Neville Fletcher Ferguson b.1923 Collie WA. Jimminy Cricket built by Colin Walker (brother-in-law to Neville). Neville drove it. Taken c. late 1940s

Date of Event: 1950s

Vessel type: Speedboat

Location: Mount Gambier South Australia

Suggested title: By Jimminy, She's A Ripper!


Power boat racing was all the craze in Mount Gambier during the 1950s. People turned out in their hundreds to watch (and bet on) the events.

When the little yellow speedster made her appearance, the crowd went wild. The Jimminy Cricket, a sleek little boat skippered by local business owner Mr N. F. Ferguson, looked totally out-classed by the other big, powerful factory-built monsters.

However, her ability to weave in and out between the bigger vessels, and even skim over the wakes that were speed bumps to everyone else, meant she won her fair share of races. She raced locally and as far afield as Queensland, following the circuit and winning scores of fans. Australians have always backed the underdog!

The Aquatic Club acknowledged her with a special award. The locals still remember that flash of yellow across the finish line, and the power of the local DIY sailor.

Interesting anecdote

There were many boats that had great names, like Thistle-Do.

Valley Lake Boats


Captions and image credit details

Photos belong to Julianne Woodruff, daughter of Mr Ferguson.

Please briefly note any objects (artefacts, images or other collection items) associated with the story

The trophy, certificates etc from the Aquatic Club are available.

Name of person submitting the story

Chris Parmenter


AMMC Member Institution

Millicent National Trust Museum

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