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The Day The Mower Music Died

By Duncan Horscroft on October 4, 2013 in News

Photo: Emily Foschi

Photo: Emily Foschi


Mower magician and master of the whipper snipper waltz, Ray Nightingale has packed away the tools and called it a day with Waverley Council.

Bronte locals were captivated for years by Ray’s pirouettes and twirls as he bopped along to the sounds from his Sony Walkman while keeping Bronte Park and Gully in tip-top shape.

Ray injured his neck while surfing a couple of years ago and this brought forward his planned retirement, and he was farewelled by his fellow workers last month.

A Bondi local for most of his life, Ray has been one of the true characters in the area for decades. Back in the 1970s he was often seen checking out the waves with his shoulder length locks flowing as he rode his motorcycle and sidecar, with bull horns attached, down to the local break.

In more recent times he was recognised for his skills with grass-cutting equipment as he carved his way through the undergrowth.

One of his legacies still remains on the northern end of Bronte in the form of a beautifully manicured love heart cut into the grass.

And the local parkies assured The Beast that the heart would keep beating and there would definitely be no transplant after Ray retires.

So on behalf of the whole Eastern Suburbs, enjoy your retirement Ray – you’ve earned it mate.

Your brother, Harry the ‘H-man’, reckons you’ve got enough good music for your Walkman to keep you in dance steps for many years to come.

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