Roughin' it on carriage route

IN today's fast-paced world of planes, trains and cars, it's hard to imagine the days when the only means of carting goods was horse-drawn carriages.

Back then, coach drivers would endure fierce heat and battle rough terrain to deliver their supplies from one town to the next.

The Fraser Coast Show Society will now bring that history to life when it stages a re-enactment of the famous Cobb and Co. coach run between Kilkivan and Maryborough in December.

Cobb and Co. was responsible for delivering mail, goods and passengers between the two towns from the late 19th Century.

Passengers in the re-enactment will gain an understanding of what the runs were like and get better acquainted with Maryborough's history on boarding the coach and being taken along the old route, show society executive officer Martine Britton said.

“It's going to be fun.

“The runs went from Kilkivan Post Office to Maryborough Post Office and we're following that as closely as possible.

“It will give the people who've got a ticket to ride it a real taste of how long it took to get from Tiaro to Teddington and what it was like for the drivers.

“There's actually only one point where we cross the highway, so it's pretty rough country.”

For Ms Britton, who will take part in the re-enactment, the run will be particularly meaningful because her grandfather, Keith Richards, was a Cobb and Co. driver.

The descendants of other drivers will also be encouraged to get involved, she said.

“I think that's important, to show the ancestry and the longevity of the people here.”

The coach will depart Kilkivan on December 18 and arrive in Maryborough - 120km and 10 stops later - on December 20, to coincide with the town's Carols by Candlelight celebrations.

Gympie-based Sunshine Carriages is providing the coach, which can seat 10 passengers.

The passengers can decide which leg of the run they want to be on and courtesy buses will be available once they get off, Ms Britton says.

Stops include Miva, the Theebine pub and the Gundiah pub, which will host a dinner dance on December 19 in honour of the event.

“There will be refreshments at each changeover point, so we'll be encouraging community groups, such as P and Cs, Lions and Scouts, to provide those and use that opportunity to do their fundraising.”

The show society is looking for people who can provide them with extra information about Cobb and Co. to help make the re-enactment more accurate.

“If anyone knows of any stories to do with the route or any of the drivers, has any photos or whose relatives were part of it, we'd like to know,” Ms Britton said.

The event will be part of Queensland's Q150 celebrations and tickets will go on sale in mid-November.

For more details contact the show society on 4123 5311.

'I think that's important, to show the ancestry and the longevity of the people here'

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