Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey
… meanwhile at Pirron Yallock???
We’ll join them with a double-
Preferably with a small-
Q1 : On what course was Victoria’s first legal tote meeting held? And on the remotest of possibilities that they get the course correct, Q2 : where the hell is it?
Due to the chance discovery of a tiny article published in The Sporting Globe in the late 1950s, we now qualify the Moonee Valley experience as being the first legal use of the totalizator on a Melbourne metropolitan course, but in fact the honour of hosting the first tote went to a track now completely forgotten, as is, to a large extent, the town itself.
The first hint of the "brave new world" of the totalizator came on Wednesday, 29 April, 1931 when The Age reported that permission had been given by the State Executive Council for the operation of a portable machine at that well-
"Saturday meetings only" was somewhat superfluous -
Where the hell …?
The Municipal Directories of the time place Pirron Yallock on a creek of the same name that empties into Lake Corangamite, around 13-
The population was not quoted, but a 1922 publication issued by the Education Department list all the schools in Victoria and their contribution to the Department's War Relief Fund. Pirron Yallock was listed as between 50 and 100 pupils -
The machine in operation, a Simplex Totalisator was offered during the previous week was offered for inspection in premises in Russell-
Echlin explained that his machine had operated for nearly seven years on the Strathpine and Koolparroo courses before they were closed by the Queensland Government, and that given Government permission, he was prepared to allow his machine to be used at Pirron Yallock on the following Saturday.
Rather as the name suggested, its operation was noted as simple -
The meeting came on 2 May, 1931, the “Simplex” totalizator obviously portable -
The Sporting Globe described the invention : "the numbers are exhibited on a shield-
It was perhaps an indication of the size of the meeting that led the Globe to suggest that after a ten percent deduction split between the club and Ecklan/Echlin ... "where six horses start, the dividends paid are 75% and 25%”.
(Although totally foreign to us today, until the new Melbourne totalisators started operating with separate win and place pools, all interstate totes operated with a single pool. At the club’s discretion, this was could be a single dividend on the winner of races of less than six starters, divided 75-
The concept of splitting a single pool over three place-
The Globe report on the Pirron Yallock experiment suggested patrons "did not wish to speculate on the portable totalizator" -
The report revealed just 31 tickets were sold on the first race, and a snippet several years later suggested that only around £150 was invested through the tote, obviously wildly insufficient for Eckan/Echlin to continue his experiments from Queensland and there is nothing to suggest another portable machine was tried prior the first meeting with a fixed tote at the Valley on August 19.
 "Echlin" was correct -
Google Maps and Pirron Yallock.
The very short WikiPedia page suggests the image shows “a church” in Pirron Yallock” -
|1867 The First Tote|
|The Tote in England|
|1878 Siegfried Franck|
|1880 Friedrich Augustus Schinnerling|
|1880-1900 The Victorian Battle|
|1911 NSW Royal Commission|
|A Day In Court|
|Sir George Julius|
|1930 The English Scene|
|1931 A Tote at Last|
|A Tote At Last|
|1959 A Difficult Birth ...|
|... but at Pirron Yallock?|
|I Am Woman|
|Courses For Horses|
|1937 : Little Flemington|
|1950s : Doubles Totalizators|
|1958 A Royal Commission|
|... But a Foal Is Born|
|1961 Day One|
|1961 One For Ripley?|
|1961 How It Worked|
|Just The Ticket!|
|Infancy and Growth|
|The Father of the TAB|
|The Quaddie's Birthday|
|On Course : A New Generation|
|Off Course : On Course!|
|TAB : Taking A Punt|
|Cracking the Quinella|
|The Last $20 Note|
|A Kiwi Emu|
|George Julius on Doubles Totes|
|Magnetic Totalisator Company|
|Roy Ernest Wells (Electra/Universal Totalisators)|
|"All-up" Betting versus Doubles|