The Perfect Circle. We take a new look at Robin Thomson.
Updates at bottom of post.
Dude is to blame for all this after calling on the burrowers to deep dive on Robin Thomson – a worthy call because lookit what we got! But first we must go back to the beginning of this Royal Quest.
I’m calling on the burrowers to give us the good oil on Robin. If he wasn’t Carls or Prospers exactly who’s kid was he? For years he was believed to be at the centre of all this yet what do we know about his life?
Given he lived a fairly public life as a stage performer we’ve got very little.
For starters how does the stepson of a dodgy Adelaide car salesman become a ballet dancer? Where did he study ballet ? where are his other living kids ? where did he live throughout his life? Are there any quality film or video records of his performances? What major shows was he in?
We know he and Roma had a baby (Rachel) in New Zealand that the gave up for adoption.
What are the odds if he wasn’t Carls kid that he had 2 very rare physical peculiarities. The teeth and the ears. AND he was clearly a very athletic dude just like Carl. What are the chances?
I found an old article from Canberra some time ago where he discusses the house he built with his wife Dell a renowned ballet identity and instructor . The bottom level was a ballet studio. I also heard something about him selling cars in Canberra.
Clive was first up with this 23 May ’92 Trove article: Car Buyers Lose Out As Makers Pocket Tax Cuts where Robin, working as the General Sales manager of Gregory’s, one of Canberra’s largest dealers says most dealers are not making any profits from new cars but from service and spares.
https://trove..nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122402924?Search Term=Robin Thomson
Then this, winnowed out of Trove by Jo, who apparently has given Guzz the cold shoulder. Here we have Robin Thomson writing to the Australian on 10 Dec 1981 on behalf of the Australian Ballet, complaining that commercialism is losing them their best dancers.
Then this, from Jo again.
Is this the same Robin Thomson, also involved in hill climb races? Derry George of Bromby Street and the Melbourne Light Car Club was an early hill climb racer…
I guess there are weird connections everywhere if you look!
Then Dude writes:
That is most definitely our Robin Thomson involved in the Hill climb challenge. Great photo!! Not dissimilar to a newspaper photo I found a while back of Prosper T standing next to a fancy rare car he had purchased. Prosper was clearly a car nut himself
Strange to think a guy who was a ballet dancer was also a rev head and and the fact that Robin competed in the same race that Derry George did (Derry having taken over the Bromby St flat that Carl and Doff shared) is f…n mind blowing !!
Dome ran a thread related to Carl Webb’s classifieds but I don’t know if he or any of his commentators made a connection with Derry George, 126 comments being way too many to read through, although he did find one classified motor vehicle ad placed by Carl Webb:
MORRIS 8 40 Roadster 1937 only two private owners mechanically splendid. Inspection after 6. £110 Cash only. C Webb 63 Bromby-st, South Yarra (behind Kellow’s)
Then this .. from the indefatigable Clive, burrower extraordinaire.
This veteran (above) was one of the 37 interstate cars competing in the Melbourne to Ballarat and return rally. Mr. Prosper Thomson, of Adelaide, owned the 1914 Stellite (pictured) – and there’s Jessica pretending to crank it up. 17 Nov 1956.
Now I know there are more than a few smart-arses out there (not you ladies) and keeping that in mind the picture below is of a magnificently endowed Robin Thomson (The Prince) holding aloft Miss Kathryn Hourigan (The Sugar Plum Fairy) as they both rehearse for – wait for it – The Nutcracker Suite.
Thank you Dude – a masterful find.
And there’s more ..
Dude asks if we can grab a pic of Derry George and see if he shares any resemblance to Robin Thomson. Well, Dude old lad, have a squiz at this.
Now we have the perfect circle
Robin Thomson (car dealer/ enthusiast) was connected to Derry George (car dealer/enthusiast) who was connected to Carl Webb (instrument maker) who was connected to Jessica Harkness (car enthusiast) who was connected to Prosper Thomson (car dealer/enthusiast) who was connected to Robin Thomson (car dealer/enthusiast)
What are we to make of all this?
My first thoughts are wow in the very blokey world of car yards Robin ,a ballet dancer by trade , sure rose up the ranks didn’t he !
Not so long after hanging up his tights he’s worked his way up to general manager of Canberra’s largest Automotive dealership
And apparently a reasonable photographer too – mentioned in the article about the house they built in O’Malley, as well as an article from April 1992:
…Three dance photographers
based in Canberra, Ross Gould,
Robin Thompson and Regis
Lansac will present an exhibition
of dance photography at the Link
Gallery, Canberra Theatre,
throughout the week….
Lovely, thanks. Here .. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122411058
You’ve got Robin competing in hillclimb in 1980 here. Derry George was still competing in hill climb events as late as 1993.
@Pete: As best I can tell Derry first appears on Domes site during the most recent interest – that is, post the Webb announcement on 10 Aug 2022. Doesn’t look like the connection had been made earlier.
So he’s a ballet dancer from the most unlikely family in Australia to produce a ballet dancer who races turbo charged cars , runs Canberras larges auto dealership, as well as being an exhibition level photographer, an advocate for the arts and thats without really looking too hard.
Imagine dinner at Robin and Dell’s !! Man may have had a few stories to tell.
What would make things interesting would be finding out if Webb spent any time working on the electrics in Derry George’s cars.
Here the article date 1978 has Robin starring in the Nutcracker but also mentions that he works outside the industry at the time.
What’s the betting that Derry George had the ‘right’ connections to get Robin into Gregory’s? Or, did Prosper have a hand in this matter, whilst Robin was ‘A terre’?
I think I’m the only lady left on here and I admit to having formerly been a card holding member of the Australian Ballet Society! There is only one reference to Carl having lived at 2/63 Bromby Street (a small ad) and a bit of evidence that he may have lived at flat 1 – eg furniture being sold from flat 1 at the time he leaves, a female occupant of flat 2 (probably Rita George) being interviewed by the young law clerk working on the divorce case who says that she lived there whilst the Webbs lived in the building… I’m wondering if the only reference to C Webb and flat 2 was perhaps a typo or transcription error. It would be good if someone could check the electoral roll to see if the Georges and Webbs lived at 63 Bromby Street at the same time. The relevant rolls would be 1941-48 for Victoria. There was no roll for 1942.
Mere trifles, Jo, nothing to interfere with our quest for the truth, and speaking of ballet, have you ever participated in a surfer’s stomp?
Clearly the automotive industry was a major part of Prosper’s life and livelihood for better or worse across multiple states all his adult life.
He’s busted for car fraud in WA , ran cab ranks in Victoria, run black market car scams across the SA VIC border (see the Daphne page case) He drove unlicensed cabs in SA , bought and sold cars through small adds and owned car yards.
Then there’s the recreational stuff as seen in clippings posted here.
Ergo this opens the possibility that Prosper’s connections in the car trade both legit and non legit could be his link to Derry George , Bromby st and Carl * Remember Carl’s brother Roy listed his occupation as “driver” .
Derry George lived at Bromby street and was well known and active in the car game. Prosper was in the industry, Carl was in the industry. Later Robin comes into the family business.
Derry must have known Carl and I say he must have known Robin Thomson through the car trade and or through racing circles ,especially hillclimb where both were competing at the same time.
Robins interest in cars and the industry must have been influenced by his father figure Prosper Thomson.
And here we have a link between Derry George and the Jewish community and ergo potentially Jessica Harkness.
Dude – I wouldn’t read much into the Jewish acknowledgments here. I went to school minutes away from Derry’s garage and the first thing I was asked by the other students was whether or not I was Jewish as there were Jewish holidays coming up… Melbourne’s inner south east is the Jewish heartland & in the 80s Melbourne had the highest number of holocaust survivors of any city outside Israel. Derry simply knew his market.
Pete – I have it on authority that the Surfers Stomp was never a dance!
Roger that #Jo
Byron Deveson had a comment on CM in 2014 about Robin possibly working at Sherwood Motors in Canberra, specifically Josephson Street. Milongal (same site) later tries to draw some connection between Sherwood Motors Belconnen and Sherwood Motors Adelaide, without any success. Some time later there’s some discussion of the Beaumonts and your mate Sanders flags that Max Beaumont (uncle of the Beaumont children) has a somewhat peculiar military history.
Somewhere along the way around 2021 there’s an observation that Boxall, Beaumont and Robin all end up connected to the Belconnen region in Canberra – not quite sure how Robin connects, the article about the house in O’Malley which would be Woden, not Belvonnen.
While I agree that there are perhaps tenuous links between them it is interesting they’ve all ended up in Canberra – where a lot of non-operational Defence lives.
Leaving Max out – to be fair, he’s the least linked of them – if we consider Boxall and Robin – is it possible Robin moved to Canberra because he thought Boxall was his ol’ man? Outside of work in the car yard Robin seems to have been keen on photography, and with his Ballet history seems to specifically be interested in taking ballet photographs. Canberra doesn’t really strike me as a place where ballet would be very big, so it seems a tad odd that he ended up there
Hers a curve ball for you. Have we got a photo of Derry George to compare to Robin? If his dad wasn’t PT or Carl then who ? An interest in motor vehicles and rally car driving is something one may inherit. Geographically its possible with the Bromby street unit block occupying Derry and Carl , Jess clearly had a thing for rugged older men…….just sayin..!
A keen interest in cars and rally driving and working in the industry is something often inherited.
No problem Squire .. check bottom of post.
That’s a pretty big ear on old Derry. AND yes PB that nut cracker pic leaves no doubt as to where Robin stashed his tool kit.
@ Dude – Dermott Derham George’s WWII airforce file is available on the NAA https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ListingReports/ItemsListing.aspx. He was very well regarded – leading aircraft man and fitter. There are also two very good photos of him, in separate files. I don’t think he looks like Robin.
I had some brief contact with one of his family members last year. I asked if they knew whether he had used the informal car yard or Arnold Street Motor Works, which is around the corner, whilst at Bromby Street. They didn’t know and could only remember Derry from his later, Toorak address. They sent me a great photo of him in his sports car, probably from the 1930s-40s. I tried to eye match it to the yard to the rear of Bromby Street but it wasn’t an obvious fit…
I found a reference to Derry George hill climbing in 1937 (Rob Roy event with the Light Car Club) against a man, Hugh Stanley McLaren, who had developed a new rotary valve in association with Kelly and Lewis Engineers and Pump Makers, of Springvale (I’ve always thought Carl may have worked there but haven’t found any tangible evidence – it was 5 mins from the bakery and local newspaper reports indicate that employment was very on again off again throughout the 30s). McLaren lived in Union Street, North Brighton, near Derry’s garage.
Where does Robin’s middle name-McMahon come from?
Clive .. back in 2014 in a Feb 18 post on Websleuths, Xlamb mentioned meeting a young fellow who called himself Carl McMahon, saying he was her 1/2 brother and his real name was James Carl Thomson. He claimed to be the son of Caroline Thomson (DOB 3/12/48) and her father was Quentin Thomson … and so on.
Xlamb, in my books is a very brave lady and one who has done some very deep research, sometimes she comes by here but not often.
What are we to make of this PB? Its a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma *JFK
Who was Robins dad????
How the f… does Rachel Egan have PT’S DNA ?????
Robin finishes up in car rally’s with Derry George in the 80s WT actual F???
This guy goes from ballet dancer to car salesman !!! WTF ?????
Im gonna pour a long glass of whisky.
You want more? Xlamb has a bloke named Carl McMahon in the mix .. which is WTF times 1,000.
Xlamb certainly holds her own in this saga, you have to acknowledge her stand. Looking at the NAA site, there is a William Carl Thomson DOB: 27 Aug 1893, Svce # V9032. He was a Signwriter. Curious, that another person with the same name, DOB: 27 Aug 1900 Svce# VX15934 & both related to a Lily Thomson!
I don’t know what became of James Carl Thomson because he suddenly and mysteriously shot through. Initially he presented as Carl McMahon, then gave me his real name as James Carl Thomson and claimed to be our 1/2 brother. He even produced a DNA test as proof. He was possibly a fraud as Major Crime did a check and they couldn’t find any children for Caroline. He was pretty audacious, spent a few weeks staying with our father at Stansbury (and doing some snooping while there). Prior to contacting me James had been in Abbott’s domain and involved with Kate’s son (Leahy) as well. Acting as a double, triple agent lets suppose. As for the I.D., I was told by Major Crime, the Reynolds name was included with familiar DNA matching for SM, and I’ve not heard anything more since. As for Robin Thomson, my father seemed to know who he was. I’ve a 1963 photo of myself, siblings and our mother standing with Robin on Edithburg Jetty. My father Max McIntyre was fixated on the deceased for some years, spinning his yarns and believing he knew his identity, hence my bringing the 1918 Seaman’s I.D. forward to Maciej Henneberg for examination / confirmation. I may never find out who the man in the I.D. photo is. Major Crime did interview my father however.
Ruth what about the H C Reynolds publican I found a little while back who had his car nicked in Melbourne. Any connection n to the HC Reynolds of the ID card fame?
I think the publican link was cleared up fairly early, and it’s not him. My father was handling cadavers from late 50’s till 1977 that I was witness to, so the I.D. could’ve belonged to any of the men I saw. The fact he kept it hidden under floor boards added to the secrecy, so I had it checked. This was in mid 2010, and 4 years after I came forward to police about Max handling cadavers. Gerry Feltus hadn’t yet published his book, and I didn’t use the Internet. Tracking back to when I was a child, my father explained his having bodies as him helping medical students and ‘doing a good thing’. In return he was mentored by the teaching surgeon (Adelaide Uni). I’ve since been left to presume this arrangement gave him access to material the students studied as well, and this may have prompted his interest and knowledge in the Somerton Man case. Alternately he was involved in SM’s demise in some way. Max claimed they were friends. He was aged 19 in 1948. I wasn’t born till 1955, so it’s not an event I was witnessed to obviously. We waited on police to investigate further, and by 2011 after Maciej Henneberg spoke with media, the I.D. photo appeared in the Advertiser (a double page colour spread). We’d hoped a family member might come forward to claim him.
In summary. Max McIntyre was involved with medical students and was mentored by a teaching surgeon at Adelaide Uni .. Jessica Harkness was working as a nurse in Adelaide. The middle-aged McIntyre claimed to have known her son Robin Thomson in about 1966 when he was 18, the nature of their reportedly close relationship not known. McIntyre, alleged to have been a paedophile, was thought to have been involved in the disappearance of the Beaumont Children from Glenelg Beach in 1966. McIntyre’s son claims his father and convicted paedophile Anthony Allen Munro were close associates and shared common interests despite their age differences. Both have been claimed to have been members of an Adelaide paedophile ring. Both McIntyre and Munro are now dead.
Max McIntyre died 13/6/2017, however Tony Munro’s still alive (born 1945) and currently in jail for historical abuse offences going back to 1962. He’s due for release in Dec.2023. Tony was previously jail in the early 90’s for offences committed while a Scout Master. There’s multiple victims spaning decades. Tony Munro must be prosecuted. He needs to explain the role he played in the Beaumont children’s abduction, murder and disposal.
Ruth, what sort of initiation, in your view, was Max referring to when he was talking to the Robin look-a-like?