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[BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

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[BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Volvo B12BLEA » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:35 pm

In Brisbane's Fortitude Valley is the location of an old Coach Terminus.
I beleive Kirklands & possibly Skennars before them used to be there.
I am interested in some history of this location, like when it was built, who the New England Motor Company was etc.

All information will be greatly appreciated.

Hope you enjoy viewing and feedback most welcome.

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Any posts are my views or opinions and are NOT on behalf of any Organisation.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:53 pm

I can't believe that sign is still there - is it a reproduction or repaint by any chance? NEM Co was one of the larger old time country operators and I think it's main base was in Lismore. One of the Company's buses is sitting derelict in a yard at Inverell to this day. The Coy sold out to Kirklands about 1973. NEM Co had a wonderful network and a fascinating collection of buses.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Volvo B12BLEA » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:59 pm

It has received a coat of paint, not sure if it is the original or a reproduction.
I am after as much history I can get on this site and the Operators who used it.
Any posts are my views or opinions and are NOT on behalf of any Organisation.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Red and Cream » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:52 pm

MAN 18.310, you may be interested in this photo i took of New Englands MO 3966 AEC outside their depot in Gotha Street ( what a wonderful vintage name that is.) Brisbane ,on the 14th April 1960. I have chosen to display the photo in sepia tone to give it a bit more of a vintage look.
The sign looks like it is still the original.
Last edited by Red and Cream on Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby captainch » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:05 am

there coaches were allways in a prime condition, as a young "moterman,In the 60s the traway meal room was opposite that depot, which became skenners, the place name was called petrie bight, there was a tramways lost property office under ground in the small park opposite near the RACQ head office, dont know f any of this is still there???????????? I left in 1970. new england coaches used to use watt bros at logan road woolongabba, for there body builders, IM NOT SURE they still might be there, they used to carry full loads and I REMEMBER THE SUIT CASES being carryed in roof racks!
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby system improver » Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:36 am

And the bus in the 1960 photo? Has a strong 30s-40s USA GM look about it.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:29 am

Body has similarities to Star Bros but I suspect was built in NEM Co's own workshops
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Red and Cream » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:53 am

Dave Wilson wrote:Body has similarities to Star Bros but I suspect was built in NEM Co's own workshops


Yes it was a own body by New England with definite overtones of Starr Bros. as Dave states.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Volvo B12BLEA » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:15 pm

Red & Cream, thankyou for the old photo. Going by your pic and the one I took last week, the only difference to the front of the building is all the glass across the driveway to the building.
If anybody can add more history please do or you can email me. Thankyou in advance.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby flopsy » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:39 pm

My late father, Allan McNaughton was a longtime employee of NEMCo from the late 1930's until the takeover of the company by Kirklands which I recall happened in January 1970. He continued to work for Kirklands for a couple of years following the takeover. For many years he worked as a driver on the Lismore to Brisbane run initially driving the company built buses which were generally Whites then later AECs. Following his retirement from driving, he worked in the company's head office in Lismore. After the Kirklands takeover, the building in Gotha Street continued to be used as their Brisbane terminal I believe up until the time that the Brisbane Transit Centre opened and they together with their neighbours from around the corner in Barry Parade, Skennars Coach Lines, also moved. It was only this month that Kirklands ceased to operate the Lismore to Brisbane service having sold out that part of their operation to Premier.

I recall that during the 1960's that NEMCo used to operate three return services daily on the Lismore - Brisbane Service weekdays with two on weekends supplemented with an additional weekday service that operated from Murwillumbah to Brisbane and return. As well they operated numerous local services radiating from Lismore to Casino, Kyogle, Tenterfield, Grafton, Yamba, Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads and Murwillumbah. Most of these continue to operate under the Kirklands banner today with the inclusion of their services to Ballina, Lennox Head, Evans Head and other intermediate towns. NEMCo had their head office in Lismore with branches in Casino, Murwillumbah and Brisbane. Additionally they had their own workshop and garage situated at South Lismore. The company was started by the Robinson family of Lismore (GA Robinson I believe) and at the time of the sale to Kirklands was still in family hands with Keith and Cliff Robinson in charge.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:44 pm

A wonderful operation - I would love to see a book produced about the Company. Thanks Flopsy for that information.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Volvo B12BLEA » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:05 pm

Flopsy, Thankyou very much for the information. I too would like to see a book published about the History of this Operator.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Simes » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:23 pm

flopsy,

Did NEMCo run trailer buses around Yamba and Grafton? I ask this because a great Uncle of mine used to drive one of these either before or after his stint as a loco driver on the Clarence River breakwater project (they ran small rail lines out the wall, the trains would carry loads of rock and concrete blocks to dump off the side)
http://19302413.blogspot.com/

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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Industry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:46 am

Has anyone else got any photos they can post of this interesting company
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby scuba » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:12 am

The coach outside the Brisbane office is either fleet no: 10 or 11. These units were built on AEC Regal Chassis by New England Motor Company in their Garage in South Lismore as were most of the company's vehicles from the late 1940's through to the mid 1950's. These two vehicles were unique in that they were thought to be the first two coaches in Australia to have underfloor bins and no rear boot, which is why this one appears higher than most other buses from that era. As is visible in the photo, the paintwork looks a little faded and the vehicle is fitted with a driver's door. It is painted in the "brown, green and cream' livery the company employed throughout the late '40's and '50's. A photo I found on a NSW state Library Website, which had been taken in 1961 shows this bus, or it's twin repainted in the "all green" livery (the compant's last), with sloping trims over the windows (to make them look more modern!), and the driver's door having been sealed up. New England built their own bodies from the late '40's through to the mid '50's. Their first post WW2 fleet (the company was founded in 1907) were built by Starr Brothers in Sydney and from the late '50's were manufactured by Athol Hedges of Northgate (Brisbane). New England never had Watt Brothers vehicles in it's fleet. Like Flopsy, I am also a son of Allan McNaughton. I spoke to my father about writing a history of the bus company and of the airline (New England Aiways, later Airlines of Australia) which was also owned by the company in the 1930's, shortly before his death in 2005, however, the project was shelved after he died. This renewed interest in the company has given me the impetus to revisit the project, as, I feel, this important "missing link" in Australia's road and air transport industries should be documented while there are still some of those around who can provide photos, anecdotes, etc. I would be pleased to hear from any any surviving ex-staff members or their descendants who wish to contact me.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby scuba » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:27 am

In answer to your enquiry Simes, New England did have a trailer bus in the late '40's which my father drove from time to time.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:33 am

Scuba, were NEM Co Nos 10 and 11 taken over by Kirklands and do you know their subsequent fate? I know of an NEM Co bus in a junk yard in Inverell ( a White I think) do any others exist?
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Red and Cream » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:43 am

New England
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby scuba » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:45 am

No: 10 was destroyed by fire in the company's South Lismore Garage in early 1969, 11 was absorbed into the Kirklands fleet in 1970 and was de-commissioned a few years later. A number of the wooden framed NEMCo and Starr Bros buses were sold by Kirklands to The Lismore City Council where they were converted into work trailers. At the time of Kirklands being sold in the late '80's, there were I believe only two 1962 model Athol Hedges bodied AEC Reliances (coaches) and possibly one 1965 Hedges bodied Ford School Bus left from the New England fleet as at the time of Kirklands takeover. I can provide a list of the vehicles in the fleet at the time of the company's purchase by Kirklands if you want it.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:02 pm

Thanks Scuba - a list at takeover would be excellent. It might be appreciated by the Fleetlists compilers as well. Do you have the Kirklands fleet numbers for the NEM Co buses that were still around in the 80's?
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Simes » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:19 pm

I know there's a photo of one of the trailer buses my great uncle drove, thing is, I'm not sure if it's here in Sydney or still in Yamba, I hope to dig it up and scan it (or if in Yamba get my uncle to scan it). I guess it will be confirmed whose it was when I post the pic.
Thanks for the replies to my tangential query
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby White Super Power » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:34 pm

Industry wrote:Has anyone else got any photos they can post of this interesting company


MO 7390 White NEMCo Kyogle
http://www.busaustralia.com/gallery/dis ... ?pos=-4407

MO 347 AEC Ranger Hedges South Grafton
http://www.busaustralia.com/gallery/dis ... ?pos=-4416
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby Dave Wilson » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:45 pm

If only that White was still in that shed.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby White Super Power » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:30 am

Red and Cream wrote:MAN 18.310, you may be interested in this photo i took of New Englands MO 3966 AEC outside their depot in Gotha Street ( what a wonderful vintage name that is.) Brisbane ,on the 14th April 1960.


The bus in the photo MO 3966 was No 11. The photo shows it with it’s original bodywork, however it was rebodied by Nemco and re registered MO 4281.
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Re: [BNE] New England Motor Company...History Needed

Postby bruce r » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:16 pm

New England Motor Company of Lismore NSW was originally established in 1909 as "Robinson Bros Fast Motor Service" and operated between Jerseyville and Kempsey in the Macleay Valley of NSW. Brothers George and Bill were the operators. Their first motor vehicle was a twin-cylinder Talbot of 1909 vintage. This was soon replaced by a 4 cyl Clement-Bayard. Things sort of expanded after that and by the early 1920's, they had a fleet of Cadillac service cars operating.
One thing led to another and, with George in sole ownership, headquarters were changed to Casino and then to Lismore. The name New England Motor Company came about with the commencement of services between Tenterfield and Ballina via Lismore. New England Airways was established in January 1931 with George R.and Keith Virtue as partners. This was re-structured (with outside finance) as Airlines of Australia and, amongst other "firsts'" George acquired Australia's first Douglas DC3. A.O.A. merged with A.N.A. in 1942. N.E.M.Co went on to provide stirling service to Northern NSW and SE Qld (operating a fleet of Whites,AEC's and, later, Ford Thames (Sputniks) and Ford R226 vehicles.

I am the only third-generation Robinson who actually worked for N.E.M.Co and have full details plus many wonderful photographs of both motor vehicles and aircraft.

Incidentally, AEC's Nos 10 & 11 were never painted in the traditional green and brown, but were the first vehicles in the new (bland, in my opinion) 2 tone green
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