ALAN HODSON, known as Sparrow, was born in Banksia, NSW in 1936. He started work as a mechanic but his love of the outback pulled him to the Northern Territory. He arrived in Darwin in 1958 and found work with several transport companies including doing long-distance from Sydney to Darwin carting general freight. Sparrow then got a job with Australian Blue Metal (ABM) driving Foden trucks. He did mostly local work as he had custody of his eight month old daughter, Anna Marie, whom he cared for full time. Sparrow took Marie on many trips with him throughout Australia and she became the much loved surrogate daughter of many truckies.
Sparrow later drove an NM Army Mack with Darwin Ready Mixed Concrete which was bought out by ABM. He also worked for Fleet Owners which was part of Coordinated Road Rail Service - Co-Ord driving the No#7 eight wheeled Foden called ‘Shiralee’. The name was transferred to the Foden he drove at North Australian Haulage (NAH). One contract was carting the pipeline from Darwin River Dam to Coolalinga.
Sparrow also drove the bush run for Outback Transport including to Wave Hill Station, in an iconic semi called ‘Colour Me Gone’. In the 1970’s Sparrow pulled doubles in a Kenworth for Jerry Letch doing the Sydney to Darwin run. Sparrow was well known by many but his life with Ross family at NAH was engraved many happy memories in his heart. Sparrow, was a bit of a hooligan and loved to play pranks. The crane on ‘Shiralee’ was once used to put a scraper tire on top of a 15 foot ant hill, south of Adelaide River. For years the ant hill was a tourist attraction. The mystery of how the tyre got there was the truckies secret. Sparrow had a pet croc called Fred.
In retirement Sparrow was employed by Gulf Transport working in the yard then progressing into the car museum where he undertook the care taking of Jim Coopers collection of Ford vehicles and memorabilia located in Winnellie. Sparrow worked with Gulf until his passing in 2011. Sparrow’s passion for trucks has been passed onto his son who drove triples for Hamptons. The family re-live the ‘good old days’ making a mile and changing gears at the 87 mile jump up.
Sparrow is succeeded by his daughter Anna Marie Hodsdon and son Shaun Cullen Hodsdon. Sparrow is listed in the ‘Heavy Vehicle Parking Bays in the Northern Territory’ Register 360 km south of Katherine and 315 km north of Tennant Ck along the Stuart Highway.