Hung out to dry!

How could you not want one of these little beauties? It's Adelaide early 1959 and feeling particularly patriotic in the wake of recent visits by Queen Elizabeth II and then the Queen Mother, the Edwardstown-based business Hills Hoists Limited wanted to donate a clothesline to Buckingham Palace.

The company wrote to the South Australian Premier, Sir Thomas Playford and less than a month later the letter was in the in-tray of Governor-General.

Officially, the request was denied because of rules governing the acceptance by Royalty of presents of value from commercial houses.

But unofficially, judging by his handwritten note on the bottom right-hand corner of a letter dated 5 March 1959, the Governor-General (Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim) possibly wasn’t interested in dirty washing!

Sadly, the noble Hills Hoist has never graced the Royal backyard.

  • read caption below
    One of the photographs sent with the letter from Hills Hoists Ltd to the Premier of South Australia, February 1959
  • read caption below
    Letter from Sir Robert George, Governor of South Australia, to Governor-General Sir William Slim, 5 March 1959
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