The only way to get around.
Today, we may take getting around for granted, but how did people do it before cars were owned by almost everyone?
The Della Bus
Only a few decades ago in Collie the only way, other than walking, was the Della bus. Joe Dellavidova, a migrant from Northern Italy, started up a thriving carrier and bus company in Collie back in the early 1930s. The bus in the Coalfields Museum was one of his, a 1939 International, which has just received a major refurbishment and is now back on display in the museum.
The kerosene tin!
Joe and his crew shuttled all the miners to and from their jobs at the collieries in and around Collie, pensioners rode on mystery tours, children went to school and all the ladies in Collie took a Della bus to get the shopping. Locals called it the “kerosene tin”.
Old Joe even made sure that patrons to Collies two cinemas made it on time for the show, then got them home again. It was pretty much a door to door service.
The service faded, as cars became more common in the late 1950’s.
Do you remember riding in the Della bus?
You will find the Della bus at the Coalfields Museum, 161 Throssell Street, opposite the Collie Visitor Centre.