Hampton Green Bus Lines

Hampton Green SA 481, one of three of Ansair Transetts, this one new in 1950 (Keith Kings)

Route 36A started in 1925 as Hampton Station to Linacre Street via Thomas Street (Lower Hampton) with one bus. It was started by Wilfred (Bill) Gerald Hutchinson with a T model Ford bus.

In 1934, it was extended south to Holzer Street with 2 buses. It was further extended to Highett Station in 1934. Bill Hutchinson then started route 83A, with 2 buses, in December 1934 which ran via Willis, Ludstone Streets to Bluff Road (Upper Hampton).

In 1940, he changed the routes so that route 83A went to Highett Station and route 36A reverted to Holzer Street.

GFJ785 (Seddon, Symons & Fowler), new 12/1954 to McMillan Motors of Ararat and came to Hampton Green in 1956 (Bruce Tilley)

In late 1947, with the introduction of route 118A ran by Merv Peeler, which ran along Ludstone Street to Bluff Road, the 83A was changed to run along Willis Street and then Fewster Road to Bluff Road. Around this time, Hutchinson began trading as Hampton Green Bus Lines. Merv Peeler, who had been a driver for Bill Hutchinson, traded as Hampton Red Bus Lines.

In 1952, the Hampton Green routes changed yet again so that the 36A went to Highett Station and the 83A terminated at the corner of Bluff Road and Thomas Street.

The routes in 1961 were as follows:
* HAMPTON to HIGHETT & SOUTHLAND (36A) via Thomas St, Sargood St and Highett Rd
* HAMPTON to BLUFF ROAD (83A) via Wills St, Fewster Rd, Edinburgh St and Thomas St to Bluff Rd with a turning loop via Thorburn St and Poole Ave.

WZ 180 was new to Giuseppe Cianciarulo on Route 1 in 12/1951 & became part of MBBL amalgamation in 1954. Sold to Hampton Green in the early ’60s (Bruce Tilley)

In 1965 they were then “amalgamated” to both run as the 36A but with two variations – effectively trips began at Bluff Rd, ran via Fewster Rd and Thomas St into Hampton then back out along Highett Rd to Highett.

This was similar to how nearby 43A in the Sandringham area operated, running Cheltenham – Sandringham via Bay Rd with a local branch from Sandringham via Abbott St to Highett & Bluff Rds and some through-running.

This continued when the Highett Station version was extended to Southland on 3 September 1968. In 1971, the two variations regained their own route numbers, being the 641 and 642.

The 1968 timetable shows the following frequencies along both sections of the 36A:

  • 12 min peak hour (with 15 min gaps on shoulders)
  • 20 min interpeak
  • 15 min Saturday morning
  • 25 – 35 min Saturday afternoon
  • 30 – 40 min early evenings Monday to Saturday with 8:30-9pm finishes
  • 40 min Sundays and public holidays (earlier starts on public holidays) using a single bus

    New to Benders in 10/1955 was GKF 086 (Bedford SB, CAC) and sold to Hampton Green in 1959 (Bruce Tilley photo)

Hutchinson’s depot was near the down platform of Hampton Station behind the Hampton Street shops, near where the current bus stops are and housed all of his buses inside. It has been replaced by apartments within the last decade.

In late 1967/early 1968, ownership of Hampton Green BL passed from Bill Hutchinson to George Sita. George said that he had seen an advertisement to sell the route in the Bus Proprietors Association magazine.

The first new bus purchased by George Sita was KBV518 (Bedford VAM3, Ansair) new 8/1968 and went with him when he acquired Granger’s in 1972 (Bruce Tilley)

Seven buses were included in the sale, three Ansair Transetts, two Symons & Fowler bodied Seddons, a CAC bodied Bedford SBG and a 1967 Ansair bodied Bedford VAM3. All but the VAM were replaced in the period of Sita ownership, with two new Ansair bodied Bedford SB5s, a new Ansair bodied VAM3, and three second hand Comair Bedford SB diesels.

On 6th December 1971, George sold Hampton Green to Tony Bono who traded as Poona Catering. George Sita returned to the west of Melbourne with the purchase of Granger’s Bus Services on 1/1/1972.

Departing the “new” 1973 Hampton Bus Interchange, KFP 443 (Bedford SB5, Ansair), new 3/1969 and seen here under Bono (Bruce Tilley)

On 10 September 1973 the terminus on Service St (near the library) was moved to the new bus interchange on the western side of Hampton Station. A petition was signed by over 800 passengers & locals, annoyed at the extra time added to reach the station for Thomas St buses now using Ocean St and Wills St.

By late 1974 the Thomas St (641) & Wills St/Fewster Rd (642) routes were combined as 641 as a cost-saving measure with most of Thomas St losing service, however the Highett route (641) was altered to cover the western end, nearer the station. Today’s Route 828 to Berwick operates along this version of 641 path through the area and has done so since 30/9/1991.

One of a number of second hand buses was HZG 629 (Albion Victor, Cheetham & Borwick) new 4/1964 to Sinclair’s and came to Hampton Green in 2/1973 (Bruce Tilley)

Tony also expanded the charter side of the business using an open yard next to the shed for additional vehicle storage.

The route service passed to Moorabbin Transit in 1988 with Tony Bono continuing the charter business as Greenline Coaches from a depot off Bay Road before selling to the Pulitano family who renamed the business Australian Coach Travel.

The last two purchases by Hampton Green were a pair of PMCSA bodied Elwood HEAs. COA 834 was new 7/1985 & became #29 at Moorabbin Transit (Bruce Tilley collection)

On 30 September 1991, Route 641 was replaced by an westward extension of Routes 826, 827, 828 from Southland to Hampton, with the route now dually operated between the Grenda’s Dandenong and Moorabbin Transit depots. This meant that one could catch a Route 826 bus at Hampton, travel through Southland, Dingley Village, Dandenong, Berwick and ultimately arrive at Pakenham over two & a half hours later! Other trips terminated at either Berwick or Beaconsfield, with local variations through Hallam Gardens and Berwick (827 & 828).

This arrangement was eventually changed on 30 January 2006 when Route 826 was closed and trips now only ran between Hampton and Berwick. Another Grenda subsidiary, Cardinia Transit, introduced Route 926 which travelled along Princes Hwy between Fountain Gate and Pakenham.

Ventura acquired the route service from Moorabbin Transit (Grenda) in January 2012.

 

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