A charabanc or "char-à-banc" is a type of horse-drawn vehicle or early motor coach, usually open-topped, common in Britain during the early part of the 20th century. It has "benched seats arranged in rows, looking forward, commonly used for large parties, whether as public conveyances or for excursions." It was especially popular for sight-seeing or "works outings" to the country or the seaside, organised by businesses once a year. The name derives from the French char à bancs ("carriage with wooden benches"), the vehicle having originated in France in the early 19th century.
In Australia a modern similar type of bus or motorcoach, with a lateral door for each row of seats, survived up to the 1970s and was referred to as side loader bus; but all or most of them were not open-topped. (Wikipedia)
Two pages relating to buses, char-a-bancs and trams in Ballarat
bus, tram, char-a-banc, john lucas, john j. mckenna, hugh williams, a.b. smith, thomas pascoe, h.g. whiteley, walter hearne, thomas james, george skinner, sydney stapleton, hugh george lake, oscar cruikshank, robert taylor, thomas powell, wilmot, j.p. bennett