An interesting letter from Bruce Robinson who contacted the club re New England Motor Company’s connection with Ansett Pioneer and Ansett Airlines.
My name is Bruce Robinson. I was brought up in the passenger transport business (my grandfather started in motorized passenger transport in 1909 and the family business (New England Motor Company of Lismore NSW) was sold in 1970. I still drive buses/coaches, but am currently “winding down”.
Alongside the buses and coaches in Lismore, we had a large travel agency and were the major Northern Rivers agents for Pioneer. One of our extra duties as agents for Pioneer was, if a Pioneer coach broke down in our district, we had to pick up and ferry their passengers AND cover the Pioneer coach with tarps (our coaches had roof racks with tarps), and then return to the breakdown at night and tow it back to our workshops.
New England Motor Co ran the first regularly – scheduled inter-capital coach service from Brisbane to Sydney, commencing in 1930 (a 3 day trip if things went well)
We had a close attachment to Ansett Airlines/Ansett ANA and Ansett AOA as well as Pioneer. My grandfather started in motorized passenger transportation in 1909 (New England Motor Company), branched out with an airline (New England Airways flying Sydney – Lismore – Brisbane and later to Townsville) in 1930, changed the name to Airlines of Australia in 1936, imported 4 Stinson airliners and then Australia’s very first Douglas DC-3. Airlines of Australia merged with the second Australian National Airways in 1942, but the family kept the operating name of Airlines of Australia until 1960 when my father offered it to Reg Ansett for the sum of 5,000 pounds. The offer was accepted and hence the change of names from Ansett ANA to Ansett Airlines of Australia.
Bruce has kindly sent the club an USB stick containing a couple of hundred photos of the family’s service cars, charabancs, buses and coaches dating from 1909 to 1970 when the business was finally sold.
Many Thanks to Bruce for allowing us to have a copy of these photos which is a wonderful collection of early road and air passenger transport
Not exactly Flxibles, but very interesting viewing.
For further information and history click on the link below:
Please take a look at a selection of the photos and memorabilia sent by Bruce.