On the Road 4...

Road scenes and trucks of the 50’s and 60’s

By Peter Morrow. Images from the Peter Morrow Collection

 
Sealing the realigned Princes Highway at Cemetery Corner, east of Pakenham in Victoria’s Gippsland region in November 1955.This was a period of rapid road construction and a common sight as roads were sealed or pushed through, mostly by the Victorian Government’s Country Roads Board. 
What a mighty outfit. Their presence was everywhere, tackling mountains, river crossings and overpasses while training engineers, plant operators, surveyors, planners and a host of other trades and professions. We won’t see their like again, unfortunately. When travelling as a child with my parents in our caravan at this time, they offered a sort of security or help if needed. They were everywhere and helped thousands of people in trouble.
 
A familiar sight was the flagman directing traffic with no special outfit. An ‘O’ type Bedford owned by King and Wilson, furniture removalist’s of Melbourne with a load destined for some family and hoping the Bedford gets to their home before Christmas.
 
 
A sticky patch! This is Koop Rd somewhere around Kerang in Northern Victoria in 1956. These two driver’s appear to be in some deep philosophical discussion – Is the earth flat? Which one of us is on the wrong side of the road? And is the Sun really the centre of the Solar System or just a light on high beam? Actually, the debate could be the driver of the ‘A’ model Bedford trying to work out how many Violet Crumble bars would be required to tow the early fifties Chevrolet out of the mire. I think the deal was 10 Violet Crumbles and 5 White Knights!!
 
'SS Bedford' ploughing through some rough weather on the Calder Highway just north of Charlton in Central Victoria in 1960. This is a late fifties ‘C’ Model Bedford, a follow on from the ‘S’ Model, probably powered by the very successful 300 cubic inch petrol engine. These were very popular and a well engineered big truck for the price range. This is a bitumen road here that has just flooded and the Bedford makes short work of it.
Having high ground clearance was an advantage. A decent load on board and ably handled.
Diesel engines were available for Bedford and Leyland in the UK, but not sure if they were offered here.
 
 
An ‘S’ or ‘C’ model Bedford making a right hand turn into Victoria Street, Richmond in 1961 in heavy traffic. 
 
I can remember these loads and I am pretty sure it is imported bulk compressed paper which I recall was destined for the Bowater Scott factory for tissue paper manufacture. Facing the camera is a late 1930’s heavy duty ‘D’ Model International with a full load of palletized beer from the Carlton & United Brewery in Abbotsford.
 
This intersection has changed a great deal since then, but traffic jams stay the same.

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