Hello and welcome

Brisbane History West is a collaborative resource set up to provide an internet presence for the history groups in the inner south western suburbs that don’t have their own dedicated website.  Its purpose  is to supplement existing activities and encourage community awareness and participation in the study and recording of local history.

Each of the groups focus on specific geographical areas which jointly cover the present day suburbs of Chelmer, Corinda, Graceville, Indooroopilly, Oxley, St Lucia, Sherwood and Taringa. Arbitrary boundaries aside, with some subtle variations the area shares a common history.

If you are unfamiliar with the blog format this Home page has all the articles uploaded to date in chronological order. Each has been categorised so if you are looking to minimise scrolling click on the relevant Topic (right hand side margin for PC users). The articles are a mix of frequently asked questions, meeting notices, research notes and papers,  and general news items.

Please feel free to contact us if you are working on a project and are wondering how to share your research effort, contributions are welcome. The site is self-funded and supported by the participating groups and societies which rely solely on volunteer resources. The individual groups retain their independence.

The publication Brisbane Spreads West– A local history 1840 to 1901 is the combined work of a number of local groups and societies, drawing on their research of the history of the western and south western suburbs of Brisbane. It is available from the participating groups or from the State Library Book Shop

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Toowong History Group February Meeting

7pm Wednesday 19 February 2020 at the Toowong Community Meeting Place, Josling Street, Toowong.  This month Sharyn Merkley will present Minnie & Sandy – A Love Story a talk on the Archer family of Toowong. All welcome. For further details contact Prue on 3870 3886

 

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Moggill Historical Society February Meeting

7pm Tuesday 18 February 2020 at Room PY3, Moggill State School (NB different room tonight refer to mud map).

This month Ray Kerkhove will discuss The Battle of One Tree Hill the new book he has co-authored with Frank Uhr. To date, historical research on the frontier wars has concentrated on authenticating massacres and the policing forces that drove such incidents. In their new book Ray and Frank take a different stance, reconstructing the hidden story of Aboriginal resistance. The book geographically locates a forgotten Aboriginal victory and Ray will explain traditional and frontier period Aboriginal military tactics, and detail how the Battle of One Tree Hill resulted in one of the largest actions during the Australian frontier wars.

Copies of the book will be available on the night.

For further details contact Bobby Vollmer secretary@moggillhistorical.org.au

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Oxley-Chelmer History Group February Meeting

9.30am Friday 14 February 2020 at the Sherwood-Indooroopilly RSL Sub-Branch, Clewley Street, Corinda. This month after a short AGM and election of office bearers we will have a speaker, then share news and information. For further details please contact Marion on 3379 1967 or ochginc@gmail.com

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Taringa History Group February Meeting

3pm Saturday 1 February 2020 at the Community Meeting Place, Josling Street, Toowong.  This month will be a general meeting to discuss current events and our programme for the rest of the year. All welcome

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Warner’s Road north of the river

Diagram illustrating the provision made for road reserves as part of the initial sub-division of the area that would become St Lucia. 22 lots would be offered for sale (‘Portion’ numbers shown)

There has often been discussion at St Lucia History Group meetings about the reported difficulties experienced by the early European settlers accessing Brisbane in the late 1850s/early 1860s. The requirement to deliver their produce to market in town by rowboat is well recorded and reflects on the state of early road making.

When the surveyors prepared the original sub-division plans for St Lucia they included for ‘Government’ roads. In reality these were merely identified road reserves. They were provided to enable free access to each of the lots offered for sale, without the need for easements,  and in addition, common access to the riverbank. The individual lots (Portions) were in the order of 40 acres each and dedicated roads were kept to a minimum, road reserves generated no income. Interestingly the first lot offered, which was purchased in 1852, is described as Portion 7 of the Parish of Indooroopilly. It had no nominated road access. Continue reading

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St Lucia Farm School- ‘The gate of opportunity is wide open to the boy who passes through St Lucia’

The St Lucia Farm School was established as one of the state government’s responses to the 1930s economic depression brought about by the world wide slump in trade. Post Federation Australia was still reliant on its major trading partner the UK (60% of trade) and when demand there for Australian goods plummeted thousands were thrown out of work. Up to 27% of the Queensland workforce was out of a job by 1932 and others were on part time.

The rapid rise in unemployment coincided with the election of the first ‘conservative’ government in Queensland for 14 years. The Labor party had held office since 1915 headed successively  by TJ Ryan, Ted Theodore, William Gilles and then William McCormack. They were elected on a platform of improving the lot of the working man and introduced a number of social reforms. Perhaps one of their most significant actions during this period  was the abolition of the Queensland Legislative Council, arising from their refusal to approve legislation assented by the lower house (some sources suggest up to 200 Bills and Regulations returned).

By 1929, however, the Labor governments appear to have run out of steam and AE Moore became Premier when the Country and Progressive National Party (relatively short lived coalition) won the election. Timing is everything Continue reading

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A Taringa Childhood

Mid 1950s view from the southern end of Manchester Terrace overlooking Moggill Road and its intersection with Musgrave Road. Today’s outlook from the same position is now dominated by the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre
(Walter Marggraf)

Much has changed in the neighbourhood Eric Marggraf grew up in in the 1930s and 40s.

In Wounded in the trenches Eric presents his early childhood memories of Taringa and beyond. Starting with the Manchester Terrace environs, the family home was No 62, his horizons gradually extended to include the Princess Street home of his paternal grandparents, and Taringa State School where he was enrolled in 1935. Then he got ‘wheels’ and his adventuring extended along Moggill Road, from Toowong to Brookfield, and over the Indooroopilly Bridge out to Chelmer and Graceville.

As with his description of the Victory Picture Theatre, Eric demonstrates his builder’s eye for detail and provides us with a snapshot of some of the characters and businesses operating in Taringa Village and beyond. From the early days of European settlement Taringa had been a commercial and social hub for the local community, and the seat of local government until 1925.

Eric’s contemporaries will recognise this glimpse into everyday life, many aspects typical of a Brisbane suburban upbringing of the times, a period when being home for meals and in before dark set your boundaries.

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