National Trust SA Introduces The Somerton Man Walking Tour
Approximately 90 minutes
Please note these walking tours may include uneven ground. Sensible footwear and weather appropriate clothing are recommended.
Presented by the National Trust of South Australia.
I’d be giving the tourists a little more than 90 minutes as the Somerton Man certainly covered a lot of ground on November 30th, so in the interests of ACCURACY perhaps we can suggest a few amendments to the tour package. As follows.
The Tour Group to meet at the Adelaide Train Station about 9:00am, our man’s estimated time of arrival by train from either Broken Hill or Melbourne, and where they will remain milling about the station or drinking coffee and reading the newspapers or whatever until 10:50am when they will be able to walk over and observe the place where Doug Townsend’s ticket booth used to stand on this day in 1948 when a man he couldn’t remember who was carrying a suitcase bought a train ticket to Henley Beach at this precise time.
The Group will then about-turn and walk smartly over to the station’s luggage office in order to get to the counter before 11:00 am, being the time Ralph Craig accepted a suitcase for 24 hour lodgement from a man he couldn’t remember on November 30th in 1948 at this precise time.
That done, the Group will exit the station en masse and proceed towards the Grosvenor Hotel and the intersection of South and West Terraces, near to the West Terrace Mortuary and Cemetery, both of which incidentally will be incorporated in an extended tour to be advised at a later date once current obligations – re: grave digging – are concluded. This is the spot where Arthur Anzac Holderness issued a bus ticket to Glenelg to a man he couldn’t remember at 11:15 am in 1948.
The Group has a choice now, they can either travel to St. Leonards and walk the longish distance to Somerton Beach – remembering to keep their footwear in good order – or take the Glenelg option. No price change.
The second part of the tour begins at 7:30 pm when the group will meet at the top of the steps opposite Bickford Terrace at Somerton Beach. Here they will be asked to stand and gaze down at the bottom of the sea wall for five silent minutes. This of course commemorates the sighting of a man by witness Olive Neill* who did just that on the evening of 30 November 1948. He appeared to be extremely interested in the man lying on the sand beneath him, as was Olive’s partner, witness Gordon Strapps.*
The final part of the tour requires some agility of mind and steadfastness of purpose as the group will be asked to provide their best guesses as to (1) where it might have been possible for this apparently inebriated gentleman to change his trousers unseen, that is from a striped to a plain pair*, and (2) where he might have a bought a pasty before resuming his original position on the sand, where of course he died.
The drive back to the city will pass by the spot where Freeman’s Pharmacy once stood, and anyone who spots a Hillman Minx on the way home will be refunded the price of the tour.
*Please refer to your inquest papers hand out.
Thank you, we hope you enjoy your time in our fair city.