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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

pressure on the Transport Regulation Board from bus and coach operators, who pointed out the inferior safety of vans, with their bench seating and wood-framed, open-backed bodies. Most operators let their licences lapse, and today there are only two left, both held by Norm White of Footscray.

In 1946 the Club first used the services of J. Gronow, a furniture-removal firm based in St Kilda. At this time there were limited Sunday train services, and few people had cars. Vans were ideal for bushwalkers, as their spartan accommodation was resistant to muddy boots, wet passengers and heavy rucksacks. Most vans had no windows, and the back was only half closed by a tailboard - a tarpaulin kept out the rain but not the dust.

The van, which was then being used by the Club, at Anglesea.
The van, which was then being used by the Club, at Anglesea. At the
time it was the largest furniture van in Victoria. 1956.
Denis Barson

In 1952 a young man called Denis Barson started his first job as a driver with Gronow's. He soon began driving for picnics and excursions, including Melbourne Bushwalkers' trips. This led to an association that still continues today - Denis drove for Club trips for a total of 37 years, and remains a life member.

Gronow's vans were used for weekend walks as well as day walks, and d uring the sixties and seventies there would sometimes be two vans in use at the same time, one for the weekend walk and one for the day. If the programmed trips were suitable, one van could be used for both: returning to Melbourne after dropping off the weekend walkers on Friday, taking out the day walkers on Sunday morning, then picking up both groups for the return journey on Sunday evening.