About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Rouse family buys a car

The first car ever purchased by the Rouse family of Murray Road, Cora Lynn was an Austin A40 ute from Brenchley’s garage in Garfield. This was in 1948. It was dark blue with black guards. Previous to this, the family travelled in a jinker pulled by the ‘white horse’, apparently the only name the animal ever had, or else rode their bikes.  Part of the deal of buying the car was that Mrs Brenchley had to teach nineteen year old Dorothy and seventeen year old Jim how to drive. Frank, who was fifteen, taught himself to drive. Jim could get his licence at seventeen, but by the time Frank was that age, the law had changed so he had to wait until he was eighteen before he could get his licence in December 1951. However, the lack of a licence did not seem to be an obstacle to driving as he used to drive his parents, Joe and Eva, to the Dandenong market where they sold eggs, chooks and calves (all carried on the ute). He also used to drive his eldest sister, Nancy, out to Pakenham Upper on a Monday morning, when she was teaching at the school and pick her up on the Friday afternoon and bring her home.

According to Dad (Frank) the Rouse family were about the last in the area to get a car.  At the time neighbours, Joe and Stella Storey, had a 1930s 4 cylinder Dodge (we think)  with a cloth top; Bill and Rubina Vanstone had an American car, most likely a pre war De Soto, with a gas producer on the back. Dan McMillan had big Ford; Mrs King, who lived on Sinclair Road (as the northern part of Bennett Road used to be known) had a Standard. Dad’s uncle, Frank Weatherhead, who lived on Pitt Road, had an Armstrong Siddley and a 1920s Chev truck. Other cars that Dad remembers from his early years included Norman Kinsella’s 1938 Chev and Mrs Rita Simcock’s late 1940s Chev that she used to deliver the papers and the mail.  She later purchased a VW Beetle to do the mail run.

This ad is  from the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun of January 15, 1950.


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