HUTCHINSON, Wilfred

Wilfred Hutchinson The Bus Fleet

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

Wilfred Gerald Hutchinson was born at Middle Park, Victoria on 10th August, 1902.  After leaving school he worked for the PMG for some years.  Having a love of motor vehicles, he realised his long-term future did not lie with the PMG and obtained employment driving a bus in Mitcham.

He then purchased his own bus, a T Model Ford Truck No. 51171 fitted with seats. This vehicle ran between Spencer St. and Reservoir, via Bourke Street, and also South Melbourne.

Following this he applied for a Stage Carriage Licence to transport passengers from Linacre Road, Hampton to Hampton Railway Station and shops. He then purchased a second T Model Ford truck fitted with a bus body. The fare was two pence for adults and one penny for children. In 1925 he married Vera and bought a house in Hampton and the bus depot was built in the backyard.  After the acquisition of a larger bus he provided a service from Hampton Railway Station to Highett Station on a half-hourly basis. In the early 1930s Wilfred did charter trips to the snow and also the transported the Sandringham Football Club to various matches. As there were very few cars at this time, his private car was used often to convey expectant mothers to hospital and also as a bridal car; usually for no payment.

As more houses were built and the population increased, more buses were subsequently purchased and more drivers employed and a 15 minute service maintained. This became known as The Hampton Green Bus Lines, building up to a fleet of seven buses. Over the years the makes of vehicles varied from T Model Ford trucks, Chev, Garford and Fargo to Ansairs (rear engine converted to diesels) Seddons and Bedfords. Most of the Fargos had James Flood bodies. During WW2, with strict petrol rationing, Bill had to resort to running his 1937 Fargo on kerosene all day every day for up to 18 hours at a time. Both Bill and the Fargo survived.

In 1968 Wilfred sold the bus service and, with his wife, Vera moved to Qld to retire to a warmer climate. Wilfred Hutchinson was known as a kindly and generous man who helped many “a-lame-dog over a stile.” He passed away in 1973.