Local News at Your Fingertips

Rendelsham Variety Concert 2015 Souvenir Program

  by S Lowe 5THE FM’s newsonline wattlerangenow

Rendelsham Variety Concert 2015 Souvenir Program

rendelsham variety concert 096

                                       Rendelsham Variety Concert Finale 2015

All roads led to Rendelsham Saturday night when over 250 music buffs made their way to the the little hamlet hosting the ever popular Variety Concert. It was so successful 35 years ago, the public demanded a return and by the enormous amount of talent displayed it will be talked about for another 35 years. Rendelsham was certainly the music capital of the south east Saturday night with local talent ranging from 11 years old to older!

Rendelsham’s Robert Leslie arranged very full a 3+ hour program of the who’s who of guest performers including himself Robert Leslie,  Rendelshamite Alan O’Connor Irish fidler and his son Lugh on the tin whistle, songster Drew Baker, former local boy Henk Groot, the Company of 7, Trevor Rayson, Scott Leslie, Julie Ann and David Thomas, Eric Chambers father of Bill and grandfather of Stacey, the Murkott Family, Adam Hamilton, the re-formed  Dusty Peat Band and Ian Potter and Laurence Davis.



Organiser Robert Lesslie and MC Rebekah Lowe Rendelsham Variety Concert 2015


MC Rebekah Lowe welcomed the 250 strong crowd and promised a program jam-packed with the best of local music, comedy, poetry and memories.

The Murcott family, Robyn, Daniel, Jeremy, Tommie and Joshua from Glencoe began the program. After being home schooled they decided they enjoyed each others company so they now work together, farm together, make movies together and for some years have performed together on a variety of string instruments. Saturday night they performed selections from Fiddler on the Roof, the Cossak Dance, the themes from Sherlock Holmes and Schindlers List.


rendelsham variety concert 004

                                                     The Murkott Family – Glencoe


One of the many highlights of the evening was the re-forming of the Dusty Peat Flat Band starring original members  Henk Groot, Robert Lesslie and Steve Bowering,  joined by Rod Bellenger, Catherine Foster and Scott Lesslie.  Their first performance was at the Rendelsham Centenary in 1980 and they went on performing for another 17 years. Bob Payne and Paul Hamilton could not  attend Saturday night but Scott Lesslie took his grandfather Bob Payne’s place. Catherine Foster joined them again on stage 35 year later as violinist and Rod Bellenger joined them on drums. Other artists to perform with them years ago were Horace and Peter Aberle, Jackie Brooks and David Clark.  performed the ballad of William Bloat, With a swag all on my shoulder, and the Rendelsham song unchanged from the original version penned for the centenary. Story goes that the reference to the late Rocky Smith and sandwiches in the Rendelsham song, may have referred to a prank played by the then younger Rocky who replaced corned silverside with red tyre tubing at a Rendelsham dance in the hall and being the gentleman he always was, handed them around to the unsuspecting ladies present!  It’s the stuff folklore is made of and brought back many memories with the Smiths, the Fosters, Chilton and Huppatz families featured.

Catherine Foster an accomplished and well known musician who has often played with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra was recently asked by fellow musician what she was up to musically.  Story goes she replied  she was playing with the reformed Dusty Peat Band, which brought the response in good humour -“so you’ve made the big time then!” Catherine is a music teacher of violin and piano,  is a member of a string quartet and is sought after to perform in many productions.

rendelsham variety concert 059

The Dusty Peat Flat Band

The Company of 7 provided a spot of hunour with Jan Armit reciting several ditties and Chris Hollingsworth performing as Polly Darton displaying all the original’s assets. Story goes that Chris asked husband Geoff if her hair was ok at a dress rehearsal at home. Geoff said he wasn’t looking at her hair!!


Rendelsham’s Drew Baker has competed in Eistedfords receiving a first placing in her first Eistedford when she sang ‘The Show”  and has everal honourable mentions in her short career. She received first place for the Eliza Doolittle version of the son “Pack Up”. She will be performing at the Mt Gambier showcase in a few weeks time. She sang Wings by Little Mix and left the crowd eager to see where her career takes her. A fellow artist described Drew as the 11 year old with the voice of an 18 year old.



                                 Drew Baker – Rendelsham


Another Rendelshamite, Alan O’Connor moved to Rendelsham 3 years ago  and took up the Irish fiddle again just recently after an absence of some years.  He learned to play in Ireland, taught by his grandmother, a well respected musician and is passing on the musical genes to his 11 year old son Lugh who performed with him on the tin whistle.

rendelsham variety concert 014

Alan O’Connor (Centre on fiddle) with son Lugh (Right) accompanied by Henk Groot

Julie Anne and David Thomas, former Rendelshamites,   performed at the centenary concert 35 years ago and took to the stage again Saturday night.  Julie Anne is a talented musician and music teacher  and tutored recognised musician Hugh Stuckey. Both are former Rendelshamites and said they were pleased to be back home again to perform. They performed St James Infirmary, Linsey and Don’t it make my brown eyes Blue.

julie anne

                                          David and Julie-Anne Thomas


Eric Chambers or Jake and many know him is a ling term Southend identity –  father to Bill and grandfather to Kasey performed unaccompanied and showed where the Chambers talent comes from. Eric has performed at many gathering over the years and son Bill is always happy to welcome his dad to the stage when he is performing on the occasional trips home to the South East.




Mr Chambers

                                                        Eric Chambers – Southend

Adam Hamilton admitted to it being his first stage appearance and it was more frightening than playing premiership football for Hatherleigh.  After a typically Aussie g’day to the crowd he admitted to doing a bit of  ‘crying on the inside’. But even though he has been more used to singing around the campfire than on the stage, he wowed the crowds accompanying himself on the guitar and harmonica with Heart of Gold and Caledonia. We can be assured Adam will be on the stage again before long and his performance caused the MC to say she thought she was listening to the artist himself. Adam is keen to pursue more opportunities to perform.



                                                                                                                                                              Adam Hamilton

Scott Lesslie, son of Robert and Suzzanne is one of 5 boys and has one sister. Scott was tutored in music along with his 5 siblings by his father Robert and grandfather Bob Payne on guitar and banjo – is accomplished on both and what a performance with Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Drowsy Maggie.

Scott Lesslie

Millicent’s band Oath recently supported POOR and opened the inaugural Rock ’til you Drop festival at Beachport. They have been playiong live rock and blues around the region plus covers and originals. A talented group featuring 16 year old Jack Lane performed Roadhouse Blues, Cool Guitars and Spinning Wheel Blues. The group consisted of Jack Lane, Chris Copeland (unable to attend) Terry Bishop, Ken Lane and Don Lucas.

  OATH – a Millicent Band

Well known identity Trevor Rayson performed some of his popular and favourite poems, attired in arkubra and  drizabone. He is well known around the region for his auctioneering at the Rendelsham market and other events donating his time to volunteer as a public speaker and auctioneer.

20150815_220927_resized                                                                                                                                                    Trevor Rayson – Poet

Prime Time – Mark Moffat, Robert Lesslie, Steve Bowering and Rod Bellinger and Leonie Sutherland have been performing for just over a year and performed Copperhead Road, Gypsy Queen, Made in Japan and Peaceful Easy Feeling. Other members Jens and Mark were unable to attend the Variety Consert.

rendelsham variety concert 082                                                                                                                                                          Prime Time

Southend residents Ian Potter and Laurance Davies raised the roof with Apache, Pipeline, Wipe Out and Guitar Boogie. When the crowd insisted on an encore  they jokingley said they only knew 4 songs together but they returned with Apache much to the crowds delight. Ian is a local from Southend and has enjoyed playing guitar for many years. Story has it that when Laurence and Carmella moved to Rendelsham there was a rumour that he was a guitarist of some note and by Saturday nights performance, that rumour was an understatement. Ian and Laurence have only practised together a few times but blended well.  Steve Bowering joined them on bass and Rod Bellinger on drums.

rendelsham variety concert 095

                                                                                              Ian Potter and Laurence Davies with Steve & Rod

The organising committee was  led by Robert Lesslie and  included  Graeme Smith, Lynette Brooks, Dawn Williams and Rebekah Lowe. Robert Lesslie organised the event, performed and provided support for other acts, acted as  stage manager and roadie all in one doing an ‘amazing job’ the MC said and he received a well earned round of applause.

The Rendelsham cooks provided a fine spread of country fair which was enjoyed by all.

Mr Brian Foster spent the evening in the control room providing a slide show of Rendelsham in its former days which was prepared by Brian and Cathy, much to the enjoyment of locals who remember and the interest of newcomers.


All artists headed to the stage for one last performance and the audience was encouraged to join in with a rousing rendition of Country Road. With such a positive response to the 2nd popular Rendelsham Variety Concert it has almost guaranteed another one soon,  perhaps in 12 months time.








A slice of history at Rendelsham Fair

Mr Brian Foster in the driving seat of his father's truck

Mr Brian Foster in the driving seat of his father’s truck

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

Rendelsham turned on another successful annual village fair on Sunday with the cooperation from the weather, a bonus for all participants. Stalls included the Rendelsham Sports and Progress BBQ renowned for their melt in your mouth steak sandwiches, Millicent Rotary Chip van, icecream, home made cakes and biscuits, preserves, chocolate plus jewellery, sewn goods, craft supplies, plants, wine and the ever popular bric a brac.

Popular again too was the grain, chook and hay stalls.

Music by Rendelsham muso Robert Leslie and band provided  entertainment and the kitchen turned on true country fare with all day homemade devonshire tea straight from the oven. Rumour is the secret ingredient to the amazing scones belongs to Lyn Books and her willing band of helpers in the kitchen, and remains a secret.

The auction consisted of many and varied items which created a lot of interest. Prices were down a bit according to the auctioneer, but most items sold.

The Mt Gambier Prostate Cancer Group provided valuable information about this condition which unfortunately is prevalent in the South East and throughout the country.

The raffle was won by Laurie Rowe (first prize), a set of tools donated by Limestone Coast Tools, and second prize, a quilt made and donated by Heather Harry was won by Gillian D.

The late Mr Bob Foster’s’red truck’ was an expected attraction but in a closely guarded secret, was joined by the very first of Mr Foster’s delivery trucks, to the surprise of the Foster family. It had been located and through arrangements by R S & P President Randall Stiles, was brought by low-loader to the market.

Mr Foster’s son Brian expressed his gratitude to all who had been involved in the arrangements including President Randall Stiles, former owner Arch McArthur for donating the truck, and Nathan Bellinger for transporting the truck to the event.

As it made its way into the grounds, Brian was heard to say as he watched it in surprise, “that’s my Dad’s truck.”

“I would have sat in this truck, but I don’t remember because I was so young,” said Brian.

Mr Bob Fosters name and the town of Rendelsham’s name is still visible on the door and plans are underway to renovate and exhibit the truck as part of Rendelsham and district history. It was a very special addition to the village fair with memories shared of another time and of a man who is so much of part of local history.

The two trucks are synonymous with the Foster family grocery store history, now Foodland.

Treasurer Dawn Williams said today, the market was very successful and is known as a very friendly market. Today she feels a little like the ‘maid in the counting house,’ counting all the money. The final tally not yet known and ofcourse there are always expenses to account for, she said.

President Randall Stiles said the cars stretched around the block and down to the Southern Ports Highway. An estimated 600 people attended the market and by their response it was an enjoyable day for everyone attending and a successful one for the Rendelsham Sports and Progress Association.



Police kept busy over holidays

by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow

Police were kept busy over the Christmas and New Year holidays and urge caution to drivers as the holidays continue. Keep vehicles locked, valuables safe and be diligent on the roads.

The South East has experienced a terrible few weeks with three fatal accidents at Hatherleigh, Rendelsham, and Clay Wells resulting in six deaths causing unbelievable grief for all families concerned.

Police and Emergency Services including the CFS, SES, Ambulance personnel, hospital staff  and doctors are all affected by these recent events and we commend them all for their on-going commitment in taking care of our community when we are at our most vulnerable.

Deepest sympathies from all at 5THE FM/wattlerangenow go out to everyone affected by these recent tragedies.


Police reports over the past week include:-

Drink driver caught in a stolen car
02 Jan 2015

Police have arrested a 28-year-old Victorian man after he was caught drink driving in a stolen car last night.
About 6.30pm, the man was stopped on the Glenelg Highway, Glenburnie in a car that had been stolen from Mount Gambier earlier in the day. He submitted to a breath test and returned an alleged reading of 0.154, the man’s licence had also expired.
The man was charged with illegal use of a motor vehicle, drink driving and drive unlicensed. He was refused bail and will appear in the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court later today.

Man returns positive alcohol test in Kingston
28 Dec 2014
A man has had his licence disqualified and will be summonsed to court after returning a positive alcohol result in Kingston.
At 3am this morning, Police stopped a man on the Southern Ports Highway and the driver underwent alcohol testing.
Police will allege he returned a blood alcohol level of 0.082. The 34-year-old man from Kingston was reported for exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol and his licence was disqualified for six months. His vehicle was also impounded for 28 days.
He will be summonsed to appear in the Millicent Magistrates Court at a later date.

Man ejected from ute
28 Dec 2014 9:06am
A man was airlifted to hospital after falling out of the back of a ute at Beachport last night.
At about 9.45pm on Saturday 27 December, Beachport and Millicent Police and ambulance crews responded to a report of a crash at Five Mile Beach, Beachport.
A 35-year-old Para Hills man sustained serious injuries when ejected from the back of a ute. He was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. His condition is not considered life-threatening.
Major Crash investigators are aware of this incident. Police have spoken with the driver of the ute and investigations into the crash are continuing.
Limestone Coast Police urge all motorists to drive and behave responsibly on our roads this festive season. Don’t drink and drive, obey all road rules and always, always wear a seatbelt.


Outlet music festival at Beachport
27 Dec 2014

Limestone Coast Police attended the Outlet music festival held on Boxing Day in the seaside town Beachport in the State’s south east.
Police from Beachport, Millicent, Penola and Kingston attended the event, held during the afternoon and evening of 26 December.
Three people were arrested, including a 22-year-old Northgate man for reentering licensed premises after being removed, a 25-year-old Coromandel Valley man for assault and a 21-year-old Millicent man for disorderly behaviour. All three were bailed to attend court at a later date.
Eight people were issued with expiation notices for consumption or possession of liquor in a dry zone and three people for urinating in a public place.
Five people were evicted from the event.