School bus in the 1950's.

School bus transport in the 1950's.


Submitted by Roger Barwick.


I started School at Willow Tree in 1951. There was a blue and white bus operated by Mr. Cecil Carter. This bus had a door which was opened by a lever/handle and was opened and closed at each stop by Milton Barwick until he went off to High School.

The GMC bus in front of Raphie Howards house in Willow Tree.

Then there was a new GMC red and yellow bus which after a year or two was sold and bought by Mr Raphie Howard. After a time this bus must have seen better days as quite often it did not appear but instead he used a cattle truck with a crate on the tray and long hall stools to sit on. A sharp application of the brakes sent us all sliding forward. It was a bit dusty but on rainy days when the bus did not come, panel vans or 2 or more cars would pick up pupils. The back of the panel van had a dubious cleanliness mattress to sit on and the exhaust fumes that came in through the rattling back doors was quite something. When the cars were used as many kids as possible piled in on top of one another. When the GMC bus was just about had it, on the Toll Bar Hill we children were let out and gave the bus a push over the last bit of the hill but had to jump aboard while the bus was still slowly moving.


I remember Mr. Howard removing one boy from the bus just west of the Toll Bar hill because of bad behaviour, but this boy just went around the back of the bus and rode to Old Warrah on a sort of rack that was on the back of the bus. Another boy whose parents worked on Millers Creek Station was removed at Big Jacks Creek turn off and while the bus went up and down the creek I imagine this boy should have waited for the bus to pick him up but no, this boy set off across country to Millers Creek Station.Mr Howard looked up and down the roads for quite a while but gave up. This boy made it across country and was on the bus again the next day.


Then came along a silver and green pug nose bus with floor boards with gaps and on wet days water would splash up through the floor boards.


Except for the big floods of the early 50’s we always got to school. During one flood event we arrived at Willow Tree to find the Catholic Church had floated on to the Highway and the flood water had gone through the school building. The Headmaster, Mr. Jack Kelly, got Mr. Howard to turn the bus around to our delight and we were sent home for a couple of days. As compensation each pupil at Willow Tree School received from the Dept of Education a Reeves paint box and brushes set which I treasured.


I left Primary School at the end of 1956.

Photo of kids hanging out of Howards bus in front of Binghams store.
David Munns Warrah Creek school bus. 1958 morris.

Patrick Herley 21.11.2021 04:28

I remember the excitement of Rafie getting the "cab-over" bus and used to ride up front with him. We had a property, Werribon, just down the road (name??) from

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