Hunters Hill coaches

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Red and Cream
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by Red and Cream »

Hi system improver can you fill us in the history of the Reo as the article from Truck and Bus that GM posted seemed to imply that all the pusher Reo's imported at the time went to Syd Wood. Was there another importation or was the Grummet vehicle a one off. ????????
Reo Pusher - T & BT Feb 1942 Page 14 & 15 - rB.jpg
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by GM »

David, all the time I spent with Peter chasing Pushers I do not remember Peter talking about a Hunters Hill Pusher?
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Moore, Morebank - mo 197, Hunters Hill Bus Co mo 500, mo 363, mo 640, mo 255, mo 694 -   - Copy.JPG
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Hunters Hill Bus Co - mo 500 Reo Syd Wood - Copy.JPG
Buses - Open Air Campaingers - Reo Syd Wood Sth Granville 1953 - ZE665 - Copy.jpg
Open Air Campaigners  REO No 10.jpg
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tonyp
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

Red and Cream wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:51 pm Hi system improver can you fill us in the history of the Reo as the article from Truck and Bus that GM posted seemed to imply that all the pusher Reo's imported at the time went to Syd Wood. Was there another importation or was the Grummet vehicle a one off. ????????
There seem to be more than that. HHBC's MO 430 was dated 1938 according to Manny. So HHBC had two Pushers MOs 430 and 863, the latter out of the 1942 bunch I gather.
Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:31 pm
tonyp I have this photo of Longueville's Reo m/o 117 you mentioned in your post. I acquired this photo from somebody nearly sixty years ago and do not know who the photographer was but it is a professionally done shot so i suspect it maybe a Longueville company one or even by Leon Manny.
That flat piece of sheetmetal on the front certainly can't be described as "styling"! Uncharacteristically plain.
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Red and Cream
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by Red and Cream »

tonyp wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:15 pm
There seem to be more than that. HHBC's MO 430 was dated 1938 according to Manny. So HHBC had two Pushers MOs 430 and 863, the latter out of the 1942 bunch I gather.

tonyp i don't think m/o 863 was ever a pusher as i always knew it as originally just as a FC bus with an unusual doorway arrangement. Regarding m/o 430 i don't have any ideas whether it was a pusher as i don't think i ever saw it in service.
Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:31 pm

That flat piece of sheetmetal on the front certainly can't be described as "styling"! Uncharacteristically plain.
Yes, being kind you could call it an "ugly duckling" of the bus world. Even Its original front would not be called great looking but was more appealing to the eye, not sure why the change was made, maybe after accident damage or even an engine change requiring the panelling position to be altered.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

This could perhaps be the earliest photo of a Hunters Hill bus. It's from the Sydney Heritage Fleet collection and is labelled Valentia St Wharf c 1920. I believe it might be mid 1920s and the bus, which looks like a typical 1920s bus, is likely that operated by Walter Bruce who initiated this route (later to be route 234, later 538) prior to Richard Smith who took over in 1930 and founded HHBC. Frankly this scene was not much different in the 1950s! This was probably the first and only bus that didn't have difficulty turning around here before the road was widened many decades later. This route will be approaching its centenary soon.


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tonyp
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

A companion to that photo, seemingly taken from the same Lady class ferry at the same time. From National Library of Australia.

VSt1920s.jpg

The impetus for the Woolwich bus service was the gradual reduction or cessation of ferry services along the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers where, since the 19th century, there had been a number of wharves along both sides of the Hunters Hill peninsula that commuters could walk to. Gradually the ferries retreated to Valentia St at the tip of the peninsula, necessitating the bus.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by robert »

Great photos of bus at Valentia St, thanks, Tony. Richard Peck's research into Government Gazettes shows the bus to the wharf was first listed in the gazette dated 19 December 1924, suggesting the route had started sometime since the previous list in the GG dated 7 March 1924.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by system improver »

Red and Cream wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:51 pm Hi system improver can you fill us in the history of the Reo as the article from Truck and Bus that GM posted seemed to imply that all the pusher Reo's imported at the time went to Syd Wood. Was there another importation or was the Grummet vehicle a one off. ????????
There is a gap in what we thought we knew about this bus and what subsequent records have revealed. We know that it went to Warrnambool BL in 3/51 having been new to a previous operator in 1942. We had suspected that the previous operator was Horrie Spencer and that its initial rego was EF 164. This is incorrect in two respects - Horrie Spencer did not have such a bus or anything like this rego and second, the rego doesn't match the rego of any Melbourne operator at the time. However, there was a rego EF 664. This bus went to Mrs Alice Pring. Having been a 7 seater motob cab route previously, Bus Route 37 was authorised in March 1941 and ran from St Kilda to Fishermans Bend with initially 4 buses (licences). William James Pring and (Winifred) Alice Pring had lived at 64 Acland Street St Kilda since the mid 30s. They had two children, Winifred and Peggy (deceased). Mr Pring was said to have been a driver on the electoral roll. He was born in Britain in 1887. Mrs Pring was born in 1892 also possibly in Britain and was described as a housewife. It is assumed that they were the first operators of route 37. Mrs Pring was referred as the owner in articles written about the operation, including in Truck and Bus Transportation (1943) and local press.

In 1943, Mrs Pring took delivery of one of the first semi trailer buses for a metropolitan route. It had an International KS5 prime mover and a Grummet body which could seat 67 passengers. A second semi soon followed. BCSV member Ross Baird recalls that they also had a number of Federal and Reo buses with Grummet bodies which were housed on the other side of Acland Street at No 63. This was a very large building which also fronted The Esplanade, No 24. In 1930, No 63 Acland Street was described as being Motor Park Pty Ltd. In 1935, No 24 The Esplanade was described as Palais Auto and Radio Garage. The building had a large partly curved roof somewhat similar to an aircraft hangar. The basic walls of the structure still stand today but the interior has been converted into apartments. There is still a very large radio antenna in top of part the building although the curved roof has been replaced with penthouses. It remains an exceptionally large brick walled structure.

The war was the reason that this 7 seater motor cab route exploded into the largest fleet in Melbourne which included at least 4 semi trailer buses. At the Port Melbourne end of the route were the factories of CAC, the GAF and GMH. Thousands of extra workers needed to be transported from the nearby suburbs of Sth Melbourne, Albert Park and Middle Park. Back then, these suburbs were populated with young people in rental accommodation, like my mother and father. My mother was secretary to the manager of the GAF and took the bus from Middle Park to work each day. I was most disappointed that she couldn't remember any of the details of the buses when I asked her 50 years later.

Ross Baird also recalls buses were also parked in the street so perhaps Mrs Pring only had access to part of the building. By 1946, the number of licences had increased to 12 and by 1948 it was 14. However, the local councils had complained about the buses using the streets, especially the semi trailer buses. They were sold off. In June 1948, Mrs Pring died suddenly at the age of 56.

It fits the story that Mrs Pring, looking for high capacity buses might have bought this Grummet bodied Reo in 1942, and it could have been one of the buses that Ross Baird saw as mentioned above, although he has no specific memory. After Mrs Pring died, an executor (Mrs Binks) ran the business until May 1951 having been trying to dispose of assets. This corresponds to the sale of the Reo to WBL. The issue perhaps boils down to a simple transcription error of a rego EF 664 being written as EF 164. I might say that records that I have from the TRB contain many such errors right up to 1984, proved incorrect by photographs. Alas, there is not elusive photo of EF 664. There is also no evidence that any other rear engined Reo came to Victoria. The only other company who might have been a candidate, Peninsula BL, made their own "pushers" with GMC engines.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

robert wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:54 am Great photos of bus at Valentia St, thanks, Tony. Richard Peck's research into Government Gazettes shows the bus to the wharf was first listed in the gazette dated 19 December 1924, suggesting the route had started sometime since the previous list in the GG dated 7 March 1924.
We'll break out the champagne between March and December 2024 Robert. I guess there'll be a few other routes that have remained basically the same for a century by now. There would probably be more detail in Hunters Hill Council minutes too. I have a hunch that stone shelter was probably built by council around that time too.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by robert »

tonyp wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 9:16 pm This could perhaps be the earliest photo of a Hunters Hill bus. It's from the Sydney Heritage Fleet collection and is labelled Valentia St Wharf c 1920. I believe it might be mid 1920s and the bus, which looks like a typical 1920s bus, is likely that operated by Walter Bruce who initiated this route (later to be route 234, later 538) prior to Richard Smith who took over in 1930 and founded HHBC. Frankly this scene was not much different in the 1950s! This was probably the first and only bus that didn't have difficulty turning around here before the road was widened many decades later. This route will be approaching its centenary soon.
Another of Peck's books contains summaries of correspondence about bus services gleaned from Hunters Hill Council minutes. He refers to correspondence as early as 1921 about proposals to run buses between Gladesville and Valentia St. (He also says minutes for the period 1917-21 are missing.) Letters in 1922 suggest the route was running by then, with operator WH Bourne (eg, "18.12.22 WH Bourne & Son, alter timetable ..."). A further letter was noted as "14.5.23 WH Bourne selling to Mr Bruce 12.5.23; received."

We may have to lay in the champagne supplies next year?
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

On page 23 of Birchmeier's history of private buses in NSW there is a photo of a Vulcan bus no. 333, run on this route by WJ Bruce. It's different from the bus in the photos above and so perhaps the bus above may be that of WH Bourne, which may date the photos at 1922-23.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by GM »

Bourne W H - KM
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

GM wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:30 pmBourne W H - KM
It certainly looks like the bus in the wharf photo. Any history on it?
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by GM »

Beverley S J - REO 1928, REO 1926, REO 1930 - Syd Wood - Later Hunters Hill Bus Co
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Beverley S J - 06 - REO 1928, REO 1926, REO 1930 - Syd Wood - Later Hunters Hill Bus Co.JPG
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

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system improver wrote: Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:56 am
Red and Cream wrote: Fri Sep 10, 2021 3:51 pm Hi system improver can you fill us in the history of the Reo as the article from Truck and Bus that GM posted seemed to imply that all the pusher Reo's imported at the time went to Syd Wood. Was there another importation or was the Grummet vehicle a one off. ????????

Thank you system improver for your very detailed response to my enquiry about the Grummet bodied Reo. I am glad your extra research revealed the wrong number in the rego and enabled you to finally nail down the interesting history of the bus.
It was interesting that you commented on the fact that part of the original depot building was still standing, as with the passage of time with the original vehicles and their owners now passed into history these buildings are the only tangible things that remind us of that era. Having visited Melbourne on many occasions i know that a lot of redundant buildings associated with the tramways are still standing and the tramways are well represented but what of other bus companies did they leave buildings of any note?
Here in NSW, quite close to where i live are two former depots still standing albeit with other busines's now occupying them. Royle Bros. in Willoughby and Longueville Motor Bus Company( that wonderful title from a long gone age was used right up till the takeover by Deane in 1968.) in Longueville.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by robert »

Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:49 am Here in NSW, quite close to where i live are two former depots still standing albeit with other busines's now occupying them. Royle Bros. in Willoughby and Longueville Motor Bus Company( that wonderful title from a long gone age was used right up till the takeover by Deane in 1968.) in Longueville.
Another building still in existence is that shown in the attached photo, located on the western side of Eastern Rd, Turramurra, just north of the station, used by King and later for a period Deane. Acknowledgement to the unknown photographer.Image
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by GM »

Red and Cream, your photo plus two of mine are from the Sam Hood Collection, the King12-6 is from the Ken Magor Collection. GM
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King W S, Kuringai Bus Co - mo xxx Reo Syd Wood - 01.JPG
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King W S, Kuringai Bus Co - mo 544 Reo Syd Wood - 01.JPG
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Red and Cream
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by Red and Cream »

robert wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:11 am
Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:49 am Here in NSW, quite close to where i live are two former depots still standing albeit with other busines's now occupying them. Royle Bros. in Willoughby and Longueville Motor Bus Company( that wonderful title from a long gone age was used right up till the takeover by Deane in 1968.) in Longueville.
Another building still in existence is that shown in the attached photo, located on the western side of Eastern Rd, Turramurra, just north of the station, used by King and later for a period Deane. Acknowledgement to the unknown photographer.Image
Yes robert, King and Deane's depot slipped my mind as i have not used Eastern Road for many many years whereas i pass the ex Royle depot quite often and the Longueville site not so often but enough to remember it when i read system improver's post about Mrs. Pring's depot. I passed the ex Longueville depot earlier this year and as the traffic was slightly slow and banked up due to a minor accident nearby i was able to have a good look at it and was surprised to see it still had its corrugated iron roof.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by tonyp »

The original Church St depot of HHBC was demolished but the house that replaced it vaguely replicated the flat industrial facade facing the street - perhaps at the insistence of Council? Only the old cottage survives at the Monash Rd site, the rest through to Victoria Rd is a massive new development. It's interesting that both this site and part of the Syd Wood site in Bankstown now host an Aldi supermarket. The building that housed Reo Motors in William St, East Sydney is still there. For many years it contained York Motors.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by hugh45 »

The depot of Pioneer Coaches on the corner of Forest Road and Waratah Street Bexley is still in existence. It is now used by Avis Rent-a-Car.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

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GM wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:22 am Red and Cream, your photo plus two of mine are from the Sam Hood Collection, the King12-6 is from the Ken Magor Collection. GM
GM, did'nt J.T. Ford take over King's route and buses before sale to Deane????
The buses in the group photo outside the depot are from the right to left.
m/o 926 Reo Syd Wood to Deane's Bus Service.
m/o 747 Reo Syd Wood
m/o 015 Reo Syd Wood body of 5/10/46 to Deane? to Black of Eden as MO 4327 to Hawke of Merimbula as MO 3684.
No details on this NC bus but looks like your photo of m/o 544.
No details on this bus but looks like your photo of the forward control Reo.




874.jpg
EX m/o 015 from Ford/ King/ Deane of Turramurra when later owned by Hawke of Merimbula photo taken in July 1966.
Last edited by Red and Cream on Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by hugh45 »

The above Reo is listed in Deane's fleetlist and was acquired from Ford in January 1961 and sold to Black at Bega later the same year. One error in fleetlists shows this bus as a NC when it is correctly a FC bus.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by robert »

Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:36 pm GM, did'nt J.T. Ford take over King's route and buses before sale to Deane????
My notes say King transferred route 223 Turramurra-Bobbin Head to Ford in July 1949. To Deane in Jan 1961.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by Red and Cream »

Ju
robert wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:11 am
Red and Cream wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:49 am Here in NSW, quite close to where i live are two former depots still standing albeit with other busines's now occupying them. Royle Bros. in Willoughby and Longueville Motor Bus Company( that wonderful title from a long gone age was used right up till the takeover by Deane in 1968.) in Longueville.
Another building still in existence is that shown in the attached photo, located on the western side of Eastern Rd, Turramurra, just north of the station, used by King and later for a period Deane. Acknowledgement to the unknown photographer.Image

For many years just around the corner from the depot when it was owned by J.T. Ford was the top deck of a former DGT double deck bus AEC m/o 1535. The top deck was in a yard in Rohini Street just before Olive Lane and at the time i knew it there the yard was being used by a furniture removalist company. Looking at a current Google Street scene it seems that same yard is still there (unfortunately the top deck has long gone. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: The chassis had been used by Ford to have a single deck half cab body built on it The HCVA fleetlist gives a DGT sale date of January 1955 . It was registered as m/o 539 for him. Looking at the photo of it now, the new body incorporated elements of the double deck body such as the windscreen and drivers cab door but am not sure about the rest of the body maybe someone else can help out there.
It seems Ford liked using ex DGT buses as he had another rebuild of one when he purchased a Leyland TS7 single deck half cab ex m/o 1224 and had a new single deck body built on it by MBA. It was registered as m/o 407 by Ford. The HCVA fleetlist gives the date of the DGT sale as February 1950
Below are Don Allitt's photos of the two buses.

407 B.jpg
m/o 407 outside the depot building at Turramurra.


539.jpg
m/o 539 at Turramurra Station.
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Re: Hunters Hill coaches

Post by hugh45 »

I am interested in the photo of the bus outside the Syd Wood building apparently belonging to M.Sullivan. The word Pagewood is written on the side of the bus. On checking records of Route 138 which ran in Pagewood, the bus operator was Mick Sullivan who sold out to Reo Motors in 1946 or 1947. This bus would have been one of the earliest underfloor buses to operate in Sydney at that time. Does anyone know its registration number.
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