Over time, I have carried a fair number of posts dealing with New England Airways.
In those posts I picked up references to George A Robinson's motor transport interests. However, I had no idea until I finally read Joan Priest's Virtue in Flying, a biography of pioneer aviator Keith Virtue (Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1975) just how important those transport interests were.
This photo shows two of the buses belonging to Robinson's Lismore based New England Motor Company.
It's not a good reproduction, but it does give you a feel for the time.
NEMCO was a pretty big operation, big enough to provide not just financial support to the unsubsidised New England Airways, but also core technical and logistical support.
Both were critical. NEA was the only major unsubsidised airline, while it began at a time when you had to be able to maintain and sometimes rebuild your planes by yourself independent of outside support. Damage from hard landings had to be fixed, while the engines themselves could be very cranky.
Mechanical knowledge was therefore critical. Here NEMCO's need to maintain its own buses meant that it had the mechanical skills to support the airline and especially in the critical early days before NEA got big enough to establish its own service facilities.
According to scuba on the Bus Australia web site, the first bus in the top picture, the WA 20 White was built by NEMCO in their own garage. I wonder how many current Australian bus lines could actually build a bus?
The second colour photo shows another variant photographed in Kirklands Garage several years after their purchase of NEMCO.
Scuba also reports that the Ranger, the second bus in the top photo, was one of a pair built by Athol Hedges in Northgate (Brisbane). These were purchased for the Lismore - Tenterfield run, but were also used on the Lismore - Brisbane run in later years until the sale of the company in 1970.
The next photo is a more modern photo of one of the Rangers.
Now I have discovered just how important the New England Motor Company was, I am keen to learn more.
Here I discovered from scuba that there is a history of NEMCO - Kevin R Kirkland, comp, Life’s a journey: the Kirkland and New England Motor Company story. Lismore, the author, 1999.
There are two copies in the Lismore Historical Society collection. A trip to Lismore?