A tribute to Steele Rudd’s famous “Snake Gully” characters, Dad, Dave, Mum & Mabel, this life size family has been immortalised in copper by sculptor Aurel Ragus. The characters are on display in Carberry Park adjacent to Gundagai Visitor Information and Travel Centre on Sheridan Street.
The characters of Dad and Dave are a well-known part of Australia’s cultural history, Created by Steele Rudd for his ‘On Our Selection’ novels, Dad, Dave, Mum and Mabel, were characters set against the backdrop of land selection in the late 19th century. The humour of the ‘On Our Selection’ novels struck a chord with readers, and the Dad and Dave characters formed the basis for a couple of silent films: On Our Selection (1920) and Rudd’s New Selection (1921). During the 1930’s the characters became the basis of a popular radio series, Dad and Dave, as well as a number of feature films with Bert Bailey as Dad and Fred MacDonald as Dave: On Our Selection (1931), Dad and Dave Come to Town (1938) and Dad Rudd M.P. (1940).
It was perhaps inevitable that the characters should eventually find their way to television. ATN-7 had acquired the first option on television rights, and they commissioned Ralph Peterson to write a script for a pilot episode. Peterson previously was the creator, writer and producer of My Name’s McGooley- What’s yours?, a successful sit-com packaged in-house by ATN-7.
Peterson based his characters on the popular Dad And Dave radio series, rather than the original ‘On Our Selection’ novels. The radio version updated the format to contemporary 1930’s, breaking away from the late 19th century selector on the land setting. Similarly, the television version was updated to contemporary 1971-72.