Centenary of Australia`s First Motor Mail ServicePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

The plaque commemorates the centenary of Australia`s first motor mail service which ran between Ilfracombe and Isisford from April 1910.



Address:22 St Mary Helena Street, Isisford Post Office, Isisford, 4732
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -24.258734
Long: 144.440792
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Approx. Event Start Date:April-1910


Front Inscription

             MOTOR SERVICE

This commemorates the centenary of Australia's first motor mail service, which ran between Ilfracombe and Isisford from April 1910.

Previously, the mails had been carried by pack horses, then by horse drawn coaches.  In the few years before 1910, Ellis Sutton of Isisford had the contract to carry the mails from Ilfracombe by coach. Ilfracombe man Billy Gillespie was Sutton`s coach driver and the journey between the two towns took all of a long day.

Late in 1909, Sutton volunteered to carry the mails by motor vehicle, as an experiment commissioned by the Postmaster General to test of the new form of transport.  Driven by Gillespie, Sutton`s motor coach carried the mails between the two towns in five hours, often carrying heavy loads as well as passengers,

In July 1910 the Postmaster General noted that the motor mail service had been running since April `without a hitch, well with the scheduled time`.  The experiment had proved successful.

Sutton`s example was quickly followed in other places and soon the mails were being carried by motor vehicles in many districts.  The days of horse drawn vehicles were numbered.

A century later, the Ilfracombe and Isisford commmunities salute Ellis Sutton and Billy Gillespie, and all the people who have carried the mails in two districts.



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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