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Author Topic: Sunshine Coast bus (Heritage)  (Read 414 times)

Offline ozbob

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Sunshine Coast bus (Heritage)
« on: June 03, 2018, 06:44:48 AM »
Sunshine Coast Daily --> All aboard! The changing face of our public bus service

THESE days, we often take transportation for granted and never stop to think how easy it is to travel to work, school or the shops.

In years gone by, people had little choice but to walk, ride horses or use wagons to get around.

Boats were also used to carry people and supplies to and from the region until Cobb & Co coaches began to use the rough track along Gympie Rd when it opened 150 years ago.

The development of buses and transport on the Sunshine Coast is very much intertwined with early tourism.

When cars were scarce and unaffordable, many people travelled here by rail - originally on steam trains and later on diesel trains.

When the railways opened up in the early 1890s, horse-drawn vehicles gathered at the main station yards in Landsborough, Palmwoods and Nambour, waiting for passengers to arrive and transporting them to camping spots beside the ocean or to guest houses in places such as Montville, Buderim and Maleny.

Like today, those early tourists enjoyed coming to the ocean for the swimming, fishing and boating while the hinterland was renowned for its scenery and fresh mountain air where holidaymakers enjoyed bush walks and lovely waterfalls.

Next came motorised fleets of cars and early buses, which waited at the train stations to take people to their destination.

It was the transition period between horses and horse-less vehicles.

Cars were very expensive and out of the price range for most people.

A holiday was carefully saved for and most families only took a break once a year at the most.

During the 1920s, Charles Clarke started the first regular bus service, return from Buderim to Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba.

At that time, Ken Hendren and his truck provided another form of available transport for hire, to go to the beach or perhaps the pictures and dances.

The seats were wide boards tied in place with cream can ropes to railings on the sides.

Hendren's truck also took travellers from the Old Gympie Rd to Caloundra.

The solid rubber tyres meant frequent bogging along the unmade roads.

During World War II, petrol was rationed and large military movements took place. Many soldiers came through the district by troop train and it was not uncommon to see soldiers being transported in trucks along the Bruce Hwy, which had opened in 1934.

The rationing of petrol using coupons limited the use of cars for transportation.

Harry Lyons from Maleny, in addition to his garage and mechanical business, operated a car rental business and bus depot from the lower end of Maple St.

In 1923, he pioneered the first motor service between Maleny and Landsborough and in October 1938 took over the main contract and passenger service from Albert Benhrendorff.

Harry co-owned the Mapleton Picture Company with B. Tesch and became the sole proprietor when he purchased Tesch's share in March 1938.

During the war years, Harry's garage often served as a venue for skating and dancing in aid of the Red Cross.

Caloundra's bus depot, on the corner of Minchinton and Bulcock streets, was a hive of activity on Friday nights and Saturday mornings as local young people watched who was coming and going.

It was run by Evan Boxell until 1943 when George Watson took over and remained in the bus business until 1959.

Handsome young surf lifesavers, arriving to patrol the beach on weekends, regularly came via train then bus to the beaches.

If a lifesaver missed the Saturday morning train they were generally assured a lift to their destination if they hitched a ride in their surf lifesaving blazer.

On Sunday afternoons, buses filled with happy holidaymakers and a special train timetable, designed to fit the weekend schedule, took visitors back to their homes in Brisbane for the start of another working week.

But times were changing and by the 1960s the lovely old guest houses had waned in popularity. Flats were popular, as were camping and caravanning.

Many people drove their own cars and the number of buses waiting at the railway stations began to decline.

In the mid-1970s, public libraries on the Sunshine Coast converted Bedford coaches into purpose-built mobile libraries to service smaller towns.

This service continues to this day, using newer vehicles.

Over the years, the original buses have changed into modern coaches.

Tourism has changed too. Holidaymakers can choose to travel to their destination by air and enjoy sightseeing with local tour companies in smaller buses.

Local bus companies offer long distance tours and visit local tourist attractions without the need for people to drive themselves.

Outside Sunshine Coast Airport, shuttle buses offer a service to visitors and locals, transporting them to their destination.

For many years, Nambour had the only high school between Gympie and Brisbane and trains and buses transported students long distances.

They were long days for children from places like Mooloolaba and Caloundra, leaving at about 7am each day and returning home about 4.30pm.

Homework was sometimes complete as the bus rumbled along and many assignments were marked down due to untidy handwriting.

Some things never change and although the distances are shorter, buses still take thousands of students to and from school every day.

Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 06:54:46 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Sunshine Coast bus (Heritage)
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 06:53:35 AM »
The photographs that were with the above article:

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