Farewell to Cliff McHardy

VALE: Cliff McHardy, former Lithgow police officer, passed away over the weekend. He is pictured here in the Lithgow Mercury in 2009.
VALE: Cliff McHardy, former Lithgow police officer, passed away over the weekend. He is pictured here in the Lithgow Mercury in 2009.

THE death has occurred at the weekend of former prominent Lithgow sports broadcaster and police officer, Cliff McHardy.

Mr McHardy, always a larger than life personality, was Detective Sergeant in charge of criminal investigations in Lithgow through to the mid 1970s.

He was transferred on promotion to Penrith where he retired with the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. His retirement home was at Glenbrook but he kept in regular contact with Lithgow. Mr McHardy conducted the live broadcasts of Group 10 rugby league for Radio 2LT which were a popular feature of weekend sport at that time.

Mr McHardy told the Lithgow Mercury that one of his biggest disappointments in unsolved crime was the bizarre incident in 1970 when an attempt was made to derail the royal train during a night time passage through Lithgow with the Queen and Prince Phillip en route to Orange.

A log was placed across the tracks in a cutting at Bowenfels but was dislodged by a ‘sweeper’. The incident was officially hushed up but 30 years later made international headlines when revealed in the Mercury following an interview with the retired detective.

The disclosure even resulted in Mr McHardy being contacted by a Hollywood producer interested in making a movie about the drama.

Mr McHardy, who was in his 90th year, is survived by wife Colleen, daughters Ann Marie and Karen and son Peter and their children.