Last Man in the Ball

Kevin 'Shagger' Fry was Fletcher Jones maintenance painter from 1975-1989.  Here he talks about his job painting inside the 40 metre tall Fletcher Jones Water Tower (affectionately known as the Silver Ball in Warrnambool). He describes in some detail what he used to do in this unusual job. He is the last man that we know to be inside the Silver Ball as there has been virtually no maintenance since he finished at Fletcher's 25 years ago. The Silver Ball is state heritage listed. This movie was entered in the documentary section of the Silver Ball Short Film Festival in Warrnambool in May 2014 during the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher's Gardens campaign.  It was made to bring attention to this fascinating structure and the stories surrounding it at a time when it looked like it might be lost if there was not safety works and an owner to care for it.   Almost at the same time as this little movie was finished, Dean Montgomery bought the FJ site and promised to look after the Silver Ball as part of the renewal of the buidings and restoration of the gardens.

Two years later in July 2016, Gary Kelly shared photos of himself, Kevin Fry and Keith Clark working inside the ball in 1984!  Kevin had lost his set of these treasured and remarkable photos and we've now been able to give him a set of the nine photos.   For the full set of these remarkable photos please see

Descending the ball through the cage near the top of the ladder.  Photo:Fitzgibbon Family
Photo:Mark Ashleigh
Kevin Fry (in overalls) and Keith Clark working inside the ball in 1984.  Photo: Gary Kelly
Kevin 'Shagger'Fry putting the finishing touches to graffiti in the ball in 1984! Photo: Gary Kelly
The workers leave their mark inside the ball 1984!  Photo:Gary Kelly



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