Bankin’s bike

I thought you might be in­ter­ested in this fol­low up to an ar­ti­cle you ran in OBA49, writ­ten by regular con­trib­u­tor Peter Whi­taker, and cov­er­ing the ex­ploits of one of our ear­li­est mo­tor­cy­cling pi­o­neers, El­lis Matthew­man Bankin.

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT - Story Paul Wells

Fol­low­ing this won­der­ful ar­ti­cle I was able to lo­cate Mr Duck­worth’s daugh­ter Carmel, who still has some copies of her dad’s book: (cm­[email protected]­hoo.com), and gain through her and her brother ex­tra in­for­ma­tion. This was to as­sist a re­cent trip by my brother Jon and I to Curtin Springs Road­house, the home of Peter Severin who owns the Mount Con­ner area where Bankin’s grave is. In essence, our visit was an in­te­gral part of a six week 8,500km so­journ in my re­stored orig­i­nal 1963 Land Rover through SA, Vic, NSW, Qld, and NT.

Rather than go into too much de­tail of our trip, it was im­por­tant to us to at least fol­low some of Bank­ins route in­clud­ing Ti­booburra and Mil­parinka, (we’ve been to In­nam­incka nu­mer­ous times and fol­lowed Bankin on the Strz­elecki track from Lyn­d­hurst, so left that sec­tion out this time). How­ever, the de­ci­sion to fol­low the Ti­booburra and Mil­parinka sec­tion was twofold: 1,nei­ther of us had been there be­fore, and 2, we wanted to see the tracks Bankin used and gain some idea of just how he nav­i­gated sel­dom-used mail tracks.

But to fo­cus on Curtin Springs. We de­parted Alice Springs on 21st Au­gust 2018, and headed for Kul­gera where we would turn off to Curtin Springs and then to Uluru. We al­ways try to do some “ex­plor­ing” on our trav­els and fol­lowed nu­mer­ous tracks just to see if there was any­thing out of the or­di­nary. We saw a few Dingo’s that stood watch­ing us for a few min­utes be­fore ca­su­ally walk­ing off, and two Wedge Tailed Ea­gles fly­ing lazily in ther­mal air cur­rents for what seemed like hours, without mov­ing their wings much at all. Ab­so­lutely won­der­ful; it amazes us that our sis­ter and her hus­band have been to Bali forty times be­cause “there’s noth­ing to see in Aus­tralia”. Peo­ple need to wake up, spend money in Aus­tralia and keep it here! Any­way, we found a nice camp spot for the night and in the morn­ing headed to Curtin Springs, ar­riv­ing mid morn­ing, un­for­tu­nately at the same time as a bus load of tourists, so we found some shade and waited un­til the bus de­parted, then made our way into the store to ask about vis­it­ing Bankin’s grave at Mount Con­ner. Blank looks, so I ex­plained who Bankin was and how the Severin fam­ily were cus­to­di­ans of the grave, it be­ing on their land. The girl in at­ten­dance had no idea so went and asked some­one else, how­ever nei­ther were any help. I then asked if Peter Severin or some­one in au­thor­ity was around but was told no, they’re all away. Re­luc­tantly, we de­cided to head to Uluru and try our luck on the re­turn jour­ney.

Af­ter two days of vis­it­ing Yu­lara, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Ol­gas), we jour­neyed back to Curtin Springs, un­for­tu­nately ar­riv­ing as a bus pulled up! Af­ter the bus de­parted we ven­tured into the store and, un­for­tu­nately, struck the same girl as our first visit. As luck would have it, a young fel­low en­tered from the store room and asked what we wanted, and al­though he had no knowl­edge of Bankin or

El­lis Bankin’s Tri­umph. Does any­one have a spare gear lever knob?

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