Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Hilton Charles Cox was born in 1929 in Nowra, on the NSW South Coast. The Cox family had been carting milk and cream in the region for almost 60 years and Hilton, along with his brother, Jack, became second generation carriers. Their father William began the family business after WW1. Hilton began driving for him at the age of 12 and was granted a 'special' licence at the age of 16 so he could legally drive. Hilton's workload included collecting 128lb, 10 gallon milk cans from dairy farms in Kangaroo Valley area and delivering them to the Nowra Dairy Factory, twice daily. He back-loaded empty cans, often collecting meat, bread, groceries and mail for the outlying farms. Between the morning and afternoon runs, Hilton would often do an extra run delivering loads of lime from Marulan, petrol from Matraville and Port Kembla and hay, wheat and rye grass seed from the rail siding at Moss Vale back to the KangarooValley farmers.
Hilton's father had initially started the business with a 1925 chain driven, solid-tyred Albion. A generation later Hilton began his trucking career in a 1951 seven ton R7 Commer. Other early trucks he drove included a 1938 Maple Leaf, 1941 OL Bedford and many other Bedfords including a 1961 KGL, 1963 KGL and 1965 KGL. Manuals from all the family trucks have been kept in mint condition together with a photo album devoted to the history of the trucks.
By 1968 Hilton's job in the family business was no longer. Milk tankers had been introduced making the milk carriers redundant. At this point, Hilton and his wife Peg, with children Jenny and David, moved to Bomaderry. Here Hilton began sub-contracting to Nowra General Agents, carrying groceries and alcohol from Bomaderry Railway Terminal to Milton and Ulladulla townships.
In 1972, Hilton again found himself carrying milk. As an employee of the Nowra Dairy Co-operative he initially delivered processed milk in refrigerated trailers with 1418 Mercedes Benz prime movers, to distribution depots on the south coast including Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Moruya. Later he drove a 1424 Mercedes Benz towing 2,600 gallon milk tankers, often returning to the farms he regularly visited in his early days. Hilton retired in 1991 at the age of 62.
Hilton recalls he enjoyed his job, the friendships, and driving through the beautiful and sometimes foggy Kangaroo Valley. The road over Cambewarra Mountain, separating Kangaroo Valley from Nowra, was much travelled and he knew it like the back of his hand. He had names for the different landmarks on the mountain, such as the Iron Gate, the Crusher and the Red Bend. It is estimated that Hilton has driven over Cambewarra Mountain nearly 60,000 times. Hilton Cox's life story was featured in The Land in a story titled Recalling the Valley's Milk Can Days and on an ABC's school program The Story of Milk in 1990. Hilton Cox passed away on 21 July 2011 a much respected and loved member of Australia's trucking community.