Even when the Buick was replaced by a green panel van, to accommodate the growing number of school-age kids, the 45 minute journey didn’t get much better for Nan.
“We had to climb in the back double doors of the van, sit on a bench seat and hold on tight, especially for the teeth-chattering corrugations on the flats, and also for the steeper sections of O’Connor Ridge where it was barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass.”
Nan especially remembers the area known as Flea Bog Flat which she recalls was “densely timbered and full of pot holes”.
James Kilby also remembers Flea Bog Flat, a marshy area that he says is close to where the Calvary Hospital is now.
“The school van, that up to 16 of us at times would cram into, used to get bogged on Flea Bog Flat. But we were never held up for long because there were all these kids that’d pile out of the back of the vehicle and push it,” he says.
For James, who lived at Parkwood, getting to the bus stop was an adventure in itself, requiring him to cross Ginninderra Creek in a 5 kilometre trip. “If the weather was fine, I could ride my push bike to catch the school bus. But if it looked like rain and the creek would be flooded on the way home, I’d ride my horse. If I’d ridden my horse up, I’d leave it in a small yard that my father had built under the shade of the pine trees up at Pine Ridge corner. David Baird from Strathnairn and Ian and Alan Anderson from Pine Ridge also got on the bus there.”