Young Men in a Hurry- How a Cyclist’s Death Defined Early Motoring in Victoria

This article first appeared in the Victorian Historical Journal, Volume 92, Number 1, June 2021

Young Men in a Hurry – How a Cyclist’s Death Defined Early Motoring in Victoria by John Schauble

The first recorded fatal accident involving a motor car in Victoria resulted in the death of a cyclist. A drapery salesman was killed when his bicycle collided with a car driven by a wealthy grazier on the edge of the city in  January 1905. Precisely who was at fault and how fast each vehicle was travelling were matters deeply contested at the subsequent coronial inquest.  The accident opened community divisions between those who embraced the ‘newfangled’ motor car and others worried that they were rapidly taking over the streets of Melbourne. The collision was also a symbolic one between labour and capital. The crash had an immediate impact on the debate on road laws around the use of motor vehicles. It was also a tragic early skirmish in an ‘undeclared war’ between cyclists and motorists that has lasted more than a century. 

The often passionate, sometimes rude antipathy between cyclists and motorists in Victoria these days is nothing new. The contemporary battle between bicycles and motor vehicles for the streets of Melbourne dates to a more sedate era when both forms of transport were in their infancy.  It also recalls the public outcry that surrounded the first fatal collision between a motor car and a bicycle to occur on the city’s streets more than a century ago.1

Ironically enough, early motoring in Melbourne was entwined with the world of cycling. Before World War I, motor cars were still regarded as something of a novelty. Their role in shaping the growth of the city was still some decades away 2. The first motorised vehicles were little more than crude adaptations—bicycles with engines. The standard bicycle was itself a recent addition to the city’s streets following more cumbersome velocipedes (first raced at the MCG in 1869) and high bicycles, better known as penny-farthings. By the 1890s, bicycles for transport and cycle racing were phenomenally popular and affordable to all classes.3

Motoring, however, was another matter. Motorised bicycles and tricycles began to appear from the mid-1890s. Four-wheelers (or ‘quads’) were being imported by the end of the nineteenth century.4 Yet early motor cars were unpopular with a wide cross-section of the community.  Popular history has conceived ‘the pioneer period of motoring as a  “dark age” in which a vanguard of progressive motorists faced a hostile society of Luddites, horse-loving reactionaries, regressive law-makers and over-zealous police’.5

Under the guise of reliability trials, early organised motoring was often little more than an excuse for racing. The Automobile Club of Victoria (ACV)6 organised its first official rally just two months after its foundation. It was held at Aspendale Park in February 1904.  The participants at the Aspendale Park meeting numbered several  Melbourne society notables, including Chief Secretary Sir Samuel  Gillott7 and an assortment of councillors from the cities of Melbourne,  St Kilda and Brighton, industrialists, and leading figures in the emerging motor trade.8 The club’s membership trebled within its first year to more than 160 members.9

For a rich young man in a hurry (the earliest drivers were overwhelmingly male), these were exciting times. By the start of the twentieth century, Melbourne was a handsome and well-planned provincial city. Its roads were wide and well-formed—at least in the inner city and suburbs. The competing traffic comprised trams, pedestrians,  carriages, horse-drawn drays, bicycles and their offspring, motorcycles  (Figure 1).

Few regulations were imposed upon the antics of motorists before 1910. In fact, there were no specific rules relating to motorised transport,  except steam traction engines. Regulation and the contest it presented to Melbourne society has already attracted the attention of scholars.10

Upper-class and wealthy Victorians who became motorists at the turn of the twentieth century exposed themselves, for the first time ever,  to regulation and the police … many were able to use their political influence with the authorities; their ability to defend themselves in court also helped to stave off conviction. At this period, most motorists were drawn from the same social class as the parliamentarians who were mandated to create new motor-vehicle legislation.11

The speed of motor vehicles rapidly emerged as a key cause of public concern. About all the police could do—if they could even catch offending motorists by giving pursuit on their bicycles—was apply the offences of ‘furious’ or ‘negligent’ driving under section 5(xvii) of the  Police Offences Act 1890. The Act was geared towards other forms of transport, including horses and bicycles, and did not deal adequately with the issue of wanton speeding by motorists. St Kilda Road was one speeding hotspot. ‘They simply smile at us as they rattle by and we cannot catch them’, commented one police constable.12

Figure 1: Swanston Street, Melbourne, from A Photographic Souvenir of Greater Melbourne
Illustrated, c. 1903 (Courtesy RHSV, BL-25.4)

In the United Kingdom, numeric speed limits for mechanical vehicles were first introduced in 1861. Revisions to the Imperial  Locomotives on Highways Act 1865, commonly known thereafter as the  ‘Red Flag Act’, demanded that a vehicle ‘propelled by steam or any other than animal power’ have a person walking at least 60 yards in front of it carrying a red flag to warn other road users of its approach.13 In  1903, a national speed limit of 20 miles per hour was set in the UK. In Victoria, speed would remain completely unregulated by the state until  1910. Specific speed limits were initially introduced piecemeal by local councils in the early 1900s; Brighton set a limit of 10 miles per hour, while St Kilda passed a by-law limiting speed to 12 miles per hour. (The average running speed of Melbourne’s cable trams around this time was  8.9 miles per hour.14)

Amid rising public disquiet at the speed and manner with which powered vehicles were seen to be careering around the streets, a ‘Motor Car Bill’ was introduced to the Victorian parliament by Premier Thomas  Bent in 1905. (Britain had passed a Motor Car Act into law in 1903.)  The Victorian bill, however, lapsed before its third reading after the  Labor Party attempted to attach to it industrial relations provisions relating to chauffeurs. The conventional view is that ‘motoring interest groups had exerted a great deal of political pressure on State politicians,  and consequently the 1905 Motor-Car Bill was thrown out. 15 However,  law and technology expert Kieran Tranter suggests this assessment is too simplistic and that the ACV favoured and influenced the eventual regulation of vehicles.16 Cultural and social historian Humphrey  McQueen considers it failed ‘because the reactionary Legislative Council believed any form of control was an interference with the freedom of anyone rich enough to own a motor car’. 17

There was certainly a level of public concern, fuelled in part by a  series of fatalities involving motor vehicles. Fatal accidents involving  Australians had already occurred overseas.18 Even the famous were not spared the novel trauma of motorised death. A vehicle in which the prima donna Nellie Melba was being taken for an afternoon drive in Paris in September 1904 struck and killed an 84-year-old man,  leading the singer to take to her bed for a month in shock and distress.19 Motoring historian Rick Clapton has argued that the real impetus for the introduction of the Motor Car Bill in Victoria was not crashes and deaths caused by cars, for the roadways were already dangerous places.  Any number of people had been killed or injured over the years in accidents involving horse-drawn vehicles, trams and bicycles. ‘Rather,  it was the potentially exorbitant speeds of motor vehicles and the loss  of autonomy this caused other road users.’20

‘Exorbitant speeds’ of up to 30 miles per hour were possible in these early machines, although judging them accurately was tricky.  Speedometers were only routinely fitted to vehicles after 1910.21 The consequences of such speeds, however, could indeed be fatal. On 5  May 1904, an Italian-born bicycle mechanic, Arthur Gaj, was killed when taking a motorised tri-wheeler on a test run. The front-wheel caught in the tram tracks on St Kilda Road, flipping the vehicle over and smashing him headfirst into the paving stones. Gaj likely has the unwanted distinction of being Victoria’s first motorcycling fatality, his hybrid vehicle being more motorbike than car. 22

On 24 August 1905, in an incident sometimes mistakenly recorded as the city’s earliest motor-car fatality,23 the first pedestrian to be struck and killed by car was Thomas Hall, 47, an iron foundry worker. Hall was killed as he crossed the intersection of Nicholson and Gertrude Streets in Fitzroy. The notoriety of this accident owes much to the fact that the driver of the vehicle was Macpherson Robertson, a prominent  Melbourne manufacturer, owner of the MacRobertson’s confectionery empire later to produce the Cherry Ripe (introduced in 1924) and  Freddo Frog (1930). Hall was conveyed to the hospital in Robertson’s vehicle but declared dead upon arrival. Robertson was a keen early motorist and within a few years would use a fleet of motor lorries and cars in his business. He was exonerated of any blame in the death of Hall, with evidence at the coronial inquest suggesting the dead man was intoxicated when he crossed the road into the vehicle’s path.24

A Fatal Crash, a Cyclist’s Death 

Often overlooked, however, was the first fatal collision between a motor vehicle and another conveyance.25 This was on 4 January 1905 and involved a motor car and a bicycle, both reportedly travelling at speed through the intersection of Albert and Evelyn streets in East Melbourne.  As in the later Macpherson Robertson case, the driver in this instance was fully exonerated and blame shifted to the dead victim, a young cyclist named Samuel Payne. The driver of the car was 25-year-old Fred Hutchings, a Boer War veteran, grazier and sometime man about town  (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Lieutenant Frederick Hutchings, aged 21, 4th Victorian Imperial Regiment
Contingent, Boer War (Source Leader, 7 April 1900, p. 33)

Not everyone was convinced by this verdict. The evidence suggested various interpretations of what had happened. There were differences over whether Payne was pedalling or coasting, precisely when Hutchings had sounded his horn in warning, the points of impact on the motor car and whether it had been pushed sideways by the collision. It was,  however, the question of speed that perplexed both those who witnessed the accident and the coroner who investigated it, and in turn, triggered a flurry of public debate.

The crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Payne was on his way to work, riding his bicycle downhill in Albert Street, while Hutchings and a  passenger were traversing Evelyn Street (now part of Nicholson Street)26 when they collided. Payne suffered a fractured skull when he was thrown from his bike and died in the Melbourne Hospital at around 2 p.m. never having regained consciousness. The afternoon Herald reported that both  Hutchings and his passenger accompanied Payne to the hospital and were ‘greatly distressed by the accident. 27

The accident immediately prompted the chief commissioner of police, Thomas O’Callaghan, to consult with the chief secretary, Sir  Samuel Gillott, on the following day and decide to adopt ‘such measures as will effectually provide for the disregard of public safety’, especially where cars and bicycles were involved. While not prepared to specify the measures he would take, the police chief identified a number of speeding hotspots around the city. He bemoaned the lack of regulation of motor vehicles and their drivers, either through registration or specific driving offences. The problem was exacerbated by the growing number of motor cars, which meant that individual vehicles and drivers could no longer be readily identified. 28

A two-day inquest before City Coroner Curtis Candler29 began a  week later on 11 January. Hutchings and his passenger, F. James, and the family of the deceased were all represented by legal counsel. Constable  Thomas Wardley (No. 3492) from Russell Street barracks told the court that he had heard nothing that would suggest other than Hutchings had been proceeding at a modest pace and that the cyclist Payne had crashed at speed into the motor car. His evidence noted that the collision bent both the front and rear mudguards of the vehicle and damaged both wheels on the side struck by the bicycle. The bicycle’s frame was doubled up, the front wheel rim bent, and spokes broken. Payne, he noted, ‘from the particulars I am able to obtain up to the present’ and from the apparent damage to the vehicles, was riding ‘very fast’. ‘He  was riding a free-wheel bicycle, but was not pedalling; and appears to  have lost control of the bicycle as he crashed into the hinder part of the  motor car.’ Constable Wardley was satisfied that Hutchings, seeing a  collision imminent, had ‘put down his brakes but could do nothing to avoid the accident’. 30

Precise details of the vehicles involved are elusive. One clue as to the size of the motor car can be found in the evidence of Wardley, who estimated its weight at 16 hundredweight—or about 800 kilograms.  Hutchings attested that he had owned the vehicle involved in the collision for just one week. This and its weight suggest it was the 9–11  horsepower Clement-Talbot he would drive in a reliability trial the following month. No details about the bike are known other than it was a freewheeler, meaning the rear wheel was not engaged when the rider stopped pedalling.

Other witnesses at the inquest recounted a version of events quite different from Constable Wardley’s interpretation. Herbert Frith told police that shortly before the accident he had seen a motor car in which there were two men coming down Nicholson Street towards Bourke  Street. As it crossed Victoria Parade ‘the car was being driven very fast,  I think it was going at the rate of nearly 40 miles per hour’. In a later deposition, however, he altered this to 20 miles per hour (mph). 31

Edward Gahan, a baker’s cart driver, had just turned off the tram tracks at the corner of Victoria and Evelyn when he heard a ‘terrific noise’  behind him: ‘I just put my head out of the little window at the side of the wagon when my cap blew off ’. He too saw a car with two gentlemen aboard, and ‘they were going at a very fast pace’. He attributed the loss of his cap to the wind they generated as they went by. Hearing the car sound its horn just before the crash, Gahan also saw Payne approaching the intersection. He was adamant he was not speeding when the collision occurred: ‘I do not think the rider was going too fast … I do not think the cyclist was going at too great a speed approaching the corner’. 32

John William Tucker, a proof-reader,33 was in Evelyn Street on his way to work when he heard the sound of a car horn: ‘I then noticed that the motor was coming at an outrageously fast rate of speed’. Anticipating an accident, he watched it as a cyclist came into view at, he judged, about  11 mph. The car did not slow down according to Tucker: ‘The driver of the car did not appear to me to deviate from his course; he was going at an exceptionally fast rate of speed’.34

Another witness, tramway employee Alexander Ross, estimated the car was travelling at 30 mph. Thomas Tallochson, a tramway gripman,  believed Hutchings was travelling at between 20 and 25 mph when the car passed his tram in Nicholson Street, basing his judgment on the speed at which trams travelled. Yet another witness, Robert Ainley,  suggested 15 mph.35

More damning was the deposition of Arthur Kenney, a gardener,  who saw the crash from the grounds of the Model School36 in Evelyn  Street.

On the morning of the 4th instant at 8.15 am … my attention was attracted by a motor car coming at a great speed along Evelyn Street  & I also noticed a cyclist coming down Albert Street on the left— south—side of Albert Street he was coming into Town. I noticed the motorist from 80 to 100 yards before he got to the corner of Albert &  Evelyn Streets going at a furious pace & when he got into the middle of Albert Street he blew the horn and almost immediately he collided with the cyclist. The motor car dashed straight on & the cyclist was thrown about 3 feet in the air and landed on his back with his head towards Melbourne and his feet towards Carlton.37

Kenney said a minute or so later he saw the car return: ‘the next thing I  saw was that the cyclist was picked up and taken to the Hospital’. In the moments before the collision, he also saw Payne try to avoid Hutching’s car: ‘In my opinion, the motor was going as fast as an ordinary train or about 25 miles an hour. The speed of the motor was not abated in the slightest when crossing over. The cyclist was riding at an ordinary rate of speed just before the impact’. 38

John Kitchin, a tramway gripman, gave somewhat different evidence suggesting both vehicles were travelling at around 14 mph. He stated that Payne had his head down, was pedalling and appeared to be trying to ride ahead of the car when the collision happened.39 Another eyewitness whose evidence put more blame on the cyclist was  Samuel Barratt, an employee of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. He was coming down Albert Street in his buggy and pulled up at the corner when he saw Hutchings’s car—which he estimated to be travelling at 18 mph—coming along Evelyn Street. As he did so he heard the car sound its horn.

I had pulled up and to my surprise on my left side a young man came  dashing along on a bicycle … the cyclist was pedalling when he passed  me. I cannot estimate the speed he was going at. Had he full command  at the time he saw the motor car he could without doubt have avoided  the occurrence … I think it very probable that my buggy obscured the  view of the deceased.

The sole expert witness called before the coroner was Duncan  M’Kenzie, an experienced motorist and a draughtsman with the Public  Works Department. He was in no doubt that the cyclist was at fault.  He speculated as to the speed of Payne (12 mph). After inspecting the scene, he experimented by riding a bicycle ‘in all manner of ways at and round that corner’. While he was unwilling to speculate on the speed of the motor car, he gave the view that a car travelling at 30 mph could be pulled up within 20 yards, while one at 10 mph could be stopped in a  yard and a half. M’Kenzie concluded that ‘the accident could have been avoided by reasonable care on the part of the cyclist. I could not say if it could have been by the motor driver’.40

The final witness was the driver, Fred Hutchings. He told the court he was travelling south along Evelyn Street at a little past 8 a.m. at ‘about  12 to 15 miles an hour’. He said he blew his horn before reaching the intersection.

When I reached the centre of Albert Street I saw a cyclist within 3 or  4 yards of me. I could not say at what pace he was going or in what  position he was on the machine. Mr James [his passenger] was on my  left and he would obscure my view. I think the cyclist would be coming  down about the centre of the street. I should say the cycle struck the  motor about the front mud guard … I had no time to swerve to escape  him. I had no time to do so.41

After pulling up the car (James having got out while it was still moving)  about 30 yards on, Hutchings backed up to the scene of the accident.  He gave evidence to the effect that he had ‘about 12 months experience of driving a car’ and had motored extensively in a number of vehicles.  While he owned the car involved in the accident, he had only been driving it for a little over a week.

In view of such conflicting evidence, the coroner reserved his decision until the following day. The Age reported that the evidence taken by the coroner from thirteen witnesses, most of whom had seen the accident, was ‘remarkable for its diversity regarding the rate of speed at which the vehicles were travelling’. 42

After retiring overnight to his rooms at the Melbourne Club to consider both his verdict and the conflicting accounts, Mr Candler was unequivocal in his finding.

I find that the weight of evidence goes to show that that the driver of  the motor-car was not going at an excessive rate of speed when crossing  the intersection of the said streets, that he had blown the horn of the  car several yards before reaching the corner of Evelyn Street, that the  motor-car was on the proper side of the street and that he had full  command of the vehicle after the impact of the bicycle with it; whereas  it would appear that the deceased, who was going at a fast pace, might  have avoided the collision if he had seen the motor-car and had had  proper control of his bicycle.
I find that no criminal blame attaches to Fred Hawthorne [sic]  Hutchings—the driver of the afore-said motor-car. 43

A Collision of Class and Money 

This was not just a crash of vehicles. It was equally a collision of class and money, and it played out as such in the columns of the daily and specialist press.

The Melbourne dailies were largely unsympathetic to early motorists. One weekly paper was, however, compromised when it came to advancing the interests of motorists over cyclists. Although it had begun life in September 1893 as the Australian Cyclist and become the official journal of several Australian cycling organisations, in March  1901 this journal became the Australian Cyclist and Motor-Car World.  Here was another measure of the close links between the world of cycling and the emerging powered vehicle technology. By 1905 it had become a more generalist sporting paper, Cyclist and Motor News. On balance,  however, it sided with motorists when it came to issues of regulation and the curtailment of speed. Sometimes it was simply defiant. In 1904,  it challenged the authorities: ‘Can the police point to anyone case of  “high-speed motoring” causing an accident of life and limb?’ A bolting horse, it went on to claim, was far more of a danger. 44

Cyclist and Motor News identified the Hutchings–Payne collision as central to attempts to regulate motorists and sanction their pursuit within the realm of stricter rules. In an editorial headed ‘The Motor-Car  Fatality’, it bemoaned the attitude of the daily press:

To saddle the entire blame upon the shoulders of the car-owner is a task  which the dailies assume with fiendish delight. The “Age” says: “There is  to all intents and purposes no check upon motor cars: their owners are  seemingly free from the penalties rigidly imposed upon the driver of  a horse who allows his steed to gallop between the shafts at a pace not  one third as rapid as the ordinary rate of an engine propelled vehicle.”45

Arguing the contrary, the Cyclist and Motor News pointed to the low rate of collisions involving motor cars, considering the ‘large number’  by then on the roads. Stopping barely short of attributing this to the  good breeding of motor-car drivers, it opined:

What is it then that is responsible for the happy dearth of accidents?  Simply that almost all car owners are responsible gentlemen, who  handle their hundreds of pounds worth of motor car with due  regard to their own pockets; and even more humane regard for the  safety of others. Were motorists the reckless lot of demoniac ruffians  which the daily press would have us believe them to be, where is the  substantiation of it? The records do not prove it, therefore it exists only  in the minds of the hacks who penned the scare articles.46

Motorists by this account were ‘responsible gentlemen’, though with an eye to their pocketbooks. Cyclists were another matter, to be ignored or even swatted away if necessary. ‘It has come to be practically an unwritten law that the cyclist must look out for himself ’, the editorial concluded. In an alarming final retort akin to a backfiring car, it added that most vehicle drivers ‘take no more notice of [the cyclist] than if he were a mosquito’. 47

The influence of class and money in these matters was a view shared by the Bendigo Independent, although its sympathies lay squarely with the cyclists. In an editorial headed ‘The Speed Mania’, it commented:

The speed mania had, of course, to strike Australia. In the motor car  form of it, it is rather surprising that it did not begin to force itself  upon public attention sooner than it has. In each country where it has  been introduced it is very much of a menace to the public safety. This  is chiefly because only the wealthy can afford carriages of this kind,  and because it is in the nature of things that municipal councillors,  magistrates and justices should shrink from applying the common  law to people so uncommonly well circumstanced as the possession  of a motor car indicates.48

In the case of the ‘sensational death’ at the corner of Evelyn and Albert  streets, while conceding the cyclist had also been proceeding at pace,  it continued:

The evidence called was conflicting as to the speed at which the motor  was being driven. It may have been conflicting as to whether they were  careering through the streets of Melbourne at twelve, fifteen, twenty,  twenty-five or thirty miles an hour. But it was emphatically unanimous  that the machine was going at a rate which made it almost certain that  a collision must soon occur with something or other.49

By any estimation, including that of the driver Hutchings, the Bendigo  Independent concluded that the car was travelling ‘far too fast to be tolerated in any properly conducted town or city’. Had the accident involved a horse being ridden furiously, the rider would likely have found himself upon a charge of manslaughter. The paper called for  regulation of speed through an Act of parliament.

Did this Collision Cut across the Class Divide? 

The idea that the early motor vehicle was no more than a rich man’s toy had popular appeal to the middle and working classes in an era when a private car cost the modern equivalent of a luxury yacht. The contemporary press played up to this sentiment and to the perceived irresponsible and arrogant nature of the early motorists. Historical accounts, Tranter noted, have reinforced this view ever since. Bicycles were then, as now, a more democratic mode of transport.

The notion that members of the establishment could be stopped,  interrogated and charged by working-class police constables over their use of motor vehicles continued to cause affront and likely slowed the introduction of motoring regulation, according to Clapton. Recreational motoring was largely the province of the monied and powerful in the early years of the twentieth century. It was hardly a coincidence that  Chief Justice Sir John Madden, also the lieutenant-governor of Victoria,  was the ACV’s first president. 50

The witnesses at the inquest who challenged the police summary of events practically all pursued working-class occupations: baker’s van driver, gardener, tram gripman among them. Those who supported the police case mostly came from clerical or white-collar occupations.  The class divide between the cyclist and the motorist was even greater.  The accident served to illustrate an increasingly polarised Victorian community in which old-world, British-based notions of status predicated on class were increasingly being challenged.

The dead man, Samuel Payne, aged 26, was an assistant draper working for wages for his brother John (his elder by twenty years) at a  well-regarded store at the top end of Bourke Street. He was not a partner in the business but a salesman. His imprint on the life of Melbourne was slight. A single man, he lived in Kew, was of temperate habits and an experienced cyclist. According to his brother, Samuel had been riding bicycles for around ten years and was a skilled cyclist who had never had an accident.51

Samuel Payne was the youngest surviving of eleven children of  Freke (1825–93) and Martha Payne (1833–1906), Irish immigrants from County Cork. The drapery where he worked was Payne’s Bon  Marche, later to expand into a noted department store straddling both sides of the city’s major shopping thoroughfare, with branches in the suburbs and country. Started by John Payne in the 1880s, the business prospered, and its sale in 1917 made Payne a wealthy man. When John died in 1938, he left an estate valued at £54,016 to his children and grandchildren. 52 Samuel, on the other hand, died having never married and with a personal estate worth just £702. Another brother, Richard,  was appointed administrator of his estate since Samuel had died without a will. Among his assets was somewhat sadly listed: ‘Bicycle, damaged  £2’. The bulk of his assets were in the form of £344 plus interest owed by another brother, Thomas, for his share in the sale of a drapery business in Echuca and a life insurance policy valued at £300. 53

While we know relatively little about Samuel Payne, Fred Hutchings left a greater and not altogether appealing impression upon early-twentieth-century Melbourne, especially as a motorist. In many ways,  Hutchings typified the pioneering drivers. Mostly well-heeled and full of swagger, they would occupy the better bars and restaurants of the city,  often still resplendent in their long, dusty driving coats, hats, goggles and mufflers, no doubt loudly discussing unintelligible matters such as carburettors and cranks. Car ownership represented both wealth and social status; the behaviour and public demeanour of early motorists underlined community concerns, and Hutchings was a case in point. Frederick Hawthorn Hutchings54 was born in Melbourne on 4  February 1879, the son of James Hutchings(1822–84) and his wife Jane  (1850–93). His father was a successful manufacturer of agricultural machinery, as a partner and later principal of T. Robinson and Co. The family lived a comfortable upper-middle-class life at Craigevar, a large villa built for the them in Riversdale Road, Hawthorn.55

However, Fred was just five years old when his father died and fourteen when his mother passed away. The elder Hutchings left an estate in 1884 valued at over £72,000 for probate—around $10 million in modern terms— with substantial provisions made for his wife and in trust for his four surviving children. 56

For young Fred Hutchings money was clearly not an issue. He was educated at Geelong Grammar and, in the years immediately after,  was noted in the social columns of the Melbourne papers riding to hounds or attending soirées around town. At the age of 21, he enlisted as a lieutenant in the 4th Victorian Imperial Contingent, which sailed to the South African War on 1 May 1900. Hutchings survived sometimes intense skirmishing in which the ‘Victorian Bushmen’ were engaged in  South Africa and was awarded the Queen’s Medal with five campaign clasps. At Mafeking, he took time out to attend the Federation Banquet on New Year’s Eve in honour of the creation of the new Commonwealth of Australia. On 2 August 1901, he shipped for London, where he was demobbed.57

By December 1901, Hutchings had returned to Melbourne in time to attend the Geelong Grammar sports day where he was ‘heartily welcomed’ as a defender of the Empire.58 He was soon back to the life of a gentleman, riding to hounds and apparently intent upon becoming a member of the landed gentry. At the age of 24 in 1903, he purchased  Clebyarra, an established sheep-grazing property with a fine homestead at Goon Nure, between Stratford and Bairnsdale in Gippsland. In addition to Clebyarra (1,035 acres) he also acquired the nearby Gracemere (983 acres) at Bengworden and a further paddock of 135  acres, all sold on behalf of C. Forbes Mitchell.59 With his semi-permanent removal to the country, he resigned his probationary commission in the Victorian Garrison Artillery, putting aside the military life for the moment but retaining honorary rank within the Commonwealth  Military Forces. 60

As a young man with plenty of money who had already travelled the world and faced the adrenalin rush of war, it is perhaps not surprising that Hutchings should become engrossed in the possibilities and excitement that motor vehicles presented. As a resident of Gippsland,  which then endured some of the worst roads in the state, he may even have foreseen a role for the motor vehicle in the country.

At a time when there were only around 300 private motor vehicles in Victoria,61 Hutchings was an early adopter. He was addicted to speed and in due course would become the Edwardian equivalent of a hoon driver, accumulating a string of convictions for motoring offences. Motoring was expensive. In 1905, an average vehicle cost around £500  when the average annual wage was closer to £150.62 Although not among the original ACV members,63 Hutchings moved in social circles that saw him soon intersect with them. When in town around this time he stayed at the comfortable Port Phillip Club Hotel in Flinders Street, where the first meeting of the ACV had been held. He also rode to hounds at the  Oakland Club with a number of early motorists. 64

In early 1904, Hutchings purchased a five-horsepower, two-seater  Humberette light car,65 one of ten recently imported by Charles Kellow,  a champion cyclist and later a noted car retailer and businessman, who many years later would marry Hutching’s widowed sister Lucy.66

On 12 March 1904, Hutchings—now numbered by the press among the ‘well-known motorists of Melbourne’—raced his new car against nine others in an ACV–Commercial Travellers’ Association picnic event at Sandown over one-and-a-half miles, coming home in fourth place.67 This is generally regarded as the first organised motor car race in Australia (Figure 3).68

Figure 3: A motor club outing at Sandown Park, 1904. Photographer Algernon Darge,  1881–1941 (Courtesy State Library Victoria, H99.100/106A)

An official sports meeting for motor vehicles, styled as a ‘motor gymkhana’, attracted 2,500 spectators at the Maribyrnong Racecourse on 30 April 1904.69 In the same month,  Hutchings joined the 40-member ACV 1904 Easter tour over 400 miles through western Victoria in the Humberette.70

Motoring on after the Crash 

Involvement in the fatal accident in January 1905 seemed no more than a minor inconvenience in Hutching’s motoring adventures. It appears to have had absolutely no impact upon his pursuit of speed. On 21 February,  he joined 35 competitors in the inaugural 1905 Dunlop Reliability  Trial, a 572-mile points-scored time trial from Sydney to Melbourne. 71

The event followed the course of the old coach road between the two cities (proximate to the modern Hume Highway) and took five days to complete. Hutchings performed well enough in the heavy car class,  driving a 9–11 horsepower, two-cylinder Clement–Talbot until Albury,  where he was forced to withdraw with a broken axle.72 He later rode as a spotter with J.G. Coleman in the deciding elimination trial of light car class finalists from Melbourne to Ballarat and back in March 1905.  Coleman was forced to withdraw after hitting a cow. 73

Perhaps it is not surprising that Hutchings would repeatedly come to the attention of police and the courts over the following months.  Alarmingly, he would be involved in at least one further collision with a cyclist and a near-miss with another. He was always represented in court by counsel ready to contest the charges.

On 4 April Hutchings was charged with driving ‘furiously’ along  Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, ‘at the rate of about 16 or 18 miles an hour’. When spoken to by police, he claimed to know nothing of a 12 mph speed limit.

He admitted going ‘a bit fast near the junction’, while a cyclist told the arresting officer that he was nearly knocked off his bike there. The St  Kilda Police Court—comprising three justices of the peace (including the mayor)—discharged him upon his payment of ten shillings into the poor box.74

Remarkably, on the same day, he was picked up by police and  charged with ‘furious’ driving in East Melbourne

A motorist named Fred H. Hutchings was charged before Mr. Dwyer  P.M. at the District Court yesterday, with having driven his car at a  “furious” rate of speed. Constable Peverill deposed that on the 4th inst.  Defendant drove his car along Wellington-parade at the rate of about  30 miles an hour. The offence was not denied and a fine of 20/-, with  £1 19/- costs was inflicted.75

In the latter case, the fine—equivalent to a week’s wages to a labourer— was pin money to someone of Hutchings’s means and hardly a deterrent to further offending.

The St Kilda incident prompted a letter to the Age, suggesting that the small penalty imposed upon the ‘well-known motorist’ followed  ‘what appears ludicrous alacrity [with which] the bench compromised with the defence, and allowed a cheque to be put in the poor box’. The correspondent added sourly: ‘What is the use of the St Kilda council making by-laws when its own mayor fails to administer them?’ 76

Hutchings evidently learnt little or nothing from any of these experiences. In May 1905, he was again in court, this time at Flemington in relation to another serious incident a month earlier. On 13 April he drove ‘furiously’ (allegedly 30 mph) in Epsom Road, Ascot Vale on the wrong side of the road and crushed a bicycle belonging to one Harry  Griffiths, who leapt to safety just before the collision. Evidence was given by witnesses that, after running over the bike, Hutchings failed to stop at the accident scene. He was later intercepted by Constable Hennessy  (on his bicycle) at the Maribyrnong Racecourse. Defence witnesses who were passengers in the car, one being the owner of the well-known  Hosie’s Hotel in the city, were called by Hutchings and claimed that he was variously driving at 10 or 20 mph. All three had originally denied any involvement in the accident.

The bench, comprising a police magistrate, Mr Keogh, and two JPs,  was unconvinced, ruling they were ‘quite satisfied that at the time of the accident the motor car was being driven at a furious rate’. This time a fine of £5 was imposed, plus £1 2s costs, and fines amounting to one shilling were added for charges of damaging the bicycle and driving on the wrong side of the road.77 The account of the proceedings in the Age was headlined ‘Motorist with a Record’.

Hutchings continued his motor-racing exploits, riding as observer for Charlie Kellow in a 100-mile time trial from Melbourne to Woodend and back in May 1905. Their car was damaged as it narrowly avoided colliding with another competitor.78 For Hutchings in other respects,  1905 was not an auspicious year. In November his only brother, Herbert  William Hutchings, died at the age of 31. However, Fred inherited half of his estate of almost £25,000. 79

Life for this young man in a hurry only apparently slowed when,  in November 1907, he married Annie (Cissy) MacGregor of Caulfield.  After this, he retreated to Clebyarra, although the couple’s visits to  Melbourne—usually for the spring races—were faithfully reported in the social columns. Hutchings became involved in local affairs, for example as president of the Bairnsdale Gun Club, as assistant inspector of fisheries, and in-country horse racing.80 However, he retained his love of motor cars. In 1910, Hutchings was among the initial 3,204 drivers licensed in Victoria. He also registered at least two vehicles while living in Gippsland, the first in 1910 (No. 1117) and the second in 1912 (No.  9040). 81

World War I saw Hutchings return to the military, and, after a  stint of officer training at Broadmeadows, he was attached to the 13th Light Horse Regiment on 25 May 1915. On the recommendation of the commanding officer of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel George Henry  Dean, he was accorded the rank of major and embarked on HMAT A34  Persic three days later. 82

The Melbourne sporting press—under the headline ‘Follower of the Hounds Proves his Worth’—commended Major Hutchings as ‘an amateur rider of no mean ability’, who, after a rapid promotion, ‘has been in the firing line for several months’ (Figure 4).83 However, the real firing line he was in by this time was of a different nature. Hutchings’s war service ended abruptly in less than glorious circumstances after just two years. His AIF record shows that, after serving at Gallipoli, then in  Egypt and France, he left for England in October 1917, and from there he returned to Australia ‘at his own expense’. A file note on his record signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Dudley White, commanding officer of the  13th Light Horse, tells that he had pursued Hutchings’s removal from  the regiment on the following grounds:

He is incompetent as a Squadron Leader. He has had two warnings  and was warned that if he was brought before me again an application  would be made to the 1st Anzac for his removal from the Regiment  I have the honour to command. Have given him every help possible  since May 20th 1917, when I commenced command, and find that the  squadron he commands is gradually getting worse.84

The note continues that Hutchings was previously moved from A  Squadron to C Squadron ‘for the same reason’. His appointment was duly terminated in December 1917.

Figure 4: Major Fred H. Hutchings on ‘The Gawk’, Winner, 4 July 1917 (Courtesy National  Library of Australia, at

There seems nothing to suggest Hutchings was in any way humbled by the circumstances of his discharge. Back in Gippsland, he retained and used the honorific ‘Major’ and became the first president of the  Bairnsdale Returned Soldiers and Sailors Club and Association.85 He also sued his tenant farmer upon his return in 1918 for allowing Clebyarra to be overrun by rabbits in his absence. 86

Things soured for Hutchings in the 1920s. Apparently in financial difficulties, Fred was forced to sell part of the property. And he petitioned Annie for divorce.87 One account suggests she had become involved with the manager at Clebyarra, Hutchings’s former batman,  and that her husband had moved back to Melbourne in 1924.88 He died aged 47 at Coonara, a private hospital in St Kilda Road, on 4 June 1926.  The principal death notice in the Argus was placed by his sister, Lucy  Kellow. A second unsigned one noted he was ‘formerly of Clebyarra,  Gippsland’.89 Annie continued to live in Gippsland for a further twenty years.90

A Roadway to Reform 

The fatal collision in 1905 between motor car and bicycle at the corner of Evelyn and Albert streets on the city’s edge would, of course, be just one among many thousands of such tragic vehicle collisions over the coming decades. Motor vehicles on the streets of Melbourne and the roads of country Victoria attracted not just wonderment in these early years but also disapprobation and not infrequent resentment on the part of those who could not afford them. In these early years of the new century, many evidently regarded the intrusion of these toys of the rich as a source of uncontrolled danger, or at least inconvenience, to other road users.

Amid the flush of pride in Australia’s new nationhood, here was a reminder that the old divisions of class and wealth still divided many of its citizens. Private motor vehicles and the impunity with which motorists drove them about were an expression of this. Other jurisdictions had moved earlier to rein in such drivers: Britain in 1903,  South Australia in 1904. The New South Wales Motor Traffic Act 1909 came into force just days before Victoria followed suit.

The regulatory regime over motoring in Victoria began in earnest after the collapse of the Bent government in 1909, with Bent’s successor  John Murray resuscitating the 1905 Motor Car Bill.91 With fairly minor amendments it passed into law as the Motor Car Act 1909 (Vic.). In addition to governing motorists’ behaviour, it also introduced driving licences and motor vehicle registration. All vehicles were required to have lights and a bell or a horn. Importantly, the speed of motor vehicles was regulated through a new offence of ‘driving recklessly, negligently or at speed’.92 The original Act, however, did not impose any numerical speed limits (unlike the UK, South Australian and NSW legislation).  The new provisions became law on 4 January 1910, precisely five years to the day after Samuel Payne’s demise. The question of whether earlier regulation could have saved this young cyclist’s life is a highly speculative one. Given the novelty of motorised speed and the apparent abandon with which both cyclists and the devotees of motor cars were careering around the city’s streets in 1905, one has to conclude that regulation alone may have made little difference.

Historian Andrew May notes that by the 1920s ‘the motor car had radically changed the physical landscape and geometry of the street.  The aesthetic experience of the city had changed’.93 The death of the street life that May laments was matched by Victoria’s roads becoming a vehicular killing field. The ‘happy dearth of accidents’ the Cycling and  Motor News had celebrated was long gone, as was the magazine itself.

In 1920, motor vehicles were involved in 43 deaths. By 1929, the figure had reached 307. The number of motor vehicles climbed from less than 40,000 at the start of the decade to just under 180,000 at the end. The death rate in 1926 of 33.9 persons per 10,000 vehicles has not been matched since. As cars became more affordable for all classes, other forms of transport including bicycles and horses fell by the wayside,  disappearing as common daily transport after World War II.

While the number of road fatalities increased to more than a  thousand in the 1970s, the number of lives lost on Victorian roads is now lower than at any time since the 1920s. Regulation is only one of a complex range of measures undertaken to achieve this over the past  50 years—through the introduction of speed restrictions, seat belts,  drink-driving legislation, vehicle safety standards and so on.94 Better roads and vehicles have had an immeasurable impact. Meanwhile, a  resurgence in the popularity of cycling for commuting, exercise and sport over recent years has reignited the battle for the roads. In 2020,  after a growing number of cyclist deaths and injuries following collisions with cars, further steps were flagged to physically separate motor cars and bicycles on Melbourne’s streets.95

This article was originally published in the Victorian Historical Journal Volume 92, Number 1, June 2021. TheVHJ, which is published by us, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, is issued in June and December each year. The journal is released as a digital and printed version. The journal began in 1911, and is the second oldest Australian History journal in the country.

If you loved reading this article, become a member of the RHSV and receive the two VHJ every year, on top of more great benefits – all while supporting Victorian History. Find out more here:


  1. An annual study by the City of Melbourne showed that by February 2020 bicycles accounted for 17.1 per cent of all vehicles travelling into the city during the three-hour morning peak compared with just 7.6 per cent of vehicles ten years before. Over the same period, the number of cars declined from 79.4 per cent to 66.2 per cent: ‘Survey Reveals  Melbourne Commuters Ditching Cars for Bikes’, at moving/cycling/city-commuters-bicycle-traffic.html. 
  2. See Graeme Davison, Car Wars: How the Car Won our Hearts and Conquered our Cities,  Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 2004.
  3.  Ron Sheppard, ‘Bicycles and Bicycling’, in Andrew Brown-May and Shurlee Swain (eds),  Encyclopedia of Melbourne, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 72.
  4. Susan Priestley, The Crown of the Road: The Story of the RACV, Melbourne, Macmillan,  1983, p. 2.
  5. Kieran Tranter, ‘“The History of the Haste-Wagons”: The Motor Car Act 1909 (Vic),  Emergent Technology and the Call for Law’, Melbourne University Law Review, vol. 29,  no. 3, 2005, pp. 843–79, at p. 845.
  6. Founded on 9 December 1903 at the Port Phillip Club Hotel, it became the Royal  Automobile Club of Victoria in 1916.
  7. The role of chief secretary devolved from that of colonial secretary after Separation and was retained until 1979. The chief secretary was the most senior minister after the premier and treasurer and was in effect a coordinating minister. Importantly, the role was responsible for police and emergency services, prisons and juvenile justice, Aboriginal affairs, mental health, social welfare and the state electoral office, among a raft of other unattached statutory bodies. These and other functions were gradually assigned to separate or combined ministries before the role was abolished
  8. Age, 22 February 1904, p. 6. Aspendale Park was a horse-racing course owned by James  Robert Crooke, an early motoring enthusiast. In late 1905 he added a banked speedway track inside the course for racing motor vehicles, claimed to have been the first such purpose-built track in the world. Motor racing occurred there intermittently from 1906  until the 1940s. See; and https://www.
  9. Priestley, p. 20
  10. For a comprehensive account of the early regulation of motoring in Melbourne, see Tranter,  n. 5
  11. Rick Clapton, ‘Keeping Order: Motor-Car Regulation and the Defeat of Victoria’s 1905  Motor-Car Bill’, Provenance: The Journal of Public Record Office Victoria, no. 3, 2004, p. 13.
  12. Australian Cyclist and Motor-Car World, 12 May 1904, p. 8.
  13. Clapton, p. 13; David Finlay, ‘The History of Speed Limits in the UK’, at https://readcars. co/2017/06/20/history-speed-limits-uk/
  14. John D. Keating, Mind the Curve! A History of the Cable Trams, Melbourne, Melbourne  University Press, 1980, p. 106
  15. Motor Car Act 1903 (3 Edw.7, c. 36); Clapton, p. 20; Tranter, p. 850; Robert Haldane, The  People’s Force: A History of the Victoria Police, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press,  1986, p. 133
  16. Tranter suggests the bill was dropped as a result of Bent’s increasingly unpredictable behaviour (p. 851). He gives a detailed analysis of the role of the ACV at pp. 864–6.
  17. Humprey McQueen, Social Sketches of Australia 1888–1975, Melbourne, Penguin, 1978,  p. 52.
  18. The death in a motor accident of an Australian woman, Miss Agnes Logan, in Scotland in  1902 was widely reported. See Geelong Advertiser, 22 August 1902, p. 2. In February 1903,  George Colebrook, an Australian leather merchant, was killed in a motor-car accident at  Hendon in England. See Daily Telegraph, 12 February 1903, p. 5
  19. Ann Blainey, I Am Melba: A Biography, Melbourne, Black Inc., 2008, p. 231; Pamela Vestey,  Melba: A Family Memoir, Coldstream, Pamela Vestey, 2000, p. 118; Argus, 14 September  1904, p. 7; Evening Journal (SA), 13 September 1904, p. 4. Some more salacious newspaper reports went so far as to suggest Melba herself had been driving; she was in fact being chauffeured with her cousins from New Zealand. One report was headlined: ‘Melba as  Mankiller’, Evening Star (WA), 13 September 1904, p. 3
  20. Clapton, pp. 15, 24, n. 70.
  21. Marilyn Mitchell, ‘The Development of Automobile Speedometer Dials: A Balance of  Ergonomics and Style, Regulation and Power’, Visible Language, vol. 44, no. 3, 2010,  pp. 331–66, at p. 342.
  22. Gaj’s name was initially reported as ‘Arthur Gay’, but this was corrected by the time of the coronial inquest. See VPRS 24/P0, Unit 775, Item 1904/435, Public Record Office Victoria  (PROV).
  23. The Transport Accident Commission’ s website describes it as ‘Melbourne’s first known  motor car road death’, at articles/road-safey-history-in-melbourne
  24. Inquest into Death of T.J. Hall, 24 August 1905, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 793, File 1905/992,  PROV; Clapton, p. 20. Macpherson Robertson (1859–45) was a noted philanthropist and was knighted in 1932, having sponsored an Antarctic expedition. He endowed the Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School, the MacRobertson Bridge over the Yarra, the herbarium in the Royal Botanic Gardens and the 1934 MacRobertson Air Race from England to  Australia. See John Lack, ‘Robertson, Sir Macpherson (1859–1945)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, at,  published first in hardcopy 1988. 
  25. Both Haldane and Tranter hold this to be Melbourne’s first motor-vehicle fatality. See  Tranter, p. 846; Haldane, p. 133.
  26. Evelyn Street was the name of the short extension between Victoria Parade and Spring  Street. It has since been incorporated into Nicholson Street. The name is now recalled in  Evelyn Place, a narrow service lane running between Nicholson and Albert streets.
  27. Herald, 4 January 1905, p. 1
  28. Argus, 6 January 1905, p. 5.
  29. Samuel Curtis Candler (1827–1911) became the city coroner after a long career as a coroner in Melbourne’s suburbs and country areas. A medical doctor, he lived at the Melbourne  Club for over 50 years. See Simon Cooke, ‘Candler, Samuel Curtis (1827–1911)’, Australian  Dictionary of Biography, at,  published first in hardcopy 2005.
  30. Report of Constable Wardley 3492 relative to a fatal accident to a cyclist, Proceedings of  Inquest held upon the body of Samuel Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  31.  Proceedings of Inquest held upon the body of Samuel Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item  1905/27, PROV.
  32. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  33. Tucker was compositor and proof-reader at one of the city’s newspapers.
  34. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  35. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  36. The National Model and Training School, on the corner of Evelyn and Albert streets, was established in 1854. It became Victoria’s first secondary school, the Melbourne  Continuation School, in 1905. The Royal College of Surgeons now occupies the site.
  37. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  38. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV
  39. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV
  40. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  41. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  42. Age, 11 January 1905, p. 6. 
  43. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  44. Australian Cyclist and Motor-Car World, 12 May 1904, p. 8.
  45. Cyclist and Motor News, 12 January 1905, p. 11..
  46. Cyclist and Motor News, 12 January 1905, p. 11.
  47. Cyclist and Motor News, 12 January 1905, p. 11.
  48. Bendigo Independent, 13 January 1905, p. 2
  49. Bendigo Independent, 13 January 1905, p. 2
  50. He was also the first patron of the Historical Society of Victoria (later Royal Historical  Society of Victoria). His brother, Sir Frank Madden, was the society’s founding president.
  51. Proceedings of Inquest … Payne, VPRS 24/P0, Unit 784, Item 1905/27, PROV.
  52. Herald, 2 September 1938, p. 8. The city store continued to trade under new ownership as  Payne’s Bon Marche until the 1960s, when it was demolished to make way for a cinema.
  53.  Probate and Administration Files, Samuel Payne, 22 February 1905, VPRS 28/P2, Unit  714, Item 93/871, PROV.
  54. His name was sometimes misreported in the press as ‘Hutchens’.
  55. Deborah Tout-Smith, ‘T. Robinson & Co., Agricultural Implement Makers, Melbourne, Victoria’, 2004, in Museums Victoria Collections, at https://collections.museumsvictoria., accessed 4 October 2020; on Craigievar, see http://juliejoyclarke.
  56. Jane Hutchings remarried another well-to-do manufacturer, John Zevenboom, after her husband’s death.
  57. The Times of London, 3 August 1901. For a brief account of raising the Victorian contingent,  see L.M. Field, The Forgotten War: Australian Involvement in the South African Conflict of  1899–1902, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1979, pp. 133–4, 194.
  58. Australasian, 21 December 1901, p. 23. Two of the school’s alumni died in the conflict.
  59. Australasian, 11 April 1903, p. 13.
  60. Argus, 27 July 1903; Williamstown Chronicle, 1 August 1903, p. 2
  61. By 1910, there were 1,590 registered cars and 1,145 motorbikes. See Priestley, p. 23.
  62. The 1907 Harvester Judgment would set the minimum wage for an unskilled labourer at  £2 2s 0d per week. 
  63. Priestley, p. 159. He was not reported among those to take part in the club’s first rally on  22 February 1904: Punch, 25 July 1904, p. 30.
  64. Australasian, 1 July 1905, p. 16.
  65. Manufactured in Britain by engineer Thomas Humber, these vehicles were direct descendants of his original bicycle-manufacturing business. The Humber marque continued until the 1970s.
  66. H.S. Broadhead, ‘Kellow, Henry Brown (Charles) (1871–1943)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, at text11995, published first in hardcopy 1983.
  67. Punch, 17 March 1904, p. 30; Argus, 3 July 1943, p. 4; see also harley-tarrant/. The race was won by J.R. Crooke. Charles Kellow came second.
  68. Age, 14 March 1904, p. 6; Serpolette’s Tricycle, July 2012, p. 16, at http://www.earlymotor. com/serpolettes-tricycle/pdf/serpolettes-tricycle-03.pdf.
  69. Argus, 2 May 1904, p. 7; Leader, 7 May 1904, p. 35. A private horse-racing track owned by the Cox family, Maribyrnong Racecourse, was later used for motorsports.
  70. Punch, 7 April 1904, p. 30; Daily News, 12 April 1904, p. 3
  71. For an account of the 1905 Dunlop Reliability Trials, see Jenny Fawbert, ‘Only  Venturesome Drivers Are Prepared to Take Valuable Cars over Wretched Tracks: The 1905  Dunlop Reliability Motor Contests’, Proceedings of the Automotive Historians of Australia  4th Annual Conference, Melbourne, August 2019, at 
  72. Age, 25 February 1905, p. 12; Harold H. Paynting (ed.), The James Flood Book of Early  Motoring, Melbourne, James Flood Pty Ltd, 1968, p. 61
  73. Australian Town and Country Journal, 1 March 1905, p. 20; Herald, 6 March 1905, p. 1;  Cycling and Motor News, 9 March 1905, p. 13. 
  74. Prahran Telegraph, 22 April 1905, p. 3
  75. Age, 12 April 1905, p. 8.
  76. Age, 24 March 1905, p. 9.
  77. Herald, 16 May 1905, p. 3; Independent (Footscray), 15 April 1905, p. 3; Age, 17 May 1905,  p. 10. 
  78. Ovens and Murray Advertiser, 27 May 1905, p. 9.
  79. Argus, 18 November 1905; Will and Probate documents, Herbert William Hutchings,  VPRS 28/97/45, PROV.
  80. He was issued with VRC colours in August 1905. See Age, 19 August 1905, p. 14; Victorian  Government Gazette, 16 July 1913, p. 3102. 
  81. Gordon Hallett, ‘Frederick Hawthorn Hutchings and “Clebyarra”’, The Black Sheep, East  Gippsland Historical Society (newsletter), May 2006, pp. 12–13.
  82. ‘First World War Embarkation: Fred Hawthorn Hutchings’, at collection/R2055745.
  83. Winner, 4 July 1917, p. 8. 
  84. Hutchings, F.H., Major, B2455, National Archives of Australia.
  85. The club would later affiliate with the Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA): Hal Porter, Bairnsdale: Portrait of an Australian Country Town,  Sydney, John Ferguson, 1977, 1985, p. 218; John Adams, Path Among the Years: History of Shire of Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale, Bairnsdale Shire Council, 1987, p. 246.
  86. While Hutchings sought £1,200 in damages, the Supreme Court awarded him £200 on finding the extent of damage fell well short of his claim. See Every Week (Bairnsdale), 19 December 1918, p. 2.
  87. Divorce Case Files, Supreme Court of Victoria, Fred Hawthorn Hutchings (Petitioner),  Annie Hutchings (Respondent), VPRS 283/P2, Unit 93, Item Case No. 1926/124, PROV.
  88. Hallett, p. 13
  89. Argus, 5 June 1926, p. 13.
  90. When Annie Hutchings died in Bairnsdale in 1947, her death notice described her as  ‘widow of Major F.H. Hutchings of Goon Nure’, Argus, 27 June 1947, p. 18. Her estate of almost £20,000 was left mostly to welfare organisations for returned servicemen and women. See Age, 14 October 1947, p. 3.
  91. As premier, ‘Jack’ Murray would later initiate the Country Roads Board of Victoria,  founded in 1913. 
  92. Tranter, p. 852.
  93. Andrew J. May, Melbourne Street Life, Melbourne, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 1998,  p. 2.
  94. W.K. Anderson, Roads for the People: A History of Victoria’s Roads, Melbourne, Hyland  House/VicRoads, 1994, Appendix 6, pp. 272–3; Department of Transport, Road Traffic  Accident Data and Rates: Australia, States and Territories 1925–1981, Canberra, Australian  Government Publishing Service, 1984, passim; Deaths from Vehicular Accidents, ‘Vital  Statistics’, Victorian Year Books 1926–27 to 1930–31. 
  95. In October 2020, the Victorian government pledged an additional $13 million in cycling infrastructure for the inner city in anticipation of even greater bicycle use driven by concern over the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transport preferences:  ‘Safer Cycling and More Routes to Keep Melbourne Moving’, Media Release, Minister for  Roads and Road Safety, 7 October 2020, at