Skennars

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Skennars
Parent Clarrie Skennar
Founded 1956
Ceased operation 1992
Headquarters Fortitude Valley
Service area Queensland
New South Wales
Service type Coach services
Destinations Charleville
Gold Coast
Moree
Mount Isa
Sunshine Coast
Sydney
Tenterfield
Toowoomba
Hubs Brisbane Transit Centre
Depots Fortitude Valley
Port Macquarie

Skennars was an Australian interstate coach operator.

History[edit]

Clarrie Skennar began operating coach services in southern Queensland in 1956. By 1960 he was running a service from the Goondiwindi Shell Garage to the Barnes Auto Depot in North Quay, Brisbane using two Volkswagen Kombi vans, using the Shell Garage beside the Ambulance Centre. At that time, Border Coaches operated an interstate service from Boggabilla to Brisbane, without a permit to pick up passengers within Queensland. Skennar purchased the service and operated it using two newly acquired side-loading vehicles (an International and a Dodge).

Skennar next purchased the Stanthorpe to Warwick service operated by Grimley's Coaches; the termini were the Stanthorpe Shell Garage and the Grand Hotel in Grafton Street, Warwick. The Warwick terminus moved in 1952 to the Shell Garage, and the service was later extended at its western end to Tenterfield.

During the 1960s, Skennar based himself at Warwick, on the same property still used as a bus depot by Crisps Coaches. It was here that he started toying with conversion of front-engined coach chassis to rear-engined setups. One of these conversions utilised the lengthened chassis of a former fire engine, subsequently bodied (in timber) by Watt Brothers Coach builders in Brisbane.

The Skennars Brisbane depot moved several times over the years. From North Quay, operations moved to Upper Roma Street, then to Barry Parade in Fortitude Valley (with a workshop in Doggett Street), and finally to the Brisbane Transit Centre.

By late 1962, Skennar won a ballot for the Brisbane to Noosa licence and was moving to give a service from Noosa south west to Boggabilla and west to Mount Isa, but the bad roads west were not helping, so he stopped the service at Charleville until the roads were improved. Running a daily service to and from Charleville with additional services to Roma six days per week. At its peak the fleet consisted of 62 coaches.[1] Skennars operated long distance coach services throughout Queensland. It also operated services in New South Wales to Sydney via the Pacific Highway and to Tenterfield and Moree.

In 1989 the Skennars business began to be broken up. The Brisbane to Sydney service was sold to Lindsay’s of Coffs Harbour, Brisbane to Gold Coast to Coachtrans, Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast to Sunshine Coast Coaches and Gold Coast to Warwick to Pat’s Coaches, Warwick.[2][3][4] In 1990 the Brisbane to Roma via Toowoomba services of Pacific West were purchased.[5]

In 1992 the remaining services were sold; Brisbane to Moree and Toowoomba to Tenterfield both to Crisp Coaches, Warwick[6] and Brisbane to Toowoomba, Roma and Charleville to McCafferty's Coaches.[1][7]

Fleet[edit]

Skennars operated a fleet primarily of Denning and GBW bodied International coaches. Fleet livery was blue with yellow signwriting.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Skennars" Australian Bus Panorama 7/8 page 48
  2. ^ "Intrastate services" Fleetline March 1990 page 42
  3. ^ "Skennars" Australian Bus Panorama 6/2 August 1990 page 54
  4. ^ "Skennars" Australian Bus Panorama 6/4 November 1990 page 41
  5. ^ "Skennars" Australian Bus Panorama 6/3 October 1990 page 44
  6. ^ "Crisps Bus Service" Australian Bus Panorama 7/7 April 1992 page 48
  7. ^ "McCafferty's Coaches" Australian Bus Panorama 8/1 July 1992 page 36