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Bernard John BANHAM

Male 1903 - 1988  (85 years)

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  • Name Bernard John BANHAM 
    Born 08 Jul 1903  Prospect, Goolagong Road, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Photos? Grave (DSC_1023) 
    Died 01 Aug 1988  Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Buried Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • The following is an extract from an article written in 1988 by William George Banham, family historian:

      William and Frances raised a family of ten children, some remaining their entire lives in the Eugowra district. Schooling was always a problem for pioneering parents during the early years with the inevitable consequence that the older children of the family had to ride many miles for what limited education they were able to obtain. This problem was eventually overcome when 'Prospect ' was purchased. Trajere School was operating and it was situated along the Eugowra-Payten's Bridge Road. The Convent School was also available in the township of Eugowra itself . Later a more convenient school for them, travel wise, was opened at Meadowbank and younger members of the family attended it.
      Issue of this marriage was as follows:- Frank. Jack, William, Evelyn, Frances, Willina, Bernard, Thomas, Edward and Marie.

      He attended school at Meadowbank.

      In 1926, at the age of twenty three Bernard married Irene Ryan, her parents owned a property in the Nyrang Creek area, This young couple built their first, and last, home on the northern corner of Pye and Noble Streets, Eugowra. This home is now occupied by Mr. Bill Weekes. Bernard and Irene remained in this home for their entire married life.
      Operating from the backyard of his home Bernard joined with his younger brother, ,Tom, in conducting a general carrying business. They began this enterprise with light four wheeled lorries drawn by horses. They, along with Mr. Mac Croucher were the main, if not the only, general carriers in the township at that time The railway yard was always a hive of activity at this period of time as it was the lifeline of supplies coming into the township. Trains were to be unloaded and the contents dispersed around the township business community, along with many deliveries to outlying farms. As an alternative local produce was transported to the railway. In most instances these were loaded directly onto a rail truck. At one period a goods train was leaving the station daily.
      The partnership between the two brothers operated for two years and during that time they progressed to motorized transport. Bernard first invested in a one ton Chevrolet with short front springs.(His description.)
      Something different .... The next motorized truck Bernard purchased was a 1928 model two ton International with a tube type spur drive in the rear wheels. (Again his description.) This vehicle had solid rubber tyres. All roads were gravel then and we all know as to how corrugated they could become at times. After a few miles over such a road in Bernard's solid tyred International would have had to have been about the greatest gut-buster of all times. His carrying business in all operated from 1926 to 1936.
      Later Bernard leased this truck to the local Council, which was then known as the Boree Shire Council,as owner-driver.,As time went by he became a permanent employee of this Council and remained there for the remainder of his
      life, he retired in 1969.
      Most of his term with the Council was spent operating the road grader. He consistently worked on roads leading to and from the Eugowra township. Because of this he would have been one of the better known personalities in the district because of him meeting so many farmers and their respective families who lived along the roads he was maintaining.
      Upon his retirement his employers presented him with a reference. This document is one all Australians would be proud to be a recipient of. It is a fitting reward for years of hard and honest Labor.
      Bernie remained in his home in Pye Street for six years after losing his wife Irene in 1976. In 1982 he shifted to the western end of the town to the corner of Cooper and Bowler streets. That is where he lives today.
      During the 1920's and 30's Bernie was a member of the Eugowra Brass Band. He played a cornet.
      There were two children of the marriage, twins. Len lives in Terry Hill, N.S.W. and Joan is in the Moss Vale area.
      From unpublished notes written by William George Banham:
      Bernard Banham attended school at Meadowbank. At age 16 he got a job on Boree Shire with a horse and dray. He saved money a bought a Chevrolet. ton truck and went into general carrying.
      The following extract is from a book titled 'Eugowra, Its History and Development' compiled by William G. (Bill) Banham as at 1988:

      Town Businesses - General Carrying:

      Just another of the many changes during the 1920's and 30's was the introduction of motor transport to the district. This was to put the final 'nail in the coffin' so far as horse=drawn vehicles were concerned. The opening of the railway in 1922 brought an immediate increase in goods and produce to and from the district. This called for quick distribution of materials, particularly around the township. There was a golden opportunity to begin a general carrying business in the community. The first three men to accept this challenge were Mr. Mac Croucher and the Banham Brothers, Bernie and Tom. At the beginning two horses in a lightweight four-wheel lorry was sufficient to cope with the work around the township. However, like most such enterprises, business began to flourish and outlying farms had to be caterered for. This enticed all three men to invest in the latest type of transport, the motor lorry.
      Mac Croucher was the first to make a move. In 1924 he purchased a one and a half ton Ford. This enticed the then largest local general storekeeper, John W. Lees, to accept the opportunity to be independent and provide transport for his own ordered goods from the railway yard to his business premises in Nanima Street. He bought the same make and model of vehicle as Mac Croucher. One employees, Gordon Douglas, was the first to be in charge of this vehicle. This also presented the opportunity to provide an out-of-town delivery service to the store's customers. Later Gordon's place was taken by Ron Sloan, later still by Gordon Southwell. The influx of goods and produce transported on the railway was responsible for the railway yards becoming the lifeline of the town and district. By the later 1920s and early 30s it was common for either a stock or goods train to leave the yard daily. Such an abundance of work permitted the local general carriers to buy bigger and more modern vehicles as they became available.

      In 1928 Mac Croucher upgraded to a three ton Dodge. By the mid 1930s he turned his attention to five ton Internationals. He sold his first 1928 Dodge to the local sawmiller, Jim Hay. He used it for many years as his main source of transportation of felled logs from the su rrounding district to his sawmill in Nanima Street.
      During the early years the occupation of general carrying was nothing but hard work. Most agricultural commodities to be transported had to be loaded manually. Manhandling bags of cereals, chaff and bales of lucerne hay tested the physical ability of most men. Many innovative inventions gradually lessened the need for such physical manpower as the years went by. Lifters of all descriptions eventually became available for the lifting of most far produce onto the motor lorries. Later still pallets, moved by a motorised vehicle, came into vogue and were used extensively in depots.

      In 1943 Bruce Croucher joined his father in the business. This brought another major change as Crouchers became the first in the district to transport stock by motor lorry. This was to have a far-reaching effect throughout the entire stock breeding and marketing fields. It enabled quick transportation of animals from farms to the railhead and saleyards. Practically all animals are moved by this method today.
      Such a method of transport severely eroded the occupation of the drover. Prior to this move local stock routes were always occupied by animals being moved from one farm to another or to and from the railhead and saleyards. In many instances they were in large numbers. This resulted in the topsoil in these routes being bare of vegetation,
      A first-class example of just one benefit gained by this method of moving stock is to be witnessed today between Eugowra and Southern Cross on the Eugowra-Forbes Road. Up until the 1950s and 60s the ground along this stock route was literally naked of fodder. Today it is covered by dense vegetation - a direct result of moving stock by motor vehicle instead of droving.
      Another partner, Les Hogan, joined the Croucher business in 1945. By 1948 the business had advanced to two semi-trailers and two tabletops. The bulk of business was coming from stock and wheat carting. In many instances wool was carted direct from the owner's shed to the Sydney storerooms of wool firms.
      This business was terminated in 1948. A glance at an advertisement in the Forbes Advocate newspaper listing the contents of an auction on behalf of Croucher's Carrying business on the 4th November 1950 depicts the amount of equipment required to operate such a business. It also denotes the importance of maintenance tools and materials, plus mechanical knowledge, to keep such a fleet of trucks on the road,
      After Crouchers terminated their business Les Hogan continued on his own up until 1952.

      Let's return to the other pioneers in this field, the Banham Brothers. Operating from a block of ground at the rear of Bernie's home on the north-west corner of Pye and Noble Streets, these brothers began with the usual horses in a lightweight four wheeled lorry. They advanced to motor vehicles in 1928 when they purchased two twenty-seven hundredweight Chevrolets. Bernie didn't have his for long before trading it in on a 1928 model two-ton International with a tube type spur drive in the rear wheels (his description). This vehicle had solid rubber tyres. The condition of roads that these early carriers had to use was shocking and punctures were a common occurrence. The solid rubber tyres were to offset this problem. The roads that had been formed at that time were constructed of layers of gravel (macadamised). Most people would have experienced the corrugations that occur on a gravel road that is not regularly graded. Over such roads Bernie's solid tyred International must have been the greatest 'gut-buster' of all time!
      This partnership dissolved in 1932. Bernie leased his International as owner-driver to the Boree Shire Council. As time went by the Council bought the vehicle and Bernie was permanently employed by them as a grader driver.
      In 1933 Tom traded in his Chevrolet on a 1932 five ton International when he tendered for and won a sanitary contract at Canowindra. He remained there for a number of years before moving to Parkes.

      After returning from the 1914-18 War Arthur Chatman worked on the Eugowra-Trajere section of the EugowraCanowindra rail line as a fettler after it opened in 1922. He then purchased a four wheeled lorry and two horses and did general carrying work around the town. He then advanced to a three-ton Chevrolet motor lorry and carried on the business until 1946. He then moved his family to Punchbowl, where he spent the remainder of his life.

      Another who began general carrying in the mid 1930s was H.C. (Rusty) Douglas. He continued for many years.

      William Sloan was another. He combined his business with a wood yard.

      Aubrey Price conducted a Caltex fuel depot in conjunction with his carrying business. He began with a one and a half ton vehicle. Later he bought a KB4 International in 1962. When Aub Price died his son John conducted the business.

      In 1952 Roy Herbert began with a five ton Ford. The bulk of his work was in the transportation of stock. Whilst most of these trips were to surrounding country sale yards it was not uncommon to make long distance trips to all parts of the state. Trips to Sydney were a common occurrence. Over a period of time he purchased five-ton international and Dodge trucks. In 1971 he handed over his business to his son, Terry.

      Both Hedley Pollock and Tommy Starr conducted individual stock carrying businesses. Ron Moore was a driver for the latter. Eventually Wally Townsend bought Tommy Starr's truck and combined stock transport with general carrying. As time went by he partnered Max Weekes in a sand and gravel business.

      Last but by no means least is the interstate and inter city transport business conducted by Maurice McClintock for many years. This business concluded in 1984.

      Beginning with Crouchers, many of these early motor lorry owners transported groups of young people belonging to sporting bodies. A few stools on the back, sometimes with a canvas cover, sometimes without; many Eugowra residents will recall many pleasant experiences they had going to the swimming holes in the Lachlan River, Wyangala Dam and sporting venues to surrounding towns. Many a story can be told about some of these trips. They were fun.

      However, the general carriers did have opposition. Opposition which was to severely retard their business. From the early years many farmers began by taking a leaf out of John W. Lees book. They started by buying small utility trucks for general use in transporting commodities on their own properties. Many advanced to acquiring their own motor lorry and doing all of their own work.

      Whilst the early motor vehicle solved the problem of quick transport to and from the railway yards, they were to be responsible for closing these same yards. With the advent of the semi-trailer these trucks became larger and larger. Mechanical technology has advanced them to what they are today. With all types of bodies to carry all types of materials, they went further than closing the railway yard, they have taken over from the train altogether in most instances.
      Many, many train lines now he rusting throughout state. The semi-trailer has taken over their cargo.
      This story is a subject within itself. It is a story which many are not happy about. One could be justified in asking the question, is this advancement, or not?
    Person ID I2442  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father William John BANHAM,   b. 20 Jul 1863, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Apr 1920, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 56 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Frances Alice BOYD,   b. 21 Apr 1864, Liscombes Pools, Carcoar, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Jul 1945, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Relationship Natural 
    Married 16 Dec 1886  Residence of District Registrar, Forbes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F1235  Group Sheet

    Family Irene Mary RYAN,   b. 03 Mar 1901, Cowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Feb 1976, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 16 Oct 1926  St Edward's Roman Catholic Church, Canowindra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
     1. Leonard Joseph BANHAM
     2. Joan Mary BANHAM
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F1242  Group Sheet

  • Headstones

  • Sources 
    1. [S236] Pan WILCOX.

    2. [S109] From Grave.

    3. [S116] Geoffrey BANHAM.

    4. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      Canowindra, NSW, 1926-18228