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Hilton Thomas BANHAM

Male 1905 - 1971  (66 years)

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  • Name Hilton Thomas BANHAM  [1
    Born 25 Jun 1905  Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Male 
    Photos? Grave (DCP02648), Grave (DSCG1326) 
    Residence 1930  Eugowra, Calare, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Residence 1949  Parkes, Calare, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Died 23 Aug 1971  Parkes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Buried Parkes Cemetery, Parkes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
      Tom was born the 8th of 10 children at Forbes (although the family was living at Eugowra) on 26th June, 1905. He attended Wauganvale and Meadow Bank schools on the outskirts of Eugowra until he left at 11 years of age to assist his father with farm work and carrying goods with bullock and horse teams.
      It was at this time that young Tom took to smoking cigarettes, a habit that was to last a lifetime though in later years saw him with a collection of treasured pipes.
      Although Frances spoke affectionately of Tom as her 'wild colonial boy ' his pranks were often a trial to the family. His mother often recalled the story of his setting ablaze the neighbour's haystack - very precious - then taking to a treetop where he sat it out to escape his father's anger and the whip !
      When Tom was 14 years of age his father was killed in a tragic accident and with his elder brothers Tom continued the carrying business. In the mid 1920's he purchased his first truck, a proud moment.
      During this time Tom had become the friend of the Gosper boys who were neighbors and whose sister he was later to marry on 19th September, 1928. He and Clare lived at Eugowra until after the birth of their first child then moved to Canowindra where they built a home at No. 186 Caskill Street. A second daughter was born.
      The years of the great depression followed and with few opportunities for employment Tom and Clare moved in 1937 to Parkes where Tom joined the Shire Council from which he retired as Plant Operator in 1970.
      Tom and Clare's only son was born in 1938 - the joy interrupted as shortly afterwards the family lost all possessions in a house fire during an extremely hot summer. They later settled at No. 8 Bollinger Street. It may have been the loss of his own home that encouraged Tom to become an encaustic member of the local Fire Brigade where he was rewarded for his outstanding Service of more than 25 years.
      Tom enjoyed music, dancing, company, his vegetable garden and lawn bowls. Less than 2 years after his retirement he died prematurely on 23 August, 1971, aged 66 years and was buried in Parkes.
      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 Hilton, Edward and Marie.

      He was better known as 'Bundy '. He married Clara Gosper and they built their first home in Pye Street, on the western side, and next door, to his brother Bernie. This home is presently occupied by a Mr. David Cass.
      After terminating his previously mentioned partnership in the carrying business with his brother he got the sanitary removal contract at Canowindra and remained there for a number of years.
      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?
      Around the late 1930's he moved to Parkes and became involved in general carrying there. He also became involved with the N.S.W. Railways at Parkes, and at a later date with the Parkes Council.
      At both Canowindra and Parkes Tom was a keen enthusiast of the relevant fire brigades.
      There were three children of the marriage. Ruth (Mrs. Ingram) lives in the Parkes district, Wilma (Mrs. Willis) is at Nowra, N.S.W and Ralph is at Parkes. Tom died in 1971 and was buried in the Parkes Cemetery.
      Clara has remained at Parkes and lives only a short distance from her son Ralph in east Parkes.

      Extract from Parkes ,NSW newspaper of 7 September 1953"
      A SILVER WEDDING ANNIVERSARY - I did hear that there had been a surprise party given to Mr & Mrs Tom Banham on Saturday night. The party was arranged by the family of Mr & Mrs Norm Colless, amongst the Banham's oldest friends in Parkes, to celebrate the 25th Silver Anniversary of Mr & Mrs Banham. Also, just by the way, Saturday happened to be Mrs Banham's birthday!
      There was a house full at the Banham home at 33 Mitchell Street, Parkes including Mr & Mrs Ingram (Ruth Banham) with their little son Christopher, Wilma Banham and her fiance, John Willis, both holidaying from Broken Hill, and a school-teacher friend of Wilma's, also from Broken Hill, John Murphy, and Ralph Banham - and they all had a hand in the party, though it was a complete surprise to Mr & Mrs Banham.
      The party was held at the home of Mr & Mrs Colless in High Street, Parkes and about forty guests arrived, members of the family and old friends in Parkes. Such a lovely surprise for the honored couple!. There was a lovely spray of deep ping camellias for Mrs Banham, and all sorts of silver gifts to commemorate this happy occasion.
      The evening was spend in music and dancing, all very happy and informal, and a wonderful buffet supper with a wedding cake, beautifully iced and decorated by Hazel Ashcroft.
      Mr Bill Jarret - the Banham's very oldest friend- made the presentation of the gifts, and offered good wishes and congratulations from all their friends and family. Mr Clive Tanswell supported him, and Mr Banham responded, expressing their thanks and delight in the party. I believe they made Mrs Banham say a few words also! which she did happily.

      MR TOM BANHAM - A retired Shire Council employee, Mr Hilton Thomas Banham, died at the District Hospital, late yesterday afternoon, at the age of 66 years.
      Deceased was a resident of Mitchell Street, and is survived by his wife, Clara, and a family of two daughters and one son, namely Ruth (Mrs. B. Ingram, Parkes), Wilma (Nowra) and Ralph (Parkes).
      Following a service at the Church of the Holy Family at 11am tomorrow morning, interment will be in the Catholic portion of the Parkes cemetery.
      "Sleep on beloved, sleep and take thy rest,
      Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour's breast,
      We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
      Good night, good night, good night"
    Person ID I2443  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  [4
    Family ID F1235  Group Sheet

    Family Clare Emiline GOSPER,   b. 05 Sep 1904, Coates Creek near Manildra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 02 Sep 1989, Parkes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 19 Sep 1928  Presbyterian Church, Eugowra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. Edna Ruth BANHAM
     2. Wilma Clare BANHAM
     3. Ralph BANHAM
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F1243  Group Sheet

  • Headstones

  • Sources 
    1. .

    2. [S236] Pan WILCOX.

    3. [S109] From Grave.

    4. [S116] Geoffrey BANHAM.