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the contents of his pockets

It’s almost embarrassing that after nearly 70 years the only hot topic in this unsolved mystery is a pair of jocks – possibly used – and a singlet found in the Somerton Mans’ pockets.

.. add to that the difference in opinions as to where where our man might have had a shower and a shave the morning he arrived in Adelaide on the Melbourne Express.

Derek Abbott said the railway’s facilities were closed for the day but offered no evidence to support the claim. Gordon Cramer says the local bathhouse down the road didn’t have washing facilities, maybe just a couple of sinks and cold-water taps in the gent’s lav.

Harold Rolfe North, Senior Porter, Cloak Room, Adelaide Railway Station in his evidence at the inquest:

“At the Railway Station there is not now a place where a man arriving from the country could bath and shave.”

Scenario 2 follows:

SM arrives in Adelaide on the Melbourne Express, he goes looking for a place to spruce up in the station, finds none, walks out into the city carrying his suitcase and eventually finds somewhere he can clean up.

adelaide public baths

Adelaide Public Baths

He buys a ticket to the facility, gets a locker key, goes inside and opens his bag, takes out a change of underwear, slides his case into the locker, locks it and goes to the bathroom.

That gets the jocks and singlets into his pocket with having to make too much up.

We’ll try and figure out what happens next later.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. ellen #

    The speculation is that he was a traveler…..maybe, not. Maybe he was a local. He had no vaccination scar according to GF. Perhaps he only packed his undies and the Rubaiyat.

    March 18, 2016
  2. His pic was in the local papers – nobody put their hand up and said ‘I know him.’

    March 18, 2016
  3. Jilly #

    Found a 1940’s Adelaide street directory. While it precedes SM by a few years (And things might have changed) you can follow a bus to St Leonards from maps 14,13,19,18,17 straight up the Anzac Highway. Interestingly it doesn’t look like any route turns North Tce onto West Tce. While this might be dismissed as “things changed some years later” or “the Street Dir is inaccurate” (and both are certainly possible), the current services to Glenelg (at least for about the last 20 years or more) use Grenfell/Currie St then West Tce, or King William (through running from North Adelaide) onto Grote St then West Tce. In fact because I only ever remember services along Grenfell (not that I’m all that old), I’ve always been a little surprised about the North Tce reference.

    I wonder whether it’s possible that “caught a bus from North Tce” actually might mean “caught a bus from Currie St” (two blocks over) – although “Henley Beach Rd” obscures the intersection and I’m not sure if there’s a left turn depicted there either….
    I also notice on many different maps that there was a far more extensive tram network than just the Glenelg line back then…’s possible that the tram would have run further up KW st back then too (closer to the railway station) which makes the bus an interesting choice.

    NB: I’ve always found the ticket stuff difficult. When you buy a ticket (especially a train ticket on fairly thin paper) you don’t thrust it in your pocket to get lost, you carefully store it somewhere (eg in your wallet). To me this implies either the unused Henley ticket has been quite deliberately put on SM and didn’t belong to him, or he didn’t carry a wallet (which is possible, given none was found – but it suggests he had exact money for train and bus and not a penny more). Stolen wallet is the most obvious option, of course, but why remove the unused ticket if it were in there?
    Since about the 1920’s Adelaide tickets have had all sorts of quotes on the back of them (eg: “You can never ride two horses with one behind”). Can’t help but wonder what SM’s 2 tickets had….

    Fun fact for those who aren’t local: King William apparently insisted that noone should ever cross him, and you’ll notice (with the exception of North and South Tces which are not named after people) all Adelaide Streets running East/West have a different name either side of King William Street….

    March 21, 2016
  4. Jilly #

    oops, might have forgotten the link:

    March 21, 2016
  5. You’re a champion, Jilly, thanks.

    March 21, 2016

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