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Year: 2017

Kenneth Charles Lightfoot was born in 1927 at Glen Innes, New South Wales. His father had a contract farming and carrying business and Ken followed in his footsteps. The 'fleet' consisted of Clydesdales. It was Ken's job, before and after school, to feed and tack the horses. His father's first truck was an A model ford, then a 1934 Bedford and a Fargo. The trucks worked alongside the horses for years. Ken learnt to drive at a very young age. When Ken was 13 the Army commissioned the trucks during the War and he delivered ammunition and supplies to the army camp. Post war Ken worked for several contractors hauling everything imaginable and trucking out produce and stock. Ken married Una McIntyre and for several years she drove two up on one of the runs. It covered 4,000 miles in a week and shifted freight from Glen Innes to Brisbane, back out to Dirranbandi and everywhere in between. Ken's first truck was a Commer and most of his work was carting stock and other farm produce. Next came a 1948 Ford and as well as farm and general cartage, he did a regular cream run from dairy farms. Ken then bought a new 1960 International AA160 and serviced a large area from his Glen Innes base. He needed a larger truck so he bought a second hand International AS180. This truck was not up to the demands of the work Ken did so it was sold and he went to work for Bradley's Transport. Having built a solid reputation, Ken was asked for by clients to cart their stock. Bradley's carted superphosphate to airstrips, some remote. One of these airstrips was located only 45kms from Deepwater but it took five hours to drive in. The narrow track had multiple hairpin bends requiring three point turns to get around. Getting out empty was even harder. The tipper was lined with tree bark and cattle would be run into it to create ballast making it easier to get the truck up the range. Ken then took up coach driving and did a regular school bus run as well as charter work. He then moved to Gunnedah and resumed coach work there earning the nickname 'Strop'. He now lives at Alkira Aged Care Facility, Gunnedah.

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