Bob and Roma Woodward set off from Perth in December 1951 on a BSA 600 single cylinder motorcycle with an attached sidecar, which Bob made from a packing crate.
Bob’s 12-year old brother Ron travelled with them until Kalgoorlie, where they put him on a plane flight home. From there, they set off across the Nullarbor. Their accommodation was a double sleeping bag swag that Roma made.
It took 19 days to cross from west to east. Some days they would travel all day and not see a soul except for inquisitive animals. The Nullarbor road in the west was little more than a sand track, but the east was noticeably better.
To keep warm they put newspaper inside their clothing. They picked up
jobs, such as fruit picking in Mildura along the way.
Painting a relative’s roof enabled them to buy Roma a second hand leather jacket, which their youngest daughter Kate (Paul Fry’s wife), has since worn back across Australia on a motorbike adventure.
They claimed a mangy hairless street dog in Mildura and called her Meg. Roma knitted Meg a jumper while travelling in the sidecar.
Roma would sometimes climb from the pillion seat into the sidecar and visa-versa, while Bob was riding along. One day a policeman pulled them over and said, “Does the dog perform tricks too?” Roma was not impressed.
Roma and Bob returned to WA and soon after had their first of seven children. Meg travelled with them; her hair grew back and she lived a happy and long life as their family pet on a dairy farm in Narrikup where she died of old age. Roma Woodward 1924-2005. Bob Woodward 1922 - 2011.