This photo recently came to us courtesy of Brian Foreman. It’s easy to assume it was a group of happy travellers, on an excursion in a charabanc, who had maybe stopped for lunch at Willunga Hotel.

However a note penned on the back,  by photographer Lincoln Goode, tells us it is “Dowers Motor Party stranded at Willunga September 27th 1913”.

Further research on Trove provides the full story:

“Mr. Dower, who has been running a motor char-a-bang [sic] from Normanville to Adelaide thrice weekly, was overtaken by a run of bad luck on Saturday and Sunday last. On Saturday he left the city as usual, and got as far as Willunga with a full load of human freight, where an important part of his engine broke. Mr. Dower telegraphed to the city for another car, and, after a lot of trouble, managed to secure one. The second car arriving at Normanville at 2.30 on Sunday afternoon. On the return journey the char-a-banc (the second one) got as far as Wattle Flat (about 7 miles from Yankalilla), when it also broke down. Not to be defeated, Mr. Dower again got into communication with the city, and procured another car for the purpose of taking the passengers back to the city, and this motor managed to negotiate the remainder of the journey without further mishap.”

From the Victor Harbor Times and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot, Friday 3 October 1913, page 245.


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