Braddy-Whyte case: Were you on the last tram to Eaglehawk the night they vanished?

The Eaglehawk tram, right, prepares to leave Charing Cross in either the 1960s or 1970s. Picture: Bendigo Heritage Attractions
The Eaglehawk tram, right, prepares to leave Charing Cross in either the 1960s or 1970s. Picture: Bendigo Heritage Attractions

THE sister of a girl missing from Bendigo for almost 50 years has urged anyone who caught the last tram on the Eaglehawk line on the night in question to come forward to police.

Maureen Braddy, 16, and Allan Whyte, 17, went missing on November 23, 1968, after they left a dance at the YMCA Hall on Mundy Street.

A woman contacted the family before Christmas – and her evidence was passed on to police – claiming she was on the last tram to Eaglehawk on the night and remembered seeing Maureen and Allan riding up the front.

The last tram was likely to have left Charing Cross at 11pm and arrived in Eaglehawk at 11.24pm, a timetable from near the period shows.

The woman had met and spoken with the pair for the first time at a park in Bendigo earlier that day, and remembered them clearly. The woman rode the tram all the way to Eaglehawk.

Detectives have repeatedly stated that the dance at the YMCA was the last place they were seen.

Lyn Ireland, the younger sister of Maureen, said it showed the pair caught the tram after the dance and would have likely got off at California Gully to return to Maureen’s house.

A woman claims she saw Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte on the last tram to Eaglehawk on Saturday, November 23, 1968.

A woman claims she saw Maureen Braddy and Allan Whyte on the last tram to Eaglehawk on Saturday, November 23, 1968.

“To me, it puts them back at the house that night,” she said.

“It’s not the dance that they were last seen at. They were seen elsewhere.”

They have since released a $1 million reward for information that lead to a conviction in relation to the disappearance.

Police have also ruled out searching a well beneath a house on Vinton Street where the Braddys lived.

Ms Ireland said if they could further establish that Maureen and Allan returned to California Gully on the night, it could help the case to move forward again.

Lyn Ireland, with a picture of Maureen Braddy, has continued to try to unearth new witnesses and evidence in the disappearance of her sister 50 years ago. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Lyn Ireland, with a picture of Maureen Braddy, has continued to try to unearth new witnesses and evidence in the disappearance of her sister 50 years ago. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

“All I would say to anybody on that tram that night is don’t be scared to come forward, you can stay anonymous,” she said.

“Do something before it’s too late.”

Witnesses claim they saw the pair leaving the dance at 8.30pm. Maureen’s bag – which she took to the dance – was seen in her bedroom later in the night. It vanished with her disappearance.

Ms Ireland said it made no sense for them to “run away” from home, as others have claimed, as Allan did not yet have his driver’s licence. Maureen was pregnant at the time.

Victoria Police confirmed the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.