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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Stuart Bridges turns the p g of an indispensable guide for the 1930s motorist Our series of articles on motoring history in Tasm ania -- much of it seen through the eyes of our club's newsletters and guides going back many decades -- has prompted a big response from readers. Recently, well-know n Tasmanian John Bennett dropped into our office to show us an old R ACT publication from his personal collection. It cost three shillings, and it came in a neatly-designed folder. The 1938 R ACT Motorists Handbook and Roadmap of Tasmania contained a series of eight detailed, fold-out maps together with a polymetrical table showing the 'shortest practicable distance in miles in Tasmania, between tow ns and tourist resorts.' Did you know, for instance, that Launceston to Margate was 138 miles? Another table gave the 'lighting up times' throughout the year. On December 25 it was 7.48pm. On June 25, 4.40pm. Motorists were advised that the quickest way into Hobart from the east was by ferry. The Lurgurena charged 1/6 for vehicles up to eight horse power while motor cycles with a side-car paid 1/-. There were hints for interstate motorists. Only recently had arrangements changed for interstate drivers in Australia. Previously, one had to obtain a fresh per mit upon entering each state. Now, motorists could obtain an All States Pass free of charge by applying at their local police station. Steamer fares between Tasmania and the mainland were covered in the Handbook -- Launceston to Sydney was £11 single and Launceston to Melbour ne wa s £4·10s. There were hints on first aid, fishing advice and a list of Tasmanian sporting facilities. There was a section on short trips from Hobart and Launceston. A trip to the Springs on Mt Wellington was advised as a half day trip '....the atmosphere at this altitude is most exhilarating.' An easy tour from Launceston was a 43 mile round trip taking in Evandale, Perth and Longford. 'This excursion provides a charming country drive to the picturesque tow n of Longford, and a trip by motor boat on the South Esk, which is well know n for its beautiful reaches.' Some things never change. The Handbook, under the heading What R.A.C.T. Ser vice Means, stated that 'Ser vice is the basis of R.A.C.T. membership, the foundation on which the organisation has been built for the protection and assistance of motorists in this State.' That was in 1938. In 2010, we couldn't put it any better. A dive in the archive But wait, there's more ... Our last historical feature included a 1924 advertisement for 'Belgium's premier car', the Metallurgique. R ACT member Ivan Clark has since contacted Motor News Journeys to say that his father ow ned one of these vehicles. Ivan's father Charles, lived in the Channel area and the photos Ivan showed us depict the Metallurgique on primitive Tasmanian r ural roads. Charles bought the car in 1924 and kept it for 14 years before selling it because his wife found it too heavy to drive! Metallurgique vehicles were produced between 1905 and 1928. They were made by SA L'Auto Metallurgique, a company whose origins, before branching out into automobiles, were as a builder of locomotives and railway rolling stock. ... and more! We're grateful to Queenstown reader Garry Gleadhill, who has given the R ACT this wonderful old English motoring volume from 1911. We'll put in the heritage display of our new headquarters. Gar ry enjoyed snippets lik When touring in outlying distr treat the 'natives' kindly, though if need be, firmly. And this: When washing the vehicle, it would be most useful to obtain the services of a good groom or coachman. Who could disagree with that? Life on the move 35 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010