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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)

By the mid-seventies the Club would occasionally use a real bus for weekend or longer trips involving extended travel distances, such as to Wyperfeld, relying on a full passenger load to offset the extra cost. By this time weekend trips using private car transport were well established. Hired mini-buses were another form of transport used, but someone had to drive them. In 1977-78 the Club's project to walk the Victorian section of the Alpine Track in eight stages was made possible only by using mini-buses driven by volunteer Club members who did not actually go on the walk.

In February 1979 the Gronow family sold the business to another furniture-removal firm. The new owner had no desire to continue with the passenger business, and relinquished the licences. There had been no prior warning of the sale, and the Club had to organise alternative transport at short notice. Another operator was engaged from the few still holding passenger licences. His van was older than the ones we had been used to from Gronow's, and in May 1979 suffered a total brake failure on the Maroondah Highway at Croydon, with a full load of passengers on the way to a day walk. Luckily no one was hurt, but this operator was not used again. Buses were used for some day walks, but were expensive and did not give as good a service. Problems were encountered with bus drivers who had no experience of bushwalkers' requirements, such as waiting for the last of the party to arrive before returning to Melbourne. Drivers who smoked were a source of concern.

Wet walkers in a van.
Wet walkers in a van. Left to right: Robin Mitchell, Margaret Thompson, unknown, Marion Siseman (nee Houston), Darrell Sullivan, Sue Mitchell, circa 1963.
Bob Steel