Setting myself up for a long term project I have launch yet another challenge.
After some input from a few people I have been encouraged to set up a list of trips. Thanks to those people who have provided me with brochures and details so far. (Grant, Rocky and Chop)
If you look along the menu on the left-hand-side, towards the top is a label 'Trip Details.'
What we are looking for is anyone who can remember anything about some of those departures.
The passengers are probably a better source than the crew.
If you have information you will need to send it to me as the pages are set up to protect them. To be honest I could not think of a better way to do it. Depending how much and how often I get updates I'll recreate the necessary pages.
If the details listed are not correct please let me know and my apologies to any typos, sorry Mike I saw it after I posted it. This along with any other corrections will be taken care of in good time.
Just to scare you there are something like over 900 departures listed, so far.
Once you have had a look through get busy digging out those dairies or "Trip Books."
People like Simon will probably do it straight out of their heads, minds like steel traps.
It could be fun but definitely a challenge for all.
Many thanks for pointing this out; I hadn't noticed the link.
Vicar, I think that the first overland I did was, despite its name of P14, only the second (or third?) Pharoah. I remember talking with Mr Dick who indicated something like that, as he started with P11 which may not have got the numbers to go, didn't put in a P13, or similar. I think, though, that there was a P12, perhaps in 1975.
Anyway, Allen Maher was the driver. Pete Swarbrick turned up at the beginning of the trip but left, and Ray Compton joined it as the trainee courier under Allan (Ray later couriered many overlands). After P14 Allan was appointed Capricorn's operation manager, and on a promotional tour around Australia asked me if I would like to join the road crew. I thought about it and a day or so later said yes, so in 1977 I went on another Pharoah as a trainee under Simon Arms and Phillip Tulk.
I have referred to P37 before, where I was the courier, and Carl Capstick the driver on the East side of Iran and Budgie on the west in his Sundowners coach. Now I'll look to naming the rest, which include several Bedouins and a Eurasia with Brendon Reid, which was a terrific itinerary and group.
You have P12-14 in 1980, when they were in 1976, and the wrong crews are in them.
P14 had Ray Compton as the trainee courier with Allan Maher as his mentor and the driver. Pete Swawbrick (? - spelling) was on the first few days. Pete later was killed in, I heard, a motorcycle accident.
On P22, my training trip, you have made Simon Armless; quite a feat!
P37 had me as the courier, Carl Capstick as the driver on the eastern side, and Budgie on the western in his Sundowners coach. That may have been Rodney; I'll check.
These three were the only three Pharoahs I did; apart from a Eurasia with Brendon Reid, my other overlands were all Bedouins. Trouble is, apart from the one I did with Kevin & Gaye Venville, which you have, I don't remember the others. Of course I remember working with lots of drivers, but apart from Laurie Mockler on a Moroccan, Fingers and Derek Saville on two Russian/Scandies and Mr Sid on a Scandy, I can't remember which trips I was with which drivers. Oh - I remember I did an eastbound Bedouin with Brendon Reid as the next after P22, and I think the only Eurasia trip that ever went with him soon afterwards, and one and a half with Tom Sawyer (the Kevin Venville one on the eastern side), but that still leaves the Bedouins incomplete.
Hi Vicar, Re TK159, the driver was Gary Petersen & the Courier, Lindsay "Sundance" Cowan. There was no trainee with us but a Kiwi Greg ? who was the official photographer for Sundowners on that trip. As a consequence, many of the photos included in the 1978 Sundowners Brochure were of our group
Just had a closer look at the Trip Details and realised that Sundance, who was courier on my trip TK159 (driver Gary Petersen), departing Kathmandu 14/4/77 arriving London 2/7/77, then headed off on CO34 departing London five days later on 7/7/77 for approx. 6 weeks. No rest for the wicked eh!
Made me wonder about the administrative coordination of drivers, couriers and trips in and out of London. It must have been a nightmare at times especially when coaches broke down/were unavailable.
Also wondering if anyone out there can help solve a bit of a mystery for me. As mentioned above, Gary drove us on TK159 which he said was his 13th overland trip. At the time I remember thinking that he was certainly no novice at coping with all the trials and tribulations of travelling overland and that was more than likely why our time on the road was relatively free of dramas and traumas. He certainly knew what he was about and kept the coach in tip top condition. He also ensured that border crossings went as smoothly as possible.
So, when did he do his earlier 12 trips to gain all his experience and did he do them all with Sundowners or some of the overland companies?
Enjoyed going through Marion Mitchell's photos. What a pity she couldn't remember the 1975 TK number, but from the looks of her photos she went from East to West and if, as she says, Gary Petersen was the driver, that in part answers the mystery of the number of overland trips he drove and when. So now we know two of the 13 trips he ferried punters overland, only another 11 to solve (and perhaps he did more after TK 159). It maybe that Sundance (Lindsay Cowan) in Kiwi Land (I think he works for APT in either Auckland or Wellington) can help out here. Has he ever been in touch Vicar? It would certainly help you out with filling in the gaps for this topic.
As far as I know only Vicar has tried to put together the trips and road crew data for Sundowners, and it is far from complete. Sundowners demise meant that all of the records disappeared, and if they still exist I am not aware of them.
Gary was certainly respected for his abilities by all of us who worked at the same time that he did. HE did a great job, and his passing was a sad loss to all of us, and especially to his wife and family.
Having said that the nature of the business was that we seldom spent any great amount of time with other road crew unless we were on the same trip (ie Driver and Courier). End of season layovers generally saw the crew disappear all over the world. Overland seasons were longer than the European seasons, but doing 13 overlands generally meant about 3 years on the road. It equates to somewhere between 600 and 700 days on the road. The details of what trips Gary did will be locked up with the crew he worked with, and others he met on the road, and not easy to find now.
Sundance was at the reunion in Coolangatta a few weeks ago, and left to travel to Europe after the reunion.