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Hitchhiking: the beauty of Sydney


Coming across Gundagai
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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On the first night, I camped on the Riverina. It's very rich country, partly irrigated, partly sheep-farming. And then I came to a town called Gundagai, which may not mean a lot to you, but Gundagai is the town in Australia which has had more songs and stories written about it than any other.

And there was a whole series, Dad and Dave it was called, like The Archers in England, that is based in that sort of area. And it is about the dog who was faithful, The Dog Sat On The Tuckerbox, and there's actually a... I get broken up just thinking of this, the dog sitting on the tuckerbox, guarding it. Because what had happened was that the drover, a bullock drover, was crossing the Five Mile Creek, five miles from Gundagai, and he broke an axle, or a wheel, something happened. He had to go into Gundagai to get some help and to get a wheel, and he told the box... the dog, to sit on the tuckerbox and guard it, that's where his food and goods were, and to go into the town. Well, the drover went into town, I think must've got into a drive [sic] – it's a made-up story of course – but he never came back, got into a brawl, and got killed, I think, in a brawl. But the dog sat on the tuckerbox and died there, because he wouldn't leave it when his master had asked him to look for it. So that's a bit of Australian folklore, which... I, of course, took a photo of that.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Riverina, Gundagai, Australia, Dad and Dave, The Archers, Five Mile Creek

Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011