Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Sabrina at Toolern Vale, Victoria

24 January 1959

It took some years to uncover the film of the event, but it was worth the wait

Watch the video of the event !


At weekend of January 25, Sabrina visited the one-thousand acre property of Mr. Terry Fogarty at Toolern Vale , thirty miles north-west of Melbourne. Mr. Fogarty is shown in our film lifting Sabrina on to a horse. Mr. Fogarty, who owns seventeen thousand sheep, is prominent in wool production and last year took a wool fashion show to London. The two dresses worn by Sabrina are made from wool from Mr. Fogarty's sheep.

The dark dress is a four ounce lightweight printed wool, cool in summer, warm in winter. The other is jersey - a finely woven wool. Both dresses are washable, crease-resistant, mothproof and stain resistant. The temperature while Sabrina was at the property was 122 degrees. The shearer in the shearing sequence is Eric Rogers , a Victorian champion shearer.

(From http://www.itnarchive.com )

Newsflash 2020 - I've finally uncovered the video of the event !

Sabrina at Toolern Valley 1959, with horse and sheep

Death - and good things - come to those who wait.
This long-awaited lovely pic was found in 2014.

The caption on the back reads:

Feb 20th, 1959

The sultry SABRINA had weather to match her mood when this picture was made on the picturesque Toolern Vale sheep station, thirty miles [48km] from Melbourne, Australia.
The temperature was 104 degrees [40 Celsius].
Wool certainly made its appeal to the shapely British star. Her frock is in a lightweight Australian wool print in strawberry pink. It was styled specially for her.

Sabrina wool dress Australia 1958

From an unpublished biography of one of Sabrina's Australian facilitators

One of the promotions that really brought tremendous Australian wide publicity was the Wool Board. Simon Shinberg of the Wool Board approached me for Sabrina to launch their summer weight wool weave, only 6 ounces a yard, which was going to be launched the following Autumn. The idea was for Sabrina to visit a sheep property, take a hand in shearing, riding, and lunch at the homestead.

All seemed straight forward till you had to have the job of organising Sabrina. She agreed on the condition that she got a full wardrobe of woollen frocks to take back to England. Off we drove in her mauve car, and once again we were late, but when Sabrina stepped out of the car in her spiky high heels, wearing one of the specially made woollen frocks, forgiveness reigned once more.

She smiled through all the demands of the press, shearing a sheep, riding a horse, walking through the bush, having Billy Tea. She was a photographer's dream, but behind the scenes I sweated as she kept rushing in and changing dresses. The Wool Board had never had their clothes so well promoted. It was a long time before the small township of Melton recovered from having Sabrina in their district.


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