From beer to eternity

Syd Wickham in the 1923 International. 113675_02


IT’S certainly a work in need of progress, but this 1923 International truck once filled a vital service for the town of Warwick.
Once a week, Charlie Wickham drove it from Brisbane at the stately speed of 22.5km/h (14mph) carrying beer. His offspring were later to start Wickham Freight Lines.
“This was his second truck,” Charlie’s grandson, Syd Wickham, said.
The truck still runs, although not on the road, and Syd was happily driving it around Allora Showgrounds ahead of the weekend’s heritage festival.
“It’d be the oldest International truck here, I’d reckon,” he said.
The vehicle left family ownership for some years until Syd’s father bought it back in 1949 or 1950. He spends his time in Goomburra restoring tractors and hasn’t quite to doing up the International yet. At 14 years of age, Syd was delivering wheat from Goomburra to Warwick, and without a licence. The local police sergeant was cranky when Syd was old enough to obtain a licence.
“I thought you had a licence, I’ve seen you driving around for years,” the copper said.
Those were the days.