History Of - Bus routes 10 & 11 (now 102, 105, 106)

By Tom Wilson

This article was originally published in the former State Transport Authority (SA) in-house magazine, Among Ourselves. It is reproduced here with the kind permission of the author and TransAdelaide. The article is from issue no. 224; July - August 1983.

This is the sixth in our series of articles describing the history of Adelaide's public transport routes.

The article describes the group of closely interrelated routes variously described as "East Adelaide", "Maylands", "Magill", "Morialta", "Rostrevor", "South Payneham" "Firle" and "Oldfield", serving the area south from Payneham Road to Magill Road.

The early history of these services is closely tied to that of Routes 8 and 9, described in the previous two articles. By 1864, the horse bus "Robin Hood" was operating between the City and Stepney via Norwood; from 1877 to 1889 a regular horse bus service was operating from the Globe Hotel, City, to Magill (seven return trips each weekday!); and between 1879 and 1883 Smith's horse bus operated from the Globe Hotel to Osmond Terrace, Stepney, via Magill Road. From December, 1882, the Adelaide and Suburban Tramway Company's East Adelaide horse tram was operating from King William Street, City, via Rundle Street, Rundle Road, Rundle Street (Kent Town), Kent Terrace (now Fullarton Road), Payneham Road, Nelson Street and Magill Road to the Maylands Depot (still standing) at Frederick Street and Magill Road.

On 10th January 1883, just over one hundred years ago, the first "formal" Magill Road public transport service commenced, operating via the above "East Adelaide" route to the Maid and Magpie Junction, then direct via Magill Road to Frederick Street, Maylands. There were thus two routes from the City to Maylands, both operated by the Adelaide and Suburban Tramway Company. This new service may have opened immediately to Wellington (now Portrush) and Magill Roads, although this cannot be substantiated. We know that by August 1883 the line had been extended via Magill Road and Penfold Road to a new depot on the eastern side of Penfold Road about 50 metres south of Magill Road.

The history of the Magill horse tram line was relatively uneventful until its takeover by the Municipal Tramways Trust in February 1907, although horse bus services were reported as operating from the City to Janet and Morris Streets, Maylands, in 1906.

On 5th May 1909, the M.T.T. replaced the Magill horse tram line as far as Frederick Street, Maylands, by an electric tramway running from North Terrace/ King William Street, via North Terrace and Magill Road; horse trams maintained a feeder service from Maylands to Magill. Later in 1909 the Maylands electric trams were extended through the City, via North Terrace, King William Street and Wakefield Street to Marryatville. From 1911 this through-linking of services was replaced by a City terminal loop, involving North Terrace, King William, Grenfell and Pulteney Streets and North Terrace. Later that same year the Maylands electric tram was extended via Magill Road to Penfold Road - completely replacing the horse trams. Only two months later, in February 1912, the Magill line was extended a further 500 metres to the junction of Norton Summit and Magill Roads, the final terminus of Magill trams. The Magill line had the distinction of having the longest straight stretch of on-street track in Adelaide.

The first recorded venture of motorised public transport into the area north of Magill Road and east of Nelson Street was the commencement in 1915 of Motorbus Services (Adelaide) Ltd's Malvern - "St. Peters" motor bus service, running from Malvern to the City, then via Rundle Street, Rundle Road, Rundle Street, Beulah Road, Kensington Terrace and Wellington Road (now Portrush Road) to Bakewell Road - the forerunner of today's Route 10 buses. The service operated for one year.

In 1915, the State Government under-took to cover half of any losses sustained if the M.T.T. would cater for recreational traffic by operating a tramway to the Morialta Falls Reserve. The M.T.T., therefore, opened a new line, branching from the Magill Line at Magill/St. Bernards Road ("Tower Junction") and running as a "side of road" single track line via St. Bernards Road and Moules Road, Glen Stuart Road, Morialta Road and Morialta Falls Road to a point some distance east of Stradbroke Road. Although a full service was operated as far as Moules Road, only one Morialta tram operated each way on weekdays, with an improved service on Fridays and Sundays.

Even in 1948, when the area was still sparsely developed, trams ran to Morialta only every 96 minutes during weekday "base" periods, but every 12 to 24 minutes on Sundays. The most intense tram services were operated on "Seminary Sundays", when a number of trams would line up in Morialta Road, having transported hundreds of people to religious ceremonies at St. Francis Xavier's Seminary. During the life of the Morialta tramway, "short-workings" to "Stradbrook" (Moules Road) and "Rostrevor" (now Rostrevor College) were introduced to cater for the differing population densities along the line and for loading to Rostrevor College. It is interesting that Rostrevor College is still on its original site but is now in the suburb of Woodforde - the matter of changing suburb names in the vicinity has caused a lot of headache for M.T.T. and S.T.A. in naming its routes in the area; witness the recent destination name changes.

The year 1917 saw the allocation of route numbers to tram lines, Morialta (now replaced by Routes 10C and 10D) becoming route 9, and Magill (now Route 11) becoming Route 10.

On 25th March, 1925 the M.T.T. commenced its first motor bus service, using a fleet of Mack buses. The service, known as "South Payneham", and shortly afterward renamed "Firle", operated from King William Street, City, via Rundle Street and Road, Rundle Street Kent Town, Beulah Road, Edward Street (later via Osmond Terrace), Magill Road, Frederick and Janet Streets, Wellington (now Portrush) Road, Coorara Avenue, Gage and Shelley Streets to Glynde (now Glynburn) Road. The service looped in the City via Rundle Street Stephens Place (!), North Terrace and King William Street. Hill and other private bus operators provided competitive services from the City to Firle for a short period.

From September 1927, when buses were prohibited from using King William Street, the Firle buses were rerouted to operate via Rundle Road, East Terrace, Grenfell, Pulteney and Flinders Streets to King William Street, returning via Wakefield and Pulteney Streets, This route was short-lived, because from November 1927 the MTT. shortened its Firle bus route to operate as a feeder service from Payneham Road trams at Winchester Street, running via Bakewell Road, Frederick and Jane Streets, Wellington Road and Coorara Avenue, and returning via Janet and Frederick Street, Olive, Wheaton and Payneham Roads. Only one month later the service was changed again, this time to operate via Janet and Frederick Streets as a feeder to the Magill trams at Magill Road.

Two years later, in 1929, the Firle buses were altered to follow the existing route along Wellington (Portrush) Road to Magill Road, to connect with trams at that point instead of at Frederick Street. For a short period in 1930 and 1931, Firle buses were also operated southwards along Glynde (Glynburn) Road to Magill Road - perhaps to provide two interchange points with the Magill trams. However, from August 1931, Firle buses ran northwards along Glynde Road to Marian Road, Firle.

Between 1938 and 1950, a feeder bus service operated on Sundays and holidays between the Morialta tram terminus and Morialta Falls Kiosk. The service was discontinued following increasing competition from private cars.

One of the last proposals for a new electric tram service was considered by the M.T.T. in 1944-45. This was a proposal to replace Firle buses with a Firle tram, to operate along Luhrs Road, Payneham South. Nothing ever came of this proposal.

A major extension of the Firle bus service occurred in 1952 when it was extended into what is now known as Tranmere, via Hallet, Quinton, Edwin and Shirley Avenues, terminating at Reid Avenue.

The mid 1950's saw the replacement of most electric tram services by diesel bus services. The Morialta electric tram line was closed before the Magill line, being replaced in March 1956 by an integrated Firle/Rostrevor bus service, operating from Victoria Square via Flinders and Pulteney Streets, North Terrace, Magill and Wellington (Portrush) Roads, Coorara Avenue, Gage and Shirley Streets to Glynde (Glynburn) Road, then bifurcating to Fisher Street ("Firle") via Glynde Road and Reid Avenue, and to Glen Stuart Road ("Rostrevor") via Arthur Street, St. Bernards and Moules Road. There was an outcry about abandonment of the Morialta service, so the Rostrevor bus service was extended via Glen Stuart and Morialta Road to Stradbroke Road, Morialta (now the "Rostrevor 10C" Terminus), six weeks later.

The replacement of the Morialta tram also meant the abandonment of public transport service along St. Bernards Road north of Magill Road, but this was partly restored in February 1957 when the Magill tram was replaced by a Magill bus operating from Light Square, City, via Currie and Grenfell Streets and the tram route to Magill/St. Bernards Roads, then looping via St. Bernards and Church Roads, Vine Street, Woodforde, St. Bernards and Magill Roads. Later that year inbound buses were re-routed via Magill Road instead of Woodforde Road.

The most significant changes to this group of bus routes since 1957 have been:

1960: Extension of Firle service to Koonga and Nalara Avenues, "Oldfield"
1962: "Oldfield" service re-routed via Gage Street and Marian Road.
1962: Bus route numbers introduced:-10 Oldfield, 10A Firle, 10B Rostrevor (now Rostrevor College), 10C Morialta, 11 Magill, 11A Tranmere, 1F Victoria Square via Flinders Street.
1966: Oldfield service extended via Koonga Avenue to the existing Route 10 terminus at Maple Avenue/Oldfield/Morialta.
1966: Bus operated outwards via Wakefield Street instead of Flinders Street.
1968: Oldfield/Morialta services integrated with Magill service, all operating via Currie and Grenfell Streets.
1980: Morialta service extended to the Route 10D terminus at Koonunga Avenue, Rostrevor (not without strong objections from residents of streets used).
1981: "Oldfield and "Morialta" terminal re-named "Rostrevor" to comply with the Geographical Names Act.

When the Maylands electric tram line opened in May 1909, Maylands trams operated from North Terrace, City, being through-routed to Marryatyille later that year. In 1911 Maylands trams again terminated in the City, looping via North Terrace, King William, Grenfell and Pulteney Streets. From 1924, Morialta and Magill trams operated into and out of the City via Pulteney and Grenfell Streets, terminating east of King William Street (from 1930 until 1943 trams on these lines alternated between those lines and the Kensington Gardens line).

In 1952, in common with other new east to west through linkings, Morialta and Magill trams were through-routed to Richmond, a through-linking which exists today on a limited basis (Magill buses terminated in the City between 1957 and 1959 before being through -linked again to Richmond). The Firle, and later Morialta, bus services, were not through-linked until they were integrated with the Magil bus service in 1968 and linked with Richmond, West Beach, Kirkcaldy and Queenstown.

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS: In preparing this article we acknowledge the assistance of documents by Messrs. D.G. Evans, C.J.M. Steele J.C. Radcliffe, L.S. Kingsborough and R.T. Wheaton.

Photos and current information on Bus routes 102, 105 and 106.

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