It was about mid-day when 1st East Ryde Joeys, with a few parents and Cub-Scouts, departed in the 14-seater minibus for the half hour journey back in time to the bus and truck museum at Tempe. The minibus rides there and back with our Mob together in one vehicle made the day a truly enjoyable sharing experience.
When we arrived the weather was cold and windy, so we had our "picnic lunch" inside at the museum which, being the old Tempe Tram Depot, has plenty of room. The volunteer staff went out of their way to be helpful, including providing milk and boiling water at no charge. In addition to a range of books and souvenirs at very reasonable cost, the museum shop has a limited range of hot/cold foods.
It took us an hour or so to check around the exhibits of many vintage trucks and buses plus working models of engines and gearboxes, destination signs, photos, etc. Everything was built in the pre-electronic age so it is all mechanical, and both fascinating and easy to understand for children of Joey-Scout age.
Each hour, an old green & cream double-decker bus departed for a journey up the old Princes Highway via St Peters to Newtown Station, then back via Enmore and Sydenham. On the first journey we rode upstairs; then an hour later we took a second journey by riding downstairs. For older members of our Group it was all very nostalgic, as we experienced not only the sight but also the smell, feel and sounds of travel in our earlier years. At one point a very concerned Joey-Scout told me someone had their hand out the window - it was the driver's mechanical hand as we waited to turn right!
We planned the visit to last 3 hours at the museum, including our lunch and the two rides. This timing proved about right for the Joey-Scouts; children of older Sections would probably look at things in more detail and require longer. Admission charges were very reasonable at $3.50 per child, and this included the bus rides. The museum's website www.busandtruckmuseum.org.au has full information.
And how did our Joey-Scouts like the day? Here are samples of what they wrote:
"My favourite thing was riding on the bus and reading the signs because it was bumpy on the bus and it was nice learning." - David
"We went in a double decker bus. I liked it because I was on the top bit at the front." - Sam
"I liked [the bus ride] because you could go upstairs and downstairs. And because I never been on a double decker bus." - Georgia
"My favourite thing was watching the video and going on the bus ride because you can be high." - Joshua