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Lindsay Smith – TVW Audio Operator 1961-1968

Posted by ken On September - 8 - 2009

Lindsay Smith was a audio operator who worked for TVW from January 1961 to January 1968.

Lindsay Smith in TVW’s Audio Contol Room for Studio 2 on New Years Eve 1963-1964

Lindsay and wife Lyn on New Years Eve 1963-1964

Lindsay and Lyn at the 1964 TVW Ball

In December 1964, Lindsay took a break from his audio duties to join the TVW crew of Michael Gale (journalist) and Matt Williams (cine cameraman) on a trip to Lake Dumbleyung, a 13 kilometres long and 6.5 kilometres wide salt lake in Western Australia, to cover the world water speed record attempt by famed British car and motorboat racer Donald Campbell. Dumbleyung being a small wheatbelt town located 275 km south east of Perth.

The jet-propelled hydroplane named Bluebird K7

Bluebird K7

Donald Campbell with wife Tonia Bern and toy bear mascot

Michael Gale waiting in anticipation

Donald Campbell makes a test run

Returning after breaking the water speed record

Campbell broke eight world speed records in the 1950s and 60s. He remains the only person to set both land and water speed records in the same year. Campbell broke the land speed record in July 1964, on the Lake Eyre salt flat in central Australia, with a speed of 403.1 mph (648.72 km/h). Then on 31 December 1964 at Lake Dumbleyung, he reached the average speed of 276.33 mph (444.71 km/h) in his jet-propelled hydroplane named Bluebird K7. The feat shattered his previous world record of 260.35mph (418.99km/h) at Lake Coniston, Cumbria, in 1959.


Sadly Donald Campbell died attempting to break his own water speed record a little over two years later.

A year later, Lindsay himself became the story…

The Perth afternoon newspaper, the Daily News, reported on December 23rd, 1965, that TVW audio operator Lindsay Smith and Rottnest Ferry deckhand Trevor Kitcher were thrown overboard when a king wave hit the 42 foot ferry Temeraire, on the return trip from Rottnest to Fremantle, following the recording of an episode of In Perth Tonight on the holiday island. During the same incident, cameraman Russell Sage suffered cuts, and the three were taken to Fremantle Hospital for treatment.


Earlier in the day, the cast and crew of In Perth Tonight had mounted a full production of the popular variety show from the island. The same outside broadcast van, which was used for the 1962 Commonwealth and Empire Games at Perry Lakes, was shipped over to Rottnest on a barge. This included a portable power generator, and small truck containing a 2 inch quadraplex videotape machine. The facilities were required to enable the OB unit to move around the island, and record various dance and vocal segments, for assembling into the completed program. The show was produced and directed by Brian Williams

Lindsay Smith on far right as an extra in TVW’s production of Bush Patrol in 1996

3 Responses to “Lindsay Smith – TVW Audio Operator 1961-1968”

  1. neil sheppard says:

    Is it possible to purchase larger prints / jpegs of the donald campbell / bluebird pictures? Also, are there any other taken at he same time.

    many thanks,

    neil sheppard

  2. Hi Lindsay, my dad Matt Williams was the cine cameraman with you on the assignment on your trip to Lake Dumbleyung. As you would know he passed away many yrs ago. I was very surprised and proud when in 1978 I went to a country function and the Dumbleyung Shire where showing origional footage of the race. I was wondering if you had in your possession any photo’s of my father.Kind regards, Jo

  3. david carson says:

    Loved looking at the pictures- thank you.
    I am an artist working with the Shire of Dumbleyung on a project about Campbell . I am very keen to access any film footage from the time. So would be very keen to make contact.
    KInd Regards,

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