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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Charles Street, a shopkeeper of nineteenth century Brisbane

View along Queen Street c1864
(State Library Queensland Neg 139497)

In 1865 Devon born Charles Street was 42 when he and his wife Elizabeth (nee Stanton) boarded the Flying Cloud  bound for Brisbane. He had spent the previous 20 years in America. Initially employed there as a clerk, by the time the 1860 US census was taken he had obviously prospered, his profession being described as ‘Merchant’.

He was a self-funded migrant, travelling saloon class, and on arrival was eligible for government land orders for himself, his wife and accompanying children. They had a comfortable passage and settled in Brisbane on arrival where he opened his drapery business in Queens Street. He used his land orders towards the purchase a number of large blocks of land at (what would become) Taringa and Indooroopilly, Continue reading

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Turtle Soup made in Oxley – really ?

Canning sausages at the Oxley Bacon Factory in 1942
(Oxley-Chelmer History Group, donated by Phil O’Brien)

Yes, made from giant turtles transported all the way from the Great Barrier Reef. Local livestock was used for the more mundane canned sausages, pigs trotters, and pork brawn.

For nearly a hundred years the Foggitt and Jones Oxley Bacon Factory on Blunder Road, or Hutton’s as it was known to baby-boomers, produced hams, bacon sides and a variety of canned products for the local, Australian and International market.

Now with historical records becoming more easily accessible the Oxley-Chelmer History Group has decided to update and supplement The History of the Oxley Meat Factory authored twenty years ago by group member Lona Grantham.

Can you help (no pun intended) ? We are particularly interested in memories of the factory, good or bad, for the period between the Second World War and when it closed in 1992. Also in any photographs or old newspaper cuttings you may have.

For further details or if you have something to share please contact us on  gonebush6@bigpond.com or ochginc@gmail.com and we will be in touch


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Scouting Heritage

The Queensland Branch of the Scouting Association of Australia has taken up the State Library’s ‘Community Heritage Digitisation Offer’ to scan and make available on line a number of their past monthly Scouting magazines. This initiative should be a boon to those interested in researching their local communities and the wider scout movement.

The Branch’s heritage resource centre is at Toowong, for further information contact heritage@scoutsqld.com.au

Link to back copies of the Queensland Scouter 1962 to 1966 – 60 magazines http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=slq_alma21105667380002061&context=L&vid=SLQ&search_scope=SLQ&tab=slq&lang=en_US

Link to back copies of the Totem from the first in March 1937 to 1961 – 270 magazines http://onesearch.slq.qld.gov.au/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=slq_alma21105638680002061&context=L&vid=SLQ&search_scope=SLQ&tab=slq&lang=en_US

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Muscle Powered Vehicular Ferries

River ferries have long been a feature of the daily life of Brisbane. Prior to the construction of the first bridge connecting North and South Brisbane in the 1860s they were essential for both personal and commercial use. Even after this they proved an economical alternative for government and local authorities looking to avoid significant capital investment, yet still make provision for cross river pedestrian, four legged and vehicular traffic.

Small volume pedestrian traffic could be handled by conventional rowboat with the ferryman at the oars. A simple jetty with steps down to a landing was all that was required in terms of infrastructure. Ferries to carry vehicles, bulky goods and stock required a larger and Continue reading

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Indooroopilly Mining Heritage

Google Earth 3D projection of the mine site, now heavily treed
(Google Earth: Image Landsat/Copernicus)

The end of 2018 will mark the centenary of the accidental discovery of the Finney’s Hill silver-lead outcrop at Isles Road, Indooroopilly. Now, well timbered and largely hidden from view, few, other than a generation of UQ educated mining engineers realise that by the time of its closure in 1929, material extracted from the site yielded some 227,343 ounces of silver and 1,796 tons of lead.

The discovery was followed initially by open cut mining, and then by the sinking of shafts and underground tunnelling. The only remaining clue Continue reading

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Radio Station 4ZZZ – milestone anniversary

Early 1960s Aerial photograph of UQ, Union complex buildings centre foreground
(Courtesy CSIRO Cunningham Laboratory archive)

Google Earth 3D projection UQ
(Courtesy Google Earth: Landsat/Copernicus, CNES/Airbus 2018)

In December 2018 community radio station 4ZZZ will commemorate one of the important milestones in its over forty year history, its eviction on 14 December 1988 from its operational base at the University of Queensland by the student union executive.

4ZZZ began transmission in 1975 as the first stereo FM community broadcaster in Brisbane. It was established to provide an alternative to mainstream coverage, to develop skills and training in media related fields, and showcase Australian music. Announcer John Woods launched the station with The Who’s ‘Won’t get fooled again’ at midday on 8 December 1975.

The late 1960s and early 1970s were significant years in the development of many western democracies as student and community activists questioned and increasingly challenged the establishment. This was particularly so in Queensland which was governed by the ultra-conservative Bjelke Petersen administration. Repression of dissent was the order of the day.

It was in this environment that a group of ‘radicals’ conceived the idea of an independent radio station as an alternative to the printing press to disseminate their  interpretation of the news, and at the same time, tap into the fledgling youth music scene.

The election of the Whitlam Labor Government was timely, the proposed radio station would need a License to broadcast, and ZZZ applied for one of the twelve issued in August 1975. ZZZ had successfully lobbied for the FM licenses to be on the VHF waveband.

The station’s first studios, located in the basement of the extension to the Refectory in the Students Union complex at UQ, were built and fitted out by volunteers, using largely second-hand building materials and furniture. Operational funding was raised through donations, subscriptions and fund raising events.

The station became a fixture on campus for the next ten years, however, in the mid to late 1980s, with state politics in turmoil arising from the removal of the Premier from office, and perhaps as a back lash, a more conservative Student Union attempted to close them down by evicting them.

Although university students rallied in support the station was forced to moved to alternative premises on Coronation Drive, Toowong. In 1992 ZZZ obtained a loan to buy the former headquarters of the Communist Party of Australia on Barry Parade, Fortitude Valley from where it still broadcasts.

4ZZZ will mark the thirtieth anniversary of their eviction with an event at the Schonell Theatre on Saturday 15 December 2018. Long-term volunteer Andrew Bartlett will chair a panel of ZZZ personnel who were there at the time. Refer to attached flyer for details, contact 4ZZZ for tickets.

11 Dec 2018 – for a more detailed description of the early history including interviews with Jim Beatson, Louise Butt, Amanda Collinge, Michael Finucan, Helen Hambling, Anne Jones, John Stanwell, Steve Stockwell, Harley Stumm and Ross Wilson, watch the documentary on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOmd2XnoD9Q&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=james.crid.land&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=james.crid.land%3A2018-12-10

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