I grew up in The Whitsundays, travelling to school everyday in comfort, in a Sampsons Bus.
Here's my tribute to the company that was Sampsons Buses. I've compiled a variety of photos from the old Sampsons Buses. The company has since been been sold off, but here's a few of the old buses. If you have any correct model/body details on the buses here, email me and I'll update the page.
Thanks to the Late George Sampson (Owner of Sampson's Buses) who provided me with most of these photos.
Unfortunately, George passed away in August 2011. An article in the Whitsunday Times can be read here.
If you have any other photos of Sampsons Buses please let me know.
My favourite bus. MAN SR240 with Denning Majestic Bodywork. 1 of a kind in this fleet, seated 61, with Air Con, Bus Style Seating and a 6 speed Manual Transmission. No TV/VCR in this one, but cassette and radio throughout. Sold off to Logan Coaches in Brisbane - Ended up at Gatton before returning to the Whitsunday Fleet. See the Whitsunday Transit page for current photos of it in special PROSAIL livery. It was actually the first 61 seater bus that MAN ever made. Unfortunately it seems this bus has been withdrawn.
Close Up of the front of one of their MAN SR240 (Denning Majestic II Bodywork) Coaches.
Sold to Brisbane in March 1994. There were 3 in the fleet the same, with bus-style seating, air-conditioned with TV/VCR. Seated 53 and 6 speed Manual Transmission.
Same bus as above, now in the Brisbane National Fleet.
GBW / MAN 22-280
Cannonvale Depot Shot taken in 1989. A MAN SR240 Coach and 2 Nissan UD's used for School Runs.
Cannonvale Depot. 1 UD, 2 MAN's and a Mini.
Close up of the 3 Nissan UD's.
2 Minis outside the front of Proserpine Depot.
The back of Proserpine Depot. A couple of UD's, a Couple of MAN's and a Merc.
This bus joined the fleet in 1993. I can still vividly remember the first service run it did, I got it on my way to school. These were a comfy ride, with coach bucket seats, TV/VCR, Air-con. Seated 49. There were 3 bought for the fleet, including 1 larger one pictured below. The 61 seater and one of the 49 seaters remain in the fleet as at 2013.
The first Coach Design Coach to join the fleet, along with the George and the drivers at the time.
Same as the one above, but it seated 61 and had bus-style seats. This was taken at the back of the Proserpine Depot, before it was signwritten.
Same as above.
Same as above. Notice the 49 seater to the left. The solid yellow back window later had a nice big ad for 'The Whitsundays' painted in it. George Sampson still advertises The Whitsundays on the back of his coaches in Kalgoorlie.
Same as above.
49 Seat version of the one above, but with a new livery. It never got across the whole fleet before the business was sold to Crossleys of Sydney and renamed Whitsunday Transit.
The newest of the fleet before it was sold. There were 2 of these purchased. They had seatbelts, but the first of the 2 bought had an issue with the seats - they were coach seats, but they were shaped with a bump in the middle, so you kind of 'perched' on top of the seat rather than sink into it. The second one resolved the problem with proper bucket seats. These were 4 speed Auto Transmissions, with 49 Seats. You can see the blue stripe of the old livery (or a newer version of it) that was never painted over.
A MAN Midi Coach. Had a water dispenser in the front and a toilet in the back. Transferred to Kiama Coachlines around 1994.
Here are a couple of old timetables
This was the first color glossy timetable for Sampsons. They had previously been photocopies on A4 Paper, with pictures of the buses on the front.
This was the first timetable put out under the name of Whitsunday Transit. Notice it incorporates the logos of Sampsons and Daly's Bus Services at the Top. Daly's was a small operator servicing some school routes and charters from Proserpine. They only had around 5 buses, and when Sampsons was sold, Crossleys bought Daly's as well. They later stopped using the 1300 phone number, and for a while issued timetables with a small sticker over the number.