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Local legends serving truckies for more than 50 years

Since 1968 Lesley Hansen and her husband Jim have run the Woodstock Roadhouse and General Store in Far North Queensland.

That business includes the Woodstock Post Office at the hamlet which is 40km from coastal Townsville along the Flinders Highway heading out west.

Times have changed for the couple and their business as you would imagine over such a long innings.

Big Rigs stopped in there and had a yarn to the 83-year-old Lesley recently and she estimates about 50 trucks pull up there weekly.

Lesley Hansen at the Woodstock Roadhouse.

“It used to be a lot more years ago but some of the other places can offer discounts on fuel,” she said.

The other two roadhouses between the outskirts of Townsville and Charters Towers, 130km away, are the Calcium Puma and the Burdekin Duck.

Calcium is 13km further along the Flinders, and the Burdekin Duck at Macrossan is 20km inland from Charters Towers.

Woodstock is a rural community with a permanent population of around 400 and almost every farm in surroundings areas has a truck.

“Most of the locals stop here during a week as we have the Post Office and they pick up mail. Jim is delivering mail to properties now,” she said.

The pair started the business back around Christmas in 1968 and Lesley said they met whilst on a visit to the then zoo at Mt St John just north of Townsville.

“After that we ended up at the Tobruk Pool with our mates,” she said.

Until the year 2000, the Hansens ran the business from a shop next to the new roadhouse which is still standing.

“This new one has been going for 21 years and we stock groceries, papers, drinks and take away food so we still get people coming in as they travel and trucks,” she said.

Lesley said things have slowed down since the pandemic, at least in regards to travellers.

Everybody in the Woodstock area knows Lesley and Jim and some families’ forebears settled there way back in the late 1880s.

During its colourful history Woodstock had a cricket team and in one era each of the 11 players had the surname of “Field” and that included some truck drivers.

So, when they filled out the batting order on the score sheet only Christian names were written down.

The Field family still has many members living there.

It is common for locals to stop and have a yarn to the pair who possess a wealth of knowledge about the region.

Like most people from the bush, Woodstock residents are a friendly crew.

So if tourists stop in and want some history Lesley is delighted to help them.

“We have a local primary school here where kids from around the area attend,” she said.

At that point a light rig pulled up out the front to take on fuel and a lady arrived inside to collect her mail.

“It does get busy here at times and we love the lifestyle,” Lesley said.

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