Recent Updates from 2005

Updates from 2000 to 2004

Plaque History



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A celebration of 60 years of Land Rover in Australia

Land Rover line up on Cooma Showgrounds

    Organised by the Land Rover Owners Clubs of Victoria & Sydney, the Land Rover Club of ACT & the Range Rover Club of NSW. Sponsorship was provided by Land Rover Australia.

    This event was held over the Easter '08 long weekend and was celebrated in Cooma, NSW. In the 1950's Land Rovers were used during the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme, and proved to be a rugged all-terrain 4X4. This anniversary brought together enthusiasts ranging from those who spend countless hours faithfully restoring early model vehicles to modern day owners.

1948 Series I Land RoversSeries I 107 inch Land Rover1961 Series II Firefly - SMA Vehicle

from left to right -: 1948 Series I, Series I 107 inch & 1961 Series II Firefly - Snowy Mountains Authority vehicle

    Also present was a five-eighth scale working model of a Series I Land Rover, very popular with kids (of all ages.....)

Five Eighths model of Series I Land Rover and late model vehicles like this Defender 130 Late model Defender 130

    Organised events like the Motorkhana Vehicle Trials & Day Trips were very popular, as were the more social get-togethers like the group BBQ on Saturday night. Sunday saw the gathering of 560-odd vehicles, grouped by Series & age, driving through the streets of Cooma to stand proudly on the Showgrounds for all to admire. A non-commercial swap meet provided help for those wanting spare parts, and memorabilia was also available. All in all it was an excellent weekend, and the Beadell family extend great thanks to the organisers for their recognition of the early remote survey work undertaken by Len Beadell in his early model Land Rovers in the 1950's & 60's.

    We look forward to the 70th......



Doug, Scotty & Len in 1957


Born 1918 - Died 14.7.2007


Scotty Boord

    Scotty Boord was the last surviving core member of the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party, and his death in July 2007 at the Murray Bridge Hospital marks the end of an era. I did not meet Scotty (unless you count the 5 months Mum & I did with Len in 1962....) but the great respect that Len had for Scotty's work was very evident. They had many exploratory expeditions together on their free Sundays, often accompanied by one or other of the group. Of course who could forget the famous upper right molar that Len relieved Scotty of in April 1958 during the making of the Gunbarrel west of Giles. The following is a brief history of Scotty's life written by Robert Boord (Scotty's nephew) & his wife Janette. Our thanks go to them and Westprint ("Friday Five" newsletter) for permission to reproduce it. Thanks to Robert Boord also for the photographs.

"Walter Boord was born in Scotland in 1918 and had early childhood memories of living in a big country manor house. He remembered being pushed down a hill in a billy-cart with his curly hair flying behind. His mother was not at all happy and the older boys ran off with Mum after them with a hair brush.

Scotty Boord

Scotty survived the ride and travelled widely with his parents, (his dad was a mining engineer). He came to Australia on the "Largs Bay" and worked at Jervois, south of Adelaide. Scotty joined the army in Adelaide and then later transferred to the Airforce, serving for some time in New Guinea as a heavy machinery operator.

Sometime after the war ended Scotty was working with Doug Stoneham near Renmark when they both were approached and asked to work for the Department of Supply to help build a road to a new project to be named Maralinga. After this road building project was complete both men started working with Len Beadell on the now famous Gunbarrel Road Construction Party. Scotty was an accomplished grader operator who often talked about "Scotty the Bushie" who followed Len Beadell and Doug Stoneham, the bulldozer driver. After Scotty had driven through, "A Road was Born". Scotty spent eight years in the bush and helped construct 7,000 kilometres of road throughout the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia. During this time Scotty also worked on projects at Woomera and Giles. His dingo trapping exploits made him famous among some of the desert tribes in the bush.

Scotty was the last of five boys and is survived only by his sister, Gertie. Scotty was well known for his Scotsman's farewell which was, "Goodbye and Bugger ya". "

   Our best wishes go to his family & friends.


Notes :



Memorial card coverMemorial card


31.1.1928 - 17.1.2006

    After a long battle with cancer Doug Stoneham died on 17 January, 2006. His funeral service was packed with family, friends and colleagues, and held at the Smithfield & Elizabeth Funeral Chapel, Sth Aust, on Friday 20 January. He was buried at nearby Smithfield Memorial Park in a beaut spot, complete with a sweeping country view.

The following Eulogy was read out at the service and will give you a brief idea of his fascinating life.....



    Getting a start with the Department of Works at Adelaide Airport after the war, Doug spent the next 43 years with them until his retirement as Foreman in 1990.
    Arriving at Maralinga early 1955, Doug met Surveyor Len Beadell and began the work that changed the maps of Australia forever. The Gunbarrel Road Construction Party became well known for bashing in 6,500kms of roads into desert country where no vehicle and few white men had ever been.
    Doug cut the famous Gunbarrel Highway in stages between 1955 and 1958. Giles Weather Station was another landmark for Doug, still in use today and the most remote Weather Station in Australia.
    4 or 5 miles a day, 100 miles a month, Doug and his Dozer with 3 passes to clear the Spinifex & Mulga kept tracking. Covered in dust, sweat, flies and Mulga sticks, Doug loved every minute of it.
    The Sandy Blight Junction Road, Gary Junction, Windy Corner & Mt Davies Roads were also the work of Doug Stoneham and his Caterpillar Dozer.
    Completing the desert roads in 1963, Doug returned to the Department of Works. Projects in later years included clean-ups at Maralinga and Emu Atomic sites, Microwave Towers across the Nullarbor, Woomera and back to Giles Weather Station in 1985.
    After retirement it was not long before Doug was back out in the bush again. Travelling with 4WD groups along the roads he cut with the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party. If someone ever chipped him about a tight corner in the track they were quickly told it was a "sweeping curve".
    Around the fire at night Doug would tell yarns about the years spent in some of the harshest country on earth, Len's flashing mirror, the longest towing operation, Ration Truck fires, being "still in the bush", "good jokers" and bad.

    Your attendance today is testament to the man he was.


    Thanks Doug.

On behalf of the Beadells' I would like to extend our sympathy to his wife Margaret, daughter Debra and her family.

After knowing Doug all my life, over time we became great mates in our own right during our many desert trips together.

Len arrived early on Jan 17 in his old Land Rover to pick up Doug and take him up to the Dozer; just like old times.
Heaven's road network is about to get an upgrade.....

Connie Sue Beadell & Mick Hutton.



February 2004

Restoration of Lennie's Bulldozer


Dick Smith and Doug Stoneham     Doug Stoneham and Anne Beadell     Doug with Dozer

This very exciting project has been made possible with the assistance of Dick Smith.
Doug Stoneham, Len's bulldozer driver in the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party, was given the honour of starting the engine.





Adapted from an article by Bruce Henderson, Gibber Gabber 21 March 2002 Volume 53 no.10.

The need to relocate Lennie’s ashes from the main rangehead was twofold. Those visitors to Woomera who wished to view the monument to this remarkable man could not be guaranteed access to the site at times due to activities on the range.  The other reason was that proposed redevelopment at the rangehead would encroach on the site. The ashes were moved in one of the first stages of the project in December 2000. 

Lennie's Rest

The Site:- The Woomera Cemetery was primarily chosen as it would provide unrestricted access to visitors.  However there are several other significant reasons.  The site faces almost to the east and therefore the early morning sun.  When observed it can be an inspirational and invigorating experience.  Len would have seen this colourful event on many occasions during his many years of exploration of the Australian outback.  The primary trig station named “Marsella” by surveyor Joseph Brooks in the mid 1870's is located about 10 kilometres to the east. In his book "Still in the Bush" Lennie describes the significance of Marsella and the role that it would play in the mapping and engineering surveys that were to follow - "Next came the job I had been anticipating as having top priority ever since I heard of this whole business at the Melbourne Observatory’s mantelpiece: the establishment of an accurate pinpoint on the surface of the earth from which all of the surveys we would be doing could originate. This could only be achieved by a long series of precise astronomical observations involving a week of careful readings on the stars at night, with the days spent making calculations." Lennie’s diary records that these readings were done in March 1947. About two kilometres to the north are located the ruins of ‘The Ponds’ outstation which was the initial camp for those who were planning and developing the future Woomera village and the ranges.

The Memorial:- The origin of the stone is unknown.  It is thought to have come from Wild Dog Creek, in the vicinity of the main rangehead, where similar stones can be seen.  It was installed outside the entrance to the Range Centre in the early 1960’s.  The terracotta coloured concrete border at the base of the stone, is the closest match that could be obtained to represent the red of the Australian outback.  The black coloured ironstone gibber stones proliferate the general area of Phillip Ponds and other areas of the range.

Survey:- As a befitting tribute to Lennie’s contribution to the survey of the Woomera area, it was thought that the co-ordination of the memorial as Permanent Survey Mark was appropriate.  My initial inquiries put me in contact with John Harrison of the Institution of Engineering and Mining Surveyors Australia Incorporated.  The Institution accepted the proposal and the necessary representation was made to the Surveyor General.

survey mark at Lennie's Rest

The Project:-  A project of this nature cannot be undertaken by a single person.  It has been necessary to enlist the assistance of a number of people in order for the project to be a success.  Our sincere thanks are extended to the following people who have made this project a success:

To Bruce Henderson: - "Lennie’s Rest" Project Co-ordinator

To Bronte Nagel and Steve Bowyer:-  for retrieving the stone from the rangehead and relocating it to the Woomera Cemetery.

To Wally Lewis:-  for general earthworks and initial installation of the stone.

To Roger Henwood:-  for co-ordinating the relocation of the stone and earth works.

To Bruce Emms:-  for design and manufacture of the concrete formwork.

To John Rasnaacs, Bruce Emms and Bruce Henderson:-  for concrete work.

To Peter Martin of Wagnitz Building Services:-  for the donation of concreting materials.

To Bruce Emms and Lois Capurso :-  for collection and arrangement of the ironstone gibbers.

To John Harrison:-  In conjunction with other members of the Institution of Engineering and Mining Surveyors Australia Incorporated,
for co-ordination of the survey and providing and installing the plaque.




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