress, Fay always maintained a happy disposition and was a delight to work with.

Again, despite this being a solemn occasion, I was very happy to see that Merv and Del Cathcart also attended the funeral. Merv was the Assistant Chief Engineer of the PDP11 based on-course totalisator systems when I was the Chief Engineer of those systems, which meant we worked closely together for many years. This funeral turned out to be a wonderful occasion for us to catch up with each other.

Merv and I as an afterthought, modified the attendance record at the funeral to add a note that we both had worked for Automatic Totalisators Limited, so that family members reading the record would know our connection with Fay. Merv and I were together with Rev. Sweetman who had kindly provided the record for us to modify, when Andrew Swindell, one of Fay's sons, walked by and stopped to chat. I explained that we were modifying the attendance record to clarify our connection to Fay and identified myself as the ex Chief Engineer of the on-course PDP11 based totalisator systems. Andrew pondered for a second and then replied, that then means that you must be Brian! I had never met any member of Fay's family before and yet Andrew could spontaneously name me. Rev. Sweetman and Merv seemed as impressed by this event as I was. As it turned out, Merv and Andrew had met before at a BBQ. It is strange how one can be oblivious to what impression one leaves with other people. I had no idea Fay had spoken of me at home and to such an extent that another family member remembers my name so long after Fay and I worked together! I had a similar event with another RDC Operator Rhonda Harnischfeger, who wrote me a letter after she retired to inform me of how I had made her working life and that of other RDC operators easier than they otherwise would have been. I found this letter particularly inspiring as I received it during a rare low point in my life when I was on sick leave.

An additional coincidence to having met Merv and Del at Fay's funeral was that this funeral took place whilst my cousins from Germany, Dagmar and Manfred were visiting Narelle and I for 6 weeks. The funeral was a good opportunity for them to accompany us to the crematorium. They had an interest in attending as my cousins could see where my grandparents ended up. They knew my grandparents well before they emigrated to Australia. In fact they first met at my grandparent's house, when they both came to say goodbye to my grandparents when they left Germany for Australia. That meeting at my grandparent's house eventually led to my cousins getting married. I perceive you grimacing! No need to be concerned, as the gene pool is intact. Dagmar is related to my Grandfather and Manfred is related to my Grandmother.

The image above showing Fay in the control room, appears in two other locations in this website. The chapter of this website relating to the building that houses this control room and the VAX computer totalisator mainframe, as well as covering the electromechanical totalisator period in this building, can be read by selecting the Go to the index button in the Navigation Bar at the bottom of this page, then selecting the Photo Gallery+Synchronicity chapter in the Finally section of the index. Then scrolling down to the Queensland Racecourses section of the image thumbnail index of the Photo Gallery and selecting the first image thumbnail, which has associated text starting The indicator of the first Julius Tote at Eagle Farm 1917. The image above is the last image in that chapter. Information relating to the VAX based totalisator system starts four paragraphs above the second last image in this page and begins with the text Merv Cathcart whose farewell to the first sell pay tote and signature appears in the operations log book, was the assistant chief engineer of the Julius Totes and later the computer totes as well.

A Visit to the Ipswich Racing Museum

On 18 May 2018 Narelle and I attended the opening of the Ipswich Racing Museum at Bundamba Racecourse. The Museum is inside what used to be the Sub House, which was a totalisator building built in 1950, the same year that Rod Richards an ex Automatic Totalisators Limited engineer installed the Julius Totalisator at the track. You can read about this 1950 Julius Tote installation in the The shaft adder in the image chapter of this website under the heading Rod Richards' Revelations. I know the old Sub House building well, as indeed I know the whole of the Ipswich Turf Club track at Bundamba, after having worked there on the totalisator systems for 32 years.

When I commenced working on the racetracks in Brisbane as Chief Engineer of the computer totalisators that replaced the electromechanical Julius Totalisators, I quickly recognised that the old Julius Totes were a unique example of large scale, real time, multi user, mechanical computing systems. I also realised that these old systems were being discarded and in the worst case bulldozed and that this history could disappear forever. I started to save the Ipswich adders as they were the oldest ones in the Brisbane region and started to donate them to Museums, Schools and Universities as examples of Australian engineering excellence. Consequently, a couple of decades later I was able to donate one of these adders to the Ipswich Turf club, which ironically meant this adder was returning home. It is now on display in the new Ipswich Racing Museum. I also provided historical information on the totalisators that operated at Bundamba Racecourse starting with the Julius Totalisator that commenced operation in 1950 and ending with the OCTS system which ceased operation in 2011. I also provided Rod Richards' information which is on this website as mentioned in the last paragraph. This led to Rod donating his Ipswich Amateur Turf Club, 3rd June 1950 Racebook from the opening day of the Julius Tote, to the Ipswich Turf Club for inclusion in the Museum.

Coincidentally, Rod Richards and his son Bruce happened to visit Narelle and I on the 11th of May, one week before the opening of the Museum. He had driven to Queensland from Sydney in Rod's classic Riley Roadster car, to attend a Riley rally on the Sunshine Coast and visited us on the way home.

Again, coincidentally, the opening of the Ipswich Racing Museum was on the same day as the funeral of Bill York, a very highly regarded ex Automatic Totalisators Limited engineer and manager. I would have, if at all possible, travelled to Sydney to attend his funeral, had I not already committed to attending the opening ceremony of the museum. I have also had two odd coincidences with Bill since he passed away. Minutes after circumstances that led to Bill being in the forefront of my thoughts, a unique event took place. Without prior arrangement a real estate agent knocked on our front door. After ascertaining that we had no plans to sell our house he left his card. Never having heard of York Realty before it was amazing to notice that there were ten instances of the name York on it. Bill was not only a Yorkshireman with the surname York but also came from York. One of the instances of the name York on the card was in the sentence Welcome to York Realty. A second coincidence with Bill York happened when I was looking at the website statistics for May. I am interested in which parts of the planet the visitors to this website come from. From memory, I have not previously seen a visitor from York in England, however there was one in May. It was logged on the 18th, the day of Bill's Funeral. Vale Bill York Old Friend!

The Ipswich Racing Museum Image of the inside of the Ipswich Racing Museum

The above image shows a quiet moment in the newly opened Ipswich Racing Museum. To the left of where I am standing, there is a newspaper article titled COMPUTERISED BETTING TOMORROW Bundamba innovation about the PDP11 minicomputer based totalisator system, that I worked on the development of in Sydney and moved to Brisbane with in 1978. There is a photograph in this article, showing the Ipswich Turf Club Chairman Loftus Foote inspecting a bank of ten J22 Sell Pay terminals at the selling windows ready for opening day. Obviously I had a lot to do with these J22 terminals and more so with the transaction processors and front end systems with which they communicated. I am almost certain that the photo in this article was taken in the Sub House, which is now the Ipswich Racing Museum, so it could be said that this newspaper article has also found its way home! I remember Loftus Foote well. Following is an extract from Roger Penwarden who was the Automatic Totalisators Limited Branch Manager of the Queensland Branch during the tenure of this system:
The racing Museum at Ipswich looks very impressive as does the guy standing in-front of it, the picture of Loftus Foot brings back lots of memories we were good mates.
The guy standing in front of the Museum is me! As the saying goes, flattery will get you everywhere. Again coincidentally, I happened to be emailing with David Rogers at the time, an ex RAAF F111 pilot and Air Vice Marshal, who contacted me in 2013 regarding his mother's cousin Norm Noble, who worked for Automatic Totalisators Limited. I was writing up a coincidence on the website that his grandfather lived in Alice Street Newtown where Automatic Totalisators Limited had their first factory. When I mentioned the Ipswich Turf Club and the Ipswich Racing Museum to him, he informed me that he had been an honorary member of the Ipswich Turf Club when he was the Base Commander of Amberley!

When I accepted the kind invitation for Narelle and I to attend the opening ceremony and luncheon, I did not expect to see anyone I knew. The only person I did still know, Brett Kitching the General Manager, was attending the Asian Racing Conference. Shortly after arriving at the track, Narelle and I were standing near the Loftus Foote room looking at the bookies ring. I noticed a bearded man come rushing over in our direction. I was surprised when it became clear he had come to talk to us and he said Hello Brian, I knew you would be here when I saw that the museum was being opened today! I had not recognised him as he had grown a beard since I saw him last prior to my retirement. The penny dropped, it was Josh from Sky Channel. It was a delight to meet and catch up with someone I had known well and had many interesting conversations with particularly about technology history as well as the television industry, which I too had worked in, at Channel TEN in Sydney.

The afternoon at the Ipswich Turf Club was very enjoyable. The Ipswich Racing Museum opening ceremony had interesting speakers, seeing the museum was fascinating and the lunch served in the Jibboom Lounge was excellent.

A Visit to the Old ATL Meadowbank Factory Site

In March 2019 Narelle and I visited the site of the old Automatic Totalisators Limited factory in Nancarrow avenue Meadowbank.

The ATL Diamond logo on ATL House Image of ATL House with the old floor logo

Although the new apartment blocks that have been built in Nancarrow Ave seemed to be completed for the most part, the bottom section of Nancarrow Ave was still blocked off as a construction zone, as it was undergoing the finishing touches. Starting from the top end of Nancarrow Ave we were permitted to proceed down on foot to a wire fence which enclosed the still active construction zone. This was close enough to take a photo through the construction zone fence, of the apartment block that now completely stands on the old factory site. The neighbouring block further up Nancarrow Ave partially stands on the old factory site. Neville Mitchell had already been to Nancarrow avenue in the middle of February 2019 and he discovered that this apartment block was named ATL House. I was very pleased to hear from Neville when he broadcast the naming of this building ATL House to the ex ATL fraternity. What I now saw for myself was truly amazing. In the Automatic Totalisators Limited factory there was an ATL Diamond logo embedded in the marble floor of the reception area as seen in the image below. This logo in the floor was preserved and is now part of a wall near the entrance to the new apartment block as seen in the image above, which shows the pertinent section of the photo I took. I was delighted to find that someone had been sufficiently knowledgeable of this history and determined that it was worthy of making the effort to ensure that this ember was preserved and displayed in such a prominent location for posterity.

There are two chapters in this website that present Neville Mitchell's memories of this Automatic Totalisators Limited factory titled Memories of the final factory and Memories of the factory continued. To read these, click on the Go to the index button in the Navigation Bar at the bottom of this page then select the first chapter mentioned which appears in the Secondly section of the index. At the bottom of that page the second chapter mentioned can be accessed by selecting the Next page button in the Navigation Bar at the bottom of that page.

Image of the foyer of the factory building The ATL Diamond logo in the Factory Foyer

The reason we were in Sydney when we visited ATL House was to meet Neil and Marion, who visited Australia on holiday from the UK. Neil used to work with the Julius Totalisator at Harringay in London. Neville and Nancy Mitchell along with Narelle and I entertained them on a spare day they had from their busy organised tour agenda. Neil and Marion were impressed with dinner at the North Sydney Leagues Club. They said there was no counterpart to this concept in the UK. The next morning we all had morning tea at Neville and Nancy’s place then we all went down to Bulli to look at the fantastic views of Wollongong, Port Kembla and beyond. Of course there was lots of ATL/Tote talk. Neil even remembered the Cheetah racing being trialled at Harringay!

These days no event is free from synchronicity and there were many on this trip to Sydney and Canberra, of which this is one to do with Neil. Neil had some lace-making tools and books which he inherited from his mother. He had previously advertised these on the Internet to see if anyone was interested in them. Gail, the person he decided to donate them to, informed Neil that she lived in Australia. Neil replied that he would soon be visiting Australia and would send the package off when he is in the country. He later discovered Gail lives in Queensland and finally discovered she lives in Toowoomba! Naturally, we carried Neil’s package with us on the return home and delivered it to Gail who was overjoyed with the parcel. You would think that is enough about lace-making tools, however at the coffee shop where we all had lunch, Neil was showing us the package that Narelle and I would be carrying back to Toowoomba. The owner of the coffee shop saw one of the tools and came over to have a look at it. Neil asked if he knew what it was and of course he did. In fact he was very passionate about it as he knew a lot about lace-making as his mother used to do it. He spoke a lot about it and like Neil he had inherited these tools.

On the way home after visiting Canberra, we met with Rob and Kate Stone in Cowra. Rob was an engineer with Automatic Totalisators Limited and was responsible for the installation of early computer-based totalisator systems on two Sydney racecourses. He later worked for CSA (Computer Sciences of Australia), which I find interesting as multiple ex ATL staff joined CSA after leaving ATL. Here too the coincidences abounded, mainly associated with suburbs in Sydney where Narelle and Rob used to live. Another coincidence relates to a family named Cusack that lived next door to Narelle and her family in Normanhurst. Rob was telling us about a water clock in Hornsby, which just happens to have been built by Victor Cusack! We had not heard the Cusack name in over 40 years. Rob gave me a 1948 IBM valve based logic gate which could be used as an And Gate or an Or Gate, which is now another one of my prize possessions on display with George Julius’ slide rule. Two of these could be used to build a Nand gate bistable multivibrator which then could be used as a one bit memory, however as Rob points out this module was already capable of this, by replacing the valve with a twin-triode type which performs the function of the two transistors required to build a bistable multivibrator. In other words, this is a versatile module. Rob has an article on this website titled Rob Stone's memories of the Harold Park PDP8 totalisator in one of the image pages of the Photo Gallery + Synchronicity chapter.

I contacted an old Internet friend of mine Kevin Shaw who is a member of the Ryde District Historical Society, to see if he knew who the benefactor is who ensured the preservation of the ATL Diamond Logo. Kevin found that it was Michael Edwards, who is a Heritage Advisor. Following is an extract from the first of Michael's emails, which was a reply to Kevin's email question to Michael asking whether he was responsible for the foresight and effort to have the ATL Logo preserved. Michael's reply indicates that much more was preserved than the diamond logo:

Not only was the terrazzo ATL logo salvaged and displayed in the foyer of the new building, but steel beams from the old roof truss were salvaged, cut into 2 feet long lengths and arranged in a vertical artwork installation which hangs in the foyer. Also there were a range of other interpretive installations, including signage and photographs throughout the building too.

I have recently seen photographs of the completed artworks and I must say, they are impressive. Its a good tangible link to what was on the site previously, and as Brian has mentioned in his email to you, a building that has an impressive history that was certainly worthy of celebration.

I thanked Michael for his considerable efforts in preserving the history associated with the Old ATL Factory as all this is particularly pleasing for me. Prior to the completion of the transformation of Meadowbank, I was very well aware of the same process that had taken place in Zetland as documented above under the heading Victoria Park Racecourse, as well as the fact that George Julius has been remembered there in a street as well as a building named after him. I had put it on my list of things to do to see if I could convince someone to do the same for his company Automatic Totalisators Limited in Nancarrow Ave. I was lamenting the fact that I had not managed to find the time to do anything about it and that it was now probably too late, when I received the wonderful news from Neville that an apartment block had been named ATL House. I am delighted that someone has picked up the banner and run with it and produced such a wonderful historical record and showpiece, which is way beyond my wildest expectations. Again thank you so much Michael!

Germany and Britain Holiday 2019

On holiday in Germany and the UK again, we visited Hamburg for the first time, a very impressive port city. Whilst there, I could not resist a visit to Bahrenfeld Trabrennbahn (Bahrenfeld Trotts.) It was a perfect opportunity to practice more German. I had an interesting conversation with the German Taxi Driver about life in Hamburg. I was extremely impressed when he offered to wait for up to an hour or so for Narelle and I to complete our business to take us back to the city centre. This worked out perfectly. We could not find any trace of trotting club staff around the stand building on the track and I asked one of the people working on the grounds if there were any raceclub staff I could talk to. I was told that the trotting club had an office in a neighbouring house. Narelle and I met two young ladies there who confirmed they worked for the trotting club. After I explained my totalisator history interest in Bahrenfeld Trots and the computer based totalisator that Autotote had installed there, which was the company's first Sell/Pay system, we were astounded by the interest in this subject these two young people had. They said it was a pity I had not arrived a couple of minutes earlier, as their manager had just left the office and that we must have passed him on our way in. They said their manager would have been very interested in this subject.

We also visited Dublin for the first time, which unexpectedly left me with the impression that it was the "New York" of the British Isles. Again, whilst there I could not resist a visit to Shelbourne Park dog track. The following image shows Shelbourne Park dog track behind me with the Aviva Sports Stadium in the background.

Shelbourne Park Dogs Image of Brian at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Track

We met Linda at Shelbourne Park who is the Tote Manager there. We had a very interesting conversation. Her mother could remember operating the J8 ticket issuing machines which belonged to the Julius Totalisator that operated there. Linda pointed out that the current terminals they are using are Sportech. This now ties in with the Hamburg reference above. I already have a reference to Sportech on this website as I required their approval to reproduce an article titled Bahrenfeld Germany, from Quarterly Magazine July 1979, which was the company magazine of Autotote, Automatic Totalisators Limited's American subsidiary company. Sportech was the current copyright holder of that magazine, after it purchased Scientific Games in 2010, the company Autotote morphed into. Linda asked me if I would like her to put me in contact with the engineering staff working on the totalisator systems as she thought they would be very interested in the engineering background history of the Totalisator and I replied in the affirmative. It then crossed my mind that she would probably know Edwin Osborne. When I mentioned Edwin, she concluded that she need not pass my information on to the engineering staff, as I already have a high level connection to the engineering fraternity of the present day totalisators in the UK and the Republic of Ireland through Edwin.

And yet again we visited another city for the first time, although we had passed it by on previous occasions, Bristol. The history there was astounding and we were extremely impressed visiting Brunel's SS Great Britain and the Bristol Aerospace Museum where we got close to Concorde both inside and out with Dermot Elworthy, George Julius' great nephew.

Whilst in Bristol we finally met with Edwin Osborne. He was in charge of Datatote. We met at the Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre. He knows a lot about ATL's and Autotote's systems as Datatote took over the tracks where they operated and replaced these old systems in the UK and other parts of Europe. He had dealings with AWA and has been on business trips to Australia on multiple occasions. Jim Baker, an ex ATL Project Manager, gave me Edwin's telephone number and I rang him probably for the first time in 1998 during a holiday in the UK and we had a very interesting conversation about Totalisator History. In 2008, Roger Penwarden an ex ATL engineer, salesman and manager, suggested I contact Edwin on another visit to the UK later that year in September. In 2008 I established email contact with Edwin for the first time, when Ian Wiseman at ASH passed on my email address to him. Since the conversation in 1998 Edwin and I have been attempting to arrange a meeting, which finally came to fruition this year over 20 years later. We have been like ships in the night not managing a meeting always just missing each other both in the UK and in Australia.

In our first email contact, I was interested whether there were any tracks in London where there might have been remnants of old Julus Totalisators. He replied no joy on London tracks. There are only a couple left, Wimbledon and Walthamstow (this due to close in August).

Part of Wembley Julius Tote in London Science Museum. Image of part of the Wemebley Julius Tote in the London Science Museum

Since Edwin wrote that there were no remnants of Julius Totes on racetracks in London, during this 2019 visit I saw part of the Wembley Julius Tote on permanent display in the Mathematics Gallery of the London Science Museum. This has already been referred to above under the heading Germany and Britain Holiday 2016, although the new Mathematics Gallery had not yet opened when we visited London in that year.

The image below shows a Julius Totalisator TIM (Ticket Issuing Machine) also on display in the London Science Museum only in a different gallery which is on the ground floor in a cabinet titled The Age of the Mass 1914-1939, relating to technological modernity, mass production and mass society. I think this TIM belonged to the Harringay Greyhound Track Julius Tote in London and looks to me like a J4 model. It will be similar to, if not the same as, the TIMs used with the central processing part of the system from Wembley shown above.

A Julius Tote TIM also in London Science Museum. Julius Ticket Issuing Machine in London Science Museum

Edwin wrote the following in an email in 2016 which ironically lays the foundation for several of the things we discussed during our meeting in Bristol this year.

I originally worked for Datatote and met Jim Murphy from AWA late 70s early 80s. We later formed a JV company AWA/Datatote and this company designed and built a couple of ticket machines, the Tim20 and 21 (Tim90 in UK) and also marketing some terrible outdoor signage, the Liquid cell technology from a company in Perth.

The Tim20/21s were used in a few tracks in Australia and some of the original Tim90s are still being used in the UK

I remember going to North Ryde, must have been late 70s, what a great building!

Jim Murphy later came to the UK for 6 months and worked with us in Bristol. We stay in touch with Jim when we can. Also met up with Mike Piggott a couple of years ago.

Others that I can remember include Colin Linklater and Harry (bananas) and Roger, there were lots more but memory is fading these days

I bought Datatote about 12 years ago and sold it to Sportech (ex Sci games ex Autotote) 2.5 years ago and I now work for them.

Datatote provide all of the dog track systems in UK and Ireland and also some fixed odds systems for Horse tracks and betting shops. We recently got a couple of contracts in Asia both replacing Aus systems, in Sabah and also Vietnam (ours is a small world)

During our meeting in Bristol, Edwin referred to what he had written above in the last paragraph, having recently got a couple of contracts in Asia both replacing Aus systems, in Sabah and also Vietnam (ours is a small world). It is a small world indeed, as I worked on the Automatic Totalisators Limited System in Sabah, which was in the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu. There is a chapter in this website about the Kota Kinabalu installation in the chapter titled Kota Kinabalu a computer tote installation chapter in the Finally section of the index. Edwin mentions the TIM90 above. My department maintained a successor terminal to this the TIM91, during the AWA years. I worked for AWA on two occasions. Edwin mentions Jim Murphy and Mike Piggot. I remember their names from AWA however I never met them. Colin Linklater, I remember quite well from both ATL and AWA. Harry (Bananas) might be Harry Bearon. I worked in the Field Engineering Department of AWA with Harry Bearon during the first period of working for the company. This department was located in the North Ryde Factory which Edwin refers to above as a great building, which he visited in the late 70s and I was based there until the mid 70s. Roger, who Edwin mentions is probably Roger Penwarden who I have already mentioned. I know Roger very well from ATL and AWA and I worked for him at one stage. We both retired to the Toowoomba region and do not live far from each other.

Whilst on the subject of Bristol, I will add that I particularly enjoyed staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre. Outside the back entrance, across Temple Rose St there is the Temple Gardens and after a short walk through this wonderful park there are the remains of the beautiful Temple Church which survived bombing in WW2. This church stands on the site of a Knights Templar church called Holy Cross which was circular, a fascinating piece of history.

Whilst we were visiting family members in Sheffield, we drove to Stockport to visit Elliott Roper and his wife. I knew Elliott from Automatic Totalisators Limited when we both worked for the company in Australia. He now lives in Stockport near Manchester and I find it ironic that Elliott lives in the vicinity of a city where two Julius Totalisators were installed and operated, which were designed by the founder of Automatic Totalisators Limited. These two totalisator systems are listed in a company document as WHITE CITY Old Trafford England, which had 53 terminals and the other BELLE VUE RACECOURSE England, which had 85 terminals. Coincidentally, whilst visiting Elliott he introduced me to Malcolm and his wife who were visiting him. Malcolm is the brother of David McFarlane, an ex General Manager of Automatic Totalisators Limited who I well liked. I have written a bit more about this visit in one of the pages in the Photo Gallery Continued chapter. To select that chapter, select the Go to the index button in the Navigation Bar at the bottom of this page then select the Photo Gallery continued in the Finally section of the index. In that chapter, scroll down to the heading starting with the text White City Stadium London 1933 and then select the first image thumbnail in that section. Finally scroll down to the bottom of the page and the text is below the label Postscript:


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