The Mont Albert District - a Pictorial History 1830 to 2013

1925 - Bus Services

Indigenous Heritage
Geology and Topography
Vegetation and Fauna
Climate and Hydrology
1840s to 1870s
1850s - Parish of Nunawading
1852 - Whitehorse Inn
1861 - Postal Services
1880s - Electricity Supply
1880s to 1920s
1882 - Phantom Railways to Doncaster
1883 - Residential Heritage Precinct
1884 - Broughton Park subdivsion
1884 - Brickworks
1885 - Surrey Hills district - map
1888 - Football Clubs
1889 - Gas Supply and Gasworks
1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower
1890 - Mont Albert Railway Station
1892 - Surrey Hills Golf Club
1892 - Water Supply, Reservoirs and Sewerage
1899 - Telephone Services
1905 - The Surrey Dive
1907 - Scouts and Guides
1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct
1914 - Mont Albert Progress Association
1916 - Californian Bungalows
1917 - Schools
1917 - Wattle Park
1924 - Early Shortwave Broadcasting from the Surrey Hills district
1924 - Black's Estate
1925 - Bus Services
1929 - Tramways
1930 - Cricket Clubs in Mont Albert
1930s - Balwyn - Beckett Park Bonfires and Wildlife Sanctuary
1948 - Grange Tennis Courts
1957 - Pioneer Park
1961 - Surrey Hills Communications Tower
1981 - Box Hill Miniature Railway
Koonung Creek Parklands
Heritage Notes
Mont Albert Road - Early History
Mont Albert Rd - the East End
Elgar Rd - north and south of Mont Albert Rd
Mont Albert Rd - View St to Elgar Rd
Bushland Reserves
Service Associations
Sporting Clubs
Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Walking Trails
The Author's Websites
References and Acknowledgements

1912 - Victorian Railways bus

The develoment of motor-bus services in the Box Hill/Surrey Hills/Mont Albert areas can be traced back to the 1920s.
It was proposed that a Government-managed bus service be introduced, to run from Box Hill to Melbourne' s CBD
The Government-run service was abandoned, and was started by the privately owned Ventura Bus Company, (formed in 1924) which ran via the Victoria Bridge
A new bus or tramway line was proposed to run from Box Hill to Mentone
The Mentone route for a tramway was abandoned, in favour of  the Ventura bus service, which ran over over dirt tracks. The route is similar to the present-day 700 route. 
A bus service operated between Box Hill and the Hawthorn Bridge - it used 18 small cabs. It was run by the Box Hill to Richmond Motor Cabs Owners Association. These were seven-seater cabs known as "Jitneys" and were used across Melbourne. They were later replaced by full-sized buses.
A new bus service started between Box Hill and Mordialloc
In the 1940s, private buses operated in the eastern suburbs, which included
Canterbury to Richmond
A Jitney bus ran from Canterbury Station, through Camberwell, then down Rathmines Rd in Auburn. These were quite small, and were mainly introduced for school kids, travelling to and from Auburn Central State School. The author gew up in Auburn and attended that school, and recalls these little black buses going past the school! It is unknown when these buses closed down.

ADDENDUM! (July 2019)
The author is indebted to reader Ian Fox for passing along his recollections of the Canterbury-Richmond buses!

"A girl, Dawn Vance, from next door caught this bus to  Auburn Central in Rathmines Rd around 1944. The buses carried school children, workers and shoppers. When crowded, we kids were told get outside and sit on the mudguard leaning against the engine bonnet. Around 1944 when my mother wanted some peace and quiet, she would take us to the bus stop, chuck us on the bus, give the driver 6 pence and send us on one circuit to Canterbury, Richmond and back home again. Mobile childminding service.

As best I remember, these buses ran until the mid 1950’s and one was bought by an apprentice motor mechanic from the local motor workshop, he cut it down to make a ute and not wanting to sit alone in the bus drivers seat, he pulled it out and replaced it with an old sofa. It was not unusual to see him driving around with the sofa sticking out each side of the bus and either his friend sitting beside him topping the beer bottles to share or his girlfriend snuggling up beside him. Times have changed.

My father grew up on to of the Union road hill in Surrey Hills and my mother near the Mont Albert Station so we have an interest in the area. (Ian Box)"

Camberwell Junction to  Hawthorn Bridge
In the 1940s, a bus service operated from Camberwell Junction, travelling along Buwood Rd through Auburn and Glenferrie, ending at the Hawhorn Bridge.
The author recalls these green buses very well, as they passed his home in Burwood Rd (Auburn), and were quite popular for shoppers visiting the Burke Rd and Glenferrie Rds strips.
East Kew Bus
In the 1940s, a small bus operated from East Kew to Tooronga. It came down Auburn Rd, Auburn then into Auburn South. It was still operating into the late 1950s
Many new bus routes radiating from the Plaza were introduced.
Now, several bus companies use the Plaza, including - Ventura, Ivanhoe, Smart Bus and Drivers.

1920s - Doncaster motor-bus

1920 - motor-bus

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1924 - the Ventura Story

1925 - Fiat Bus - from Box Hill Station to Wattle Park

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1960s - MacKenzies buses at Healesville

Modern Era
The opening of the Whitehorse Plaza (Box Hill)  in 1975 was associated with a large-sale concentration of bus services from the site, as a Transport Interchange.
Mont Albert Rd continued to be used as a major route for Ventura buses running to Burwood, Caulfield, Oakleigh, and further south. 
Many new bus routes radiating from the Plaza were introduced.
Now, several bus companies use the Plaza, including - Ventura, Ivanhoe, Smart Bus and Drivers.
Bus Route 766, operated by Ventura,  from Box Hill to Burwood runs along Mont Albert Rd, Mont Albert. The bus stop at the cnr of View St has been there since the beginning of time! 

July 2019 update!
(Notes from reader Graeme Lamb).
"In the modern era of your post you indicate that buses moved to Whitehorse Plaza as their terminal from around 1975. Whitehorse Plaza was never a bus terminal. When it opened the bus routes servicing the north side of the railway were operating from the stops along Market and Main Sts and continued to do so until they were parked up in the clouds above the Box Hill Transport Terminal, now more commonly known as Centro Box Hill, in the early 1980s.

The reference to Ivanhoe Bus Coy using the terminal is inaccurate as Ivanhoe never operated routes to Box Hill. What may be confusing the issue is that buses still in their Ivanhoe livery could have operated to/from Box Hill after Ivanhoe were taken over by Ventura and Ventura juggled their depots and fleet for operational efficiency". (Graeme Lamb)
McKenzie Buses
McKenzies' Tourist Services started in 1927 and their buses ran along Mont Albert Rd on their daily jouneys to and from Healesville. Services to Alexandria and Eildon in later years.
In  2008, the route was varied, and the buses no longer passed through Ringwood, Box Hill, Mont Albert or Kew, and now travel along the Eastern Freeway

2013 - McKenzie bus

1930s - McKenzie's bus

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