E10 – A Liverpudlian Makes His Mark

Part of the Series “(Y)Our Stories
Produced by on January 30, 2018
Tags - George Harrison - Ian McDonnell - Interviewed by Rod McKenzie - Liverpool - Migration

Ian’s been a sewing machine repairman, an actor, a clown, a stuntman, a radio host, a carer, a husband and father, and a life-long amateur historian. In the first of a two-part interview Rod McKenzie talks to Ian about growing up in Liverpool and his journey to a new life in Australia.

Ian always been an active member of the community, he’s one of the founding members of the Gawler History Team, and he’s volunteered all over Gawler with all sorts of projects, and even won the Volunteer of the Year award for his work teaching computer classes at Community House.

There are a series of stories under all of which highlight his love of life, his sense of adventure, his cheeky humour, and his commitment to service and community.

Ian’s life in Liverpool, Voyage to Australia, Finsbury Hostel

In this 30 minute interview Ian discusses growing up in Liverpool in the same neighborhood as George Harrison and Paul McCartney. He then relates in vivid detail and humour the family’s voyage to Australia on the SS Orontes which left Tilbury Dock on 25th October 1960. Then … arriving at the Finsbury Hostel in Jan 1961 … just imagine! Finally he talks of his involvement in the “Rag Trade” in the Elizabeth area and its sad demise.

All images courtesy of Ian.

Ian’s life as a stunt man in the 1970’s

I saw and add from a guy who was running a stunt school. I thought, ‘that might be fun’”.It wasn’t all fun. In this 4 minute chat Ian discusses his love of stunt work and the harmful consequences.


A street party in Liverpool in 1953 to celebrate Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 2nd

On the 2nd June 1953 Queen Elizabeth 2nd was crowned. There were street parties in Liverpool everywhere. Ian was 5 yrs old and talks of his memories of that time. ( 2 minutes)

Ian at 14 started work, bought lunch for sixpence and explored the world on a bike.
Ian discusses his acting career. Mayfair, Shedley theatres, television.
Computer Classes, Gawler Clock Tower, Gawler History Team

Want to find out more about Ian McDonnell? Head over to the Gawler History Team and check out their collection of stories and photos of Gawler throughout the years.

Title: Ian McDonnell

Guest: Ian McDonnell

Host: Rod McKenzie

Editor: Barry Neylon

Producer: Barry Neylon

Transcript: Barry Neylon

Music: “Lounge Lizard”, composed by Chris Martin and Geoff Harvey, purple-planet.com


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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