I worked at Crawfords during the first part of 1974, employed as a Properties Buyer and Standby Props for the series Division 4.
My time there was very pleasant, challenging - and you could not have wished for a better bunch of people to work with - helpful, fun, a real ‘family atmosphere’.
I think I had a budget of about $27 per episode - so one had to ‘beg, borrow or steal’ certain items when required.
I do remember being chastised by my wife, when the TV and other items disappeared from the home - when the script
called for ‘a truck full of stolen gear’. But it was only for a couple of days.
I remember ringing up a manufacturer in Melbourne (ah the good old days when things were manufactured in Victoria) asking if I could borrow a Mixmaster or similar; pointing out that their brand name would be shown on camera (not sure if that always happened!), only to be reminded by the company that we already had two of them (Homicide?, The Box?).
Courage Breweries were very good to us, doing mini manufacturing runs of beer cans with ginger beer in for use on sets.
Friday was the day that all the sets were carted across the road to the big studio in Channel 9 for the inside shots. We had to sometimes work late until everything was completed satisfactorily and in the can.
One Friday, I had to provide a ‘special Bavarian cake’, and had missed it off the list - a quick trip to the corner shop, plain sponge covered with tube of condensed milk and a packet of peanuts sprinkled on top. It set beautifully under the lights and looked great on camera. However, when I came to tidy up, it could not be found - only to be told that the camera men had eaten it - and enjoyed it!
It was fun working there, but I was commuting in those days from Warburton in the hills to Abbotsford, and was offered a job in a newly opened quadriplegic hospital in Croydon, closer to home - which I accepted.
I have fond memories of Crawfords and sometimes am wistful for the good old days.
21st January 2015