12 November, 2021
The boys in blue
ATHERTON’S boys in blue Barry Clough and Dick Daley have clocked up thousands upon thousands of hours under the hoods of vehicles from the 1940s right up to the current century over their 130 years of shared experience.
The local mechanics started their apprenticeships when they were just 16 years old, Barry in 1962 and Dick in 1946 both locally on the Tablelands.
They have clocked up around 134 years of experience between them with Barry about to turn 75 and Dick sitting at 91 years old.
Atherton Motors took Barry under their wing while Turner Agencies decided to look after Dick when they started their long journey as mechanics.
The two aspiring mechanics both worked under Doug Brown at one point when Barry and Dick worked at the local Ampol service station at different times.
“We had good teachers – they were about the best mechanics in Atherton back in those days,” Barry said.
“Before my apprenticeship I worked at Stockman’s Eggs collecting eggs and plucking chooks and I couldn’t wait to leave school.
“Back in those days you did junior and that was it, I wanted to get out and make a living I think we were all like that.
“Dick started his apprenticeship the year I was born.”
Barry worked at several different service stations and garages in multiple Tablelands towns before he decided to strike out on his own as Barry Clough Auto Repairs in 1977.
The journey to owning his own business was a bit more straight forward for Dick who always had his eyes on a certain quaint service station.
“I started out in my own backyard but I was only there 12 months,” Dick said.
“I’ve always wanted to buy this place.”
The place in question is the small BP Service Station in Tolga, opposite the primary school, Dick managed to buy it in 1964.
It was only five years ago that Dick decided to hang up his tools and stop working on vehicles, content to only service fuel out of his service station, while Barry has retired to the driver’s seat as a mobile examiner.
Dick even managed to outwork some of the apprentices that he trained – when they called it a day, he was still toiling away under the hood.
While both mechanics have worked on many different cars and engines over the years they both agree that early Land Rovers were the worst to work on, while early Holdens hold a special place in their hearts.