Brisbane’s private bus operators in 1950

Legendary bus enthusiast, Vic Hayes, resided in Brisbane between 1949 and 1950 and captured this excellent selection of private bus operators.

The first motor bus service linking Manly and Brisbane was founded by Mr William (Bill) Stanislaus Argaet in August 1925. He adopted a trading name of ‘Pioneer Bus Service’ to distinguish the operation from two other private lines running to Manly and Wynnum: Black & White Safety Bus Line and Blue & White Bus Service. After the death of proprietor Bill Argaet in August 1951, the service and 12 vehicles passed to Blue & White Buses (Manly-Lota) Pty Ltd in April 1952. No. 11 Q384-830 QTP 1094 was one of the latest additions to the fleet: a 1946 Shuttlewood-bodied White WA20 of left-hand drive acquired from the Brisbane City Council on 25 January 1949. It had originally belonged to the Norman Park Bus Service (owned by Stephens & Sons) until 29 February 1948. It is pictured here at North Quay on 27 May 1950.
For several years, Mr William (Bill) Edward Hector Porter operated a service linking Brisbane with Ferny Grove, Samford and Highvale. In October 1946, the State Transport Commission granted approval to replace an 11-passenger Chevrolet registered Q293-436 with a 21-passenger International K5 with austerity-type body that was acquired from the US Army after the Second World War. It became Q419-779 and held QTP plate 0027, as pictured here at the 16 Roma Street, Brisbane, terminus on 27 May 1950. By 1962, the Samford Bus Service passed to Mr William (Bill) Joseph Mitchell of Tamborine Bus Service (now known as Brisbane Bus Lines). A service continues to operate today by Brisbane Bus Lines to Samford and Highvale but terminates at Ferny Grove Railway Station.
One of the privately operated tram ‘feeder’ services in Brisbane in 1950 was the Newmarket–Alderley–Grange–Stafford–Lutwyche service conducted by Mr Thomas Anthony Grano. One vehicle employed on the service was Q463-117 QTP 1037, a Federal with longitudinal seating that originated from Melbourne. It is seen here at the Newmarket tram terminus in Banks Street on 27 May 1950. This service was unique in that it fed four tram termini: Newmarket, Grange, Stafford and Lutwyche. After the Enoggera tram extension opened in August 1949, the route underwent several alterations until it was completely abandoned in August 1951. The Transport Department stepped in and enticed Nundah Bus Service proprietor, Mr Ivan Godfred Franklin, to take on the enterprise – thus linking his Clayfield–Lutwyche service through to Stafford.
The Mitchelton Bus Service was another tram ‘feeder’ service operating in the northern suburbs of Brisbane in 1950. It fed the Newmarket tram terminus from Gaythorne, Mitchelton and Grovely. Its proprietor, Mr George Merland Burke, acquired the service from Mr Sid Worthington in October 1949. Before this time, Mr Burke was the joint proprietor of the Toowong Bus Service with his brother, until sale to the Brisbane City Council on 4 April 1948. In the meantime, Mr Burke had owned the Clayfield Tram Terminus to Wavell Heights and East Nundah service before disposing of it to Mr Ivan G Franklin to facilitate the move to Mitchelton. Unfortunately for Mr Burke, the Mitchelton service also enticed the Council who acquired it, effective 30 April 1951. One of the vehicles not transferred to the Council was Q479- 386 QTP 0881, a White WA20 of left-hand drive with a Watt Bros body of 24 August 1946 seating 37-passengers. It is pictured here on 27 August 1950 at the Newmarket tram terminus in Banks Street. It was another original member of the Norman Park Bus Service (Stephens & Sons) fleet and was disposed of by the Council on 6 October 1949 to Mr Leonard Young, proprietor of the Brisbane–Dayboro–Woodford run.
Cribb Island Bus Service (owned by the Gibson family) acquired this Watt Brothers bodied International C40 from the Brisbane City Council on 11 August 1949. It had belonged to the Indooroopilly Bus Service, west of Brisbane – one of 20 private operators the Council compulsorily acquired between 1947 and 1948. The bus became No. 1 in the Cribb Island fleet and was registered Q476-414 with QTP plate 0833. It is pictured here on 6 May 1950 at the Eagle Street terminus in Brisbane City. The vehicle was later sold to Belmont Bus Service (Cyril S Shooter) in December 1954 for a feeder run into Camp Hill Tram Terminus.
Resting outside the operator’s depot in Nundah Street, Nundah, on 28 October 1950 is Q473-351 with QTP plate 0956, an International KS5 with Thomas Gardiner & Sons body belonging to Mr Ivan Godfred Franklin who operated two runs from Clayfield Tram Terminus to Wavell Heights and East Nundah. Mr Franklin also acquired the Kalinga–Nundah–Lutwyche service in September 1950 from Messrs Adam and Christensen, who operated a fleet of five vehicles. One of these vehicles is seen across the road: nicknamed ‘The Regent’ and registered Q308-247 with QTP plate 0809, it is a Dodge of normal-control configuration seating 30-passengers.